Report: Mercedes FWD platform to last until 2018, convertible and two-seater future uncertain

Filed under: Convertible, Sedan, Mercedes-Benz

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan - front three-quarter view, silver

Mercedes-Benz seems to be expecting a lot of success from its front-wheel-drive CLA-Class. Automotive News is reporting that the sub-C-Class sedan could grow when its second generation arrives in 2018.

The current FWD platform for MB underpins the CLA, the B-Class, the GLA-Class, and the A-Class. The B-Class will arrive in North America as an EV for spring of 2014, while the production GLA crossover will arrive three to four months after that. The five-door A-Class won’t be crossing The Pond. Sad faces all around.

According to AN, another model will be based on the front-drive architecture, but it won’t be coming to the US market. Set to arrive next year, rumors are that it’ll be a wagon version of the CLA, sort of like the ill-named five-door CLS Shooting Brake that is also a Europe-only item.

As for the rumored CLA convertible and two-seat roadster, if those two arrive, it’s not going to be until the second-generation of the current architecture hits the market. Even then, their future is in uncertain, as Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG told Automotive News, “We are considering the final portfolio of the next generation of our compact cars. We have to define it and we may expand the portfolio.”

Mercedes FWD platform to last until 2018, convertible and two-seater future uncertain originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Mercedes FWD platform to last until 2018, convertible and two-seater future uncertain”

Report: BMW, Mini aim to sell million cars off new FWD platform

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Sedan, Wagon, Crossover, Hatchback, BMW, Mini, Luxury

Mini sold 301,526 cars in 2012; BMW sold 1.54 million of its own models. According to a piece in Autocar, analysts say the coming UKL1 platform that will form the skeleton of the third-generation Mini Cooper and coming front-wheel drive BMW 1 Series could be responsible for “more than 900,000 cars per year” all by itself.

That sale fire is fueled by the UKL1 wearing up to twenty-three bodies in total between the two brands, 11 for Mini and 12 for BMW, rendering hatchbacks, sedans, coupes, convertibles, wagons, crossovers and people-haulers from about 12.5 feet to 14.5 feet. In April the VP of Mini USA said we might find some current models don’t make it to a next generation, but a graphic accompanying the Autocar story has them all there. If it’s correct, then those 23 models will only base model lines and don’t account for different engines and four-wheel-drive options for each model.

The big changes that would perhaps mean big sales for the Mini line are a five-door hatch with two smaller rear doors for children, the sedan talked about last year for Asian markets and an MPV perhaps wearing the “Traveler” name that could send the Countryman in a more SUV-like direction.

BMW, Mini aim to sell million cars off new FWD platform originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: BMW, Mini aim to sell million cars off new FWD platform”

Report: Saab to use new modular platform for next 9-3

Filed under: Saab, Rumormill, Design/Style

Saab 9-3

According to Autocar, Saab is itching to go modular. The company is apparently walking away from plans to significantly update its plan to run a much-modified General Motors Epsilon I architecture in favor of a new strategy that includes a clean-sheet design. Autocar cites unnamed sources inside the company’s headquarters who have indicated that engineers are currently whittling away on a versatile platform that will form the basis of everything form a diminutive 9-2 to a lengthy 9-7 and everything in between. That includes the confirmed-for-production 9-3, 9-5 and 9-4x. Autocar believes that the rumored 9-1 will use different bones.

That all sounds good, but the news runs completely against the grain of everything we’ve heard about the company’s production plans so far. Victor Muller, the company’s CEO, has previously told Autoblog that the 9-3 successor will be based on a much-modified version of the Epsilon I architecture that’s so thoroughly altered that Saab will be able to claim the chassis as its own intellectual property. As the next 9-3 is part of Saab’s fully funded business plan, we have trouble seeing the Swedish automaker going to the considerable added expense of developing an all-new, from-scratch platform – particularly when global sales of the firm’s current range have been slow to take off.

[Source: Autocar]

Report: Saab to use new modular platform for next 9-3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Mar 2011 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Saab to use new modular platform for next 9-3”

Chevy Camaro platform underpins new GM vehicle in Chicago

Filed under: Chicago Auto Show, Concept Cars, Chevrolet, GM

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors has big plans for the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. At the exposition opening this week, GM will unveil a pair of new vehicles, although details on what form they’ll take remain scarce.

The news comes from reports quoting GM’s North American president Mark Reuss. All he’s revealed at this point is that one of the two cars will be based on the Chevrolet Camaro’s platform. That tells us it will be a front-engine/rear-drive vehicle, but little else. So, commence speculation: Camaro Z28? Chevy Zeta-platform sedan? (Which we think should be called Chevelle, because hey, if Dodge can call its sedan Charger…)

As for the second car slated for the Windy City salon, your guess is as good as ours. So we’ll just have to sit tight and see what the General has got in store for us.

Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible: First Drive

2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

Photos copyright (C)2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: The Detroit News]

Chevy Camaro platform underpins new GM vehicle in Chicago originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 06 Feb 2011 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Chevy Camaro platform underpins new GM vehicle in Chicago”

Rumormill: 2014 Lexus IS to ride on stretched Toyota FT-86 platform

Filed under: Coupe, Sedan, Lexus, Toyota, Rumormill, Luxury

2014 Lexux IS Rendering cropIf, like us, you’ve been racking your brain to figure out how Toyota is possibly going to be able to offer the FT-86 anywhere near its price target, Road & Track may have part of the answer for you. The magazine is reporting that the next-generation Lexus IS will ride on a stretched version of the low-dollar coupe’s platform, allowing Toyota to spread the development costs between the two models. With the production version of the FT-86 due in dealerships in 2012, the IS is expected to bow shortly thereafter in 2013.

Of course, this also helps explain some of the IS Coupe rumors we’ve been hearing recently, too.

An added nugget of goodness in this news is that the next-generation IS may be a sharper car in every way thanks to its shared bloodline with the sporty FT-86. Toyota head honcho Akio Toyoda has already made it clear that he would like to see his company’s products return to their sporty roots, and as a result, the new IS should be quite a bit more athletic than its predecessor. Don’t expect to see the Subaru-sourced flat four in the nose of the Lexus, though. Chances are the four-door will still get its power from derivatives of the four- and six-cylinder options currently available.

[Source: Road & Track]

Rumormill: 2014 Lexus IS to ride on stretched Toyota FT-86 platform originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Nov 2010 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Rumormill: 2014 Lexus IS to ride on stretched Toyota FT-86 platform”

Galatea thinks Hyundai Tiburon is perfect platform for coachbuilt styling

Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, Etc., Hyundai, Design/Style

Galatea Revision – Click above for high-res image gallery

Examples of high-end coachwork usually draw long, wistful stares and high levels of admiration, with skilled craftsmen taking something beautiful and creating something stunning. An Aston Martin DB4 is a wonderful machine, but a 1960 DB4 GT Zagato looks so good it’ll melt your face clean off. Same with the James Glickenhaus-owned Ferrari Enzo that evolved into the P4/5. The examples of high style and peerless engineering are as numerous as they are arresting. And then this showed up in our inbox.

This is the Galatea (pronounced: Gal-ah-tay-ah) Revision, a custom coupe built upon none other than the – you guessed it – Hyundai Tiburon. Says Galatea:

“Unlike many kit cars that are based on a fairly old donor car, the Galatea is a comparatively modern car with modern features…The kit is available for $5,180 in fiberglass and includes all lights, hardware, emblems, and a detailed instruction book to make installation easier. The parts included are a new hood, fenders, front bumper, headlights, rear bumper, and taillights.”

While it’s certainly not the worst custom Tiburon we’ve ever seen (you’ll see far, far worse at any HIN show), it doesn’t quite evoke the spirit of true coachbuilt styling. It’s a body kit. An elaborate, ambitious and oddly proportioned body kit, but a body kit nonetheless. It seems strangely appropriate that Galatea has chosen this particular Hyundai coupe as a basis for the project, as the Tiburon itself was both widely criticised and lauded for deriving its styling from a much more exotic automobile – the Ferrari 456 GT.

If you own a last-gen Tibby or just want to see it in person for yourself, the Revision will be making its debut at the Alpine Invitational Car Show and Concorso d’Eleganza on October 10 in Palisades, NY.

Gallery: Galatea Revision

Galatea RevisionGalatea RevisionGalatea RevisionGalatea RevisionGalatea Revision

[Source: Galatea Automobiles]

Continue reading Galatea thinks Hyundai Tiburon is perfect platform for coachbuilt styling

Galatea thinks Hyundai Tiburon is perfect platform for coachbuilt styling originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Oct 2010 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Galatea thinks Hyundai Tiburon is perfect platform for coachbuilt styling”