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minivans

minivans

  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.

Posted on by Serafim

As any respectable modern manufacturer, Mercedes started to develop new technologies to increase the efficiency of its vehicles. One of the models selected to be fitted with its latest technology is the Vito E-Cell, a spacious and practical van designed for those who put interior space and cargo volume at the top of their auto needs list.

The fuel powered Mercedes Vito is one of the most appreciated vans in its class and can even be considered the segment’s leader. Given the fact that the E-Cell version is significantly more efficient than its sibling and offers the same amount of cargo space, it could prove to be a pretty smart choice, especially for commercial operators that are constantly searching for the most cost efficient method of transport.

At the heart of the Mercedes Vito E-Cell sits a pack of high-performance lithium-ion batteries which have a combined capacity of 36kWh. The battery pack powers a 60 kW electric motor and offer a range of 130 km. Unfortunately, the Mercedes Vito’s payload capacity was affected by its electric drivetrain and was dropped to 730 kg from 900 kg.

Volkswagen just launched their third generation Touran back in 2010, but it seems as though the company this model needs a little more work as we have just caught the first mule for the next generation Touran in its testing phase.

The best part is that Volkswagen forget to cover up the goods on this mule, so we can easily see that the next generation Touran will feature an all new front end with a new front bumper, new headlights, a new grille, new engine hood, and new fenders. The only parts that were camouflaged were the lower part of the bumper and the headlights, so thank you Volkswagen!

We can also see that the track will be slightly wider and a few centimeters longer, but that’s pretty much all we can say at this point. More details will should follow in the upcoming months, since the new generation Volkswagen Touran will be unveiled at either the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show or the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

When the Honda Concept S hit the stage at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, two models came to mind, the Odyssey and the Jazz. It is slightly larger than your average hatchback, but significantly smaller than the American Honda Odyssey , so the final production name is up in the air. Keep in mind that the Odyssey in some Asian markets has a much lower-slung roof and a shallower windshield rake than the American version, so therein lays the possibility that it could become the new Odyssey.

Of course, production of the Concept S was never a guarantee, as with nearly every concept car. However, when an automaker produces a video on a specific concept car, you can pretty much rest assured that it will hit production in some form or fashion. That is exactly what Honda has done with the above video.

Seeing the video and people actually sitting in the seats, the Concept S really seems to have more of an MPV type of setup. All of that headroom and the spacious rear seats nearly eliminate it as a replacement for the Jazz, which is closely related to the Fit in the States. Then again, maybe Honda is trying to gain an edge by making the Jazz slightly larger than your typical 5-door hatchback.

Either way, we can say that the Concept S’s style is unmistakably awesome and its potential for release just increased 10-fold by Honda releasing this video.

Hopefully we’ll have an announcement on a production model soon. Those in the U.S., you’ll have to sit this one out, as the Concept S looks like it will be an Asian-market model only.

Source: Autoblog.it

The Volkswagen Caddy, by itself, isn’t really the kind of vehicle that draws attention. Now, when you add that ’Cross ’ designation, it becomes a lot more interesting, especially to the off-road customer.

The model, which is based on the Caddy Edition 30, certainly looks the part of a Volkswagen , thanks to a profile that follows along the same lines of its family. But looks isn’t what sets the Cross Caddy apart because this bad boy is all about rugged functionality.

For starters, the vehicle comes with a protective armor - yup, protective armor! - on the lower areas of the front and rear bumper, the side sills, and the wheel arches. The undercarriage on the front and rear also have their own silver guards while the silver roof rails allow for extra luggage stowing. Finally, a choice of eight body colors, including the Viper Green in the photos, are available as are the new set of 17" alloy wheels.

Inside, the vehicle’s cabin surprisingly comes with a leather trim with grey stitching on various parts of the cabin, including the handbrake lever and the gear knob. We’re not sure why there’s leather on a vehicle that’s fixing to get stained from the off-road, but hey, it does add some semblance of luxury to it. The two-tone front seats are a nice touch and the choice of either five or seven seats gives customers a nice choice of seating options.

One of the good things about the Cross Caddy is the variety of engines it will carry, including TDI, TSI, LPG, and natural gas option. As far as output is concerned, customers can opt for something as subtle as 85 horsepower all the way up to 168 horsepower.

Ford ’s Transit Connect is preparing to enter a new generation and today we have the very first spy shots to prove it. While Ford is trying to keep the model a secret, we expect to see both a passenger model with five and possibly seven seats, as well as a two seater commercial model.

While the prototype is heavily camouflaged, you can easily notice that the front end will be more car-like and borrows some styling from the Fiesta and Ka, especially the head lights and grille. At the back, there are thinner and longer rear lights. This prototype has the roof-hinged one piece hatch, but the Transit Connect will be offered with two side hinged doors as well.

The engine line-up for the Transit will include a 1.6 or 1.8 Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engine, but a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Duratec engine will also be offered.

The new generation Ford Transit Connect will be offered in both Europe and on the US market as a 2014 model.

Kia is teasing us with their new generation Carens, but today at the Paris Auto Show the model has finally made its official debut. However, customers interested in buying one will have to wait until spring 2013 because this is when the model will be put on sale.

The third generation Carens is new from the ground up and Kia hopes to attract new buyers with an all-new platform, it delivers stylish, spacious practicality, with sleek aerodynamics, a cab-forward design, long wheelbase and up to seven seats.

"The new Carens builds on the family-friendly versatility and functionality of its predecessor, and features more athletic and visually dynamic design," says Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice Chairman and CEO, Kia Motors Corporation. "This marks a dramatic shift forward for our MPV contender and brings the model in line with Kia’s distinctive current design direction."

Updated 09/27/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Kia Carens.

Posted on by Alexander +

The Citroen C4 Picasso has already been making its rounds on the testing grounds, but our spy photographers have finally managed to catch its seven-seater counterpart as its takes its turn in the hot seat. The Citroen C4 Grand Picasso will get the extra room from longer rear doors and a boxier rear end, but instead of the expected sliding rear doors there are actually conventional doors in their place.

In terms of power, the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso will more than likely get going with the help of the C4’s normal range of three petrol and four HDi diesel engines with horsepower ranging from 93 HP to 153 mph. The Grand Picasso may also get the hybrid system Hybrid4 already featured in the DS5 and Peugeot Peugeot 3008. These engines will be mated to a variety of transmissions, from a 6-speed automatic gearbox to a manual 5- or 6-speed, or a 4-speed automatic transmission.

Expect the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso to debut sometime in 2013 with sales starting shortly thereafter.

Ever since Fiat brought back the 500 some years back, there seems to have been a renewed approach in bringing their iconic model to a new generation of consumers. In keeping with what’s become a trend in the industry these days - hey there, MINI! - Fiat has gone the route of introducing an extraordinary amount of different models under the 500 line.

The first one that was released was the 500L , a five-passenger model that expands the brand’s style and efficiency in the growing B-segment. From there, Fiat unveiled the 500X , a crossover that’s being touted as a direct rival to the MINI Countryman.

Not content with their expanded line-up, Fiat decided to take it to a whole new level with a minivan that’s being touted as the Fiat 500 XL. We’re tempted to assume that ’XL’ means "extra large," which wouldn’t be too far off considering that the ’L’ in 500L stands for "large."

Recent patent drawings compiled by Carscoop have provided us with the first look of what could very well be the seven-seater 500XL. In order to accommodate the third row of seats, the 500XL is rumored to measure a full six inches longer in the rear overhang than the 500L model, which already had a length of 13.6."

Fiat hasn’t made any formal announcements on the future of the 500XL, although a fair estimate points to the Paris Motor Show as the venue of the 500XL’s debut.

Source: Carscoop

Nissan has announced the first details on the new generation Note - a new global compact car which made its world premiere at the Osanbashi venue in Yokohama. The new model will go on sale in Fall 2012 and aims to become the most user-friendly car in its segment.

When compared to the previous generation, the new Note has adopted a new striking character line - known as the ’Squash Line’ - and an aerodynamic body shape identified thanks to its distinctive front grille, headlamps, and rear combination lamps.

The new Note was built on a lightweight platform and is offered with a choice of two new engines, including the new supercharged HR12DDR (DIG-S) and the HR12DE. The model has also received the next-generation XTRONIC CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) combined with a start-stop system for the new three-cylinder supercharged, direct injection DIG-S engine. With these improvements, the new Note delivers an impressive fuel economy of 25.2 km/L.

Mini is getting serious about expanding its line-up with the addition of a series of new models. Some of them have already been unveiled - like the new Coupe and Roadster - but others only exist due to rumors, at least until now. For the first time, the possible 5 seater van/mpv based on the Countryman platform has been captured by our spy photographers testing in mule form.

As you can see from these spy shots, the front fenders are a lot wider when compared to a standard Countryman and this is due to a slightly wider chassis that will offer more room in the Traveller. The wheelbase is also slightly longer due to the fact that the front wheels have been moved forward.

The new model will be built in order to offer Mini clients a more practical car featuring the typical Mini genes. As expected, the overall look of the Traveller will be very much Mini. The dimensions are compact and the front overhang has been kept short.

Mini’s new van/mpv will be previewed under the Spacebox name and the production car could be named the Traveller when it hits the market in 2014.


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