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Archive for the ‘Paris Motor Show’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari 458 Speciale A

Ferrari unveiled the 458 Italia in 2010, then followed that up with the more precise and track-ready 458 Speciale in 2014. As is the tradition with all modern mid-engined Ferraris, Maranello creates a great car, then a year or two later it chops the top off of it to create a roadster version. We knew it was coming, but now the convertible version of the Ferrari 458 Speciale is here, and it’s calling it the “A.”

It may be a silly name, but that A stands for Aperta, the Italian word for open. This is also more than a simple roofless version of the 458 Speciale; the Speciale A features the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 the company has ever used in a spider. Compared to the old 458 Spider, this new machine is faster and more powerful, and Ferrari was even able to keep the weight down. This new car only weighs 50 kg (110 pounds) more than its hard-top sibling.

If you want one, you need to get your order in yesterday. Ferrari is limiting this new car to just 499 units. We don’t know how many of those are slated for U.S. consumption, but rest assured it won’t be a lot. If you are undecided about taking home one of these beauties, hit that jump and read our full overview of this incredible new Italian convertible.

Updated 08/18/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

Continue reading to find out more about the Ferrari 458 Speciale A.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG C63

AMG began meddling with the C-Class in 1995 — one year after the C-Class debuted — when it released the C36 AMG and its 268-horsepower V-6. The 1998 model year brought about the release of the C43 AMG, which featured a larger V-8 engine rated at 302 ponies. AMG then followed that up with the 349-horsepower C32 AMG in 2002, and then with the 362-horsepower C55 AMG in 2005. Finally, in 2008, the C63 AMG sent the sedan into 450-horsepower territory with a huge 6.2-liter V-8 tweaked to generate 451 horses. With the standard 2015 C-Class having arrived in dealerships in early 2014, Mercedes-Benz is rolling out a brand-new iteration of the AMG-prepped C63.This time around dubbed Mercedes-AMG C63, with the Germans dropping the Benz moniker from the official name, the new-generation vehicle marks the beginning of a new era for the sedan.

Much like its predecessor did in 2008, the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 gets a brand-new engine in the form of a biturbo, 4.0-liter V-8. The unit is identical with the one previously launched in the AMG GT sports car and comes not with just more horsepower, but with improved fuel efficiency as well. Read on for the full details surrounding AMG’s new high-performance compact.

Update 5/26/2017:The Mercedes C-Class is up for a mid-cycle update, and now we’re finally getting the first look at the facelifted version of the C63. The spy shots still show some camo, but give us an idea of what to expect later this year when the updated C-Class makes its debut. Check out the spy shots section below to hear about what we know so far.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63

PostHeaderIcon Mini Countryman

Launched in 2010, the Countryman is one of the newest additions to the Mini family. Based on the Crossover Concept, the company’s first mini SUV debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show with a range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, a six-speed manual, and a six-speed automatic transmission. An all-wheel-drive model was added for the 2014 model year, a year before the Countryman received its mid-cycle refresh. Longer, wider and taller than any other Mini, the Countryman just got even larger with the second-generation model.

The new Countryman was spotted testing in Germany as early as September of 2014. Two years have passed and the crossover was unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Significantly larger than its predecessor, the new Countryman boasts a new exterior and a revamped interior with modern features and new technology. Although Mini claims that the new crossover “remains firmly rooted in the tradition of the British brand,” the modern-day Countryman has very little in common with the original two-door estate from the 1960s.

This will be highly noticeable among purists, some of which might be offended by the comparison, but open-minded fans will probably appreciate the enhanced roominess and larger trunk space that come with a longer and wider body. The redesigned crossover will hit North American shores starting March 2017. Stay tuned for updates.

Updated 12/07/2016: Mini announced prices for the 2017 Countryman which will go on sale in March 2017.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 Mini Countryman.

PostHeaderIcon Audi RS3 LMS

Launched in 2013, the A3 Sedan is the latest iteration of the compact hatchback that Audi introduced way back in 1996. Essentially identical to the five-door save for the extra bodywork at the rear, the sedan features the same interior and drivetrains. The four-door gained a performance-oriented S3 version in 2015, while the range-topping, RS3 was unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

While the RS3 Sedan was rumored for quite a few years and was somewhat expected to debut in 2016, its official launch brought a huge surprise from Audi, in the form of the RS3 LMS. Named after the race-spec, already iconic R8 LMS, the RS3 LMS is the first factory-built race car based on the A3 sedan and was developed specifically for the TCR series.

If you’re not familiar with the competition, it’s a new touring car championship that debuted in 2015. Promoted as a cost-effective spin-off of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the TCR series is sanctioned by the FIA and based on a three-pillar concept that includes national and continental championships, along with the global TCR International Series. All three tiers function under the same technical regulations.

The Audi RS3 LMS will compete in the top-tier TCR International Series, which has been disputed by several brands in 2016, including Alfa Romeo, Ford, Honda, Opel, Peugeot, Seat, Subaru, and Volkswagen. The beefed-up sedan will debut in the 2017 season as a customer race car backed by Audi Sport, the company’s motorsport division.

“With the Audi R8 LMS, Audi Sport customer racing, in a very short time, managed to build a successful customer sport program alongside the factory commitments in the WEC and the DTM. The Audi R8 LMS has since become the market leader in its segment. We have the same plans for the Audi RS 3 LMS, which offers customers an attractive opportunity to get started in fascinating Audi racing,” said Stephan Winkelmann, managing director at Audi Sport.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi RS 3 LMS.

PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen I.D. Concept

Volkswagen got caught red handed cheating on emissions tests and lying to consumers worse than any other automaker and history. Since then, it has done its best to make us forget about it while it hemorrhages money at the speed of light. As such, VW has had to shift its focus completely and, instead of fighting the death of the diesel, the brand has decided to embrace our inevitable electrified future. Promising a range of 248 to 372 miles, the I.D. concept that you see here is slated to become a real production model by the turn of the decade. The all-electric and “zero-emission” powertrain isn’t the only big news here, though. This car also showcases VW’s future in the autonomous car market, with the plan to offer fully automated driving by 2025.

According to VW, the I.D. will definitely be hitting dealerships by 2020, but I’m sure it will be toned down a bit for production. It does feature certain things like a retractable steering wheel (for autonomous driving) and is said to be the first of many new electric vehicles that will be introduced to Volkswagen’s fleet. The car is built on Volkswagens MEB platform that is also known as the Modular Electric Drive Kit. All of this sounds pretty promising, but there is so much skepticism surrounding VW right now, that It’s probably best to take the brunt of this car with a grain of salt.

Either way, the car is unique in its own right, but it also features a look that we’ve seen before. We’ll talk about that a little later, though. For now, let’s dive on in and talk more VW’s latest electric concept.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen I.D. Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Hyundai i20 WRC

Introduced in 2008 as a replacement for the Getz, the Hyundai i20 was redesigned for 2014, when it received a brand-new exterior design with more angular features and a new, turbocharged three-cylinder in addition to revised version of the previous engines. Unlike its predecessor, the second-generation i20 also spawned a race car, marking the company’s return to the World Rally Championship.

Updated for each new competition season since its introduction in 2014, the i20 WRC has been once again re-engineered ahead of the upcoming 2017 World Rally Championship. Although not yet ready to hit the difficult gravel and tarmac courses of the WRC season, Hyundai brought a pre-production version of the new race car at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

Much like its predecessors, the i20 WRC is a heavily modified version of the road car, featuring an aggressive aero kit, an FIA-approved interior, and a race-spec engine and transmission. According to Hyundai, prototypes have been tested since April across numerous locations in Europe and in a variety of different conditions. Testing is set to continue toward the end of the year in order to get the car ready ahead of its debut at Rallye Monte Carlo in January 2017.

“The 2017 WRC regulations have allowed all teams to start from a blank page, which has offered us an exciting engineering challenge. The changes will raise the level of entertainment in WRC on stages around the world with wider and more powerful cars. We have been putting our experience from two full seasons of WRC into practice, as we aim to build on our successful 2016 campaign,” said Hyundai Motorsport team principal Michel Nandan.

The final version of the 2017 Hyundai i20 WRC will be revealed by the end of 2016.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai i20 WRC.

PostHeaderIcon Citroen Highlights Its Future With Cxperience Concept

Citroen has been making headlines with its wild-looking vehicles since the 1950s, and although most of its current production models aren’t very innovative when it comes to styling, its modern concept cars are as wild as they get. The Cxperience concept, which was just unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, falls in the same category.

Inspired by the “high-tech world on the outside and the furnishings/travel on the inside,” the Cxperience is Citroen’s take on the hatchback of the future. But, don’t let the tailgate fool you, this vehicle is nearly five meters long, which makes it larger than any of the company’s production models for the European market (and second to only the China-spec C6).

Could it preview a new flagship model? Anything is possible really, but until we find out more about that, we’re looking at a concept car whose mission is to amaze. And it does a very good job thanks to its futuristic design, concave rear window, rear-hinged doors, and active aerodynamics. Up front, it has V-shaped headlamps with one LED strip extending toward the wheel arches, and the other one toward the bumper. The light signature is unique to the Cxperience and may preview a look that Citroen will adopt in the near future. Three more directional LED headlamps are mounted into massive cutouts in the bumper, above the mobile flaps designed to open and close depending on how much air the drivetrain needs.

The rear end was designed in a similar fashion and sports beefy wheel arches, V-shaped taillights with LED strips and slim indicators with clear covers in the middle. The taillights and part of the bumper are integrated into massive, triangular cutouts that mimic those seen in the front.

The interior is a mix of flowing design lines, clean features, and premium materials. The wooden dashboard features a tubular cutout that become wider toward the door panels, while the steering wheel, center stack, and instrument cluster look clean and simple. The seats are upholstered in a flashy Citrus Yellow fabric, as is the dashboard cutout, the door panels, and the center console. The massive, 19-inch, 16/3 format touchscreen groups all the on-board functions, including air conditioning, driving aids, navigation and media sources. The car also features a range of connected services, enabling the driver to open the gate or garage door from a distance or receive home deliveries. The center console houses a dedicated smartphone stand with inductive recharging.

As you’d expect from a 21st century concept car, the Cxperience gets its juice from a hybrid drivetrain. The unnamed gasoline engine generates “between 150 and 200” horsepower, while the electric motor adds “up to 80 kW” (107 horsepower) of additional energy. Total output is estimated at 300 horsepower, while the all-electric range is rated at 60 km (about 37 miles).

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce Slots Nicely Between The Base And Quadrifoglio Variants

With so many models debuting at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, it’s easy for something like the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio to get lost in the shuffle. But as a fan of the hatchback, I’m not going to let this moment pass without at least acknowledging something that Alfa Romeo did right for a change.

The truth is, the Giulia is probably Alfa’s best chance at making an impression in the market. The 4C, as awesome as I thought it was, has been a massive disappointment for the company. The Mito has barely made a blip and the Stelvio SUV is still a few years away from arriving. So the Giulia is really what Alfa Romeo has going for it, and the more variants it has, the better the automaker is for it.

That’s where the Giulia Veloce comes into the picture. As the mid-range model slotted between the base Giulia and the range-topping Giulia Quadrifoglio, the Giulia Veloce finds itself in a place that can appeal to those who want more power out of their Giulias but don’t necessarily have the inclination or the money to afford the Giulia QV. The Giulia Veloce even holds its own in the power department, thanks to a pair of engines options, including a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine that pumps out 280 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Refinements on the exterior and interior of the sedan round out the features of the Giulia Veloce.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce isn’t the most important car to hit Paris, but it sure is that and more for Alfa Romeo.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic Type R Concept

When you go to an event like the Paris Auto Show, you expect some crazy exotic or some new luxury car to steal the spotlight, but at the 2016 Paris Auto Show, it was a Honda that was in the limelight. Specifically, it was this Honda Civic Type R Concept, which serves as a preview of the upcoming production model. This concept is all about looks, but it’s widely believed that there’s an uprated 2.0-liter, turbocharged, VTEC hidden away under the hood – the same engine that will eventually make it into the road-going Type R. And, that engine could produce upward of 350 horsepower.

It’s hard to believe that a concept car from Honda is getting such a following, but Honda has finally tapped back into the hot hatch market in a big way with the new Civic Hatchback. Mainly because the new Civic Hatch is built on a global platform, which means we’ll finally get it, and the Type R all of us tuners have been dying to have, here in the U.S. With the aggressive styling seen on this concept from the gnarly front bumper all the way back to that meticulously designed spoiler, this concept proves that Honda is finally listening to its fan base again.

So, with that said, let’s dive on into the best Civic we’ve seen from Honda in a long time and go over the details that make this Type R concept one of the coolest cars to roll into the Paris Auto Show.

Updated 11/21/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, where the Type R made a brief appearance next to the Civic SI.

Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Civic Type R Concept.

PostHeaderIcon The SsangYong LIV-2 Proves That You Don't Have to Sacrifice Luxury to go Off Road

SsangYong Motor Company just publicly unveiled its LIV-2 (“Limitless Interface Vehicle 2”) concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, and according to the automaker, it offers substantial off-roading capability. At the same time, the exterior body panels carry the marque’s new “Dignified Motion” design language, which at first glance, might appear at odds with the crossover’s off-road worthiness, right? Because after all, how does one appear dignified while slogging through the great outdoors? SsangYong says it has a solution.

SsangYong is the self-proclaimed leader when it comes to producing SUVs and 4x4s in its native land, so the LIV-2 has a few pretty big expectations set up for it right at the off. That said, it does come with a few very good features to enhance its off-road worth.

Under those slick body panels, you’ll find classic body-on-frame construction. Providing the stick is the company’s very own four-wheel drive system, which is fed by a diesel engine producing as much as 420 Nm (310 pound-feet of torque) at 1,500 rpm. So far, so good.

Mounted under the nose and tail, you’ll also find silver skid plates to protect vulnerable mechanicals, while inside is an “intelligent interface” for better car-driver communication when out on the rough stuff.

Now for the luxury half of the equation. Ingress and egress is assisted by electric side steps, while the whole cabin uses a layout that emphasizes the individual seats positioned in the rear. Speaking of seats, expect reclining seatbacks and a massage function, as well as leather upholstery. Piano black trim, adjustable mood lighting, and copious tech round out the package. Finally, that off-roader rubber you see in the corners is outfitted with a “differentiated angle and layered tread pattern” to keep it quiet.

Still, the proof is in the pudding. We’ll withhold our final judgment until we get a real look at this thing’s cabin space – not to mention how it handles a little rock crawling action.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Peugeot Breaks New Ground With New 5008 SUV

French automaker Peugeot is in the middle of a comprehensive reorganization of its lineup. The strategy saw two important vehicles being overhauled, with both the 3008 and 5008 ditching their MPV roots to become full-fledged SUVs. The 5008 just made its public debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, where it displayed its new, imposing appearance with sculpted body lines integrated into the company’s latest design language.

On the outside, the new 5008 is quite the looker. No longer a spacious, yet ugly MPV, the 5008 has everything it needs to compete against crossovers like the Volkswagen Tiguan and the new Skoda Kodiaq. It’s also the better looking proposition (to me, at least) and has the advantage of a seven-seat layout. The third-row seats are foldable and easy to remove, which will give the 5008 an impressive cargo capacity of 37.4 cubic-feet.

Besides the dramatic change of appearance and the versatile interior, the 5008 also comes with numerous luxury options. Highlights include a panoramic glass roof, massage-function seats, and a premium sound system. It also features a comprehensive package of safety and driver assist features such as hill ascent/descent control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, and advanced grip control. Adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree parking camera are also offered in order to make driving long distances and parking easier.

As usual, the engine lineup includes the already familiar small-displacement, four-cylinder engines. Gasoline options include the 1.2- and 1.6-liter units, while the diesel lineup consists of 1.6- and 2.0-liter mills. These can be paired to five-speed manual, six-speed manual, and six-speed automatic transmissions. The only downside is that the 5008 can’t be had with an all-wheel-drive system. Peugeot offers a clever traction control function, but the lack of a proper AWD system will leave some potential customers disappointed.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon GLM G4 Is The "Japanese Tesla" We Never Saw Coming

Raise your hand if you didn’t see this one coming. Yep, I count myself in this group. Who would’ve expected a startup Japanese auto brand founded by a former Sony CEO to make serious waves at the 2016 Paris Motor Show? Expecting the unexpected is one of the best things about auto shows and all of us were clearly thrown in for a loop when Green Lord Motors – who? – stopped by Paris to unveil its first creation, the G4 Electric Super Sedan.

For those who don’t know too much about GLM, the company was founded by ex Sony boss Nobuyuki Idei and it has been hailed as the “Japanese Tesla,” a claim that might be described as a little premature given that the company has yet to make anything remotely close to what the real Tesla has done. But Paris is where the GLM stakes its claim, and it’s first offering, the G4 Electric Super Sedan, is a promising start towards getting more recognition.

Basically, the G4 is being touted a four-door electric supercar. It certainly has the look of one, which can be partly attributed to Dutch automaker Savage Rivale, which had a hand in designing and building the G4. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that the G4 draws some striking similarities to Savage Rivale Roadyacht GTS, right down to the “blooming flower” doors. In fact, the only physical difference between the G4 and the Roadyacht GTS is the latter’s rear door actually folds itself to turn the car into a four-door GT convertible.

The two cars do have different powertrains. Thanks to some assistance from former Toyota and Nissan engineers, GLM was able to install the G4 electric supercar with electric motors split between the front and rear axles, providing a total output of 540 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to propel the car from 0 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds to go with a range of 248 miles, putting it as close as possible to the 250-mile range of the Tesla Model S 90D.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon New Kia Rio Arrives In Paris with Autonomous Emergency Braking

While concept cars and sports cars are usually the ones that steal the show at events like the Paris Motor Show, sometimes it’s the smaller and less powerful vehicles that deserve the extra attention. Such is the case with the fourth-generation Kia Rio, which broke cover at the French event with two first-in-class safety features.

Specifically, Kia’s small hatchback will be the first car in its class to offer Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Recognition when it arrives in showrooms. Not only that, but it will also come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. Granted, the latter are already common on larger cars, but the Rio is among the first to get both connectivity apps. Owners will also find a “floating,” high-resolution touchscreen on the dashboard, smoother plastic surfaces, and a varied selection of upholstery colors. The hatchback still doesn’t get real leather in its more expensive models, but this should be good news for buyers looking for an affordable sticker before comfort.

Interior and technology aside, the new Rio also benefits from a new exterior design with styling features borrowed from the company’s larger vehicles. The result of a collaboration between Kia’s design centers in Germany and the U.S., the hatchback features more straight lines and smoother surfaces, which give it a sportier appearance. With the new bodywork, Kia also managed to get rid of the somewhat cheap look of the outgoing model.

Under the hood, it will get both gasoline and diesel engines, with the most important addition being the new turbocharged, 1.0-liter three-cylinder. A revised version of the previous 1.6-liter four-cylinder and the 1.4-liter diesel should also be offered. All these units are shared with the Hyundai i20.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Cosmetic, Technology Upgrades Highlight 2017 Infiniti Q50

The Infiniti QX Sport Concept may be the highlight of Infiniti’s participation at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and the introduction of the company’s new VC-Turbo variable compression engine may have the most long-term importance. But sitting in the corner of the automaker’s booth is the 2017 Infiniti Q50, arguably the most important car in the company’s entire lineup. See, the Q50 belongs in the premium compact sedan segment where it competes against some industry titans, including the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class. For the Q50 to make an impression, it has to stand out against those models and for the 2017 model, Infiniti is banking on some exterior and interior upgrades, as well as some new tech offerings to get the job done.

It’s a tall task to ask for the Q50 to line up against the 3 Series and the C-Class, but expect it to hold on its own. For the most part, the Q50 has done just that with impressive sales totals, enough at least to become the best-selling Infiniti in North America in 2015. To keep that momentum going, the Japanese automaker has rolled out a fresh batch of new exterior colors, ranging from Midnight Black, Pure White, and Dynamic Sunstone Red. The sedan’s interior also benefitted from a new Designer Pack that comes with new colors – Graphite or Java Brown – for the quilted semi-aniline leather upholstery, a new open-pore dark wood veneer, dark chrome trim, and black roof lining.

On the tech side, Euro-spec models of the Q50 will be able to get the company’s new Telematic Control Unit system, allowing owners the opportunity to remotely control various functions of the car through the convenience of their own smartphones. It’s not a revolutionary tech by any stretch, but it’s a first for Infiniti. That counts in the grand scheme of things, right?

Outside of these upgrades, the Q50 still has the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that puts out 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque or 400 horses and 350 pound-feet of torque depending on the trim level.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i3 And i8 CrossFade Concepts Get Trippy Body Paints

BMW is no stranger to aftermarket partnerships, having established key tie-ups with some of the segments most known tuners. The 2016 Paris Motor Show played host to one such alliance as BMW and Garage Italia Customs unveiled the BMW i3 and i8 CrossFade concepts.

The two i models don’t carry any engine upgrades, but they do have a rather peculiar exterior feature that allows for the color of the i3 and i8 bodies to evolve between two unique colors. Up front, the i3 and the i8 are dressed in Protonic Dark Silver. But as color gradually moves to the back, triangle designs on the side of the cars somehow creates a smooth transition to the Protonic Blue paint finish in the rear of the two cars.

From a distance, the transition looks really smooth, but once you take closer look, you’ll notice that the triangle colors and patterns create a visual trick that allows the two colors to blend together and transition from silver to blue the way it does. The method is actually similar to pointillism, which the artistically-inclined among us will recognize as a painting technique that uses small distinct dots of color that are patterned to create a unique image. Even better, the same application was given to the door panels and the Alcantara headliner on the cabins of both the i3 and i8.

The results are unique to say the least. I’m not sure that it’s for everybody, but for those who are intrigued about owning either of these two models, BMW actually has plans to offer both versions to the public by early 2017. The respective prices are yet to be released, so stay tuned for updates on that end.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept Shows Off Restyled Design

Infiniti’s presence at the 2016 Paris Motor Show was highlighted by its new VC-Turbo, the first production-ready variable compression engine, but the luxury brand also brought the QX Sport Inspiration with it. Revealed for the first time at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, the SUV made its European debut in Paris, but arrived in France with a mildly restyled exterior and extra features inside the cabin.

In case you’re wondering what’s with the changes all of a sudden, Infiniti says that they add to the vehicles confident look. And besides, it’s not the first time that the Japanese brand updates its concept cars for new auto shows.

So what’s new for Paris? Well, the first things that catch the eye are the larger, 22-inch wheels. The new rims feature the same intricate design as the first concept, but they are now finished in a bronze hue. The second big change on the outsite is the matt grey, which replaces the silver seen on the first show car. The larger wheels give the concept a more powerful stance, while the dark grey color provides an interesting contrast with the bronze wheels and the chrome trim.

Infiniti also meddled with the interior, adding kick plate lighting at the base of every door and brown leather inserts for the black and white upholstery. Other than that, the QX Sport Inspiration Concept remains identical to the Beijing model and will inspire the next generation of Infiniti QX SUVs and crossovers.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Brings Its High-Tech Features to Paris

Unveiled earlier in September 2016, the brand-new Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid just made its official public debut at the Paris Motor Show. Based on the redesigned, second generation Panamera, Porsche’s new hybrid arrived in France with several new features, state-of-the-art technology, and a more powerful drivetrain.

Having already seen the standard Panamera earlier in 2016, the hybrid’s exterior design wasn’t a mystery, but the sedan has plenty of other features to brag out. It’s most important highlight is the new hybrid drivetrain that combines a twin-turbo, 2.9-liter V-6 gasoline engine, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery. The combo cranks out 462 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, a 52-horsepower and 81-pound-foot increase over the previous model. Thanks to the extra power, the Panamera E-Hybrid is also more than a half-second quicker from 0 to 60 mph, needing only 4.4 seconds to hit the benchmark, while top speed increased from 168 to 172 mph.

The new drivetrain also makes the Panamera E-Hybrid a better part-time electric car. The sedan can cover 30 miles on electricity alone, while reaching a top speed of 86 mph (up from 20 miles and 84 mph, respectively). The sedan also benefits from a new hybrid module with shorter response times and a larger battery with shorter charging times.

More goodies can be found inside the cabin. First up, the analog rev counter is flanked by two seven-inch screens with bespoke power meters for hybrid operation. The new display function is similar to that used in the Porsche 918 Spyder supercar and provides data such as the amount of electrical energy being used, as well as the amount recovered through the sedan’s regeneration systems. The 12.3-inch touchscreen in the center dashboard also provides access to various items of hybrid-specific information. For instance, there’s a boost assistant that shows the energy available for boosting and a hybrid assistant that emits various visual signals for regulating the electrical drive power.

Look for the new Panamera 4 E-Hybrid in dealerships starting 2017.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari Launches 70 New Liveries To Celebrate 70th Anniversary

Although Enzo Ferrari founded the company in 1939 as Auto Avio Construzioni, Ferrari wasn’t recognized as a full-fledged automaker until 1947. Maranello is getting ready to celebrate its 70th anniversary next year and the celebration began at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, where the Italian brand announced the introduction of 70 special liveries that pay tribute to iconic Ferraris from the past.

Five models were selected for the livery feast: the F12beriletta, 488 GTB, 488 Spider, GTC4Lusso, and California T. Each sports car is available with any of the 70 liveries, but there’s a catch. Ferrari will only build one of each model in that livery, meaning there’s won’t be two identical cars with the same paint scheme. For instance, once someone orders a F12berlinetta in livery, that same livery won’t be offered on the same car again. However, it will be available on any of the remaining models (as long as they haven’t been ordered already, that is!).

As a result, Ferrari will build only 350 cars with the special, 70th anniversary liveries.

At the Paris Motor Show, Ferrari showed off four of its new liveries. There was an F12berlinetta inspired by Stirling Moss’ 250 GT SWB race car, a brown California T painted like Steve McQueen’s 250 Lusso, a 488 GTB that pays tribute to Michael Schumacher’s 2003 Formula One racer, and a Ferrari 488 Spider inspired by the 365 P2 that won the Nine Hours of Kyalami in 1965. The latter features the race car’s atypical metallic green paint.

The remaining 66 liveries also include several iconic paint schemes from the company’s past. There’s a red, No. 56 livery paying tribute to the first Ferrari race car from 1947, a red paint with yellow and blue accents on the nose based on Juan Manuel Fangio’s F1 car, as well as liveries inspired by the many Ferraris raced at Le Mans in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Ferrari offers Can-Am- and Sunoco-inspired liveries, as well as paint schemes based on car built for celebrities back in the day.

Each livery comes with its very own name, and some of them are quite interesting. Customers can order “The Heartthrob,” “The Patriarch,” “Gran Turismo Perfection,” “The Lucybelle”, “California Dreaming,” “The Lauda,” “The Wedding Gift,” or “The Pro.”

There’s no word on pricing, but expect these models to be significantly more expensive than their standard counterparts since they will be unique. Also expect them to sell out quickly, as Ferrari has already received inquiries about matching sets of five cars in one livery.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Audi RS3 LMS Comes Track Ready with 330 Horsepower on Tap

Audi is offering a fresh racing car for apex-oriented customers with the new track-ready RS3 LMS, transforming the updated four-door sedan into a bona fide competition vehicle. The RS3 LMS joins the Audi R8 LMS in the automaker’s lineup of out-of-the-box grid stars.

The Audi R8 LMS was first introduced in 2009, offering privateers a chance to rocket around in genuine GT3 style at events like the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. However GT3 racing is expensive, and as an alternative, the RS3 LMS arrives primed and ready for the TCR International Series, which is considered a more cost-effective entry to the world of touring car racing.

Drawing on experience gained in such high-profile series as the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Germany’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), the RS3 is outfitted with all the usual go-faster goodies. The suspension was massively upgraded, while large wheels and enormous brakes were fitted in the corners. The fenders were hugely flared, and new aero keeps it planted.

Inside, it’s all business, all the time, with a back-to-basics layout, carbon-fiber steering wheel, and digital instrumentation.

Behind the polished rings on the grille, you’ll find a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI engine that’s turbocharged to 330 horsepower. Acceleration looks like 4.5 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standstill, while top speed is rated at roughly 150 mph. Interestingly, that’s quite a bit slower than the road-going RS3, which uses a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine to make 400 horsepower and hit 62 mph in 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 174 mph.

But don’t worry – this thing will still melt your face in the corners, and as such, it needs to be safe. That means it’s got an FIA-spec fuel tank, safety cell, PS3 safety seat, FIA-approved window nets, and a rescue hatch in the roof.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Audi Q5 Drops Some Weight, Gains Some Power, and Gets an Updated Quattro AWD System

Quick! Which Audi model just got a reduced curb weight, bump in engine output, and a few updates to its legendary, motorsport-derived AWD system? Surprisingly, I just described some of the new stuff on the German brand’s compact SUV, a.k.a. the Q5.

First up, thanks to the utilization of materials like high-tensile strength steel and aluminum in the body, the Q5 cuts upwards of 200 pounds from the curb weight, depending on the trim level. And that’s on top of an increase to the Q5’s exterior dimensions, by the way.

Next up is the drivetrain, where we see the inclusion of something called “ultra technology” to the quattro AWD system. Equipped as standard on models sporting a 2.0-liter TDI oil burner (and offered as an available option on the 150-horsepower diesel trim), ultra tech essentially ups fuel mileage by disengaging the rear axle while cruising, transforming the Q5 into a front-wheel driver. The rear axle will then automatically reengage when more traction is called for, making for a nice mix between FWD efficiency and AWD grip. No word yet on whether or not U.S.-spec models will get ultra technology, but it’s doubtful considering the only engines offered here will be the gas units.

Further AWD upgrades include torque vectoring tech, new driving modes for a little soft-roader action, and a sportier rear differential for models equipped with a diesel V-6 engine.

Speaking of engines, Audi says it’s making the various powerplant options both more powerful and more efficient. There will be four TDI specs and one TFSI engine on the table, but again, don’t expect the diesels to make it to these shores (thanks, Dieselgate). All in all, we can expect up to 27 extra ponies, plus a substantial increase to mpg. The 2.0-liter turbocharged gas burner, for example, will produce 252 horsepower (up from 220 horsepower) and return nearly 35 mpg (up from 27 mpg on the highway).

Continue reading for the full story.

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