Paris Motor Show

Paris Motor Show

BMW 3-Series GT

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.

Source: Carscoop
Honda Civic Type R

Lotus’ withdrawal from the Paris Motor Show was disappointing, to say the least, but all’s not lost, especially if you’re the optimistic type.

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.

Source: Autocar
Porsche Panamera Shooting Brake

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.

Source: AutoCar

When Lotus chose to pull out of the 2012 Paris Motor Show , the same show that the struggling car company released five new concepts at two years ago, we had a sneaking suspicion that this was the calm before the model-trimming storm. It looks as if our suspicions were true, as according to reports, Lotus has cut out all of Bahar’s brainchildren, with a possible exception being the revamped Espirit .

As we always say, sports car lovers are a fickle bunch. They know what they like and do not deal well with changes. Ferrari and Lamborghini lovers want fat sports cars with even fatter engines, whereas Lotus lovers want svelte and nimble machines that they can toss around at will. The models that Lotus has axed were very fat, by Lotus standard, and were not warmly received by enthusiasts.

Also scrapped in the process was the crazy notion that Lotus would produce its own engines for these new models. If the consistent lapping of Lotus-powered vehicles in INDYCAR isn’t enough of a deterrent for Lotus building their own engines, the sheer cost of the project is.

This is all clearly a cost-controlling measure by DRB-Hicom and Lotus to try and save the failing company, but it does have a bit of the undercoating of a jab to Bahar’s ribs. Regardless of the possible shot at Bahar’s ego, this is just one of the many necessary evils that Lotus has to go through to get back to being a profitable business.

Another necessary evil is the fact that Lotus will have to lay off 50 contractors hired to work on these new projects, which were part of Bahar’s “Five-Year Plan.”

Lotus and DRB-Hicom have submitted a new business plan to their creditors in hopes of getting some leeway in their debts and maybe freeing up some loan money to help inject some life into Lotus. We certainly hope to see Lotus back near the top of the boutique automaker list and we’ll keep a keen eye on this situation with many more updates likely coming your way.

Source: Autocar
Volvo XC40

Volvo is expanding its lineup this year with the addition of the new XC40, a new compact crossover built on the V40 architecture. This higher-riding V40 will be making its debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September, but a couple of months is still too long for us to wait, so we decided that a clear look at the upcoming Volvo XC40 was in order. Enter our rendering specialists.

We’ve already mentioned the fact that the "new" XC40 will be built on the V40 platform, but it seems as though everything will be borrowed from the V40, minus the higher ride and the features needed to prepare the XC40 for off-road use. Under the hood, the XC40 will continue borrowing from the V40. There will be a turbocharged 1.6-liter petrol engine and a 2.0 liter engine with power ranging from 150 to 240 HP. Diesel fans will get a 155 HP engine. The top versions will be offered with an all-wheel-drive system.

The "brand new" XC40 is being built as a competitor to the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 . Of course, we’ll have to wait until the Paris Auto Show to determine whether it can actually be considered competition.

To say that Lotus has had a very prosperous year is akin to saying that the economies in Spain and Greek are both doing fine.

It wasn’t that long ago when Lotus had ambitious plans to become a player in the supercar market, having unveiled a total of six new concepts that would inevitably give run to a fleet of production vehicles.

So it’s with a dash of irony that this year, Lotus has announced that they would be skipping the 2012 Paris Motor Show , only two years removed from bringing those six concepts at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

From the optimism of those days, the company has been in dire straits recently, no more evident than the messy firing of former CEO Dany Bahar, who incidentally was the driving force behind the company’s ambitious plans two years ago. The company today is also in financial disarray; sales have been extremely low and there’s even word that the company will go back to its roots as a factory for lightweight sports cars.

Despite the messy year the company has had, there are still some signs of optimism, particularly with the increased interest in their two new vehicles, the Exige V6 S and V6 Roadster . Whether they can jump start the company’s fledgling business remains to be seen, but one thing we do know is that it won’t come at a fast enough time to save Lotus from heading to the same auto show were only two years ago, they set out on an ambitious plan that ended up with nothing more than lost promises.

Opel Adam

Since an official debut for the Adam will be made in September at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, Opel is rounding out testing for their new small hatchback and prepping it for its media release. This is no more evident than in these images taken of the unclothed Adam during a photoshoot in Spain.

The spy shots reveal the car in four exterior colors and editions, but most likely, the options list will be much longer than even that. As previously reported, the next Adam will be about 3.7 meters long and will only be offered in a three-door variant.

The small hatchback will use a small engine family of three- and four-cylinder units co-developed with Opel’s China partner, SAIC. Customers will have the option of choosing between engines with displacements from 1.0 liters to 1.4 liters with direct injection and turbocharging capabilities. The top version will get a 1.6-liter diesel and a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline unit.

Photo-credit: J.Revuelta / Autofacil.es

Mini Paceman

Love `em or hate `em, you can’t help but be impressed with how far MINI can go in stretching out one basic design. In late-2011, MINI debuted a new coupe version of its Countryman and dubbed it the Paceman – no, not the Pac-Man – but gave us very little info. Then over a year went by before we heard anything else, then finally after a year and two months, MINI announced that the Paceman would be shown in Paris in 2012, but under the Clubman Coupe name.

Well, MINI is finally prepared to announce this new models release, but it will, oddly enough, not bear the name we all expected. Dr. Kay Segler, the senior VP of Mini, told about 1,000 Mini enthusiasts at this year’s Mini Takes the States rally that "The Mini Paceman is the official name of the brand’s seventh model, which will be launched next year in the U.S."

In one quick statement, Segler killed two birds with one stone. First, he cleared up the fact that this new coupe will indeed bear the Paceman name, as opposed to the Clubman Coupe. Secondly, we now know that the Paceman will hit showrooms some time in 2013. Though no official date was given, we anticipate that it will be fairly early in the year, as this is really not a new model, but rather just a Clubman with two doors.

This now expands the MINI lineup to seven models based on the same basic appearance. We are starting to wonder if MINI will ever get tired of producing the same car over and over again. Then again, as long as people keep snagging them up, why change?

We will continue to provide you with more updates on this upcoming model as we get closer to its release date.

Source: Auto Blog

Most automakers have already begun to offer hybrid versions for at least one SUV in their line-up, so Mitsubishi is actually a little late in the game with this one. The company is currently working on an Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV and will have it ready for the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September. The new model will go on sale in Europe in 2013, but at this point, Mitsubishi hasn’t said anything about bringing it over to the U.S. market.

The new Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid will share the same architecture with the soon-to-be-introduced New Outlander’s ICE versions and will feature a unique drive train combination of front electric motor plus rear electric motor plus front traction/generator petrol engine. It will offer a choice of three driving modes: Pure (Twin Motor 4WD EV), Series (Twin Motor 4WD - EV supported by generator), and Parallel (ICE engine supported by Twin Motor 4WD). Mitsubishi also promised that the new Outlander Hybrid will come with a driving range of 800 kilometers (497 miles).


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