2012 Nissan Versa will spawn hatchback body style, just not quite yet

Filed under: Budget, Hatchback, Nissan

2012 Nissan Versa

2012 Nissan Versa – Click above for high-res image gallery

When we studied the trends of hatchback and sedan sales numbers within the subcompact segment, we found that the more functional three- and five-door models tend to attract the majority of buyers. Nissan – a company whose Versa enjoys the largest share (20 percent) of this segment – stated that about two-thirds of all Versas sold in the United States are hatchbacks.

2012 Nissan TiidaSo why, then, when the 2012 Versa sedan debuted at the New York Auto Show last month, was there no five-door variant in sight? After all, the Versa’s global sister, the Tiida (pictured right), debuted in funky hatchback form at the Shanghai Motor Show recently, and with the five-door model commanding the majority of sales, Nissan wouldn’t be smart to kill off its more popular offering.

We spoke to David Reuter, Nissan’s vice president of corporate communications, who assured us that a new version of the Versa hatchback is coming, just not quite yet.

The majority of Versa sold are the five-door. Overall, we sold 99,705 Versa in 2010, compared to our next closest competitor (Honda Fit) who sold just under 55,000 units. So, from a business standpoint, we decided to improve the sedan first.
As of this writing, it is unclear exactly when we’ll see the next-generation Versa hatch. In the meantime, Reuter says that the current car will soldier on for the 2012 model year with “only normal model year to model year changes.”

2012 Nissan Versa will spawn hatchback body style, just not quite yet originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 May 2011 17:29:00 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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2012 Saab 9-3 hatchback confirmed – but is a sedan?

Filed under: Hatchback, Saab, Design/Style, Luxury

Saab PhoeniX concept car

Saab PhoeniX Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

We’re in Washington D.C. this week attending the embargoed long-lead event for the 2011 Saab 9-4X, but that hasn’t stopped us from inquiring about other key new products from the House of Griffin.

We’ve already seen mules of the next-generation 9-3 range undergoing testing, but thus far, we haven’t seen any production bodywork or learned much in the way of specifics. A purist’s return-to-form hatchback model has been rumored for some time now, and thanks to Magnus Hillerborn, Saab’s Vehicle Validation Engineer, Autoblog can now confirm that a five-door is indeed headed into production along with the expected convertible variant. Interestingly enough, what isn’t yet confirmed for the 2012 9-3 is a sedan bodystyle.

The next 9-3 was nearly finalized when Spyker purchased Saab last year from General Motors, but Victor Muller and Co. felt that there was so much work to be done that new chief designer Jason Castriota set immediately to work on making the new car more ‘Saabish.’ The changes are so significant that Hillerborn says he imagines GM executives will be “very surprised” when they see the production car, which is tipped to take design cues from the PhoeniX concept car that debuted earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show. Hillerborn says that the hatchback will likely be five-door only (presumably a SportCombi wagon variant will follow), though we imagine there are some three-door renderings knocking about in Trollhattan. Hillerborn promises a very sleek and unique hatchback, one that should appeal to traditional sedan buyers as well (read: not bulbous and overtly hatch-like, but more streamlined).

A modestly retouched 2011 9-3 range debuted in Geneva alongside the PhoeniX showcar, but it will only have to hang on for about a year before the all-new generation appears. A traditional 9-3 sedan is under consideration and would likely help move some units in the U.S., but it apparently has not yet been signed off on, meaning that the five-door will form the heart of the range. With Saab’s sales in a slump in nearly all of its world markets, one thing is for sure: the new 9-3 can’t arrive soon enough.

Gallery: Saab PhoeniX Concept: Geneva 2011

Saab PhoeniX ConceptSaab PhoeniX ConceptSaab PhoeniX ConceptSaab PhoeniX ConceptSaab PhoeniX Concept

Gallery: Saab Phoenix Concept

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

2012 Saab 9-3 hatchback confirmed – but is a sedan? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Geneva 2011: Infiniti Etherea Concept tries not to look like a hatchback

Filed under: Concept Cars, Hybrid, Geneva Motor Show, Hatchback, Infiniti

Infiniti Etherea Concept

Infiniti Etherea Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Infiniti is clearly interested in expanding its model line into the compact segment, a fact evidenced by the Etherea Concept that it is currently showing off at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The most far-out styling feature of the Etherea is no doubt the crescent-shaped C-pillar, though opinions seem to vary on its effectiveness on such a compact car.

In any case, all the hallmarks of a modern-day concept car are present and accounted for, including a hybrid powertrain that features a 245-horsepower supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a twin-clutch system that links the electric motor to the engine. All those ponies are routed through a continuously variable automatic transmission to the front wheels.

As far as the styling goes, Infiniti has this to say about the Etherea Concept: “As an exploration of a future entry-level Infiniti production model, Etherea can be summed up as a four-door coupe with five-door practicality – a hatchback that doesn’t look like a hatchback.” We’ll let you decide how true that may be…

Feel free to read the complete press release after the break, and be sure to check out our high-res gallery of live photos below.

Gallery: Infiniti Etherea Concept: Geneva 2011

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

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Geneva 2011: Infiniti Etherea Concept tries not to look like a hatchback originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Mar 2011 04:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Production Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback says hello before big show

Filed under: Geneva Motor Show, Hatchback, Chevrolet, UK

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback
Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback – Click above for high-res image gallery

Meet the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback. This five-door Cruze will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, which officially kicks off on Tuesday, March 1st. The Cruze Hatchback concept that generated excitement at last year’s Paris Motor Show is the inspiration for this production model, which has a sloping roofline that’s more sleek than geek. Cargo space is improved, of course, and doubly weep-inducing for North American hatchback fans, this one will only be available in Europe, with a delicious 161-horsepower diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission available.

The Cruze Hatchback will be in UK Chevrolet showrooms next to the latest Orlando, Captiva and Aveo models starting in the summer. With the Cruze recently winning the British Touring Car Championship and the World Touring Car Drivers and Constructors Championship, there’s a possibility that a Cruze Hatchback could be campaigned in motorsport, as well. Check the press release after the jump for the official Chevy announcement.

Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

[Source: General Motors]

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Production Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback says hello before big show originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Feb 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saab hatchback concept teased ahead of Geneva

Filed under: Concept Cars, Geneva Motor Show, Europe, Saab, Luxury

Saab at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

It looks like Saab is planning a party for this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The Scandinavian automaker has just rolled out its invitations to the shindig, and the cards feature a whopping total of four cars covered by sheets. According to the company, the public at large will get its first look an all-new concept car from the automaker, and judging by the inset image below, it looks like it could be a return-to-form hatchback that presages the next 9-3. In addition to the show car, there will likely be special edition versions of the 9-3 and 9-3 Cabriolet. Of course, the 9-4X crossover will be on the show stand, and the freshly teased 9-5 SportCombi is also set to make an appearance.

Saab Concept CarAccording to enthusiast site Saabs United, both the tweaked 9-3 and 9-3 Cabriolet are said to be getting a pre-Geneva unveil on February 23. Expect to see full photos and greater detail on what those models will have to offer as we get closer to that date.

Hopefully, these new models will help drum up some interest in Saab. Last year, the Swedish automaker struggled to find traction after being released from General Motors’ shackles, selling a mere 5,445 units in the States. Officials have earmarked a goal of triple that figure for 2011.

[Sources: Saabs United, Saab]

Saab hatchback concept teased ahead of Geneva originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Feb 2011 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Production Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback coming to Geneva

Filed under: Geneva Motor Show, Europe, Hatchback, Chevrolet

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors has confirmed that it will debut the final production version of the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The original design was previewed by the five-door Cruze show car we saw in Paris last year, but we expect the completed car to look more like the design renderings that were filed at the European patent office in December, complete with front-end fittings more closely related to what we see on the Cruze sedan.

Oh, and just in case you forgot, the Cruze Hatchback has not been given the green light here in North America. A shame, since Ford’s new five-door Focus is just about to hit dealerships and Hyundai has promised us a hatchback version of its swoopy new Elantra. What gives, GM?

We’ll have the complete details live from Geneva in just a few weeks. For now, follow the jump for The General’s official press release.

Gallery: Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

[Source: General Motors]

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Production Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback coming to Geneva originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 01 Feb 2011 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota-based Subaru Trezia hatchback headed to Europe

Filed under: Europe, Hatchback, Subaru, Toyota

Subaru Trezia hatchback

Subaru Trezia hatchback – Click above for high-res image gallery

When we think about Toyota-Subaru collaboration, the first thing that comes to mind is the highly anticipated rear-wheel-drive “Toyobaru” project. But while the FT-86 and its Subie sibling are first in our thoughts, it wasn’t number one to market.

Automotive News reports that Subaru is set to unveil the Trezia hatchback in March at the Geneva Auto Show. The roomy five-door, which closely mirrors the Honda Fit in most every measurement, will be a near spot-on match of the Toyota Verso it’s based on, but with an Impreza-style grille slapped on the front clip and some Subaru badging sprinkled throughought. Both the Toyota Verso (named Ractis for JDM consumption) and Subaru Trezia are being sold in Japan now, and both vehicles are destined for Euro showrooms this spring.

In Japan, the Trezia is powered by a choice of 1.3-liter and 1.5-liter inline-four cylinder gasoline engines mated to a CVT, but in Europe the 1.5 will be replaced with a 1.4-liter diesel. In Japan, the Trezia can be had with all-wheel-drive provided car buyers check off the box for the more powerful engine, which will likely be the turbodiesel in Europe.

With its roomy interior and diminutive footprint, the Trezia will likely do well overseas. But will we ever see Subaru’s Fit-fighter in North America? With gas prices once again on the rise, it might not be a bad idea.

Gallery: Subaru Trezia

[Source: Automotive News sub. req.]

Toyota-based Subaru Trezia hatchback headed to Europe originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 23 Jan 2011 18:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Chevy Sonic shown off as sedan and hatchback

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Budget, Sedan, Hatchback, Chevrolet, GM

2012 Chevrolet Sonic sedan

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors has officially yanked back the sheets on the newest sub-compact from Chevrolet, the 2012 Sonic. Just don’t call it the Aveo. The five-door hatch and four-door sedan are set to be officially unveiled later today at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, but the Bow Tie brand has been kind enough to share the skinny on this vehicle that’s supposed to tango with the likes of the new Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Fiesta. The Sonic will be available with a standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, though buyers can opt up for a turbocharged 1.4-liter producing 138 horsepower, which GM underscores is 18 ponies more than the Fiesta. Shifting duties are handled by either a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic gearbox.

In fact, it’s clear that The General had its sights locked on the Fiesta from the get go. The Sonic hatchback packs more back seat room than its Blue Oval competitor and, with the rear bench folded flat, delivers more cargo room, as well.

GM also put plenty of effort into the suspension by tasking the geometry gurus responsible for the Corvette’s mighty grip. Up front, the Sonic benefits from a MacPherson strut design, while a torsion beam handles suspension duties out back.

There’s also plenty design-wise to differentiate the Sonic from its homely predecessor, including a more aggressive front fascia with massive headlight arrays. Judging from the photos, the biggest changes are indoors, where a stylish cockpit replaces the bland, bargain plastics of the Aveo. Stay tuned for live photos from the show floor of the 2011 Detroit Auto Show and hit the jump for the full press release.

Gallery: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan2012 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan2012 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan2012 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan2012 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan

Gallery: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

[Source: General Motors]

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2012 Chevy Sonic shown off as sedan and hatchback originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Jan 2011 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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