As Infiniti continues its attempts at making inroads in the European market, it's showing off a sharper-looking version of its QX70 crossover. Much as it does in the US market, the CUV, formerly known as the FX, is adding an S Design trim.
The new trim pack adds plenty of dark chrome to the exterior of the fashion-forward QX70, with the stuff finding its way onto the grille, foglight surrounds and side grilles. While not dark chrome, the 21-inch alloys, mirror caps and roof rails are now painted black, while the headlights are smoked. Black lacquer trim, black leather and purple stitching stand out in the S Design's cabin.
Hop up top for our full gallery of live photos of Europe's new, dark-chrome-adorned QX70, and then head below for the original press release, issued by Infiniti earlier this month.
Infiniti QX70 S Design goes dark in the City of Light originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Is there anything quite so exciting as seeing a brand-new vehicle for the very first time? Part of the allure of auto shows is the chance to see new ideas, just before they're fully baked and ready for public consumption. "Prototypes" you might say, of production models that are just around the corner. Or, in the case of the Honda HR-V, already down the block a ways.
Here in Paris, Honda has unveiled its HR-V Prototype, a nearly production-ready version of a "new SUV for Europe." Before we take umbrage with that SUV designation - as far as we can tell the Fit-based crossover isn't much of a mudder - we should address the fact that at this year's New York Auto Show in April, Honda handed over just a few images and specs of the actually production-read HR-V for the US. Presumably this is a "prototype" for Europe, where the NYC car is US-specific, but we're still scratching our heads a bit.
No matter! Here in France, Honda tells us that the utile little hatch will be available powered by both a 1.5-liter gasoline engine (the one American customers will see), and a 1.6-liter diesel unit, both wearing the company's Earth Dreams Technology label and presumably running cleaner and more frugally than ever. In Europe, a standard six-speed manual will come with both mills, while the 1.5-liter will offer the option of a continuously variable transmission.
Inside, expect the same bigger-inside-than-outside magic that we've discussed with the standard Fit (or "Jazz" here in Paris) thanks to Honda's seriously flexible Magic Seat.
The HR-V will shed its prototype designation and go on sale in Europe next summer.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Hard as it may seem to believe, the Audi R8 has been around for the better part of a decade. But does that make us love it any less? Hardly, especially not when Audi keeps rolling out ever-more enticing versions like the one you see here.
Debuting at the Paris Motor Show, the new Audi R8 LMX is the most powerful version of the supercar we've seen yet, thanks to a 5.2-liter V10 engine tuned to deliver 570 metric horsepower. That's 562 by our count, making it ten horses more potent than the R8 GT, or 37 more than the standard ten-cylinder R8 5.2 FSI - enough to propel the LMX to 62 in 3.4 seconds.
That's not all that sets the LMX apart, however, as Audi has fit it with cutting-edge laser-beam headlights. It comes exclusively as a coupe in Ara Blue with carbon fiber trim, special wheels, red brake calipers and a black leather cockpit. Only 99 examples will be made, and with those laser headlights banned in the US, your best chance of seeing one is in the gallery of live images above.
Audi R8 LMX illuminates the City of Light with lasers originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
As a NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., gets to be a spokesman for many, many things. His team's sponsors range from eBay, to Hellman's Mayonnaise, to Wrangler clothing, to Mountain Dew. The number 88's biggest sponsor, though, is Chevrolet.
So, when we hear that Junior is going to "review" a Chevrolet Spark, you can forgive us for raising an eyebrow. This video comes from one of the #88 car's most visible sponsors - Kelley Blue Book - and sees the wildly popular driver sample the brand's smallest offering, delivering praise and smiles through gritted teeth.
It's kind of terrible. Take a look and see what we mean.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Which automaker offers the greatest variety of plug-in hybrids? Nope, it's not Toyota. Not GM either. It's not Ford, not Honda and not BMW. Believe it or not, it's Porsche. And this is its latest, presented at the Paris Motor Show.
The new Cayenne S E-Hybrid joins the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the 918 Spyder in Porsche's growing hybrid lineup that will, at this rate, probably bring in gasoline-electric versions of the 911, Boxster, Cayman and Macan too. It's based on the recently updated Cayenne, but stands out from the rest thanks to the combination of its supercharged 3.0-liter V6, eight-speed automatic transmission, 95-horsepower electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.
That's more power than the previous Cayenne S Hybrid, and can also be topped off directly from the mains. Which may not have seemed very Porsche just a dozen years ago - especially in crossover form - but somehow seems highly characteristic by now.
2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid electrifies France originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 09:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
That German automakers seem singularly fixated on filling any white space between their models isn't new - the last decade-plus has seen their showrooms overflowing with niche models, some of which seemingly occupy sub-genres of sub-genres. To our eyes, there's often diminishing aesthetic and utilitarian returns to go along with the heightened price tags that accompany these models, but we're beginning to think Audi is tackling its personal diversity initiative best. Unlike the often heavy-handed designs from rivals (we're looking at you, BMW), Ingolstadt seems to be doing doing a more graceful job of carving out models between models. The latest proof of this is the TT Sportback Concept, just unveiled here at the Paris Motor Show.
After showing off its Allroad Shooting Brake Concept in Detroit and, more recently, in the Offroad Concept in Beijing amidst rumors of the TT sports car platform expanding into an entire family, we're not surprised to see this more utilitarian five-door hatchback showcar here in France. This, despite the fact that Audi already counts similarly proportioned A5 Sportback and A7 Sportback models in its lineup.
Of the TT line extension concepts, this Sportback certainly looks the most production ready, with a bare minimum of showcar tinsel masking realistic proportions and detailing. We think it's quite handsome from stem to stern, even if it's a bit familiar looking. The design incorporates Audi's trademark big-grille look with the TT's prominent arched roofline and heavily radiused fenders, along with a rear lighting graphic that subtly echoes the A3. Despite its leggy looks, the TT Sportback Concept is surprisingly compact, spanning less than a foot longer overall than the production 2016 TT despite its 4.7-inch longer wheelbase and extra set of doors. Those sleek looks come at least partially as the result of an overall height that sits 1.2 inches lower than the TT coupe.
The gutsy 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder underhood punches out 400 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque through a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox and Audi's trademark Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Audi claims that the powertrain combination will go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds, which sounds an awful lot like RS-level performance to us.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Lest there be any doubt to the contrary, Tesla is a company on the move. Following the sensational Tesla Roadster, the Model S is now humming down roads across the country and around the world. And there's more to come: the entry-level Model 3, the upcoming Model X crossover... and something else. Two somethings, to be precise, going by this latest, cryptic tweet from Tesla chief Elon Musk.
The image enclosed appears to show the front of a Model S peering out from under a partially open garage door emblazoned with the letter D. Just what that letter stands for, we don't know. Usually we'd guess it stood for "diesel," but given that Teslas are powered purely by electricity, that'd probably be viewed as a backwards step. Drive? Possibly, if Tesla has an all-wheel-drive sedan in the works (which is does).
Whatever it is, we'll have to wait until October 9 before Tesla reveals the full thing. At that point it will also reveal "something else," though it's given even less indication as to what that might be. The Model 3? Production-ready Model X? A new Roadster? We'll find out in a week's time.
Tesla spies something that begins with the letter D originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 08:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mitsubishi is issuing a recall for the 2010-2014 i-MiEV that affects 1,810 units of the little electric car, because it's possible for the brake vacuum pump to stop working. If this happens, the result would be longer stopping distances, according to the company. The affected models were built between September 15, 2009, and March 25, 2014.
While this is just a single recall, there are actually two things that can cause this brake problem on the i-MiEV, according to Mitsubishi's filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. First, bad programming in the EV-ECU could cause the system to "falsely judge that the relay contact point is stuck," according to the full NHTSA defect notice PDF. Second, the vacuum pump exhaust hole could be corroded and blocked due to being splashed with road salt. However, the company says that if either fault happens, the brake warning lamp would illuminate, and there would be an audible alarm.
Depending on which issue is affecting an owner's i-MiEV, Mitsubishi is going to reprogram the software, replace the pump or both. Scroll down to read the recall report from NHTSA.
Mitsubishi recalling i-MiEV models for brake problem originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 08:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We've seen it in super high-res glory, and we can even build one on the automaker's website, but the Paris Motor Show marks the official coming out party for the new Mini Hardtop 4 Door (which is what it's called in the US, despite this Euro car having "5 Door" badging). It's a stretched version of the third-generation Mini Hardtop, but with an extra set of doors for rear seat passengers. Think of it as a more useful Clubman, but with a lower ride height and less rugged-ness than the Countryman. Got it? Good.
Engine options carry over from the normal Mini Hardtop range, with a 1.5-liter turbo-three and a 2.0-liter turbo-four offering 134 and 189 horsepower, respectively. The rest of the car is everything else you know and love from the Mini range, just with a more spacious rear bench. And as you'd expect, there's a nearly endless pallet of customization options.
The Hardtop 4 Door arrives at US dealerships just before the end of the year, commanding a roughly $1,000 premium over its three-door kin. Scope out our new live shots in the gallery above, and take in the extensive press blast, below.
2015 Mini Hardtop 5-Door isn't for the country, man [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Early next year, BMW will offer droptop versions of its entry-level 2 Series. Available in both 228i and M235i guise, the 2 Series Cabriolet will no doubt take everything we already like (and don't like) about the Twoer and add that wind-in-your-hair experience. Of course, taking in all the extra sun comes at a price - $37,900 for the 228i and $47,700 for the M235i, not including $950 for destination. Those prices represent increases of $5,800 and $4,600, respectively.
Powertrain specs are identical to the coupes, with the 228i powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four good for 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. The more potent M235i gets BMW's turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six, with 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of push, and can hit 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. That's with the eight-speed automatic transmission, which is available with either engine. And for those who prefer to row their own, BMW will thankfully offer a six-speed manual gearbox with both powerplants, as well.
Following the Paris Motor Show unveiling, the pair will be shown in the US at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November before hitting dealers a few months later. Have a look at the new droptop in our fresh batch of images live from the Porte de Versailles exhibition center, and read BMW's lengthy press blast, below, for all of the official information.
2015 BMW 2 Series Cabriolet flips its lid [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments