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Two-door BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe 24
Posted by admin in Automotive News, BMW, Concept Cars, Coupe, Detroit-Auto-Show, Luxury, Passenger Cars, World Cars on 12 24th, 2012

With the launch of the BMW 4 Series coupe, we can officially say goodbye to the two-door 3 Series. BMW is moving its coupe and convertible models up one digit (like the 5 Series/6 Series relationship); when the next-generation 1 Series launches in the States, it will actually be called the 2 Series. And while there are certainly a lot of 3 Series aspects to this new 4er, BMW says the new car has given the new model its own individual character and a standalone design.

two-door BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe

Compared to the current 3 Series coupe, the 4 Series concept rides on a two-inch-longer wheelbase, adds 1.7 inches of width, and is just over half an inch shorter in height. The whole thing looks very sculpted and sleek, and there are plenty of design elements from the larger 6 Series, as well. The full-LED headlamps and aggressive lower fascia will certainly grab your attention, but if we’re honest, some of us prefer the simpler, cleaner lines of past 3 Series models versus this somewhat overly stylized new coupe. From the rear, however, this thing is damn pretty.

The interior certainly looks good, too – premium leather is slathered on nearly every surface, and the overall design is modern and plush. A lot of what we see here is similar to the larger 6 Series, again, but that isn’t a bad thing. Specific details have not been divulged for the production 4 Series, but expect a full suite of technological goodies to be packed inside the cabin, as well.

In Search Of An Identity, Mazda Plans To Move Upscale 27
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Automotive Industry, Kurt, Luxury, Mazda, New Car Sales on 11 27th, 2012

2014 Mazda6 – image: Mazda

For decades, Japanese automaker Mazda has been known for building cars that are fun to drive. Even if you discount the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the world’s best-selling sports car, the brand has still given enthusiasts cars like the Cosmos, the RX-2 & 3, the RX-7, the RX-8, the Mazdaspeed3 and the Mazdaspeed6. The sad truth of the matter is that enthusiasts are in the minority, and Mazda currently enjoys a scant two-percent global market share.

As Mazda’s CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi told Automotive News (subscription required), “In the global market, what is the significance of a player with a mere two-percent? We came to the conclusion that if we make ordinary cars for the mass market, there is no reason for us to exist.”

Yamanouchi’s ambitious goal is to grow sales by 43-percent in the U.S. market, with a target of 400,000 units by the end of the 2015 fiscal year. To do so, Mazda is relying on a wave of new product launches, as well as a repositioning of the brand to be “Japanese premium,” although that descriptor won’t be used in its marketing efforts.

Look for the new Mazda6 to take the point in reestablishing the brand. Due to hit dealers in January, the Mazda6 will rely on a mixture of styling, technology and premium materials to win the hearts and minds of buyers. Skyactiv, Mazda’s suite of eco-friendly technologies, will also play a role in the brand’s emerging image.

If you think that Mazda is targeting Lexus or even Acura with its latest move, think again: Hirotaka Kanazawa, Mazda’s global head of R&D, is quick to position the Mazda6 against German rivals, not Japanese. There’s a danger in doing so, as Suzuki tried the same thing with its Kizashi sedan. While the Mazda6 will likely be a more polished product than the Suzuki, it remains to be seen if buyers shopping for a BMW or Audi would include Mazda on that same list.

Lamborghini Aventador J Geneva star conceived 25
Posted by admin in Concept Cars, convertible, Design/Style, Europe, Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini, LAMBORGHINI, LAMBORHINI, Luxury, Performance on 05 25th, 2012
Lamborghini Aventador J Geneva star conceived

Lamborghini Aventador J Geneva star conceived

This year’s Geneva Motor Show served up a scintillating buffet of vehicles, but the Lamborghini Aventador J may very well have been our favorite. With no roof, no windshield and all of the insane running gear of the standard Aventador, the roadster is the embodiment of exotic. Designer Filippo Perini told TG he first sketched up the Aventador J in mid-January after CEO Stephan Winkelmann asked his crew to to come up with something special for Geneva.

Despite the apparent similarities between the Aventador and the new Aventador J, the two models share only a handful of body components, including the front hood, fenders, headlights and rear fenders. Everything else is bespoke just for the concept.