compact cars

compact cars

  Compact car is a largely North American term denoting an automobile smaller than a midsize car, but larger than a subcompact car. Compact cars usually have wheelbases between 2.54 metres (100 inches) and 2.67 metres (105 inches). Another definition specifies between 100 ft³ (2800 L) and 109 ft³ (3000 L) of interior volume.

Remember the Rocketman concept Mini unveiled back in 2011? It was a dolled-up three-door hatch that was about a foot shorter than the regular Mini Cooper, and had a panoramic glass roof and a carbon-fiber spaceframe. Its main highlight, besides the fancier looks, was its 78 mpg U.S. estimated fuel economy rating. Initially expected to spawn a production car, the Rocketman remained a concept only. That’s about to change according to Auto Express, which found out more about the company’s new plans straight from Mini head of design Anders Warming.

Details are being kept under wraps for now, as the Brits are still developing the idea, but Warming says the Rocketman could become the base of a Smart ForTwo competitor. “For sure, a Mini should always be a small car , so a new city car would be appropriate for the brand. At the moment, we don’t have the right tech solutions, but we are working on it. We don’t yet have a final solution, you could say," he noted.

But don’t expect to see too much Rocketman in this small, lightweight vehicle. Warming stresses Mini doesn’t plan on using carbon-fiber like BMW did with the i3 . Instead, the tiny city car is more likely to make extensive use of aluminum. "Our concept had carbon parts, but aluminum is more likely. We want to reduce parts, to do more with less."

As for know-how, Mini is reportedly looking to team up with Toyota , who is currently working with BMW on a brand-new sports car . Needless to say, Toyota’s experience with the iQ could help Mini enter a previously unexplored segment.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Rocketman Concept.

Source: AutoExpress

2014 brought the first major redesign of the Kia Soul , but the South Korean automaker treaded carefully and didn’t meddle with the car’s styling too much. A wise decision, if you ask me. Not only because I like the Soul’s unique design, but it also didn’t make sense for Kia to change one of its best-selling models drastically. Sure, I don’t expect all of you to rave about its boxy styling, but the new Soul is quite rewarding when it comes to cargo and interior room, all backed by a comprehensive engine lineup. And it’s highly customizable too for a vehicle in its segment. Which brings me to the latest Soul-related news I want to share with you; the compact just received a couple of new models. These models carry the Mixx and Maxx names and come as high-specification versions of the familiar hatch.

The bad news is that Kia will only sell them in the United Kingdom, with no U.S. availability on the horizon. Still, this is further proof of what Kia is capable of nowadays and we can only hope the Soul range will soon grow in North America as well. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what the Brits have in their showrooms as of September 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Kia Soul Mixx And Maxx.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia was a compact car produced between 1962 and 1978 in both sedan and station wagon body styles. The vehicle was offered in various trim levels, with a choice of gasoline and diesel four-bangers. Alongside the sedan and the wagon, Alfa also sold a number of stylish two-door coupes and convertibles under the Giulia nameplate. These were rebadged versions of earlier Giulietta models. The Giulia range also included the TZ race car, the GTA sports coupe. Axed for more than 35 years, the Giulia moniker is about to make a spectacular comeback to the Alfa Romeo range. Just like its predecessor, the new Giulia will take on the compact segment, currently dominated by the likes of the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 .

Scheduled to show itself to the world in 2015 and hit dealerships for the 2016 model year, the modern Giulia marks the return of the sporty, rear-wheel-drive Alfa Romeos. I think we can all agree this is great news!

Fortunately, the fine folks over at Diseno-Art.com created renderings of the upcoming Giulia. Additionally, according to a tipster who has seen images of the new Giulia, these renderings are the closest to the real thing he’s seen on the Interwebz.

Image credits: Thorsten Krisch.

Images used with express permission from Diseno-Art.com

Click past the jump to read more about the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

Source: Diseno Art

Mercedes-Benz increased production capacity for the CLA four-door coupe back in May 2014 in an attempt to increase the dwindling supply that has affected U.S. sales recently. The increased production proved a huge hit, as sales peaked in July and August. Today, Daimler is taking is a step with CEO Dieter Zetsche confirming the U.S. will get additional CLA sedans , but he refrained from giving specific numbers, Automotive News reports.

Zetsche hopes the additional units will help increase CLA sales in the U.S., a market that has been affected by a tight supply since spring 2014, after the initial allocation sold out. "We could have sold twice as many vehicles, easily, compared to our planning," he said at a press event.

CLA sales in the States peaked at 4,895 units in October 2013 and dropped below 2,000 examples starting February 2014. Deliveries picked up to more than 2,000 units a year in July and August after recording a 1,214-unit low in May, but the Germans are far from meeting U.S. demand.

The baby CLS is made at the Kecskemet factory in Hungary, which added a third shift in May 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLA-Class.

Peugeot launched the 308 in 2007 as the successor to the 307 . The company’s new competitor to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus was based on the same chassis as the 307 but received a redesigned body and a revamped interior. The 308 included a host of gasoline and diesel engines at launch, and it carried over unchanged until a facelift in 2011. A brand-new 308 was unveiled in late 2013, sporting Peugeot’s new design language showcased on the 508 sedan and the 208 hatchback. Besides inaugurating the new Peugeot numbering system where the final digits remain fixed, the 308 received the 2014 European Car of the Year award, beating vehicles the likes of the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S . As we’re moving closer to the 2015 model year, Peugeot is introducing a warmed-up GT model that boasts extra power and sportier looks compared to the standard versions.

This new GT trim is available in both the hatchback and wagon models. Power is provided by either a gasoline or a diesel engine, with both mills being the most powerful of the 308 lineup as of September 2014. Beefed-up engines aside, the GT is also a more stylish proposition for hatchback and wagon consumers, as it comes with a host of unique features inside and out.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Peugeot 308 GT.

Things are looking pretty serious for Audi’s future TT lineup. We’ve reported before about the possible expansion of the TT, making it into various vehicle configurations, but now word from Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s development chief, says a new TT body style is currently in development, though he stayed quiet regarding details. The news comes from the TT coupe’s recent launch in Marbella, Spain.

Audi has already released a concept of a TT iteration, the TT Offroad Concept . Back in April 2014 when the concept debuted, Hackenberg said it “provides an insight into how we might envisage a new model in the future TT family.”

This concept comes as Audi recognizes the growing market demand for higher-riding SUVs and crossover. In an interview with Automotive News market analyst Mark Fulthorpe of HIS Automotive said, “Many image- or fashion-conscious buyers are moving to the rapidly growing crossover sector as a means of expressing their taste.” This movement translates into Audi having to expand the TT lineup to include such vehicles in order to keep the TT Coupe and Roadster alive.

Perhaps the best example of this type of model expansion would be Mini Cooper . Its models all share the same basic structure as the conventional three-door hatchback. Mini now builds a five-door, wagon, coupe , convertible , roadster, and SUV versions of its original car.

Segmenting the market in this manner allows automakers to reach potential niche buyers while offsetting development and production costs. Audi would be smart to adopt the practice, at least for the upcoming 2015 TT and its potential family.

Note: Audi TT offroad concept pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Audi TT crossover.

Although the Lancer nameplate goes all the way back to 1973, the sedan didn’t become the high-performance vehicle we all know today until the early 1990s. It was 1992 when Mitsubishi launched the Lancer Evolution , a beefed-up version of the standard Lancer originally intended for the Japanese market. Its immediate success prompted Mitsubishi to sell it globally, and the Lancer Evo legend was born. No less than ten generations have been developed since then, with the first nine built through 2006. The most recent iteration, the Evolution X, has been in production since October 2007 as a 2008 model year but took a one-year break in 2009 only to return the following year. The 2015 model year will be the last for the Lancer Evo, with the iconic moniker to be retired all over the world.

Having been discontinued in many markets as of September 2014, the Lancer Evo X lives on for the 2015 model year in the United States with a host of updates and new features. Read on to find out more about the final version of the Evo X and the updates it received since its 2010 facelift.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2008-2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

The Volkswagen Golf is one of VW’s cornerstone models. I don’t think anybody will dispute that, given the model’s been around for seven generations. The Golf has been and continues to be loved by millions of Volkswagen fans all over the world. You might even say that ABT Sportsline falls into that group. The German tuner’s affection for the Golf is well documented, so it comes as no surprise that ABT has once again turned its attention to the Golf.

Actually, the Golf R is the subject of ABT Sportsline’s latest program. You all know what that means, right? Expect plenty of power under that hood. In the interest of full disclosure, ABT did not disappoint. The program also has the traditional aerodynamic upgrades, as well as a new set of wheels.

Click past the jump to read about the Volkswagen Golf R by ABT Sportsline

The newly launched Jaguar XE , Britain’s lightweight competitors for the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class , will spawn a new family of models, including coupe and station wagon versions. That’s the word from Car Advice, who got the information straight from Nick Miller, chief program engineer for the XE, at the sedan’s official launch in London.

Miller refrained from unveiling any actual details, but he suggested the XE will get more body styles in the future. A coupe and an estate are the obvious choices for this lineup. Naturally, the two-door will compete against the 4 Series, with a high-performance version to take on the beefed-up M4. "I’ll never say never for the future – we’re looking at all different styles for the future," he said.

On a side note, Miller also hinted that the C-X17 crossover will make it to production on the same platform.

Click past the jump to read more about Jaguar XE.

Source: CarAdvice

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