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.

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.

A few years from now, the Nissan NV200 van will become one of the most recognizable vehicles on the planet, thanks to its future role as one of the primary taxis running around one of the most famous cities in the world, New York City.

But that won’t happen until late 2013.

Until then, Nissan will keep rolling out conceptual iterations of their van, beginning with the just-launched e-NV200 Concept, which the Japanese automaker unveiled in all its glory at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

Taking the same face and color as that of the Nissan Leaf , the e-NV200 Concept is based on the NV200 multi-usage vehicle. It previews what is already expected to be a near-future production version of a full electric vehicle designed to provide businesses or families with flexible, roomy interior space, while achieving a dramatic CO2 footprint reduction.

It doesn’t do much in the way of attractiveness, but considering its clear and unbridled purpose of being an environmentally appeasing ride, we figure we could just focus on its true calling as a spacious zero-emissions ride.

Find out more about the Nissan e-NV200 Concept after the jump.

Sitting in one corner of the 2012 North American International Auto Show is the Chrysler 700C Concept, an attendee that not a lot of people knew was coming.

We really didn’t expect to see it, much less know anything about it, but according to Chrysler , the 700C Concept - it follows in the naming nomenclature of two of Chrysler’s more popular models, the 200 and the 300C - is a concept study on what could potentially be the look of their mini-vans.

The American automaker is using the 2012 NAIAS to gauge the interest on the concept and while Chrysler has made it known that the car is not headed to production, it’s still in attendance to see how the crowd is going to receive it.

Consider it market research, so to speak.

As far as details are concerned, Chrysler didn’t really share any. Judging by the photos, though, the 700C Concept looks pretty svelte and stylish for a mini-van. The profile looks fresh and is dominated by a pair of slit-like headlights. The grilles are pretty much non-existent while the front bumper sports plenty of aggressive details. True to its mini-van roots, the 700C Concept has rear sliding doors, and almost as if adding more flavor, it sits on a set of pretty chromed-out wheels.

Considering the purpose of the 700C Concept at Cobo Hall, we invite you to share your thoughts on the concept minivan. Yay? Or nay?

Just like every other model in Peugeot ’s line-up, the 5008 MPV is also preparing to enter its second generation. It was first launched back in 2009 and its success was almost instantaneous. That being said, Peugeot has to keep up with the times in order for that success to continue.

The new 5008 will be based on a new platform that appears to be slightly wider than the current one, illustrated by the testing mule’s wider fenders. Other changes seen in the spy shots include five wheel bolts instead of the current four and the location of the fuel cap (it has switched sides). But no matter what changes are being done on the exterior, the 5008 will get bigger dimensions, especially on the inside. This will allow up to seven people the room that they need.

The engine line-up will be shared with the upcoming 301 , the successor to the 308 , which means a wide range of diesel and petrol engines as well as a diesel-hybrid. Just like with every other model in the line-up, Peugeot will be focusing on reducing fuel consumption and Co2 emissions.

It’s been a while since we last heard from Daihatsu so it was a bit surprising to find out that the Japanese automaker actually attended the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show with a concept called the D-X, pronounced d-cross. And to make things better for these guys, the concept actually looks good!

We don’t have an answer as far as a production future for the D-X Concept is concerned, although it appears that Daihatsu is promoting it as a Transformers-inspired vehicle that can take the shape of a number of vehicles, including a convertible, a roadster, a sporty van, and even a race car. Talk about taking versatility to a whole new level.

The D-X has a base look that can be shifted in a variety of different ways to suit the driver’s preference. Under its hood, the concept runs on a .66-liter two-cylinder engine that comes with direct injection and turbocharging technology. The words ’turbocharging’ and ’Daihatsu’ are about as likely to be put on the same sentence as Pintos and Ferrari Ferrari s, but the mere fact that it is actually speaks volumes to the strides Daihatsu is making in turning a new leaf for their company.

The Mazda5 isn’t really the kind of vehicle that you’d associate running around the Laguna Seca Raceway so we were a little bit curious to her of one being made for that specific purpose - and be displayed at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show . So consider us surprised to see the beloved minivan get a full-on racing treatment courtesy of Mazda Design.

The first thing that caught our eye about this piece of work of a Mazda5 is the custom graphics on its side that features a map of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS) racing circuit complete with notes and descriptions of the locations of the bathrooms. The custom minivan also received an MRLS logo on the front doors, a striking orange line along the side skirts, lowering springs with height-adjustable perches, and a set of 19" Mazda RX-8 R3-spec forged aluminum wheels, complete with MRLS logo orange dots.

For a vehicle that seems to be as out of place on a race track as a heavyset bouncer is watching the new Twilight movie, the Mazda5 MLRS Support Vehicle does have some endearing and impressive qualities.

Back to top