Teased: Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault, Design/Style, Luxury

Renault 2013 Frankfurt concept car teaser

Nobody does ‘premium’ like Renault – and we do mean nobody. The French automaker has thrown all manner of projectiles at Europe’s luxury car market dartboard over the years, including the left-field Vel Satis and Avantime ‘coupe’ of the 2000s – models that looked more like MPVs than traditional premium cars. Today, Renault still offers its po-faced Latitude sedan, but the badge-engineered Korean Samsung SM5 hasn’t caught on – even among Francophiles. In fact, the whole idea of French luxury is almost nonexistent in today’s marketplace, with the Citroën C6 having recently gone out of production.

But judging by this teaser photo for next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault may not be willing to cede the upper end of the market just yet. Along with the tightly cropped image of the headlamp above, Renault has issued a statement saying it will unveil a “new concept car which embodies its vision of Premium motoring.”

There’s no further details to go on, other than a statement saying this is the “latest opus in Renault Design’s lifecycle-based series of concept cars,” all of which will be displayed at the show. That grouping of six showcars, we might add, was designed under Laurens van den Acker’s leadership, with such notables as the stunning 2010 DeZir coupe and scissor-doored Captur concept of 2011. Whatever this unnamed concept turns out to be, we’re guessing it’ll be unmissable.

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Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Teased: Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault, Design/Style, Luxury

Renault 2013 Frankfurt concept car teaser

Nobody does ‘premium’ like Renault – and we do mean nobody. The French automaker has thrown all manner of projectiles at Europe’s luxury car market dartboard over the years, including the left-field Vel Satis and Avantime ‘coupe’ of the 2000s – models that looked more like MPVs than traditional premium cars. Today, Renault still offers its po-faced Latitude sedan, but the badge-engineered Korean Samsung SM5 hasn’t caught on – even among Francophiles. In fact, the whole idea of French luxury is almost nonexistent in today’s marketplace, with the Citroën C6 having recently gone out of production.

But judging by this teaser photo for next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault may not be willing to cede the upper end of the market just yet. Along with the tightly cropped image of the headlamp above, Renault has issued a statement saying it will unveil a “new concept car which embodies its vision of Premium motoring.”

There’s no further details to go on, other than a statement saying this is the “latest opus in Renault Design’s lifecycle-based series of concept cars,” all of which will be displayed at the show. That grouping of six showcars, we might add, was designed under Laurens van den Acker’s leadership, with such notables as the stunning 2010 DeZir coupe and scissor-doored Captur concept of 2011. Whatever this unnamed concept turns out to be, we’re guessing it’ll be unmissable.

Continue reading Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept

Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Infiniti releases first image of premium compact Q30 Concept

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Crossover, Hatchback, Infiniti, Luxury

Infiniti Q30 Concept

Behold, the Q30 Concept. Slated for a worldwide debut in Germany next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show, this concept previews a new entry-level premium compact that Infiniti hopes will attract younger buyers to the brand, as well as give it a competitor in a burgeoning new class that’s quickly filling up with options.

What will set the Q30 apart? Aside from a bold and aggressive design that picks up where the new Q50 and many concepts have left off, Infiniti says the shape combines elements from three bodystyles, all of which appeal to the sort of buyer it’s hoping snare. Can you guess which three? No peeking at the press release down below. Give yourself ten arbitrary points if your answer was coupe, crossover and hatchback.

Infiniti promises a ride height that will be high enough to earn crossover credentials, and we’re guessing it’s got an actual hatch back there, which leaves the coupe. Where’s the coupe in the Q30’s design? The influence of a two-door is a little more difficult to see with the naked eye, but what the Q30 shares with some four-door coupes on the market is a roofline that peaks and begins to slope back down before the B-pillar and rear set of doors.

There’s no information available yet on what powers the Q30 Concept, and hence even less about what will power the production version, but we expect to learn more more in the coming weeks leading up to this triple threat’s reveal in Frankfurt.

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Infiniti releases first image of premium compact Q30 Concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 01:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Infiniti Q30 premium compact concept teased ahead of Frankfurt debut

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Hatchback, Design/Style, Luxury

This year’s Frankfurt Motor Show is certainly shaping up to be an exciting (and busy) event, and now we have one more car to add to the list of unveilings. The Infiniti Q30 Concept will make its global debut in Frankfurt, giving a glimpse at a future premium small car for the brand, and the automaker has released the teaser sketch you see above to grab our interest before we see the real thing in person next month.

Seemingly headed in a much different direction than the 2012 LE Concept, the Q30 has even more aggressive styling to go with its two-box design. The Q30 is the not only the first Infiniti concept to come out under the company’s new design director, Alfonso Albaisa, it’s the first car that Sebastian Vettel, Infiniti’s Director of Performance, will help develop from the very beginning, and it could be the small car that Infiniti plans to build at its Sunderland, UK assembly plant.

Scroll down for the preliminary press release for this upcoming concept.

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Infiniti Q30 premium compact concept teased ahead of Frankfurt debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 01:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Infiniti EX30d Black Premium edition introduced in Europe

Filed under: Europe, Crossover, Infiniti, Luxury

Infiniti EX30d Black Premium

Infiniti EX30d Black Premium – Click above for high-res image gallery

Buying a luxury automobile these days is as much about the “customer experience” as it is about the actual vehicle. Infiniti has shown its aptitude in delivering that experience as well as its rivals have – arguably better – particularly in Europe, where Nissan’s luxury division is a relative newcomer.

Its latest offering comes in the form of the EX Black Premium. Based on the diesel-powered EX30d GT Premium trim, the Black edition features (you guessed it) black paint (metalic Malbec, in Infiniti parlance) with graphite leather interior plus 19-inch alloys, a sunroof, aluminum roof rails and a Bose sound system.

That covers the vehicle. As for the experience, Infiniti has thrown in a night for two – fine dining included – at any of the hundreds of luxury hotels associated with the Relais & Château group, as well as membership in its exclusive Club 5C. Only 500 examples of the Infiniti EX30d Black Premium edition will be offered across Europe, at about a $5,000 premium over the standard top-spec model. Full details are in the press release after the jump.

Gallery: Infiniti EX30d Black Premium

[Source: Infiniti]

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Infiniti EX30d Black Premium edition introduced in Europe originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 23 Jan 2011 16:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: BMW Megacity is a premium product, will carry premium pricetag

Filed under: Europe, Hatchback, BMW, Rumormill, Electric

BMW Megacity EV

BMW Megacity EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to the rumors kicking around the interwebs, the upcoming BMW Megacity won’t be bargain basement transportation. Autocar cites an unnamed source as saying that when the city-sized electric car hits dealers, it will carry a premium price tag. That likely means that the Megacity will cost more than the Nissan Leaf EV that it’s designed to compete against.

That’s no real shocker given the Megacity’s complete carbon-fiber passenger cell and unique aluminum chassis. Throw in the extensive research and development that’s gone into the vehicle so far, and it’s not difficult to imagine a lofty price tag for the Megacity when the EV hatch goes on sale as a 2013 model.

There is some indication that as technology and manufacturing costs decrease, BMW will lower the vehicle’s price tag, but that’s not thought to happen until the Megacity has already been on the road for some time. So far, BMW has said official word one about how it plans to price its EV.

Gallery: BMW Megacity Vehicle

[Source: Autocar]

Rumormill: BMW Megacity is a premium product, will carry premium pricetag originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jan 2011 14:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mini: “The 500 is a darling little car… but we’re a premium brand”

http://www.autoblog.com/photos/mini-paceman-concept-detroit-2011/

Mini showed off the Paceman Concept at this year’s Detroit Auto Show and announced not long afterward that it would spawn a production model. Tom Salkowski, who recently moved from BMW USA to Mini USA to fill the role of marketing manager, will be the man charged with getting the word about about Mini’s eighth model and the ones beyond. Here’s what he had to tell us.

  • The small car segment has erupted over the past couple of years and “Mini has prospered” even though it “faced significantly more competition.” But when asked what kind of head-to-head competitors the brand thinks it faces, Salkowski said “maybe Volkswagen, Mazda, Scion in the small-car segment,” with the caveat that since “Mini is very much a mindset, it’s different than other vehicles,” so “for the time being we don’t see anything.” Head of product management Oliver Friedmann confirmed the assessment with, “We don’t see any one-to-one competition, maybe the Evoque could be” for the Countryman.
  • Salkowski offered his thoughts on the Fiat 500 with, “The 500 is a darling little car, but Mini is a premium brand.”
  • On the discussion of roots and heritage at other emotional brands like BMW and Lotus, when asked how big the Mini brand and Mini cars could get and still be considered Minis, Friedmann said, “That’s what we try to find out at the moment. We just jumped over the four-meter line with the Countryman,” but reaction in the three months that the crossover has been on sale in Europe has been “very positive.”
  • Nevertheless, it’s not about creating an acceptance of a Mini of any size. Friedman said, “The competitors for the Countryman are significantly larger. We will always stay the smallest in the segment.” But the number one rejection of Mini is due to size and space, so the company had to do something.
  • Mini’s been known for its irreverent advertising, and it doesn’t sound like much will change under Salkowski, with a “bigger spend on television – you only get one chance to launch a car.” There will also be a huge billboard in Times Square, and a take-off on Mini’s original U.S. launch when they had a roving Ford Excursion driving around with a Mini on its roof. This time it will be a roving Countryman with a vintage Mini, Alec Issigonis’ original, on its roof.

Gallery: Mini Paceman Concept: Detroit 2011

Mini Paceman ConceptMini Paceman ConceptMini Paceman ConceptMini Paceman ConceptMini Paceman Concept

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

Mini: “The 500 is a darling little car… but we’re a premium brand” originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 16 Jan 2011 09:36:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Volvo moves away from ‘premium’ image

Filed under: Europe, Marketing/Advertising, Volvo, Geely

Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby

Volvo should no longer be lumped into the premium category, according to the wishes of CEO Stefan Jacoby. It’s not that the cars aren’t good, but according to Autocar, Jacoby thinks it sends the wrong message. “It sounds like a pricing strategy, and it’s got an expensive ring to it,” he tells the UK pub. Having recently come to Volvo from a tenure as CEO of Volkswagen’s American operation, Jacoby has no illusions about where his new brand sits. This latest statement dovetails with an earlier assertion of his that it’s too early for Volvo to consider gunning for the BMW 7 Series or Mercedes S-Class, directly contradicting Li Shufu, chairman of new owner Geely.

Rather than put on airs, Jacoby wants Volvo to emphasize its unique Swedishness to stand apart from the herd. Going after the territory well-covered by the German juggernauts hasn’t set Volvo’s sales off in search of the 800,000 units per year Jacoby wants to be shifting come 2020, which lends a certain credence to the new strategy.

[Source: Autocar | Image: Damian Dovarganes/AP]

Report: Volvo moves away from ‘premium’ image originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Nov 2010 14:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LA Preview: Jeep rolls out premium Grand Cherokee and Liberty trims

Filed under: LA Auto Show, SUV, Jeep, Luxury, Off-Road

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit – Click above for high-res image

Jeep is preparing to rumble in to the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show with a pair of upscale variants on two of their most popular models: the Grand Cherokee Overland Summit and the Liberty Jet.

The Overland Summit edition of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee stands among the most luxurious and equipped vehicle the Chrysler division has ever made. Jeep has chromed the grille, fog lamp bezels and 20-inch rims and painted it a new shade of Rugged Brown (optional alongside gray, beige and black), decking out the interior with Black Olive veneers, two-tone Nappa leather and Berber floor mats.

The Liberty Jet edition also adds a load of chrome to the wheels, lower grille, side moldings, tailgate, roof rails and mirror housings, while blacking out the headlamps to compliment the silver, charcoal, black or blackberry colors available. Inside the Liberty Jet packs a nine-speaker audio system and a host of optional features bundled as standard.

The Overland commands a $42,495 MSRP (before destination) in two-wheel drive spec and $45,995 for the 4×4, while the Jet package adds $1,495 to the Liberty Sport or $995 to the Liberty Limited. Both will be unveiled at the LA show before opening the order books in December, but you can check out the details in the press release after the jump right now along with the pair of high-res preview images in the gallery below. Hat tip to Brian!

Gallery: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit and Liberty Jet

[Source: Jeep]

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LA Preview: Jeep rolls out premium Grand Cherokee and Liberty trims originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Nov 2010 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Chevrolet Volt requires… premium gas?

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Chevrolet, GM, Electric

As we’re sure you’ve noticed by now, General Motors has been making lots of waves over the past few days with the pricing announcement (finally!) of its 2011 Chevrolet Volt. And, as you’re surely aware, GM’s plug-in hybrid is capable of traveling at least 40 miles per charge without using a single drop of gasoline. But what happens when the time comes to pump some good ol’ crude into the tank? You’ll be using premium.

Yes, you read that right. Premium gasoline only in GM’s mostly gasoline-free automobile. It seems a bit odd that The General would force its customers into using higher-priced gasoline if there wasn’t a good reason for it, but it certainly wouldn’t seem that the engine is highly stressed – 80 horsepower from 1.4 liters isn’t exactly bleeding edge.

There is a possibility, however, that the car’s engineers were able to wrestle a bit more efficiency from its constant-load engine/generator setup by using higher octane fuel. In any case, the automaker has not offered up any specific explanations on why premium is required or, for that matter, what kind of fuel mileage the Volt will attain when the gasoline-powered engine is in operation.

We feel compelled to point out that it probably doesn’t matter much that the Volt requires premium fuel considering how little gasoline the average user is likely to go through any given month. But naturally, your mileage will vary.

Gallery: 2011 Chevy Volt

[Source: The Truth About Cars]

2011 Chevrolet Volt requires… premium gas? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Jul 2010 15:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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