Although it doesn’t benefit from the same recognition surrounding the Ferrari brand, Renault is a big name in the world of motorsports. The French have been involved in top-tier racing for decades and, more recently, their World Series championships have helped numerous talented youngsters grow into professional racers. For 2015, Renault and its Sport Technologies arm have developed yet another racing division, one that comes with its own, exclusive race car.
Make no mistake though, this new racer is not another beefed-up Megane RS. The French have taken things up a notch with a vehicle that’s faster than the entire bunch of race-ready Megane RS and Clio RS hatches. Making things even more interesting is the fact that Renault’s new race car features a unique design, highlighted by a coupe-like shape with a fixed wing on the rear.
Updated 10/22/2014: The new Renaultsport R.S. 01 took its first public laps on October 18th at the Jerez track in Spain, for the last leg of the World Series By Renault. Behind the wheel was Alain Prost who apparently was very impressed by the car: "The Renault Sport R.S. 01 is magnificent, and that’s important in terms of image. This is a new step forward for Renault, since it is launching what is actually a typical Endurance car. It’s a real race car, while being closely linked to the product since its design was largely inspired by the new production models." The car will make its racing debut in mid-2015.
Click past the jump to read more about the Renault Sport Trophy.
About 16 years ago Chevrolet launched the Niva, a mini SUV spawned from a joint venture between General Motors and Russian manufacturer AvtoVAZ. The Chevrolet Niva is based on the no-nonsense Lada Niva, which has been around since 1977 without major updates, using the same Russian-built underpinnings. But don’t let the dated appearance fool you, the Chevy Niva is a capable off-roader that can put many modern SUVs to shame.Nearly two decades after rebadging the Lada Niva, General Motors is finally upping the ante to deliver a more appealing second-generation SUV. For the moment only a concept, the new Chevrolet Niva is a massive departure from the current SUV, boasting an all-new design, a more rugged appearance, and revamped drivetrain.
The production model won’t break cover until 2016 and we likely won’t see it in the United States, but it’s definitely a vehicle worth a mention. If you like to spend your weekends taking on the roughest off-road paths in your SUV, then the Niva Concept is a rock climber you need to have a look at.
Click past the jump to read about the Chevrolet Niva SUV Concept
BMW is preparing to launch a new version of its popular X5 SUV, the F15 Security Plus. To the casual observer, nothing is amiss with the X5, but to a firearm-wielding criminal bent on theft or worse, the F15 Security Plus is a rolling safehouse disguised as a BMW.
BMW will officially debut the armored X5 at the upcoming Moscow Auto Show next week, though the original concept made its first appearance in Frankfurt last year. The F15 Security Plus is designed to meet the VR6 protection level, meaning attacks from small arms fire like the AK-47, AR-15, and most hand guns will have no effect on the passenger’s health (well, save for panic or heart attacks).
Ballistic panels and glass aren’t the only modifications BMW has done to the F15. The chassis has been strengthened while the electronic management systems and brakes have been upgraded to deal with the added weight. Power comes from the twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 making 445 horsepower and 480 pound feet of torque.
This isn’t BMW’s first in-house armored vehicle. The German automaker has been producing armored versions of its 7 Series for nearly two decades. Currently BMW is producing the VR7-rated 7 Series rated to protect against more lethal threats like explosives and higher-powered rifles.
BMW will also offer a lighter, VR4-rated X5 SUV for customers looking for basic protection but with minimal changes in vehicle driving dynamics. More details are slated for release once the vehicle debuts in Moscow.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X5 F15 Security Plus
The auto show circuit has its spotlight solely pointed towards Russia for the 16th Moscow International Auto Salon. Open from August 31 to September 9, the 2012 MIAS has become a noteworthy attraction for auto enthusiasts, and the best part is that the cars aren’t the only attractions during the 10-day long auto show.
The event is expected to generate 1 million visitors, a lot of whom, presumably at least, come from the biggest country in the world. The sheer size of the event - there are 23 world premiers, 21 European premiers, and 85 Russian premiers - also affords visitors an opportunity to interact with more than just the stars of the show.
The sexy and downright mesmerizing girls of the 2012 Moscow International Auto Salon may not be the reason for the event, but boy, do they make for a good complement to the cars.
Check out the gallery below to see the hot babes from the 2012 Moscow International Auto Salon.
Large companies, like GM, seem to have issues keeping new model leakage under control. We are not completely naive, so we do understand that some of these leaks from large automakers are actually orchestrated by the automaker itself to help drum up interest. Still, there is the occasional major leak that some disgruntled design team member decides to plaster all over the Interwebz.
Well, Lada, a Russia-based company much smaller than GM, but a relative success in the Russian market, kept its recently unveiled SUV under such tight lock and key that it took all of us aback when it was debuted at the Moscow Motor Show. The Xray, as Lada has dubbed this concept SUV, is nothing like any other SUV it has ever produced and it looks like something that belongs in a worldwide production model’s lineup. That said, don’t look for this SUV, or any Lada for that matter, to make its way to the U.S.
The styling of this crossover SUV is not something you would expect to see from a budget automaker, like Lada. It does, however, show how Lada’s eyes are on the future, making its cars more stylish and offering up a wider range.
UPDATE 09/06/12: The first official video of the Lada Xray Concept has just gone live. Click on the photo above to check it out!
Click past the jump to read our full review and find out more about the basics of the Lada XRay Concept.
Hyundai is coming to the upcoming Moscow International Automobile Salon with a very cool armored version of the Equus sedan. The new limo was developed in cooperation with Stoof International GmbH in Germany and incorporates an elaborate range of upgraded features specially designed for exclusive stretched limousine with ballistic and blast protection.
The new Hyundai Equus Limousine Security measures 5.46 meters in
length and weighs a total of 8465 lbs. The model is equipped with an armored shell designed to fully protect the interior from ballistic penetration from any angle. Hyundai and Stoof paid special attention to those critical areas where the glass is connected to the body components. These areas were designed with special "labyrinth" overlaps protecting the passengers inside from blast projectiles and splinters. The Equus fully complies with VR7 protection level and is ballistically certified to the protection level.
Under the hood, Hyundai has placed a powerful 5.0-liter Tau V8 engine that delivers an impressive 430 HP, allowing the car to deliver impressive dynamics and agility.
On August 29th, the Moscow International Automobile Salon 2012 kicks off and it is scheduled to run through September 9th. For this upcoming show, TOPCAR has put together an entrant in the form of a 2012 Porsche Panamera customized to the gills. This Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR is actually the 9th edition of 25 upcoming Stingray GTR models.
We are not necessarily huge fans of the Panamera and even less of fans when it comes to customized models. So many companies tend to go way overboard restyling the Panamera and they actually end up taking away the little character that this Porsche sedan actually has.
TOP CAR has taken to this Panamera from top to bottom, decking out its interior, exterior, engine, and even the brakes in an attempt to not just make it look better, but run with the best of them. Can TOP CAR really pull off the nearly impossible by handing us a well-designed Panamera with accents where they need to be, or did they just roll out another Panamera hack-job like we usually see?
Click past the jump to read our full review to see how it stacks up.
The recently concluded Moscow International Motor Show was eventful for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the highly touted debut of Jaguar’s B7 ballistics-protected XJ Sentinel. And while most of us were thrilled to finally see the armored XJ break cover, the Moscow International Motor Show captured our attentions more than the plethora of vehicles that were exhibited during the multi-day event.
And just like any self-respecting man would tell you, unveiling a new car at an event as grandiose as the Moscow International Motor Show wouldn’t be as complete and as thrilling without the presence of some ridiculously gorgeous girls by its side, flaunting the car’s features and their own, much to our collective delight.
So, this album is a tribute to all the foxy ladies of the Moscow International Motor Show. The very same ladies whose presence made the event all the more exciting!
The Concept RB brags of "elegant lines that resemble a calligrapher’s orchid strokes" that supposedly adds to Hyundai Motor’s "fluidic sculpture" design philosophy. The Concept featured a large hexagonal front grill, headlamps, and “L”-shaped fog lamps. If the RB went into production, it would have be powered by a 1.6-liter or a 1.4 -liter, DOHC, in-line four cylinder, gasoline engine. The engine could be mated to a four-speed automatic transmission or a standard five-speed manual transaxle. The 1.6-liter engine will develop 122hp and 156 Nm of torque while the 1.4 -liter engine will produce 106hp and 135 Nm of torque.
Press release after the jump.
The Toyota Highlander was first unveiled in 2000 and it wasn’t until 2008 that the second generation went on sale. Now, in apparent record time for the Highlander, the crossover will be receiving its first major facelift. The new 2011 Highlander will make its debut later this month at the Moscow Motor Show and will go on sale later this year.
The model will come with a redesigned front fascia that includes new headlights, a new grille with two horizontal lines instead of three, and the front bumper. While there are no details on the car’s specifications we expect to see a 273 HP 3.5 liter V6 engine under the hood and a 2.7 liter four-cylinder unit for the American market. A hybrid version will also be unveiled.
We have to inform you that even if you are looking at the European version, the exact same model will also be offered for the North American market. So what you see, is what you get!
Toyota has confirmed that Russia and the Ukraine will be getting the Highlander crossover, according to AutoBlog. Why should we care about those places? Well, the new look Highlander that will be unveiled at the Moscow Motor Show on August 25 will most likely be the one that we’ll get as well.
The new Highlander looks pretty good compared to the dull design of the old model. The bodylines are pronounced and the conservative front fascia is gone, having been replaced by an aggressive looking nose with bits of chrome here and there. We have only seen the front of the vehicle since there aren’t any official photos of the rear, but we would expect that to have the same characteristics as well.
Toyota has not confirmed that we are getting this same machine, but we would imagine that it would look similar to what you see above. With only three places in the world building these vehicles, it would be hard to imagine different models for different countries.
That’s about all we know at the moment, but when we find out more we’ll pass the info along.