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we can see the vehicle in the spy shots will have a similar overall shape, but the unique four-spoke wheels have been replaced by a more mass-audience-friendly eight-spoke setup.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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Spy Shots: Next-generation Kia Sorento snapped undergoing testing

Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, Kia

Kia Sorento Spy Shots

Kia has been busy – a refreshed Sorento just arrived in showrooms for the 2014 model year and the Korean manufacturer is already out undergoing advanced testing in the next-generation model. How, pray tell, do we know how far along testing is? Notice any cladding, or coverings, aside from the regular vinyl camo? Right.

Our predictive talents aside, there are still a lot of questions about the next Sorento. We don’t have much to go on with the technical specs, although we’ll be thunderstruck if there isn’t some form of the Hyundai/Kia 2.0-liter turbo under hood. Our spies report that this new model is somewhat larger than the current Sorento, hinting that it might be riding atop the same platform as the long-wheelbase Hyundai Santa Fe. That could indicate an available V6 model, as well. Judging by the profile views, we’d bet our bottom dollar this is a three-row model.

The conflicting nature of a refreshed Sorento hitting dealers and an advanced prototype out testing in Europe makes it difficult to pin down a date for the third-generation CUV’s debut. We doubt we’ll be seeing the new Sorento before the end of the year – a 2014 debut with a 2015 on-sale date just seems more likely in light of the newness of the refreshed model.

Next-generation Kia Sorento snapped undergoing testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Next-generation Kia Sorento snapped undergoing testing

Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, Kia

Kia Sorento Spy Shots

Kia has been busy – a refreshed Sorento just arrived in showrooms for the 2014 model year and the Korean manufacturer is already out undergoing advanced testing in the next-generation model. How, pray tell, do we know how far along testing is? Notice any cladding, or coverings, aside from the regular vinyl camo? Right.

Our predictive talents aside, there are still a lot of questions about the next Sorento. We don’t have much to go on with the technical specs, although we’ll be thunderstruck if there isn’t some form of the Hyundai/Kia 2.0-liter turbo under hood. Our spies report that this new model is somewhat larger than the current Sorento, hinting that it might be riding atop the same platform as the long-wheelbase Hyundai Santa Fe. That could indicate an available V6 model, as well. Judging by the profile views, we’d bet our bottom dollar this is a three-row model.

The conflicting nature of a refreshed Sorento hitting dealers and an advanced prototype out testing in Europe makes it difficult to pin down a date for the third-generation CUV’s debut. We doubt we’ll be seeing the new Sorento before the end of the year – a 2014 debut with a 2015 on-sale date just seems more likely in light of the newness of the refreshed model.

Next-generation Kia Sorento snapped undergoing testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Cadillac flagship, possible production Elmiraj, caught testing

Filed under: Spy Photos, Coupe, Sedan, Cadillac, Luxury

2016 Cadillac Elmiraj test mule

One of the biggest debuts at the Monterey car week, both literally and figuratively, was the Cadillac Elmiraj Concept. The massive coupe made quite a splash with the show’s well-heeled guests. Now, we have what might be the very first images of the Elmiraj, or whatever it may be called when it reaches production, out testing.

Don’t let that modified Chevrolet Caprice body fool you, this car is about four to six inches longer than Chevy’s US-spec cop car, from the A-pillar forward. According to our spy, with the Caprice at 203 inches and the concept at 205, adding a few extra inches here and there fits the bill for the four-door Elmiraj that was hinted at in Jay Leno’s Garage.

There are a number of other classic mule signs on this car, including a cover over the fuel door and heavily modified front and rear fascias, each of which serves to hide some significant change from the standard Caprice. Using a Caprice for development also, hopefully, hints at something that big Cadillacs like the XTS have lacked – rear-wheel drive.

This is quite an exciting development for Cadillac fans. A new flagship, with a stylish, four-door-coupe body that will take aim at the Mercedes S-Class is something that Caddy enthusiasts have been begging for. With a debut set for sometime in 2015, though, there’s still plenty of waiting and a lot that can change. Watch this space.

Cadillac flagship, possible production Elmiraj, caught testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 10:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: 2015 Subaru Legacy prototype caught testing in Michigan

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Subaru

The current Subaru Legacy is only three years old, but compared to rival midsize sedans like the Mazda6 and Ford Fusion, which have recently received thorough redesigns, it might as well be a million. In other words, a reworking is in order. Caught in these spy shots, the 2015 Subaru Legacy appears to be about the same size as the current model, but it appears that Subaru is looking to push the sedan a little more upmarket in terms of styling and luxury.

Despite the heavy camouflage, some elements of the new Legacy’s design are still visible. The new headlights still have a scalloped shape but are much narrower, and we can also see the deep body creases that run the full length of the sedan. At the rear of the new Legacy, the taillights should get some added depth with a C-shaped brake light design similar to what we saw on the WRX Concept earlier in the year.

Showing that Subaru is aiming a little bit higher for this Legacy, this car is being benchmarked against all-wheel-drive luxury vehicles like the current Infiniti G37 and the Audi Allroad – the latter is likely for comparison with the Legacy’s wagon version, the Outback. Following the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, we expect the 2015 Legacy to be the next Subaru product to get a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, which we hear will be paired with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a CVT and, of course, all-wheel drive.

No word as to when the 2015 Legacy will debut, but the New York Auto Show is as good a guess as any.

2015 Subaru Legacy prototype caught testing in Michigan originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: GM execs fired over fraudulent India emissions testing

Filed under: SUV, Recalls, Chevrolet, GM, India

Chevy Tavera Neo3 - front three-quarter view

General Motors hadn’t had a recall in India since 1995. That changed when it was discovered that certain employees were playing tricks with local emissions testing in order to ensure passing grades for engines. More than ten GM Powertrain employees in India and the US have been let go over the ensuing emissions flap, including Sam Winegarden, VP of global engine engineering, a man who has been with the company since 1969, leading development of some marquee powerplants.

According to Automotive News, an internal investigation revealed that employees “violated testing procedures,” sometimes swapping specially prepared low-emissions engines during testing regimes for the Chevrolet Tavera SUV equipped with the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter engines. Employees were also manipulating weights in order to get vehicles placed into different emissions categories. The discovery has led to GM recall the 114,000 Taveras produced over an eight-year period and halting their production and sale.

The Economic Times of India reports that the issue is due to “a faulty component.” GM has developed a solution to the issue, and once it is validated in testing and approved by the Indian authorities, the recalled vehicles will be fixed at dealers and production will resume.

GM execs fired over fraudulent India emissions testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota begins testing Segway-like Winglet in Japan [w/video]

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Transportation Alternatives, Toyota, On Two Wheels, Japan

Toyota has just now started testing a two-wheeled Segway-like vehicle that it first trumpeted almost five years ago, but when the vehicle in question tops out at less then four miles per hour, these things do take time. Toyota’s Winglet, which the Japanese automaker first announced to the world in August 2008, has started public trials on the streets of Tsukuba, Japan, as the company looks to get more information on the stand-up vehicles safety and maneuverability.

The Winglet, Toyota says, is an illustration of the “development of a society where mobility is safe, freely accessible, and fun.” Tsukuba, which is 40 miles northeast of Tokyo (or, theoretically, about 12 hours by Winglet), is apropos because of its position as an “environmental model city.” The vehicle, which is said to have a single-charge range of about six miles and can be recharged in about an hour, is being tested on public sidewalks. So watch out, brave citizens of Tsukuba.

Meanwhile, read Toyota’s press release and check out footage of them in full flight by scrolling below.

Continue reading Toyota begins testing Segway-like Winglet in Japan [w/video]

Toyota begins testing Segway-like Winglet in Japan [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 26 Jul 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: UK to begin testing driverless cars in bid to ease congestion

Filed under: Safety, Technology, UK

Google, Stanford University, and a few other institutions have been testing driverless cars on American roads for some time now. Soon, though, the autonomous vehicle will go across the pond for their first tests on the wrong side of public roads.

The BBC reports that the British government has approved testing of driverless cars, provided a real human being is riding along in the event that things go wonky. The okay came from the Department of Transport, which included the testing as part of a 28 billion pound ($42.5 billion at today’s rates) investment to combat the notorious congestion on British roads.

The appeal of driverless cars is rather easy to see on the overused UK road network. As the DoT report states, driverless cars “maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front at a set speed and without deviating from their lane – all without the driver’s input.” That means a smoother flow of traffic and a lower chance of accidents.

The cars will be operated by the brains at Oxford University, which had previously tested an autonomous Nissan Leaf. It’s unclear whether Oxford would continue to use the Leaf, or switch to the Toyota Prius favored by Google.

And before our British readers start worrying about driverless EVs hurtling down the M1, the testing will be done on lightly used roads, only.

UK to begin testing driverless cars in bid to ease congestion originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Jul 2013 08:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: See how Motor Trend performs instrumented testing on a Viper

Filed under: Performance, Videos, SRT

MotorTrend has a rigorous set of instrumented testing procedures, and they are given a closer look in the buff book’s latest YouTube video, as it tackles the 2013 SRT Viper.

Using a stylish, white and silver SRT Viper, host Jessi Lang takes us through the battery of tests that each new car receives. That includes the more mundane acceleration runs, with some interesting tips from Scott Mortara on what it takes to charm the 640-horsepower snake.

Vehicle dynamics are also put under a microscope with MT’s figure-eight testing. Motor Trend‘s Testing Director Kim Reynolds shows off the suite of testing instruments used on the Viper before heading out to conduct the test.

Check out the full video below.

Continue reading See how Motor Trend performs instrumented testing on a Viper

See how Motor Trend performs instrumented testing on a Viper originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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