The Truth About Cars » France http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 04 Dec 2014 19:13:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » France http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/france/ France Begins Divorce Proceedings Against Diesel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/france-begins-divorce-proceedings-diesel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/france-begins-divorce-proceedings-diesel/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=954617 For the longest time, France loved the diesel. Alas, the thrill has gone away. Just-Auto reports the French government introduced a program aimed at removing the most polluting vehicles — diesel-powered passenger vehicles in particular — from the roadways, along with provisions for local officials to limit access to said vehicles. Prime minister Manuel Valls […]

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For the longest time, France loved the diesel. Alas, the thrill has gone away.

Just-Auto reports the French government introduced a program aimed at removing the most polluting vehicles — diesel-powered passenger vehicles in particular — from the roadways, along with provisions for local officials to limit access to said vehicles. Prime minister Manuel Valls laid it out as such:

In France, we have long favoured the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically.

Presently, 80 percent of the nation’s drivers operate diesel-powered vehicles, thanks to the lower price for the fuel over gasoline. Thus, to encourage them to consider more eco-friendly options, the government will raise the excise tax on diesel to €2 ($2.50 USD) per liter, and will begin in 2015 to identify vehicles by the amount of pollution they produce. Further, energy minister Segolene Royal introduced earlier in 2014 a tax credit of up to €10,000 ($13,500) for exchanging their diesels for an electric vehicle, while other subsidies linked to the new plan will help drivers in anti-pollution areas convert their old diesels.

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Paris 2014: Ferrari 458 Speciale A Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-ferrari-458-speciale-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-ferrari-458-speciale-unveiled/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 21:30:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=925241 Prefer your Ferrari 458 Speciale to allow the wind to rush through your hair? Then the 458 Speciale A is for you. Behind your head is the same naturally aspirated V8 as the closed-cockpit model, delivering 605 stallions and 398 lb-ft of torque tightly controlled by the Speciale’s SCC traction control system. Over your head […]

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Prefer your Ferrari 458 Speciale to allow the wind to rush through your hair? Then the 458 Speciale A is for you.

Behind your head is the same naturally aspirated V8 as the closed-cockpit model, delivering 605 stallions and 398 lb-ft of torque tightly controlled by the Speciale’s SCC traction control system.

Over your head is an aluminum roof that folds away when not needed, adding only 110 pounds to the total curb weight of 3,310 pounds. Ferrari claims this won’t affect the convertible’s nil to 60 run of 3 seconds, adding the Speciale A is the automaker’s most aero-advanced convertible ever.

Like the Speciale, the Speciale A is track-ready, from the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires, to the Formula One-inspired gear awaiting the driver inside.

Alas, should you desire this one, only 499 will be assembled. Of course, if you’re on the list, you more than likely already got yours.

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Paris 2014: Nissan Pulsar NISMO Debuts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-nissan-pulsar-nismo-debuts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-nissan-pulsar-nismo-debuts/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 21:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=925057 The Nissan Pulsar NISMO made its debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show Thursday, but it’ll never turn up in North American showrooms. The mad scientists of Nissan’s performance division gave the Pulsar a full makeover with double-layered side skirts, redesigned front bumper with larger air intakes, a rear diffuser, center exhaust et al, all […]

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The Nissan Pulsar NISMO made its debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show Thursday, but it’ll never turn up in North American showrooms.

The mad scientists of Nissan’s performance division gave the Pulsar a full makeover with double-layered side skirts, redesigned front bumper with larger air intakes, a rear diffuser, center exhaust et al, all riding on 19-inch wheels with a lowered suspension aimed at the track.

Speaking of the track, though no word on what would power the hot hatch has been stated by either party, a likely candidate would be a 1.6-liter turbo-four delivering 200 horsepower. There’s also no word on whether the concept will go into production.

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Paris 2014: 2016 Audi TT Roadster Bows http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-2016-audi-tt-roadster-bows/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-2016-audi-tt-roadster-bows/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 20:30:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=924785 You’ve seen the Audi TT Sportback. Now, it’s time for the 2016 Audi TT Roadster to shine at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. The 2016 model rides on the MQB platform with a wheelbase that has gained 1.5 inches over the current TT, while the overall length is just an inch shorter. Weight comes in […]

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You’ve seen the Audi TT Sportback. Now, it’s time for the 2016 Audi TT Roadster to shine at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

The 2016 model rides on the MQB platform with a wheelbase that has gained 1.5 inches over the current TT, while the overall length is just an inch shorter. Weight comes in at 2,910.1 lbs. with manual transmission and front-wheel drive, and the chassis is stiffer thanks to solid steel tubes inside the A-pillars, steel ribbing in the sills, and various V braces throughout the underside.

The soft-top is 6.6 lbs. lighter than the top now in play, can be operated up to 31.1 mph, takes up little of the TT’s 9.9 cubic-feet of trunk space, and can open or close within 10 seconds.

Up front, the U.S. market will receive a 2-liter turbocharged engine delivering 230 horses, 310 in the TTS model. A spoiler deploys at speeds above 75 mph.

Finally, a revised Quattro system puts more power to the back, allowing for safer, more controlled drifts on low-friction surfaces.

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Paris 2014: Land Rover Discovery Sport Arrives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-land-rover-discovery-sport-arrives/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-land-rover-discovery-sport-arrives/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 20:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=924713 Soon to replace the LR2, the Land Rover Discovery Sport arrived today at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. The new premium SUV offers 5+2 seating within its length of 180.7 inches, bringing it in line with the current Toyota RAV4. Under the hood is a 2-liter turbo-four delivering 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque […]

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Soon to replace the LR2, the Land Rover Discovery Sport arrived today at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

The new premium SUV offers 5+2 seating within its length of 180.7 inches, bringing it in line with the current Toyota RAV4.

Under the hood is a 2-liter turbo-four delivering 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque to all four corners via a standard nine-speed automatic.

Inside, the driver has access to both an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 5-inch color display, with higher trim models offering space for an iPad and leather-wrapped interiors.

Should you want to paint it black, Land Rover offers the optional Black Pack package, which brings the absence of light to the grill, side mirrors, front fender vents, badges and either 19- or 20-inch wheels.

Finally, the price of admission starts at $38,920.

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Paris 2014: Revised 2015 Ford C-Max Debuts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-revised-2015-ford-c-max-debuts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-revised-2015-ford-c-max-debuts/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 19:30:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=924529 The Astonization of Ford continues, this time with the newly revised 2015 C-Max, bowing at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. Along with the new face, the compact MPV boasts new tail lamps, revised hatch, new alloy wheels, two new shades of color — Red Rush and Caribou — and an updated center console with fewer […]

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The Astonization of Ford continues, this time with the newly revised 2015 C-Max, bowing at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

Along with the new face, the compact MPV boasts new tail lamps, revised hatch, new alloy wheels, two new shades of color — Red Rush and Caribou — and an updated center console with fewer buttons and less stitching for a cleaner look.

Safety features for the C-Max include parking assist, cross-traffic alert, the new Park-Out Assist — allowing the crossover to unpark itself from tight spaces — and adaptive cruise control.

Under the hood, a 1.5-liter turbo-four is now available, while European customers also receive a variety of engines, from a 2-liter turbodiesel, to a 1-liter EcoBoost.

Speaking of Europe, the above reflect what can be had in the market, with no word as of yet regarding if any of the changes will cross the Atlantic.

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Paris 2014: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept-S Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-mitsubishi-outlander-phev-concept-s-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-mitsubishi-outlander-phev-concept-s-unveiled/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 19:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=924377 Mitsubishi has taken its Outlander PHEV upscale with the debut of the Concept-S at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. A demonstration of what a future upscale offering will entail, the Concept-S has chrome accents, wrap-around headlamps, black woodgrain, leather seats and a center console meant to invoke traditional Japanese lacquered boxes. Aside from the premium […]

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Mitsubishi has taken its Outlander PHEV upscale with the debut of the Concept-S at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

A demonstration of what a future upscale offering will entail, the Concept-S has chrome accents, wrap-around headlamps, black woodgrain, leather seats and a center console meant to invoke traditional Japanese lacquered boxes.

Aside from the premium options, the Concept-S is like the other Outlander PHEVs with its 2-liter four-pot and twin-electric motors linked to a lithium-ion pack. Electric-only mode delivers a range of 32.5 miles, and offers 148 MPGe on the European cycle. The Outlander can also charge its battery pack while on the go.

Alas, it’ll be until 2016 at the earliest before North America finally receives its invitation to the Outlander PHEV party.

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Paris 2014: Infiniti Q80 Unveiled, Headed For Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-infiniti-q80-unveiled-headed-production/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-infiniti-q80-unveiled-headed-production/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:30:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=924225 Within the next three to five years, the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration will go from concept to the production floor. The brand’s European product chief, Francois Goupil de Bouille, aims to have as much as 90 percent of what is being seen at the 2014 Paris Auto Show on the road within the next few years, […]

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Within the next three to five years, the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration will go from concept to the production floor.

The brand’s European product chief, Francois Goupil de Bouille, aims to have as much as 90 percent of what is being seen at the 2014 Paris Auto Show on the road within the next few years, though it might be the top of the line; Infiniti has plans for a larger, more traditional sedan paired with a QX80 aimed at Range Rover.

Entry-level, the brand also has plans for a Q20 model. The proposed vehicle will take on the likes of MINI and the Audi A1, but only after the Q30 arrives in showrooms in 2015.

As for the Q80 Inspiration, the powerplant of choice is a 550-horsepower twin-turbo aluminum V6 — part of a new family of engines that will turn up throughout the range over the next few years — driving all four wheels. The concept is just a bit shorter than the Mercedes S-Class, boasts an interior with Alcantra and horse-hair, and has adaptive cruise control.

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Paris 2014: 2015 BMW X6 Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-2015-bmw-x6-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-2015-bmw-x6-revealed/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=924153 Now capable of doing burnouts, the second-gen BMW X6 arrived at the 2014 Paris Auto Show with RWD for the first time. Just like the roomier X5 upon which the new X6 is based, the SUV is available as an sDrive35i model, whose twin-turbo inline-six moves 300 horsepower to the back. The same engine delivers […]

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Now capable of doing burnouts, the second-gen BMW X6 arrived at the 2014 Paris Auto Show with RWD for the first time.

Just like the roomier X5 upon which the new X6 is based, the SUV is available as an sDrive35i model, whose twin-turbo inline-six moves 300 horsepower to the back. The same engine delivers the goods through all four corners as the xDrive35i, with the xDrive50i upping the ante with a 4.4-liter V8 pushing 445 horsepower. All models receive an eight-speed auto standard.

In addition to the rear- and all-wheel drive models, the X6 can be had in xLine or M Sport trim. The former brings more luxurious leather and cosmetic enhancements, the latter adds an aero kit and optional M suspension. Other available features include: Bang & Olufsen sound system, HUD, parallel parking assistant, and a revised chassis that offers nearly 50:50 weight distribution and stiffer torsional rigidity.

The X6 will leave the factory floor in Spartanburg, S.C. for showrooms later this year. Price of admission begins at $60,550.

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Paris 2014: 2015 MINI Hardtop 5-Door Arrives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-2015-mini-hardtop-5-door-arrives/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-2015-mini-hardtop-5-door-arrives/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 17:30:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923881 For those who wanted a MINI, but only if it had two extra doors — and wasn’t a Countryman — then this MINI Hardtop 5-Door’s for you. With its overall length increase of 6.3 inches and boosted wheelbase of 2.9 inches, the five-door hatch is not exactly “mini”; it’s also longer than the Toyota Yaris […]

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For those who wanted a MINI, but only if it had two extra doors — and wasn’t a Countryman — then this MINI Hardtop 5-Door’s for you.

With its overall length increase of 6.3 inches and boosted wheelbase of 2.9 inches, the five-door hatch is not exactly “mini”; it’s also longer than the Toyota Yaris or Mazda2. That said, it can hold five passengers, offers a half-inch more headroom than the three-door model, and can carry more with its 13.1 cubic-foot trunk.

Up front, either a 1.5-liter three-pot (134 horsepower/162 lb-ft torque) or a 2-liter turbo-four (S model; 189 horses/207 lb-ft, 221 lb-ft overboosted) can deliver power to the front wheels via either six-speed manual or auto transmissions. Nil to 60 is 7.6 seconds, 6.6 for the S Hardtop.

Both models come with two modes of travel: Sport and Green. Adjustments to both throttle and transmission deliver either better efficiency or performance, with auto-equipped models shifting into neutral when coasting for more fuel savings in Green mode. Camera-based adaptive cruise control, LED headlamps, start/stop button et al are available, as well.

Price of admission is $22,550 for the standard model, $25,950 for the S variant. Both Hardtops will be due at the dealership soon.

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Paris 2014: 2015 Ford Focus ST Diesel Debuts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-2015-ford-focus-st-diesel-debuts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-2015-ford-focus-st-diesel-debuts/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 17:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923785 European customers will soon have another option on the table, as the 2015 Ford Focus ST turned up at the 2014 Paris Auto Show with diesel power. In addition to the 2-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine — capable of 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque — the hot hatch will have the 2-liter TDCi turbodiesel […]

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European customers will soon have another option on the table, as the 2015 Ford Focus ST turned up at the 2014 Paris Auto Show with diesel power.

In addition to the 2-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine — capable of 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque — the hot hatch will have the 2-liter TDCi turbodiesel under the bonnet. The TDCi is the ST’s first-ever diesel powerplant, and will deliver 182 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque to the front through the same six-speed manual as the EcoBoost.

Performance-wise, the turbodiesel moves the ST from nil to 62 mph in 8.1 seconds, and visits the fuel station less often with an average of 67.3 mpg on the European cycle. Stop-start is available for both engines, as well, improving fuel economy by 6 percent.

The Focus ST will arrive in European showrooms starting next year.

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Paris 2014: Toyota C-HR Concept Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-toyota-c-hr-concept-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-toyota-c-hr-concept-revealed/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923505 A harbinger of things to come as far as design and style go, Toyota revealed the C-HR Concept at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. According to the automaker, the C-HR Concept is what happens when it genetically engineers a crossover from a late-1990s RAV4, a Prius and a GT86. The result is what it calls […]

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A harbinger of things to come as far as design and style go, Toyota revealed the C-HR Concept at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

According to the automaker, the C-HR Concept is what happens when it genetically engineers a crossover from a late-1990s RAV4, a Prius and a GT86. The result is what it calls “diamond architecture styling,” which will likely begin to influence vehicle styling and design sometime down the road.

Under the hood is a new hybrid system that Toyota proclaims will “reset the standards for consumption and emissions.” What the automaker means by this is left to one’s imagination for now.

Regarding dimensions, the C-HR Concept is larger than the Nissan Juke, coming in at 171.3 inches long and 72.8 inches wide. However, it is 3 inches shorter at 59 inches, providing the crossover with a lower center of gravity.

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Paris 2014: Kia Unveils Updated 2016 Sorento http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-kia-unveils-updated-2016-sorento/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-kia-unveils-updated-2016-sorento/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923321 Behold the new face of the 2016 Kia Sorento as revealed at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. The updated SUV holds either five or seven passengers depending on configuration, with increases in head- and legroom within its overall measurement of 188 inches. The cargo area also gained more space, now at 21.3 cubic feet with […]

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Behold the new face of the 2016 Kia Sorento as revealed at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

The updated SUV holds either five or seven passengers depending on configuration, with increases in head- and legroom within its overall measurement of 188 inches. The cargo area also gained more space, now at 21.3 cubic feet with all rows folded down; the second row is split 40/20/40.

Up front — in Europe, at least — two diesel and one gasoline four-bangers will be available to move the Sorento around: an entry-level 2-liter with 182 horses and 297 lb-ft of torque, mated exclusively to a six-speed auto; a 2.2-liter with 197 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque; and a 2.4-liter with 185 horses and 178 lb-ft of torque.

Inside, plenty of safety technology can be fitted, including backup camera, lane departure, speed limit informer et al. Sound deadening materials help cut interior noise up to 6 percent, while all occupants will be treated to leather and soft-touch materials.

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Paris 2014: Fiat 500X Debuts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-fiat-500x-images-leaked-prior-unveiling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-fiat-500x-images-leaked-prior-unveiling/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923289 The Jeep Renegade’s Italian sibling was revealed at today’s Paris Auto Show media day, and now Fiat dealers can breathe a sigh of relief: they’ll be getting a product that has a good chance of being competitive in North America. The subcompact crossover rides on the same platform as the Jeep Renegade, and may likely […]

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The Jeep Renegade’s Italian sibling was revealed at today’s Paris Auto Show media day, and now Fiat dealers can breathe a sigh of relief: they’ll be getting a product that has a good chance of being competitive in North America.

The subcompact crossover rides on the same platform as the Jeep Renegade, and may likely share the same 1.4-liter turbo-four as the Renegade. Chrysler’s 2.4-liter Tigershark engine will also be available, and all-wheel drive versions will be paired to a nine-speed automatic gearbox, along with the corporate all-wheel drive system. Front-drive versions will get a six-speed dual-clutch auto or six-speed manual gearbox.

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Paris 2014: Audi TT Sportback Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-audi-tt-sportback-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-audi-tt-sportback-revealed/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923233 Following up on the TT Allroad Shooting Brake and TT Offroad, Audi revealed the TT Sportback at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. This TT adds two rear doors to the original three, along with an 11-inch boost in overall length, a 2.4-inch increase to the width, and an additional 4.7 inches for the wheelbase, no […]

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Following up on the TT Allroad Shooting Brake and TT Offroad, Audi revealed the TT Sportback at the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

This TT adds two rear doors to the original three, along with an 11-inch boost in overall length, a 2.4-inch increase to the width, and an additional 4.7 inches for the wheelbase, no doubt giving plenty of room for the two passengers fortunate to sit in the back. The two rear passenger doors also have frameless windows, just like the TT coupe.

Under the hood, a 2-liter TFSI turbo-four drives 400 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to all corners, each bearing a 21-inch wheel mounted on 255/30s, and containing an 18-inch disc. The drivetrain is also efficient at the pump — delivering an average of 33.6 mpg — and off the line; nil to 62 arrives in 3.9 seconds.

Inside, the driver receives their info via a virtual cockpit system inside a 12.3-inch display, which can be operated either via steering-wheel controls or the touchpad on the MMI terminal near the shifter.

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Paris 2014: Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-lamborghini-asterion-lpi-910-4-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-lamborghini-asterion-lpi-910-4-unveiled/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 11:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923105 Lamborghini has joined Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren in the hybrid hypercar game with one of its own, the Asterion LPI 910-4. This particular PHEV has its power fed to all four corners through three electric motors and one 5.2-liter V10 delivering 910 horsepower through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. The V10 and one of the motors […]

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Lamborghini has joined Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren in the hybrid hypercar game with one of its own, the Asterion LPI 910-4.

This particular PHEV has its power fed to all four corners through three electric motors and one 5.2-liter V10 delivering 910 horsepower through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. The V10 and one of the motors sit behind said transmission — with the electric in between the two — while the remaining electrics drive the front end. Nil to 60 is Aventador-level at 3 seconds flat, and tops out at 199 mph (78 mph in electric-only mode).

The hypercar also hits Prius levels of efficiency, delivering 56 mpg in the combined European test cycle; your mileage may vary. Further, the first 30 miles can be run on electric alone, with options of using all four engines or just the V10 available at the driver’s disposal.

Though it is on par with the 918 Spyder, LaFerrari and P1, the Asterion is more of a grand tourer than a track monster, with a bigger greenhouse and higher driver position than the other three PHEVs. The car also boasts a carbon fiber monocoque for less weight, though Lamborghini hasn’t said how much the Asterion weighs. The automaker adds that the concept was built with every component and technology available in-house, meaning production could start tomorrow if the lords of Sant’Agata wanted.

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Paris 2014: Volkswagen XL Sport Unveiled, Powered By Ducati http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-volkswagen-xl-sport-unveiled-powered-ducati/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-volkswagen-xl-sport-unveiled-powered-ducati/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923001 What happens when you mashup Italian motorcycle power with German engineering? The Volkswagen XL Sport happens. The more metal version of the two-seat, hyper-efficient XL1, the XL Sport gets its power from the Ducati 1199 Superleggera sport bike. The two-cylinder 1199cc powerplant pushes 197 horsepower (at 11,000 rpm, no less) and 99 lb-ft of torque […]

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What happens when you mashup Italian motorcycle power with German engineering? The Volkswagen XL Sport happens.

The more metal version of the two-seat, hyper-efficient XL1, the XL Sport gets its power from the Ducati 1199 Superleggera sport bike. The two-cylinder 1199cc powerplant pushes 197 horsepower (at 11,000 rpm, no less) and 99 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto to the back. The vehicle also receives upgrades to the chassis, sport suspension and ceramic brakes.

Aside from having more power and more aggressive bodywork, the XL Sport also sports more weight, coming in at 1,962 pounds — thanks in part to the Ducati two-pot — compared to the XL1’s svelt 1,700 pounds.

Inside, it’s still an XL1 for the most part, but now boasts a digital gauge cluster providing performance data to the driver as they shift the seven-speed via flappy paddle. Polycarbonate windows help reduce weight, but don’t expect to hit the Starbucks drive-thru: the windows are fixed in place.

Despite its supercar looks, the car is as quick off the line as a Ford Fiesta ST, moving from naught to 60 in 5.8 seconds, with a top speed of 168 mph.

Alas, much like the XL1, it’s not likely anyone outside of Europe — if at all, in this case — will ever bring home an XL Sport. Only 250 of the former will be assembled for sale in European markets — deliveries having commenced this summer — retailing for approximately $146,000 USD to start.

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Paris 2014: Honda Unveils Refreshed, New Civic Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/paris-2014-honda-unveils-refreshed-new-civic-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/paris-2014-honda-unveils-refreshed-new-civic-models/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 12:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=918450 With only days to go until the 2014 Paris Auto Show, Honda has gone ahead and unveiled its refreshed Civic and Civic Tourer, as well as the new Civic Sport. The Civic models all have sportier looks from stem to stern for the 2015 model year, with LED taillights capping things off. As for inside, […]

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With only days to go until the 2014 Paris Auto Show, Honda has gone ahead and unveiled its refreshed Civic and Civic Tourer, as well as the new Civic Sport.

The Civic models all have sportier looks from stem to stern for the 2015 model year, with LED taillights capping things off. As for inside, Honda’s all-new, Android-powered Connect infotainment system is meant to give the driver “convenience and connectivity whilst on the road.” The system uses Android 4.0.4, with its smartphone gestures very much intact.

Meanwhile, the new Civic Sport — a diet Civic Type-R, if you will — arrives on the scene with either 1.6-liter i-DTEC diesel or 1.8-liter I-VTEC petrol firepower, driving 118 to 140 horsepower to the front line. Color-coded rear spoiler and 17-inch alloys add to the hot hatch’s looks alongside other Type-R-esque features.

Finally, all of the above will have Honda’s City-Brake Active system as standard. The braking system is meant to minimize or avoid entirely low-speed accidents by applying the brakes if such an event — up to 30 km/h — is detected.

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Paris 2014: Citroën C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Revealed Prior To Live Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/paris-2014-citroen-c4-cactus-airflow-2l-revealed-prior-live-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/paris-2014-citroen-c4-cactus-airflow-2l-revealed-prior-live-debut/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=916090 In the 1930s, Chrysler experimented with aerodynamics to deliver a product that could slip through the wind better than the vehicles of the day, bestowing upon the public the Airflow. Alas, not too many people were ready for the future, leaving the concept a commercial failure. Today, Citroën is giving the name and concept a […]

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In the 1930s, Chrysler experimented with aerodynamics to deliver a product that could slip through the wind better than the vehicles of the day, bestowing upon the public the Airflow. Alas, not too many people were ready for the future, leaving the concept a commercial failure.

Today, Citroën is giving the name and concept a second try, with fuel economy and the environment in mind.

Revealed prior to its live debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show, the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L’s own aero — including shutters for the grill and wheels, air extractors, underbody panels — help the concept deliver a rating of 2 liters — or 2L — per 100 kilometers (0.52 gallons/62 miles) traveled.

Regarding weight, aluminum, high-yield steel and composites contribute to a reduction of 100 kilograms (220 pounds) in comparison to the production C4 Cactus; total weight is 865 kg/1,907 lbs.

Finally, the Airflow 2L’s Hybrid Air drivetrain uses air power from its on-board compressor to move the concept around when the three-pot PureTech engine isn’t burning gasoline, with the ability to use both when necessary.

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France To Provide $22,000 Subsidy For Diesel Drivers Who Switch To EVs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/france-provide-22000-subsidy-diesel-drivers-switch-evs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/france-provide-22000-subsidy-diesel-drivers-switch-evs/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:27:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=897386 While France already offers a subsidy of $8,400 for consumers who purchase a new electric vehicle, a proposed piece of legislation would see that figure expand for drivers of diesel cars, bringing the total subsidy to a staggering $22,000. The bill, proposed by Segolene Royal (France’s minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy, and a one-time […]

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While France already offers a subsidy of $8,400 for consumers who purchase a new electric vehicle, a proposed piece of legislation would see that figure expand for drivers of diesel cars, bringing the total subsidy to a staggering $22,000.

The bill, proposed by Segolene Royal (France’s minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy, and a one-time Presidential candidate) would provide enhanced subsidies for drivers of diesel-powered cars, according to the International Business Times

With diesel cars being extremely popular in France, the bill would likely give drivers an incentive to scrap their oil-burner in favor of a new electric vehicle – and how convenient it is that French automaker Renault currently offers a range of EVs to suit every purse and purpose.

Although the Twizy is a niche city car, Renault’s Zoe and Kangoo EVs neatly cover the compact hatchback and commercial van markets, both of which are important segments and commonly powered by diesel engines. If a diesel driver took full advantage of the available subsidies – which, under the plan, would amount to an extra 10,000 euros on top of the 6,300 euros already available -, then a 20,700 euro Renault Zoe would cost just 4,400 euros.

While the program is undoubtedly cloaked in environmental benefits, the real gain here is for Renault, and France’s new car market. It’s hard to imagine that legions of diesel car owners wouldn’t be compelled to make the switch to a 4,400 euro new car, even with the limitations that come with owning an EV. Year to date, EV sales are down 12 percent in France, with Renault sales down 6 percent. This move should reverse things tout de suite.

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Ghosn Top Earner In Japan For Fourth Time In Five Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/ghosn-top-earner-in-japan-for-fourth-time-in-five-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/ghosn-top-earner-in-japan-for-fourth-time-in-five-years/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=852041 Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will once more be graced with the honor of being the highest paid executive at a Japanese corporation, having held the honor three previous times in the past five years. Bloomberg reports Ghosn made ¥995 million ($9.76 million USD) in salary and bonuses for fiscal year 2013, which ended March 31 […]

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Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will once more be graced with the honor of being the highest paid executive at a Japanese corporation, having held the honor three previous times in the past five years.

Bloomberg reports Ghosn made ¥995 million ($9.76 million USD) in salary and bonuses for fiscal year 2013, which ended March 31 of this year; total compensation, including dividends, amounts to ¥10 billion ($9.81 million). This puts the CEO ahead of Toyota president Akio Toyoda, who made four times less than Ghosn despite Nissan eking out a profit amid incentive spending and recall costs in the same period. However, Toyoda’s ¥757 million ($7.42 million) in dividends narrows the gap between the two leaders.

Though Ghosn may be killing it in Japan, his total earnings are outgunned by those of his standing among European and U.S. automakers. Outgoing Ford CEO Alan Mullaly earned $23 million in total compensation last year, while GM CEO Mary Barra may receive as much as $14.4 million at the end of FY 2014. Meanwhile, VW boss Martin Winterkorn took home €15 million ($20 million) and Daimler’s doctor Dieter Zetche made €8.25 million ($11.2 million) in 2013. Renault paid €2.3 million ($3.1 million) to Ghosn, bringing total earnings from the alliance to around $13 million USD..

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Renault, Caterham Part Ways Over Direction Of Alpine Joint Venture http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/renault-caterham-part-ways-over-direction-of-alpine-joint-venture/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/renault-caterham-part-ways-over-direction-of-alpine-joint-venture/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=842033 Though a new Alpine is set to come out in 2016, the new car will be lacking in English blood: Renault and Caterham have broken off their engagement to revive the historic French marque. Autoblog reports the joint venture dissolved amid tensions over development of a pair of sports cars that were set to debut […]

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Though a new Alpine is set to come out in 2016, the new car will be lacking in English blood: Renault and Caterham have broken off their engagement to revive the historic French marque.

Autoblog reports the joint venture dissolved amid tensions over development of a pair of sports cars that were set to debut in 2016. Renault and Caterham first came together to build the cars in November 2012. At the time, the latter’s Formula One team ran the former’s engines, and team owner Tony Fernandes wanted to do the same for the Caterham 7. From there, the Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham was formed under the roof of the Alpine factory in Dieppe, France, and had delivered the A110-50 concept in the brief time the two entities worked together.

Regarding the future, both automakers will pursue building their sports cars separately, though they hinted that “other forms of cooperation” could come about given the right conditions. The joint venture will be renamed Société des Automobiles Alpine during a general meeting this month.

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Renault, LG Chem Sign MOU To Develop Long-Range Battery Technology http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/renault-lg-chem-sign-mou-to-develop-long-range-battery-technology/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/renault-lg-chem-sign-mou-to-develop-long-range-battery-technology/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 11:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=833473 With most EVs getting around 100 miles on a single charge from their battery packs, such vehicles are more suited for the downtown core than a trip to the mountains. However, Renault and LG Chem are looking toward boosting range toward Tesla-like levels, together. Autoblog Green reports Renault’s CCO Thierry Bolloré and LG Chem’s battery […]

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With most EVs getting around 100 miles on a single charge from their battery packs, such vehicles are more suited for the downtown core than a trip to the mountains. However, Renault and LG Chem are looking toward boosting range toward Tesla-like levels, together.

Autoblog Green reports Renault’s CCO Thierry Bolloré and LG Chem’s battery chief Kwon Young-soo signed a memorandum of understanding to develop battery range technology through the use of the latter company’s high-energy-density batteries. LG makes the batteries for EVs and PHEVs, including the Chevrolet Volt, and will supply packs to 20 automakers in 2015, double the business it does currently.

Meanwhile, Renault may use the results of its joint-venture with LG Chem to improve the range — and therefore, potential sales — of its Twingo and other Z.E. EVs. The Twingo was recently shelved in part to less-than-expected demand for the city car, with no word on when the EV will go back on sale.

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Ghosn To Fight For Position Atop Global Three Podium http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/ghosn-to-fight-for-position-atop-global-three-podium/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/ghosn-to-fight-for-position-atop-global-three-podium/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 12:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=818506 Re-appointed through 2018 last month by Renault-Nissan shareholders by a margin of 85 percent, CEO Carlos Ghosn has adjusted his sights on Volkswagen, General Motors and Toyota in an effort to take one of their spots as a member of the Global Three. Automotive News reports the No. 4 automaker has a ways to go […]

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Carlos Ghosn speaks -07. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Re-appointed through 2018 last month by Renault-Nissan shareholders by a margin of 85 percent, CEO Carlos Ghosn has adjusted his sights on Volkswagen, General Motors and Toyota in an effort to take one of their spots as a member of the Global Three.

Automotive News reports the No. 4 automaker has a ways to go before taking the lowest spot on the podium; in 2013, Renault-Nissan moved 8.3 million off the lot behind VW’s 9.73 million, Toyota’s 9.98 million and GM’s 9.71 million. The Franco-Japanese automaker also relies heavily upon its Nissan division for the majority of sales and profits, Nissan having remained the same size as it was when the alliance formed in 1999 while doubling sales and reaping the rewards over the years.

Meanwhile, Renault struggled to move toward its goal of 3 million cars sold globally in 2013, falling 370,000 units short. Stalled sales of the Zoe EV, the loss of COO Carlos Tavares to PSA Peugeot Citroën, and poor handling of the crisis involving high-level executives falsely accused of stealing corporate secrets — leading to the forced departure of previous COO Patrick Pelata — also dinged both Renault and Ghosn.

On the plus side, Ghosn managed to keep Renault’s manufacturing in its native France, with plans to boost local production by 180,000 units by 2016, as well as helped the French brand meet its cash flow target of 2.5 billion euros over the past three years. While the Zoe may have been a bust, Ghosn proclaimed Renault was still the No. 1 seller of EVs in the European market, accounting for 37 percent to 42 percent of the local market; the alliance has an overall 60 percent of the global EV market. Finally, the CEO believes Renault will see 50 billion euros in revenue by 2017, compared to 41 billion euros in 2013.

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Jackson First Female Head Of Citroën In PSA Executive Realignment http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/jackson-first-female-head-of-citroen-in-psa-executive-realignment/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/jackson-first-female-head-of-citroen-in-psa-executive-realignment/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 10:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=817794 Managing director of PSA Peugeot-Citroën’s Citroën UK & Ireland Linda Jackson will now have oversight over the entire Citroën brand as its first-ever female CEO. Autoblog reports Jackson, who managed the brand’s presence across the Channel since 2010, will take her new role as outgoing CEO Fréderic Banzet takes up a senior position in Peugeot’s […]

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Citroen CEO Linda Jackson

Managing director of PSA Peugeot-Citroën’s Citroën UK & Ireland Linda Jackson will now have oversight over the entire Citroën brand as its first-ever female CEO.

Autoblog reports Jackson, who managed the brand’s presence across the Channel since 2010, will take her new role as outgoing CEO Fréderic Banzet takes up a senior position in Peugeot’s holding group Société foncière financière et de participations (FPP). Jackson also brings 35 years of financial and commercial experience in the automotive industry to the table.

Both Jackson and Citroën deputy CEO Yves Bonnefont — who will head the DS diffusion line — will take their new roles June 1, and both will report directly to new PSA CEO Carlos Tavares as members of the automaker’s executive committee. A replacement for Jackson will be announced at a later date.

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