Just Car Blog
|Chrysler Jeep Cheroke 2014||
Chrysler Jeep Cheroke 2014
The last Jeep product to wear the Cherokee nameplate was so beloved it survived three corporate ownership changes and an onslaught of more advanced competitors before finally meeting its demise at the hands of Daimler in 2001. Launched in 1984, that Cherokee—known internally as the XJ—and its boxy looks and loyal-bulldog reputation became an icon, and Jeep had no choice but to leave the name off its replacement. Calling the first-gen Liberty a Cherokee would have been akin to McDonald’s trying to pass off a tofu and bean-sprout sandwich as the Big Mac. (Of course, that didn’t stop Jeep from selling the Liberty as the Cherokee overseas.) But now, with a 12-year production run of the Liberty serving as buffer, Jeep is bringing back the Cherokee name to America, this time applying it to a vehicle that appears to be more CUV than SUV.
Chrysler is making new model of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which were slated to start next week in Seattle. This car won’t effect the actual on-sale date of the new Cherokee, which is set to hit showrooms in September.
Combining electric propulsion with a performance orientation is a delicate balance. Tesla managed to pull it off to some success. Audi has toyed with the idea with its E-Tron concepts. And some have been experimenting with bringing F1′s KERS regenerative braking system to road-going sports cars.
Just a few weeks ago at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda showed off a tempting little package called the EV-STER. The concept spoke of a zippy little ride around town, all on electric power. Now, reports are indicating that, based on positive feedback from the show, Honda has already decided to green-light the project and put it into production. Sources suggest it will be ready sometime in the new year ahead, and could offer a more conventional gasoline engine in addition to the electric powertrain.
Of course none of this is to say that Honda would bring the production EV-STER to the North American market, but we’ll be excited if it gets built at all.
|Nissan showing Extrem new crossover||
The Nissan Extrem concept is indeed a “high character” concept and, as the Japanese automaker says, “a radical concept car aimed squarely at young (and young-at-heart) car enthusiasts keen to make a statement.”
Wraparound glass and a “see-through” A-pillar reminiscent of Volvo’s Safety Car Concept (circa 2001) are interesting features that could enhance safety, while overlapping body panels “create a feeling of layered armored toughness.”
Such a vehicle could definitely compete with the similarly styled Veloster from Hyundai. But with its higher ground clearance and possible all-wheel-drive, the Extreme could offer a light-use off-road alternative. If anything, the Extrem is arguably most similar to Nissan’s own Juke, albeit with fewer doors.
The Extrem concept is built on Nissan’s V-platform, which is also used on its March supermini, albeit with larger dimensions. The Extrem is larger in every exterior dimension except wheelbase, as it retains the March’s 96.4-inch track.
According to Nissan, power “would come” from the company’s 1.6-liter, direct injection, turbocharged engine – an engine also seen in the Juke.
|Seven-passenger VW Taigun CUV||
Seven-passenger VW CUV last week, we also mentioned the possibility of a new sub-Tiguan crossover, and we may have gotten our first look at such a vehicle courtesy of this Volkswagen Taigun Concept that is debuting at the São Paulo motor show.
Although the Taigun Concept suggests that VW has all but given up on imbuing its new vehicles with comprehensible names, this new softroader also looks to balance practicality and fuel economy. With a slightly smaller footprint than the current Golf, the Taigun actually has more interior space (including more front headroom), but it’s the powertrain that could really make this B-segment CUV standout if it sees production. Using a small gasoline 1.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged three-cylinder under the hood, the Taigun Concept still has pretty respectable small car numbers, generating 108 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. However, the true beauty of this engine is that VW puts its fuel economy numbers at 4.7 liters per 100 kilometers – around 50 miles per gallon on the EU cycle.
Even the styling of the Taigun shows that VW’s current design language looks good on just about any size, with its boxy shape and short overhangs, but the automaker says that it is using Brazil’s emerging auto show to gauge interest for such a vehicle before making any decisions as to whether or not to put it into production.
|Bertone Nuccio Concept||
The Nuccio concept, showed off by Bertone as a rolling model at the Geneva Motor Show and then as a road-ready car at the Beijing Motor Show is in talks to be sold. An update on the Lancia Stratos Zero concept from the seventies and powered by a 4.3-liter Ferrari V8 with 480 horsepower, the Nuccio was a 15,000-hour exercise in what the company’s historical language could look like today.
That styling has changed a little from the Geneva concept, befitting its new-found usability. The single, narrow LED headlight has been replaced by two more conventional units, and the windscreen is now a more realistic size. The larger side mirrors are also more usable.
Named after the late Giuseppe “Nuccio” Bertone, one of the company’s most famous designers, the Nuccio concept car also celebrates the design firm’s 100th anniversary this year.
Bertone is responsible for some of the world’s most famous vehicles–the Lancia Stratos, Lamborghini Miura, Lamborghini Countach and several Alfa Romeos and Citroëns have passed over the drawing board at Bertone before hitting the streets.
|Two-door BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe||
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.
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.
|Venturi America EV Dune Buggy||
Venturi America EV Dune Buggy
Venturi was last seen in America a couple of months ago, blasting across the white crystals at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the guise of the Buckeye Bullet. At the Paris Motor Show, the Monegasque company revealed a different kind of terrain-blasting machine called the America EV Dune Buggy – a jacked-up, 300-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive electric sports car as open and free as the great land it’s named after.
The interior would be admirably minimal if things hadn’t got cluttered up around the console screen, but the center tunnel buttons are a chunky, metallic pleasure to behold. The single display in front of the driver will hopefully present information clearly enough to keep your eyes on the road and your hair in the wind. And we aren’t sure what kind of stereo is involved, but based on the speakers it looks pretty serious.
|CitroГ«n Lacoste Concept is a fashion buggyCitroГ«n Lacoste Concept is a fashion buggy||
CitroГ«n Lacoste Concept
This is the CitroГ«n Lacoste concept, which the automaker describes as “an emblem for a state-of-mind” – that particular mental state probably including sun, sand, bikinis and Speedos. The open buggy-like four-seater with floating headrests is the opposite of “always more,” powered by a three-cylinder engine that will make its pace as relaxed as its occupants.
Fashion and four-wheelers combine all around, with the golf-ball wheels outside and bench seats with a polo-shirt-like weave inside. The dash that’s as wide as the car goes in another direction entirely, with readouts in giant pixels popping up and running along its length akin to a Times Square news ticker. And although we probably won’t see it on the roads beaches soon, there is a chance we could see it or something like it: FrГ©dГ©ric Banzet, managing director of CitroГ«n, has said he’d like to bring it to production. Ok then.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Toyota management told dealers in Las Vegas there will be a production version of the FT-86 badged as a Scion model. The move would help bolster the struggling brand, which has been a bit product-starved of late. There are also rumors of a new price point – as high as $25,000 – and the possibility that the Subaru version will only be available in Europe.
While the report claims the FT-86 will be badged as a Scion, there is no definitive word there won’t be a Toyota variant as well. We’re sure to learn more this auto show season, as reports show that the production FT-86 could arrive at the New York Auto Show in 2011.
Auto Show, Safety, Ford Edge
When is aВ power 2,700 pound projectile? When little Muffy is riding shotgun, big old fuzzy head stuck out the window, tongue lolling in the breeze and all of a sudden master crashes the darn thing into some unforseen obstacle. In the interest of keeping pets safe, Bark Buckle UP, a pet travel safety organization, has some recommendations. Among endorsement of the Doggie Seat Belt and exhortations to take steps toward pet safety in the car, are some vehicular mentions. While pet safety is a laudable goal, this announcement leaves us feeling a little dirty, like it’s mostly a thinly-veiled ploy to sell stuff.
In any case, Bark Buckle UP gave its Top Dog awards away at the New York Auto Show, and the Ford Edge has trotted away with the Pet Safe Vehicle of Choice Top Dog award. “The Ford Edge is perfect for those traveling with pets,” says Ford Edge marketing manager Brett Burin upon the Edge’s crowning. Bark Buckle UP agrees, citing the vehicle’s combination of space, ease of ingress and egress for Fifi and Fido, rear ventilation and adaptability to pet gear as reasons for the win. Ford vehicles took four of the award’s ‘choice’ slots for 2010, with the Transit Connect, Flex, and Lincoln MKT also making the list. The other alternative is to avoid either having a dog altogether (they’re smelly, and they lick their butts) or don’t chauffeur your pooch around if you have opened your home to canis domesticus. If you’re a dog lover, though, you might want to check out the official press release after the jump.
|Hispano Suiza debuts||
Geneva 2010: Hispano Suiza debuts the… Hispano Suiza
Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Performance, Geneva Motor Show, Europe, Luxury
В The new Hispano Suiza (there’s no model name) is essentially a rebodied aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI, only they’ve pluggedВ two electric-superchargers into the intake manifold. As a result, power is up through the roof, improving upon the R8 V10′s 525 hp by 225 ponies for a total of 750 horsepower. As you may have guessed, performance is also way up, with 60 mph happening in 3.3 seconds (up from 4.5 in the R8) and a top speed of 211 miles per hour (196 mph in the Audi), propelling the new 3,505-lb Hispano Suiza squarely into hypercar territory.
The reborn Hispano Suiza company plans to build between 20 and 25 of their new cars per year. Our take? Good luck. Frankly, that’s a ludicrous amount of money for a vehicle that just doesn’t do much for us. For that lofty price tag, you’d think they could at least give the poor car a name.
Gazal 1В – first Saudi-made car
The very first car designed and built in Saudi Arabia is officially a reality. King Abdullah unveiled the production Gazal 1 at a special ceremony yesterday and congratulated everyone who participated in the vehicle’s development on a job well done. As you may recall, the Gazal 1 was a special project created by the students at King Saud University. Though built off the bones of a Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the KSU kids penned the exterior and reworked the interior to accommodate Saudi Arabia’s notoriously brutal climate and demanding terrain.
When we saw the original Gazal 1 design study at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, we thought the vehicle looked pretty good, especially considering how little experience the SUV’s designers had in bringing a full-scale vehicle to life. From what we can tell, it looks like the production version has stuck fairly close to the big green model we saw back in March. That means the Toyota FJ Cruiser-style roof has made its way into reality along with the very International grille.
It works for us, especially considering the go-anywhere Mercedes-Benz components bolted underneath. No one’s said what’s under the hood of the Gazal 1, but we’re guessing the same 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8 from the standard G550 is a good bet.
[Source: Arab News]
|Peugeot RC HyMotion4 concept||
Peugeot, Sedan, Europe, Paris Motor Show
The French may not be known for their efficiency as much as, say, ze Germans, but according to the latest reports from across the Pond, Peugeot is reportedly looking at merging two weak product lines into one new sedan. The models in question are the 407 and 607, two saloons that may intrigue from this side of the Atlantic but haven’t exactly been runaway successes with those who can pick them up at their local dealership. As a result, parent company PSA’s new president Philippe Varin has reportedly confirmed that both models will be integrated into one new successor to be called the 508.
the RC Hymotion4 concept is a four-door GT using the same powertrain principles as the Hypnos and Prologue, however, with a different engine and layout. Already seen in the 308 RCZ concept, it uses the 1.6 litre THP engine making 160 kW (218 bhp) which is fitted at the rear of the vehicle and a 70 kW (95hp) electric motor under the hood. The result is 230 kW/313 bhp with CO2 emissions of 109 g/km in the combined cycle and 4.5 litres/100 km. Torque is 178 Nm at the front and 280 Nm at the rear. Sprint from 0 to 100 km/h happens in 4.4 seconds, 80 to 120 km/h in just 3.0 seconds.
The last time Peugeot used the 50X model designation was with the 505 of 1979. Although weВ think the new 508 will be like, we’re expecting it to be unveiled in concept form at the 2010 Paris Auto Salon before its production introduction at Geneva in 2011.
Budget, SUV, Geneva Motor Show, Europe, Renault, Diesel
Despite its cute-ute looks, Dacia is claiming that the Duster is the real, all-terrain deal. The stats seem to back that up: eight inches of ground clearance combined with 30 degree approach and 35 degree departure angles reminds us of ye olde Jeep Cherokee (hey, the old AMC-developed Cherokee had a lot of French in it). While missing the Cherokee’s low gears, the Duster gets a three-stage transmission featuring an auto torque-split mode, lock and two wheel-drive. The tranny tech is actually sourced from Nissan and owed by Renault and it figures to work really well. in fact, there is some speculation that the Duster is based off Nissan’s Qashqai. Also helpful is that the Duster weighs just 2,816 pounds in 4×4 guise – 2,596 pounds asВ 4×2.В
What communicated earlier, compactВ crossover Dacia Duster, which road bright spot forms 20 centimetres, on european market will be offered with two diesel engines by volume 1,5 litres and power 85 and 105 h.p.s, as well as with 110-strong gasoline motor by volume 1,6 litres. Car will be available in modification both with front, and with full drive.
В First of all, whomever it is that still owns to rights to the Plymouth would have nothing but dollar signs in their eyes if a Duster showed up. Then, of course, there’s the undeniable fact that car makers have a sick aversion to giving us cheap, simple, rugged utilitarian diesel trucks. However, you’re more than free to purchase an X5 xDrive35d from BMW, and soon you’ll be able to buy a reworked Infiniti QX56 that halfway resembles a FX. We’ll be getting a glimpse of the Duster up close and in the flesh come Geneva, but that’ll be fleeting.
|Aston Martin Lagonda Concept||
Crossover, Aston Martin, Luxury, Concept Cars, Geneva Motor Show
Aston Martin is proud to announce the return of Lagonda, one of the oldest and most iconic names in luxury car manufacturing.
The revival of Lagonda fulfils a long-term vision and will bring performance luxury into new markets around the world for Aston Martin Lagonda. Ultimately, Lagonda will be a strong presence in global territories, vastly increasing brand reach of the company and extending to new customers.Lagonda is committed to innovative new propulsion technologies, new materials and elegant forms, creating a functional luxury for the near future. Critically, the brand will allow the exploration of alternative powertrain solutions including flexfuel, hybrid systems. Lagonda willВ design and technology with Aston Martin’s established high performance expertise.
The LAGONDA CONCEPT is an avant-garde luxury vehicle; with powerful four-wheel drive, a four-seater car that will satisfy the most discerning and demanding owner. The concept demonstrates a commitment to innovative new propulsion technologies, new materials and elegant forms.
The LAGONDA CONCEPT is a four-seat international tourer, an avant-garde luxury car that draws inspiration from the brand’s illustrious past as well as the visual language of speedboat design, the spacious individualist environment of the upper class cabin and the bespoke feel of contemporary modern furniture. Inside, the four generous seats are divided into a two zones.. The result is a relaxed, rich environment that envelops you in warm, tactile materials.
The large 22″ wheels and cut-away bodywork offer exceptional ground clearance, while the concept’s V12 engine delivers power through all four wheels.