September 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Korean carmaker SsangYong continues to make a play at the ute market with its latest budget-focused offering. First a concept version of SsanYong’s SUT-1 was shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, now the production version has debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The SUT-1 quad-cab pickup truck will enter the market as a replacement for the Actyon Sports model. SsangYong refers to the SUT-1 as a Sports Utility Truck, hence the SUT name.
There’s a new engine under the bonnet in the form of a Euro 5-compliant 2.0 litre diesel motor producing 114kW and 360Nm of torque. Max torque available between 1500 and 2800rpm. Available in rear or four-wheel-drive, the SUT-1 is being built with both a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel consumption figures haven’t been released yet.
A body-on-frame truck the SUT-1 uses a double-wishbone suspension up front and a five-link set up at the rear. There’s four-wheel disc brakes and either 16- or 18-inch alloy wheels. Kerb weight will come in at between 1873kg and 1995kg. Continue reading “SsangYong SUT-1 revealed at Frankfurt show” »
September 16th, 2011 by Tim Grimley
Anyone who has ever been to a trade show will be aware of what monumentally dull affairs they are. Exhibition halls bigger than American fridges are filled to bursting point with stand after stand of besuited bores eulogising about their particular bit of technology and its role in industries so dull that if you ever discussed them in real life it would result in instant social castration.
Show me someone who could get excited about attending events such as The Cleaning Show, Subpostmaster Show or The International Brazing and Soldering Conference and I’ll show you someone who I really don’t want to get trapped in a lift with.
Thankfully, when it comes to putting on an expo, the automotive industry manages to buck the trend. Take motor sport exhibitions, where the vehicles vie for attention with svelte young ladies wearing attire that their mothers may struggle to approve of. The trucking community is also not averse to having a little fleshy exposure in proceedings and distinguishing between a gathering of motor cycle manufacturers and soft-core pornographers is nigh on impossible.
Main stream motor vehicle manufacturers by and large do not resort to quite such base tactics, but thanks to glamorous product launches still manage to pull off an air of excitement. The largest of the breed – the Frankfurt Motor Show – kicked off this week and has already proved to be an extravaganza of exciting new metal as manufacturer’s battle to produce the star turn. Continue reading “Upper Class Act Isn’t Working” »
September 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
British carmaker Lotus has dropped the covers on its heavily facelifted 2012 Lotus Exige S and Exige R-GT at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
The reworked 2012 Lotus Exige S is powered by a 3.5 litre supercharged V6 engine that produces 257 kW (345 hp). It’s a huge amount of power for a car that weighs just 1080kg, so it’s power-to-weight ratio is very impressive.
In terms of styling the Exige facelift has a new one piece bumper/bonnet clip along with new headlights. The rear also receives treatment with an integrated boot lid spoiler, large bolt-on wing and lower diffuser.
The 2012 Lotus Exige S will go on sale in Europe with a choice of two options packages – Premium and Premium Sport – and three drive modes: Touring, Sport and DPM off. If you’re hell-bent on taking your Lotus to the track then a fourth drive mode, Race, can be bought as part of the Race Pack option. Continue reading “Lotus pulls covers off 2012 Exige S at Frankfurt show” »
September 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Kia has officially unveiled its rear-wheel-drive concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s a striking machine with some styling cues taken from the muscle car era of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Kia GT is another example of the Korean brand’s new design-led direction and hints at its next generation of cars. The our-door sports sedan draws inspiration from the Kia Kee concept car, first shown at the same event in 2007.
“At the onset of this project,” says Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s European Design Chief, “the design team was inspired by the spirit of iconic 1970s GT cars: sumptuous and elegant vehicles capable of whisking passengers from Paris to the South of France in effortless style and at high speed. We wanted to create something similarly graceful, athletic and confident, but not aggressive or overbearing.”
The 4.690 mm long and 1.890 mm wide concept car has a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and is given different proportions compared to a front-wheel drive car. Continue reading “Kia unveils V6-powered GT Concept Car” »
September 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Following on from the reveal of the new Focus ST (read news), Ford has backed it up by showing off its new Fiesta ST concept.
The younger brother to the sporty Focus has been unveiled at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show and shares much of the character of its larger sibling. The Fiesta ST has been revealed with a production-ready look and Ford is “seriously looking” at putting it into full production.
As a hotter version of current Fiesta the ST concept gives Ford fans a glimpse of the new styling direction for the entire Fiesta model range. Under the bonnet there’s Ford’s 1.6-litre turbocharged EcoBoost four-clinder engine sending power to the front wheels. Output is a healthy 135kW with 240Nm of torque. Shifting the gears is a six-speed manual box and 0-100km/h sprint time is expected to be less than seven seconds. Continue reading “Fresh-faced Ford Fiesta ST concept revealed” »
September 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
For sixty two years old the Defender has been put through a variety of duties around the world and now Land Rover is getting busy developing its replacement. To show fans its progress Land Rover has just revealed two dashing new concepts for the iconic Defender at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Named DC100 and DC100 Sport, the two concepts showcase the direction and thinking behind the ongoing development of the new Land Rover Defender, intended for production in 2015.
Defender purists have always respected the off-road machines rugged ability and simplicity, that’s why almost 2 million units have been sold over the years. Land Rover Director, John Edwards, was quick to reassure fans that the Defender’s core character will remain unchanged.
“The Defender was loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design,” says Edwards. “We are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage while meeting the requirements of a changing global market.” Continue reading “Land Rover shows two Defender concepts at Frankfurt” »
September 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Fans of Ford’s performance offerings have something to celebrate this week with the official reveal of the new Focus ST. Known in NZ as the Focus XR5 Turbo, the new ST will debut in production guise at this week’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and in the lead up, details and images have reached the web.
While the production hot hatch isn’t a significant departure from its concept predecessor, what’s really interesting is the inclusion of a station wagon body in the Focus ST range. Sadly, this performance wagon won’t reach as many global markets as the hatch and will likely be a European only offering, so don’t expect to see any down here in NZ.
Both the hatch and wagon feature the same 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder under the bonnet with a power output of 186kW and a healthy 360Nm of max torque. The high-tech engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual that pushes grunt to the front wheels only. That’s a lot of power for the front treads to handle so Ford has worked hard to avoid torque-steer issues with its electronic power assisted steering and torque steer compensation system. Both systems work together to minimize the wheel-tugging effects often associated with high power front-wheel drivers. Continue reading “2012 Ford Focus ST hot hatch unveiled in production form” »
September 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Jaguar has revealed its latest concept car, the C-X16 before it makes an official debut at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept is already touted as being a likely future production model that will sit below the XK in Jaguar’s current line up. The concept may eventually spawn Jag’s affordable two-seater sports car that will fight Porsche’s Cayman and 911.
Built to be a true driver’s sports car, the C-X16 is the smallest Jaguar in terms of length since the 1954 XK120. The concept rolls on a shortened platform of the next generation XK’s aluminium chassis structure and has a perfect 50:50 weight distribution between its axles.
Under its traditionally long bonnet the C-X16 packs a hybrid powertrain that includes a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with 280kW of power and 450 Nm of torque. The conventional engine works in with an electric motor generator integrated into the eight-speed automatic gearbox that transfers power to the rear wheels. Continue reading “Jaguar unveils stunning C-X16 sports car concept (+video)” »