Official: Mini shows how to camp in style

Filed under: Crossover, Hatchback, Mini, Specialty, Design/Style, Luxury

If you’re the type of person who loves spontaneous road trips and camping, and Volkswagen’s Camper Vans aren’t your style (or you can’t find one for sale in the US), then Mini has what you’re looking for: the Clubvan Camper, Cowley caravan or Countryman ALL4 Camp. Unfortunately, Mini says there are no plans to offer any of them for sale. And no, this doesn’t seem to be a recycled April fools joke, in which Mini touted the Swindon Roof Top Tent and Cowley.

Let’s start with the Clubvan camper, a curious prototype that has a sleeping area for one and an extendable kitchenette featuring a stove and chest fridge. And we say curious because, in addition to not being offered for sale anywhere at this point, the Camper is based on the Clubvan, which was just pulled from US dealerships due to low sales volume. This thing definitely isn’t coming to the US.

The Cowley caravan, named after Mini’s historic factory in England (known today as Plant Oxford), can be towed behind a Mini vehicle and features a sleeping area for two, a twin-burner gas stove and a water tank complete with pump and sink facility. It looks quite comfortable in there. The Cowley uses a solar panel to charge its onboard battery, and it has a 230-volt connection to power the fridge and entertainment equipment.

In this writer’s opinion, the coolest thing here is the Countryman ALL4 Camper, which is a Countryman with a specialized tent mounted on top. The tent’s upper portion unfolds from its box and becomes a second-story mobile living area whenever it’s needed. And, a Countryman isn’t needed to mount it to the top of a Mini; the tent can be mounted to any Mini model and wouldn’t take much effort to produce and sell as an accessory at a dealership.

Be sure to check out the photo galleries to see some staged fun, Mini-style, and scroll down for the press release.

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Mini shows how to camp in style originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Jul 2013 17:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mini shows how to camp in style

Filed under: Crossover, Hatchback, Mini, Specialty, Design/Style, Luxury

If you’re the type of person who loves spontaneous road trips and camping, and Volkswagen’s Camper Vans aren’t your style (or you can’t find one for sale in the US), then Mini has what you’re looking for: the Clubvan Camper, Cowley caravan or Countryman ALL4 Camp. Unfortunately, Mini says there are no plans to offer any of them for sale. And no, this doesn’t seem to be a recycled April fools joke, in which Mini touted the Swindon Roof Top Tent and Cowley.

Let’s start with the Clubvan camper, a curious prototype that has a sleeping area for one and an extendable kitchenette featuring a stove and chest fridge. And we say curious because, in addition to not being offered for sale anywhere at this point, the Camper is based on the Clubvan, which was just pulled from US dealerships due to low sales volume. This thing definitely isn’t coming to the US.

The Cowley caravan, named after Mini’s historic factory in England (known today as Plant Oxford), can be towed behind a Mini vehicle and features a sleeping area for two, a twin-burner gas stove and a water tank complete with pump and sink facility. It looks quite comfortable in there. The Cowley uses a solar panel to charge its onboard battery, and it has a 230-volt connection to power the fridge and entertainment equipment.

In this writer’s opinion, the coolest thing here is the Countryman ALL4 Camper, which is a Countryman with a specialized tent mounted on top. The tent’s upper portion unfolds from its box and becomes a second-story mobile living area whenever it’s needed. And, a Countryman isn’t needed to mount it to the top of a Mini; the tent can be mounted to any Mini model and wouldn’t take much effort to produce and sell as an accessory at a dealership.

Be sure to check out the photo galleries to see some staged fun, Mini-style, and scroll down for the press release.

Continue reading Mini shows how to camp in style

Mini shows how to camp in style originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Jul 2013 17:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog goes on an African safari, Subaru-Style

Filed under: Etc., Crossover, Subaru

… And Learns To Love The Ostrich

2014 Subaru Forester XT in South Africa

Subaru may be the ostrich of the Japanese auto industry.

When one thinks of a safari, they naturally draw pictures in their mind’s eye of wild animals, like lions, elephants and giraffes. I’m no different, and it was with visions of long telephoto lenses over vast runes and dunes that I embarked on a 19-hour plane ride from Phoenix, Arizona to Plettenberg Bay in South Africa, camera gear in tow.

My particular safari through the wilds of South Africa included none of those things, however. Sure, I did spy a random baboon or two (they didn’t seem particularly friendly), several other unknown primates and some random wild cattle, but the trip I found myself a part of centered around a rather unexpected South African specialty: the ostrich.

Never heard of an ostrich safari? Well, neither had I, and my trip wasn’t exactly a ‘safari’ in the classic sense – I wasn’t riding around through the African plains in an open-top Land Rover with guides pointing out the various wildlife for my picture-taking pleasure – but I did drive to and fro over the hills and dales of Africa’s southernmost tip, and I did see plenty of flightless fowl. I ate some, too, and it was as deliciously different from chicken as you can imagine, with lean red meat (the other red meat?).

All of this got me thinking… Since I was ferrying myself around in one of a flock of Subaru Forester crossovers, perhaps the prevalence of the strange birds made sense. Consider: If Toyota, Honda and Nissan are the Japanese equivalents of the lions, elephants and giraffes you’d expect to see on safari, it may not be a stretch to consider Subaru the ostrich; the outsider struggling to prove it belongs in the same conversation as the big boys. If you don’t buy the comparison now, follow along as we compare and contrast Subaru – and the Forester in particular – with the ostrich in several unique and unconventional ways, starting with its looks.

Continue reading Autoblog goes on an African safari, Subaru-Style

Autoblog goes on an African safari, Subaru-Style originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Jun 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chrysler developing TR Ram Life Style Truck to compete with Honda Ridgeline

Filed under: Truck, Plants/Manufacturing, Crossover, Chrysler, Dodge, Canada

2006 Dodge Rampage concept

2006 Dodge Rampage Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Does the world need a competitor to the Honda Ridgeline? While sales figures of Honda’s half-truck would lead us to believe consumers aren’t clamoring for such a vehicle (Honda only sold 16,142 Ridgelines in 2010, barely more than the 13,047 Dakota’s Dodge moved), recent reports indicate that Chrysler seems to think otherwise.

We’ve known for some time that Dodge was considering a small urban-style pickup – ever since it showed off the Rampage Concept (shown above) at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show and then mentioned it again in Chrysler’s rambling five-year plan announced in 2009 – but talk of the so-called Lifestyle Pickup had cooled off… until now.

According to wheels.ca, Chrysler suppliers were recently briefed on the automaker’s future product plans, and a replacement for the unloved Dakota is on the docket. It’s thought that Chrysler may build the vehicle in Windsor, Ontario atop its minivan platform, which lends credence to the Ridgeline comparison.

We have to wonder if the crossover platform employed by the latest (and very well-received) Durango might be a better bet, but we’ll surely reserve judgement until something more concrete than these rumors begin to surface. We’re also curious as to whether the small pickup would wear a Dodge or Ram badge. Stay tuned for more…

Chrysler developing TR Ram Life Style Truck to compete with Honda Ridgeline originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 May 2011 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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Video: Motorstorm Apocalypse is down and dirty racing, Mad Max style

Filed under: Etc., Toys/Games

Motorstorm Apocalypse

Motorstorm Apocalypse – Click above to watch video after the jump

If Gran Turismo 5 has turned a bit stale for you, never fear. The crew behind the Motorstorm franchise has just what you need to wet your racing videogame whistle in the form of the new Motorstorm Apocalypse. The game takes all of the fender-bashing glory of the classics into a city in the throes of collapse. Players will not only have to contend with the other racers, but they’ll have to square off against an environment that’s hell-bent on destruction as well. It’s like Mad Max on steroids.

Programmers have thrown in a heap of new vehicle classes on top of old favorites, and the single-player campaign brings a new level of story-telling to the party for the first time. Additionally, new online multiplayer content allows you to collect experience points to build your favorite racing machine, collect medals to show off and to unlock new vehicle perks to help you gain an edge over the rest of the field.

Sign us up.

You can check out a full trailer for the game after the jump as well as a few developer journals that take a closer look at both the multiplayer and the single player action. We think you won’t be disappointed.

[Source: Caradisiac]

Continue reading Video: Motorstorm Apocalypse is down and dirty racing, Mad Max style

Video: Motorstorm Apocalypse is down and dirty racing, Mad Max style originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Geneva 2011: Audi A3 sedan concept opens the show in style

Filed under: Concept Cars, Sedan, Geneva Motor Show, Audi

Audi A3 sedan concept

Audi A3 sedan concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

As promised, Audi trotted out its A3 sedan concept at the Geneva Motor Show, and it’s a lovely bit of compact, Teutonic hotness. A ton of carbon fiber bits and pieces litter the shapely sheetmetal, all enclosing a very Germanic four-seat interior.

Naturally, we’re just as interested in the five-cylinder engine that uses turbocharging and FSI to pump out 408 horsepower. Peak torque measures 368 pound feet, and all that power is available between 1,600 and 5,300 rpm. Audi claims its A3 concept can hit 62 mph in 4.1 seconds and is electronically governed to a top speed of 155 mph. Impressively fuel mileage is estimated at 25.85 U.S. miles per gallon.

A seven-speed dual clutch gearbox handles shifting duties, and naturally, is naturally sent to all four wheels via Quattro all-wheel-drive. We’re rather intrigued by the 20-inch wheels that are molded from carbon fiber and aluminum, which should save weight in the most crucial area. Full details can be found in the press release after the break, and you can check out live images from the floor in our high-res gallery below.

Gallery: Audi A3 sedan concept: Geneva 2011

Audi A3 sedan concept: Geneva 2011Audi A3 sedan concept: Geneva 2011Audi A3 sedan concept: Geneva 2011Audi A3 sedan concept: Geneva 2011Audi A3 sedan concept: Geneva 2011

Gallery: Audi A3 sedan concept

Audi A3 sedan conceptAudi A3 sedan conceptAudi A3 sedan conceptAudi A3 sedan conceptAudi A3 sedan concept

Photos copyright (C)2011 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

Continue reading Geneva 2011: Audi A3 sedan concept opens the show in style

Geneva 2011: Audi A3 sedan concept opens the show in style originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 01 Mar 2011 03:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kia K9 sedan spied, upscale cues include Maserati-style side vents

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Kia, Luxury, South Korea

Kia K9 – Click above for image gallery

Remember the proposed Kia K9 luxury sedan? Apparently, it’s a reality, as spy shots of the Kia flagship have hit a web forum in Korea. As you can see, the K9’s camouflage (which sneakily includes Hyundai Genesis wheels) doesn’t obscure a set of Maserati Quattroporte-style fender ports. Just how upmarket is Kia shooting with this? Well, according to the tipster who sent them to us, the K9 is expected to slot into the market space between the Hyundai Genesis and Equus sedans.

If those two are anything to go on, Kia might be on to something. From these photos, it looks like the K9 will not only sport Quttroporte-referencing vents along its fenders, but long, angular headlights and a protruding grille, leaving impressions of the BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XJ – lofty benchmarks, indeed. Thanks for the tip, K7!

Gallery: Kia K9 out and about

Kia K9 front disguisedKia K9 read disguisedKia K9 mirrorKia K9 wheelKia K9 headlight

[Source: Bobaedream.co.kr]

Kia K9 sedan spied, upscale cues include Maserati-style side vents originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Feb 2011 19:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: How to build a Suzuki Swift in under 4 minutes, stop-motion style

Filed under: Etc., Videos, Suzuki

suzuki swift stop-motion build video screen grab

Suzuki Swift comes to life one frame at a time – Click above to watch video after the jump

It may be calling out for some Peter Gabriel backing-music, but Michal Bakiewicz has put together what may be our new favorite “watch a car come to life” video to date.

This stop-motion clip captures a Suzuki Swift as it goes from pile-o-parts to race-ready hatchback. The entire garage springs to life and, as the seasons changes, a new racecar is born. Click past the jump to watch the frame-by-frame action. Impressive work, Michal.

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: How to build a Suzuki Swift in under 4 minutes, stop-motion style

Video: How to build a Suzuki Swift in under 4 minutes, stop-motion style originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Feb 2011 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fiat 500 by Gucci celebrates Italian style

Filed under: Geneva Motor Show, Hatchback, Design/Style, Luxury, Fiat

Fiat 500 by Gucci

Fiat 500 by Gucci – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chic, stylish and Italian, a car like the Fiat 500 is a natural fit for the Gucci set. But in case that wasn’t obvious enough, the two Italian firms have teamed up on a special line. Spearheaded by Lapo Elkann – the rakish playboy brother of Fiat chairman John Elkann and grandson of his late predecessor Gianni Agnelli – the Fiat 500 by Gucci is a joint effort between Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini and Fiat’s Centro Stile in this, Italy’s 150th year of ndependence.

The car itself follows in the footsteps of the Diesel edition – not to mention the myriad of similar initiatives involving the Citroën DS3 and the Mini – and is available in either black or white. Gucci’s signature red and green stripe runs down the flank, with the Double-G logo on the wheel hubs and in the pattern on the leather seats.

Naturally, Gucci has also introduced a range of clothing and accessories to mark the occasion. The car and collection were launched by Milan Fashion Week and will be displayed at a dedicated stand at the Geneva Motor Show next week. Trend-setters needn’t wait to check out the details in the press release after the jump and the high-resolution images in the gallery below.

Gallery: Fiat 500 by Gucci

[Source: Fiat]

Continue reading Fiat 500 by Gucci celebrates Italian style

Fiat 500 by Gucci celebrates Italian style originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Feb 2011 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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