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If you don’t remember Hybrid Kinetic Group, that’s because it nearly vanished from western news after promising to build a 1.5 billion dollar factory in Alabama for its $300,000 hybrid-electric. That factory, planned in 2009, ended up being unable to secure financing after receiving some state-sponsored help to get the ball rolling. It’s a similar story to what happened to a company, ran by the former CEO of China’s Brilliance Auto, in Mississippi and the contemporary situation with Faraday Future in Nevada. In the case of Hybrid Kinetic, the firm managed to secure some visas and financial aid from Alabama before pulling out of the United States in 2011 — presumably never to be heard from again.
However, earlier this month, HK made an appearance at the Geneva International Motor Show with a car that it now says it fully anticipates selling on the American market. The sedan is the result of a 68 million dollar deal with Italian design house Pininfarina to assist the Chinese company in producing a handsome and — more importantly — real electric luxury vehicle for the global marketplace. Read More >
For reasons unbeknownst to me, Hyundai Motors revealed its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell concept at the Geneva Motor Show this week — showing continued commitment to the technology, despite the lack of infrastructure needed to make it truly viable. Dubbed the FE, or “Future Eco,” the company says the SUV alludes to its next phase of zero emission vehicles.
Sporting similar dimensions, the FE will likely replace the $50,000 Tucson Fuel Cell once it assumes its final form, because it cannot possibly go to market looking like this. Low profile whitewalls and oversized drug dealer rims rarely end up as from-the-factory hardware. However, there are some interesting off-kilter features that might stick around. Read More >
Mercedes-AMG is, of course, calling its new GT Concept a “four-door coupe.” As perpetually annoying as that marketing trend has become, it’s refreshing to see a concept car that is somewhat representative of the future production model. However, GT Concept not just a glimpse into AMG’s future but also a celebration of 50 years worth of history at Mercedes’ AMG performance arm.
In addition to its AMG badge, the concept has also been adorned with a subtle EQ Power logo that denotes Benz’s fledgling electrified sub-brand and a hybridized powertrain. Mercedes describes the red devil as the evolution of the AMG-specific lineup and says the four-door GT will eventually exist as a genuine roadgoing vehicle — looking familiar, but not quite identical to the current concept. Read More >
It’s often sad to witness the moment when an individual’s high hopes collide with a cold, antiseptic wall of reality. Though we should all aspire for more, the inescapable truth is that most of our dreams will end up dashed on the rocks.
This week it was Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne’s turn — once again — to face rejection. Buoyed by PSA Group’s acquisition of General Motors’ European car divisions, Marchionne must have assumed that love was in the air and it would perhaps soon be FCA’s turn to go home with another automaker.
Unfortunately for Marchionne, one potential mate quickly burst that balloon in a fairly heartbreaking fashion. Read More >
The mounting pressure of tightening fuel economy and emissions standards is causing even the most extravagant luxury brands to re-evaluate their bias toward hulking internal combustion engines. No less subject to the laws of the land than any other automaker, Bentley returned to the Geneva International Motor Show with an electric convertible version of its 2015 Speed 6 concept, dubbed — and this is a mouthful — the EXP 12 Speed 6e.
While there is no accounting for taste, the flipped and wandering 1994 Toyota Celica headlamps aren’t my cup of tea. To be frank, it’s a gaping fish-eyed mess from the front. It’s as if the car saw its own lavish interior and couldn’t believe something so glorious could be associated with its own ghastly visage. While I understand that the headlights are signature Bentley and the EXP 10 Speed 6 possesses a nearly identical face, it just isn’t working for me in this instance. The rest of the car, however, is irrefutably gorgeous — especially that aforementioned interior.
Not that you shouldn’t take a moment to bask, but the EXP 12 concept wasn’t designed to show off its interior. It was built to gauge the public interest in an all-electric luxury tourer and potentially shape Bentley’s future luxury strategy. Read More >
Unveiled in Geneva today, Subaru’s Crosstrek undergoes a top-down revamp for 2018, bringing the compact, lifted five-door in line with its Impreza stablemate.
Called the XV overseas, the Crosstrek soldiered on with its old bodystyle and platform in 2017, even after the model it shares its body and mechanics with went in for a makeover. With new skin, bones, and a thoroughly reworked powerplant, the model no longer has to live in the new Impreza’s shadow. Read More >
If you’re an enthusiast in your thirties, there’s a good chance you’ve coveted Honda’s Civic Type R from a distance for the majority of your adult life. While the Civic Si made it to North American shores, it seemed like the whole rest of the world was enjoying its racier sibling without us. I personally knew at least two people in high school who stuck false Type R badges onto unsporting Civics, rounding out the lie with cheap aftermarket rims and a noisy exhaust.
The opportunity for those dishonest people to redeem themselves is now closer than ever. Honda has finally dished on the Civic, reassuring westerners that this Type R will be true to form while reminding us that the wait is nearly over. Just make sure you’ve budgeted some extra dough for new front tires and are practicing your lift-off oversteer technique. Read More >
When the Volvo XC60 first entered the premium compact CUV market, the world was still fully in the grip of a financial crisis, Twitter was relatively new, and America was transitioning from its 43rd to 44th president.
Despite enjoying remarkably stable sales from its solid entry in the wildly competitive segment, Volvo clearly felt it was time for a change. And what better strategy exists besides emulating the model’s critically acclaimed bigger brother, the XC90?
The answer: none. Fully made over, the second-generation 2018 Volvo XC60 revealed today at the Geneva Motor Show borrows some of the XC90’s best hardware and design cues, resulting in a strikingly handsome and grown-up crossover. Read More >
Distinction is something Infiniti has aimed to achieve for a while now. It’s even attempting to do it under its own label by implementing cutting-edge technologies that can help to take the driver out of the equation or put him in the front of the pack, depending on what you’re into.
Nissan’s luxury division is heading to the Geneva Motor Show with two very different vehicles: the popular Q50 sedan, laden with the best driver assistance technology available, and a Q60 Project Black S performance coupe sporting a sport hybrid system borrowed from Formula One. The former is a sure thing, destined to be on sale for the 2018 model year, while the latter represents an entry in a hypothetical performance line as Infiniti investigates what level of insanity the general public is willing to accept. Read More >
If someone woke up today from 20-year coma, the two consumer trends they would have the most difficulty coming to terms with are just how skinny jeans have become and the fact that more than half the cars Porsche sells are SUVs. So, for those of us not emerging from two decades of slumber, the notion that the German automaker might someday produce a station wagon wasn’t entirely without plausibility.
Porsche showcased the Panamera Sport Turismo wagon concept at the Paris auto show in 2012, hinting that it might someday have a place in its lineup, but it wasn’t until last year that we heard anything further. Now its here and everyone is clamoring over how unexpected this is. If anything is unexpected, it’s that Porsche didn’t come out with a gorgeous five-door sooner. I’m willing to bet that this will be a you-got-your-peanut-butter-on-my-chocolate sort of situation — taking into account that some people aren’t all that fond of peanut butter. Read More >
Volkswagen’s CC replacement, the Arteon, will make its debut at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show and it looks exactly like we predicted — right down to the color, no less.
Based on VW’s recent teaser shots, the new four-door fastback looks almost identical to the Sport Coupe Concept GTE. However, as fun as it is to gloat, most of the automotive community expected this. Germany’s biggest automaker isn’t exactly known for its flamboyant redesigns and bold styling choices. There are a few remaining unsolved mysteries surrounding the car, however. Read More >
Aston Martin is allowing customers to
ruin tailor any of its current models through its updated Q commission service. These bespoke Astons allow shoppers to choose specialty themes or create a completely unique car from scratch. Some of the early results are reminiscent of Bentley’s more interesting factory customizations of the Continental, but Aston Martin seems to be taking it even further.
While much of the new paint and fabrics on offer are absolutely gorgeous, especially those in the aptly named heritage collection, it would be very easy to assemble some of the other collections into a legendary eyesore. Read More >
There has been so much nonsense surrounding the 2018 Honda Civic Type R that it was becoming difficult to separate fact from the fiction. Speculation on the car’s engine and transmission was endless. There were rumors that it could be as large as 3.5 liters or a substantially smaller mill mated to a continuously variable transmission. However, it turned out the most expected configuration was the correct one — Occam’s razor, and all that.
Although, after so much conflicting information, when and where the 2.0 liter turbo VTEC and its manual transmission would show up seemed uncertain. The Type R was supposed to come to North America in the middle of this year, something 36 year olds have been begging for since they were 16, but Honda hadn’t said anything concrete and that deadline is fast approaching without anyone even having laid eyes on the production model.
Then, late last week, Honda Europe slipped in a small mention that the Civic Type R would debut in Geneva alongside the Clarity Fuel Cell and the NeuV electric concept while confirming the summer production and immediate export for North America. Read More >
Vehicle names are often lies. Take LTD, for example. Demon? No proof of possession, at least none that can be recognized by the Catholic Church.
Ferrari, on the other hand, has introduced a new Geneva-bound model that aptly sums up its purpose through its name: Superfast. Yes, the Ferrarri 812 Superfast is, unsurprisingly, just that.
As a successor to the F12 Berlinetta, the 812 Superfast needs to do things in a gutsier manner than the model that came before. It’s also the 70th anniversary of the first Ferrari-badged car, so it only made sense for the prancing pony to make this model its fastest and most powerful production offering to date. Read More >
Originally slated for first-ogling at March’s Geneva Motor Show, Pagani shared its new Huayra Roadster with the world a month early, which keeps in with the Italian supercar tradition of if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
As with the hardtop, the Huayra ‘vert uses a carbotanium monocoque but comes with a removable glass targa top and some performance improvements made on the molto speciale Huayra BC. That means the roadster keeps the coupe’s seven-speed sequential gearbox and the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 from AMG, but receives a bump in output to 754 horsepower and 738 ft-lb of torque. Read More >