At the upcoming Paris Motor Show, which opens its doors early next month, Honda will unveil a prototype version of their all-new compact SUV destined for the European market. The Honda HR-V is more about substance than style. Which is a good thing considering it’s lacking any real design flair. Despite its compact size Honda have engineered the HR-V to be as practical, versatile and spacious as possible.
The vehicle features a centrally mounted fuel tank which Honda says frees up space inside. The “Honda Magic Seats”, yes that’s a thing now, can be configured in a variety of ways to carry either people or cargo.
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One of the most anticipated supercar reveals of the year has just taken place at a private event hosted by Mercedes-Benz. The all-new Mercedes-AMG GT might have to wait until the Paris Motor Show for its official public debut, but all the details of the car are now out in the open.
The Mercedes-AMG GT and the hotter GT S model are both based around a lightweight aluminium chassis into which a 4.0 litre V8 has been shoehorned. It’s a great looking car, well balanced with a classic long hood and a cab-rearward layout. Many will see a good deal of Porsche 911 in the rump of the car, but as there are so many makes and models out there now it’s getting increasingly difficult to create a car which doesn’t look in some way or another like a different vehicle from certain angles. Overall the new GT ranks up there with some of the finest looking automobiles Mercedes-Benz has ever created.
Mercedes say the new GT and GT S have both been developed to be capable on the track and civilized enough for every day use. Both cars feature numerous motorsport inspired elements and benefit from things like double wishbone front and rear suspension systems, a 47/53 front/rear weight distribution, active and passive safety features as well as a well equipped and luxurious cabin. The GT S, aside from receiving a more powerful version of the 4.0 litre V8 turbocharged engine, also receives larger brakes as standard, electronically controlled suspension damping, an electronic rear-axle locking differential, a sound-variable sports exhaust, larger wheels and tires and an optional AMG dynamic Plus package which features dynamic engine and transmission mounts, tighter suspension a recalibrated speed-sensitive steering system.
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The BMW 2 Series Convertible is the soft-top alter-ego of the BMW 2 Series Coupe which was revealed earlier in 2014. It’ll be available in a range of tune, although the models available will depend on your location. The US will get the 228i and M235i models, with optional xDrive all-wheel drive available on the 228i. European buyers will most likely get a couple more options, including both diesel and smaller displacement 4-cylinder gasoline engines.
The folding fabric roof of the 2 Series Convertible is just about the only thing that separates the car from the coupe version of the car. It raises and lowers in 20 seconds at the touch of a button at speeds of up to 30 mph. BMW’s engineers have worked hard to make sure the noise levels inside the car are as low as possible. In fact the cockpit of the car is up to 7 decibels quieter than that of the previous 1 Series Convertible. The top can be ordered in one of three different colors; black, anthracite with silver effect, and brown with silver effect.
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Jaguar has made no secret of the XE. In fact they’ve been shouting about if for many months now. But at a Jaguar-hosted, star-studded event in London the car was finally unveiled.
At first glance it looks like Jaguar made a mistake and accidentally pulled the covers off an updated XF. But if you take out a tape measure and a magnifying glass then it becomes clearer this is in fact a new model. The Jaguar XE is a sports orientated saloon designed to do battle with the likes of the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4. It’s a rear-driver, which is a huge plus point, and from launch a high performance XE S model will be available powered by a supercharged 3.0 litre V6 developing 340 horsepower.
Like the slightly larger XF, the new XE is a handsome car. Not exciting, dramatic or eye-catching, just quietly confident in its own solid proportions. The XE S gets a slightly more sporty appearance, including larger front intakes, chrome side vents, a small rear spoiler and optional 20-inch wheels.
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When Citroen setup the DS division of the company in 2010 it was seen as an offshoot intended to produce a limited volume of slightly more upmarket cars which were a little off-beat, dramatic and stylish. But now, four years after DS was launched, the outfit has sold over half a million vehicles worldwide, and the Citroen connection, although just as strong behind the scenes, is being increasingly muted in public.
The Divine DS concept is a vehicle which will be making its public debut shortly at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. It’s intended to represent the future of the DS brand, and show the sorts of vehicle they’ll be producing in the near future, as well as the high-fashion interiors they’ll be packing.
Designed and built in Paris, the Divine DS concept is a compact 4-door vehicle. It’s overall shape is pretty standard for a hatchback, but the details are striking. It has laser headlights, a glittering front grille filled with floating diamond shapes of different sizes and finished in varying shades of chrome, a chrome highlighted character line running nearly the full length of the car and an unusual diamond patterned roof. At the rear the Divine DS concept features jewel-like LED tail lights.
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Mazda’s iconic lightweight two-seat sports car might go by several different names; Roadster in its native Japan, MX-5 in Europe and other markets, and MX-5 Miata in North America, but one thing it has in common worldwide is popularity. Mazda has shifted over 940,000 MX-5s since it was debuted in 1989, and picked up over 200 industry awards along the way.
To say the arrival of the 4th generation Mazda MX-5 Miata is important for the company would be an epic understatement. Because while the car might only represent 1 percent of the company’s sales, it’s the company’s most iconic model, and currently its the closest thing Mazda has to a halo model.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata also has a massive fanbase, and those fans should be rejoicing right now, because it looks like Mazda has done exactly what it should, and keep the MX-5 simple, light and fun to drive. It’s just a bonus that it happens to look gorgeous at the same time.
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Land Rover have just revealed the brand-new Discovery Sport. The styling of the new SUV is based on that of the Discovery Vision Concept which was shown off earlier this year. Of course like any production vehicle, the production version of the new Discovery isn’t quite as dramatic as the concept, but it’s still an extremely good-looking vehicle, and it’s packed full of technology and gadgets too. Although sadly the funky “transparent hood” isn’t included.
Like any Land Rover, the new Discovery Sport will by judged by its off-road ability. And while the plastic-fantastic bumpers and fancy headlights might give it a boulevard-cruiser appearance, it’s perfectly capable of keeping on going when the road ends. It has an impressive 8.3 inches (212 mm) of ground clearance, approach and departure angles of 25 and 31 percent respectively, it can push through 23.6 inches (600 mm) of water with no problem and climb gradients of 45 degrees. Skid plates protect the underside, while hydraulic rebound stops in the suspension struts help reduce noise when going over particularly lumpy terrain. Land Rover’s proprietary Terrain Response system takes care of selecting the appropriate gear, applying the brakes and managing the throttle over all types of surfaces to ease the driver workload.
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It’s no secret that Alfa Romeo are working on a new Giulia. It’s only taken them 36 years, but better late than never. The new Alfa Romeo Giulia is said to be directly aimed at the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and the upcoming Jaguar XE.
The new Giulia is also said to confirm the return of the sporty, fun-to-drive, RWD Alfa Romeos with properly sorted chassis, and substance as well as style. Alfa Romeo are keen to be seen as a serious contender to some of the long-respected German car companies in terms of quality and engineering.
The new Alfa Romeo Giulia also has to look good. And if there’s one thing Alfa Romeo does very well, it’s design attractive cars. And by the looks of it so does German designer Thorsten Krisch. He’s the guy responsible for the very stylish speculative renderings of a Quattrifoglio Verde-badged Alfa Romeo Giulia you see here.
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Volvo is currently undergoing a massive overhaul. With recent concept’s like the Volvo Concept Coupe, Concept XC Coupe and the Concept Estate they’ve already proved that they are more than capable of making extremely handsome cars when they want to. However at the same time they also haven’t lost sight of what made them different from other manufacturers in the first place, their mission of putting safety above all other considerations. The all-new 2015 Volvo XC90 is the first of a new-generation Volvos which has the best of both worlds.
The 2015 Volvo XC90 is completely new from top to bottom and front to back. It arrives after months of speculation, and is the result of three years of development, and part of a massive $11 billion investment in Volvo’s future. Based on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology, the new XC90 shows the future of Volvo cars.
In terms of appearance, fans of the three recent Volvo concepts might be a little disappointed with the exterior design. It’s nice and sensible, but really pretty boring. The designers really could have done a bit more to inject some pizzazz into the bodywork, especially those giant slab-like sides. On the other hand it does have quite a nice face, and the headlights are particularly appealing with their “Thor’s Hammer” driving lights.
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The Sector 111 Project Dragon track car was first announced back in December of 2013. But at the time it was just a body-less functioning prototype. Well now it has a body, and a scheduled production date.
Based on the Palatov Motorsport D2 chassis, the Sector 111 Project Dragon is powered by a GM-sourced LS3 V8, tuned to produce 430 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is lifted from a Porsche 911, and to keep it old-school, there are no electronic driver aids, including traction control, stability control, or even ABS.
The target weight for the car is 1,800 lbs (816 kgs). That’s not superlight as far as stripped-down track cars go, but it’s lighter than the D2 on which it is based. And considering the size and output of the engine, the power-to-weight ratio should be excellent.
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