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Geneva Motor Show is still almost two months away, but as usual, we will know nearly everything about it long before the official opening. For example, Kia has unveiled today the first teaser images of a new "provocative and racy new urban concept car" set to be unveiled in Geneva.

The company kept the name a secret, but confirmed the concept will feature the "company’s signature tiger-nose morphing into a mischievous, yet friendly, grille and headlight arrangement, coupled with strong styling lines that exude speed and energy from every angle."

We have also notice lots of carbon fiber used in the front bumper, a new set of wheels and, of course, an overall aggressive presence. Also, we expect this new concept to be a hybrid vehicle, but this is just simple speculation.

Full details on the new concept will be unveiled on March 5th, during the its official debut in Geneva, so stay tuned!

Volkswagen XL1

Last time we caught the upcoming 235 mpgVolkswagen XL1 was back in August. Now our spy photographers have caught the production version of Volkswagen XL1

The production-version XL1 will combine two engines: a small two-cylinder Turbo Diesel Injection (TDI) engine delivering a total of 30 horsepower and a 30-horsepower electric motor. Both engines will send the power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed DSG transmission.

The XL1 will be offered with gullwing doors and an interior that looks pretty similar to the one revealed in the concept version. It will also borrow from its concept cousin the very narrow rear track and the wheels sitting far inside the body. The wheels will be covered by full wheel covers to help the aerodynamics.

The new Volkswagen XL1 is expected to be unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and will hit the market later this year.

Nissan has unveiled a new addition to the Versa lineup at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. This new Versa Note will go on sale in the summer of 2013 at a price of $13,990 and in four different trim levels: S, S Plus, SV and SL Packages.

When compared to the Versa sedan version, the new Note version will get its own distinctive look, feel and added hatchback utility. Design elements have been inspired by the Note designation used in other global markets, and will include steeply sloped front windshield, sculpted front doors and dramatic character lines.

All four models will be powered by an advanced 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a Nissan Xtronic CVT transmission. This combination allows the new Versa Note to deliver an impressive fuel economy of 35 mpg, on combined cycle.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Nissan Verso Note.

Peugeot 308/301

The next- generation Peugeot 308 has been caught testing many times, but the latest spy shots reveal the car during its first winter test. Previous rumors suggested the new generation could drop the current 308 name in favor of a new 301 moniker, but the latest rumors say the new car will keep its 308 name.

The new 308 will be built on the same platform as the Citroen C4 and DS4 , and will be lighter and more agile.

The engine lineup will once again be shared with Citroen models and will include a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, plus an all-new diesel hybrid. Peugeot will also offer the new three-cylinder family in an attempt to reduce fuel consumption as much as possible.

Even if the car is still heavily camouflaged, the new 308 will be a mixture between the 208 and the SR1 Concept car, featuring a more elegant and compact body then the current generation.

Expect the new Peugeot 308 to be unveiled later in 2013.

When we first saw the Honda Micro Commuter Concept at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show , we were pleasantly piqued at what the expected production version would look like. After all, the concept was pretty cool in itself.

What we got when the Japanese automaker finally revealed the production version of the Micro Commuter Concept was underwhelming. To be fair, we weren’t expecting the concept’s funky design to be retained for the prototype model. We know well enough that functionality and practicality take precedence over ostentatious styling. However, if you ask us, what Honda came out with was a little bit of a dud.

According to Honda , the Micro Commuter prototype rides on a new Variable Design Platform, a setup that puts the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery and motor at the rear end of the car to help maximize passenger and cargo room. The Micro Commuter is a certified city car, one whose measurements — 84 x 49.2 x 56.9 inches — affirm that widely known belief. Even the cabin isn’t necessarily spacey. It only accommodates one driver in the front and either one adult or two children in the back.

Is there a unique quality about the Micro Commuter that appeals to us apart from it being an eco-friendly vehicle? All we can come up with is the tablet device that was added to the interior to serve as an energy monitor, a back-up camera display, and a navigation system all rolled into one.

In terms of performance, the combination of the car’s lithium-ion battery and motor allows the prototype to produce an output of 20 horsepower, a top speed in excess of 50 mph, and a range of 37 miles with three hours charge time required to bring the battery to full capacity.

It’s also worth noting that this prototype model will probably undergo a number of changes before the production model arrives. Hopefully, there’s more emphasis on improving the car’s design.

Before the 2013 model year, the top trim level of the Passat in the UK was the SE trim, which was relatively decked out, but lacked some of the extras that most premium sedans came with. In 2013, VW plans to change that by offering up a replacement for the outgoing SE trim level, the Passat Highline. Not only does the “Highline” name sound more luxurious than “SE,” but it also boasts an array of standard features that the SE did not.

This new addition affects both the Passat Saloon and the Passat Estate, which are a sedan and wagon, respectively. This gives the Passat lineup three trim levels in each body style, starting with the base-level S, the mid-grade BlueMotion, and capping off with the Highline. The real test is whether the additions to the top-level trim on the Passat really warrant the price the VW will place on it.

Click past the jump to read the full list of features and more.

Fisker Karma

Fisker began development of a revolutionary car, the Karma , roughly four years ago. At that time, folks were optimistic, excited, and had almost only good things to say about this upstart company. It’s crazy how fast things can change.

As time moved on, Fisker started running into some real issues that would likely destroy many startup companies. The downward trend started with the DOE freezing its loan to Fisker after it had only used about half of the available funds. The next issue was a pair or recalls – one in December 2011 and another in May 2012 – because of incorrectly positioned hose clamps that could cause a coolant leak. And you likely know, electricity and water do not mix.. Then came the fires…

The first fire came about in April 2012, when a man’s house and other two cars were damaged after his Karma caught fire in the garage. The cause of that fire was not known, but it is likely related to the following fire that came just months later. This second fire occurred in August and was easily contained to just the front end of the $100K luxury car. The one good thing to come out of this fire is that Fisker was quick to the aid of the owner and quick to mobilize a group of outside investigators to figure out that it was a failed low-temperature fan that caused the flame.

This final fire brought about the final recall of the Karma, to date. In this recall, Fisker asked 1,377 Karma customers to bring cars in to have the cooling fan replaced. Between all of these issues were complaints from customers about a Command Center that didn’t operate effectively and a “Stealth” mode that wasn’t too stealthy. Adding to those complaints was a very poor review of the Karma by Consumer Reports.

With these issues came a shellacking from the press – automotive and general – and all Fisker could do was try and get its own version of the story out. Well, we just gave Fisker an avenue to air its side of the story in our exclusive interview with Fisker’s Senior Director of Global Corporate Communications & PR, Roger Fisker.

To read what Fisker has to say about these issues and more about its future, click past the jump.

Hyundai has certainly tossed plenty of examples into the ring at the 2012 SEMA show and it has just unveiled another concept car. This new custom car sits on the base of a 2013 Hyundai Veloster , but Hyundai brought in famed car tuner, John Pangilinan, to help tweak it just a little bit.

The majority of the work done to this Veloster was to the body, interior, and sound system, which is pretty standard for SEMA. However, this is not to say that John P. and Hyundai just left the Veloster bone stock in the performance realm. This compact 4-door hatchback (three man doors and one hatch) received just enough engine modification to make it stand out and a tiny bit of suspension work to sure of the often-complained-about handling of the otherwise sporty Veloster.

At SEMA, the Veloster is up against the best of the best, however, so let’s have a look to see how Hyundai did with this project.

Click past the jump to read all about the Veloster JP Edition.

Over the years, we have seen the Renault ZOE make its way into various car shows as a concept car, but nothing ever really came of it. Here we are approaching the 2013 model year and finally, Renault is announcing that it is releasing its first production bespoke EV car in the form of the oft-teased ZOE . Sure, it’s no Ferrari or Lamborghini, or even a Tesla for that matter, but it is progress toward removing ourselves from exhaustible oil.

It is rather surprising to see electric vehicles taking their sweet time developing in European market, as those countries have been hit the hardest and longest with inflated gasoline prices. European buyers and automakers have been relying more on building high-efficiency diesel and gasoline engines, while us folks in the U.S. have focused more on the EV and hybrid routes.

The real question here is can the Renault ZOE make enough of an impact to pull buyers away from these ultra-economical petrol and diesel models? And can the ZOE help start the domino effect that the Prius did here all those years ago?

Click past the jump to read all about the Renault Zoe and get answers to these questions.

A multitude of Volkswagen Beetles will be on hand at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show to show off a variety of custom programs for the iconic vehicle.

One of these models is called the Beetle "Beach Battle-Cruiser" by European Car Magazine. The surf-inspired Beetle has everything you need to make your day at the beach run as smoothly as possible. It comes with all the amenities for weekend runs in the sand, including a roof rack where you can place surfboards and other beach paraphernalia.

The California-looking Bug also gets a slew of exterior updates, including a unique body kit by FMS Automotive that has a deployable shower system. You read that right: this Beetle has its own shower. Moving into more salient upgrades, the Beetle Beach Battle-Cruiser also received a new set of 19" CustomFuchs Performance wheels wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact DW tires and a revamped interior with Katzkin leather seats featuring a midnight black color with matching military green suede inserts.

The Beetle Beach Battle-Cruiser also comes with a performance upgrade, which isn’t all that surprising considering the nature of the event it’s going to. Revo Technik took the lead in this front, adding its own turbocharger into the Beetle’s 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. With the turbocharger, as well as the addition of a new intake and exhaust system, as well as the cursory software upgrade, the Beetle Beach Battle-Cruiser is now capable of producing a mouth-watering 400 horsepower.

400 ponies on a Beetle? Sign us up!


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