Spy Shots: Next-generation Kia Sorento snapped undergoing testing

Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, Kia

Kia Sorento Spy Shots

Kia has been busy – a refreshed Sorento just arrived in showrooms for the 2014 model year and the Korean manufacturer is already out undergoing advanced testing in the next-generation model. How, pray tell, do we know how far along testing is? Notice any cladding, or coverings, aside from the regular vinyl camo? Right.

Our predictive talents aside, there are still a lot of questions about the next Sorento. We don’t have much to go on with the technical specs, although we’ll be thunderstruck if there isn’t some form of the Hyundai/Kia 2.0-liter turbo under hood. Our spies report that this new model is somewhat larger than the current Sorento, hinting that it might be riding atop the same platform as the long-wheelbase Hyundai Santa Fe. That could indicate an available V6 model, as well. Judging by the profile views, we’d bet our bottom dollar this is a three-row model.

The conflicting nature of a refreshed Sorento hitting dealers and an advanced prototype out testing in Europe makes it difficult to pin down a date for the third-generation CUV’s debut. We doubt we’ll be seeing the new Sorento before the end of the year – a 2014 debut with a 2015 on-sale date just seems more likely in light of the newness of the refreshed model.

Next-generation Kia Sorento snapped undergoing testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Next-generation Kia Sorento snapped undergoing testing

Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, Kia

Kia Sorento Spy Shots

Kia has been busy – a refreshed Sorento just arrived in showrooms for the 2014 model year and the Korean manufacturer is already out undergoing advanced testing in the next-generation model. How, pray tell, do we know how far along testing is? Notice any cladding, or coverings, aside from the regular vinyl camo? Right.

Our predictive talents aside, there are still a lot of questions about the next Sorento. We don’t have much to go on with the technical specs, although we’ll be thunderstruck if there isn’t some form of the Hyundai/Kia 2.0-liter turbo under hood. Our spies report that this new model is somewhat larger than the current Sorento, hinting that it might be riding atop the same platform as the long-wheelbase Hyundai Santa Fe. That could indicate an available V6 model, as well. Judging by the profile views, we’d bet our bottom dollar this is a three-row model.

The conflicting nature of a refreshed Sorento hitting dealers and an advanced prototype out testing in Europe makes it difficult to pin down a date for the third-generation CUV’s debut. We doubt we’ll be seeing the new Sorento before the end of the year – a 2014 debut with a 2015 on-sale date just seems more likely in light of the newness of the refreshed model.

Next-generation Kia Sorento snapped undergoing testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Volvo Concept Coupe is brand’s ‘next-generation P1800’ [w/video]

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Hybrid, Volvo, Design/Style

Volvo Concept Coupe

Volvo is calling the Concept Coupe its “next-generation P1800.”

The teasing can now officially come to an end – Volvo has released all the images, videos and details on its new Concept Coupe, and we’re intrigued. The Swedish automaker is calling the concept its “next-generation P1800,” and those are some pretty big shoes to fill. Fortunately, it’s not all talk; there are clear links to Volvo’s much-loved coupe in the concept’s shape, though we certainly wouldn’t call it ‘retro.’

Up front, T-shaped running lights bracket what the brand calls a “floating grille” with a “distinctive iron mark.” The side profile is dominated by a distinct bow that can be seen, in a slightly more mellow form, on current Volvo vehicles, and the broad-shouldered rear end is bracketed by slender C-shaped taillight clusters.

The interior, too, is unique. A handcrafted crystal gearshift lever is a highlight, as is a large touchscreen laid out in portrait (as opposed to landscape). Volvo has removed as many physical buttons as possible, which certainly creates a smooth and attractive cabin, but we’re curious to see how it all works in ergonomic terms.

The first machine that will take styling cues from the Concept Coupe will be the 2014 XC90 crossover.

“The new Volvo Concept Coupe reveals how we could shape our cars from now on. Free from the superficial surface excitement of other car brands, we add emotional value to the Volvo brand with the calm, confident beauty that is the hallmark of Scandinavian design,” says Volvo Senior Vice President of Design Thomas Ingenlath. Not exactly fightin’ words, but close.

Somewhat eyebrow-raisingly, Volvo says the first machine that will take styling cues from the Concept Coupe will be the next XC90 crossover, which is slated to hit the market in 2014. While the upright stance of a ‘ute doesn’t seem compatible with the sleek, low-slung lines of a coupe, the automaker assures in the press release below that, while “the all-new XC90 is an entirely different type of car, you will recognize the connection instantly when it is revealed next year.”

Making such design stretchability possible is Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture. Specific elements that include a “generous” dash-to-axle ratio and a hip point that is “low enough to create a low profile on a sleek sedan without compromising headroom” are cited as defining factors of the new architecture.

Volvo promises 400 hp and 443 lb-ft from the turbo- and supercharged plug-in hybrid.

A four-cylinder gasoline engine makes up half the plug-in hybrid powertrain, and Volvo promises power levels on par with current V8 engines through the use of both a turbocharger and a supercharger. Combined output from the 2.0-liter engine that powers the front wheels and the electric motor connected to the rear wheels is around 400 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.

Scroll down for a video showing off the Volvo Concept Coupe, along with a press release that explains the design in much deeper terms.

Continue reading Volvo Concept Coupe is brand’s ‘next-generation P1800’ [w/video]

Volvo Concept Coupe is brand’s ‘next-generation P1800’ [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 21:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: 7th-generation Camry coming this fall, Prius expected to take top sales spot

Filed under: Sedan, Toyota

2011 toyota camry

2010 Toyota Camry – Click above for high-res image gallery

The current Toyota Camry has been carrying the mid-size sedan torch since 2006, so it’s high time for a remake. According to WardsAuto.com, Toyota is busily prepping the next-generation car, and it could be here by the fall.

The Japanese automaker has been seeing increased pressure from the latest offerings coming out of Korea and the United States, and now it’s time to update its own high-volume money maker. While Toyota sold 327,084 Camrys in 2010 – still at the very front of the midsize family sedan class – that figure represents the lowest sales total for the vehicle since 1994.

Somewhat interestingly, though, Toyota apparently sees the Prius hybrid range taking over for the Camry as Toyota’s best-selling model. Time, as they say, will tell.

7th-generation Camry coming this fall, Prius expected to take top sales spot originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: Every new VW Beetle will be a second-generation design

Filed under: Coupe, Volkswagen, Design/Style

2012 VW New Beetle on display in New York
2012 Volkswagen Beetle – Click above for high-res image gallery
Volkswagen made a big deal about having the original Beetle in the studio when the designers went to work on the 2012 Beetle, so at the 2011 New York Auto Show, we spoke to Rainer Michel, vice president of product marketing and strategy for VW of America, about why that decision was so important.

“What we did in ’98 was the right car for that time,” he said, “but this one is more true to the design of the original,” a design philosophy that is apparent in items like the decreased rake of the A-pillar and the flattened line of the roof that descends further back and more cleanly into the bumper.

And Michel said that the next time they redesign the Beetle, they’ll again return to the source. “We went back to the original and did a design based on that, and when we do the next one we’ll go back to the original. Maybe we’ll go in a different direction, but it comes from the original.” The idea is that the third generation of the New Beetle won’t be a redesign of the current car, it will be another modernized version of the original.

As to the increased masculinity of the 2012 Beetle, Michel said, “The last car was about 60/40 female to male.” He intimated he’d be happy with a 50/50 split, but what was more important to him was getting away from that concern at all. “We wanted a car with good interior space, more shoulder room and head clearance, a car which accommodates passengers nicely and has a range of powertrains,” he said. “The car shouldn’t depend on any demographics.”

Gallery: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle: New York 2011

2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

New York 2011: Every new VW Beetle will be a second-generation design originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Apr 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi previews next-generation A3 hatchback

Filed under: Geneva Motor Show, Hatchback, Audi, Luxury

2013 Audi A3 rendering

2013 Audi A3 preview rendering – Click above for image gallery

Audi has taken an interesting approach forecasting the next-generation A3 with a sedan concept at the Geneva Motor Show – even though the current model is principally a hatchback. When it does hit showrooms sometime next year, however, the next-gen A3 is expected to be offered first with a tailgate before a trunked version comes along – the three-door model leading the five-door, then the sedan and finally the soft-top convertible.

The news comes along with a trio of sketches released by Audi to the British motor press alongside those of the R8 GT Spyder. The renderings depict the three-door hatchback, the four-door sedan and the cabin of the next-gen A3 production model, which is tipped to be even more diverse in its engine offerings than it is in its bodystyles: expect gasoline, diesel, natural gas, hybrid and full electric versions to be rolled out in succession.

The cabin, meanwhile, is tipped to feature the latest technologies, including Audi’s MMI controller and a pop-up infotainment screen. Look for the production 2013 A3 – in one body form or another – to debut in Geneva next March, a year after the sedan concept we saw there last month.

Gallery: 2013 Audi A3 preview renderings

[Source: Audi via Autocar]

Audi previews next-generation A3 hatchback originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Current generation BMW M3 to be last naturally aspirated M car

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Sedan, Performance, Government/Legal, BMW

BMW M3 Competition Package

BMW M3 Competition Package – Click above for high-res image gallery

The writing’s been on the wall for some time, but the fate of naturally aspirated M cars from BMW is all but sealed: forced induction is the future and the next M3 will come equipped with a turbocharged engine.

With next year’s new emissions standards looming on the horizon, every automaker is looking to improve its fleet-wide fuel economy, and that means performance vehicles will be some of the first to undergo an EPA-mandated makeover.

For BMW, that means turbocharging and start-stop systems, two technologies that will boost the fuel economy of the all-new M5 by up to 25 percent when it goes on sale next spring.

Looking over BMW’s current crop of M products, one vehicle stands alone in the induction department, and a source within BMW has told us that the E90/E92 M3’s V8 will be the last naturally aspirated engine fitted to an M vehicle. While nearly every automaker has made tremendous strides to nearly eliminate turbo lag, the linear, low-end grunt of a turbo can’t compare to the high-revving thrills of an NA powerplant. But the future is here and the future is forced induction.

Gallery: BMW M3 Competition Package

Current generation BMW M3 to be last naturally aspirated M car originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CES 2011: Next generation MMI, Touch debuting on Audi A3

Filed under: CES, Technology, Audi

Audi Next Generation MMI

Click above to enlarge

Take a close look at the photo above. You’re looking at Audi’s next generation MMI system being demoed during this morning’s keynote at CES. The circuit board to the left is packing NVIDIA’s Tegra chipset – the same processor powering a range of tablets and netbooks – and to the right is Audi’s new scroll wheel, which has grown considerably. The reason for the added girth? Audi is incorporating the much-lauded MMI Touch interface directly into the scroll wheel. MMI Touch – which originally debuted on the A8 and is making its way to the A7 and all-new A6 – will continue to move down through the ranks of Audi’s line-up and will debut on the next generation A3, likely to arrive within the next two years.

The revised MMI Touch will continue to include handwriting recognition, but will also handle scrolling and possibly gestures for panning, zooming and other functions. If you’ve used an iPhone, iPad or MacBook touchpad, you’ll be right at home.

We also got a sneak preview of the Tegra’s performance as it seamlessly rendered Google Earth, a new circular navigation menu and full 3D graphics. Audi claims to have over 100 engineers and user interface experts working on its infotainment software, and from what we’ve seen today, we believe them.

CES 2011: Next generation MMI, Touch debuting on Audi A3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 06 Jan 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LA 2010: Nissan unveils fourth generation Quest; swagger-wagon wars heat up

Filed under: LA Auto Show, Minivan/Van, Nissan

2011 Nissan Quest

2011 Nissan Quest – Click above for high-res image gallery

Keeping up with the Joneses is a tough game to play, and Nissan’s third-generation Quest was getting jealous of the new Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. Los Angeles can change you, and that’s why we are staring at the all-new fourth generation 2011 Nissan Quest.

Arriving in dealerships in the beginning of next year, the 2011 Nissan Quest will be offered in four trims: S, SV, SL and LE. All four are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 253 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and it’s paired with Nissan’s Xtronic CVT unit. Each trim is also fairly well-equipped, with even the base Quest S receiving push-button ignition and a six-disc CD audio system. The top-level Quest LE goes all out with such features as a DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones, a blind-spot warning system and HID headlights.

Besides the tech amenities, the Quest also offers a plethora of what-you-would-expect minivan features. The 2nd and 3rd rows of seating both fold flat to the floor, and a deep rear storage well adds even more cargo space if you are traveling with items other than passengers. See the whole shebang in our high-res image gallery below, and hit the jump for the complete press release.

Gallery: LA 2010: Nissan Quest

Gallery: 2011 Nissan Quest

Live photos copyright (C)2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Nissan]

Continue reading LA 2010: Nissan unveils fourth generation Quest; swagger-wagon wars heat up

LA 2010: Nissan unveils fourth generation Quest; swagger-wagon wars heat up originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Nov 2010 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Second generation Audi A1 could come to the U.S.

Filed under: Hatchback, Audi, Luxury

Audi A1 tfsi

2011 Audi A1 1.4 TFSI – Click above for high-res image gallery

Less than a week after complaining about the A1’s lack of a U.S. visa comes word that Audi is considering bringing the second generation entry-level hatch to the States. Speaking with Automotive News at the Paris Motor Show, Audi AG board member Peter Schwarzenbauer said the chances of the next A1 coming to the U.S. are “quite high,” although a decision wouldn’t be made for at least another year and a half.

When development of the current A1 was underway several years ago, Audi decided that fuel prices and consumer demand were too low to justify bringing the A1 into North America. However, sales of the A3 combined with strong consumer interest in diesels – not to mention the warm reception of the Mini Cooper – have Audi reconsidering the A1’s business case in the U.S. And if Audi wants to achieve its goal of becoming the world’s largest luxury automaker by 2015, it will need all the sales it can get in the States.

Gallery: Paris 2010: 2011 Audi A1 TFSI

Live photos copyright (C)2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

Report: Second generation Audi A1 could come to the U.S. originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Oct 2010 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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