Paris Motor Show auto news

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Skoda previews sleek new Fabia hatch

07/18/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Euro, Paris Motor Show, Hatchbacks, Skoda

2015 Skoda Fabia

The Škoda Fabia has been on the world market for seven years now, which means it's about time for replacement. And that's just what Škoda has in store.

The Czech hatch is based on the Volkswagen Polo, but offers a bit more space for a bit less money than its German counterpart, making it a compelling proposition for European buyers. For the next generation, the Fabia will grow a little wider, sit a little lower and look a bit more determined.

Previewed in the rendering above, the upcoming third-generation Fabia draws inspiration from two sources. On one hand is the VisionC concept car, a sleek five-door "coupe" unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. One the other is the Fabia rally car that has dominated the European Rally Championship and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, setting the stage for the VW Polo R WRC that's currently in the lead to defend its World Rally Championship title.

The new Škoda Fabia looks sleek and taut, which only serves to underline what a shame it is that we won't get it Stateside. Expect the new hatchback to make its debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show in October.

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2016 Mazda2 revealed ahead of Paris debut [w/videos] [UPDATE]

07/17/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Paris Motor Show, Hatchbacks, Mazda

2015 Mazda2

Small cars may be big business, but the world's automakers don't seem to be in any particular rush to keep them fresh. The new Smart Fortwo unveiled yesterday replaces a model that's already been around for seven years, one based on a structure dating back to the late '90s. The new Opel Corsa revealed just last week replaces a model that had been around for eight years. And the Mazda2 has been on the market in its current form for seven years now, but not for much longer, because Mazda has finally revealed its successor.

Set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show this October, the new Mazda2 follows the stylistic lead of this year's Hazumi concept remarkably close, from the sharply creased front end right down to the wheel design - bringing the supermini hatchback in line with the KODO design language that characterizes its bigger siblings: the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5.

Although details released thus far are rather limited, and power will vary from one market to another, engine options center around a 1.5-liter four in both gasoline and diesel versions, joining the manual and automatic transmissions and the chassis itself under Mazda's Skyactiv technology umbrella. We wouldn't expect the diesel version to make it across the Pacific (or across the border from the plant that will build it alongside a new Toyota hatch in Mexico), but rumors have surfaced of a potential rotary hybrid. The new 2 will also include the company's MZD connectivity suite and i-Activsense safety technology.

Also sold as the Demio in certain regions (like the Japanese Domestic Market), the new Mazda2 represents a vital product for Mazda, which has sold over 2.4 million of them since the model line's introduction 1996. Production has already begun at Mazda's plant in Hofu near Hiroshima, Japan. Scope out the videos and press release below for a closer look.

UPDATE: We've updated this story with the US market press release, below, which confirms that the Mazda2 will be a 2016 model when it goes on sale here. A handful of new images have been added to the gallery above, as well.

Continue reading 2016 Mazda2 revealed ahead of Paris debut [w/videos] [UPDATE]

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2015 Mazda2 revealed ahead of Paris debut [w/videos]

07/17/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Paris Motor Show, Hatchbacks, Mazda

2015 Mazda2

Small cars may be big business, but the world's automakers don't seem to be in any particular rush to keep them fresh. The new Smart Fortwo unveiled yesterday replaces a model that's already been around for seven years, and based on a structure dating back to the late '90s. The new Opel Corsa revealed just last week replaces a model that had been around for eight years. And the Mazda2 has been on the market in its current form for seven years now, but not for much longer because Mazda has finally revealed its successor.

Set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show this October, the new Mazda2 follows the stylistic lead of the Hazumi concept remarkably close, from the sharply creased front end right down to the wheel design - bringing the supermini hatchback in line with the KODO design language that characterizes its bigger siblings: the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5.

Although details released thus far are rather limited, and power will vary from one market to another, engine options center around a 1.5-liter four in both gasoline and diesel versions, joining the manual and automatic transmissions and the chassis itself under Mazda's Skyactiv technology umbrella. We wouldn't expect the diesel version to make it across the Pacific (or across the border from the plant that will build it alongside a new Toyota hatch in Mexico), but rumors have surfaced of a potential rotary hybrid. The new 2 will also include the company's MZD connectivity suite and i-Activsense safety technology.

Also sold as the Demio in certain regions (like the Japanese Domestic Market), the new Mazda2 represents a vital product for Mazda, which has sold over 2.4 million of them since the model line's introduction 1996. Production has already begun at Mazda's plant in Hofu near Hiroshima, Japan. Scope out the videos and press release below for a closer look.

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Opel launches new Corsa hatchback [w/videos]

07/10/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Euro, Paris Motor Show, Hatchbacks, Opel, Vauxhall, UK

2015 Opel Corsa

Though its brand portfolio may have shrunk in recent years with the loss of Oldsmobile, Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer, General Motors still sells its wares around the world under a wide array of brands: Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC in its home market, Holden in Australia, and a whole mess of joint-venture brands in China. In Europe, however, it's all about Opel, with Vauxhall tackling the UK market with a nearly identical product lineup but a different badge. And it's those two brands through which GM has just revealed its new Euro-centric hatchback.

Representing the fifth-generation model for Opel and the fourth for Vauxhall (which badged the first-gen model as a Nova) is this new Corsa, replacing a now eight-year-old model. Set to be revealed at the Paris Motor Show in October, the Corsa represents GM's assault at the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo in the European market and slots into both brands' lineups in between the smaller Adam and the larger Astra.

It's based on a heavily revised version of the GM-Fiat Small platform that underpinned the model it replaces, not to mention a variety of other products from Opel, Vauxhall, Fiat and Alfa Romeo. Power options center around a new 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that uses a balance shaft (unique among three-cylinder engines) to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, as well as a turbocharger, direct injection and stop/start ignition to maximize output and efficiency. It'll be available in either 90- or 115-horsepower guises, and is joined by a 1.2- and 1.4-liter fours as well as a 1.3-lier diesel. Buyers will also be able to choose between three- and five-door body-styles, with design cues obviously borrowed from the more stylish Adam city car.

As the latest product from one of the world's largest automakers, the new Corsa also naturally benefits from the latest technologies inside the cabin and under the hood, details of which you can delve into in the pair of press releases under the videos below.

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Opel launch new Corsa hatchback [w/videos]

07/10/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Euro, Paris Motor Show, Hatchbacks, Opel, Vauxhall, UK

2015 Opel Corsa

Though its brand portfolio may have shrunk in recent years with the loss of Oldsmobile, Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer, General Motors still sells its wares around the world under a wide array of brands: Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC in its home market, Holden in Australia, and a whole mess of joint-venture brands in China. In Europe, however, it's all about Opel, with Vauxhall tackling the UK market with a nearly identical product lineup but a different badge. And it's those two brands through which GM has just revealed its new Euro-centric hatchback.

Representing the fifth-generation model for Opel and the fourth for Vauxhall (which badged the first-gen model as a Nova) is this new Corsa, replacing a now eight-year-old model. Set to be revealed at the Paris Motor Show in October, the Corsa represents GM's assault at the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo in the European market and slots into both brands' lineups in between the smaller Adam and the larger Astra.

It's based on a heavily revised version of the GM-Fiat Small platform that underpinned the model it replaces, not to mention a variety of other products from Opel, Vauxhall, Fiat and Alfa Romeo. Power options center around a new 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that uses a balance shaft (unique among three-cylinder engines) to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, as well as a turbocharger, direct injection and stop/start ignition to maximize output and efficiency. It'll be available in either 90- or 115-horsepower guises, and is joined by a 1.2- and 1.4-liter fours as well as a 1.3-lier diesel. Buyers will also be able to choose between three- and five-door body-styles, with design cues obviously borrowed from the more stylish Adam city car.

As the latest product from one of the world's largest automakers, the new Corsa also naturally benefits from the latest technologies inside the cabin and under the hood, details of which you can delve into in the pair of press releases under the videos below.

Continue reading Opel launch new Corsa hatchback [w/videos]

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Smart previews new city cars in teaser clip

07/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Videos, Paris Motor Show, Hatchbacks, SMART

2015 Smart Fortwo and Forfour

Smart has tried its darnedest to diversify. It introduced the Smart Roadster in 2003 and the Forfour in 2004. It even did the Crossblade speedster in 2002. But each of those has fallen by the wayside, leaving the Fortwo as its only product. But that's all about to change.

After a long string of concept cars, the Smart brand is slated to introduce its all-new range at the Paris Motor Show come October. There it is expected to reveal both two-door and four-door versions of its new city car, based on common architecture with the new rear-engined Renault Twingo and with a keen eye fixed on the new Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 108.

Whether Daimler succeeds at broadening the Smart brand's range this time around remains to be seen, but in the meantime it has released this teaser video demonstrating the evolution of the design, which we've included below for your urban-transport enjoyment.

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Bentley plotting Mulsanne performance model for Paris debut

07/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, Paris Motor Show, Bentley, Rumormill, Luxury

Bentley Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification

Between three distinct body styles and numerous engine specifications, Bentley has made more versions of the Continental over the years than we would care to count. But one thing it has, by and (very) large left alone is the Mulsanne. Sure, it's done some special editions and some extra equipment packages - it's even toyed with the idea of a two-door convertible version - but at the end of the day, the Mulsanne soldiers on as a four-door sedan with one engine and one engine alone. That may be about to change, however.

Fueled by ambiguous pronouncements from Bentley's returning chief Wolfgang Dürheimer, rumors from the UK suggest that the Flying B marque is preparing a more performance-focused version of the Mulsanne to debut at the Paris Motor Show this October.

Details are few and far between, but we'd expect the Mulsanne's long-serving 6.75-liter V8 engine to be further tuned beyond its current specification of 505 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque, accompanied by a stiffer suspension, bigger brakes and other upgrades. Historically Bentley would turbocharge the Mulsanne's predecessors (to turn the 90s-era Brooklands, for instance, into the Turbo R), but the Mulsanne's engine is already spooled up, so the British automaker will likely have to massage the extra muscle out another way.

We wouldn't count on it swapping the engine out entirely, though: though the most potent version of the company's 6.0-liter W12 engine as found in the Continental GT Speed produces more power (at 626 hp) than the Mulsanne, at 605 lb-ft it's significantly down on the big sedan's trademark tidalwave of torque.

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Peugeot celebrates with 208-hp 208 GTi anniversary edition

06/27/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Euro, Paris Motor Show, Hatchbacks, Peugeot

Peugeot 208 GTi 30th Anniversary Edition

Though American hot hatch enthusiasts might more readily equate the letters GTI with Volkswagen, our European counterparts would equally associate them with Peugeot. In fact, it's been 30 years since the French automaker introduced the first 205 GTi, and to celebrate that milestone, it's released a new 30th Anniversary Edition of the latest 208 GTi.

Peugeot 208 GTI 30th Anniversary EditionFar more than a set of decals, the 208 GTi 30th Anniversary Edition packs an extra punch. Its 1.6-liter turbo four has been upgraded from 197 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque to a more prodigious 208 hp and 221 lb-ft. The extra muscle is channeled through the same six-speed manual and Torsen diff as the RCZ R - the two performance models having been tuned by Peugeot Sport, the racing division (once presided over, incidentally, by FIA president and former Ferrari chief Jean Todt) responsible for the Lion marque's rally and former Le Mans programs. As a result, the 208 GTi anniversary edition is quoted at a 0-62 time of 6.5 seconds.

To go with the added performance, Peugeot has also given the celebratory hot hatch a striking two-tone livery similar to those featured on the marque's recent concept cars: the front is done up in a matte black finish, while the back wears a glossy red. The two-tone treatment is complemented by matte black trim, red front brake calipers and an interior upgraded with red-stitched black Alcantara trim. The dropped suspension is mounted to 18-inch alloys packing upgraded Brembo brakes as well, adding up to a hot hatch that we only wish we could get our hands on Stateside. Set to be revealed at the Paris Motor Show in September, you can scope out the full details now in the press release below.

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VW gets sketchy with next Euro Passat

05/28/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Sedans/Saloons, Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen, Diesel

Volkswagen Passat

The schism that separates the European-market Volkswagen Passat and its American-built cousin is evidently only set to widen, as renderings have officially been released showing off the next-generation Euro-market Passat sedan, and it looks quite different than our larger, less costly family sedan. That's especially true up front, where it wears an aggressive scowl thanks to a chrome strip that forms a brow over the piercing headlamps and grille.

The new European model will make its world debut in July ahead of its auto show debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and we've already got a trio of sketches that give us a rough idea of the new four-door's design, as well as some images of the structure underpinning the Euro Passat. You can take a look at those up top. The big news, though, relates to the other info Volkswagen has released.

For a start, VW's vaunted German engineers have managed to trim 187 pounds of body fat form the next-gen model, thanks to the additional use of high-strength steel. Designers have also managed to provide a larger interior in a smaller footprint, although there isn't an explanation of how much smaller the new car actually is.

We do know about a pair of powertrains for our friends in Europe, including a new plug-in hybrid that should net 31 miles of range on battery power alone. It will be joined by VW's new 2.0-liter TDI engine, which will be paired exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive. 237 horsepower will be on offer with the diesel powerplant, and European buyers will have 369 pound-feet of torque available from just 1,750 rpm.

Optional goodies will include LED headlights (LED taillights are standard), a 12.3-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster, blind-spot monitoring, front assist with city emergency braking and a dynamic light assist system.

Expect more on the new Passat as its July debut approaches. Scroll up for the official sketches and photos, and scroll down for the official press release from Volkswagen.

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Jaguar shows off production XE body in camo

05/18/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Paris Motor Show, Jaguar, Luxury

Jaguar XE in camouflage, front three-quarter view.

Jaguar turned to Twitter and Facebook to reveal the production form of its coming XE sedan that we'll see for real at the Paris Motor Show. This is the first of a series of show-offs, Jaguar planning to wrap the bodywork in see-through camo that shows off the aluminum monocoque and other internals the company will use to promote the XE over its German rivals. That aluminum structure, which Jaguar calls iQ[Al], will also be used for other Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

Underneath that long bonnet and ahead of that terribly short trunk will come a series of Ingenium engines, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines in diesel and petrol forms that will come in a variety of power options, and the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that can also be found in the F-Type. Before the XE goes on sale early next year, you can click the image above to get a slightly larger view of what the The Leaping Cat's near future looks like.

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