Tag Archives: Design Style

First Drive: Italdesign Giugiaro Parcour Concept

By Matt Davis

Italdesign Giugiaro Parcour Concept

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Coachbuilt Italian Finery Rides High In The Mediterranean

Apparently, the appropriate gift to give for the 45th anniversary of almost anything is a blue sapphire stone. I cannot imagine Autoblog readers craving a story about that, so I’m glad that Italdesign Giugiaro spared me that gig and instead created this truly interesting Parcour concept to mark its 45th anniversary.

Parcour is named after the generally urban activity of French origin (spelled “parkour”), of throwing one’s (presumably) agile body off walls and railings in an anti-gravity freestyle momentum ballet. This sometimes ends up being broadcast on YouTube, particularly to show a parkour session gone horribly wrong, with the star taking a metal banister in the cojones or receiving a fetching bouquet of twisted fingers. Clearly design boss at Giugiaro, Fabrizio Giugiaro (son of legend Giorgetto), and his squad had more coordinated good parkour-ing in mind when they let me drive their cool creation on the island of Sardinia. (I live not far away, so it’s a one-hour flight with the herds on a low-cost airline.)

It’s been a while since a traditional Turin house created a million-dollar running prototype or showcar that it felt like entrusting to a journalist or two. Recent years have been distracting, to say the least, for the likes of Bertone, Pininfarina and Giugiaro, as the global crisis threatened to suck them under for good. Italdesign-Giugiaro did a very wise thing in May 2010 and allowed longtime partner Volkswagen Group to buy a majority stake, thus securing the future of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s dream factory. But all of these dealings have put drives like this on hold for a bit while all t’s were crossed and i’s dotted.

Continue reading Italdesign Giugiaro Parcour Concept

Italdesign Giugiaro Parcour Concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Jul 2013 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Cadillac CTS debuts new design, twin-turbo power, Vsport model [w/video]

By Steven J. Ewing

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If ever there were a Cadillac to truly rival the world’s best, this could be it.

With every new model, Cadillac indeed gets closer and closer to actually performing at the top of its class, rivaling those crafty Germans at their own sport/luxury sedan game. The best example yet of Cadillac’s efforts to challenge the world came last year, when we met the 2013 ATS – a vehicle that we praised for its on-road dynamics and interior refinement, and later went on to be named North American Car of the Year.

Now comes the 2014 CTS, an all-new sedan that aims to improve upon everything Cadillac learned from the ATS project, making its official debut this week at the 2013 New York Auto Show. We’ve already had the chance to check out the car in person, and everything seems to be a bit sharper with this new CTS, and we aren’t just talking about the bold front end. The powertrain lineup has expanded to three engine offerings, including an all-new twin-turbo V6; the interior materials are some of the best we’ve seen and felt on a Cadillac ever, and the engineering team’s effort to make this CTS longer, lower and leaner will no doubt pay off once it hits the road.

If ever there were a Cadillac to truly rival the world’s best, this could be it.

Continue reading 2014 Cadillac CTS debuts new design, twin-turbo power, Vsport model [w/video]

2014 Cadillac CTS debuts new design, twin-turbo power, Vsport model [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Mar 2013 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo [w/video]

By Matt Davis

2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo

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BMW Gets Much Closer To The GT Look And Feel It Seeks

The 2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is being launched to a pretty cynical automotive press brigade. You know it. We know it. Heck, even BMW knows it. We’ve just returned from driving it on the rather unforgiving and sometimes nasty roads of Sicily, and even before we got behind the wheel, many of our media colleagues were busying themselves doubting the 3 GT‘s very raison d’√™tre. So, despite the always excellent Sicilian hospitality, the day’s atmosphere was kind of fragile.

While the press in attendance seemed determined to nail every product expert to the wall for having been even tangentially associated with the larger 5 Series Gran Turismo, it seemed that BMW decided ahead of time to not introduce such a sensitive discussion topic. That strategy would do little to smooth things over as everyone started digging for dirt on BMW‘s so far clumsy Gran Turismo franchise.

As it turns out, we like the 3 GT despite so many packaging and design cards being stacked against it just by association with the 5 GT precedent. Automotive journalists are sometimes wrong en masse and this case of prejudice toward the 3 GT is one of those times.

And besides, much in the way the entire Buick brand still exists because China fell in love with it (entirely to General Motors‘ dumb-luck surprise), the 5 GT has somewhat thrived due to similar circumstances. The odd-duck 5 Series version – arguably the least appealing design ever to roll out of the halls of BMW – has found its savior almost exclusively in the Land of Confucius. After driving this new 3 GT, we have no reason to doubt it will find far more favor not just in China, but in all of BMW‘s major markets.

Continue reading 2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo [w/video]

2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mercedes-Benz releases stunning first images of 2014 S-Class

By Michael Harley

2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class - dashboard wood and leather detailing

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The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, designated W222, is one of the most highly anticipated debuts of its model year. Every generation of the flagship sedan has broken new ground in technology and innovation for the entire industry, and the German automaker appears determined to raise the bar much further with its latest arrival as it promises to deliver “the best automobile in the world.” Mercedes-Benz has just released nearly two dozen interior images of the new sedan, showing off style in design, craftsmanship in execution and pioneering advancements in technology.

Unlike all previous generations – the first S-Class officially arrived in 1972 – the 2014 model completely discards a traditional instrument cluster and replaces it with two high-resolution color displays in 8:3 format with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches (the outgoing model’s gauges were a mix of digital and analog). The left unit displays traditional analog gauges (digitally, of course) while the right unit is reserved for infotainment and comfort settings with the automaker’s all-new mBrace2 – a cloud-based entertainment and information delivery system that is rolling out this year.

Passengers will be pampered with “energizing” massage, active seat ventilation with reversing fans, heated seats, heated steering wheel and heated armrests (door and center). A total of 14 separately actuated air bladders in the backrest of the seats will provide six different massage programs. There are also “beltbags” (airbags in the seatbelt webbing – not unlike the Ford Explorer) and “cushionbags” (airbags to prevent occupants from sliding beneath the the belt).

Mercedes calls its newly developed climate control “thermotronic,” as it features completely autonomous adjustment options for driver and passenger. It also includes improved filtering utilizing ionization, and an “active perfuming system,” as part of its “air-balance” package, to individually customize the smell of the vehicle interior – finally making those pine tree car fresheners obsolete.

Continue reading Mercedes-Benz releases stunning first images of 2014 S-Class

Mercedes-Benz releases stunning first images of 2014 S-Class originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Mar 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Charles Morgan discusses his Aeromax and generally makes us jealous

By Zach Bowman

Morgan Aeromax in the snow with sheep - video screencap

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Our friends at XCAR were lucky enough to spend some time with Charles Morgan, the managing director of Morgan Motor Company, discussing exactly what makes the company’s Aeromax so special. The machine was the company’s first modern foray into the ultra high-end market. Morgan only built 100 examples of the car after a wealthy prince approached the company looking for a more unique version of the standard Aero. After Morgan showed off a concept at the Geneva Motor Show, the company had some 300 hand raisers asking for one of their own. Development started soon thereafter.

Morgan lets us all in on an interesting secret about the Aeromax about half way through the clip. As it turns out, the car is actually named after his son, Maximus, who was born just as engineering for the machine was coming to a close. The video is an interesting glimpse into the ethos behind the Morgan brand, and features plenty of beautiful shots of the Aeromax rolling through the frozen countryside. You can check it out below for yourself.

Continue reading Charles Morgan discusses his Aeromax and generally makes us jealous

Charles Morgan discusses his Aeromax and generally makes us jealous originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Geneva: Spyker B6 Venator Concept shows the brand still has a beating heart

By Zach Bowman

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Spyker looks keen to shake off the dust of the Saab implosion. The Dutch supercar-maker unveiled the new B6 Venator Concept today at the Geneva Motor Show, saying the mid-engine coupe marks the beginning of the brand’s revival.

Penned by Spyker CEO Victor Muller, the B6 is designed to pay homage to Spyker’s past with a V-Shaped mesh grille inspired by vintage models like the 60HP, though the concept also pulls a few tricks from the company’s aircraft lineage as well.

With a wraparound canopy, LED tail lamps designed to look like the burners of a jet engine and 19-inch “Turbofan” wheels, the model is reaching to draw parallels between itself and the aviation industry.

Thrust comes from a relatively modest 375-horsepower V6 engine paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox. While that number may seem low for an ultra-exclusive two-seater, the B6 Venator benefits from a light-weight construction. Every last body panel on the concept is hewn from carbon fiber stretched over an aluminum chassis. Spyker says the vehicle should tip the scales at under 3,100 pounds.

Interested parties will be able to purchase a production B6 in early 2014, if you live in key markets like Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. For American customers, your wait extends to late 2014. While official pricing wasn’t given, Muller did mention that he’ll be asking somewhere in the $125,000 to $150,000 range.

Continue reading Spyker B6 Venator Concept shows the brand still has a beating heart

Spyker B6 Venator Concept shows the brand still has a beating heart originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Mar 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Teased: Spyker vows return to Geneva Motor Show with B6 concept

By Chris Paukert

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Nearly lost in the ongoing soap opera that was the Saab deathbed saga is that former CEO Victor Muller’s other carmaking operation, Spyker, nearly got flushed down the drain with the Trollh√§ttan patient. But a lot of work has been going on under the hood to resurrect the boutique high-end sportscar manufacturer as of late, and there may yet be light at the end of the tunnel. According to a brief news announcement this morning, Spyker plans to show a new concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, an expo it hasn’t attended in two years.

We’re not yet sure what the car will look like beyond the outline above, but we’re guessing a cash-strapped company like Spyker can’t really afford to build a pure concept car without some underlying production intent (it doesn’t have a history of doing so, anyway). Thus, it’s possible the B6 Concept, as the vehicle is known, could be the company’s rumored Porsche 911 fighter, or it might be something else based on Saab’s Phoenix platform, which the company still seems to have some level of rights to. There’s an outside chance it could be the long-promised production version of the D8 Peking to Paris utility vehicle, but the teaser outline doesn’t look right. If the whispers of a Porsche rival are correct, look for a car that’s smaller than the C8 Aileron with a lower price tag aimed at helping nurse the company back to health through higher sales volumes.

Continue reading Spyker vows return to Geneva Motor Show with B6 concept

Spyker vows return to Geneva Motor Show with B6 concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Feb 2013 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Bentley SUV given green light by VW board

By Chris Paukert

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Bentley EXP 9 concept SUV live at Geneva Motor Show unveiling in 2012

The “will they, won’t they” saga over Bentley’s SUV plans appears to finally be over. They will. That’s according to the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, which is reporting that the controversial SUV will be built after receiving the go-ahead from Volkswagen’s board.

Known internally as “Falcon,” the still-unnamed Bentley SUV will be based on the EXP 9 Concept that received wildly mixed reviews at its 2012 Geneva Motor Show unveiling. Since the EXP 9’s unveiling, there have been a steady stream of leaks and rumors suggesting that the bold-faced vehicle will get a redesign prior to going into production, but it remains unclear how different the final vehicle will look.

According to Automotive News, Bentley is itself stopping short of confirming the green-light report, though it does admit that the SUV‘s production outlook appears “very positive.” Production will likely take place in Slovakia at a plant owned by parent Volkswagen.

Seen as a key part of Bentley’s plan to expand its sales volumes, the SUV is expected to arrive within three years under V8 and possibly W12 power, just like the brand’s volume Continental GT range. Said to start at a cost of some 200,000 euros – over $270,000 US – the Bentley will stare down a suddenly crowded segment of luxury utility vehicles, taking on newcomers like the Maserati Levante and as-yet unnamed Lamborghini SUV along with segment stalwarts like the Land Rover Range Rover and Porsche Cayenne.

Bentley SUV given green light by VW board originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Feb 2013 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bentley Gangloff Concept updates the rare Type 57 SC Atalante

By Zach Bowman

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Bugatti Gangloff Concept

Designer Pawel Czyzewski has taken a stab at what a new Bugatti coupe could look like. The Gangloff Concept lifts inspiration from the famous 1938 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atalante Coupe. That beautiful machine wore a body crafted by none other than French coach builder Gangloff, hence the concept’s moniker. Wearing a few cues from the current batch of Veyron hypercars, including a familiar grille and cabin feel, the Gagloff is what the luxury coupes of our childhood dreams looked like. We dig the particularly brawny rear hips and split rear window.

While the LED headlights aren’t really our bag of tricks, this concept has a heart-stopping profile. With those proud, arching fenders and eye-slit side glass, we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing this machine in the Bugatti stable. Unfortunately, this design isn’t officially affiliated with the French automaker, which means the Gagloff concept will remain pixels in the ether. Head over to CarBodyDesign.com for more information.

Bentley Gangloff Concept updates the rare Type 57 SC Atalante originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Jan 2013 09:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette wastes no time zooming into Jay Leno's Garage

By Jonathon Ramsey

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Jay Leno with C7 Corvette

Where else would you expect the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to show up first? Although this time it isn’t exactly in Jay Leno’s Garage, Leno instead playing an away game at Brown’s Classic Auto in Scottsdale, Arizona. Nor does Leno drive the car, instead taking an 11-minute walkaround of the new American sports car with General Motors design head Ed Welburn, the same man who recently brought by a string of classic Corvettes to the talk show host’s California compound.

It is, admittedly, a love-fest for the American sports car now featuring 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, but one that also features admissions about previous Corvette seats like “they were kinda rough,” and the explanation that labeling the coupe “Stingray” means not having to call it “the base Corvette.” On top of that, Welburn also explains the proper application of the term “dashboard.” You can watch it all in the video below.

Continue reading 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette wastes no time zooming into Jay Leno’s Garage

2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette wastes no time zooming into Jay Leno’s Garage originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #317 LIVE!

By Dan Roth

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We record Autoblog Podcast #317 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments regarding the rest of the week’s news via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven’t already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #317 LIVE! originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Jan 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda Gear concept explored at Montreal Auto Show

By Zach Bowman

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Honda Gear Concept live at Montreal Auto Show - front three-quarter view

Our friends at Autoblog Canada have just come away with a closer look at Honda’s surprise Gear Concept at the Montreal Auto Show. The little three-door hatchback is arguably the automaker’s first real shot at the North American city car market (the Gear is much smaller than the Fit) and may be an indication that Honda is getting serious about going after Scion on this side of the world after the CR-Z hybrid failed to deliver. Honda says the Gear Concept takes its inspiration from the fixed-gear bicycle scene, and should allow buyers an unprecedented level of customization. Designers also wanted to show that a car can be both fun and practical.

We’re all for a compact stylish three door with functional room inside, but given Honda’s propensity for draining the personality from its concepts on the way to production (at least the ones that don’t look showroom ready), we don’t hold much hope for the Gear. You can check out the full press release below for more information.

Continue reading Honda Gear concept explored at Montreal Auto Show

Honda Gear concept explored at Montreal Auto Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Jan 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Lincoln to adopt Mini-like personalization strategy?

By Jeremy Korzeniewski

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Lincoln MKC Concept interior

There’s no single silver bullet that will cure all that ails the Lincoln brand, and Ford knows that just as surely as we do. Coming out with exciting new models like the well-received MKC crossover counts as several steps in the right direction, assuming of course that the production version is as appealing as the concept just shown at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, but more is needed. According to Jim Farley, executive vice president of Lincoln, one more trick may be “mass customization.”

Put another way, Lincoln is considering ways to allow buyers to customize their new vehicles right off the showroom floor, similar to how things are done at Mini, and, to a lesser extent, Scion, where Farley previously served as corporate manager. Imagine, for instance, ordering a new MKC with a large Lincoln insignia embossed into the leather seatbacks, according to Automotive News.

While we’re not so sure anybody is all that interested in paying extra for more Lincoln logos, it’s a strategy that has proven rather fruitful at Mini. Only time will tell if Ford’s erstwhile luxury division will once again be seen as something truly worth reaching for, and if customers are willing to pay a further premium for customization.

Lincoln to adopt Mini-like personalization strategy? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Honda surprises with Gear concept in Montreal

By Jeremy Korzeniewski

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Honda Gear Concept Study

It’s not often that a major automobile manufacturer debuts a brand-new concept at the Montreal International Auto Show – mostly because it takes place concurrently with the massive show in Detroit – but here we are with the so-called Honda Gear Concept Study Model, which was just uncovered by our friendly neighbors to the north.

According to the automaker, the Gear “demonstrates Honda’s innovative approach to providing the automotive answer for young, urban, Gen-Y lifestyles. Inspired by fixed-gear bicycles… Gear is simple and utilitarian, but also customizable, connected and full of personality.” It is apparently “practical but fun, customizable, connected and affordable. Everything that young, discerning urban buyers would want in a car,” according to Dave Marek, Design Director at Honda R&D Americas.

We don’t know anything else – what might lie underhood, how it is “connected” or at what price point it might potentially be sold at. Check out our high-res image gallery above and the press release below and you’ll know just about as much as we do.

Continue reading Honda surprises with Gear concept in Montreal

Honda surprises with Gear concept in Montreal originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Jan 2013 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Aston Martin celebrates milestone with Centenary Vanquish

By Zach Bowman

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Aston Martin Vanquish Centenary Edition

Aston Martin is marking its 100th anniversary with special edition versions of its V8 Vantage, DB9, Rapide and Vanquish. The automaker will only build 100 Centenary Edition versions of each car. The first of those is the Vanquish, which boasts a special graduated paint finish and sterling silver badges with a unique enamel inlay. Indoors, buyers can expect to find the same Deep Soft leather as used in the One-77, complete with contrast silver stitching and sterling silver sill plates bearing the car’s individual number.

Those who pony up the cash for the Centenary models will also receive a box packed full of exclusive “gifts,” including two glass keys, bespoke key pouches, silver cuff links, a silver Rollerball pen and a pair of Bang & Olufsen headphones. There’s a silver polishing cloth in there as well. Near as we can tell, the Centenary Editions will remain mechanically identical to their non-bejeweled counterparts. You can check out the full press release below and take a look at a slew of special models from the company’s first 100 years in the gallery.

Continue reading Aston Martin celebrates milestone with Centenary Vanquish

Aston Martin celebrates milestone with Centenary Vanquish originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Jan 2013 16:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jon Sibal renders the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7R

By Zach Bowman

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2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7R Rendering by Jon Sibal

General Motors has made it very clear the 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette borrowed more than a few engineering tricks from the mighty Corvette Racing C6R, leaving us to ponder on what exactly a C7R might look like. It seems our friend Jon Sibal was wondering the exact same thing. The designer recently took the time to whip up a rendering of an American Le Mans Series-prepared version of the new sportscar, and the creation looks as sinister on our screens as it did in our imaginations. With its exposed carbon fiber, matte black graphics, yellow lighting and center lug wheels, this rendering looks appropriately sinister.

Here’s hoping Corvette Racing is paying attention. So far, the outfit hasn’t said one word about its own take on the 2014 Corvette, but you can bet your lunch money the machine will give the rest of the competitors in the ALMS GT class something to sweat over.

Jon Sibal renders the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7R originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jan 2013 19:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Detroit: Volkswagen Tiguan and Touareg take the R-Line

By Chris Paukert

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2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

Volkswagen’s Detroit Auto Show presence is big on utility this year, with the CrossBlue three-row concept vehicle occupying the lion’s share of the limelight, both literally and figuratively. But that isn’t stopping Volkswagen from lavishing attention on its already established crossover and sport utility vehicles with new R-Line derivatives. The Tiguan and its big brother Touareg are getting a host of look-faster items to increase their sporting appeal.

On the outside, the Tiguan R-Line receives handsome 19-inch alloys peering out from beneath fender extensions, premium lighting (bi-Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lamps), along with matching side skirts and a liftgate spoiler. On the inside, sportier accommodations include aluminum trim and a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters. As with other R-Line models, there are no powertrain modifications to go with the more aggressive visuals (that being the province of R standalone performance models like the R32), though the suspension has been firmed up an unspecified amount. The Tiguan R-Line will be available in front- or all-wheel drive configuration.

The more upscale Touareg R-Line (not present at the show though revealed by Volkswagen earlier) receives a similar suite of upgrades, including a new body kit, 20-inch alloys, dual oval-shaped exhausts, LED taillamps and special badging. Like the standard model, the Touareg R-Line is available only with 4Motion all-wheel drive, but can be had with the buyer’s choice of either gasoline or diesel power.

Pricing has yet to be revealed for either model, but VW promises both will debut in the third quarter of this year.

Continue reading Volkswagen Tiguan and Touareg take the R-Line

Volkswagen Tiguan and Touareg take the R-Line originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Detroit: Volkswagen CrossBlue previews a three-row future, diesel-hybrid power

By Zach Bowman

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Volkswagen looks to be getting ready to jump into the large three-row crossover game. The automaker has officially pulled back the curtain on the CrossBlue Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

Designers and engineers penned the machine specifically for the Canadian and US markets, and with a plug-in diesel electric hybrid drivetrain, the hulking five-door, at least in concept form, should offer substantially better efficiency than anything else on the market. The drivetrain pairs a 2.0-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with two electric motors for a combined output of 305 horsepower and a ludicrous 516 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch gearbox handles shifting detail, while one electric motor spins the front wheels. The second motor spins the back axle independently, make the CrossBlue a through-the-road hybrid.

As a result, the crossover can pop to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Perhaps more impressively, the CrossBlue can whir around on all-electric propulsion for up to 14 miles at up to 75 mph. Once the diesel four kicks in, the drivetrain can yield up to 39 mpg, though Volkswagen says the hardware can hit 89 MPGe on a full charge thanks to a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Check out the full press release below for more information.

Continue reading Volkswagen CrossBlue previews a three-row future, diesel-hybrid power

Volkswagen CrossBlue previews a three-row future, diesel-hybrid power originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jan 2013 11:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Deep Dive: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Everything there is to know

By Chris Paukert

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2013 is shaping up to be a frantic year for Chevrolet, with over a dozen reveals and launches on its calendar. New iterations of the most financially and emotionally important vehicles to the brand are launching little more than a few weeks apart – the 2014 Silverado (financially) and the 2014 Corvette (emotionally). Better than any other models, these two lines form the bedrock for the Bowtie’s identity and bookend its portfolio. The pickup is the backbone of the brand’s profits (and indeed, those of General Motors) and the Corvette is its spiritual core and flagship.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray will slay a few sacred cows.

It’s fair to say that upon first impression, the new Silverado didn’t exactly bowl over the assembled media – or the Autoblog commenteriat – with what many see as largely incremental improvements. (This, at a time when rivals are rewriting the book on what it means to be a full-size pickup). By contrast, the 2014 Corvette Stingray will slay a few sacred cows along the way to what is its arguably its biggest model-over-model change in decades. And at least at first glance, the Vette appears all the better for it.

We’ll get to the specifics of its genetic makeup and appearance in a minute, but for now, you’ll want to focus on these key bits: The all-new LT1 small-block V8 holds on to the same 6.2-liter displacement as the C6, here producing 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque backed by either a seven-speed manual or a six-speed paddleshift automatic. And although GM has yet to release the car’s weight (we only know it won’t be under 3,000 pounds as previously rumored), it’s promising a better power-to-weight ratio than the Porsche 911 Carrera and Audi R8. In fact, Chevy pledges the C7 will run from 0-60 in less than four seconds and Z51 Performance Package examples will achieve cornering grip of over one g right out of the box. Further, 60-0 braking distances are said to be consistent with that of the outgoing Grand Sport and so are its lap times – impressive for a standard model.

Continue reading 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Everything there is to know

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Everything there is to know originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 13 Jan 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Deep Dive: Lincoln MKC Concept shows real promise

By Chris Paukert

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Lincoln MKC Concept - front three-quarter view

Ford’s efforts to resuscitate its moribund Lincoln luxury brand began in earnest with the introduction of its 2014 MKZ sedan, a model many labeled as the marque’s make-or-break offering. Of course, one model does not a comeback make, and with the MKZ just now starting to trickle into dealers, it will be some time before America’s jury of consumers comes in with their judgment. More to the point, it’s likely to take better than a decade’s worth of products and sustained marketing effort to even begin to figure out whether Lincoln has a shot at redemption or if it will die of Mercury poisoning. After all, rival General Motors has been pouring resources into Cadillac since the late ’90s, and if the sales charts are any guidance, it’s still probably too early to declare its rebirth a success.

Lincoln MKC Concept - rear three-quarter viewCertainly, a brand with Ford’s resources, free of distractions (read: the now-defunct Premier Auto Group and various other side projects) should be able to successfully market a single luxury brand, particularly one with such a rich – if distant – history. Especially now with the Blue Oval enjoying more consumer goodwill than at any time in recent history. So let’s all give Alan Mulally and friends a little room to work, eh?

We can start by focusing on the compact crossover seen before you, the Lincoln MKC Concept. Riding atop the same global C-platform that underpins the Ford C-Max, Escape and Focus, the MKC showcar here presages a production small CUV that will stick its distinctive nose into one of the auto industry’s fastest-growing segments.

Continue reading Lincoln MKC Concept shows real promise

Lincoln MKC Concept shows real promise originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 13 Jan 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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