BMW unveiled the Concept Gran Coupe today at the Beijing Auto Show, China. It is an elegant 4-door vehicle that previews the company’s future Mercedes-Benz CLS competitor. The concept was intended to highlight BMW’s unique design and philosophy by creating a combination Gran Turismo and sports car.
The Concept Gran Coupe features a long wheelbase, a vaulted bonnet with forward-pointing lines, a set-back greenhouse, a flat silhouette and a coupe-style roof line. The front section is defined by the BMW kidney grille formally separated from other BMW icons such as the headlights and air inlets. The entire rear section appears slimmer and lighter at the center, though still exuding power and dynamic performance since the volume is reinforced towards the sides.
The company revealed not even an inkling on the concept’s specifications. No engine stats. No interior options. We must say, its long build and low-lying structure would be an attainable production model. That is, if BMW ever decided to actually produce it and not just dangle it in front of our faces as a tasty possibility.
Yesterday, we talked about Ford’s EcoBoost technology in their Start Concept. Now at the Beijing Auto Show, Ford has announced that they will also include their EcoBoost Technology in Europe’s Ford Mondeo. The Mondeo will receive the 2.0L I4 EcoBoost engine mated with the new Ford Powershift six speed automatic transmission. This single turbocharger with a direct fuel injection delivery system delivers torque comparable to a V6 engine while fuel economy is boosted by 10%.
“Customers have embraced EcoBoost technology because of its ability to deliver power and performance with uncompromised fuel economy,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for global product development. “We’re committed to bringing this technology to multiple vehicles so that more customers can take advantage of the no-compromise Ford EcoBoost combination of power, performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost works in any gasoline engine, so adding a 4-cylinder engine to complement our V6 line-up was a logical development.”
Along with that announcement, Ford also announced that the 2.0L I4 EcoBoost will be the first EcoBoost engine to go global with the 1.6L and the 4 cylinder following shortly thereafter. They have already revealed the Europen lineup featuring the 2.0L engine: Ford S-Max, Galaxy, and Mondeo will start off the transition. The Ford Edge will receive the engine later this year while Australia’s Ford Falcon will inherit the 4 cylinder engine in 2011.
This announcement comes as no surprise to us. We figured Ford would be running full steam ahead with this technology that cuts CO2 emissions by 15% compared to larger displacement engines with similar power. Cutting CO2 emissions seems to be an important trend and we are sure Ford will be taking advantage of that as any other automaker would.
Lamborghini unveiled the special edition Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce China Limited Edition at the Beijing Auto Show. As its name suggests, this will be a Murcielago built exclusively for the Chinese market and will be limited to only 10 units. Somewhere in China, probably at the auto show, a bunch of Chinese people are saying, "Nani, Nani, Booboo".
The LP 670-4 SuperVeloce China is painted in flat gray with an orange stripe that symbolizes the strength of an erupting volcano (think Icelandic eruption). Also, in a touch of superior identification, all units will feature a numeration badge with the name of its owner.
The LP670-4 SV is powered by a 6.5 liter V12 delivering a total of 670 hp. With a weight reduction of 220 lbs, the Murciélago LP 670-4 SV boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 2.3 kg (5.1 lbs) per hp. It vaults itself from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds and hits top speed at 212 mph. This little sassy sportscar is faster than the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera. Nice.
There will definitely be 10 very ecstatic people in China when they come face to face with their unique vehicle. There might also be 10 very paranoid vehicle owners putting added security on their magnificent rides.
While waiting for the production version of the Volt, Chevrolet decided to tease us with a new electric concept carrying the same nameplate. This time, it’s a crossover. It made its world debut at the Auto China 2010 and comes to demonstrate the potential of the Voltec propulsion system.
The MPV5 concept features the same design as the Volt: a closed grille and aero-optimized lower air dam, a full-underbody belly pan, along with rocker claddings, creased tail lamps and specially designed blades on the rear quarter. The crossover is painted in Sonic Blue Metallic paint and sits on 19-inch Volt-inspired wheels.
And, of course, under the hood there is the same propulsion system with a total of 150 Hp and an autonomy of 300 miles on a full tank of gasoline. The MPV5 can hit a top speed of 100 mph.
We are curious to see what other Volt-like creations are up Chevy’s sleeve, especially since this crossover looks quite dashing. Check out the interior shots.
There’s no end in sight to China’s auto-cloning ways, is there?
Chinese automaker Huatai is on its way to debuting yet another piece of work: the B35 SUV, or as we’d like to refer to it as the part-Porsche Cayenne, part-Bentley SUV.
Seriously, we can’t, for the life of us, figure out why China auto brands can’t seem to develop styling elements of their own and rely mostly on combining elements between two pre-existing cars to make it look like they came up with something so grandiously unique. This B35 is no exception to that. If the similarities to the Porsche Cayenne isn’t enough, they had to make it look a wee-bit more updated by installing a large chrome grille that, we’re quite certain, came straight out of a Bentley.
In any case, there’s pretty much nothing we can do about it and we’ll just have to wait for the Beijing Auto Show to see how the car-loving public reacts to these China-made vehicles, though as far as we’re concerned, we kind of hope that they’d stop with all the rip-offs and copycats and make their own designs.
We’re beginning to wonder if the Chinese automakers are enjoying being labeled as the world’s foremost copycat car makers because we can’t comprehend how they can continue to produce these kinds of ’cloned’ models with a straight face.
The one we’re putting under the spotlight this time is Huatai. This specific Chinese automaker has a few offerings in line for the Beijing Auto Show, including two sedans they’re calling the B11 and the B21. If the stylings of the two cars look eerily familiar to you, it’s because you’ve probably seen them in one or two Bentleys before.
While the car’s exterior is pretty much a Bentley off-shoot, though not a particularly good one, the B11 and the B21’s respective engines are far from being ’Bentley-esque’. The two sedans from Huatai come in a choice of either a 1.8-liter turbo or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that are both far cries from what original Bentleys would have under their hood.
Nevertheless, the two sedans are primed to make their debuts at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show and we’re quite certain that they, along with a lot of other China-cloned vehicles, will receive their fair share of attention. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is entirely subjective.
Ford unveiled the Start Concept today at the Beijing International Auto Show. This marks Ford’s first concept car in over three years and its simple design addresses the growing problems we have with fuel efficiency, traffic congestion, and parking space. "Our ambition with the Ford Start Concept was to design a car that goes beyond the practical realities of commuting in these mega cities, to go beyond just dressing the technology. We wanted to design a car you would also love," explained Freeman Thomas, Design Director, Ford Motor Company.
The Start Concept is powered by a 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine that delivers the same amount of power and torque as a normally-aspirated I-4 powerplant. This engine is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission which permits gear spacing to deliver performance without sacrificing fuel economy.
The concepts gets a smooth exterior shell constructed with lightweight composite body panels that snap-fit on an aluminum structure. "With the Ford Start Concept, we didn’t set out to design some sort of utilitarian concept to save the world, nor were we interested in following the competitive trend toward an overly noisy design language. What we did set out to do was design a personality driven car that exudes warmth, charm and aspiration…to design a car worth bonding with," said J Mays, Group Vice President Design and Chief Creative Officer, Ford Motor Company.
This concept reminds us of a little beetle big, although not of the Volkswagen variety. Simply put, the car can be described as cute which may lead to a hard sell for the more masculine portion of our urban community. It’s not ideal for passengers either. Sorry kids, mommy has to save on gas. All kidding aside, we do think this is a great combination of fuel efficiency and simplistic design. We also see how this attractive car could appeal to the masses. Ford may be on to something and the possibility of this concept’s engine transferring over to Ford’s smaller vehicles like the Fiesta and the Focus, is something we can see happening. We have to wonder what this will do to the likes of Chevrolet. Do we see a slightly modified Chevy Cruze or Eco in our future?
If the Russians are known for their over-the-top car tuning antics, the Chinese have undoubtedly cast their own reputation as auto copycats. We don’t need to relieve some of the cars they’ve used as "inspiration" before; all we need to show is what Beijing Auto Works is planning to reveal at the forthcoming Beijing Motor Show.
The Chinese carmaker is prepping up for their hometown motor show by revealing a number of SUVs that certainly aren’t ripe with creativity. Among them includes the BAW "007" in an obvious reference to Her Majesty’s best secret agent, which, ironically, he probably wouldn’t be caught dead driving. There’s also the BAW B90, which looks eerily similar to a Land Rover, a BAW B40, which is supposedly a smaller-scale version of the B90 but - no surprise here - looks like a marriage between a Jeep Wrangler and a Land Rover. There’s also the C71 sedan that bears a striking resemblance to the 2009 Saab 9-5. Last, but not least, is the C30 EV, an electric hatchback model that blatantly stole the ’C30’ tag from Volvo.
Audi unveiled the long wheelbase version of the A8 luxury sedan today at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show. Compared to a standard A8, the L version is 130 mm longer. It is built on an aluminum chassis using the Audi Space Frame (ASF) that helps reduce the weight by about 40% compared to a comparable steel body.
The top version, the Audi A8 L W12 quattro, uses a twelve cylinder engine (four rows of three cylinders with a 15-degree included angle between the two offset rows of cylinders in each broad cylinder block) that delivers an impressive 500 hp and 460.98 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. The result is a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, while top speed remains limited to 155 mph.
The L version is distinguished by a single-frame radiator grille with integral grid structure painted in high-gloss black finish and special chromed horizontal bars, chromed inserts of new design in the air inlets, and chromed applications on the exterior mirrors, W12 badges displayed on the single-frame grille and at the rear of the car and the exhaust system with two trapezoidal-pattern tailpipe trims integrated into the rear bumper.
Cosmetic surgery is quite popular nowadays. In fact, even Mercedes’ luxury brand, Maybach, will be seeing a little bit of a facelift before its ultimate descent into the automobile graveyard. As the next generation of the Mercedes S class gets taken to the next level, Maybach will turn into a thing of the past, but not before getting some new grilles and LED lights on its current three models. After the Maybach’s debut at the Beijing Auto Show in April, sources say that Mercedes will let the brand slip away into darkness and bring to light the new, higher tech S class.
The new S class is said to debut in 2014 and are rumored to contain many of the features found in the F800. The technologies include:
Traffic Jam Assist: A cruise control system that accelerates and decelerates by itself and can even follow turns up to 25MPH.
Range on Map System: Shows about how far the car can travel as a 360-degree graphic.
HMI Control System: This unique technology will record the hand gestures of the driver so it can then interpret the applications the driver wants to operate.
Multi-Drive Platform: Can be fitted with either a hydrogen fuel cell or plug-in hybrid system.
Check back for more updates on the future of the Mercedes S Class.