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Preview: 2010 Bologna Motor Show

Excitement & electricity – and that’s no baloney.

by on Dec.06, 2010

The Citroen Survolt battery car, one of an assortment of debuts at this month's Bologna Motor Show.

You have to understand.  This is Italy.  This is not Paris or Frankfurt or Detroit or Chicago or LA.  This is the Bologna Motor Show, and Bologna is in the center of Italy, home to Maserati, and close to Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Ducati, to name a few.

Italy is the home of style itself, and in its way, this auto show is a style spectacular.  Every year, the show puts more than 450,000 people through the turnstiles, and more than 70,000 of them actually drive cars at the show.  It’s easy to get to, and there’s a train stop right at the show.

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Held every December in the gigantic Bologna Fiere complex, the show fills a dozen of the giant complex’s interconnected halls and features nine outdoor racing and demonstration tracks (ACI, the Italian auto club for safety training, Fiat, for the 500 TwinAir, then Renault, VW Group, VW commercial vehicles, Kia, for LPG-powered cars only, Dacia, and the Mobil 1 Arena for serious demonstration racing).  Then there’s Electric City, an electric-car-only indoor driving track, and a professional auto racing hall.


Audi eTron Spyder Opts For Through-The-Road AWD Hybrid Drive

Convertible version tests out alternate approach to battery supercar.

by on Sep.30, 2010

The Audi eTron Spyder with CEO Rupert Stadler.

It’s been barely a year since we first got look at the innovative Audi eTron, one of the first in a wave of new battery-powered supercar concepts that have been charging out on the auto show circuit.

But the big difference between the original Audi eTron and the eTron Spyder debuting at the 2010 Paris Motor Show really isn’t the lack of a roof, it turns out.  The latest take on this battery sports car concept introduces an alternative way to power its wheels.

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Where the original eTron relied purely on lithium-ion batteries, much like a Nissan Leaf on major league steroids, the eTron Spyder opts for a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and one that adopts a novel through-the-road approach to all-wheel-drive.


First Look: 2011 Kia Sportage

Debut planned for March Geneva Motor Show.

by on Feb.03, 2010

A sneak peek of the Euro-spec 2011 Kia Sportage, which debuts in Geneva, next month.

My, how time flies when you’re working the auto show circuit.  With the L.A. and Detroit events now past tense, we’re getting our reservations ready for Chicago, which stages its press preview next week.  But the folks at Kia are looking even further ahead and have just tipped us off to the launch of the 2011 Kia Sportage, planned for the Geneva Motor Show, in March.

Like its bigger Korean sibling, Hyundai, Kia is trying to shift styling directions.  Gone are the boxy derivative shapes of the past, it promises, touting the look of the 2011 Sportage as “embodying Kia’s newfound visual dynamism.”

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That translates into a more wagon-like crossover, with a sweeping roof line, bold grille and over-sized fog lamp surrounds, among other details.  The 2011 Kia Sportage is longer, lower and wider than the previous model, with more interior passenger and cargo space, as well.