Paris Motor Show

Paris Motor Show

Lotus ’ plan of reinventing its brand after years of mediocrity is looking less and less like wishful thinking after the company officially released initial details of their future hybrid supercar, the 2014 Elite.

It’s been widely known that the British sports car maker is aggressively pushing to remake their entire portfolio to cater to a more upper echelon consumer base and if everything goes according to plan, the 2014 Elite should be the first of many aggressively designed sports cars the company is looking to introduce to the market.

Word has it that the Elite will be powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces around 500-plus horsepower with a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed of just under 200 mph at 196 mph. If these numbers are anywhere close to what the production version of the Elite will be capable of, then you can expect the supercar, with the aggressive backing of the company, to be a player in a market long dominated by the likes of Aston Martin , Audi and Porsche . Even the car’s expected price tag - £115,000 – is right up there with the Porsches of the world.

As for the new – and aggressive – design of the car, the man behind it, designer Donato Coco, left no stones unturned in giving the Elite a more aggressive approach by adding some depth to the car’s front fascia. As somebody who noted the two-dimensional looks of prior Lotus vehicles, Coco’s design of the Elite is about as good as it can get for a brand looking to be edgier and more upscale that what its previous reputation suggests.

Updated 10/13/2010: Lotus revealed today new images of the future Elite sports car. Check them out!

Updated 12/22/2010: Lotus has revealed some new studio photos of the Elite. Check them out in the gallery!

Press Release after the jump

BMW has unveiled the second generation X3 SUV in 2010 at the Paris Auto Show. The model has received a new exterior and interior, but also improved engines. And only after one year of production BMW has decided to add another two new models to the line-up: BMW X3 xDrive20i and the BMW X3 xDrive35d. The two new versions will be put on sale in the autumn of 2011.

On the exterior the second generation X3 has received a forward-slanting BMW kidney grille, a large headlight assembly, a powerful-looking front apron, and a bonnet boasting six contour lines sweeping down to meet at the kidney grill. The new X3 will also feature chromed trims on the sides, powerfully flared wheel arches, and taillights with a distinctive T shape. The interior is defined by a generous and variable spatial concept, high-grade materials, and a characteristic three-dimensional surface design.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2011-2012 BMW X3.

Ferrari has unveiled a special California at the Paris Auto Show. What makes it so special is a new HELE (High Emotion Low Emissions) system designed to reduce the environmental impact of its cars whilst boosting their performance and driving pleasure. With the use of the new HELE system, California delivers an emission improved by 23%.

HELE incorporates new intelligent engine fan and fuel pump control, electronic air-conditioning compressor displacement control and a gear-shift pattern that adapts to driving style. Next to it Ferrari is also offering the Stop&Start system which restarts the car in just 230 milliseconds.

Next to this amazing system Ferrari is also offering its customers the possibility to customize their California. Clients will be able to choose from four traditional areas: Racing and Track, Exteriors and Colors, Interiors and Materials, and Equipment and Travel. Options include: 16 basic colors, 19” wheel rims or sportier forged 20” versions with either colored or diamond finish, carbon fiber elements, leather, Alcantara® upholstery or any of a wide range of carbon-fiber trim elements.

Updated 12/03/2010: Ferrari has unveiled a new video in which they explain how the new HELE system works. For those uninterested in the technology behind the vehicle, you can always check out the video to see a few more shots of the California. Enjoy!

Press release after the jump.

After six teaser images, Lamborghini has finally unwrapped the Sesto Elemento. The concept comes with an overall curb weight of just 2,202 lbs, a V10 power unit, and permanent all-wheel drive, as well as innovative carbon-fiber technologies. The concept is the only vehicle manufactured in the world to have mastered the complete CFRP process across a range of technologies, from 3D design through simulation, validation, production, and testing

The V10 engine delivers an amazing 570 HP and has a power-to-weight ratio of only 1.75 kilograms per hp. This allows the concept to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a sensational 2.5 seconds, while top speed will be higher than 186 mph.

The Sesto Elemento features a lightweight carbon-fiber structure with the entire front frame, exterior panels, and crash boxes also made of CFRP. The major suspension components and the rims are also made from carbon fiber and the tailpipes are made from Pyrosic, which is an advanced glass-ceramic matrix composite. Carbon fiber is also present in the interior on the floor and roof of the monocoque, on the doors, and on the cockpit and center console.

Updated 11/10/2010: In a recent report, Automotive News says that Lamborghini will put the Sesto Elemento concept into limited production. There will be 5 to 10 units built, and like usual the exclusivity has a big price: 2.5 million Euro (almost $3,500,000 at the current exchange rates). Now that the Murcielago is out of production, Lamborghini’s sales will have to suffer, and this decision was made in an attempt to improve the company’s profit that has been hit hard by the global economic crisis.

Updated 11/22/2010: Lamborghini has officially confirmed that the Sesto Elements concept will indeed go into production, but as a track-only special. In an interview with AutoCar, company boss Stephan Winkelmann said: "We are testing the Sesto Elemento at the moment and if it all goes well then we could look at a limited production run. But it would not be homologated because there are complications with things like airbags. It would be for track use only."

Press release and full details on the concept after the jump.

After the leaked brochure from the other days, Mercedes has decided to uncover the new generation CLS-Class before its official debut at the Paris Auto Show. And as everyone expected, the new CLS keeps the same proportions as the old model, but has adopted a completely new look inspired by the Shooting Break Concept .

The CLS’s design combines elements from the concept with the new SLS AMG: there is a long, sporty bonnet, a grille dominated by the large central star, large, elongated dark air inlets with black grilles, full LED headlamps, flared wheel arches and wide wrap-around tail lights featuring LED technology.

The interior also combines innovative details and handcrafted perfection: a high line sweeps from the driver’s door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door. The central display has also been integrated harmoniously into the upper part of the instrument panel. At the same time, the downward sweeping side line on the doors continues the dynamic dropping line of the exterior.

Mercedes said nothing about the car’s specifications, but we expect a new 3.5-liter direct-injection V6, as well as a twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8. That last motor will put out around 430 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. There will be an AMG version with the new 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 as well.

Hit the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLS-Class.

Jaguar celebrated 75 years of history with the unveiling of the C-X75 concept at the Paris Auto Show. Besides being a range-extended electric two-seated supercar, the C-X75 previews the company’s future design language, and we are really hoping that it is a preview version of the Jaguar’s long rumored supercar.

"The aim was to produce not only the most innovative but also one of the most beautiful Jaguars ever; one which hints at an exciting evolution of the marque’s award-winning design language while paying homage to some of its most admired cars of years gone by."

The new car tips the scales at around 2,970-pounds and is able to hit 62 miles per hour in just 3.4 seconds. That seems awfully fast for a vehicle with only two 96-horsepower micro gas turbines that force fuel into a plug-in li-ion battery back. Once all that is said on done, there are four electric motors, one for each wheel, that together deliver an outstanding 580kW (778bhp) and 1600Nm (1180lb ft) of torque. Stomp the pedal to the floor and you can hit 205 miles per hour.

The C-X75 can travel up to 68 miles on its battery pack alone, but once the turbines kick in the car can continue traveling for 560 miles. Chevrolet Volt , eat your heart out.

Updated 11/17/2010: The Jaguar C-X75 concept made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show and what better way to mark this occasion than to have Jay Leno review it? Watch the video and see what he has to say about the concept.

Hit the jump to see the full story, the press release - which is rather long - and the video.

There seems to be a lot of activity going on in Stuttgart as Porsche has been in the center of numerous rumors with regards to a number of vehicles that are in the pipeline for release.

A few days ago, we touched on the company already preparing a Porsche GT3 RS Limited Edition. Now, Porsche has decided to do a pre-emptive strike by releasing the first official details of the long-awaited Porsche 911 Speedster based on the current 997 a week before its scheduled appearance at the Paris Motor Show.

It’s been a while since Porsche has come out with a 911 Speedster – the early nineties, if you can believe that – so while it’s a little surprising that the brand only decided to come out with a successor now, it’s a surprise that we’re all happy to find out especially when you consider that the last Speedster was one of the most desirable Porsches of that generation.

For this new 911 Speedster, the convertible sports car carrying an aerodynamic body kit package, tinted headlights, black accents, a soft-top cover, a special front apron, specific sideskirts, a distinct rear apron, and a choice of two paint options: Carrera White and Pure Blue.

Updated 11/08/2010: When Porsche unveiled the new 911 Speedster at the Paris Auto Show they also announced the spicy price for it: 201,682 Euros (around $285,000 at the current exchange rates). Despite the high price tag, the 356 units in line for production have already been allocated. Scheduled to hit dealerships in December, this Speedster has already received enough booking to exceed the number of copies available. In other words, it’s SOLD OUT. So if you intended to buy one, we’re sorry, but about 356 people or more have beat you to it.

UPDATE 11/12/2010: Want some eye candy? Check out the 70+ new images in the gallery. Enjoy!!

Hit the jump for full details on Porsche new 911 Speedster and the press release.

Land Rover has confirmed today that a five-door version of the new Range Rover Evoque will be produced. An official debut will be made later this year.

While the company revealed nothing else on this version, we expect to see the same design and engine line-up. There will be a choice of both a 4WD and a 2WD version and three trim levels: Pure, Prestige, and Dynamic. Under the hood there will be a new 2.0-liter Si4 turbocharged engine that combines direct fuel injection and twin variable valve timing.

Like with the two-door version, the five-door version will get unique 19-inch wheels and sparkling metallic details, premium leather, twin-needle stitching and real wood and metal finishes, unique bumpers, sills, grille and tailpipes for a more assertive, confident stance, perforated leather seats and unique sports detailing.

The new Evoque five-door version will go on sale in the same time as the two-door version: fall of 2011.

Updated 11/10/2010: After a short announcement at the Paris Auto Show, Land Rover has unveiled today full details on the five-door version Evoque. Hit the jump to read all about it and check the picture gallery to see the latest images added. We also have two video of the SUV. Sales in USA will begin in the fall of 2011 and Land Rover announced an estimated price of $45,000.

Updated 12/01/10:The folks at Land Rover have just released the first official promo video - it’s an animation video too! - of the 5-door Range Rover Evoque, highlighting the SUV in all its wonderful glory, including shots of both the exterior and interior. Anybody who’s had any remote interest on the car will need to watch this.

Let’s face it, Renault is a brand consisting of family cars, and besides the new Gordini models, there is nothing in the line-up that inspires sportiness. But the new DeZir concept that was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show seemed to be the exception to that rule. The concept is the first work of Renault’s new chief designer, Laurent van den Acker, and represents a mid-engined, gullwing electric coupe.

The new DeZir concept features a new front-end design that previews the new front-end identity of the next Renault models. The headlights take the form of backlit prisms and the perforated ’eyelids’ add to this high-tech feel and contribute to DeZir’s specific lighting signature. Rear lighting is provided by an illuminated, seemingly floating strip and the Renault logo is highlighted by backlighting through the fins of the grille and consequently appears to hover in the middle of this space.

DeZir is powered by an electric motor mounted in a mid-rear position to optimize weight distribution over the front and rear wheels. The vertically-mounted 24kW/h lithium-ion battery is located behind the benchseat and provides the car with a range of 160km. The new concept can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in five seconds, and from 0 to 50 km/h (31 mph) in just two seconds.

UPDATE 10/29/2010: Renault is considering offering a production version of their Dezir electric concept car unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. During a recent test drive of the concept, Renault announced that building the car will not be such a complicated job: there already is an appropriate platform (that of the Mégane Trophy), production of the electric drive technology is almost ready and there is the Renault sport division’s experience in building cars in a limited edition. In addition to this production vehicle, Renault also announced that a spider version or a race version may also be a possibility.

Press release after the jump.


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