Rumormill: Infiniti to present Z4 rival in Geneva?

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, Geneva Motor Show, Infiniti, Rumormill, Luxury

Infiniti Etherea Concept

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

At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Infiniti took the wraps off its Etherea concept, showing its vision for a future premium hatchback. Now reports from across the pond suggest that the premium Nissan division could be preparing to unveil something decidedly sportier at next year’s Swiss expo.

The report comes from Auto Express, and it suggests that the new sportscar will be targeted at the likes of the BMW Z4 and Audi TT, yet slot in below the G37 Coupe in the company’s lineup. A two-seater in front-engine, rear-drive configuration is being mooted for the project, leaving questions as to where such a model might fit in the corporate hierarchy vis-à-vis Nissan’s 370Z.

No word on potential powertrains, but a hybrid setup could be part of the mix. Rumor has it that Lotus is being brought in to consult on the chassis setup – a role often taken up by the British sportscar-maker and engineering consultancy. Us? We can’t help but wonder if this isn’t where Red Bull Racing’s expertise could be brought to bear as well.

Infiniti to present Z4 rival in Geneva? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mercedes-Benz working on Bentley Continental rival?

Filed under: Coupe, Sedan, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Xenatec Maybach Cruiserio

Xenatec Maybach Cruiserio – Click above for high-res image gallery

Last week we brought you reports of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class expanding into numerous body-styles, but the coupe, convertible and pair of sedans in two different wheelbase lengths may not be the extent of it. Reports indicate that Daimler is considering a new four-door coupe to slot in above the CLS.

The model would target the Bentley Continental in a high-end model with even more dramatic styling (for those who feel the second-generation CLS is too conservative) and a range of AMG engines to help justify the engrossed pricetag.

While the new model is being touted as a Mercedes, a potential Maybach version could also be in the cards, like the Xenatec Cruiserio coupe pictured above.

Mercedes-Benz working on Bentley Continental rival? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 May 2011 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevrolet Camaro sales still outpacing rival Ford Mustang

Filed under: Car Buying, Convertible, Coupe, Performance, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Earnings/Financials

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro is still outselling the Ford Mustang, netting 19,972 sales through March compared to the Mustang’s 15,419. Both cars handily outsold the Dodge Challenger, which itself is selling fairly well with 9,742 units through the same period. This is the second year running (well, so far this year at least) that the Camaro has managed stronger sales figures than the Mustang, having overtaken it last year for the first time since 1985.

GM figures the Camaro’s success could be attributable to its relative newness in the pony car stable, having debuted in 2009. The Mustang has only undergone slight changes to its outward appearance since its 2004 redesign, though it’s been kept well freshened in the engine bay. To help boost Camaro sales, Chevrolet says the V6 will get an 11-horsepower bump by this summer, taking the base Camaro to a total of 323 horsepower.

With such a big sales head start, it seems unlikely the Camaro will be caught before the end of the year, despite Ford’s revised powertrain options for 2011 and the limited-production Mustang Boss 302 hitting dealerships soon.

Gallery: Review: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: The Detroit Free Press]

Chevrolet Camaro sales still outpacing rival Ford Mustang originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Apr 2011 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jaguar reportedly confirms 3 Series rival, XFR-S under development

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Jaguar, Luxury

2010 Jaguar XFR in motion

Jaguar XFR – Click above for high-res image gallery

Eager to show it’s at the top of its game, Jaguar has been promoting a raft of new technologies, models and variants under development of late. We’ve recently confirmed a new four-cylinder diesel for the XF (earmarked towards European buyers) and reports of an all-wheel-drive variant of the XJ flagship (targeted for North American consumption), but new reports give us some more to anticipate from the Leaping Cat marque.

First up, word out of the UK indicate that the long-rumored 3 Series rival – possibly (and counterintuitively) to be called XS – has been confirmed by Jaguar’s global brand director, Adrian Hallmark, who justifies that in order to compete with other European luxury marques, it needs to do so on all fronts.

Potentially more exciting, however, is the development of an even hotter version of the XFR (pictured above). The project reportedly transplants the upgrades in the XKR-S to the XF to make for a 550-horsepower super-sedan capable of taking on the likes of the forthcoming BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.

Gallery: First Drive: 2010 Jaguar XFR

Photos copyright (C)2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: PistonHeads]

Jaguar reportedly confirms 3 Series rival, XFR-S under development originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 17:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Volvo mulling sub-S40 sedan, BMW X1 rival

Filed under: Sedan, Crossover, Volvo

2011 Volvo S40Now that Volvo is no longer a part of Ford Motor Company, change is inevitable. The Swedish automaker can no longer rely on Ford to supply low-cost global platforms or new powertrains in the future, so that future may include fewer platforms and better model distinction. AutoWeek reports that Volvo will soon go from three platforms to two by adding some new models and taking away some others. On the chopping block are the S40 sedan and V50 wagon. Both have sold reasonably well, but they are reportedly too close in size to the new S60 to be retained. The V70 station wagon will cease to exist after the 2011 model year.

Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, tells AW that a new vehicle is being considered that will be smaller than the S40. It would do battle against heavy hitters like the BMW 1 Series. The small sedan’s all-new platform could also spawn a compact crossover to take on the likes of the BMW X1. Speck cites the feverish growth of the small luxury crossover segment as the main motivating factor to adding a smaller stablemate to the XC60 and XC90. In the short term, the larger S80 and XC90 will also be redone, better positioning Volvo to win sales in China, where large luxury rides are in high demand.

Speck also set expectations for S60 sales in the U.S. Volvo hopes to sell 15,000 to 25,000 copies of the attractive new sedan annually. Volvo sold only 5,895 copies of the outgoing S60 in 2009, though the last-gen model, which first sold way back in 2001, was very long in the tooth.

[Source: AutoWeek]

Report: Volvo mulling sub-S40 sedan, BMW X1 rival originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 03 Oct 2010 14:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ben “The Stig” Collins planning Top Gear rival?

Remember when any hint of the identity of the vaunted Stig was news? Even after Ben Collins outed himself as the mysterious super driver it took a few days before we truly believed that the biggest secret in British television had been spoiled. Judging by recent comments made by Jeremy Clarkson, we’re starting to think there’s little chance we’ll ever see the Stig again on Top Gear, but that doesn’t mean Collins is out of television for good.

The UK’s Telegraph reports that the former driver-in-white is fielding several offers to host his own show in the near future. Of course, Collins isn’t quite ready to spill details about his future plans, but he reportedly did mention that he wants to have a show with riskier stunts than what we’re used to seeing on Top Gear. In fact, Collins even managed to take a completely unveiled shot at Jezza by saying that the main man at TG “doesn’t have that kind of respect for people behind the scenes.

Until a show officially materializes, Collins plans to cash in on his book about the show, followed perhaps by a bit of fiction writing. Meanwhile, Top Gear will likely be hard at work finding the next Stig, though we’re guessing the show’s producers won’t bite on Collins’ idea to do a “Who wants to be The Stig” reality show, if only because the former Stig thought of it.

[Source: Telegraph]

Ben “The Stig” Collins planning Top Gear rival? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 25 Sep 2010 12:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Volvo’s new chairman wants 7-Series, S-Class rival

Filed under: Sedan, China, Volvo, Geely, Luxury

2011 Volvo S60 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Geely isn’t wasting any time in shaping up its newest acquisition’s product line. The Chinese automaker officially completed its deal to purchase Volvo from Ford earlier this week, and already the Swedish brand’s new chairman is making noises about a new large luxury sedan to go toe to toe with the likes of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Li Shufu, Volvo chairman and co-chair of Geely, said that the brand already competes with luxury German carmakers in most markets, but lacks all of the hardware to do so effectively. To remedy the problem, Li wants to put the rush on a new saloon to take the fight to the Bavarians.

According to the Financial Times, Volvo repeatedly ran into roadblocks when it attempted to develop a large four-door under Ford. Evidently the Blue Oval was concerned about a long-wheelbase Swede nabbing sales from Jaguar – another brand Ford owned at the time. A new Volvo sedan is far from a done deal, though. Li says that the thought of a range-topping sedan is his, and he’ll have to convince the company’s new board to give it the green light. With an ambitious goal to double Volvo to 600,000 units in five years primarily through growth in large-car loving China, a D-segment player sounds like a good bet – at least for select markets.

Gallery: 2011 Volvo S60

[Source: Financial Times – reg. req.]

Report: Volvo’s new chairman wants 7-Series, S-Class rival originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Aug 2010 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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