Official: Citroën Cactus Concept revealed, production version caught testing

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Spy Photos, Hybrid, Crossover, Hatchback, Citroën, Design/Style

Citroen Cactus ConceptCitroen Cactus spy shots

After dropping a teaser on us last week, Citroën has released a full gallery of images for its forthcoming Cactus Concept (above) along with a short press release stating that this is “more than a concept car.” Proving that there is production potential for this Frankfurt Motor Show concept, our spy shooters have managed to catch what looks like the C-segment crossover already out testing in production trim (inset) as an added bonus.

The concept’s “airbumps” and floating roof obviously aren’t carrying over to the production model, but other elements of the crossover seem to be close to what customers will see in showrooms. From the outside, we can see the vehicle in the spy shots will have a similar overall shape, but the unique four-spoke wheels have been replaced by a more mass-audience-friendly eight-spoke setup. One of the more interesting aspects in comparing both the prototype and the concept is the front end. The production version seems to have a more conventional headlight design, but looking more closely reveals there is something covered by the extensive camouflage above the headlights, a hidden detail which matches what we see on the concept.

We don’t have any spy shots of the cabin, but as concept cars go, the interior of the Cactus isn’t all that far fetched. We would expect to see changes to the display screen, steering wheel and seat designs, but the cabin’s overall look probably won’t stray too far from the concept. Citroën’s press release for the concept, which is posted below, promises a hybrid powertrain, so that might also be headed for production.

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Citroën Cactus Concept revealed, production version caught testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Citroën Cactus Concept revealed, production version caught testing

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Spy Photos, Hybrid, Crossover, Hatchback, Citroën, Design/Style

Citroen Cactus ConceptCitroen Cactus spy shots

After dropping a teaser on us last week, Citroën has released a full gallery of images for its forthcoming Cactus Concept (above) along with a short press release stating that this is “more than a concept car.” Proving that there is production potential for this Frankfurt Motor Show concept, our spy shooters have managed to catch what looks like the C-segment crossover already out testing in production trim (inset) as an added bonus.

The concept’s “airbumps” and floating roof obviously aren’t carrying over to the production model, but other elements of the crossover seem to be close to what customers will see in showrooms. From the outside, we can see the vehicle in the spy shots will have a similar overall shape, but the unique four-spoke wheels have been replaced by a more mass-audience-friendly eight-spoke setup. One of the more interesting aspects in comparing both the prototype and the concept is the front end. The production version seems to have a more conventional headlight design, but looking more closely reveals there is something covered by the extensive camouflage above the headlights, a hidden detail which matches what we see on the concept.

We don’t have any spy shots of the cabin, but as concept cars go, the interior of the Cactus isn’t all that far fetched. We would expect to see changes to the display screen, steering wheel and seat designs, but the cabin’s overall look probably won’t stray too far from the concept. Citroën’s press release for the concept, which is posted below, promises a hybrid powertrain, so that might also be headed for production.

Continue reading Citroën Cactus Concept revealed, production version caught testing

Citroën Cactus Concept revealed, production version caught testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Nissan’s Dacia Duster-based Terrano revealed

Filed under: Spy Photos, Budget, SUV, Nissan, India

Nissan Terrano - front three-quarter view

The new Nissan Terrano has appeared in production form after an apparent August 20 launch in India, but the small sport utility vehicle remains sadly aloof from the US market. We’ve had our eyes on the Terrano ever since we learned it would be produced as an upscale alternative to the Dacia Duster on which it’s based, but currently Nissan has no plans to import it here. Blame safety and perhaps emissions laws – the Duster was never designed for our market.

Even with these less-than-high resolution images, it’s clear that the beyond the obvious badges, Nissan’s signature trapezoidal grille and a slightly altered rear end with new taillights are the biggest visual clues that this is the Terrano, but those with astute eyes will also notice a slightly redesigned hood and blacked-out door pillars instead of the Duster’s body-colored items. Either way, it looks to be a handsome, low-cost little brute – the sort of simple and rugged SUV that’s hard to come by in today’s marketplace.

Nissan’s Dacia Duster-based Terrano revealed originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 15:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Seat Leon ST longroof revealed

Filed under: Budget, Wagon, Europe, SEAT

Seat has officially unveiled the Leon ST – the first estate/wagon version of the Leon ever offered – which expands the third-generation Leon and Leon SC lineup that went on sale last year.

With the introduction of the ST (Sport Touring) comes driver-assistance technology new to the Leon range, including adaptive cruise control, adaptive chassis control and progressive steering. But the main reason you’d opt for the estate is probably for its cargo capacity, which starts at 20.7 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and stretches to 51.9 cubic feet when they’re folded down. Seat did a good job keeping the Leon’s identity after revising it into wagon form, but despite the ST’s clean lines, it comes very close to looking like a small minivan to our eyes. Perhaps that opinion will change after we view the new wagon in person.

Volkswagen-owned Seat uses the Golf’s chassis for the Leon series, as well as VW engines. Seat claims the ST was designed with fuel efficiency in mind, and its light weight (for a wagon, at least) of 2,718 pounds for the base model and range of small, direct-injected, turbocharged petrol and diesel engines support that claim. Engines range from 1.2 to 2.0 liters in size and have between 104 and 182 horsepower. All told, Seat claims the Leon ST with the worst fuel efficiency will still net drivers a stellar 53.3 miles per gallon on average, using the European cycle.

Since Seat doesn’t sell cars in the US, you’ll have to wait for the next VW Jetta SportWagen if you want something like this Leon ST package. For more details, check out Seat’s press release below.

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Seat Leon ST longroof revealed originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: VW Phaeton coming back to US, could be revealed in Detroit

Filed under: Sedan, Volkswagen, Luxury

Since its ignominious departure from the US car market in 2006, there have been any number of on-again/off-again rumors about the Volkswagen Phaeton returning to our shores. With that said, VW’s aggressive goals in terms of worldwide sales dominance would seem to countenance all manner of new product; taking a second stab at a halo-luxury car for the US, included.

At least that’s the gist of a new report from Bloomberg, which dangles the idea of a new Phaeton potentially being “shown to US consumers in January,” or just in time for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

Short on specifics and citations, the Bloomberg report seems to rely on the expansionist behavior of VW as a whole over the last few years, and a few statements of positivity from VW CEO Martin Winterkorn. The publication quotes Winterkorn as saying, “A brand as large as Volkswagen needs a halo project in the upscale segment.” Bloomberg also states that Winterkorn was “confirming” the Phaeton’s return to the US.

The supposedly Detroit-bound Phaeton demonstrator could come in concept form, as a way of better judging public reaction to the reintroduction of the sedan. Pending a greenlight, the next-gen Phaeton is likely to share architecture with the Audi A8, with the potential good for a hybrid version, as well.

VW Phaeton coming back to US, could be revealed in Detroit originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG revealed in video

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Videos, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG video

Following the reveal of the standard Mercedes-Benz S-Class last month, we’re eagerly anticipating the next several chapters of the brand’s flagship range, especially the all-important S63 AMG. And while Mercedes itself has done a pretty good job of keeping things under wraps, it looks like a mistake was made. As part of its celebration kicking off S-Class production at the company’s Sindelfingen, Germany plant, Mercedes released some official videos showing the new sedan coming off the line, and the one you see here is the S63 AMG.

Because of how precisely styled all of Merc’s new cars are, the AMG models won’t necessarily carry the same sort of visual assault that they’ve had in generations past. For example, take a look at the brand new CLA250, and then compare it to a CLA45 AMG. Almost identical, right? Even here with the S-Class, the larger air intakes below the front bumper are a dead giveaway about the performance underneath (as are the larger wheels), but it doesn’t look substantially more aggressive than the other S-Class models sitting in the same room.

We don’t have official details on the new S63 AMG yet, but we expect the company’s twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 to be found underhood, putting out something like 550 horsepower in the base model. (Like the new E-Class, an S model will likely be offered). The AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive will likely be part of the S63 AMG package, too.

Scroll down to have a look at the video.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG revealed in video originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Jun 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 220-mph Vencer Sarthe supercar to be revealed at Salon Prive

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, UK, MISC

The last time we heard about Dutch supercar upstart Vencer was a little more than a year ago when it announced it would call its one offering Sarthe. Vencer says the Sarthe will be officially unveiled to the UK in early September at London’s Salon Privé.

The Sarthe sure seems to bring the supercar goods. Vencer says it will be a tube steel and chrome-moly chassis attached to a honeycomb aluminum floor. Top Gear says a “510-bhp Corvette V8” sits behind the driver, to which a six-speed manual is bolted. Vencer says the car’s carbon fiber bodywork helps keep the weight near 3,064 pounds. Light weight and high power team up to propel the supercar to 60 in just 3.8 seconds and then to a top speed of 202 miles per hour.

Air conditioning, electric windows and locks, “in-car entertainment,” an alarm and ABS are the standard accoutrements, but customers can request extras.

Speaking of customers, there won’t be very many since production will be “low volume.” Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the London coming-out party will feature English afternoon tea, champagne and a lobster luncheon. So, bet on including that in the eventual sticker price.

Read the official press release below.

Continue reading 220-mph Vencer Sarthe supercar to be revealed at Salon Prive

220-mph Vencer Sarthe supercar to be revealed at Salon Prive originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Jun 2013 10:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Bijan’s custom Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport revealed

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Videos, Bugatti, Design/Style, Luxury

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport by Bijan

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport by Bijan – Click above to watch the videos after the jump

Persian fashion designer Bijan Pakzad was a genuine car nut, and he drove high-dollar exotics on a regular basis. He passed away last month while he was working on a series of special editions for Rolls-Royce, but before he left this world he worked up this one-of-a-kind Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport.

Bijan’s signature yellow dominates everything on this custom Veyron, from the broad stripe running up the center of the polished aluminum bodywork to the wheels and interior. As you can see, Bijan’s trademark bearded face motif is featured prominently on the nose, and Bijan logos are even featured on both sides of the rear wing. There’s even an iPad installed in between the seats that displays the same flower as those rotated daily in his Rodeo Drive boutique.

Created in close collaboration with Bugatti and its design director, Achim Anschdeidt, the car was completed six weeks ago. Low-key it is not, but then neither were Bijan and his other designs. And as you can see from the second video after the jump, it wasn’t the flamboyant designer’s first custom Veyron, either.

Continue reading Bijan’s custom Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport revealed

Bijan’s custom Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport revealed originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 14 May 2011 18:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Awesome mid-engine, RWD Abarth 500 Motore Centrale revealed at Top Marques [w/video]

Filed under: Aftermarket, Performance, Europe, Videos, Hatchback, Misc. Auto Shows, Racing, Fiat

Lucarelli Monza 500 Motore Centrale R230

Lucarelli Monza 500 Motore Centrale R230 – Click above for image gallery

There’s a grand tradition to mid-engined hatchbacks that blend exotic layout with utilitarian bodystyle, and as promised, that tradition has now embodied itself in the Fiat 500.

Developed by Lucarelli Monza – a new tuning house eager to make its mark – the Abarth 500 Motore Centrale is a substantial re-engineering of the Italian retro hatch. The engine has been moved – apparently to a glass display case – in the rear, and extensively modified in the process. With a new turbocharger and intercooler, new catalytic converter and pistons, the 1.4-liter turbo four now drives 230 metric horsepower to the rear wheels, aided by an electronic limited-slip differential.

While the front MacPherson struts have been left intact, a new wishbone suspension has been crafted for the rear, joined by upgraded brakes with four-pot calipers all around and some revised bodywork with ducting fitted to help keep the engine cool in its new orientation. Aznom, meanwhile, has been brought on board strictly to outfit the interior with Poltrona Frau leather and Alcantara.

The road-going R230 is quoted for a 4.7-second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) and a 240 km/h (150 mph) top end. An R280 Pista version is also available with an extra 50 horses and 220 fewer pounds, plus a mechanical diff, full roll cage, adjustable suspension and data recorder, dropping its sprint down to 3.9 seconds and raising its top end up to 260 km/h (160 mph). No word on pricing, but you can bet that getting a budget hatchback to reach those kinds of numbers isn’t a cheap proposition.

Have a closer look in the gallery below, and follow the jump to see and hear the pocket rocket zipping around the streets of Monte Carlo thanks to Marco at Marchettino. Thanks to all for the tips!

Gallery: Lucarelli Monza 500 Motore Centrale R230

[Source: MotoreCentrale.com via Italiaspeed]

Continue reading Awesome mid-engine, RWD Abarth 500 Motore Centrale revealed at Top Marques [w/video]

Awesome mid-engine, RWD Abarth 500 Motore Centrale revealed at Top Marques [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Apr 2011 17:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Chrysler 200 S and 200 S Convertible revealed ahead of New York

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Convertible, Sedan, Chrysler

2011 chrysler 200 s sedan and 200 s convertible

2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan and 200 S convertible – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chrysler is jumping the gun, so to speak, choosing to reveal two new family members ahead of the 2011 New York Auto Show. The 2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan and 2011 200 S convertible appear to be edgier than their non-S counterparts, which is because Chrysler has given them a shot in the styling arm, upping the visual appeal by a few degrees.

The 2011 200 S gets an S-specific Chrysler wing badge on the nose, body-colored side mirrors and door handles and a pair of headlamps with black backgrounds. Sitting underneath the fenders are four 18-inch aluminum wheels, which also all wear the S badge. Inside, the 200 S gets embroidered front headrests, heated leather front seats with suede inserts, suede door trim and a 276-watt Boston Acoustic audio system.

Under the hood, the 200 S gets the now-familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, which is good for 283-horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an automatic transmission, the duo is good for 29 miles per gallon on the highway. The fixed-roof 200 S will set you back $26,790 while the drop-top costs $32,490. Both versions are expected to show up on dealer lots sometime this spring.

Be sure to check out the full press release posted after the jump.

Gallery: 2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan and 200 S convertible

2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan and convertible2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan2011 Chrysler 200 S convertible2011 Chrysler 200 S convertible

[Source: Chrysler]

Continue reading 2011 Chrysler 200 S and 200 S Convertible revealed ahead of New York

2011 Chrysler 200 S and 200 S Convertible revealed ahead of New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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