Showing posts with label 2010 Paris Motor Show. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2010 Paris Motor Show. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Paris 2010: Mini Countryman WRC looks the part

Mini Countryman WRC

When Mini first announced it was taking the Countryman to tango with the rest of the brawlers in the World Rally Championship, we had our doubts about the crossover's ability to keep the pace. But judging by the look of the Prodrive-prepped machine, the Countryman WRC should have no problem locking horns with the big boys on the world stage. Mini gave the rally racer an official unveil at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, but the company is keeping the drivetrain details to itself for now.

Not too long ago, the internets enjoyed a rash of videos showing a Countryman WRC prototype busting through the hills of Portugal, so we have some notion of the car's capabilities off tarmac. Will Prodrive's expertise be enough to help Mini keep its head above water in the WRC? Something tells us that all depends on who they stick in the cockpit.

Paris 2010: Ford Fiesta RS WRC ready to hit the dirt running

2011 Ford Fiesta RS WRC

The FIA World Rally Championship is shaping up to be particularly interesting in 2011, and the new-for-2011 Ford Fiesta RS is a big reason why. The Blue Oval's latest dirt-spitting racer will contest its first race at Rally Sweden in mid-February, but the Fiesta S2000-based rally car made its debut this morning at the Paris Motor Show.

In typical WRC fashion, the blue and gray Fiesta RS is all gaping intakes, massive flares and skyscraping wings, and needless to say, it looks The Business. Motivated by an EcoBoost-branded 1.6-liter turbocharged four of undisclosed output, the four-wheel-drive RS will get a shakedown run on Spain's gravel roads next week, though Ford says it's already conducted about 3,000 kilometers worth of testing with various engines.

The new car, which supplants the Blue Oval's prior Focus-based WRC car, will be driven by Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen, along with Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila.

Paris 2010: Opel GTC Paris Concept

Opel GTC Paris Concept

If there's one thing we can count on from the Paris Motor Show, it's a slew of sexy hatches. Opel was first out of the gate with the GTC Paris Concept, which the automaker is pitching as an obtainable sports car that can still haul five people if the need arises. Under that creased hood sits a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine good for 290 horsepower, though as small as the GTC Paris is, we can't imagine it would take much to get the hatch to hustle.

We're digging the GTC's hunkered stance, especially in the rear, where a set of flared hips dominate the vehicle's design. If you live in the old country and your mouth is watering at the thought of this slinky German, we've got bad news for you. As of right now, Opel has no plans to bring the GTC Paris Concept to life, but we'd put money on a production version within the next year.

Paris 2010: BMW Concept 6 Series Coupé looks low, flat and mean

2011 BMW 6 Series Coupe Concept

BMW's press conference at the Paris Motor Show won't take place until later today, but the boys from Bavaria left their Concept 6 Series Coupé hanging around on the display's massive curved plinth.

While we couldn't finagle our way inside to take a gander at the interior (at least not yet), the crisply styled GT clearly foreshadows the nearly-here 6 Series production model. The attractive and surprisingly large coupe borrows bits from Beijing's Grand Coupe concept as well as the new 5 Series, particularly in the nose.

When it arrives next year, the serial 6'er will likely be powered by BMW's range of turbocharged and naturally aspirated six-cylinder engines, with eight-cylinder motivation reserved for the next M6.

Paris 2010: Audi e-tron Spyder is what topless hybrid dreams are made of

Audi e-tron Spyder

Audi keeps on growing its e-tron family. The automaker pulled a fast one by unveiling yet another electrified monster at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, only this time, the low-slung hybrid came sans-top. The concept is powered by two electric motors and a 300-horsepower twin-turbo TDI V6 that comes to the fight with 479 pound-feet of torque. Audi says that despite the hefty 9.1 kilowatt-hour battery mounted up front, it managed to keep the weight low and distribute the pounds evenly across the chassis. As a result, this e-tron should be plenty flingable if it ever makes it off of the stage and onto a public road.

Audi says the e-tron Spyder hits the scales at 3,196 pounds and that the drivetrain can be driver-controlled to operate on electric power only at speeds up to 37 mph for a total of 31 miles. The manufacturer says that in city driving, the capability is more than enough to hang with traffic. If not, there's always that juicy diesel V6 to play with.

Paris 2010: Audi Quattro Concept celebrates 30 years of performance

Audi Quattro Concept live debut

Here they are folks, the first live images we've managed to snap of the Audi Quattro Concept that's currently being debuted at the Paris Motor Show. We expect to get much more closely acquainted with the machine over the next couple of days, but until then, take a gander at the machine that Audi crafted to celebrate 30 years of Quattro performance.

Keep in mind that this sucker is packing 408 horsepower from its turbocharged five-cylinder engine and routing all those ponies through a six-speed manual gearbox to all four wheels, making for a power-to-weight ratio on par with that of the Audi R8 5.2 FSI.

Paris 2010: Jaguar C-X75 Concept

Jaguar C-X75 Concept

Yesterday's big surprise at the Paris Motor Show was the range-extended electric supercar from Jaguar, the C-X75 Concept. Built to celebrate the marque's 75th anniversary, the concept looks forward to the future while honoring Jaguar's heritage and design. Featuring four electric motors producing 195 horsepower at each wheel, along with two micro-gas turbines that – in theory – charge the batteries, the C-X75 can top 205 mph and has a projected combined range of 560 miles. Jaguar says it has no plans to produce the car, although it would be more than a worthy successor to the notorious XJ220.

From our vantage point, we're split on the looks. While most of us think it's stunning – especially in person – there's a vocal minority that doesn't think it looks "Jaguar" enough. Truth be told, it doesn't necessarily look like any Jaguar road car ever built, but it's easy to see that inspiration was taken from the 1966 Jaguar XJ13 race car.

Paris 2010: Townpod EV concept continues Nissan's obsession with car as appliance

Nissan Townpod concept

Nissan has revealed its Townpod EV concept, a sort of larger, more amorphous take on the Cube and Leaf. Singularly Japanese in feel, the Townpod is intended to bridge the world of private and commercial vehicles. According to the splendiforously indulgent press release (sample: "The innovative position of the headlights also allows a coupe-esque bonnet line, not dissimilar to Nissan Z, which feeds in to a visor-like wraparound, blue tinted glass house, reminiscent of Nissan Cube, while the galls to body proportions hark back to the rat-rods of the fifties."), the Townpod targets everyone from young entrepreneurs to first-time home builders and retirees looking to turn their hobby into a paycheck.

The barn-doored concept has a bizarrely characterful and friendly looking animated marshmallow-like face, with headlamps that feature blue 'petals' that change position depending on whether they are being used as marker units or headlights. The interior is a flexible space that's designed to accept third-party storage accessories and such, and it's complete with a display that according to Nissan is designed to coordinate with the owner's PDA (who uses a PDA anymore?).

Nissan says that the Townpod has been designed as an EV, though interestingly, it actually doesn't explain the motivational technology underneath the vehicle's sheetmetal. Its mystery powerplant is seemingly appropriate for such a blank-canvas concept, of course. After all, François Bancon, Nissan's general manager of its Exploratory and Advance Planning Department notes that the same blank-slate mindset is true of the car's intended audience: "What is more revealing is that Nissan Townpod users do not appreciate stereotypes or status symbols. For them, the ultimate status is to have no status."

Friday, 8 October 2010

Paris 2010: Peugeot HR1 Concept

Peugeot HR1 Concept


In addition to pulling the sheets back on its new 508, Peugeot unveiled its newest concept at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Called the HR1 Concept, the car is what we would assume would happen if a Prius knocked boots with the SEMA world. Behind the only-a-mother-could-love face, the HR1 benefits from a turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine in front and a 37-horsepower electric motor positioned in the rear of the vehicle. This is a through-the-road hybrid, which means the two powertrains operate independantly and are only connected, well, through the road. Both are bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission, and all told, the company says that the drivetrain is good for a combined "potential power" of 147 hp. Even better, fuel consumption is kept down to 3.5 liters per 100 kilometers, or around 67 mpg US.

In marketing speak, the HR1 boasts an "alternative door structure" as part of its effort to combine as many vehicle body structures as possible. Peugeot says its designers baked elements from the city car, coupe and SUV philosophies into the final look of this hybrid. Surprisingly enough, there are no current plans to bring the HR1 to life.

Paris 2010: Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept in detail

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept

Last night we gave you the first look at Lamborghini's new Sesto Elemento, a concept car that demonstrates the company's latest technologies. At the time we didn't have the opportunity to get a close look at many of the car's details, but we're making up for it today with plenty of new photos and more info.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept, rear viewIf there's one thing that caught our attention about the Sesto Elemento, it's the weight. Lamborghini was able keep its curb weight to 999 kg, or 2,202 lbs, thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber and carbon fiber reinforced plastics. The entire car is essentially constructed from the lightweight materials including the monocoque, front frame, body panels, major suspension components and wheels. With a 570-horsepower V10 mounted behind the cockpit, the San Elemento has just 3.86 pounds to push for every horsepower. Lamborghini claims a 0-100 km/h time of just 2.5 seconds and a top speed of over 300 km/hr, or 186 mph.

While the technical details are impressive, we weren't immediately taken with the exterior design. As our own Chris Paukert put it, "There's a lot going on." What's interesting is that while we don't necessarily like the design as a whole, each of the individual elements is quite stunning. The interior is impressive to see as well, with nearly nothing to hide the structural and functional aspects of the car.

Paris 2010: Lotus Esprit Concept previews upcoming revival of a legend

Paris 2010: Lotus Esprit Concept

Lotus is ready to make a big impact at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. It brought five concept vehicles to the show (more on the other four in short order), and one in particular has us salivating. Lotus plans to revive the much-loved Esprit for the 2013 model year. Before we see a production version of that car, the automaker is showcasing its Lotus Esprit Concept.

Taking cues from the old Esprit, the Esprit Concept plunks its engine amidship, though instead of honoring the turbocharged four-cylinders that powered the originals, the concept makes do with a meaty supercharged 5.0-liter V8. That V8 will look familiar to fans of the Lexus IS-F. The two-seater will produce 620 horsepower, accelerate from 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds and then blast onward to a 205-mile-per-hour top speed. The plan is to bring the production version to market in the spring of 2013 with a price tag around $175,000.

In addition to the massive, and massively exciting ,V8 power, the Lotus Esprit will also be offered with KERS as an option. KERS, or Kinetic Energy Recovery System, is a system used by Formula 1 cars to recover heat energy generated during braking. The energy is stored until the driver wants a powerful boost and with a push of a button propels the car with more force than two bottles of NOS... the big ones.

Paris 2010: Lotus Elise Concept evolves the sports car

2015 Lotus Elise Concept

There's no denying that Lotus had lost its way prior to the release of the much-loved Elise. The company that Colin built had strayed from its roots of lightweight sports cars and drifted towards the exotic realm... and it had drastic effects on the company's bottom line. Thankfully, the Elise and its hard-core cousin, the Exige, set the company back on the straight and narrow.

All of this begs the question, though: How do you update a modern classic like the Elise? Lotus' answer is currently being shown off at the Paris Motor Show. Here are the basics: 320 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine procured from Toyota, a six-speed manual and optional paddle-shifted automatic transmission, and a 2,409-pound curb weight. This supercharged model can hit 62 in 4.3 seconds. Price? $55,000.

For those keeping track of such things, which is to say nearly all of you, that is indeed heavier and more expensive than the current Elise... and that's not good. Fortunately, Lotus promises that there will be less expensive versions of the 2015 Elise available, presumably without the benefit of forced induction. There will also be both hard-and soft-top models on offer.

What all Elises will offer, though, is a more luxurious cabin and easier entry and exit. We're loving the look of the interior, with its pod-like binnacle of instruments, steering wheel with F1-style progressive shift lights and its digital rendering of race circuits for those venturing out the the track. As for the exterior, well, let's just say we're not quite on board yet with what Lotus designers have planned for the brand's future. Fortunately they have plenty of time to change our minds.

Paris 2010: Lotus debuts Eterne hybrid sedan concept



When we think of Lotus, the words "hybrid" and "sedan" aren't exactly the first words that come to mind. Now, though, Lotus is changing all that with the introduction of its Eterne concept, a four-door sedan with an optional hybrid powertrain. This may be a big step in a different direction for Lotus, but it's nothing new. The Eterne takes the same shape as the Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide and Audi A7 Sportback.

Like the new Esprit concept, the Eterne is powered by a 620-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 sourced from Toyota. The optional hybrid drivetrain uses a Formula 1-style KERS energy recuperation system, and the Lotus sedan will be available in both rear- and all-wheel drive. Of course, this is still a Lotus, so good performance numbers are an absolute must, and we're told that the Eterne will run to 60 miles per hour in just 4.0 seconds on its way to a top speed of 196 mph.

While merely a concept at this point, Lotus says that the Eterne is slated for production in 2015 and that the sedan will cost around $190,000.

Paris 2010: Lotus Elan Concept stuns the crowds

2013 Lotus Elan Concept

We didn't see this one coming. Lotus' five-car concept explosion at the Paris Motor Show is one of the most welcome surprises sprung on us in recent memory... and the biggest surprise of all may be this Elan. Lotus says its new Elan is slated for a debut in 2013, which makes us wonder what the future may have in store for the current Evora. Pricing for the 2013 Elan is set at $118,500 (£75,000).

In any case, the Elan is powered by a 450-horsepower supercharged 4.0-liter V6 engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox from Toyota, which offers enough gumption to scoot to 62 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 193 mph. Lotus also promises that a hybrid will be available using a Kinetic Energy Recovery System similar to those seen in Formula One a season ago.

Take a good look at the awesome cockpit of the 2013 Elan. Plenty of carbon fiber, plenty of high-tech goodies, even including a digital race track readout for track days. And could anything be better than that awesome flat-bottom and flat-top steering wheel? No, we didn't think so.

Weight comes in at 2,849 pounds and there is room for a driver and a passenger, but Lotus will also optionally deliver the Elan with two itty-bitty perches out back.

Paris 2010: Lotus shows off its new Grand Tourer, the Elite

Lotus Elite Concept

Lotus continues its march towards global sportscar domination with the 2010 Paris Motor Show unveiling of the Lotus Elite. The Elite represents a step away from "lighter is better" because it is a hefty, four-passenger grand tourer – it weighs in at 3,600 pounds. One of the reasons it's so heavy? It has a retractable, folding hardtop. Don't let the weight throw you off though, this is a good looking, aggressively styled powerhouse. Under the hood sits a modified version of the 5.0-liter V8 out of a Lexus IS-F. The unit is then massaged to produce 611 horsepower which propels the car to a sub-four-second 0-60 time and a top speed of 195 miles per hour. The Elite will also be fitted with KERS for a quick boost of recovered energy.

The front mid-engine layout should help balance the Lotus Elite and make for an exciting driving experience. We expect this car to represent a slightly softer side for the automaker, but that's like saying we expect a bomb to hurt less than a missile. The entire Lotus lineup is poised in attack position, the Elite just happens to wear clothes from the Big and Tall store.

Lotus is aiming to bring this sporty road warrior to market sometime in the year 2014. If you invest your money wisely now, you just might be able to save the estimated $180,000 you'll need to put one in your driveway.

Paris 2010: Kia Pop Concept is a "wild atom" looking for three

Kia Pop Concept

The Kia Pop Concept is a slick little wedge of silver that the company calls "a striking vision of future urban electric transport" meant "to act as a loose nucleus, a wild atom." In case you're wondering about the styling, you can't compare it to anything you might see today. Kia design chief Peter Schreyer says it "looks even further into the future" than even the next generation of vehicles, which means we can look forward to guppy faces and oblong windows.

The face is actually referred to as "Kia's trademark 'tiger nose,'" and the sweeping, uninterrupted glass above it is a tidy feature. The three-person, "non-automotive" seating is meant to provide perfect vision for the driver and passengers, with a swoopy front bench curved to allow a third seat set at an oblique angle in the rear corner.

The future theme goes minimalist with just one button in the cabin and everything else controlled by the touch screens on the Transparent Organic LED displays. LIthium polymer gel batteries keep the juice flowing throughout, pumping atoms to a 50-kW electric motor good for a 100-mile range and a healthy top speed of 87 miles per hour.

Paris 2010: Citroën Lacoste Concept is a fashion buggy for the white belt set

Citroën Lacoste Concept

This is the Citroën Lacoste concept, which the automaker describes as "an emblem for a state-of-mind" – that particular mental state probably including sun, sand, bikinis and Speedos. The open buggy-like four-seater with floating headrests is the opposite of "always more," powered by a three-cylinder engine that will make its pace as relaxed as its occupants.

Fashion and four-wheelers combine all around, with the golf-ball wheels outside and bench seats with a polo-shirt-like weave inside. The dash that's as wide as the car goes in another direction entirely, with readouts in giant pixels popping up and running along its length akin to a Times Square news ticker. And although we probably won't see it on the roads beaches soon, there is a chance we could see it or something like it: Frédéric Banzet, managing director of Citroën, has said he'd like to bring it to production.

Paris 2010: Seat Ibe concept, the zero-emissions sports coupe of the future

Seat Ibe concept

By unveiling the Ibe all-electric sports coupe concept at the Paris Motor Show, automaker Seat showed that it's about ready to go toe-to-toe with some of the big dogs in the world of dreamy battery-powered machines. The low-slung four-seater oozes with style befitting a proper sports coupe and, in red, it's oh so delicious to look at. In concept form, the Ibe lacks the necessary go power that's needed to convince the performance-oriented buyer that it's a real contender in the sports coupe category, but what the Ibe gives up in grunt, it more than makes up for in style.

On to the goods we go. At less than 13 feet in length, the Ibe's smallish size significantly contributes to its low, 2,425-pound curb weight. With a max of 102 horsepower and around 148 pound-feet of torque provided by its electric motor, the Ibe's performance capabilities are very much determined by the vehicle's mass. The battery-powered 2+2 sports coupe runs 0-60 a few ticks shy of 10 seconds and tops out at 100 miles per hour. The lithium-ion battery, with a rated capacity of 18 kWh, should provide an honest 81 miles of range.

Seat describes the Ibe as the "super-compact sports coupe for urban mobility in the near future," and we find no reason to argue with that.

Paris 2010: Renault Dezir concept is wild, twisted beauty

Renault Dezir concept

Don't let anyone tell you that Renault can't do a concept car. The French manufacturer pulled the sheets back on its all-electric Dezir at this year's Paris Motor Show, and the concept is as sexy as it is absurd. Designers took a stab in an all-new direction with a pair of reverse-hinged butterfly doors that are the epitome of awesome. Likewise, the ultra-wide stance and aluminum sideblades are our kind of flashy. As you might expect, this concept makes use of a fittingly-futuristic powertrain. Renault says that under all of that curvy sheet metal there's a full EV drivetrain on hand.

Surprisingly enough, there isn't supercar-rivaling power on hand, though. The company puts the Dezir final horsepower figure at around 150 ponies and 166 pound-feet of torque – not exactly e-tron rivaling numbers. Even so, the concept is said to be able to dart to around 60 mph in just shy of five seconds.

Paris 2010: 2011 Volkswagen Passat says hello in person

2011 Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen was so eager to unveil its new Passat that it revealed the car a day before the Paris Motor Show actually begins. It's received the Jetta treatment to some degree, but the softer looks may actually work better on the Passat than for its smaller brother.

The all-new Passat is intended for an older demographic and the styling seems to reflect that. We look forward to seeing it on our shores. Speaking of which, the 2011 goes on sale in the United Kingdom this October and then will roll out to other European and global markets, not including North America. Us Yanks will wave bye-bye to the Passat next year and welcome the New Midsize Sedan, or NMS, that Volkswagen's developing just for us.