2012

2012

Land Rover was the first to unveil a coupe SUV and it turned out to be a smart move. However, they are not the first to offer a convertible SUV - that move was already made by Nissan with their Murano Convertible - but since the Evoque is enjoying such great success, Landrover figured they’d capitalize on it with a little model expansion. When the British company hits the Geneva showroom floor, they will be ready with the Evoque Convertible Concept, a preview of the company’s future model.

Based on the three-door Evoque, the convertible version comes equipped with a fully retractable roof system with a roll-over protection system. Land Rover said that minimal changes were made to the car’s weight and torsional rigidity, but they are far from being done if they plan on developing a production version.

The interior offers the coolest technologies out there, including leather seats, a Meridian audio system, surround cameras, Park Assist, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch display.

Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern said: "The Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible. This study is not a traditional convertible design execution – instead we have worked with the balance of the Evoque’s lines to retain its distinctive shape and create something that is unique and, we believe, highly desirable."

Is this Evoque suicide or the next logical step? We figure it depends on how conventional the market is and what the weather is like.

Updated 03/08/2012: We have added a series of new images from the car’s official debut in Geneva. Find them in the picture gallery!

UPDATE 03/14/12: In addition to the new photos of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept, Land Rover has also released the first driving footage of the top-less SUV. Check it out by clicking on the photo above.

Rumors have been flying around that say Citroen is preparing a competitor for models like the Volkswagen Golf R and the Renaultsport Mégane RS , and here it is. The French company has offered the first official confirmation of the upcoming DS4 Racing Concept. This first concept model will be unveiled next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

The new DS4 Racing Concept will be finished in a textured-effect matte grey paint combined with a two-tone roof and 19" two-tone wheels with a special DS4 Racing design. The car has been lowered by 35 mm, but offsetting that is a widened track, 55mm at the front and 75mm at the rear. These adjustments make the DS4 look aggressive, as well as more aerodynamic.

The Citroen DS4 Racing Concept is powered by a 1.6-liter turbo petrol engine that delivers a total of 256 HP. It also features a ton of carbon fiber components, including the air diffuser, front splitter, and wheel arch extensions.

Full details on the Citroen DS4 Racing Concept will be unveiled next month during its official debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, so stay tuned!

BMW recently announced their new M Performance Parts, with the M550d , the X5 M50d , and the X6 M50d getting the first additions from the program. The same treatment will also be applied to the 1-Series, but unlike the other three models, BMW has opted to unveil the model as a concept version first. The new M135i Concept will make its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show on March 6th.

The BMW M135i Concept will feature the same design treatment as seen in the previous BMW M Performance models, including a distinctive front apron with large air intakes and a new rear apron finished in Dark Shadow metallic. The air intakes accommodate the exhaust system’s double tailpipe.

The concept is powered by a straight six-cylinder engine featuring M Performance Twin Power Turbo technology with a power output of more than 300 HP. It is also equipped with an M sports braking system and a special set of 18" M light alloy wheels.

UPDATE 02/22/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the BMW M135i.

Hit the jump to read more about the new M135i Concept.

Volkswagen Golf Mk VII

If you want a break from all the news about the upcoming Geneva Motor Show then we have something for you: fresh spy shots of the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf set to be released this Fall at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The model was caught testing in its three-door version, but as you can see, it wears the same camouflage as the previous mule spied.

The future Golf VII will be built on Volkswagen ’s new "Modularer Querbaukasten" MQB platform - that will be seen for the first time next month in the new generation Audi A3 when it debuts in Geneva. This new platform will make the model longer and wider, as well as about 100 lbs lighter than the current generation. Volkswagen Volkswagen will try to keep the Golf formula intact, but there will be changes made to the car’s design, on both the exterior and interior.

It has been rumored that the new Golf VII will be offered with a new range of engines, more powerful and more fuel efficient. Volkswagen will also be offering a plug-in hybrid with 246 HP capable of more than 50 mpg.

Lotus Evora GTE

Just a few days ago, Lotus announced they would be bringing a convertible model to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and we’re betting on it being a convertible version for the Evora . Now the company has announced that their stand in Geneva will be a bit more crowded with the new convertible and the addition of a special edition Evora GTE inspired by the Formula 1 car.

Lotus hasn’t offered any details on the new Evora GTE just yet - surprise, surprise - but the standard Evora GTE is smoking hot and race ready with its carbon fiber front and rear bumpers, a carbon fiber rear wing, and carbon fiber doors. This matches up with a 3.5-liter V6 engine delivering 444 HP for a delectable combination. Whatever Lotus does to the new special edition will just be icing on the cake.

More details about the Lotus Evora GTE Formula 1 Special Edition will be unveiled on March 6th during its official launch at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, so stay tuned!

The second model in Hyundai ’s new i30 family will be making its world debut next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The new i30 wagon will borrow everything from its five-door hatch brother, except, of course, for the fact that its overall length will be increased by 185 mm and it will offer increased trunk space: from 378-liters to 528-liters.

The Hyundai i30’s exterior will be distinguished by Hyundai’s hexagon-shaped grille and jewel-like headlamps. On the side, it has received a pronounced swage line that runs horizontally and rises all the way to the rear lights. The rear windscreen wraps around the D-pillars, increasing interior luminosity and benefiting visibility.

Under the hood, Hyundai will place the same engine line-up found in the hatchback version: three petrol engines and three diesel engines with power ranging from 90 to 135 HP.

Full details will be unveiled next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, so stay tuned!

The 2012 New York Auto Show is still about two months which means we will have to wait that long before the official debut of the new generation SRT Viper . We’ve been lucky enough to get a few teaser images thrown our way by Chrysler, but we want the real deal, and we might just be looking at it.

The quality of the image is terrible with very little resolution, but it looks like a Viper that has been completely overhauled as Ralph Gilles, Head of Chrysler , stated it would be: "there won’t be a part of the car that’s untouched."

Squinting our eyes at the image, we can see a completely restyled front end with newly shaped headlights, front bumper, and hood. These elements blend in nicely with the design of the first teaser image revealing the shape of the new Viper .

There’s no way of knowing whether or not this is the real thing until the New York Auto Show opens its doors. What we do know is that the SRT Viper SRT Viper will be housing a new powerhouse engine that should be able to blow our minds. Rumors suggest this engine could be a variation of Chrysler’s new 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with some form of forced induction or an 8.7 liter V10 engine - the largest engine ever used in a Chrysler production car.

The Audi A3 began production back in 1996 and, after being previewed by the A3 Concept , the car is now entering its third generation. After months of speculation the car has finally made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The new A3 will go on sale in the spring, and first deliveries to customers will be this summer. Prices in Germany will start from 21,600 euros ($28,500 at the current exchange rates).

Audi has use the latest lightweight technology that helped them to reduce the car’s weight by about 176.37 lbs. In the same time the chassis is tuned for a sporty and agile driving style. At its launch, the new A3 will be offered with one TDI and two TFSI engines, with power ranging from 122 to 180 HP.

The A3 is now 13.91 feet long with its front being dominated by a single-frame radiator grille and LED daytime running lights. The interior has also been completely redesigned and has received new materials, workmanship and ergonomics.

UPDATE 03/05/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the third generation Audi A3.

UPDATE 05/07/12: If you’re interested to know how the current Audi A3 came to be in terms of its design history, Audi has presented a new video chronicling the model’s design evolution. Check it out by clicking on the photo above!

German tuner Alpina has released a re-packaged and slightly upgraded program for the BMW 5-Series.

As we all know by now, the Alpina B5 BiTurbo is one pretty awesome car, and Alpina revised the program to make it even more attractive to its clientele. The order of business for the improved program was to take the car’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that originally produced 500 horsepower and 516 lb/ft of torque and give it some minor tweaks, resulting in an increased output of 533 horsepower and 538 lb/ft of torque.

The improvements have allowed the B5 BiTurbo to also improve its performance numbers from a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph to 4.5 seconds and 198 mph, respectively.

Styling tweaks were left to a minimum so don’t expect any drastic changes on how the B5 BiTurbo looks when it makes its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in a few weeks time.

There are no shortages of concept cars and special edition models that are scheduled to be introduced at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show .

One particular model that’s been penciled in to make its debut at Geneva is the Jeep Wrangler Mountain Edition , a special edition 4WD all-utility ride that boasts of a paint finish called "Geecko" and carries a massive V6 under its hood.

Built as a special edition model that definitely caters to a specific kind of market, the Wrangler Mountain Edition features other unique styling cues, including a black decal on the hood, a Mineral Gray front grille, and a choice of other paint finishes. Heck, if "Geecko" doesn’t suit your style, you can opt for more conservative hues like Back, Bright White, Dozer - we actually don’t know what Dozer is - and Black Forrest Green. The Wrangler Mountain Edition also sits on a new set of 17" high-gloss Mineral Gray wheels while also having fabric seats on the interior with Slate Grey stitching and an embroidered ’Mountain logo’.

Under its hood, the Wrangler Mountain Edition comes with a choice of different powertrains, highlighted by a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine that produces 284 horsepower and 256 lb/ft of torque mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. For a more efficient option, the Wrangler Mountain Edition also gets a 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine that produces 200 horsepower and 340 lb/ft of torque mated to the same transmission system.


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