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.

Posted on by Aravind
Fiat 500L

Thought to be impossible to pull off by many skeptics, it seems that engineers at the Fiat Megafactory are now celebrating with a nice bottle of the champagne (we guess). Why the celebration, you ask? The factory rolled out a Lounge version of a funky white Fiat 500 that is powered by Fiat’s 1.2L 67bhp engine. And, apparently, this 500 happened to be the one millionth example that Fiat has built, since launch in 2007. Skeptics couldn’t believe the fact that an overtly costly, two door hatch pulled-off the feat in 5 years.

The Fiat 500, since launch, was surprisingly a success for the Italian giant. Thanks to the 500, Fiat managed to grab around 13.9% market share in the European market. The following year Fiat managed to sell a record breaking 186,000 units. This is an impressive feat considering the fact that the original Fiat 500, while selling 3.4 million units till end of production at ’75, managed to take four years to sell 180,000 units.

The key selling points of this little hot hatch is its ease of driving around and the plethora of customization by Fiat themselves that the customer can opt for, making each Fiat 500 a unique example.

Do you think the Fiat can sell even more of the 500, say 1.5 million or (we are stretching here) 2 million units? Let us know in the comments section

The last time Opel achieved success in motorsports was 2003 when the Astra V8 Coupe conquered the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race. Since then, Opel has kept a low key profile in racing. All that, though, is set to change when the new Astra OPC returns to racing.

The new Opel Astra OPC has been given some racing juices, and thus, the Astra OPC Cup was born. The future race car is set to compete in the 2013 season and has been built to fully comply with "VLN Endurance Championship" standards, considered as the most popular grass roots racing series in Europe.

In addition to competing in its own brand trophy class as part of the VLN Endurance Championship series, the Astra OPC Cup will also ply its wares in the race that its predecessor once conquered: the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

Full-spec details weren’t announced surrounding the Astra OPC Cup, but according to Dr. Thomas Sedran, Opel’s Deputy CEO, the race car being built plays into Opel’s new direction as a company. These new motorsports activities play an important role in the strategic re-alignment of the company; they are a fundamental element of our brand profile," Dr. Sedran said.

The Hyundai Veloster is a fun little car that possesses enough power without having to be a pocket burner. There’s a certain level of charisma attached to this sports hatch that few in its segment can replicate.

That’s why the Veloster can appear in a promo video like this without looking out of place. The video is actually a promo for the latest version of "Asphalt 7: Heat" — the iPhone and iPad driving game — and a competition that Hyundai is running in conjunction with the game’s developers, hence the Veloster Turbo’s starring role.

The winners of the competition will get a pretty fancy reward: an all-expenses paid trip to Hyundai’s headquarters in South Korea on top of another trip to the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Hop on over to Hyundai’s website to find out more about the competition. Remember, though, it ends this Sunday, November 25, so it’s best to be act quickly on it.

In the meantime, check out the promo video. It makes for an entertaining watch seeing the Veloster Turbo race in the Asphalt 7 world. As a Lego, no less.

World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) race team, Arena, has just unveiled the Focus WTCC Limited Edition - a production version of its WTCC race car.

The new Focus WTCC Limited Edition is painted Arctic White combined with the traditional navy blue racing stripes. The model sits on a set of 18-inch Rimstock Pro Race wheels wrapped in 235/40ZR18 Yokohama Advan Sport tires. For the interior, Arena used lots of carbon fiber, including on the center console, main control panel and sill kick plates.

Under the hood, Arena installed a 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine upgraded by the folks over at Mountune Performance. The engine now delivers a total of 200 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with a Mountune short shifter. There is also a Powerflow exhaust system with a rear silencer and tail pipe that make the engine sound better than ever.

The Ford Focus WTCC Limited Edition will be built in limited edition and offered worldwide.

Not a lot of people know that yesterday, November 15, was actually Guinness Book of World Records day. What better way to get a little extra notoriety than setting a record on a day that celebrates people setting records?

German automaker MINI knows a thing or two about records, so do you think that it’d let a day like this pass without attempting to set a few of its own?

Yeah, right.

First record up was fitting the most number of people into a Mini Cooper hatchback. Last year’s record of 27 was inevitably thrown to the wayside after Mini somehow managed to shoehorn 28 - yes, 28! - people inside the Cooper. Four of those 28 people somehow fit inside the trunk.

On top of that, Mini also managed to have 23 of these same people to fit inside a classic Mini, a car that’s significantly smaller than the modern model that’s out on the market today. That beat the old record of 21 people.

We really don’t know why these records are important other than being pretty useful trivia questions in a future drinking session with your buddies. But hey, it was the Guinness Book of World Records day, and everyone, Mini included, should be excused for trying to put their names on the record books - even for something as odd as these records.

At least they didn’t try to set wearing the most underwear in one sitting like some people did.

Click past the jump to see the video wrap-up of the day’s events, including the Mini record.

Volkswagen Beetle

That didn’t took too long, did it? Volkswagen USA has just announced a voluntary recall for 2012 to 2013 Beetle vehicles, manufactured from February 2012, through August 2012, and equipped with leather sport seats. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), if the right front passenger seat gets wet, the occupant control module may not properly detect the presence of a child restraint installed in the seat.

In this case, during an accident, the airbag will not turn off and the child secured in the child seat may be at an increased risk for serious injury.

As a result, NHTSA advices everyone driving such a model to call their local dealers. Volkswagen will replace the control modules, free of charge, but until this point VW has not provided a notification schedule for the recall. Owners may contact Volkswagen at 1-800-822-8987 or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

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.

European aftermarket companies rarely make the trip to Las Vegas to get into the mix at the SEMA Auto Show , opting for the geographically more convenient Essen, Germany to show their wares at the Essen Motor Show.

Yet every so often, an exception jumps into the fray. Italian aftermarket company Romeo Ferraris is taking the long distance approach by presenting Fiat 500 Abarth Cinquone Stradale USA Tribute model.

As the name suggests, the model is paying homage to the good ol’ Stars and Stripes and serves as the Italian tuner’s entry into the U.S. market. That’s quite a way to make a splash, if we do say so ourselves.

As far as the car itself, it certainly looks like Romeo Ferraris taken the American tribute pretty seriously. The 500 Cinquone Stradale USA Tribute was dressed in red, white, and blue accents, complete with a new widebody kit that includes a ventilated hood, modified bumpers, a refreshed side skirt, extended fenders, and a set of Romeo Ferraris alloy wheels with a Brembo brake system.

The interior was also treated to the full race regalia, including a roll bar, an extinguisher, a helmet storage compartment, a pair of Recaro monocoque sports front seats, four-point belts, leather and Alcantara with red stitching on the cover of the passenger compartment, and a carbon dash.

Under its hood, the 500 Cinquone Stradale USA Tribute packs quite a punch too, thanks to a 1.4-liter engine that drops 235 horsepower. There are a number of mechanical upgrades added into the mix, particularly a sports air filter, a sports mid-pipe, an empowered turbine, a front intercooler, a clutch kit, and a fuel pressure regulator.

That’s only the beginning. There are also new injectors, special pistons and camshafts, Romeo Ferraris synthetic engine oil for competition, an adjustable coilover kit,

It’s not the 300-horsepower capabilities of the Euro model, but with a car of its stature 235 is plenty enough for us.

BMW 1-Series Gran Turismo

Last week we brought you the first spy shots of the BMW 1-Series GT in its production form. Today we are doing that one better by bringing you our own rendering of the future Bimmer 1-Series Gran Turismo, which is set to hit the market in 2014.

As previously reported, the 1-Series GT was previewed by the Concept Active Hybrid and this is where our rendering began. We spiced it up a little by adding some extra goodies to it, including: a chrome-outlined front grille, lower-grille-mounted fog lamps and gloss-black side-view mirror stalks. In another words we made it cooler – well, at least we think it is.

For those of you who do not know just yet, the 1-Series GT will be built on BMW’s new UKL platform and will be offered with a choice of three engines: a standard 3-cylinder engine, a 4-cylinder petrol engine and a 3-cylinder hybrid powertrain that will combined a 1.5-liter petrol engine driving the front wheels with an electric motor for the rear axle.

The new 1-Series GT will make its official debut in the summer of 2013 with sales to beginning later in 2014.

The Seat Mii isn’t necessarily the coolest car on the planet, but any time a car company does something to help out an important cause, we can’t help but notice. The Mii Miinx began its life as a normal old Deep Black Metallic Mii Sport, but in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness month, a Seat dealership chose to make it into a one-off show car.

After pulling this Mii Sport and its 75 PS (74-horsepower), 1.0-liter engine off of the showroom floor of Dales Seat in Cornwall, it was wrapped boot to bonnet in a gloss-pink vinyl wrap. To help add a little more of a custom look to this otherwise bone-stock Mii, the folks at Dales Seat tinted the headlights.

This Seat Mii Miinx comes relatively well-equipped, featuring: 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift, tinted rear windows, fog lamps, and a sports suspension.

The base Mii Sport goes for £11,500 ($18,298 at the current exchange rates), but, as you can tell, this is no normal Mii Sport. There are no immediate plans to sell the Mii Miinx, but Dales Seat has received numerous offers via Twitter and telephone. We’re sure the car will eventually be sold off to some lucky buyer for a good bit more than its base price.

In the meantime, Dales Seat will be donating £100 ($159 at current exchange rates) to Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity for every Mii it sells. Even if you can’t pick up the Mii Miinx, you can still snag up a Mii and have a portion of its profits go to a great cause.

Click past the jump to read Seat’s full press release.


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