Paris Motor Show

Paris Motor Show

Lotus Evora by Mansory

Partnerships and collaborations have become an increasing trend in the auto industry these days, and we need to look no further than the agreement struck up between Lotus and Mansory to know that the trend is on the upward tick.

The British automaker and the Swiss tuner recently announced that the two companies will be working hand-in-hand with each other for a number of future projects.

While details are still slim pickings at this point, the partnership between the two will make Mansory the "official customization studio" of Lotus with the former working hand-in-hand to build and contribute "bodywork, trim, and special finishes" for some of the latter’s vehicle offerings, including the Evora , Exige , and Elise .

According to Wolf Zimmerman, Lotus’ Chief Technical Officer, the partnership between Lotus and Mansory was sealed to further bolster the profiles of both companies, giving the tuner an opportunity to build programs for the automaker, similar to what they did last year when they debuted a program for the Lotus Evora at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show .

"Mansory are leaders in their field, and having worked closely with them on the Evora GTE and the special editions we’ve unveiled recently, we now wish to take the partnership to an official level," he said. "Together, I am confident we will continue to produce outstanding sports cars, with the bespoke qualities that many of our discerning customers look for."

The official timetable for the first tuning program under this new partnership will be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show this coming September. Be on the look out for that bad boy because something tells us it’s going to wickedly out-of-this-world.

A lot of us might not be familiar with the Facel Vega name, but there once was a point in time when the French automaker was a pretty big deal. That was back in the 50’s and 60’s when Facel Vegas was considered the French version of Rolls-Royce .

Since then, Facel Vega has faded into oblivion, but now there are rumors going around that the company might return from the grave after recent teaser photos revealed a new Vega concept could make its debut at the Paris Motor Show. Some folks are speculating that the released images are nothing more than just design studies from an enterprising young designer, but considering there are a few teasers showing a car draped in a cloth cover, there’s a pretty good chance that these images are legit.

Apparently called the HK Coupe, the concept appears to be a sleek coupe with a fancy LED headlight configuration, a rather curious grille set-up that harkens back to the old Facel Vegas, and an interior that features a full-length center console, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a 2+2 seating configuration.

No mention on what kind of powertrain this new Vega concept will carry, but since the old Facel Vegas ran with HEMI V8 engines, we won’t be surprised if the concept taps into the Chrysler engine once more.

More details are definitely to follow as soon as they become available, so stay tuned!

UPDATE 12/10/12: Details have been scarce on the Facel Vega HK Coupe Concept but new leads seem to have come to light after Facel Vega revealed a new batch of renderings on their Facebook page. Check them out in the gallery below.

Two years ago,Audi began to work on something very special indeed. It was called the Anniversario, a coupe concept that was suppose to show off the company’s excellence and it would debut at the Pebble Beach Concours Weekend. Yet, it was around this time that the world’s market collapsed and this sort of show car fell to the bottom of the priority list.

Now, with the economy back on track, Audi is on the verge of having another record sales year. For years and years, Audi has been in the third German automaker in the minds of many, with BMW BMW and Mercedes Mercedes -Benz leading the way, but those times have changes. They have grown through the years with technological innovations and it just so happens that one of those innovations, Quattro four-wheel drive, is celebrating a birthday. To us, and to Audi in fact, this historical moment seems like the perfect inspiration for the new Quattro.

UPDATE 03/12/2012: During an interview at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Quattro GmbH Product Boss, Stefan Reil, confirmed that Audi has finally made a decision about the production version of the quattro concept. Unfortunately it’s not a desirable one as they have decided there won’t be a production version of the car. The reason behind this decision is that production will require the intense use of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber body panels and many components from aluminum and magnesium, and these elements would jack up the price. (Fourtitude)

Hit the jump to read on.

Volkswagen Golf Mk VII

If you want a break from all the news about the upcoming Geneva Motor Show then we have something for you: fresh spy shots of the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf set to be released this Fall at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The model was caught testing in its three-door version, but as you can see, it wears the same camouflage as the previous mule spied.

The future Golf VII will be built on Volkswagen ’s new "Modularer Querbaukasten" MQB platform - that will be seen for the first time next month in the new generation Audi A3 when it debuts in Geneva. This new platform will make the model longer and wider, as well as about 100 lbs lighter than the current generation. Volkswagen Volkswagen will try to keep the Golf formula intact, but there will be changes made to the car’s design, on both the exterior and interior.

It has been rumored that the new Golf VII will be offered with a new range of engines, more powerful and more fuel efficient. Volkswagen will also be offering a plug-in hybrid with 246 HP capable of more than 50 mpg.

The legend is back! Lotus has unveiled today the new Esprit sports car. Described as the "ultimate Lotus," the new Esprit will go into production at the end of 2012, with first deliveries beginning in late 2013, early 2014. Lotus announced an estimated price of £110,000 ($175,000 at the current rates).

At the unveiling of the Evora S model in San Jose in June 2011, Lotus Cars USA PR boss, Kevin Smith, confirmed that the Esprit supercar would be getting Lotus’ in-house V8 engine and both a manual and a dual-clutch transmission. This V8 engine was originally said to deliver between 550 - 570 HP, but actually achieved 570 HP at around 9000rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at a bit higher than 3000rpm. Lotus Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, says this engine can reach up to 630 HP at 9,400 rpm and 424 lb-ft of torque between 5,500 and 6,000rpm. The V8 weighs in at about 375 lbs, which is about 176 lbs lighter than the original 5.0L V8 Lotus was going to borrow from Lexus. It will be used for both the Esprit and, as confirmed by Smith, an even more exotic Elite .

"One has to be very careful when taking on the challenge of reinventing such an iconic classic as the Esprit – everyone has an opinion. There’s a fine balance between acknowledging the greatness of the past whilst at the same time rapidly leaping forward to the future and ensuring that this car not only does the name Esprit justice but also the Lotus brand. I think we’ve managed to find the balance and in doing so created a new icon, a car people will find hard to resist."

UPDATE 11/21/2011: Lotus officials has confirmed that the next generation Esprit will be powered by a 4.8 liter V8 engine. This new engine will deliver a total of 570 HP in standard version, but the company will be also offering a higher-tuned variant with an output of 620 HP. (Autoblog)

UPDATE 12/12/2011:New details about the future supercar revealed that the Esprit will, in fact, be offered in two versions. A base model will combine a 100 HP electric motor to a normally aspirated V8 engine and a more powerful version will drop the hybrid system and focus on weight-saving measures. (AutoCar)

UPDATE 10/04/2012: According to Lotus Forums, the Esprit has officially been axed. leaving the Elise, Exige, and Evora as the only standing models on the company’s new era lineup.

Press release after the jump.

Source: AutoGuide

Next to the Quattro concept , Audi has also unveiled at the Paris Auto Show the e-tron Spyder, a concept rumored to preview the future R4 sports car. But compared to the previous E-tron concept, this one is powered by a turbochargers 3,0 Liter TDI engine with an output of 300 HP, combined with two asynchronous electric motors with a total output of 88 HP. The result is a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4,4 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph. All this while delivering a fuel economy of 106.92 US mpg.

The E-tron Spyder measures 1.81 meters (5.94 ft) wide, just 4.06 meters (13.32 ft) long and only 1.11 meters (3.64 ft) in height. It features a wide central air inlet, single-frame grille, adaptive matrix beam headlight modules with three-dimensional clear glass covers carbon inserts in the front and side windows and of course 20-inch wheels.

The interior gets a large, display with integrated MMI functions and flanked by two round dials; racing-inspired lightweight bucket seats, contrasting colors and high-quality materials.

UPDATE 10/18/11: The Audi E-Tron Spyder was recently spotted at Mulholland Drive in California doing some test work. And today Audi has unveiled a new video showing the concept in action in Malibu. Also, we have added new photos of the car, which you can check out by heading to the gallery.

Press release after the jump.

Maserati may err on the side of of caution when choosing between luxury and speed, but eventually speed-loving fanatics have no choice but to reveal their road-gripping, fire-breathing side. Alas, we now have evidence of Maserati’s wild side. Just a couple of weeks before the Italian luxury brand was set to unveil their new special edition Gran Turismo at the Paris Auto Show, the company has jumped the gun and released the first official details of the fastest, lightest, and most powerful Maserati in the line-up. We hope everyone is just as intrigued as we were because this is a side of Maserati that should come out more often.

The special edition is called the GranTurismo MC Stradale and is due to go on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2011 with a U.S. launch shortly thereafter. It is powered by a 4.7 liter V8 engine that delivers 450 HP - an improvement over the standard 405 HP - while still offering the same fuel consumption as a standard Gran Turismo. It also comes with an improved aerodynamic down force and will brake the 186 mph barrier.

Inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC and the race-winning GT4 motorsport models, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale special edition has been tweaked and modified as a direct result of the lessons learned from Maserati’s three racing programs. But what makes this vehicle even better is that it’s road legal.

More details about the car will be released closer to its official unveiling.

UPDATE 07/27/2011: Maserati North American has announced that the new MC Stradale will go on sale at a starting price of $139,000. With its 185 mph top speed, this will be the fastest Maserati offered on the US market.

Hit the jump to read more about the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale.

The release of the Range Rover Evoque makes it clear that land Rover is confident enough in the brand to shift their focus from its core values. The explosion of the most recent Range Rover models, including the sport; into mainstream luxury automotive portfolio’s has shown Land Rover that they can compete with the best on every level. No single vehicle matches the current Range Rover in terms of style, capability, and refinement. The major downside to must urban dwellers owning a Range Rover is that they will never fully experience its capabilities as an off-road machine. This is where Land Rover will attempt to fill a need with the Evoque.

Once upon a time someone would mention Land Rover and an image would flash in my mind of a yellow Defender 110 trudging through some African jungle on a Camel Trophy race. Those days may be gone, but Land Rover hopes to enter the forefront of the consumers mind when thinking about mid-size SUV’s full of luxury appointments. The segment is crowded and includes big players from BMW BMW , Mercedes Mercedes , and Audi. It seems that Land Rover has learned a lot from its Ford and BMW days and is poised to release its 3 different versions of the Evoque.

It will be the smallest, lightest, and most fuel efficient Range Rover ever made. The term, “Range Rover ” must be taken with a grain of salt, because yes Land Rover is tagging this new model as a Range Rover Evoque instead of simply a new line. Nonetheless, it seems that prices will fall in the $45,000 range depending on which model you choose. Head to Land Rover’s website to use the Evoque configurator and build your own.

Hit the jump for more details on the Range Rover Evoque

UPDATE 04/04/2011: Land Rover UK has announced that the new Evoque model will go on sale with prices ranging from £27,955 ($44,800) for an eD4 Pure 5-door 6 Speed manual 2WD model to £44,320 ($71,000) for the Si4 Dynamic with LUX Pack 6 Speed Automatic 4WD version. The company has also put up an online cofigurator so customers can configure the Evoque of their dreams.

UPDATE 07/01/2011: Land Rover has announced the US prices for the 2012 Evoque SUV scheduled to go on sale this fall. The Evoque will be offered at a starting price of $43,995 for the five-door, and $44,995 for the coupe. It will deliver a fuel economy of 28 mph on the highway and 19 mpg city.

Press release after the jump.

Ferrari will unveil at the Paris Auto Show the special edition SA Aperta, an open-top version of the now famous 599 . The model comes to celebrate Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary and will be limited to only 80 units.

The SA Aperta is powered by a V12 engine that delivers an impressive 670 HP. It features a low-slung windscreen, a redesigned chassis. Its profile arches back from the A-post to two aerodynamic fins beautifully integrating the two roll-bars which themselves cleverly mimic the outline of the seats.

The interior gets sophisticated materials, trim and colors used throughout. Ferrari announced that each SA Aperta will be an unique model.

In the official press release Ferrari said: "The SA APERTA is a true roadster which allows its occupants to enjoy the superlative emotions afforded by our signature front-engined V12 architecture in a completely open-top setting. In fact, it has just a light soft top designed to be resorted to only if the weather gets particularly bad."

UPDATE 05/09/11: The 80-piece Ferrari 599 SA Aperta is about a rare a modern-day Ferrari can get. Introduced last year at the Paris Motor Show in line with Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary, the Italian supercar is the personification of Ferrari Ferrari limited edition madness. In this new video of the car, YouTube user Marchettino takes us on an up-close look at the limited run 599. Check out the video after the jump and see what the 599 SA Aperta is all about.

Press release after the jump.

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