Fiat prepares Abarth 695 ‘Tributo Ferrari’ for Frankfurt

September 10th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Abarth 695 Ferrari fq

Fiat’s Abarth performance division has announced that it will premiere the special edition Fiat 500 Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show.

The special 500 Abarth is powered by the company’s 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v engine that has been juiced up to produce over 180 hp. It’s equipped with MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) electromechanical gearbox with steering wheel paddles and a Record Monza variable back-pressure dual mode exhaust system. 17-inch alloy wheels pack out the guards and Brembo 284 mm multi-section brake discs with fixed four-piston calipers provide ample stopping power.

The most attention-getting detail, of course, is the paint scheme, decked out in Scuderia Red with Racing Grey stripes to mimick the outgoing 430 Scuderia. Fashion house Jaeger has been commissioned to make the special instruments for the interior and Sabelt provides the bucket seats

The Fiat 500 Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari price will be announced in the following weeks.

Peugoet steals Mitsubishi’s iMiEV to create iOn

September 10th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Peugeot iOn fq

Mitsubishi and Peugeot have worked together before and now, they are at it again. The project they planning together is set to be very “green” and involves the introduction of the Peugeot iOn in Frankfurt this month. If the Peugeot iOn looks familiar to you it’s because it’s simply the Mitsubishi iMiEV sporting Peugeot’s badge up front. The French carmaker plans to launch the lithium ion battery-powered electric car in Europe at the end of 2010.

With 64 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque available, Peugeot is stating that the iOn’s range will be 130 km on a full charge. Plugging the car into a conventional 220V outlet will give it a full recharge in six hours. A fast-charger system will also be available, allowing the iOn to be charged to 80% capacity in just half an hour.

More will be revealed when the Frankfurt Motor Show kicks off later this month.

Volvo refreshes C30 for Frankfurt debut

September 9th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo C30 facelift fq

As expected, Volvo has facelifted its C30 entry-level model, for the 2010 model year. The first official pictures of the refreshed Volvo have just been released ahead of the car’s upcoming debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and, not surprisingly, the updates focus mainly on the front and rear styling and are similar in nature to the modifications made to the C70 hardtop convertible (read news item).

The car has radical new appearance from the front, carving out a distinctive new personality. Fresh elements include a larger Volvo badge, new air intakes similar to those found on the XC60 crossover, and a re-designed grille. Designers have also added an ‘Orange Flame Metallic’ paint scheme, visible exhaust tailpipes on the T5 and D5 models, and two new wheel options.

The engine lineup consists of both gasoline and diesel units and ranges in displacement from a compact 1.6-litre unit to a range topping turbocharged 2.5-litre lump. The most fuel-efficient model is a 1.6-liter turbodiesel with engine stop-start technology. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual gearbox, five-speed automatic or a six-speed Powershift dual-clutch unit.

The updated C30 will be launched later this month and global sales are expected to begin early next year.

Rolls Royce Ghost – details and images released

September 8th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Rolls Royce Ghost official fq

Rolls-Royce has officially released images and details on its new junior saloon, the Ghost. The new Roller won’t be seen publicly for a few more days when it’ll formally debut in Frankfurt. Now the world knows that the Ghost’s 6.6-liter V12 generates an impressive 575 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm, along with a whopping 563 horsepower. It will need the ample power with the whole car weighing in at 2,469kg unloaded. Performance is impressive with the Ghost getting from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and up to a limited top speed of 250 km/h.

There are no surprises in the styling, which is unchanged from the 200EX concept displayed in Geneva earlier this year. The Ghost keeps the Phantom-style coach doors with built-in umbrellas. Inside, the Ghost carries over additional Phantom tricks, such as the “Power Reserve” gauge the driver gets instead of a traditional tachometer. It’s touted as being more of a driver’s car than the Phantom and has a much smaller steering wheel and the front seats have more contouring for lateral support, as well.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but she’s not going to come cheap.

Lexus LF-Ch shows its face

September 8th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Lexus LF-Ch fq

Lexus has released a new front-end shot of its LF-Ch hybrid concept car as it approaches an official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

There’s no doubt the hatchback is a looker, especially coming from Lexus, whose present lineup is relatively conservative. Judging by these initial images the LF-Ch looks worthy of competing with the likes of premium-compact rivals Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series if it goes into production. The assertive styling may also be a sign of things to come for the entire Lexus range.

Stay tuned for more on this car as it makes its formal debut in Frankfurt later this month.

Porsche reveal retrotastic 911 Sport Classic (+video)

September 7th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche 911 Sport Classic fq

At the upcoming 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Porsche is bringing out its new 911 Sport Classic. In creating this model Porsche is bringing back the tradition of an exclusive series built in very small numbers, for the 911 Sport Classic will be offered in a production run limited to just 250 cars worldwide.

Fans of the Porsche 911 will recognise immediately the retro styling cues incorporated in this latest addition to the range, principally the ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler reminiscent of that made famous by the 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 and the iconic ‘Fuchs-style’ design of the special custom-made alloy wheels. The Sport Classic is further distinguished by a more powerful engine, unique exterior with new front and rear styling, a new centre section in the roof, new side sills, and new design of front and rear lights.

Every car in this limited series comes in the colour of Sport Classic Grey with dark trim strips accentuating the unique character of the car. The interior comes in ‘Espresso Nature’ and apparently goes beyond the customisation possibilities of the 911 interiors already offered by Porsche Exclusive.

The Sport Classic will receive carbon ceramic brakes and will produce 23 horsepower of the stock model. More information will be released on this exclusive Porsche when it debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show this month.

Check out the video of the 911 Sport Classic below.

Mini Coupe set to go into production

September 7th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mini Coupe concept fq

Mini has just announced that the Mini Coupe and another Mini model to be premiered at the Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production at the company’s Oxford plant. The currently unknown Mini is believed to be a new Mini roadster, but will be unveiled in the next couple of weeks.

The recently revealed Mini Coupe was designed to be the most agile model of the brand and is powered by the 1.6-litre turbocharged MINI John Cooper Works power train. It is strictly a two-seater with a low roof line and perfect axle load distribution.

UK Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: “The production of the two new MINI models is very good news for Oxford, and for the UK car industry. It is a demonstration of BMW’s long term commitment to the UK as it celebrates its 50th birthday this year. “British drivers have had a long love affair with the MINI and I’m sure that this will continue for many years to come.”

Check back for more details on the new Mini Coupe and possible Mini Roadster when they are unveiled in Frankfurt.

Hyundai preps hybrid concept cars for Frankfurt

September 7th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Hyundai ix Metro fq

Hyundai has released teaser images two distinctive new concept vehicle it will unveil shortly at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The ix Metro and the i10 Electric will be in Germany to show off the Korean automaker’s Blue Drive eco-efforts.

The ix Metro (pictured) is a gasoline-electric hybrid with C02 emissions of just 80 grams-per-kilometre. The very low emissions, are the direct result of a small, 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with direct injection and turbocharging mated to a six-speed dual clutch transmission that works in tandem with a battery. Details of range haven’t been released for the ix Metro.

The i10 Electric is a zero-emission version of the standard i10 city car that uses a 16 kWh battery and a 49kW motor for a 160km range. Using regular household 220V charging, the automaker says that the battery can be fully charged in five hours. Hyundai have stated that the vehicle is production-ready and will go on sale in its home market in the latter half of next year.

Hyundai isn’t done there and will also bring the Elantra LPI HEV and Blue Will Plug-In Hybrid Electric, both previously displayed, to the Frankfurt show.