Geneva Motor Show auto news

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Korea's Oullim Spirra supercar heading to Geneva under electric power

06/12/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Geneva Motor Show, Euro, Electric, South Korea

Spirra Europe EV

South Korea has emerged as a global powerhouse in the automotive industry. It's home not only to Hyundai and Kia, but General Motors (having taken over Daewoo), SsangYong and Renault Samsung Motors also make cars there. Unfortunately not a one of them makes a serious sports car. But that's where the Oullim Spirra comes in.

First introduced back in 2008, the Spira is a mid-engined sports car powered by a Hyundai-sourced 2.7-liter V6 with either one or two turbochargers, and as much as 600 horsepower. It's sold in a handful of Asian and European markets, but will reportedly soon make its debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show... with a bit of a twist.

Instead of the internal-combustion V6, a new outfit dubbed Spirra Europe is preparing to introduce a new version of the sports car with an all-electric powertrain. Spirra Europe is setting up spot in Friesland, the Netherlands, where it will assemble the cars to European specifications, with all the battery tech and all-wheel drive where the existing version powers only the rear wheels. Pricing is tipped to come in around 200,000 euro (equivalent to about $270k at current exchange rates).

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Christian von Koenigsegg puts finishing touches on first One:1

04/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Geneva Motor Show, Videos, Koenigsegg

Koenigsegg Agera One:1

The Koenigsegg Agera One:1 has opportunity to become the new king of the supercar world. Its twin-turbocharged, 5.0-liter V8 has been tuned up to 1,341 horsepower (1,360 PS) thanks in part to its proprietary, 3D-printed variable geometry turbos. Plus, with power equal to one megawatt, the company claims it has created the world's first megacar.

Even into prototype form, the One:1 shows what is possible when modern technology is taken to its limits. The test car weighs around 2,998 pounds (1,360 kilograms), and Koenigsegg thinks it can shed a further 66 lbs for the production versions. However, the megacars are going to be quite rare. The company is building just six of them, and all of them are already spoken for.

In this video, Christian von Koenigsegg goes into the details of his latest creation. He shows off all of the car's little secrets from its sophisticated suspension to many of the tactics it uses to shed weight. Scroll down to get a tour of the One:1 from the man who knows it best.

Continue reading Christian von Koenigsegg puts finishing touches on first One:1

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Maserati offers peek into Alfieri concept's design

03/25/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Geneva Motor Show, Maserati, Design/Style, Luxury

Maserati Alfieri design

This year marks Maserati's hundredth anniversary, which means we'll be spending the rest of 2014 talking about all the company's planned celebrations. The Alfieri Concept, shown at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, though, is quite possibly the most noteworthy part of the brand's centennial.

Named after one of the company's founder, Alfieri Maserati, the coupe is a striking piece of design, although it did manage to fall short of earning a spot on our editors' choice list for the Geneva show (we blame this more on the number of exciting products at the show rather than any shortcoming of the showcar).

In this video, Maserati Centro Stile designers take us through the process of penning the Alfieri, from the car it was inspired by, on to the actual process of designing the car. Fans of automotive design won't want to miss this video. Take a look below.

Continue reading Maserati offers peek into Alfieri concept's design

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Cadillac could 'flourish' in Australia, says marketing chief

03/13/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Geneva Motor Show, Cadillac, Australia

2014 Cadillac CTS

Cadillac might have its best product mix in recent history, and GM's luxury brand is looking to expand. In fact, it might even be making a trip Down Under, at least according to the company's global marketing chief.

Uwe Ellinghaus spoke with Australian site Car Advice at the Geneva Motor Show and said the brand could be quite successful there. "[The] goodwill that the Cadillac brand has is such a good starting base that once we get proper volume commitment and a dealer network behind it we can easily flourish," he said, though he warned that the plans are still in their earliest stages and years away. First, Cadillac will expand in markets with the highest possible sales, like China and Russia.

Ellinghaus said that the most likely models for Oz would be the SRX, Escalade and CTS; the latter would probably act as a replacement for the Holden Commodore. GM's Australian arm is ending local production in 2017, and there have been many rumors about what is happening to the big sedan. However, Ellinghaus admits exporting cars from the US to Australia is going to mean higher prices. In addition to the expense, Cadillac doesn't currently build any right-hand-drive models. It would likely take until the end of the decade before the Aussie models could be ready.

This isn't the first time the brand tried to break into Australia. Cadillac nearly went on sale there around early 2009 but was cancelled at the very last moment, with only a few cars having made it to the land of Oz.

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Audi reveals revised RS5 DTM for 2014

03/12/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Coupes, Geneva Motor Show, Euro, Audi, Racing

2014 Audi RS5 DTM

There existed an era in German touring car racing between when the DTM series was revived in 2000 and when BMW rejoined in 2012. During that twelve-season span, the wins were pretty evenly divided between Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the only two manufacturers who took part. Audi won six drivers' titles in that time and Mercedes won six (although Benz won considerably more constructors' titles).

Now that BMW is back in the race, though, it's an entirely different game. BMW has won the lion's share of the races in the past two seasons, taking both titles in 2012 and the constructors' title last season. The winning driver last season, though, was driving the RS5, making Audi the only one that really stands a chance of putting up a fight against BMW. It undoubtedly hopes to extend that challenge in the coming season, and this is the car with which it aims to do so.

Taking on the Mercedes-AMG C-Class Coupe DTM and the new BMW M4 DTM will be the revised RS5 DTM you see here. Bearing a stronger resemblance to the road-going RS5 you can buy, Audi's new DTM challenger benefits from a revised aero package with more streamlined side mirrors, closed rear wheel arches and reprofiled side sills. The V8 engine carries over (much as it did from the previous A4 DTM and A5 DTM) with 456 horsepower driving the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox.

It's been a work in progress since last May, and will make its race debut at Hockenheim on May 4 when returning champions Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekstrom will use it in their campaign to add another title to their names.

Continue reading Audi reveals revised RS5 DTM for 2014

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Mercedes-Benz working on S-Class EV in accelerated green car lineup?

03/11/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, Mercedes Benz, Geneva Motor Show, Europe/EU, Germany

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

With Mercedes-Benz bringing out coupe and plug-in hybrid versions of its S-Class sedan, the German automaker just may follow through with a battery-electric variant as well. That's what the company's Uwe Ernstberger told the folks at Top Gear during the Geneva Motor Show. And while he noted the company still needs to work in a larger-than-usual battery pack and was less than specific with details, he did envision an all-electric S-Class "in the future." Of course, rumors started bubbling about an EV S-Class as far back as 2011, so we'll see.

Christian Bokich, department manager for product and technology communications for Mercedes-Benz USA, would not confirm anything about an electric S-Class, but he did give AutoblogGreen an official rundown of MB's upcoming green cars in the US, starting with the launch of the all-electric B-Class ED in July of this year in the ZEV states (launch details for other states are TBA, he said). An S-Class plug-in hybrid is coming in the first half of 2015, followed by a C-Class PHEV closer towards the end of that year in the USA. There is also a C-Class four-cylinder BlueTEC coming at some point in 2016.

Until we get more concrete information about the possible S-Class EV, let's review what we know about the PHEV. Last September, Mercedes-Benz started showing off the plug-in hybrid S-Class, saying that it could go as far as 19 miles on electric power alone and had a preliminary fuel efficiency rating of more than 78 miles per gallon, using the more lenient European driving cycle.

Earlier this week, Mercedes showed off its S-Class Coupe. That model's US version will have a twin-turbocharged V8 that kicks in 449 horsepower, a few more than the presumptive S-Class EV will have. Ernstberger also said Mercedes would join the ranks of automakers offering autonomous driving systems and mentioned the S-Class as being at the "top of the movement." He held his tongue when asked about the possibility of an S-Class cabriolet.

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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #371 LIVE!

03/11/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Geneva Motor Show, Euro, Audi, BMW, Volkswagen

Autoblog podcast graphic

We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #371 this evening, and you can check out the topics below, or drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #371

  • Geneva Motor Show wrap-up
  • 2015 Audi A3
  • BMW X4
  • Volkswagen Pickup back on the table

[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator

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Mercedes-Benz working on S-Class EV in accelerated green car line-up?

03/10/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, Mercedes Benz, Geneva Motor Show, Europe/EU, Germany

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

With Mercedes-Benz bringing out coupe and plug-in hybrid versions of its S-Class sedan, the German automaker just may follow through with a battery-electric variant as well. That's what the company's Uwe Ernstberger told the folks at Top Gear during the Geneva Motor Show. And while he noted the company still needs to work in a larger-than-usual battery pack and was less than specific with details, he did envision an all-electric S-Class "in the future." Of course, rumors started bubbling about an EV S-Class as far back as 2011, so we'll see.

Christian Bokich, department manager for product and technology communications for Mercedes-Benz USA, would not confirm anything about an electric S-Class, but he did give AutoblogGreen an official rundown of MB's upcoming green cars in the US, starting with the launch of the all-electric B-Class ED in July of this year in the ZEV states (launch details for other states are TBA, he said). An S-Class plug-in hybrid is coming in the first half of 2015, followed by a C-Class PHEV closer towards the end of that year in the USA. There is also a C-Class four-cylinder BlueTEC coming at some point in 2016.

Until we get more concrete information about the possible S-Class EV, let's review what we know about the PHEV. Last September, Mercedes-Benz started showing off the plug-in hybrid S-Class, saying that it could go as far as 19 miles on electric power alone and had a preliminary fuel efficiency rating of more than 78 miles per gallon, using the more lenient European driving cycle.

Earlier this week, Mercedes showed off its S-Class Coupe. That model's US version will have a twin-turbocharged V8 that kicks in 449 horsepower, a few more than the presumptive S-Class EV will have. Ernstberger also said Mercedes would join the ranks of automakers offering autonomous driving systems and mentioned the S-Class as being at the "top of the movement." He held his tongue when asked about the possibility of an S-Class cabriolet.

Read more..

Apple CarPlay drawing early safety concerns [w/video]

03/10/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Geneva Motor Show, Safety, Tech, Videos, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Ferrari, Infotainment

Apple CarPlay

Apple's CarPlay infotainment system hasn't made it into a single vehicle yet, and it's already drawing criticism for distracting drivers among safety advocates. The new tech unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show pairs users' iPhones with the car's dashboard display to make calls, dictate messages and listen to music. Some automakers, like Volvo, also let users interact with the HVAC system from the screen.

"The idea that people want to be on their phones, and therefore let's give them a way to do that -- that's not putting safety first, that's putting convenience and the desire to be in touch first," said Bruce Hamilton, manager of research and communications at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, to CNN Money.

Distracted driving is a huge concern on modern roads with more vehicles allowing drivers to use their smartphones through Bluetooth and infotainment systems. A Texas A&M study found that drivers' reaction time doubled while dictating text messages, according to CNN Money. The new tech is certainly not making drivers pay more attention.

Apple knows that inattentive drivers are a major cause of concern and addressed it in their press release, saying: "CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction." Still, none of the models with the tech are available yet. It's hard to make quality judgments until it is actually on the road.

The new system will debut later this year in some Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Apple claims to be working on future deals with BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and more. For automakers, the tech means a common standard and potentially less money invested into bespoke infotainment systems. Apple gets even more people using its software. Scroll down for Volvo's video preview of CarPlay.

Continue reading Apple CarPlay drawing early safety concerns [w/video]

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Baby Bentley studied for 2020, but it might not be cheaper

03/09/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Geneva Motor Show, Bentley, Design/Style

Bentley Continental GT V8 S

Bentley may step down a segment with a new, smaller luxury car that it hopes to have ready by 2019. The British luxury marque's fifth model line, assuming that its SUV ever makes it to market, though, is still in the earliest planning stages.

Kevin Rose, Bentley's head of sales and marketing, spoke with Autocar at the Geneva Motor Show about the proposed new vehicle. "At the moment, our line of thinking is for a smaller car. But smaller doesn't necessarily mean cheaper," he said. The brand believes the price floor of its models should be 100,000 pounds ($167,240).

The smaller Flying B isn't the only project being worked on. Rose hinted that it is considering an even more expensive model above the Mulsanne priced at around 300,000 pounds ($501,735) that would compete with the Rolls-Royce Phantom. "The twin pillars of the Bentley brand are performance and luxuriousness. Any car that offers something unique, with both of those bases well covered, is on the table," he said.

Regardless of whether either of them ever gets built, Rose indicated that new generations of the Continental GT and Flying Spur are currently in development, and they will be the first to debut.

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