Paris Motor Show

Paris Motor Show

Subaru ’s line-up for the 2012 Paris Auto Show wasn’t very impressive, but it did include a very cool BRZ concept car. The concept was inspired by the Subaru XT - a small coupe sold from 1985 to 1991 - hence the name. Subaru barely offered any details on it, but it’s clear that the concept features a more radical look than the standard BRZ and most likely previews some design elements we’ll see in the future STI version .

The Subaru BRZ XT Line Concept benefited from a new carbon fiber spoiler and diffuser, along with carbon fiber exterior mirrors and roof. There is also a new set of 18" wheels painted in Black Silica. For the interior, carbon fiber trim was combined with red leather for the door panels and the dashboard, and "XT Line" logos adorn the interior as well.

Aside from the aesthetic modifications, Subaru also added a Torsen differential, HID projectors, and a number of SRS airbags. No changes were made to the power source, so the XT Concept is powered by the usual 200 HP 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed boxer engine.

One of the most important Ferrari debuts at the 2012 Paris Auto Show was the chassis for the upcoming F70 supercar , but while it undoubtedly caught all of the attention in Paris, Ferrari ’s stand included a few other very cool vehicles. Visitors have seen cars ranging from the new F12berlinetta to a very special FF that certainly has a feature worth mentioning.

This particular FF was equipped with a new full-length panoramic roof that allows for more light to enter the car. According to Ferrari, this new roof features "a special reflective glass (LowE) that gives occupants a genuine open-air driving feeling, while providing thermal and acoustic insulation."

No other details on this new glass roof were provided, leaving us to wonder if this will be a new feature for the sports car or just an attention grabber in Paris. Production for this feature would be a little controversial considering the added weight a panoramic glass roof would add to the FF, and the effect that weight would have on the performance numbers of the vehicle. The design for the FF is already questionable in many people’s minds; why add another negative by messing with the performance the customer can get from the 660 HP V12 engine?

Everything is better in threes, so they say.

Okay, we may or may not have made that up, but at least someone seems to agree with us because British automaker Rolls Royce went to the 2012 Paris Motor Show with not one, not two, but three special edition "Art Deco" models - much to our excitement.

The three special edition models are based on pretty much the entire line-up of models Rolls has under its disposal: the flagship Phantom , the inimitable Ghost , and the topless Phantom Drophead Coupe.

The last of the troika, the Phantom Drophead Coupe, is arguably the freshest of the bunch, not only because it’s dropping swag like it’s hot, but because the car’s matching Light Blue exterior and interior makes us want to take this baby out for a ride out on the road with the wind blowing through our hair.

Add the specially designed Mother of Pearl trim detailing in the interior and you have a uniquely finished luxury convertible that not only catches enough attention to last a lifetime, but more importantly looks good in doing so.

By the way, having a 6.75-liter V12 engine that produces 453 horsepower and 531 lb/ft of torque with a 5.7-second 0-60 mph time and a top speed of 149 mph?

That helps too.

The second of the three "Art Deco Special Edition" models British luxury automaker Rolls Royce is bringing to the 2012 Paris Motor Show was a unique take on the Ghost .

As if the Ghost isn’t unique enough by itself, Rolls Royce is taking a whole new approach with this one, dressing it up in a two-tone Jubilee Silver and Cobalt Blue exterior finish. Inside, the fine and fresh interior enhancements include a blindingly white leather interior with contrasting blue accents, a full wood dashboard, and last but certainly not least, bespoke marquetry adorning trim pieces that you can find throughout the cabin.

Under the hood, no modifications were given to this expected-to-be rare as rare can be Ghost Art Deco Special Edition. Be that as it may, the luxury sedan’s 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 engine with 563 horsepower, a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph, is still plenty impressive in our book.

Finally, pricing for the Ghost Art Deco Special Edition has yet to be announced, although as a unique, special edition model, expect it to cost more than just a shiny penny if it does hit the production block.

If you haven’t been following the world of rally racing for the past decade, you’re probably surprised that there seems to be a disproportionate level of buzz surrounding Hyundai’s return to the World Rally Championship ?

Wait, did they ever leave? That’s one of the questions we’ve received from some folks and the answer, of course, is yes. Back in 2003, in fact.

That’s why when Hyundai opens their exhibit at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with the i20 World Rally Championship Rally Car, nobody should be surprised because it’s a really big deal.

As far as details are concerned, the Korean automaker is keeping that close to their chest, particularly because there could be more than just WRC-prepped model in attendance at Paris. What we’ve been informed, though, is that the car is expected to carry a turbocharged engine that hits all the right notes at 200 horsepower.

Keep it close here because Hyundai’s apparent interest in returning to the World Rally Championship could all be confirmed at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. After all, they wouldn’t go through all the trouble of building this rally prototype of the i20 if they weren’t that serious.

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport

Well, we guess not only good things can come out of car shows, as we often find out our fair share of bad news. The latest out of Volkswagen is a killer though. A model that we have been speculating on and that has been turned on and off more than a public restroom hand dryer is finally confirmed as D.O.A., for now. Sadly enough, this highly anticipated model is the Bluesport roadster .

The last we heard of the Bluesport was when Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s head of R&D, told EVO that the Bluesport project was alive and well , despite rumors of its demise. He even went as far as to place a roughly £30,000 price tag on it.

After an interview with Autocar at the Paris Motor Show, Hackenberg said that there is “no business case” and “we didn’t find a market for it” in reference to the Bluesport, tossing a bucket of ice on all of our hopes in the process. In the same breath, however, Hackenberg also made it clear that this isn’t the end of the Bluesport, but rather just a suspension until the market shakes loose.

The reasoning Hackenberg gives for suspending it is to avoid the death blow, which is an outright rejection of the project by upper management. He made it clear that if a market open up for the Bluesport in VW’s lineup it will be quick and easy to install it and get things rolling.

So for now we just have to accept the fact that Vee-Dub will continue on without its sporty roadster for the foreseeable future. As always, we’ll keep a close eye on this one, as Volkswagen is a tricky lot sometimes and could pull a complete 180.

Source: Autocar

We saw the first rendition of the Golf BlueMotion Concept about five years ago and it was impressive, boasting a 62.8 mph rating and emitting just 119 grams of CO2 per km. We then got a look at the second-gen model in 2009 with its 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km of CO2. Here we are at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and Volkswagen has the third generation BlueMotion Golf ready to show off.

Volkswagen really has something to prove in the mpg department, as it is one of only a handful of automakers available in the U.S. that has openly protested the new CAFÉ standards. VW has attempted to make it clear that its reasoning behind protecting the standards is not because it doesn’t want to build fuel-efficient vehicles, but rather because it feels the yearly improvement numbers are skewed to making it easier on American car and truck manufacturers.

Well, here stands a chance for VW to truly prove that it is all in on saving us money at the pump. So let’s have a look at what Vee-dub-ya has served up.

Click past the jump to read our review on the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion Concept.

It’s understandable if the Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive Concept grabbed all the attention from the Mercedes booth at the 2012 Paris Motor Show all by itself. An electric supercar with 740 horsepower on tap?

Yeah, that’s insane.

But it’s also important to remember that the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive Concept isn’t the only car Mercedes brought to Paris because they also brought the B-Class Electric Drive Concept.

Now that we know how serious Mercedes is when it comes to emission-free electric vehicles, it’s worth pointing out that the German automaker has taken the steps to ensure that they’re ready to build series production vehicles that demonstrate high everyday practicality.

“In developing our electric vehicles we accord top priority to customer benefits,” says Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

“Accordingly, the Concept B-Class Electric Drive demonstrates premium-standard electric mobility for all the family. The concept vehicle offers outstanding everyday practicality and great driving enjoyment.”

Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Concept.

So Ferrari really doesn’t have any new models to display in Paris, per se, but it still dropped a huge bomb on us all. We are already anticipating the new hybrid Ferrari in the coming years, but we’re not too certain exactly when to expect it nor are we too sure what it’ll look like.

We do, however, now know that this new hybrid will boast one of the most advanced chassis ever to grace the public roadways. Ferrari gathered up all of its data over the decades of racing it has done and managed to piece together a composite chassis that this upcoming hybrid will boast.

There are four different types of carbon fiber that make up this chassis and each layer is carefully hand laminated, then cured in autoclaves. The process starts simply with T800 carbon. Ferrari then carefully applies T800UD – carbon-fiber tape – over specific areas of the T800 to add a little strength. Engineers then manufacture the underbody and cross member from high-tensile carbon fibers (M46J). From there, the doors and other critical areas are formed from T1000 carbon-fiber – the same carbon fiber that graces the nose of F1 cars. Finally, the undertray is done up in carbon-fiber, but with one significant difference: a nice layer of Kevlar to prevent damage from projectiles.

In all, this advanced chassis development will save about 20 percent off of the Ferrari Enzo , the car this new hybrid is slated to succeed, even though the hybrid system adds significant weight. Last, this ultra-modern chassis will boast 27 percent more torsional rigidity and its beam stiffness will increase by 22 percent. This not only makes the car stronger, but it will also increase its handling capabilities.

It’s not too often that we can say a chassis makes us excited, but one this advanced certainly does. Plus, the video that Ferrari released regarding it is simply bad-ass.

Click past the jump to read Ferrari’s press release.

At the 2012 Paris Auto Show, Hyundai announced plans to become the first global automaker to begin commercial rollout of zero-emissions vehicles. Deliveries on their new ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle will begin in December 2012 and by 2015, the company hopes to have built up to 1,000 units.

The ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle is powered by hydrogen, with a fuel cell stack converting the hydrogen into electricity, which in turn charges the Lithium Polymer battery that powers the vehicle’s electric motor. Other technologies include kinetic energy regeneration system that charges the battery when the driver applies the brakes or drives downhill, plus a start/stop system which helps minimize energy loss in city driving. The only emission generated by the ix35 Fuel Cell is water steam. The ix35 Fuel Cell will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 12.5 seconds, can hit a top speed of 100 mph, and can travel 588km (365miles) without refueling.

"The ix35 Fuel Cell is the pinnacle of Hyundai’s advanced engineering and our most powerful commitment to be the industry leader in eco-friendly mobility," said Vice Chairman Woong Chul Yang, head of Hyundai R&D. "Zero-emissions cars are no longer a dream. Our ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle is here today, and ready for commercial use.


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