The top model Mini from the last generation was the JCW GP - a special edition with just 2,000 units. Now it seems history is about to repeat itself as Mini has just unveiled the official details on the new John Cooper Works GP, described by the company as the fastest Mini ever built: it laps the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 8 min. 23 seconds.
The new John Cooper Works GP will be offered with powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics technology inspired directly by motor sport, but Mini did not announced any specifications just yet. However, they did confirmed it lapped the Nurburgring ring in 8 minutes and 23 seconds - an improvement over the previous GP model by 19 seconds.
On the exterior the new model will be distinguished by large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts, a bespoke roof spoiler and newly developed rear diffuser. This impressive package continues on the interior where the car has the rear seats removed in order to get a more racing appearance.
The new model will go on sale later this year in a limited run of 2,000 units.
UPDATE 11/29/12: The new Mini John Cooper Works GP made its North American debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. With the occasion Mini announced that only 500 units will be imported to the U.S. market where it will be priced at $39,950 (includes $700 Destination and Handling charge).
As no surprise, exterior changes for the new generation Golf aren’t very significant: they are just a simple evolution of the previous Golf VI. On the other hand, the interior comes with quite some improvements: the center console for example, has been angled towards the driver’s side. But that’s pretty much all the details revealed by these three leaked images, the rest will be revealed tomorrow.
As for the engines found under the hood, Volkswagen will be offering a wide choice of petrol and diesel engines, including a new 1.4 TSI engine delivering 140 HP and a new TDI with 105 HP.
The new Volkswagen Golf VII will be making its official debut at the Paris Auto Show, with sales to begin shortly after.
After at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show Peugeot has unveiled the 208 GTi concept car, this September’s Paris Auto Show will bring the unveiling of the 208 GTi production version. The new model will arrive on the market in the spring of 2013.
When compared to the standard 208, the GTi version is lower and wider (10 mm front and 20 mm rear) and of course it is much more powerful. Under the hood Peugeot has placed a 1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine that delivers a total of 197 HP and a peak torque of 203 lb-ft. Mated to a 6-speed, close-ratio manual transmission, the new 208 GTi will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than seven seconds and will go up to a top speed of 140 mph.
"With the 208 GTi, our objective was to produce an engaging sporty performance driving pleasure, an experience that speaks immediately to all enthusiasts: performance, power, reactivity, and an aura of respect and desire. While the 205 GTi was naturally our inspiration, the 208 GTi is its modern interpretation.” Gaëtan Demoulin, Peugeot Customer Synthesis Manager.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Peugeot 208 GTi.
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.
Citroen’s DS3 supermini is stripping its cape in favor of a black soft top roof and although the DS3 Cabrio won’t be making its official appearance until the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September, the company has opted to reveal the full list of specifications a little early.
The new droptop DS3 was rumored to be called the DS3 Airflow, but it looks as though the French company has opted to keep the car’s simple namesake intact. The future Citroen will be similar to the hatchback version, except, of course, for its soft top, which takes 16 seconds to open or close and can be operated at speeds of up to 120 km/h (74 mph). When this top is down, the edges and the side windows will remain in their place, just like the system set up for the Fiat 500C. The new model is also the only real 5-seater in the category and offers the largest boot.
As for the engines, the model will be offered with the same ten diesel and petrol engines as its hard-top brother, with power ranging from 89-204 HP. Citroen will also offer an Eco-friendly version emitting just 99 g/km of CO2. Performance will vary because of the extra weight provided by the convertible setup, but who buys a DS3 because of it performance times?
European sales for the 2013 Citroen DS3 Cabrio will begin in the first part of 2013 when the market will be privy to three different versions: Racing, Ultra Prestige, and Just Mat.
UPDATE 08/31/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Citroen DS3 Cabrio.
UPDATE 01/08/13: Citroen has announced the pricing for the DS3 Cabrio. Well, at least the pricing in Germany. Check out how much it costs in Deutschland after the jump and from there, you can have a rough estimate on how much it’ll cost in your currency.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Citroen DS3 Cabrio.
Most people won’t remember the 1999 Bentley Hunaudières (pictured here), a concept car created shortly after Volkswagen took ownership of Bentley. It was built on a Lamborghini platform and powered by a W16 engine, shining a whole new light on the otherwise limousine-filled Bentley lineup. This supercar was so unlike anything Bentley would ever push towards production that we wouldn’t doubt it if not one person ever thought they would see this car again.
We can’t promise that the Hunaudières will come back from its 13-year-long hiatus, a la the Porsche 928 H50 Concept/Panamera return, but we can say that Bentley is making some changes and bringing another cool sports-car concept out into the open. This new Bentley sports car will be making its first appearance at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September.
There are no details available on this new concept at this point, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this sports car concept be put into production solely because of Bentley’s sales target of 15,000 units annually. This new model will join the company’s upcoming facelift version for the Continental Supersport, the four-door Continental Flying Spur, the open-top version of the Mulsanne, and the SUV set to be launched in 2015.
It looks like BMW hasn’t learned anything from the very unsuccessful 5-Series GT, as they are applying the same treatment to the 3-Series. The upcoming 3-Series GT has been caught testing again, this time wearing less camouflage than ever - the biggest sign that its official debut is getting closer. Rumors say that it will be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September.
The upcoming 3-Series GT will drop the 5-Series GT’s twin-door hatch design and will adopt a normal one piece hatch in its place. This will make it about 15 inches longer than the standard 3-Series, but will also improve the interior headroom due to the shooting brake layout. The four-door coupe designed body will combine a set of raised, sliding rear seats with a high lifting tailgate that should make accessing the larger cargo area very trouble-free. This formula may ensure that the 3-Series GT a bit more successful than the 5-Series GT.
As for the engine line-up, expect to see the same options found in the standard 3-Series models. This means there will be a choice of four engines - two petrol and two diesel - with power ranging from 184 HP in the base diesel version up to 306 HP in the 335i version.
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.
Despite the lack of Lotus’ presence, we now know that one automaker will be making an official announcement regarding the state of one of its own cars in Paris. We’re talking, of course, about Honda and the 2013 Civic Type-R.
Spy photos of the 2013 Civic Type-R around the Nurburgring have been taken in the past months, but it’s only now that information has come from Honda insiders, who told Autocar of the Civic Type-R’s confirmation notice in Paris and subsequent preview at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. These same insiders didn’t divulge any further details surrounding the car, which of course brings back speculation on what kind of engine the new Civic Type-R will carry under its hood.
We’ve made our guesses that the Civic Type-R could carry an output of about 220-230 horsepower, alluding to our opinion that the car’s track-oriented focus will most likely lead to Honda giving full attention to the car’s chassis, handling, and engine specs.
None of this is confirmed, but we’re nevertheless ecstatic to find out that the 2013 Civic Type-R will be officially announced at the Paris Motor Show with the preview set to take place at Geneva next year.
From a company that at one point produced tractors and military tanks, we guess it isn’t all that crazy to see Porsche expanding their automobile lineup to include SUVs and sports sedan models, but somehow the thought still sends shudders down the spines of select Porsche lovers. Well, get ready for those chills because the German sports car maker is preparing an estate version of their Panamera sedan and, according to Autocar, we’ll be seeing it in concept form at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. If enough people show interest in the concept, Porsche will eventually offer a production version for it as part of their plan to see 200,000 units by the middle of the decade.
The future Panamera Estate will be built in cooperation with Bentley, meaning that we could see a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 petrol engine in the upcoming Porsche model. Since this estate version is planned for 2016, expect it to carry design features from the future Panamera generation, which Porsche aims to be about 330 lbs lighter than the current model.
In addition to the Panamera Estate, Porsche is also planning on adding a coupe and a convertible version to their lineup.