Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paris Show 2010 Highlights: 2011 Chevrolet Orlando

Chevrolet has taken the wraps off its striking new Orlando MPV at the Paris motor show.

The compact seven-seat crossover MPV was first seen as a concept in Paris two years ago and much of that car’s styling has made it into the production version that will reach UK showrooms in early 2011.

Although some of the concept’s sharper lines at the front have been rounded off, much of the rear three-quarters of the concept remains unchanged, including its sloping window line and narrow glasshouse, while its pronounced wheel arches can house alloys up to 18 inches in size.

The Orlando uses General Motors' Delta platform, also seen on the new Vauxhall Astra and Chevrolet’s new Cruze range. Its UK engine line-up includes a 139bhp 1.8-litre petrol unit and a 2.0-litre diesel with either 129bhp or 161bhp.

Chevrolet claims its dual cockpit is inspired by the Corvette and features the firm’s new blue-backlit centre console.

The load area is described as “generous”, while the rear two rows of seats are raised, in spite of the low roofline, in a theatre-style arrangement to give rear passengers a better forward and side view. As in the norm in the class, there's a variety of seating configurations to boost load capacity.

Several storage compartments are offered, including the concept’s storage area hidden behind the front fascia of the audio system; this is revealed by flipping the face of the audio and is described as a “usefully large area”. The Orlando also offers USB, MP3 and iPod connectivity.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2010 Highlights: Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Concept

Meet the Cruze that’s hatching big plans in Europe! This compact version of the Cruze was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, and is the second of four new cars that will feature on the American firm’s stand.

The Cruze hatchback will join the Orlando, as well as a facelift of the Captiva SUV and a new version of the Aveo. The fastback design has an almost Japanese flavour, and the car looks similar to the Subaru Impreza in profile, although the big wheels and LED running lights from the show car are likely to be dropped from the production model.

The Cruze saloon has recently overtaken the Aveo to become Chevrolet’s best selling car globally, so to broaden its appeal and further boost sales this new hatch is set to offer great value for money and compete with the likes of the Kia C’eed and Hyundai i30.

The hatch will offer nearly 400 litres of boot space, and although that’s 50 less than the saloon, a 60/40 folding seat arrangement and bigger load space should ensure this is the most practical Cruze yet.

Wayne Brannon, Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe, said that by offering a hatch back variant they were “sending out a signal that Chevrolet is now a serious mainstream player in Europe."

The current Cruze comes in S, LS and LT trims, and the new car will continue to offer the familiar line-up of four-pot engines from the saloon. That means either a 1.6 or a 1.8-litre with 112bhp or 139bhp. The diesel option is a 2.0L with 123bhp, and 300Nm of torque.

Prices should remain broadly the same as the current range, although the hatchback could end up costing less than its stable mate, starting at around £13,000 for the 1.6i S when it goes on sale mid-way through next year. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Paris Show 2010 Highlights: 2011 BMW X3

Big on space and big on efficiency! That's BMW's promise for the second-generation X3, and we have first official photos of the X5’s baby brother, which made its European debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Set to hit showrooms in January 2011, the cleanest variants will be capable of returning 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of only 147g/km thanks to the use of stop/start technology and an eight-speed automatic gearbox developed by specialists, ZF.

Achieving 149g/km with a manual gearbox, the entry-level xDrive20d uses a four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine producing 181bhp and 380Nm of torque – enough to reach 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 131mph. At launch, the only other model will be the xDrive35i, which is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 152mph.

The X3 now sports a more robust appearance using elements from the smaller X1 and larger X5, while the body has grown in every dimension except width allowing for improved interior space and wider door openings. Luggage space is increased by 70 litres as a result and can be expanded to 1,600 litres when the rear seats, which split 60:40 or an optional 40:20:40, are folded flat.

Build quality is set to receive a hike in the all-new interior whilst technical gadgetry including a head-up display and internet access will be made available thanks to BMW's ConnectedDrive system. A 6.5-inch colour monitor and the latest generation of iDrive will be standard on all models, although this can be upgraded to a class-leading 8.8-inch high-resolution screen if buyers opt for the Professional Multimedia package.

Under the skin the X3 will feature Variable Damper Control for the first time, allowing drivers to adjust the suspension settings to suit their needs, with Normal, Sport, and Sport+ selected by a button on the dash. Adjustable Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Stability Control further enhance the handling, assisted by double-joint spring-strut front axles and a multi-link rear axle.

Prices start at £30,490 for the xDrive20d, rising to around £36,000 for the xDrive35i.For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Paris Show 2010 Highlights: 2011 Audi A7

Audi has unveiled its new A7 at the Paris motor show.

This is the car that Audi hopes will take sales from Mercedes-Benz’s CLS and continue the Ingolstadt firm’s evolution of its ‘big car’ design: the new A7 Sportback.

The A7 Sportback is designed to fill a niche between the A6 and A8. It offers big-car interior packaging for four people, the practicality of a rear hatch, a sizeable boot and what Audi calls a ‘four-door coupé’ shape.

The A7 is 4.97m long and 1.91m wide, which is 17cm shorter and 4cm narrower than the A8. But it sits 4cm lower than Audi’s luxury saloon, at 1.42m. At 2.91 metres, the wheelbase is around 8cm shorter than the regular A8’s, but longer than the current A6’s by a similar amount. It’s likely that the next generation of A6 will sit on the same platform.

The A7 was previewed by a concept at the Detroit show last year, and the production car sticks closely to the show model’s appearance. Its looks are dominated by a deep front grille, a low nose, narrow headlights, a sharp crease that runs along its flanks from nose to tail, and a bootline that tails off quickly, minimising the rear overhang. That last element, and a distinctive lip on the third side window, reference Audi’s 100 Coupé from the 1970s.

The new model will be offered with four V6 engines, all with direct injection, Audi’s thermal management system, stop-start and brake energy recuperation. The petrol units are a 2.8-litre V6 with 201bhp and 207lb ft, and a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 producing 295bhp and 325lb ft.

They are available with a seven-speed S-tronic transmission and quattro four-wheel drive only. In 3.0 TFSI form the A7 can reach 62mph in 5.6sec and go on to a limited top speed of 155mph. The 2.8 emits 187g/km of CO2 and the 3.0 190g/km.

The line-up will include two V6 diesels. The more potent of the pair comes with four-wheel drive and S-tronic only, and it has 241bhp and 369lb ft of torque. That’s enough for the A7 to crack 0-62mph in 6.5sec and reach a maximum of 155mph.

The lower-powered oil-burner, which will arrive soon after the A7 Sportback’s launch, is being positioned as the eco model in the range.

The 201bhp powerplant is available with the same S-tronic/quattro set-up as the other variants, or with the combination of front-wheel drive and Audi’s multitronic CVT transmission.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2010 Highlights: BMW 6 Series Concept

Sleek, sporty and oozing style – that’s the promise of BMW’s new 6-Series, which was officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show.

The newcomer displays classic coupé proportions, with its long bonnet, short front overhang and low-slung silhouette. Smooth lines mimic the design cues first seen on the latest 5-Series and 7-Series.

A shark-like nose features glass inserts at the top of the grille bars for a modern look, while the distinctive headlights are, for the first time, entirely LED, producing a dazzling white light and reducing energy use. Adaptive light technology also means they swivel according to the steering angle and speed of the car, while the daytime running lights are in BMW’s familiar ring design.

At the rear, twin trapezoid exhaust tips create an aggressive look, while LED light strips inside the rear clusters ensure the 6 even has a distinctive appearance at night. Unique 20-inch alloy wheels, each milled from a solid piece of aluminium, finish off the handsome exterior design. The elegant new 2+2 cabin has a full-length glass roof to flood the interior with light, and a tilted centre console to put the emphasis on the driver. Two individual leather-lined rear seats have enough room to accommodate a pair of adults.

There’s a wealth of technology, too. Taking pride of place is a huge 26cm flatscreen displaying the audio, climate and sat-nav menus. A head-up display and digital panel, in place of traditional dials, show a range of information, while a Bang & Olufsen stereo with 16 speakers, including one that rises from the top of the dash, delivers superb sound quality.

The engine range is likely to match the current line-up, with straight-six and V8 petrol offerings. But since the diesel 635d accounted for around 70 per cent of sales, a new range-topping 306bhp 640d is expected to scoop up the majority of buyers.

Still officially a concept, the BMW Concept 6-Series Coupé, to use its full name, could receive some minor tweaks before it arrives in showrooms. But essentially this is the car that will make production.

Despite the coupé breaking cover, it will be the convertible that arrives first in March. The hard-top follows in September 2011. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express