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minivans vans

minivans vans

  Minivans are affordable people carriers. They appeared in the late 70's with the Chrysler Voyager and the Renault Espace. Crossover slowly but surely taking over the minivan segment.


Chevrolet has just announced that a new minivan will make its way into the “Global Market,” which is the PC term for developing markets. In addition to announcing the upcoming debut, Chevy also teased us with a rather revealing image, for a teaser anyway.

This image depicts a minivan that boasts much bolder styling than your average people-hauling minivan. It features wrap-around headlights that come to a sharp point near the halfway point of the fenders. The windshield rakes rearward at a very shallow angle and its roofline actually has a slight curve to it. Really, this “minivan” looks closer to a crossover than an SUV.

Considering that the developing markets that Chevy has in its targets, Indonesia and Brazil, it is no wonder that it would bear the minivan classification instead of crossover. From personal experience, I can tell you that the term “crossover” is not a well-known one in Indonesia and only a handful of cars, including the Nissan Juke and Suzuki SX4 , bear that classification. We would assume much of the same is going on in Brazil.

The Spin will be available in both a five- and seven-seat capacity, but unlike American minivans, this one will boast hinged doors – again, bearing more resemblance to a crossover. To remain competitive in these developing markets and allow buyers to be able to fuel this new minivan, it will likely boast a sub-2.0-liter engine as its base level, with its smallest engine likely being the 141 PS (139 hp) 1.8-liter four-cylinder in the Chevy Orlando and Cruze .

Given its size and the fact that its closest competitor will be the 2.4-liter-powered Honda Odyssey, which is far smaller than the American Honda Odyssey , Chevy may offer it with an optional 171 PS (168 hp) 2.4-liter found in the Captiva SUV.

Chevy is set to fully unveil this upcoming minivan/crossover in the next few weeks and it’ll hit showroom floors early in 2013. We’ll update you once Chevy releases this additional info.

Click past the jump to read Chevy’s official presser.

We have pretty much all made the joke “Whoa, that [insert inanimate object] just jumped right out in front of me,” but on rare occasion it can actually be true. In the above video, you can see a car driving down a foreign highway with its strategically placed dashboard camera filming what appears to be just another day on the highway.

About 300 feet ahead of the car with the camera is a minivan cruising in the same direction. On the horizon, you can see a large semi-truck hauling something large and square, which ends up being a house. As of that time, this is a strange sight, but hauling houses on a truck is actually a fairly common occurrence.

What is not a common occurrence is when this house suddenly tips over and falls onto the highway, directly in the path of the minivan. You can imagine what happens from there… The minivan plows through the side of this shoddily built structure and goes straight through it, ending up on the shoulder of the highway.

We are pretty amazed at the perfect timing of the entire situation, but we are even more amazed with the ease that the van managed to rip through the house and come out on the other side. Makes you wonder what they built that house out of, papier-mâché maybe.

Anyways, at least in this case, the driver can say to his insurance company “The house just jumped right out in front of me” and actually say it with a straight face. Enjoy the video!


Joining the Honda Concept C in Honda’s stand at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show is the Concept S, a car that’s widely expected the carry the design direction of the future Honda Odyssey .

Similar to the "C" in Concept C, Honda also added symbolism to the "S" in Concept S, which stands to mean "Stylish", "Smart", and "Surprise". Looking at the Concept S, it certainly appears that Honda is venturing into new frontiers with the design of their vehicles. Looking far and away more aggressive than past iterations of the Odyssey, the Concept S comes with a front that shows far more distinct styling, thanks to a completely new grille set-up, slit-like LED front lights, and a swooping hood. Meanwhile, the rear end carries lights that have been merged with the rear window and the chrome strip that runs along the bottom of the boot lid.

Honda has yet to release engine information on the Concept S, but it appears that the Japanese automaker will look in the direction of a hybrid powertrain to put into the production version.

UPDATE 09/12/12: The first official video of the Honda Concept S was released recently showing the concept vehicle out and about on the road. No word yet on whether there’s a production future for the car, but with the release of this video, it could be a positive sign.

The third generation Ford Galaxy went on sale back in 2006 and after a small facelift in 2009, the MPV is ready to enter its fourth generation. Recently, Ford began working on it and the first mule has been caught testing, wearing a completely new front end attached to the body of the current generation.

The next Galaxy will feature a wider track and a completely redesigned front inspired by the company’s Kinetic Design seen in the company’s latest models like the 2012 Focus ,2013 Escape , and the new Mondeo . Under the hood, the future MPV will feature the same engine line-up and gearboxes as the Mondeo , including the latest 2.0-liter Ecoboost with an output of about 240 HP. Also, rumors say that the next Galaxy will be offered with a hybrid powertrain later on.

The new generation Ford Galaxy will be launched by the end of 2012 or in early 2013.

Mercedes Viano/Vito

The upcoming Mercedes Viano has been caught testing again in the snowy condition of North Sweden, but this time the prototype has switched from a white exterior paint finish to a black one. The new Viano will come as a competitor for models like the Volkswagen Multivan/Caravelle, so expect it to have more of a car feeling as opposed to feeling like a transporter.

As previously reported, the new Viano will feature a raised hood and a bigger grille - signs for the addition of new engines and cooling systems. It has been rumored that Mercedes will be offering an AMG version, but we won’t be able to confirm this until 2013-2014 when the new Viano debuts.

The Mercedes Viano will also be offered in a new Vito version - the transporter version. Some rumors even say that the new Viano/Vito will be offered in the US, joining the Sprinter that is already sold here.

Is it any at all possible that a van could have a higher top speed than most sports cars you see around the streets these days?

Normally, a question like that would be treated with such ridicule that it’s not even sane to ask something like it. But when you’re dealing with a German tuner like MTM, then things like this become not only possible, but real in every sense of the word.

In addition to the modified Q3 MTM is bringing to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show , they’ve also prepared a heavily tuned Volkswagen T5. Despite being classified as a van, the MTM-tuned T5 doesn’t perform like one.

All that is due to a ridiculously modified 2.5-liter inline-five engine that is able to crank out an impressive 470 horsepower at 6,900rpm and 461 lb/ft of peak torque at 4,100rpm. Thanks to the upgrades, the T5 is now capable of hitting a maximum top speed of 174 mph. Pretty crazy, right?

Apart from the performance modifications, the T5 also gets the benefit of new components added in by MTM, including the same three-tone vinyl wrap that honors the colors of the German national flag. MTM also fitted in a new set of 20" Bimoto rims wrapped in Michelin Supersport tires.

About the only thing that made us cringe with this program is the astronomical cost of one. According to MTM, their program for the Volkswagen T5 will cost €160,000 or about to US$215,000 based on current exchange rates.

At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show next week, Kia will unveil the new generation Cee’d hatchback, but they already have another variant in the works. An MPV/Crossover model will also be offered to serve as Kia’s version of the upcoming Hyundai ix30 and it has just been caught testing for the first time.

The new Kia Cee’d MPV will be built on the same platform as the upcoming Hyundai ix30 and will come as a replacement for the Carens/Rondo. The new model will be offered in both 5 and 7 seat configurations and will feature a more conventional design language than the Hyundai Hyundai ix30. Expect to see an exterior design similar to the one already previewed by the new Cee’d hatchback with Kia’s new trademark "tiger-nose" grille and aggressive, wraparound headlamp clusters housing signature LED daytime running lights.

The new Cee’d MPV will be unveiled sometime in 2013 and will be fighting against the Volkswagen Touran, the Ford C-Max , and the Mazda 5 , among others.


The Geneva Motor Show isn’t all about fancy exotics and out-of-this-world concepts. Every so often, there are also automakers that look on the practical side of life and present vehicles that cater to a more conservative clientele.

That’s why nobody should be surprised to see Ford debut the Tourneo Custom Concept. For the record, this van, or at least the production iteration of it, won’t be headed Stateside. We have the Ford Transit for that job. But even if were not getting a sniff of the Tourneo, our friends over in Europe and Asia surely will.

To that, they get a pretty cool van that offers some serious specs, including an eight-seat configuration that offers plenty of room and space. It also has a driver-centric cockpit, improved "car-like" aerodynamics (which is a pretty big deal when you’re dealing with vans), Ford’s SYNC system, a rear-view camera integrated into the mirror, and a 2.2-liter Duratorq turbo diesel engine that produces a stout 153 horsepower.

Having said all that, the concept version of the Tourneo will be on full display at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, something that should be a welcome respite for the concept car-infused auto show.

German automaker MINI doesn’t waste a good opportunity to show off some of their newest concept vehicles, especially when you have one of the biggest auto events in the calendar scheduled to open its doors in a few weeks.

On that note, the 2012 Geneva Motor Show is right around the corner and MINI is set to introduce a new concept vehicle called the Clubvan, adding yet another vehicle into their ever-expanding line-up of cars.

Despite still being in its concept guise, the Clubvan Concept is far from some of the previous MINI concepts we’ve seen lately - the Rocketman comes to mind - in that it doesn’t look a whole lot like a prototype but an actual production model.

The design of the concept won’t blow you away, although there are some elements of it that bears attention, including the addition of a partition grille that separates the front passengers from the enormous cargo area.

The car is scheduled to make its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show next month, at which point we’ll have more details to share regarding this rather peculiar looking MINI concept.

It remains to be seen if the British company will introduce a production version of the Clubvan.

UPDATE 04/22/12: You can take off that "it remains to be seen" phrase concerning the possibility of production for the Clubvan Concept. According to Inside Line, public reaction to the Clubvan Concept at the Geneva Motor Show was positive enough that MINI has decided to give the green light for production.

Find out more about the MINI Clubvan Concept after the jump

Mercedes is prepping its lineup for a complete overhaul in the next few years, even for its less than spectacular Viano , which is the passenger version of the Vito commercial panel van. The first generation Viano has been on the market since 2004 and was due for a new look.

At first glance, these first spy images of the Viano look to be a hot AMG version with a raised hood and a bigger grille marking the most grandiose of changes. But, before anyone gets too excited, this is just a mule for the next generation Viano and that raised hood and bigger grille are there to make room for the new engine and cooling systems, which were too big to fit under the old setup.

Expect to see the new Viano/Vito make its public debut in late 2013 or 2014, quite possibly next to a Renault version since Mercedes and Renault are working together on both cars and transporters.

Updated 03/09/2012: The future Mercedes Viano has been caught testing again, this time wearing a black paint under the camouflage.


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