2011 VW Polo GTI revealed

February 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The first photos and initial details have just been released of the new 2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI. The fifth generation hot hatch will be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show where it will appear in both three- and five-door forms.

¨¨The new go-fast Polo uses VW's award winning 1.4-litre TSI engine mated to a seven-speed DSG transmission. Equipped with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters, the GTI's engine is twin-charged using a supercharger from idle to 3,000 rpm at which point a turbocharger kicks in providing 132 kW of power and 249 Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm.¨¨ It will reach the open road speed limit in just 6.9 seconds and on to a 229 km/h top speed. Ride height is 15mm lower than the standard Polo and 17-inch wheels will fill the guards. Stiffer springs make the suspension tighter and the car will feature an XDS differential which electronically replicates a limited slip diff.

The Polo GTI shares similar styling to the Golf GTI, with a black honeycomb grille ringed in red, dual tailpipes, flat-bottom steering wheel, and plaid cloth. The GTI will also make use of LED daytime running lights.¨¨

After the recent success of the standard VW Polo, the GTI version arrives carrying large expectations. We will have to wait and see how it is received internationally and if it makes it here to NZ.

5 by Peugeot concept car going to Geneva

February 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Peugeot is set to reveal an almost production ready version their upcoming 508 sedan at the Geneva Motor Show next month.  Named the 5 by Peugeot Concept car the vehicle in production form will replace the 407 and 607 from 2011.

The striking diesel/electric hybrid concept car is a 200 bhp (149 kW), all-wheel drive luxury-spec sedan that comes boating Peugeot’s Hybrid4 technology.

The concept car features a 2.0 liter Hdi diesel engine with 163 bhp (122 kW) backed up with a rear-mounted electric motor pushing out an additional 37 bhp (28 kW).

Fuel economy is 3.8 liters/100km and the car’s total emissions come in at 99 g/km.

Design-wise the model seems takes some styling cues from sister brand Citroen with its C6. LED lights and 19-inch rims feature in the concept, helping the overall look seem relatively production-ready a sign that it could go into production soon.

A fully production ready version of the Peugeot 507 is expected to be ready for the Paris Motor Show this September.

Rinspeed unveils UC? mobility concept

February 16th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Swiss automaker Rinspeed are revealing a bold concept at nest month’s Geneva Auto Show.

Named the UC? This ‘Mobility Concept’ stands for Urban Commuter while the addition of the question mark makes it a bit cleverer some how.

The UC? Mobility Concept is out to prove it’s more than just yet another electric vehicle. As a mobility concept it also features rail cars configured to carry the little UC? over longer distances while recharging its batteries at the same time. The objective of this is to create a modal transport system that combines individual car ownership with public transportation.

The car will feature an internet connection to book train passages right from the vehicle’s dashboard. Other onboard systems include an integrated internet telephone, video chat and conferencing applications, and you can even check your emails.

The UC? is only 2.6 meters in length, and looks like it borrows styling inspiration from the old Fiat 500 Topolino. It’s electric motor produces 130 Nm (96 ft-lbs) of torque and the car has a top speed of 120 km/h. The lithium-ion batteries give it a range of 105 kilometers on a full charge.

Interestingly, it is driven by joystick instead of a standard steering wheel. The clever concept may never reach production but it brings up some interesting ideas.

Swiss Ford preps special edition Ford Focus RS

February 16th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Switzerland is known for many things, its skiing and its uber useful knives among others, but what it isn’t known for is cars. This hasn’t stopped Ford’s Swiss subsidiary rolling out a special edition Focus RS to pay tribute to the 40th anniversary of the company’s iconic RS division, exclusively for the Swiss market.

Mechanically it’s identical to the existing Focus RS but the Focus RS WRC edition is to wear a special livery submitted and chosen through an online forum. Black and green decals overlay a white background, set off by blacked-out 19″ OZ Superturismo GT alloys. In the cabin a special plaque carries the signatures of Ford’s top rally ace Mikko Hirvonen and his co-pilot Jarmo Lehtinen.

Only 50 examples will be built and sold exclusively in Switzerland. The special edtion RS will be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show next month, till then you can check out the top liveries proposed in the gallery below.

Porsche 911 GT3 R hybrid going to Geneva

February 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche has just revealed the first images and details on its new racer, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid.

Based on the rear-drive 911 GT3 R that’s set for serious privateer racing later this year, the GT3 R Hybrid uses a rear-mounted, 480-hp 4.0-litre flat-six in conjunction with two electric motors that drive the front wheels. Residing in the space normally used by a passenger seat sits a flywheel, which harnesses kinetic energy under braking and can rotate up to and over 40,000 rpm. Once enough energy is stored, the system can release a boost of up to 120 kilowatts to the front wheels in six to eight second bursts that’s controlled by a steering wheel-mounted button.

Porsche hasn’t released official performance specs, but the GT3 R Hybrid’s world debut is set for the Geneva Motor Show before it hits the track for its motorsports debut at the endurance Nürburgring 24 Hours on May 15. Devised to test this new hybrid system after it takes to the Green Hell this year, Porsche plans to campaign for the 24 Hours of LeMans in a refined version in 2012.

It’s a unique ride, check out the images and graphics in the gallery below.

Nissan Juke revealed before Geneva show

February 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Nissan has just released images and details on its newest model the Juke.

A B-segment utility vehicle the Juke is according to Nissan “part SUV, part sports car” and is due to make its formal debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month before going on sale in Europe and then global markets later this year.

Taking styling cues from the Qazana concept vehicle, the Juke was created by Nissan’s European design arm and refined in Japan. It has a busy combo of sharp creases, a sloping roofline, flared fenders and prominent glass work. Clearly taking some inspiration from the Nissan Micra, the Juke is taller and wider and is based of the Renault/Nissan Alliance’s B platform. Seventeen-inch alloys with 215-series tyres will be available, along with either front- or all-wheel drive.

Three engines will be available in Europe at launch, with AWD models coming equipped with a 187 horsepower 1.6-litre direct injected turbocharged four-cylinder putting out 177 pound-feet of torque. A 113-hp HR16DE 1.6-litre will also be available, along with a 110-hp 1.5-litre dCi diesel unit. The turbo’d petrol engine will be mated to a continuously variable transmission, while the the other engines can be had with a six-speed manual.

The equipment list is impressive with Nissan offering a host of high-tech features, including keyless entry and start, a rearview camera and automatic headlamps, along with some quirky interior styling.

Citroen preparing WRC inspired DS3-R road car

February 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

When you think of a road-ready rallying machine, and what pops into your head? Most likely the Subaru Impreza WRX STI or the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. But Subaru hasn’t won the WRC in seven years, Mitsubishi in eleven and no they have just given up and gone home. The reigning rally kingpin is Citroen. The French automaker with star driver Sebastien Loeb have been reigning WRC champs since 2004, but Citroen hasn’t tried to cash in on its success with a rally-inspired production vehicle like the WRX and Evo. Until now.

Although Citroen’s C4 model has won the past three world rally championships and remains in duty for another season after that the new rally-spec Citroen DS3 will take its place. But this time round Citroen isn’t hesitating on releasing a street version of its new rally racer.

The DS3-R will feature wider wheel flarings housing bigger rims and riding on a dropped suspension compared to the standard model. Sources put it at around 15 millimeters lower than stock, with NAFTA four-pot brakes front and rear. Under the bonnet, a 1.6-litre turbo four is tipped to produce around 155kW, driving through a six-speed manual (no word yet on LSD) and it’s likely power will go to the front wheels. The DS3 Racing should do the 0-100kph sprint in about 6.8 seconds.

Colour schemes and wheel options are likely to change from the pictured concept and more will be revealed at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

2011 Volvo S60 details released

February 10th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The 2011 Volvo S60 is ready for its debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, with the automaker’s newest midsize offering remaining largely true to the concept that was shown in Detroit last year.

In terms of styling the S60 certainly has a more athletic presence than the outgoing model. A wagon variant is expected to arrive in Europe later this year.

Compared to its predecessor, the S60 grows slightly in every direction and is around 45kg heavier than the outgoing model.

Power will be provided by a twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six putting out 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, with maximum torque available from just 1,500 rpm. Mated to a six-speed automatic and a Haldex all-wheel drive system, the S60 T6 AWD will get to 100 kph in 6.5 seconds. A cheaper front-wheel drive model is expected to debut alongside the wagon later this year.

European consumers will have their choice of a turbo’d and direct injected 2.0-liter four-pot, along with a diesel and a dual-clutch gearbox.

Three separate suspension systems will be available: Base, Dynamic and Four-C Adaptive. Dynamic will be optional and use stiffer springs and bushings, combined with retuned dampers and thicker piston rods, with the Four-C setup utilizing Volvo’s new adaptive damping system.

Naturally, safety technology is on display with the S60, Volvo has incorporated it’s newest system — Pedestrian Detection — which utilizes the City Safety crash avoidance system, a front-mounted radar unit and mirror cameras to detect pedestrians over 31 inches tall and apply the brakes if a collision is expected.