2010 Volvo C70 Convertible exposed

September 3rd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo C70 convertible fq

Volvo has just released images of its facelifted C70 convertible ahead of its debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

The new look is fresh and includes swept-back headlights and a larger trademark face, overall it’s an even further departure from the automaker’s boxy past. At the back, a new rear lamp design includes fashionable LED lighting, a reshaped bumper, and more pronounced “Volvo” badging on the boot decklid.

Inside, the instrument panel has been redesigned, giving it a wider, sleeker look and a new textured surface.

It wouldn’t be a Volvo without killer safety features these include an advanced body structure and several solutions that are unique in the world of convertibles. The lack of a fixed roof has been compensated by structural reinforcements and sophisticated technology.

The powertrain lineup will consist of several gasoline and turbodiesel units ranging in output from about 136 to 230 horsepower. The range will start with the 2.0D turbodiesel developing 136 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque and will top out with a 2.5-litre T5 turbocharged gasoline model with 230 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque on tap.

Mini Crossover debut delayed until 2010

September 2nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mini unveiled its new crossover concept at last year’s Paris Auto Show to a mixed reception but within just four weeks after its debut the vehicle was given the green light for production. Various prototypes have since been seen testing in Europe but apparently development has now been delayed.

The vehicle was originally scheduled for debut at this month’s Frankfurt Auto Show but according to a new report BMW has delayed its unveiling until next year.

A Mini spokesman told media in the U.S.: “The crossover launch has been pushed back as we wish to first explore differentiation within future Mini smaller models and get feedback.”

Now, Mini plans to use the upcoming Frankfurt event to display new Coupe and Roadster concepts, both of which may enter production.

As for the crossover, it will be a true 4×4 and will be able to seat four-passengers. It will stretch four meters in length but is still touted to retain Mini’s ‘go-kart drive quality’.

The first versions will be available in front-wheel-drive only, with a BMW Xdrive-derived al-wheel-drive model set to go on sale some time after the initial launch.

Mini Crossover debut delayed until 2010

September 2nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mini unveiled its new crossover concept at last year’s Paris Auto Show to a mixed reception but within just four weeks after its debut the vehicle was given the green light for production. Various prototypes have since been seen testing in Europe but apparently development has now been delayed.

The vehicle was originally scheduled for debut at this month’s Frankfurt Auto Show but according to a new report BMW has delayed its unveiling until next year.

A Mini spokesman told media in the U.S.: “The crossover launch has been pushed back as we wish to first explore differentiation within future Mini smaller models and get feedback.”

Now, Mini plans to use the upcoming Frankfurt event to display new Coupe and Roadster concepts, both of which may enter production.

As for the crossover, it will be a true 4×4 and will be able to seat four-passengers. It will stretch four meters in length but is still touted to retain Mini’s ‘go-kart drive quality’.

The first versions will be available in front-wheel-drive only, with a BMW Xdrive-derived al-wheel-drive model set to go on sale some time after the initial launch.

Mini unveiled its new crossover concept at last year’s Paris Auto Show to a mixed reception but within just four weeks after its debut the vehicle was given the green light for production. Various prototypes have since been seen testing in Europe but apparently development has now been delayed.

The vehicle was originally scheduled for debut at this month’s Frankfurt Auto Show but according to a new report BMW has delayed its unveiling until next year.

A Mini spokesman told media in the U.S.: “The crossover launch has been pushed back as we wish to first explore differentiation within future Mini smaller models and get feedback.”

Now, Mini plans to use the upcoming Frankfurt event to display new Coupe and Roadster concepts, both of which may enter production.

As for the crossover, it will be a true 4×4 and will be able to seat four-passengers. It will stretch four meters in length but is still touted to retain Mini’s ‘go-kart drive quality’.

The first versions will be available in front-wheel-drive only, with a BMW Xdrive-derived al-wheel-drive model set to go on sale some time after the initial launch.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept revealed (+video)

August 31st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

BMW Vision concept fq

Ready to feature at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the futuristic styled BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept has been revealed ahead of the event.

Set to display a blend of the German carmaker’s current and future technologies, the Vision concept is described by BMW as a “symbol for the future of sheer driving pleasure”.

Powered by a diesel-electric hybrid system, the Vision concept features a conventional 1.5 litre 3-cylinder turbo-diesel mated to a pair of electric motors.

Combined the motors produce a total output of 261kW and an amazing 800Nm of torque.

The mid-mounted diesel engine is joined by electric motors positioned at the front and rear axles, improving weight distribution and also making the Vision concept all-wheel-drive.

The Vision can run on electric power alone (50km range), or diesel only (645km) or a combination of the two.

BMW’s six-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s used in current BMW models will work the gears it’s been set for ultimate economy.

The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept offers impressive performance figures achieving a top speed of 250km/h and covering the 0-100km/h dash in just 4.8 seconds. Fuel consumption is just 3.1 l/100km, with CO2 emissions rated at 99 g/km.

Aerodynamics have dictated the styling for the Vision concept with a coefficient drag figure of just 0.22 aiding the car’s fuel efficiency.

The Vision concept’s exhaust system features a Thermo-Electric Generator (which BMW has been working on with NASA for some time), developed – as the name suggests – to convert thermal energy in the exhaust into usable electric power.

An energy management system is also featured, using rain sensors and information downloaded to the sat-nav system to forecast driving conditions on the trip ahead and prepare the car’s power supply for the task.

The Vision concept will have it’s official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

Saab releases details of new 9-5

August 28th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Saab 9-5 fq

It’s been about a month since a batch of photos of the new 2010 Saab 9-5 firstly showed up online. Now, only three weeks out from the Frankfurt Motor Show, Saab has released further details and a fresh batch of images of its new flagship. With a profile that retains much of Saab’s design language, the new 9-5 sedan moves to General Motors’ new Epsilon II platform along with the Opel Insignia. Using this platform is interesting because Saab is in the middle of separating from GM in favour of Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg.

All available engines in the 9-5 will be turbocharged, ranging from a 1.6-litre gas four pot to the 2.8-litre V-6 found in the 9-3 Turbo-X. The two engines available from day one will both be 2.0-litre four-cylinders — one petrol, the other diesel.

Drawing on the company’s ‘Born From Jets’ slogan, options for the new 9-5 will include a heads-up display, as well as ‘DriveSense adaptive chassis with real-time damping control,’ three-zone HVAC, and bi-level Xenon headlamps.

The 9-5 will also get a keyless entry/start feature, but in keeping with tradition, the start push button will be between the seats where the ignition key cylinder was traditionally located in older models.

Skoda teases new Superb wagon before Frankfurt show

August 27th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Skoda Superb 2010 teaser

Skoda has just released the first 2010 Skoda Superb Combi teaser image announcing that the new version of the model will be premiered at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month.Very few details have been released, all that’s know is that the new 2010 Skoda Superb Combi will continue the tradition of the current model.

The 2010 Skoda Superb Combi is aimed squarely at customers who need generous interior dimensions and a vehicle that offers a high utility level.

Like the Twindoor, the Superb Kombi is expected to offer a range of six engines — three gas and three diesels — mated to either a six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch transmission, but may also get the addition of available all-wheel-drive as well.

Citroen DS3 coming to NZ in 2010

August 26th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Citroen DS3 fq

The Citroen DS3 will make its world debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show on 15 September 2009 and is apparently going to combine luxury, style and exclusivity in a smaller package that meets today’s demands for fuel efficient, low emission cars.

“The past few years have seen a significant change in market demand,” explains Lawrie Malatios, General Manager for Citroen in New Zealand. “Driven in many countries not just by a desire by motorists to do the right thing by the environment but also by aggressive tax regimes based on differential taxation based on emissions and fuel consumption, many motorists are now down-sizing their cars into market sectors that have in the past been almost the exclusive preserve of cheap, basic cars.”

“This new group of small car buyers want the advantages of owning a small car, but they also wish to maintain the style, comfort, equipment levels and exclusivity of larger cars. A well or even very well equipped version of an existing car in this size category is not sufficient for this new class of car buyers. They want a car designed and built to their specific needs and desires. The Citroën DS3 is this car, designed and built for style and exclusivity, equipped for luxury and comfort, but with the size and technology that makes it environmentally sensitive and easy to use in the city,” says Malatios.

The DS3 is the first Citroen model to use the new naming convention for its elite models and will be followed by the DS4 and DS5. Setting the DS3 apart from the rest of the Citroen range is its own style, including a ‘floating’ roof and a ‘shark fin’ that assists visual interest.

The DS3 also offers a high level of personalisation so each new owner can create a car to their own tastes. Exterior personalisation components include the roof, body, rearview mirror housings and wheels. Inside, customers get a choice of dashboard strip, gearstick knob and a host of other interior equipment with a range of colours, fabrics and materials.

The DS3′s emissions are as low as 99 g/km. It will ship in Europe with a choice of five carbon-efficient Euro V engines. Including two HDi DPFS units developing 110 bhp and 90 bhp and three petrol engines with the THP 150, VTi 120 and VTi 95.

The Citroen DS3 will arrive in New Zealand the second half of 2010, when local prices and specification will be announced.

Rumours surround Audi RS3 hot hatch

August 26th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Rumours surround Audi RS3 hot hatch

The much anticipated Audi RS3 is rumored to be unveiled at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show.

Apparently, the new Audi RS3 will be powered by the same engine as the new TT-RS which has a 2.5 liter turbocharged unit. If this is true, the Audi RS3 will develop around 340 hp and 450 Nm of torque. Matched up with the company Quattro all wheel drive system, the Audi RS3 is set to be a serious hot hatch.

Some sources go even further suggesting that the Audi RS3 could come with a 350 hp or a 400 hp engine. But a 400hp engine would put it nearing R8 levels of performance so does seem unlikely.

Check back as more is revealed at the Frankfurt show.