In 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin brought along a Virage Volante that had been fully decked-out by its then-new Q extravagant customization team. Q, in addition to offering a limitless world of options to dandy car-shoppers, seemed then to tacitly offer a slightly stronger connection with everyone's favorite super-spy, James Bond.
Remember when just driving an Aston was cool enough?
Apparently, cool or no, the base version of the already sumptuous Aston Martin V12 Vantage S simply won't slake the thirst for opulence that some buyers suffer maddeningly from. Here then, the 2015 V12 Vantage S by Q, a car described by the manufacturer as being "a unique and ultimately luxurious Vanquish for the most demanding, and discerning, of customers." "Picky" might be another way to say it...
We kid. In all honestly, the latest Q car is hard to find fault with, no matter how foppish we might believe its eventual owners to be. The triple-tone colorway of Orange, Stratus While and a Jet Black roof is certain to grab attention, while the interior fitted in True Teal and Californian Poppy leather is almost guaranteed to please even the most rabid Miami Dolphins fan.
The dream of the Q service doesn't stop with custom colors and expensive trims, we must add. Aston reminds us in the press release below that the dream-makers were also responsible for the creation of the fabulous CC100 Speedster Concept. If your motive longings have even a hint of Britishness to them - or if you just want to feel a bit more like 007 - you now know whom to call.
2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S by Q not for the faint of heart or thin of wallet originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 16:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Hyundai says the Intrado is "relevant to consumers" and is "far more than a styling exercise."Just because it's packing a futuristic powertrain doesn't mean that the new Hyundai Intrado concept isn't a preview of a crossover we'll be seeing on the road in the near future. After all, the hydrogen CUV unveiled today at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is from Hyundai, which is just about to launch the hydrogen-powered Tuscon fuel cell in the US later this spring. The accompanying press release even says the concept is "relevant to consumers." If that's not a hint, we don't know what is.
Intrado apparently means the underside of an airplane wing, and the CUV that bears the inscription tries to lift off with a sleek, lightweight and aerodynamic body that Hyundai says, is "far more than a styling exercise" and the focus "inside and out is on meeting the needs of consumers with busy lifestyles." That means the interior is as uncluttered as the shiny outside, with lots of carbon fiber accents. Thanks to a next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell stack and a 36 kW li-ion battery, the Intrado has a range of around 375 miles.
As if we needed another hint that the Intrado is previewing a production vehicle, we'll leave you with a statement from Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman at Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) Namyang R&D Centre, who said the Intrado is, "a vision of how eco-friendly cars will deliver delight to our customers." Feel free to read more in the press release below.
Hyundai Intrado is more than just another fuel cell concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
BMW sure seems to take pleasure in confusing the hell out of us. It used to be pretty simple: if you wanted a compact Bimmer, you had to look no further than the 3 Series. Then it was just a matter of which bodystyle you wanted. But the smaller end of BMW's lineup has gotten more complicated lately. Never mind the 1 Series and 2 Series (in their various iterations) that have slotted in below it - now the 3 Series has been split in two: Want a four-door, get the new 3 Series. Want a two-door, the 4 Series is your address. Right?
Almost. Because now there's a 4 Series Gran Coupe that keeps the two-door's roofline (or some approximation of it) but adds an extra set of doors in the back, thereby bridging the gap between the 3 Series sedan and 4 Series coupe. And it's just made its public debut here at the Geneva Motor Show.
The difference between this and the two-door 4 Series is plain to see: it's got two extra doors. But what's the difference between this and the 3 Series sedan? About two or three grand, to start with - depending on which version (428i Gran Coupe or 435i Gran Coupe) you choose. But it's also sleeker, more muscular and altogether that extra bit sexier. Which is a good trait, as you can see from our gallery of live shots above, to have in your European sports sedan, coupe, or whatever you want to call it.
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe blows the doors back on [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 16:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The official photos of Mazda's Hazumi concept leaked out yesterday, but we have finally gotten to see it in real life at the Geneva Motor Show. Our view is that its Kodo lines looks as good on the diminutive car's sheet metal as they did in photos.
The Hazumi was designed to appear to be bursting with energy, and it seems to deliver. While Mazda refuses to actually say that this is the concept for the next Mazda2, it makes it clear that the little hatchback is "foreshadowing Mazda's next-generation subcompact car." We can all read between the lines.
Hazumi also introduces the new Skyactiv-D 1.5-liter diesel engine but details about it are scant at the moment. The specs for the engine are still unannounced, but the company promises that it is both very efficient and has lots of torque for its size. Mazda is also promising that its Mazda Connect infotainment system will be available in the car too. Scroll down for the brief press release a brace of videos that celebrate the tiny concept's arrival.
Mazda Hazumi Concept previews next Mazda2 in Geneva [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
After generations of Passat sedans designed more to European tastes and needs, Volkswagen finally let loose in 2011 with a larger and less costly model engineered specifically with the North American market's tastes in mind. The Chattanooga, TN-built four door launched well on the strength of a couple of awards and serendipitous supply problems for VW's Japanese rivals, but it has since lost some of its sales momentum as a number of newer and fresher-faced competitors have emerged on the scene.
"We are quite aware that we have to do something to keep the car fresh in the market."VW is keen to recapture some of the Passat's initial momentum, and officials believe it's going to have to dig a little bit deeper than its traditionally minimal midlife retouches in order to put the model on more consumers' shopping lists. We sat down at a roundtable with Michael Horn, VW Group of America CEO and Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, head of VW Group powertrain development at the Geneva Motor Show today, and the executives confirmed that a "big facelift" is coming for the 2016 model year. "We are quite aware that we have to do something to keep the car fresh in the market," said Horn, who notes that the redesigned model will incorporate "a lot of new features, drivers' assistance systems and so forth."
No powertrain alterations were disclosed, but at the very least, there could be some significant visual changes in store. In fact, more significant mid-cycle changes could become the norm for VW, which traditionally has limited its alterations to things like modestly new light fixtures, wheel patterns and paint finishes. VW sees larger changes as a growing necessity, believing that it needs to shift the longer lifecycle philosophy it has had success with in Europe and in China. The expectations of US customers are "a little bit different," argues Dr. Neußer, "...they need a little bit shorter reworks of the car. Perhaps not so deep within the technical side, but more oriented to a fresh outside, to fresh designs. We are actually changing our philosophy on this."
The current Passat's crisply tailored looks have aged well, but they've also been dinged for being too restrained and derivative of the smaller and less expensive North American Jetta. Noting that some competitors have recently been taking bigger aesthetic chances in the historically conservative family sedan segment, Neußer acknowledged, "We are a little more conservative, but very precise. But we will move a little bit more into the direction [of progressive design] ... but not a u-turn, a correction."
VW Passat to get deeper-than-normal refresh for 2016 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The jig is up, the noose is out, we finally found it: the Renegade that Jeep has made, retrieved for a bounty.
Okay, enough of that. Meet the Renegade - Jeep's cute little compact crossover that makes its official debut here at the Geneva Motor Show. We recently brought you a massive Deep Dive into what makes the Renegade tick, and we're now getting our first live look at the tiny Jeep, live from its coming out party in Switzerland.
With the exception of associate editor Jonathon Ramsey, who doesn't know what he's talking about, we at Autoblog are kind of smitten with the little Jeep - it's a really unique package, featuring details that really make it kind of special (notice that jerry can pattern in the taillights, for example). Jeep will offer the Renegade with either a 1.4-liter turbo-four (from the Fiat 500L) or a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four (from the Dodge Dart), with either a six-speed manual transmission or a nine-speed automatic. There will even be a Trailhawk version with four-wheel drive - properly trail-rated, to boot. The Renegade also features a nifty new My Sky removable roof panel system, giving this little cutie sort of a baby Wrangler feel.
Check it out for yourself in the gallery above, and be sure to let us know what you think of the Renegade in Comments.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Episode #370 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Michael Harley and Craig Fitzgerald of BangShift and Boldride talk about the 2015 Jeep Renegade, the Consumer Reports list of Cars to Avoid, and the Geneva Motor Show, which opened today. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along after the jump with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #370:
Hosts: Dan Roth, Michael Harley
Guests: Craig Fitzgerald
- Intro and Garage - 00:00
- Jeep Renegade - 27:28
- Cars to Avoid - 41:46
- Geneva Motor Show - 59:54
- Q&A - 01:11:04
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com
Review the show in iTunesPermalink | Email this | Comments
The Ferrari California might technically be the Prancing Horse's entry-level model, but there is nothing basic about the latest upgrade for the California T. Showing its face to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show, it is now propelled by a 3.9-liter, turbocharged V8 with 560 horsepower and 557 pound-feet of torque, which equates to an extra 70 hp and a 49 percent increase in torque over the previous engine.
The forced induction mill is enough to accelerate it to 62 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds. Also not that many Ferrari buyers are going to care, but the switch also means a 15 percent improvement in fuel economy. Oh, and based on the video preview below, it sounds pretty good, too.
While the new engine is certainly the headline grabber, there are other upgrades as well: a top that closes in 14 seconds, new steering box, improved magnetic dampers and an upgraded traction control system. Pininfarina also reshaped the nose to make it more look like Ferraris of the 1960s. This seems to be the best looking and performing California yet.
Ferrari California T has a turbo V8 lurking under new nose [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 14:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Alfa Romeo has made all manner of vehicles over the years: hatchbacks, sedans, wagons, coupes... there's even been talk of a crossover. But it could be argued that the quintessential Alfa Romeo is a roadster. While the future of the program with Mazda remains in doubt, Alfa has arrived in Geneva this year with a Spider version of the nimble little 4C.
As anticipated, the 4C Spider chops the roof off the coupe and replaces it with rollover bars, spoilers and windshield frame all made of carbon-fiber and a lightweight canvas top. As a result, the 4C Spider is said to weight just 132 pounds more than the existing fixed-roof version. The low-density Sheet Moulding Compound bodywork has been rebuilt around the rear deck to replace the back, and carbon fiber is visible throughout the open cockpit.
The 1.75-liter turbo 4-cylinder and 6-speed dual-clutch transmission carry over unchanged, as do the performance stats: 0-62 in 4.5 seconds and a top speed "in excess of 155 mph." The 40/60 front/rear weight distribution is also quoted as unchanged from the coupe, maintaining the 4C's handling balance. The 4C Spider also gets more conventional (read: attractive) headlights, and a central exhaust system made by Akrapovic (of motorbike fame) from aluminum and titanium.
Though billed as a Design Preview, the 4C Spider is set to go into production early next year. All we're waiting for now is for Alfa Romeo to finally bring this - and the rest of its lineup - to North America.
Alfa Romeo pops the top on 4C Spider in Geneva [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The BMW specialists at Alpina know how to exploit a niche when they see one. With the BMW M4 still not technically official, it saw the need for a higher performance four-seat convertible than the 435i 'vert. Enter the new B4 Bi-Turbo Cabrio that is debuting at the Geneva Motor Show.
The European-exclusive model takes BMW's 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-6 and massages it up to 410 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, which is less power but more twist than the M4 would give buyers. Alpina's tend to be built more as quick, luxurious grand tourers, and the B4 Bi-Turbo gets is no different with an adaptive sport suspension and an eight-speed automatic. Plus it wears the classic pinstripes and 21-spoke wheels that are the brand's design hallmarks.
While the added weight for the convertible means that the Cabrio takes 4.5 seconds to reach 62 miles per hour, about a half-second slower than the coupe, at the moment it is the only way to get this kind of performance in a BMW convertible. Orders for the convertible open in March in Europe and prices in Germany start at 74,800 euros ($102,878 at today's conversion rates).
The 2014 Alpina B4 Bi-Turbo Cabrio powers up luxury and speed originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Each year since 1964, an international jury of European journalists come together to name their Car of the Year. After identifying the candidates, they whittle the list down to the finalists announced in December and finally name the winner at the Geneva Motor Show. And that's just what they've done again this year, selecting the new Peugeot 308 as their 2014 Car of the Year.
The C-segment hatchback from France, which competes with the likes of the Ford Focus (whose predecessor won in 1999) and Volkswagen Golf (last year's winner) on the European market, beat out a daunting array of finalists to win the honors. With 307 points, the 308 beat out the BMW i3 (223 points), the Tesla Model S (216), Citroën C4 Picasso (182), Mazda3 (180), Skoda Octavia (172) and Mercedes-Benz S-Class (170).
The results stand in stark contrast to how you, our loyal readers, voted in our poll: by your account the Tesla should have won, followed by the Benz and the Mazda. The Peugeot came in dead last. But then the European COTY jury has different criteria and a different way of counting the votes.
This isn't the first time that Peugeot has won the award. The 308's predecessor, the 307, won upon its debut in 2002, the 405 won in 1988 and the 504 took the honors in 1969. Sister company Citroën has won thrice, for the XM in 1990, the CX in '75 and the GS in '71. Together PSA would be the second most lauded automaker in the award's long history, behind Fiat (which has won a record nine times) and ahead of Renault's six.Permalink | Email this | Comments