Mini has just confirmed their line-up for the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and as expected, the John Cooper Works Countryman is on that list. The car was caught testing for the first time last winter in Austria, but we have to admit it looks better than expected.
The new John Cooper Works Countryman is based on the current, most powerful version of the vehicle - the Countryman S - that uses a 177 HP turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. However, for the JCW version, the engine’s output has been increased to 218 HP. The car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 7 seconds and will be capable of hitting a top speed of 140 mph (manual version).
The new Countryman JCW will be distinguished by the usual JCW aerodynamic kit, an exclusive selection of paint finishes, 18" light-alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system, and a sporty interior.
UPDATE 09/26/2012: Mini has announced that the new Countryman John Cooper Works will go on sale on the US market at a starting price of $35,550.
Hit the jump to read more about the new Mini Countryman JCW.
Just recently, we reported that Johan de Nysschen left Audi USA to head up Infiniti, and it appears he is already making some necessary changes. According to Car Sales, Nysschen confirmed that it, like many other automakers, is heading away from V-8 engine configurations to help reduced CO2 emissions and help it meet the anticipated CAFE standard of 54.5 mpg by 2025. He was quoted saying: “I don’t think any car that is on Infiniti drawing boards from here onwards we should expect a V8 to be included in that plan”
It is admirable seeing luxury automakers willing to take a step forward to help meet the needs of the world, as fuel prices continue to rise. This is a sharp contrast to his former employer stance, as Volkswagen has spoken out pretty harshly against these upcoming regulations and is one of only a handful of car manufacturers that has not signed the CAFE agreement. We wonder if this was a ideological difference that helped push Nysschen away from Audi and VW.
Keep an eye out for the next generation of Infiniti cars to be lacking the all mighty Nissan 5.6-liter V-8 engine and we are now awaiting Nissan to announce a similar changeover. This would entail changes to the Nissan Titan and NV van lineups. Ford has already shown that a turbocharged V-6 engine works great in a pickup truck and we’re sure it translates well to a van too.
We spend loads of time reviewing sports and supercars that we tend to forget all about the SUV realm. Back in the 1980s, when the SUV was just starting to become the new fad, there were no performance models to speak of.
In the 1990s, we caught a glimpse of out first true performance SUV, as the GMC Typhoon hit the market in very limited numbers. The Typhoon boasted stout numbers, as GM managed to pump a full 280 ponies from its typically underwhelming 4.3-liter engine. To boot, the Typhoon is still competitive today – in terms of speed – as it hots 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds and clears the quarter in 14.1 ticks.
Unfortunately, the Typhoon was only a 2-door model and lacked the typical SUV utility. GMC also produced a little over 4,000 examples, so they were and remain very scarce. What’s cool though, is just how closely matched the Typhoon still is when compared to today’s performance SUVs. It’ll never beat the likes of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT or the Porsche Cayenne, but it can certainly hold its own pretty well, especially for a 19-year-old SUV.
We took a look at the current world of performance SUVs to figure out who is top dog. Click past the jump to find out the results.
Large companies, like GM, seem to have issues keeping new model leakage under control. We are not completely naive, so we do understand that some of these leaks from large automakers are actually orchestrated by the automaker itself to help drum up interest. Still, there is the occasional major leak that some disgruntled design team member decides to plaster all over the Interwebz.
Well, Lada, a Russia-based company much smaller than GM, but a relative success in the Russian market, kept its recently unveiled SUV under such tight lock and key that it took all of us aback when it was debuted at the Moscow Motor Show. The Xray, as Lada has dubbed this concept SUV, is nothing like any other SUV it has ever produced and it looks like something that belongs in a worldwide production model’s lineup. That said, don’t look for this SUV, or any Lada for that matter, to make its way to the U.S.
The styling of this crossover SUV is not something you would expect to see from a budget automaker, like Lada. It does, however, show how Lada’s eyes are on the future, making its cars more stylish and offering up a wider range.
UPDATE 09/06/12: The first official video of the Lada Xray Concept has just gone live. Click on the photo above to check it out!
Click past the jump to read our full review and find out more about the basics of the Lada XRay Concept.
We all know and mostly love the WRX STI that Subaru pumps out each year. The latest model produces a stout 305 horsepower and 290 pound feet of torque through Subaru’s famed AWD system, all for a relative bargain of $34,000. Unfortunately, the STI nameplate has never extended beyond the WRX lineup.
That may become a thing of the past, as Subaru debuted its Forester TS, which is tuned by STI to pump out 259 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque from its 2.5-liter 4-banger, to its newest market – Russia. What in the world does an STI-tuned Forester in Russia have to do with more STI models in other countries? Well, according to a report by Autocar, this is simply a test market.
This test will gauge the demand of an STI-tuned car, besides the WRX, in a market other than Japan. A Subaru insider was quoted as saying “It’s clear that STI’s abilities and experience could work on other cars in other markets,” and “Confining them to WRX projects doesn’t make sense when the demand is there.” This would lead us to believe that if the Russian Forester TS succeeds, then Subaru would be start expanding its STI lineup in other markets, like the U.S.
All we can hope for it that the Forester TS takes hold in Russia and Subaru decides to expand the STI lineup in the U.S. to the Subaru BRZ. We know that’s beating a dead horse, but this insider info really shows that this is becoming more of a possibility. This also points to the possibility of a turbocharged Forester STI coming to the U.S., which could give Subaru some much needed help fending off the turbocharged 2013 Ford Escape.
Who knows, we may just run into a performance crossover SUV war soon.
Hmm, that’s kind of scary... We guess little Billy and Sara would always make it to soccer practice on time.
It was exactly one year ago that we first captured the upcoming Peugeot 2008 on film wearing what looked to be a giant black trash bag as its cammo. Now, Peugeot has taken their new baby SUV out for another testing session wearing a dizzying array of white and black swirls.
The future 2008 was previewed by the Urban Crossover Concept unveiled earlier this year and will take on models like the Opel Mokka, Nissan Juke, and Skoda Yeti. It is basically an SUV version of the 208 and since it shares the same platform, will be about 3.80-3.90 meters long.
Details on the powertrain options are still being kept secret, but it is believed that it will be the first car within the PSA Group to be available as a petrol-hybrid model. The hybrid powertrain will be similar to the one found in the 3008 Hybrid4 (featuring a diesel engine) in which the electric engine and the batteries will be at the back and powering the rear wheels.
Since the new 208 does not offer a station wagon version, the 2008 will be the alternative for those who need more space and practicality.
We seriously lost count of how many times Youngman was blocked while trying to purchase Saab before it was finally awarded to a lower, but more “suitable” bidder. Finally, after numerous swings and misses, Youngman has found a suitable partner in its automobile-manufacturing venture. Ironically, it is with the company he was originally blocked from buying Saab from, Spyker.
Spyker and Youngman have just inked a framework deal that assigns 29.9 percent of Spyker’s stock to Youngman. In turn, Youngman will pay €10,000,000. Of the initial investment, €6.7 million will be used to pay for the 29.9 percent ownership, while the remaining €3.3 million will act as a shareholder loan. The entire deal should be completed within 45 days of the signing of the deal, as that is the time frame that Youngman has to pay the deal in full.
In this deal, the two companies will form a joint venture called Spyker P2P B.V. (Spyker P2P) Youngman will contribute an additional €25 million to this venture and take 75 percent share hold in it. Spyker’s 25 percent share hold comes in the form of technological contributions. Spyker P2P will use this technology to develop the Spyker D8 Peking-to-Paris super sports utility vehicle (SSUV). The $250,000 SSUV is set to launch in 2014 and Spyker P2P B.V. will use its technology to help launch additional models.
A second joint venture, dubbed the Spyker Phoenix, will see Youngman contribute the Phoenix platform technology that he bought from Saab and fund 100 percent of the venture. This will net Youngman an 80 percent share hold on the Phoenix and give Spyker 20 percent — we assume this share is for Spyker manufacturing the car.
This is certainly a great big mess of numbers, but essentially, Youngman is giving Spyker a ton of money and Spyker is providing its technology on one vehicle and, we assume, the manufacture of the other vehicle to gain minority share in said vehicles.
We’ll keep a close eye on this one and let you know if it actually ever pans out or simply fizzles away.
Click past the jump to read the full press release.
It was confirmed that the Juke-R will hit production, based on the 2012 GT-R specs, so this means it is time to pit it against some of the best sports cars on the planet. Car and Driver did just that with a great piece pitting the Juke-R against the best Porsche has to offer, the 911 GT2 RS. We need to keep in mind here that the test-model Juke-R is based on the initial run GT-R’s drivetrain, including its 495-horsepower, 3.8-liter (the video says 3.7-liter for some reason) V-6 twin-boost engine. The production Juke-R will come with the 2012 GT-R specs, including a boost to 530 horsepower, but will also cost about $590,000. No, that’s not a typo.
In the other corner sits the $245,000 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which boasts a 620-horsepower 3.6-liter flat-6 and a significant weight advantage. In the video, this crazy driver decides to take the cars to Bedford Autodrome and put their lap times to the test. Following that test, the team hits up an airfield and puts the two to a 1-mile test.
Putting a 620-horsepower GT2 RS against a heavier Juke-R with a 125-horsepower deficiency typically means a win on all fronts for the GT2 RS. However, this test involves a slightly wet track and the Juke-R features the GT-R’s impressive AWD system, so the Juke-R just may come out on top.
To find out, you’re going to have to check out the video. Not only is the video chock-full of racing action, but it also features some kick-ass slow-motion scenes that will blow your mind and tons of sweet, sweet noise.
British tuner extraordinaire Kahn Design has never seen a Range Rover it didn’t fancy with a tuning program. In this particular example, Kahn brought another Range Rover Evoque] to its headquarters for a nice little aftermarket work. The result is the Evoque Dark Tungsten RS250.
Dressed in a body kit that has a plethora of new components, including 3D mesh inserts and vents on the front grille, the front and rear fascias, a matte black finished upper wing roof, copper details on the headlights, a lower boot lid spoiler, and a matte black finished rear diffuser. Matte black side vent surrounds are also part of the program, as is a matte black sump, copper-finished brake calipers, and last but certainly not least, a new set of 22" RS600 wheels with a matte grey finish and original center caps.
Inside, the Evoque Dark Tungsten RS250 was treated to some luxury goods too. The seats have been finished in quilted and perforated leather with options to use Alcantara inserts. Carbon fiber was used to finish the center console while Alcantara was used as a center dashboard trimming with contrast stitching. There’s also a special finish on the dash and custom floor mats rounding out the interior goodies.
The Range Rover Evoque Kahn Dark Tungsten RS250 is scheduled to be unveiled at the Carfest Show on August 25-26, 2012 in the UK where it will be presented by no less than BBC car guru Chris Evans. Watch out for it because there’s a chance you’re going to be mesmerized by Kahn Design’s latest pride and joy.
After a number of testing sessions, the first details on the new Kia Sorento have finally been unveiled. The new SUV will make its official debut in September at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, with sales on the US market to begin in 2014.
As everyone expected, the mid-life refresh of the Kia Sorento includes a re-engineered bodyshell and enhanced powertrains for best-in-class fuel economy with lower emissions. The revised SUV will also come with an improved ride, handling, and refinement and additional convenience and safety features, as well as a fresh, new look for the exterior. This new look will consist of new headlamps with LED positioning lights, a new tailgate with LED rear combination lamps, new bumpers (front and rear) with vertical-axis fog lights, a larger area of body-color surface, and a new set of 19" wheels.
The interior gets improved materials, a new LCD instrument cluster, a new center stack with a 7-inch display screen, and a new console featuring a straight-gate selector with a leather-booted lever (on automatic transmission models).
UPDATE 08/16/2012:PaulTan is stating that the refreshed Kia Sorento will be riding on a new platform for the 2013MY, a platform that will also underpin the new Hyundai Sante Fe. This new platform will have new, stronger subframes which give more precise location of the suspension components. Other new features include larger suspension bushes, longer trailing arms at the rear, “High Performance Dampers,” and more direct steering. As an option, Kia will also be throwing in their new FlexSteer system which provides three different steering weights. Inside, the Sorento will also get an additional 30mm to stretch out in.
New pics of the interior also show that the refreshed Sorento will seat seven and will have a two-part glass panoramic roof and a new LCD instrument cluster with an 8" LCD screen (seven-inch in Europe). It will also benefit from satin chrome finish for the door handles, air-vent surrounds, and switches.
Check out the news pics of the interior in the gallery provided!