November 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Toyota has officially revealed its new standalone hybrid hatchback model that will be called the Aqua in Japan and be known as the Prius C in the rest of the world.
The Prius C is set to be the fourth entry into Toyota’s expanding range of Prius-badged hybrid models. There’s the regular Prius, the new plug-in Prius PHEV and the Prius V minivan. The new Prius C five-door hatchback will occupy a position as the base model of the Prius family.
The Prius C is only slightly bigger than the Toyota Yaris but packs a hybrid drivetrain, consisting of a “high-output” electric motor with a 1.5-litre gasoline engine. The 1.5-liter petrol unit produces 55kW at 4,800 rpm and 111Nm of torque, with the electric motor adding in up to 45kW and 169Nm.
Toyota said that it expects the Prius C to return a fuel economy of around 4.7lt/100km when used in the city. Continue reading “Toyota unveils Prius C hybrid small hatch” »
November 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Tokyo Motor Show is rapidly approaching and the latest automaker to show its hand is Mitsubishi. The Tri-Diamond automaker will display two brand new machines one a production model and the other a concept.
The production model will be the next-generation of the familiar Mirage hatchback. The new Mirage is a basic five-door hatch that will come sporting an economy-focused 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with stop/start technology and a CVT Transmission. Expect it to be a frugal little number when it launches in the Thai market first, in March 2012.
Mitsubishi’s more daring concept vehicle will be theplug-in hybrid Concept PX-MiEV II which represents Mitsubishi’s vision for a mid-size SUV of the future. This concept is also chasing down extreme fuel economy with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors. The advanced drivetrain will push all four wheels through Mitsubishi’s S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) traction control system. Apparently its performance is comparable with that of a 3.0-litre V6. Continue reading “Mitsubishi taking new Mirage and electric concept to Tokyo” »
November 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Tokyo Motor Show has become well known for having its share of wacky futuristic concepts and Nissan are making sure this reputation is upheld.
Nissan is taking its PIVO concept to the 2011 show in its third concept form. The first PIVO 1 was unveiled in 2005, the PIVO 2 in 2007 and now the PIVO 3.
The PIVO 3 is sticking to the same three-seat layout and central driving position as its predecessors but its styling has moved towards a more production-ready concept.
Francois Bancon, Nissan deputy divisional GM for product strategy, has said that Nissan is considering pushing ahead with the PIVO. “There is no decision to do this. We are now considering the next step of the EV after LEAF and Infiniti EV and an LCV EV. We are going to have many ways to propose to the market what seems radically different, it must be an EV signature [model], if you will.” Continue reading “Nissan PIVO 3 concept to debut at Tokyo Show” »
November 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Every year since the GT-R debuted in 2007, Nissan has made tweaks for each model year. In keeping with this tradition the latest Godzilla has just been revealed with more power and a couple of new tricks.
The new 2012 GT-R is set to officially debut later this month at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.
There’s no point looking for any styling differences because there are none with the main changes being mechanical. Power has been increased with the twin-turbocharged engine now producing 404kW and 632Nm of torque. Previous models made 390kW and 612Nm so the difference will be likely be enough to feel, just.
Nissan are also claiming that engine response and torque at mid- and low-speeds, and power at high revolutions, has also been significantly improved. Surprisingly there are also claims that fuel efficiency has been improved from the current models 11.8l/100km rating but new figures haven’t been released yet.
The power increase comes largely from improved intake efficiency. Air flow resistance, for example, has been reduced by adding an intake manifold fitted to the head of each unit and the use of special resin in the enlarged air intake duct for the intercooler. The intercooler and exhaust system have also received treatment. Continue reading “Nissan boosts power for 2012 model GT-R” »
November 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Nissan has released the fifth installment in its Nissan Juke-R video series which follows the UK-arm of Nissan as it fits the engine and running gear of the GT-R supercar into the Juke small crossover.
This latest installment sees the Japanese automaker strike problems as it attempts to fit the GT-R’s gearbox and all-wheel drive system into the small crossover.
The most significant issues arise from the Juke-R’s wheelbase that is 250mm shorter than the GT-R’s.
The answer comes in the form of shorter prop shafts while making other necessary changes to keep the GT-R’s rigidity and handling.
The GT-R-powered Juke-R will debut at the end of the month during the Tokyo Motor Show. Two concepts will be built one in right-hand drive and the other in left-hand drive. Continue reading “Latest Nissan Juke-R build video – Gearbox and Drivetrain” »
October 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The joint development of a lightweight sports coupe between Subaru and Toyota has provided much rumour and speculation. While Toyota has shown its hand at every opportunity with its FT-86 concepts, much little is known about Subaru’s mysterious BRZ. But with both cars set for world premiers at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show, interest has reached fever pitch.
Up until now, Toyota has tantalized us with three versions of its RWD coupe, while Subaru has revealing only a transparent concept in Geneva and Frankfurt with very little details.
Now Subaru, which has performed most of the engineering work providing the 2.0-litre flat-four engine that will power both cars, has revealed some very interesting facts in a recent interview. Continue reading “Subaru BRZ rumoured to have more power than Toyota FT-86 brother” »
October 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Mazda has released the first images of its Takeri concept which is widely regarded as the precursor to the new Mazda6.
The Takeri will be officially revealed at the upcoming 42nd Tokyo Motor Show in November. Much of the striking mid-size sedan’s styling should be carried over to the next-gen Mazda6 which is expected to go on sale in the first half of 2013,
Like all recent Mazda models, the sleek Takeri adopts the company’s new “KODO – Soul of Motion” design language.
The Takeri has a very attractive design, with many styling cues borrowed directly from the earlier Shinari sports sedan study. One of the key differences is the roof with the Takeri concept receiving a longer more practical coupe-like roof line. The face has also been softened with a new grille, bonnet and larger headlights.
Little is known about the Takeri’s powerplant but Mazda says it will use a Skyactive D diesel engine with stop/start technology and Mazda’s first kinetic energy recovery system. Continue reading “Mazda Takeri concept revealed as preview to next Mazda6” »
October 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Nissan Juke-R prototype has quickly captured the imagination of performance car fans globally. Work on the GT-R powered Juke continues and a new video has been released by Nissan’s UK arm, which has been assigned the tough task.
Building the Juke-R means taking the 390kW GT-R’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 motor and creating space for it in the compact crossover. But that alone wouldn’t be enough, the Juke-R will also be fitted with the full all-wheel-drive system, the GT-R’s electronics and complete drivetrain. Once completed, the Juke-R is expected to be the world’s fastest crossover and the first of two prototypes will go on show at the Tokyo Motor Show in December.
Till then Nissan is drip-feeding video updates showing its progress on the Juke-R. It certainly looks like a challenging build. This latest video (view below) walks us through the work that’s going into constructing the roll cage inside the Juke’s body shell. It also shows us the structure that will house the GT-R’s engine, drivetrain and mechanical systems.
The next video installment will show the engine being fitted to the Juke-R. Check out the latest video below. Continue reading “Nissan reveals next build video for GT-R powered Juke R” »