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2012

2012


Over the course of a few days at last week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi managed to release its entire S line-up, breaking cover on the new S6, S7 Sportback, and top-of-the-line S8.

The middle of that pack is the S7 Sportback, which is the sports version of the A7 Sportback released only a year ago. With the onus on improved performance compared to its A7 counterpart, the S7 Sportback offers an entirely new engine that can also be found on the new Bentley Continental .

Aesthetic changes made on the S7 Sportback compared to the A7 are minimal, but with a new 4.0-liter TFSI engine that produces 420 horsepower - a noticeable increase from the 296-horsepower output of the top-end A7 Sportback - that hardly seems to matter. There are enough added horses on the S7 Sportback to take the A7’s performance capabilities to a whole new level. After all, that’s what Audi’s ’S-program’ is all about: take the whole line-up and ratchet up the power to havoc-wreaking circumstances.

Updated 05/02/2012: Audi has unveiled a new promo video for the S7 Sportback presenting the car in action on the streets of Munich for the first time.

Find out more about the Audi S7 Sportback after the jump.

After debuting the new Phantom Series II family at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March, Rolls Royce has completed the lineup with the new Phantom Extended Wheelbase at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

The Rolls Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase features significant improvements in design, drive-train, and technology. It has a striking new front-end design with fully-LED headlamps, complete with re-styled bumpers and rectangular light apertures. The interior gets a modern user interface with re-designed multi-media controller that controls a new satellite navigation system. The driver can take the necessary information from a larger 8.8 inch control center display.

Under the hood, Rolls Royce has placed a V12 direct injection engine mated to a new 8-speed automatic gearbox and rear differential. Compared to the previous model year, fuel consumption has been lowered by 10% on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions for the Extended Wheelbase fall from 388 to 349 g/km as a consequence.

"I am proud to present our new benchmark of automotive luxury in China," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "No other luxury product comes close to Phantom Extended Wheelbase in staging an object of exquisite beauty, effortless opulence and grand theatre. I am delighted that our discerning Chinese clients continue to value Phantom Extended Wheelbase so highly. And with the changes for Series II I am confident that it will continue to retain its position at the very pinnacle of the ultra-luxury goods marketplace for many years to come."


The Fiat 500 is a great little car for anyone who is going on a solo mission, but anyone with a couple of kids in tow may need to look elsewhere. Fiat , well aware of the gap in their lineup, will be addressing this issue at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March with the 500L- an all-new model that expands the appeal of the brand’s iconic Fiat 500.

The new 500L (L stands for "Large") is a five-passenger model that expands the brand’s style and efficiency in the growing B-segment. It will be 163.0 inches long, 70.1 inches wide, and 65.4 inches tall. Under the hood, Fiat will place a choice of two petrol engines - the 101 HP 1.4 liter in-line four-cylinder engine from the standard 500 and a TwinAir version - as well as one diesel turbocharged 1.3 MultiJet II engine.

The Fiat 500L will be produced at the FIAT plant in Kragujevac, Serbia, and will arrive in the United States in 2013.

UPDATE 04/27/2012: Ford has unveiled three new videos for their brand new 500L. The three videos were produced during the "500L: a Fiat design approach" event and include interviews with the Fiat designers: Giolito, Guasco, and Wuppinger.

UPDATE 07/10/12: A fresh new batch of photos of the Fiat 500L has been released by the Italian automaker. Head on over to the gallery to check them all out!

UPDATE 12/18/12: Arguably the funniest music video/car promo now belongs to Fiat and the 500L. The video, called, "The Motherhood ft. the Fiat 500L", stars a young mother with her three infant children, telling us the reality of being in the toughest hood of them all: the motherhood. It’s a ball of laughter through and through, so check it out after the jump!


We know already that Aston Martin is working on a new generation DBS and today, AutoCar is offering a few more details on the upcoming sports car that has been announced to be "a huge revamp of today’s DBS ." The new version will get more aggressive styling, a higher-quality interior, and more power in order to make it a stronger competitor for the recently announced Ferrari F12 Berlinetta .

The new Aston Martin DBS will feature an exterior design inspired by the One-77 supercar with thin plastic panels, a more pronounced rear wheel arch, and more side detailing. At the front, the new DBS will feature a wider grille and a distinctive airdam chin spoiler.

Under the hood, Aston Martin will place a 6.0-liter V12 engine that will deliver a total of 550 HP - an increase of over 40 HP over the current generation. The engine will be mated to a new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

The new generation Aston Martin DBS will be revealed at Pebble Beach in August 2012.

Source: AutoCar

Peugeot unveiled the new Urban Crossover Concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show in China. The company has yet to confirm a production version of the SUV, but they did announce that the new concept offers a new vision of a compact Crossover that is modern and dynamic.

The new Urban Crossover Concept measures 4.14 meters in length and 1.74 meters in width. Up front, the concept received a highly sculpted bonnet and a "smiling" grille shaped in metal. The impressive design continues on the side where the concept received a smooth flow between the raked windscreen and the line of the roof. The car sits on on new large wheels that not only provide a sporty look but also help raise the concept’s ride.

The rear adds specially designed lamps embedded with precision into the body an presenting a luminous Peugeot signature with 3 floating claws using LED technology. And the finally elements are the aluminium spoiler and roof double bubble reminiscent of the sporty and elegant aspect of theRCZ Sports Coupe .


While the official debut for the new baby CLS , also known as the CLC , is still one year away, Mercedes has decided to offer the first preview of the upcoming car with the Concept Style Coupe. The new concept is an evolution of the previous F800 Style Concept revealed two years ago and will make its official debut at the 2012 Auto China in Beijing.

The new Concept Style Coupe comes with design elements inspired by the Concept A-Class and features an interplay between concave and convex surfaces that is typical of Mercedes. Under the hood, Mercedes has placed a 2.0-liter petrol engine that delivers a total of 211 HP, combined with an efficient 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and a 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission.

"The Concept Style Coupe is expressive and powerful in its design", said Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "We are staking our claim very clearly here. This is the model against which sporty vehicles in the executive segment will have to measure themselves in future."

UPDATE 04/26/2012: Mercedes has unveiled a new video for their latest Concept Style Coupe. The video shows Gordon Wagener, the Head Designer at Mercedes-Benz as he offers an exclusive presentation of the Concept. At one point, he goes into detail about the headlamp inspiration, detailing how it was designed to look just like an eye. Amazing!

Hit the jump to read more about the new Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe.


Bertone impressed the world with their Nuccio Concept unveiled back in March at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and now, based on people’s reaction to the concept, Bertone has decided to offer a one-off prototype that was unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show in China.

The prototype unveiled in Beijing is fully functional and will feature a few exterior changes when compared to the initial concept. Bertone did not reveal many details on this new prototype, but the first images revealed show that the company adopted a different, more conventional solution for the headlights, and slightly thicker side mirrors. The concept’s distinctive roof and large, tapered windshield will still be offered.

Under the hood, Bertone will place a 4.3 liter V8 engine that will deliver a total of 480 HP and will mated to an automatic transmission.

This one-off prototype will be going on sale and according to Automotive News, a Chinese car collector is already waiting in the wings to make his purchase. Bertone CEO Marco Filippa said that the asking price for the Nuccio, which took an estimated 15,000 hours to design, engineer, and build, is about 2 million euro, or about $2,650,000 at the current exchange rates.

The standard Lotus Evora GTE made its debut last year at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, with an announcement stating that only Europe would be receiving at the moment. With a pout and foot-stomp, the rest of us were left without Lotus ’ most powerful road-going model ever. China’s temper tantrum was short-lived, though, as they are now getting their own model: a special Evora GTE China Limited Edition which was revealed at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

Lotus’ eminent chassis engineers have adapted the GTE to suit Chinese roads, and the interior comes with more leather and carbon fiber to make it more luxurious inside, without compromising performance at all. Under the hood, Lotus has kept the usual 3.5-liter supercharged V6 engine that delivers a total of 444 HP.

Only 118 examples of the limited edition will be put on sale, making it all the more exclusive and collectable. Each car features a numbered plaque inside, marked with the China Limited Edition insignia.

The luxury and large car market in China is supposed to be ready to grow even more in 2012 and in response, automakers are preparing to meet that demand with new, longer versions of their current models. Infiniti is ready to take on the market with the new M Long Wheelbase at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

The new Infiniti M Long Wheelbase will be offered in two versions: M35hL hybrid and M25L. The M35h L is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to an electric motor for a total output of 359 HP, while the M25L features a 2.5-liter V6 with an output of 232 HP. Compared to a standard Infiniti M Infiniti M , the new Long Wheelbase version features a longer wheelbase that grows by 5.9 inches to a total of 120 inches.

"The Infiniti M long-wheel-base – available in M35hL hybrid and M25 normally aspirated versions – is the first high-end Infiniti luxury sedan tailor-made for Chinese customers," said Nissan Nissan ’s vice president Andy Palmer. "It strikes a perfect balance between outstanding performance and environmental sustainability and brings a new challenger to China’s premium car market."

The new Infiniti M Long Wheelbase will go on sale in China starting June 2012.

Now that Fiat and Chrysler have signed an alliance, the company hopes to make a great return to the Chinese market to take advantage of the fact that it will eventually become the biggest automotive market in the world. To mark this return, Chrysler has unveiled the Jeep Wrangler "Dragon" Design Concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

As its name suggests, the concept features design elements that have been inspired from Chinese culture. These elements start with bronze-gold details inside the front grille slats, headlamp surrounds, and Jeep badging in the front and rear. The same color has been used for a pad-printed engine cover, bolts for the fuel-filler door, and the tail lamp assembly, a Chinese dragon character side badge, and wheel center caps. The concept sits on a new set of 18" five-spoke alloy wheels in matte black with a bronze-gold high-gloss outer edge.

Exterior elements also include painted fenders, a gloss-black applique on the front bumper, and a tone-on-tone dragon decal that starts on the hood and runs down the driver’s side of the vehicle. A dragon motif on a unique carbon-fiber insulator has been mounted under the hood and on the gloss-black spare tire cover.

For the interior, the concept gets black leather seating surfaces with bronze-gold accent piping and stitching. The same dragon motif can be found on the head restraints, while bronze-gold leather covers the outside edges of the seats and front center arm rest.

UPDATE 04/24/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Jeep Wrangler Year of the Dragon Concept.


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