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we can see the vehicle in the spy shots will have a similar overall shape, but the unique four-spoke wheels have been replaced by a more mass-audience-friendly eight-spoke setup.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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Report: Porsche 918 Spyder to birth stretched 2+2 version?

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Porsche, Earnings/Financials, Specialty, Luxury

Porsche is known for its ability to spin off a litter of variants from a single model, and according to a report in Automobile the 918 Spyder (pictured here) might not be spared the house trick. Having taken too many brains and too much money for too much time, company chiefs are said to be examining ways to get more for their development euro out of the supercar, and Plan A is apparently otherwise known as Plan 984. That would be a four-seater, rear-wheel drive supercar that uses a stretched mold of the 918’s carbon fiber tub, keeping the V8 in the same mid-mounted place and costing around 350,000 euro.

That would be less than half the MSRP of its inspiration, but the details don’t sketch out a car that’s just half as good. Automobile speculates it would get something like 700 horsepower in order to best the coming 911 GT2, and about 440 pound-feet of torque. The 984 is quite a ways short of being confirmed; even though a full-size study is said to exist, it’s like the 918 would need to become a bigger sales hit for the 984 to happen.

The 984’s fortunes don’t change those of the 960, the supercoupe Porsche is building to challenge Ferrari. Its potential specs haven’t changed since the last report in January, power coming from a 5.0-liter, twin-turbo, eight-cylinder boxer engine with something like 650 hp pushing a curb weight of roughly 3,100 pounds. The means a suspected 0-to-60 mile-per-hour time of 2.5 seconds.

And there’s even more than that coming from the Stuttgart fold. You can read the rest at Automobile, and you can register your reaction to a supercar version of the Panamera in Comments.

Porsche 918 Spyder to birth stretched 2+2 version? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Is the Subaru BRZ STI being teased really only a tS version?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Scion, Subaru, Toyota, Rumormill

Subaru BRZ teaser depicting either a tS or STI model

Teaser images of a purported Subaru BRZ STI were uncovered last night and sent the internet into a collective state of hysterics. That’s not hugely surprising, though, considering the reverence that the BRZ, along with its fraternal twins, the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86, have garnered from the automotive media. The sole sticking point, really, has been its mere 200 horsepower. People have been chomping at the bit over a higher output version of the sublime rear driver.

Those same people may be in for a disappointment, though. See, the BRZ STI that was teased last night might not be a real STI. Instead, it’s looking like it might be a BRZ tS. According to 7Tune.com, the timing of the photos posted on Subaru’s website lined up with Subaru’s 86 Festival at Fuji Speedway, where the Subaru BRZ tS debuted. Despite wearing STI badges, the tS isn’t the full-tilt STI model we’ve been hoping for. Instead, you can think of the relationship between tS models and STI models as sort of like the difference between a BMW 3 Series M Sport and a BMW M3.

Certainly, the speccing of the tS supports that idea. The engine of the BRZ remains untouched in both tS models, which is one of the primary things we expect a full-bore STI to address. A number of interior and exterior styling items have been added, along with Bilstein suspension pieces and six-pot Brembo brakes. The tS sports two different trim levels, with the higher end using Recaro seats, black alloy wheels, and a carbon-fiber rear spoiler. The base tS features silver wheels, standard seats, and all the same suspension and brake upgrades. Adding fuel to the fire that these are not the true STI models is the limited production run – Subaru will only build 750 tS cars.

Still, there’s hope that we’ll eventually see a BRZ STI, with rumors to support that argument. The 2013-2014 auto show season will ultimately tell the tale.

Is the Subaru BRZ STI being teased really only a tS version? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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STI version of Subaru coupe unlikely to go turbocharged? Not so fast…

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Etc., Japan, Subaru, Rumormill

Subaru Coupe spy shots

Subaru Coupe spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

Automotive News has dug up a few details on the Subaru sports coupe co-developed with Toyota. The production version of the two-door is set for an official unveil at the Tokyo Motor Show this December, and when it bows, AN expects it to show up without the company’s trademark all-wheel drive system or a turbocharger. That sound? It’s the lonesome wail of a sad trombone.

The good news is that Subaru is reportedly planning on a longer-than-average lifecycle for the coupe, with multiple packages popping up down the line to keep the car fresh. Those include an STI model, and while those three letters typically signify forced induction, Automotive News suggests that’s not the case for this vehicle. According to their sources at Subaru, the Subiyota was always intended to be all naturally aspirated, all the time. Curiously, Autoblog’s own well-placed sources assure us that isn’t the case, suggesting that turbo power is still very much in the car’s future.

Even with a 2.0-liter, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder behind the headlights, the Subaru coupe should be a blast to fling. The company’s engineers have positioned the engine five inches lower in the chassis compared to the Impreza, which should translate into a better center of gravity and improved handling dynamics. Here’s hoping that all-wheel drive shows up before long.

STI version of Subaru coupe unlikely to go turbocharged? Not so fast… originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Nissan GT-R to get power bump, Spec R version

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Nissan

2012 Nissan GT-R Egoist

2012 Nissan GT-R Egoist – Click above for high-res image gallery

Staying on top demands constant improvement, and Nissan has certainly proven itself up to the task with the current R35-generation GT-R. Since its domestic introduction in 2007 and global roll-out in 2009, Nissan has launched successive improvements on its flagship sportscar, and now word is coming of another upgrade on the way.

According to the folks at 7Tune, output from the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 is set to increase from 530 horsepower up to 560. And to supersede the current Spec V model, a Spec R is said to be in the works, dropping another 70 pounds or so for even more extreme performance.

Development of the new GT-R has reportedly been postponed in the wake of the quake fallout in Japan, pushing the car’s launch back by several months. These are expected to be the final iterations of the R35 before its successor arrives.

Nissan GT-R to get power bump, Spec R version originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 May 2011 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Best Motoring International, Hot Version are officially dead

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Japan

Those of us brought up in the ’90s import scene were dealt a serious blow last week with the announcement that HKS is shuttering its U.S. operations after years of stagnant sales in the States. Now comes word that the video series from Best Motoring International and Hot Version have been killed and the hosts disbanded.

2&4 Motoring, owned by Japanese publishing juggernaut Kodansha, has been responsible for the popular automotive video series for the last two decades, but slow sales and a lack of consistent revenue have taken their toll. The series’ creators and their hosts – including Hideki Tanabe – are supposedly moving on to bigger and better things, making Hot Version #110 and April 2011’s Best Motoring shows the final installments of the series.

[Source: 7Tune | Image Credit: Adam Zillin]

Best Motoring International, Hot Version are officially dead originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 01 May 2011 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford releases new version of the Fiesta S1600, limited to just 500 units

Filed under: Car Buying, Hatchback, Ford, UK

ford fiesta s1600

Another day, another hot-hatch that the United Kingdom can enjoy while thumbing their nose at our relative lack of hot-hatchitude here in the States. Ford has just announced another limited-edition run of Fiesta S1600 hatchbacks.

In 2010, Ford released a 650-car run of 118-horsepower Fiesta S1600 three-doors. A new version for 2011 uses the same engine but ups the power ante to 132 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 118 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm.

On the outside, the Ford Fiesta S1600 receives a lower front valence, larger side sills, a rear spoiler, rear diffuser and white 17-inch alloy wheels. The car is available in Frozen White or Performance Blue and both color choices get a pair of contrasting center stripes. The S1600 gets upgraded parts on the interior as well. Leather lines the heated sports seats, handbrake cover, gear level and steering wheel.

The Ford Fiesta S1600 will be limited to just 500 units and wears a price tag of £15,895, or nearly $26,000 USD. It doesn’t matter how much it costs in U.S. Dollars though because we can’t buy it here. That said, feel free to read all about what you’ll likely be missing in the press release after the break.

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading Ford releases new version of the Fiesta S1600, limited to just 500 units

Ford releases new version of the Fiesta S1600, limited to just 500 units originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Feb 2011 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ferrari working on its own version of Fiat’s MultiAir?

Filed under: Performance, Technology, Ferrari, Fiat

Ferrari MultiAir

The flow of technology under the Fiat umbrella typically moves from Ferrari to the other brands. After all, between its road and race car programs, Maranello spends an inordinate amount of time and money on research and development. But it looks like the latest bit of technology in Italy is about to go the other way.

Rumor has it that Ferrari is working on a high-performance version of Fiat’s acclaimed MultiAir system – one of the biggest assets that Fiat brought to the Chrysler deal. The system allows for an infinitely variable valvetrain setup altered on the fly through hydraulic actuators to optimize performance and efficiency. According to industry speculation on the reportedly leaked schematic above, Ferrari’s system could also incorporate the type of pneumatically-actuated valve control used by the Scuderia to allow its F1 engines to redline over the 20,000 RPM mark, far beyond what a conventional spring-driven system could allow.

Combined, the systems could stand to simultaneously improve the efficiency and the output of Ferrari’s already high-revving powertrains.

[Source: autoblog.nl via MotorAuthority]

Ferrari working on its own version of Fiat’s MultiAir? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 20 Feb 2011 14:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda to supply Nissan with its own version of Mazda5

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Japan, Plants/Manufacturing, Mazda, Nissan

2012 Mazda5

2012 Mazda5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda has officially announced that it will supply the Mazda5 minivan to Nissan beginning in May of this year. But before you go dreaming of a Nissan micro-minivan here in the United States, know that this will be a Japan-only affair. As of this writing, mum’s the word on what the Nissan-badged Mazda will be called in the automaker’s home market. The Mazda5, or Premacy as it’s known in Japan, will “enrich [Nissan’s] minivan lineup in the Japanese market” – a place where small MPVs are sold in great volume.

This is not the only collaboration between Mazda and Nissan in Japan. Currently, Mazda provides its Bongo Van/Truck to Nissan under the name Vanette. Likewise, Nissan supplies its AD/AD Expert to Mazda, sold under the name Familia Van. Follow the jump for the official press release.

Gallery: 2012 Mazda5

2012 Mazda52012 Mazda52012 Mazda52012 Mazda52012 Mazda5

[Source: Mazda]

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Mazda to supply Nissan with its own version of Mazda5 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 29 Jan 2011 15:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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