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Posts Tagged ‘2014 geneva motor show’

Apple Ready to Plug into Your Car

Maker has high-profile presence in Geneva.

by on Mar.07, 2014

Apple is gaining ground in the automotive marketplace with its CarPlay infotainment system.

While its lost ground to rival Google’s Android smartphone operating system in recent years, you’d hardly have been able to tell during this week’s Geneva Motor Show. Indeed, it seems like the brand name most commonly spoken during the well-attended event was that of Apple, as a wide assortment of manufacturers announced plans to build the high-tech firm’s new CarPlay system into their vehicles.

The list of makers who unveiled Apple-based infotainment systems this week included Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, with Ford, Honda, Toyota and another dozen signed on to use the technology when it appears later this year.

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“We’re moving to an era of seamless integration of digital devices and the digital automobile,” proclaimed Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and brand boss of Mercedes, which showed off the CarPlay system in its new C-Class line. The maker is expected to eventually expand its use to other model lines. (more…)

Nissan Takes Juke Design to New Extremes

Edgier look, more room, new engine.

by on Mar.06, 2014

The updated Nissan Juke has been generating a wide range of opinions about its updated styling.

One thing about Nissan, the maker doesn’t shy away from edgy designs.  And that’s especially true when it comes to the maker’s various crossover models.  Case in point: the newly updated Juke that made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week.

The original version of the compact crossover was arguably the edgiest of the Nissan CUV designs, opting for a more youthful, funky approach than the more elegant – shall we say “mature” – Murano.  It appears Nissan has decided to push the needle quite a bit further with a design already polarizing the media covering the Geneva Show.

Designed to Inform!

The 2015 update features updated split headlamps framing a beefed-up chromed grille that almost appears to be grinning.  There are even more pronounced flares to the wheel arches, and the even more angular tail gets distinctive boomerang-style taillamps.  The overall look is decidedly more angular than before.


Infiniti Moving Ahead on Eau Rouge Program, Says CEO

But timing uncertain.

by on Mar.06, 2014

The updated Q50 Eau Rouge 2.0 in Geneva.

As we reported earlier this week, Infiniti brought an updated version of its Q50 Eau Rouge Concept to the Geneva Motor Show – but a subsequent conversation with the Japanese maker’s CEO offers a more in-depth glance at how the maker plans to move from concept to production.

“I would build it right away,” says Infiniti’s Hong Kong-based boss, Johan de Nysschen, though he cautions that the project still faces a number of hurdles before we’re likely to see the premium sport sedan can roll into showrooms, stressing that the program is “still very much up in the air.”

Power Up!

Originally unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show two months ago, the blood red Eau Rouge Concept added some dynamic details to the Q50 sedan Infiniti rolled out last year, including some carbon-fiber aero enhancements – such as the front splitter, rear diffuser and side sill skirts, as well as the roof and door mirror casings – along with the 21-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels and a dual-exit exhaust sports system mounted below the show car’s integrated rear spoiler.


Citroen C4 – The Bubble-Wrapped Car

Air Bumps offer ding and dent resistance for urban drivers.

by on Mar.05, 2014

The Citroen C4 Cactus features air bumps on the doors and bumper designed to cut down on dents.

We’ve long been fans of the eccentric French auto industry, a nation that can replace the traditional brake pedal with a button called the champignon, or mushroom, or proudly fall in love with a car whose name, the 2CV, roughly translates into “two horses.”

There are models with names like the Renault Twingo and Twizzy, and some of the most distinctive, if not off-the-wall, designs we have seen short of the concept cars at the biennial Tokyo Motor Show. And once again, the French are pushing the envelope with the new Citroen C4 Cactus. But despite what the name might suggest, there are no pricks on the outside of these cars.

Product News!

In line with the French maker’s “Creative Technology” mandate, both the front and rear door panels of the Cactus, as well as the back bumper, are, instead, covered with a material that looks almost like oversized bubble wrap. (more…)

BMW Plans to Bring Front-Drive 2-Series Active Tourer to US – Eventually

European launch comes this year; State-side edition likely over a year away.

by on Mar.05, 2014

BMW's 2-Series Active Tourer made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show; however, it won't be coming to the U.S. for a while, an official said.

BMW continues to fill seemingly every possible niche in the luxury market, from top to bottom and a surprising number of places in-between. And it has global plans for some of the newest members of its fast-expanding line-up.

That includes models such as the 4-Series Gran Coupe and the 2-Series Active Tourer on display at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the latter model making its world debut at the annual European event.

Product News!

But while U.S. buyers will find the 4-Series Gran Coupe in showrooms in the near future, they’ll have to wait for the smaller Grand Tourer, perhaps as much as two years, a well-placed BMW source told (more…)

New Renault Twingo Offers Hint of New Smart ForFour

Smaller outside, bigger In – with new rear-engine layout.

by on Mar.05, 2014

The new Renault Twingo will share its platform with the upcoming Smart ForFour 4-seater.

There’s a big car inside the little Renault Twingo making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this year – and it offers some significant hints as to what’s to come when Smart unveils its own new minicar, the Forfour, later in 2014.

The two vehicles were developed as part of an expanding alliance pairing the French automaker and Smart’s German parent Daimler AG – along with Renault’s Japanese partner Nissan.  The three makers are jointly developing an array of vehicles, from microcars to compact luxury models.

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The new Twingo is more than just a modest redesign. Working with Smart, Renault made some radical changes – starting with the decision to mount the engine in the rear, a strategy that offers a number of advantages, contends Benoit Bochard, the program’s product planning chief.  Among other things, it helped engineers move the front axle forward, yielding significantly more space for both passengers and cargo.


Subaru Viziv 2 Hints at Maker’s Future Plans

A "future path" that may lead Subaru to the next CrossTrek.

by on Mar.05, 2014

The Subaru Viziv 2 plug-in concept.

Subaru may have tipped its hand, offering a glimpse of what it has coming in the not-too-distant future with the unveiling of the new Viziv 2 concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show.

The design of the plug-in hybrid vehicle is a likely forerunner of what we’ll be seeing with the next Subaru CrossTrek, according to company insiders.  The distinctive 4-motor hybrid-electric drive system, meanwhile, could indicate how the Japanese maker will adapt its signature all-wheel-drive systemto the demands for cleaner, more fuel-efficient technology.

Plug In!

The Viziv 2 “signifies a future path” for Subaru, suggested Tomahiko Ikeda, a senior executive with Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries, during the concept vehicle’s Geneva debut.  “To progress, we must evolve. The Viziv 2 is an example.”


Alfa Romeo Blows its Top with New 4C Spider

Marchionne promises – really this time – a 2015 return to the U.S.

by on Mar.05, 2014

The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider adds even more carbon fiber bits than the original Coupe.

Exactly two years after revealing its 4C Coupe, Alfa Romeo had another surprise for the Geneva Motor Show, rolling out a canvas-topped version of the little sports car, while also giving more hope to frustrated American buyers still waiting for the 4C to make its jump across the Atlantic.

Like the hardtop version, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider uses a stiff and lightweight carbon fiber tub, a rarity for even today’s much-more expensive supercars.  And the new rollover bars, spoilers and windshield frame of the show car also are made of the exotic material – along with various cockpit bits. That helps keep the weight of the convertible to just 132 pounds more than the Coupe, Alfa revealed.

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The distinctive, centrally mounted twin exhaust pipes, meanwhile, are produced from a carbon/titanium blend and supplied by exhaust specialist Akrapovic, better known for its work with the motorcycle industry.  The goal was to give the 4C a loud bark, though the Geneva concept vehicle also allows a motorist to lower the volume with the touch of a button.


Hazumi Concept “Foreshadows” Maker’s Next Mazda2

Latest SkyActive design.

by on Mar.04, 2014

The new Hazumi Concept is expected to receive relatively minor tweaks before transforming into the next Mazda2.

Over the years, we have learned to pay close attention when Mazda rolls out a new concept vehicle.  Chances are that we’ll see the design again, as even the most extreme show cars tend to have a clear influence on the Japanese maker’s upcoming production models.

So it seems to be with the new Mazda Harumi Concept making its debut outing at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The little prototype is, according to the maker, a “foreshadowing” of what’s to come when it launches its next-generation Mazda2 minivar.

What a Concept!

In sharp contrast to some of its more conservative Asian rivals, Mazda has been pushing the limits of design and using its show cars to gauge both media and consumer reaction.  And if the Harumi is any indication, it could strike a responsive chord with those who’ve grown tired of the formula that has long contended that buyers on a budget must settle for bland and boring econoboxes.


Peugeot 308 Wins European Car of the Year

BMW i3, Tesla Model S end up runners-up.

by on Mar.04, 2014

The Peugeot 308 beat out two battery electrics and Mercedes most technologically advanced vehicle to capture Car of the Year honors in Geneva.

It might not be the silver lining the struggling French automaker has been desperately seeking, but Peugeot officials were clearly pleased to learn they landed the much-coveted European Car of the Year title for their little 308 model.

The compact hatchback triumphed over some tough competition that included a pair of well-reviewed new battery cars, as well as the most sophisticated full-sized luxury sedan ever offered by Mercedes-Benz.

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It’s been a tough few years for the largest of the French automakers, PSA Peugeot Citroen only last month forced to sell a major chunk of its stock to Chinese partner Dongfeng, an equal share to the French government – effectively ending more than a century of control by the Peugeot family. That move was forced by the company’s continuing losses and the rising fear of collapse. (more…)