hatchback

hatchback

  A hatchback is a type of automobile design, consisting of a passenger cabin which includes an integrated cargo space, accessed from behind by a hatch or flip-up window. Hatchbacks are also often called three-doors (two entry doors and the hatch) or five-doors (four entry doors and the hatch) cars.

Jay Leno’s garage is never short on amazing vehicles with loads of historical or performance pedigrees melded into every component. But Jay’s latest guest car is a vehicle with loads of future potential for the mainstream market, though it’s not much to look at.

Starting with a stock Euro-spec Ford Focus , the folks at Ricardo replaced the car’s standard 2.0-liter Duratec inline four cylinder with a 1.0-liter I-4 with a few tricks up its sleeve. The engine features a regular turbocharger, along with an electric supercharger in a setup much like the McLaren P1 . (Ricardo helped develop the battery management software for the P1) Designed as a torque fill, the supercharger is powered by electricity stored in super capacitors. Once the driver hits the gas, the supercharger responds within 200 milliseconds, providing boost until the turbo spools up. Once the turbo is pressurized, the supercharger is turned off.

A belt-starter generator running off the engine powers the super capacitors. And because the 1.0-liter is has a stop/start feature, the capacitors also power the belt-starter generator to restart the engine.

Perhaps the two most impressive aspects of the HyBoost system are its efficiency and overall cost. The old 2.0-liter engine averaged around 32 mpg, but the HyBoost improves on that by an impressive 47 percent – meaning the new powertrain achieves roughly 47 to 50 mpg and nearly 60 mpg highway. Then there’s cost. Somehow, Ricardo is potentially able to include this system in a car for roughly $1,100 over its original sticker price.

Though the powertrain is more efficient, it hasn’t given up any performance over the larger 2.0-liter. The setup makes 143 horsepower at 5,500 and still runs the same 9.2-seconds to 60 mph.

We wouldn’t be surprised to find this technology making its way into products in the next few years. As Jay points out in the video, nothing on the car is break-through technology. All the components were pre-existing, so it’s proven technology and should be easy to manufacture.

Looking decidedly more aggressive than the standard model, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer M Sport proves that with all the additions coming from its new M Sport package, you can turn the 2 Series Active Tourer into something that actually resembles an actual BMW .

To be fair, it’s not really the 2 Series’ fault that BMW wanted to extend its line to include a big hatchback that doesn’t do much in the way of exciting us. But the release of the M Sport package goes a long way in actually improving the 2 Series Active Tourer’s appeal and if anything, the vehicle needs it.

The most important part of the M Sport package is the M aerodynamics package. Notwithstanding all the handling benefits that the aero pack provides, the fact that it makes for a sportier and more aggressive look is enough incentive for customers to add on this package.

Customers can also have their vehicles dressed up in an exclusive Estoril Blue finish to complement all the M badging the car will have. If you didn’t know this baby was M’d up, the constant reminder of those badges on the side will remind you that this isn’t a normal-looking 2 Series Active Tourer.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer M Sport.

With Gymkhana Six already online for a few months now, drift king Ken Block is gearing up for a full racing season.

His 2014 schedule will include events from the Global RallyCross, World RallyCross and the World Rally Championship and, since a new season requires a new car, the Long Beach-born driver got an updated Ford Fiesta to hoon around the globe.

Although Hoonigan Racing dropped the skateboard- and powerboat-inspired graphics for 2014, the blue and black color scheme that was introduced last year continues to adorn the souped-up Fiesta ST . However, the new livery is as original as it gets, now blending a zebra-like animal pattern and retro 8-bit computer graphics.

Granted, it’s an awkward recipe, but it’s Ken Block we’re talking about here. You won’t see him drifting a dull-liveried car — the 2014 Volkswagen Polo R WRC comes to mind — anytime soon.

"Every year I’m challenged with outdoing my livery from the season before," Block said while taking the wraps off the new race car, and we must admit he succeeded.

Block’s first Global RallyCross Championship appearance in 2014 will take place during the Barbados season opener on May 18th.

Click past the jump to read more about Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta.

Every now and then, a car brand comes out with a model that surpasses the standards we set for it. That’s the case with the Audi S1 , and looking at this video of this high-powered version of the hatchback , you would think that the vehicle was built specifically to tackle the snow.

See, the 2014 S1 quattro makes it look really effortless. When other cars would be slipping and sliding their way into potential doom and gloom, the S1 Quattro never flinches, blasting along the winter roads like it was the summertime.

The quattro AWD system is working in full effect there, allowing the S1 to remain in control, while its 231-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine does the rest.

We gotta say, the S1 looks like it’s just playing around the snow there; imagine what its capable of on a clear piece of road, right?

The Middle East no stranger to seeing special edition vehicles, but it did look strange to us that BMW Abu Dhabi would go the route of preparing a special edition version of the M135i . It’s called the "M Performance Special Edition," and to be fair, it does look sprightly, especially the way the Mineral Grey metallic hue combines well with those red and orange accents.

Racing stripes with a checkered flag design also run down the middle of the M135i, which is a nice touch and fits in well with the whole special edition identity BMW Abu Dhabi is trying to convey. Carbon-fiber mirrors add a touch of sporty exclusivity to the mix, as does the new set of M alloy wheels.

All the exterior and interior changes to the M Performance Special Edition are impressive. But that’s the extent of it, because the model doesn’t carry any engine upgrades. Instead, customers will get the same 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that develops 320 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.

BMW Abu Dhabi has an interesting M135i in its hands, but how much attention will it really get in a market so used to getting its supercar on?

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M135i M Performance Special Edition.

Always leave it to Mini to offer some pretty zany add-ons as part of its new Original Accessorites line. In line with the arrival of the third-generation Cooper , Mini is taking its personalization to a whole new level with new design concepts for the exterior and the interior of the vehicle. Sure, the usual roof graphics, mirror caps, and floor mats are still there, but those now fall under the new Mini Design Lines, called Vivid Green, Speedwell Blue, John Cooper Works Pro and Essential Black.

If emphasizing the distinctive character of the new Mini is the objective of these new Original Accessories, then by goodness, the company succeed in doing that. If its not enough that these accessories reflect the youthful spirit of Mini, the add-ons are precisely matched in design and color.

Whether its Vivid Green (youthful and fresh look), Speedwell Blue (sporty flair and tradition), John Cooper Works Pro (passion for racing), or Essential Black (understated and elegant design), each of the four new Design Lines are about as unique to each other as they can get.

So when you want to dress up your new Mini, pay careful attention to what these new accessories, as they all will surely spice up your Mini with new door sill cover strips, exterior and interior mirror caps, roof and side graphics, side indicator surrounds, key lanyards, protective covers, among other things.

You can check out all of the insane options that the Mini Cooper has to offer in the Mini Configurator. It’s also a great way to waste a few hours of time!

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper Original Accessories.

World-record attempts always a pose a risk, especially when speed is added into the equation. By way of his job, French daredevil Guerlain Chicherit knew the dangers involved, but that still didn’t stop him from attempting to break the world record for the longest car jump. Unfortunately for Chicherit, not only did he not break the record, he ended up on the wrong end of a spectacular crash.

Using a heavily modified Mini Cooper , Chicherit was trying to beat the record of 101.91 meters set by Tanner Foust back in 2011.

The record attempt, which was held in Tignes, France , actually got off to a good start and he even got some good air underneath it. But from watching the video, it looked like it got a little too much air, causing the nose to dip around the time the car was about to land.

The Mini proceeded to slam nose first before barrel-rolling a number of times, much to the horror of those in attendance — and everyone of us who have seen the video.

The good news is that Chicherit is doing well, suffering only minor injuries from what was a major crash. Here’s to hoping he gets well soon!

The Mazda3 has been roaming the roadways since it replaced the Protégé in 2004, and despite a "second generation" in 2010, the design remained nearly the same throughout its lifespan. When Mazda announced its Kodo design language would make its way to the 3 in the 2014 model year, I couldn’t help but get excited, as the Mazda6 looked awesome in its new dress. Well, after I drove the Mazda6 , I called up my fleet supplier and specifically requested the Mazda3. They contacted Mazda, and they happily shipped one out to me.

The new Mazda3 was a stunner from the second it rolled into my driveway, I loved the Meteor Gray Mica paint draped over the revised body. Walking up to the car, it looked like a much more expensive car, and sliding into the cabin really kicked thing up a notch.

On the surface, my love for the revised Mazda3 only grew, but did I still love it after a week behind the wheel?

Click past the jump to find out.

After three years of service, the Audi A1 is about to get a major facelift. This couldn’t come at a better moment, as a lot of its competitors, specifically the Mini Cooper , has just come out with a new look.

This heavily camouflaged mule of the A1 gives us an indication of what to expect when all the wraps are taken out. Looking at the photos our spy photographer sent us, the facelifted A1 looks to carry a number of similar styling characteristics with the performance-oriented S1 . The front and rear lights in particular, appear to be similar in treatment to the S1 while, the front bumper, even if its not completely distinguishable, looks to be a new design with an updated grille and new fog lights.

Overall, minimal changes were given, compared to all these next-gen models that are popping up. It may only be three years since the A1 arrived, but is it at all possible that Audi begins thinking about working on a next-gen A1?

We’re hoping that’s the direction it takes, but for now, the 2015 Audi A1 will retain most of its old digs.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Audi A1.

Honda fans in North America want the Honda Civic Type R to come to the US, and they’ve taken to Change.org to make it happen. Listen up, Honda . You gotta give the people what they want!

It’s one of the boldest proclamations of support the Honda Civic Type R has received, and to the credit of those who signed the petition at Change.org, the bold move could work. If it does, we have to give credit to Nikos Stoufis from Northfield, Minnesota, who initiated the petition asking Honda to bring the production model stateside and end what he said was "discrimination against our market."

The man has some cojones, especially when he follows it up by saying Honda has "no excuse anymore" and "if other countries can enjoy the best Honda has to offer, we should be able to enjoy the same rights."

You hear that, Honda?

Well, apparently, it did. Once the signature drive picked up steam, Chris Martin, a member of Honda North America’s Public Relations team, shot Stoufis a reply, saying that while he can’t promise anything, "we’ll take your support of
Type-R into account".

Here’s the best part though, Stoufis petition has already reached the maximum 10,000 signatures.

Your move, Honda.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda Civic Type R.

Source: Change.org

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