Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kia Rio

The new Kia Rio made its debut earlier this month, at the 81st Geneva show. Falling in line with the new Kia identity, the Rio now sports the family DRG as well as certain design cues from other models in the range.

The Rio is a significant leap forward over the outgoing car in all areas, adopting a more Germanic feel. The quality, finish and detailing of the Rio is not far behind its European rivals. In addition to this added quality, the B segment car has grown in all directions. Most importantly gaining around three inches in length, which can be found between the wheels, boosting interior space.

The Rio will also sport an extensive range of fuel-efficient and low-CO2 engines, from a 1.1-litre diesel unit to an all-new, high-performance 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Italdesign Go!

The Go! was one of two concepts by Italdesign Giugiaro that were unveiled at Geneva.

Based on the Volkswagen Up! platform, the Go! boasts a wheelbase similar to the Passat but is less than four meters in length, owing to the absence of sizeable overhangs on the car. Utilizing Volkswagen's blue-e-motion drivetrain, hidden under the front and rear seats, the Go! can travel 240 kilometers, whilst boasting a zero CO² emission reading.

Dominated by the large glasshouse, the Go! is designed to optimize both the feeling of lightness as well as boasting visibility for all passengers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Renault R-Space

Following on from the DeZir and Captur, the R-Space took to the stage at Geneva alongside the Twizy and Zoe to complete a healthy concept car showing from Renault.

An upbeat, funky vision of the MPV segment sees the R-Space omit B-pillars in favor of a frameless suicide door set up. This allows uninterrupted access to the interior, which is the main focal point of the concept.

Seemingly split into two sections, the rear has been designed with children in mind and features a bevy of motorized cubes that can alter the seating arrangement for child, adult or even baby seats. Up front, the seats are akin to bucket seats, marking a clear split between the two different 'zones'.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Italdesign Tex

The second concept from Volkswagen's recently acquired Italdesign was the Tex. A research study into the potential future design language of the German brand, the Tex also draws on existing technologies from Wolfsburg.

Utilizing the 'twin drive' plug-in hybrid system, the Tex is capable of a range of 35 kilometers in electric mode, a range Giugiaro claims is ample enough for day-to-day commuting.

Adopting a sporting pretense, the Tex is low slung, sitting atop large 19-inch diameter wheels and sports an aggressive DRG. The interior also echoes this theme, with a minimalist, driver-focused IP that was designed to give the impression of 'climbing into a sports car.'

Friday, April 22, 2011

Volkswagen Bulli

An evolution of the Microbus concept unveiled ten years ago, the Bulli is Volkswagen's T1 renaissance.

The Bulli is yet another electric concept that graced the floor in Geneva, boasting a range of around 300 km to a single charge from its 85 kW motor. The two tone exterior, complete with oversized VW emblem is a direct nod to the T1. However, measuring in at just 3990mm in length, 1750mm wide and 1700mm tall the Bulli is smaller, but wider than the original microbus.

Inside, the two bench seats fold flat transforming into a bed, whilst an inbuilt iPad substitutes the conventional IP and provides the car's infotainment.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Toyota HSD

The Yaris HSD, as presented in Geneva, previews Toyota's intentions of bringing Hybrid technology to the B-Segment, as well as Toyota's full hybrid roll out across all models in its range.

Retaining the familiar Yaris outwardly appearance (and previewing the next generation Yaris) the HSD is interspersed with ‘Hybrid' cues, to intimate at the hybrid powertrain beneath the body.

From the pearl white paint to the light blue hue that illuminates certain aspects, there is an underlying emphasis on the fact that this car is a hybrid. A point Toyota are keen to highlight will trump the current emphasis on fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions within B-segment models.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fiat 500

Fiat's little 500 has been around for a while now, but thanks to Zagato the diminutive city car has received a new persona.

The 500 has gained a more coupe-esque silhouette, with everything North of the beltline being new. The 500 Zagato Coupe acquires the trademark ‘double hump' roofline, as well as an evolution of the ‘cross over' C-pillar. The 500 coupe also benefits from new 17 inch alloys and restyled bumpers front and rear, all finished in a ‘pop yellow' palette.

Inside has also seen a thorough reworking as well. The Zagato retains the standard 500 fixtures and fittings, but takes in a similar color scheme to the exterior, all finished in chamois leather and a high tech fabric.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Skoda Vision D

Geneva heralded a new badge and design language for Skoda. Forming one of the many VAG launches at Geneva was the Vision D.

Blending the boundaries between the VAG subsidiaries even further, the Vision D sports clear influence from others in the portfolio. The minimal, taught lines of the Octavia sized fast back Vision D are very much VAG, but the simplicity, and green hues are most certainly Skoda.

Hinted at being a new model to slide between the Octavia and Fabia, the Vision D will preview the face of the many new Skodas on the verge of the marker. With a new model being planned every six months.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

De Tomaso

The revival of the DeTomaso name sparked an instant nostalgic focus on the infamous Pantera supercar. The Deauville, as unveiled at Geneva, was anything but the low-slung two-seater that people were anticipating.

Penned by Pininfarina, the Deauville is a luxury sport sedan, meausing in at over 5000mm in length and almost 2000mm in width; the car seemingly attempts to blend genres, resulting in a high riding, four-wheel drive sports hatch.

The behemoth of a car is designed around the idea of opulent travel and taking distinguished guests in up most levels of comfort, a far cry from the original sports cars of Alejandro De Tomaso.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ford B-Max

The Ford B-Max concept from Geneva previewed more than just an evolution of the Kinetic design language. The B-Max demonstrates a production ready B-pillar-less sliding rear door, as well as other ecologically minded additions, strongly suggesting that the show car is little more than a thinly veiled doppelganger for a production model.

The B segment car is powered by a turbocharged three cylinder, one liter EcoBoost engine, combined with a start-stop mechanism to produce significantly improved economy and CO2 ratings.

However, the main selling point of the B-Max concept is that pillarless sliding rear door arrangement that is said to offer class-leading access to the rear of the car. Add to this an overall length of just over four meters and the B-Max, even if production isn't reached, clearly previews the future of Fords B segment platform.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Magna Steyr Mila

The Magna Steyr Aero light is the fifth concept car from the subsidiary of automotive supplier Magna. The Aerolight is an A segment car, that tips the scale at just 700kg.

Powered by a CNG natural gas drive system, the Aerolight has CO2 emissions of just 55g/km.

Created so that the cars technologies are apparent in the design, the Aerolight is said to appeal to both design and technology enthusiasts in equal measure. The floating shell of the Aerolight is said to represent both the lightness and aerodynamic qualities of the car, whilst the inner black passenger compartment of the car is said to represent the strength and security of the Aerolight.

Friday, April 8, 2011

BMW 6 Series

Following on from the recently launched cabriolet variant, BMW has revealed the all-new, technologically advanced 2+2 seat 6 Series coupe.

Now in its third generation, the 6 Series features a new interpretation of the traditional BMW coupe proportions: low and wide with a long hood and a long wheelbase. Measuring in at 4894mm long and 1894mm wide, the new car is 75mm longer and 39mm wider than its predecessor, but sits 5mm lower to the ground (at 1369mm tall). BMW claims the exterior surfacing was inspired by flowing waves.

As with its predecessor, the interior's asymmetrical layout continues to place an emphasis on the driver. The driver-oriented center stack and console are complemented by taut waistline surfaces, which are carried forward into the IP. Technological advancements include black-panel technology, a freestanding Control Display and a high resolution 10.2-inch flatscreen display in hi-spec models.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BAC Mono

Another name to emerge amidst the numerous English niche manufacturers, are Briggs Automotive. Taking the fight to cars like the Aerial Atom and Caparo T1, the BAC Mono is a lightweight carbon fiber tubbed single seater, proving that once again less is more in terms of performance.

Boasting a kerb weight of just 540kg, the single seat ‘ultra high performance, road legal sports vehicle' was produced using race-bred technology in order to deliver a purist driving experience. Built with the paradigm of design and engineering excellence in mind, the Mono utilizes extensive bespoke carbon fiber and CNC machined billet aluminum parts in its construction.

With a design that places function over form, parallels can be drawn to its contemporaries, but the single seat layout offers a more focused road racer experience than any other niche vehicle currently available.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chevrolet Colorado

General Motors' Chevrolet brand is previewing the next generation midsized Colorado pickup truck in concept form at the Bangkok International Auto Show. The venue was chosen to debut the truck due to the Thai market's prevalence – it is the world's largest market for midsize pickups.

Despite being a show vehicle, the basic proportions and form are said to convey the vision for the next-generation Colorado, whiuch is said to build on Chevrolet's 'strong truck DNA and award-winning heritage.' With a design calling on the inherent strength of Chevy trucks, it is unsurprising to see the exterior boast a broad shouldered and squat demeanor.

The show truck features an extended-cab body atop a high-riding AWD chassis and sits on 20-inch wheels and off-road tires. Inside, the Colorado focuses on delivering a premium feel to occupants, with increased attention to detail and a feeling of improved quality.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kia Naimo

As the Seoul Motor Show starts today, Thursday 31st March, Kia is debuting the Naimo all-electric concept.

The concept takes its name from the Korean word ‘Ne-mo' meaning square shape - something that lends itself to the Naimo's aesthetic. The crossover utility vehicle, or CUV, was conceived by Kia's international design team in Seoul and is characterized by its ‘simple lines and solid, muscular stance.'

The simple overall design sports such interjecting details as the wrap-around windscreen and asymmetric sunroof. This mixture of simple and complex is a reference to the common traits of many traditional Korean arts and crafts.

The Naimo's interior was designed to evoke a strong sense of tranquility and features hand-crafted materials throughout such as Korean oak on the floor and door cards, with "Han-ji" paper being used for the head lining. Juxtaposing these traditional elements are modern features such as the transparent organic led display instrument panel.

The concept car has no B-pillars and features ‘suicide' style rear doors to maximize access to the cabin, and a three-way split opening boot-lid, allows for increased access to the load bay for varying luggage sizes.