The Truth About Cars » 2012 geneva auto show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:03:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 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 » 2012 geneva auto show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Geneva 2012: Ford Fiesta ST http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-ford-fiesta-st/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-ford-fiesta-st/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 21:47:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434343

Can we just get this in a five-door? Even though Fiesta sales aren’t as great as Ford would hope, I quite like this ST version.

With a 1.6L Ecoboost 4-cylinder making 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft, the Fiesta ST also has chassis improvements, Torque Vectoring Control, programmable stability control and Recaro bucket seats. I’m not too optimistic about this car’s chances in North America, but wouldn’t it be nice nonetheless…

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Geneva 2012: Chevrolet Cruze Manual Diesel Station Wagon, What Everyone SHOULD Be Driving http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-chevrolet-cruze-manual-diesel-station-wagon-what-everyone-should-be-driving/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-chevrolet-cruze-manual-diesel-station-wagon-what-everyone-should-be-driving/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 17:49:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434305

This is the Chevrolet Cruze Manual Diesel Wagon. This is what all of us North Americans should be driving. Everyone in Europe drives a manual, diesel wagon, and if we brought them to North America, everyone would drive them. Because they’re more efficient than a hybrid, and more practical than a wasteful, ugly, boring CUV. Just one problem; if everyone drove them,wagon lovers would no longer be able to lord their supposed superiority over the masses – maybe they’d start buying Honda CR-V’s, since they can only define their worth via consumption of consumer goods.

In all seriousness, the Cruze Wagon does look like a nice car, and I’d like to see it come over to North America. In addition to Our Lord Christ The 1.7L And 2.0L Diesel Engines, there’s also a few gasoline options, among them the 1.4T found in the Cruze sedan. The diesel versions do get a start-stop system, a neat addition to an already efficient powerplant. Interestingly, the wagon is only 3.1 inches longer than the sedan.

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Geneva 2012: Mitsubishi Outlander Gets Plug-In Variant, 31 Mile EV Range http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-mitsubishi-outlander-gets-plug-in-variant-31-mile-ev-range/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-mitsubishi-outlander-gets-plug-in-variant-31-mile-ev-range/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 17:33:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434286

The Mitsubishi Outlander, a vehicle nobody cared about, is now sort of interesting, thanks to the addition of a Plug-in Hybrid system that is also compatible with the vehicle’s 4WD system.

With an EV range of 31 miles, the Outlander can run in Pure EV mode (only the front and rear electric motors), Series EV mode (where the gasoline engine assists the twin electric motors, which play a primary role in powering the car) and Parallel EV mode (where both systems work in tandem – this mode is used for higher speeds like freeway driving). There’s also a Battery Charge Mode, which, obviously, allows the battery to charge via the gasoline motors.

An on-sale date and pricing haven’t been announced, but the Outlander’s all-electric 4WD system and plug-in hybrid drivetrain look interesting. Mitsubishi’s precarious history and financial situation means that we’ll have to see it on dealer lots to believe it.

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Geneva 2012: Fiat 500L, Heir To The Multipla Throne http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-fiat-500l-heir-to-the-multipla-throne/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-fiat-500l-heir-to-the-multipla-throne/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 16:31:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434274

North America missed on the ermm…unique…Fiat Multipla, sold in Europe in the late 1990′s, but Fiat dealers, clamoring for another product, will get the Multipla’s spiritual successor, the 500L.

Although it bears the 500 moniker, the 500L is closer in size to a Mini Countryman. Built in Fiat’s factory in Serbian (making the 500L the first Balkan car to hit the U.S. since the Yugo), engine choices for Europe include both the 1.4L 4-cylinder from the 500 and the 900cc TwinAir turbocharged 2-cylinder engine. A 1.3L Multijet diesel will also be offered. These engine choices will likely not make the cut for North America – the anemic 1.4L naturally aspirated engine will be painfully slow, and both the diesel and the TwinAir, fabulous as they are, are too bizarre for our tastes. The Abarth’s 1.4L turbocharged motor is the most probably candidate.

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Geneva 2012: Jack And Derek Discuss The Bentley EXP9 SUV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-jack-and-derek-discuss-the-bentley-exp9-suv/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-jack-and-derek-discuss-the-bentley-exp9-suv/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 15:51:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434264

A chat between Jack Baruth and Derek Kreindler discussing the Bentley EXP9 SUV. Because we love it so much!

Jack: The moment I saw this rude beast slouching towards Geneva to be born, I instantly stopped regretting not buying the Arnage Red Label I almost picked up in 2005. Yeah,that was going to be awfully hood rich of me, but this thing makes the dodgy finance of a used dinosaur look classier than Princess Grace.

Derek: I understand on an emotional level how it is vulgar and crass but when you really take it in, it really is nothing more than a Range Rover with a Mulsanne front end grafted on to it. T he RR is the apex SUV in terms of conspicuous consumption. Something HAD to come along and replace it, now that you can buy used Range Rovers for 5 figures that aren’t that different from a 2012 model. There had to be something expensive enough to prevent this “prole drift” from happening – enter the Bentley SUV. It is, as rappers nowadays would say “mad ignorant”.

Jack: I figured it was a Phaeton with a Mulsanne front end grafted onto it. I mean, the Porsche PanArabia showed that you can make a car from a truck. Why not make a truck from a car? What’s the platform beneath? Do we know?

Derek: Nothing was said, and since our NetJets account was suspended by Herr Schmitt, we’ll have to wait until Bentley sends it to our tract-house after an angry letter campaign…Seriously, it’s probably a Cayenne our Touraeg platform. Where are they selling these things? Russia. China. The UAE. In at least two of those places, having a real SUV matters for going to your dacha or dunebashing in the same spot where your Pakistani chattel have made a de facto refugee camp. A jacked up Conti platform won’t cut it.

Jack: Well, at least the ugliest EXP in history is no longer a Ford. Seriously, this thing is slightly worse than the ’82 frog-eye and FAR worse than the reborn glass-tail ’86. Here’s what bothers me about this Bentley. Once upon a time, Rolls-Royce and Bentley made vehicles for English gentlemen. The aesthetic of the vehicles reflected this, unless you’re talking about the Camargue. Bottom line, though, if people who were NOT the target market wanted to buy them, they at least had to take a fairly tasteful and reasonable car. Nowadays, they market directly to the trash. With that said… Have I ever told you the Phantom Pig story?

Derek: No, Please do.

Jack: Alright. It goes like this. The men at Crewe hear a rumor that there is a man who is using an early Phantom to haul pigs. This is, like, in the early Sixties. Before Lennon had a Phantom, even. One of the company reps is tasked with checking it out. He finds a massive estate on which thousands of pigs are busy rooting. The wealthiest pig farmer you can imagine, and as Chaucer would say, verray and parfit.

He sees the man drive up, and sure enough, there are pigs in the Phantom. Wearing ribbons

“Sir!” the rep exclaims. “I am from the Rolls-Royce Motor Car Corporation. Is there a particular reason there are… pigs… in our vehicle?”

“MY vehicle,” the farmer responds. “These pigs are my best. I transport them to shows.”

“Sir!” the rep exclaims again, already feeling like he is slipping a bit in his argument. “We must insist that you do not use the finest motor car in the world to transport PIGS!”

“Pigs paid for it,” the farmer replies, herding a particularly bristly boar out the door, “so pigs will bloody well ride in it.”

You see what I am getting at here.

Derek: I do…and that’s why we now have the Breitling/Bentley collection.

Jack: Please, I thought we’d agreed those didn’t exist. Like Matrix #2 and #3.

Derek: W.O would surely approve of those far less than the EXP. At least you can take the EXP to a Fox Hunt or to the Henley Regatta with some justification. As far as I’m concerned, any discussion of Bentley “brand values” went out the window with that collaboration.

Jack: The Phaeton GTI, I mean, Continental GT, didn’t help matters.

Derek: Anyways, Bentley has always been a bit of a rogue’s car…Woolf Barnato was a Jewish diamond prospector from South Africa, HARDLY a member of the Eton/Magdalene College /KGB double-agent crowd that comprised the male half of the British upper-class.

Jack: Yes, but Woolf was the recipient of a Henry V for racing the things.  You know… “For he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; even if he’s a freakin’ Jew, This day shall gentle his condition” or something like that.

But here’s the problem;  As long as they were sellng the Arnage, I could convince myself that the other shit - the Volkswagens, the Russian-gangster quartz watches, the Chinese-made umbrellas - just weren’t, you know, real.Same way we’ve all agreed that Jar-Jar just isn’t part of Star Wars, and that Ted Kennedy didn’t really exist.

Derek: I hear you. And there is something special about those 6.75L cars. Just last summer, my friend Timmy (a classmate of my brothers, four years younger) drove by me in an immaculate, cream on biege 1989 Mulsanne.

The next time I saw Timmy, he was driving his 2011 GT-R, so I asked him about the Mulsanne. It turns out the car belonged to his father since new – but the two of them forgot it existed. It sat for nearly twenty years before they finally got it running again. Timmy drove it that one time, then back to storage it went. You can bet that they are the kind of people who will buy an EXP, since they already have a Ford GT, BMW Z8, GT-R, Jeep SRT-8 and an Escalade already in their garage. They own a Mulsanne and couldn’t care less. You or I would cherish that car. So, you see, times change, aesthetics change, sensibilities change – vulgarity is forever

Jack: Well, to be fair, there’s only $25K between anybody and a Mulsanne. But it’s a commitment to own one. The American Rolls-Royce Owners Club is full of middle-income people who are faithfully extending the lives of the Clouds, Shadows, Spurs, and whatnot. Takes time, effort, and patience. Will anyone, I wonder, bother to save a Bentley SUV once it’s thrown away by its second nouveau owner?

Derek: I never understood that argument “will anyone remember this car in 25 or 30 years”. I mean, who cares – 99 percent of what’s made in any given segment is forgettable crap. The people who you see selling their “1 owner, survivor” 1982 Toyota Tercel that’s been babied since new? Two words; forever alone. If even a Mulsanne will only run you $25k, how memorable is it, really? We can appreciate the fact that it is a Bentley, but it’s really not that great when examined objectively. Besides, who is to say that this SUV won’t be cherished? My little cousin is 8. Maybe in 30 years he will get nostalgic for a Bentley EXP like I do for a Grand Wagoneer.

Jack: I would suggest that the reason people keep Mulsannes is because of the story associated with those cars. The idea of English nobility faithfully clinging to an old “Roller”. It wasn’t really true in 1989, but the Mulsanne felt like it was at least in touch with that story. Ironically, wanting to be part of that story is what brought the rapper, the sheikhs, and the gangsters in. They wanted a touch of the proverbial class - but when the new Mulsanne arrived, the last vestige of that story, of that class, completely disappeared.

You and I are really attending the funeral of the old Bentley, and the EXP is simply the cap laid onto the casket.

Derek: For my two pence, I’d way rather have the new Jag XJL Supersport. That car is so elegant it should be French. The inside is still British. The engine sounds and feels American. It has little touches of rapper aesthetics, like the purple velvet lining of the rear armrest with the cigar cutout. And you can have two of them for the price of a Mulsanne. And they’re owned by Indians rather than the Bosch! In the span of 60 years, they went from homespun cloth to owning one of Britain’s industrial crown jewels!

Jack: You have a point. But the Jaguar, just like the Bentley, isn’t really an English luxury car. It’s someone else’s idea of an English luxury car. What WAS the last true English luxury car? The XJ40? The Silver Seraph?

Derek: Honestly, I’d say the 2005 XJ. It was just like the XJs of old, but it used an aluminum frame and body. There was just one problem. Nobody bought it. Theold-world Jag  faithful were all dead, and those like my Dad or my Uncles, who could afford one, had bad memories of their childhood E-Types, Wollseleys and Vivas never ever working. So they went elsewhere. Lexus, BMW and whatnot. Trying to retain “authenticity” doesn’t work unless you’re Bristol and are willing to tell customers to piss off because you disagree with their vision of a car. When you’re a volume car maker, it doesn’t work. You have to evolve, adapt or get blown out. Even though my Dad had an E39 530i, considered the apex of non-M BMW sedans, he pined for a 2005 XJ Vanden Plas. But he wouldn’t do it. Not even on a lease that ended before the warranty expired.

Jack: Well, there you have it. Here’s to the 2005 Vanden Plas. The last English luxury car. And here’s to the future: an unimaginably crass explosion of Dubai-centric garbage. Not an explosion. Let’s say a landfill. Stretching to the sky. A mountain of garbage. And the only vehicle that can take you to the top of that mountain in style…

Derek: The EXP9

Jack: We really can’t say “Cheers”, can we? How about “Будем здоровы”? That’s “to your health” in Russian, apparently. Here’s to health! To the Russian gangsters! The Arabian oil kings! The African dictators! The guys who rent cars to rappers for videos! To the future! “Будем здоровы”!

Derek: Shukhran, habibi.

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Geneva 2012: Volvo V40 Debuts Gets Multiple Gas, Diesel Engines http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-volvo-v40-debuts-gets-multiple-gas-diesel-engines/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-volvo-v40-debuts-gets-multiple-gas-diesel-engines/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 15:22:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434249

Of all the new debuts at the Geneva Auto Show, this would probably be what I’d like to own the most; the Volvo V40 T5. With a 256 horsepower turbocharged 5-cylinder engine making 295 lb-ft , I’d have plenty of performance on tap, and the knowledge that Volvo’s safety features would keep me unharmed when I inevitably did something stupid.

The V40 won’t just be available in performance trim. A pair of 1.6L 4-cylinder engines will also be offered – with 1.6L diesel, which makes 115 horsepower and over 200 lb-ft of torque, emits less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer, an important number in countries where vehicles face an emissions tax. A more powerful diesel will also be available. A start-stop system, regenerative braking andVolvo’s CitySafe collision avoidance system will be standard throughout the range. Other features, like a self-parking system, will be available on certain models. Volvo apparently won’t be selling the V40 in the U.S., despite Mercedes and Audi offering competitive vehicles in the near future – maybe they’ll have a change of heart?

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Geneva 2012: 2013 BMW M6 “Fat Elvis” Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-2013-bmw-m6-fat-elvis-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-2013-bmw-m6-fat-elvis-edition/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 20:44:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434087

BMW unveiled what is surely going to be the American Dental Association’s Car of the Year, the 2013 BMW M6, at the Geneva Auto Show. Sporting the fat, bloated body of the 6-Series, along with the M5′s turbocharged 560 horsepower V8, we can only await the arrival of an M6 Gran Coupe now that this anticlimactic coupe has revealed itself.

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Geneva 2012: Audi A3 Previewed, Minus Two Doors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-audi-a3-previewed-minus-two-doors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-audi-a3-previewed-minus-two-doors/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 20:08:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434078

The Audi Q3 may not have much visual impact, but this is an extremely important car for the Volkswagen Group. As the first car to be built on the new MQB modular platform, the A3 is literally the next generation of car for the entire consortium.

Europe will get a diesel (2.0L, 150 horsepower) and two gasoline TFSI engines, a 1.4L 122 horsepower or a 1.8L 180 horsepower mill. This 1.8TFSI engine is expected to replace the venerable 2.5L 5-cylinder so derided by VW fans. The hatchback is 176 lbs lighter than the outgoing car – North Americans are expected to get a sedan, but news of any hatch variants have been scant. The 5-door is far more likely to arrive than the 3-door seen here. We’ll also be getting a 2.0TFSI engine as well, with a diesel likely to follow.

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Geneva 2012: 2013 Porsche Boxster, Now With 991 Percent More Brand Identity http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-2013-porsche-boxster-now-with-991-percent-more-brand-identity/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-2013-porsche-boxster-now-with-991-percent-more-brand-identity/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 19:19:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434058

The newest Porsche Boxster is here, with lots more aluminum, some new engines and styling cues derived from the 991-chassis Porsche 911 that has just launched in North America.

The base engine, a 2.7L flat-six, makes 265 horsepower, while the 3.4L in the Boxster S makes 315. A 6-speed manual and 7-speed PDK gearbox are both available. A Sport Chrono Package with Dynamic Transmission Mounts and a Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) mechanical differential are also available, at an exorbitant markup no doubt. The 2013 Boxster will be on sale this summer, and Jack Baruth will not be testing one.

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Ferrari F12berlinetta, No Longer In CGI http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/ferrari-f12berlinetta-no-longer-in-cgi/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/ferrari-f12berlinetta-no-longer-in-cgi/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 18:18:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434043

The initial shots of the Ferrari F12berlinetta looked suspiciously re-touched for our liking, so some live shots were a necessity before making any final judgement on the car. If you ask me, it looks even better without excessive rendering.

The F12berlinetta replaces the lovely 599, but packs an even more substantial V12; 740 horsepower is expected from the 6.3L V12, allowing it to hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. A 7-speed dual clutch transmission will help the car go all the way to 211 mph. A curb weight of 3,362 lbs is refreshingly light for a V12 supercar.

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Geneva 2012: Jaguar XF Sportbrake Cleanses Our Retinas http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-jaguar-xf-sportbrake-cleanses-our-retinas/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-jaguar-xf-sportbrake-cleanses-our-retinas/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 17:17:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434032

Just when it seemed like the Geneva Auto Show was going to be the automotive equivalent of a Christian Audigier trade show, Jaguar comes out with the XF Sportbrake, something that looks good and has a practical use.

The term shooting brake was derived from the vehicles that transported the English Gentry and their hunting parties. They were luxurious, had interiors that matched their tweed outfits and could carry powerful shotguns. Over time, the definition has evolved, but sticking with the original helps me feel better about wearing a Barbour coat.

First of all, we will not be getting the Sportbrake in North America. The combination of a lack of gasoline engine choices and not having the appropriate federalization carried out means that Roman Polanski will return to America before the XF Sportbrake makes it over here. With a choice of Jaguar’s new 2.2L or 3.0L diesel engines and an 8-speed automatic, the XF should be able to offer more than adequate performance while eschewing Jaguar’s lovely but thirsty V8 mills.

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Lamborghini Aventador J Will Disturb Luxurious Hairdos Across The Globe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/lamborghini-aventador-j-will-disturb-luxurious-hairdos-across-the-globe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/lamborghini-aventador-j-will-disturb-luxurious-hairdos-across-the-globe/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 16:45:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=434022

Everyone expecting there would be some kind of droptop Aventador – after all, what’s the point of a supercar if the people who bullied you in high school can’t see how rich and successful you are? But we weren’t expecting this.

The Lamborghini Aventador J is actually a one-off, already spoken-for model that will doubtlessly end up somewhere where an Emir makes the laws of the land. It’s fast. There’s no radio, nav system, roof or windows. You will have to wear a helmet to keep the sandstorms out of your face. There will be a proper Aventador roadster coming at some point. The asking price of $2.1 million USD has already been paid for, so that’s it for the Aventador J, until we find it on the internet, wrapped around a lamp post.

AutoGuide.com, in addition to graciously providing photography for the Geneva coverage, has a great video of the Aventador J, which you can check out here

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Geneva 2012: Range Rover Evoque Convertible Is Vulgarity In Tangible Form http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-range-rover-evoque-convertible-is-vulgarity-in-tangible-form/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-range-rover-evoque-convertible-is-vulgarity-in-tangible-form/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 16:28:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=433986

In 1998, Britney Spears launched a thousand ephebophilc ships with her seminal work – the music video for “Hit Me Baby One More Time“. Featured in the video was a Land Rover Defender – the only reason I know this is because I wasn’t interested in girls when the song came out. Now that I’m much older, I can understand the hidden subtext; Land Rover needs another ragtop SUV!

Although officially termed a “design study”, the Evoque looks production ready, and by that we mean “ready to show up in the driveways of female hedge fund scions celebrating their 16th birthdays”. The red interior is particularly vulgar, which is fitting – the Evoque shares common ancestry with the Ford Mondeo, and this car’s target customer is also newly adorned in luxury trimmings despite their provincial roots. A match made in heaven, if you ask me.

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Range-Rover-Evoque-Convertible-Concept-10 Range-Rover-Evoque-Convertible-Concept-09 Range-Rover-Evoque-Convertible-Concept-07 Range-Rover-Evoque-Convertible-Concept-06 Range-Rover-Evoque-Convertible-Concept-05 Range-Rover-Evoque-Convertible-Concept-03 Range-Rover-Evoque-Convertible-Concept-02 Range-Rover-Evoque-Convertible-Concept-01 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible. Photo courtesy AutoGuide.com ]]>
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Geneva 2012: Volkswagen GTI Cabriolet Proves Girls Just Wanna Go Fast http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-volkswagen-gti-cabriolet-proves-girls-just-wanna-go-fast/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-volkswagen-gti-cabriolet-proves-girls-just-wanna-go-fast/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 16:15:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=433984

Volkswagen’s GTI Cabriolet debuted today at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, making the Mazda MX-5 look like Caster Semanya in comparison.

In Europe, Volkswagen not only gets the Eos, but a Golf Cabriolet as well. The big differences is the Golf has a cloth top, and now it gets a GTI variant. Mechanically, nothing has really changed between the GTI and the GTI Cabriolet – same 2.0T engine, 6-speed manual or DSG gearbox, same Iron Cross-esque wheels, same honeycomb grille. The only difference is that while you may be ridiculed while driving a GTI, you will be ridiculed while driving this thing. Also, the plaid interior is just so on trend for Spring/Summer 2012…err, that’s what my girlfriend tells me, at least!

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Geneva 2012: BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe Corners The “Looks Kind Of Like A 5…Maybe A 7…Sort Of” Market Segment http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-bmw-6-series-gran-coupe-corners-the-looks-kind-of-like-a-5-maybe-a-7-sort-of-market-segment/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/geneva-2012-bmw-6-series-gran-coupe-corners-the-looks-kind-of-like-a-5-maybe-a-7-sort-of-market-segment/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 16:11:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=433971

Despite looking very much like a sedan, BMW unveiled their 6 Series “Gran Coupe” at the Geneva Auto Show, as it engages in yet another asinine tit-for-tat response to competing product from Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Engines included a gasoline or diesel inline six (with turbocharging) and a twin turbocharged V8. An 8-speed automatic transmission along with a start-stop system, is standard, and drivers can hit an ECO PRO button if they suddenly feel compelled to save the planet. Sales are expected to begin this summer – we’re not sure why, but they are.

Thanks to AutoGuide.com for the live photos

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2012 Geneva Motor Show Preview http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/2012-geneva-motor-show-preview/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/2012-geneva-motor-show-preview/#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2012 19:38:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=433841

TTAC was all set to depart for Switzerland to cover the 82nd Geneva Motor Show when tragedy befell us. My usual suite at the Hotel d’Angleterre (with a view of Lac Léman) was occupied by one B. McAleer during press days, and upon arriving at the airport, our corporate-owned Falcon 7X was padlocked, the plane saddled with a lien from a Columbus-area guitar dealer alleging non-payment by an employee of our fair publication. Nevertheless, we will be covering the show somehow. Here’s what to expect from all the big players.

Audi: The four-ringer brand will have a number of debuts at Geneva, and all of them will be locked to keep out the tract-house dwelling riff-raff. On the performance end, an A1 Quattro, featuring all-wheel drive and Volkswagen’s venerable 2.0T engine will debut, but production will be limited to 333 units it’s supposed to have 250 horsepower and cost $71,000 USD, so it will never come to North America. Also expected to never make it here are the RS4 Avant and the TT-RS Plus. What we may get is the new A6 allroad wagon (a bit of a longshot) and the new Audi A3, which will get its debut one year after the A3 concept sedan launched in Geneva. Despite slotting under the current A4, it’s about the size of the B5 A4, the car that saved Audi from obscurity in America.

BMW: The theme of BMW’s stand should be “brand dilution”, since everything on display is essentially an exercise in lifestyle branding or buzzwords. Most nauseating at the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, which is an utterly pointless exercise in the very German field of occupying every possible niche (really, it’s halfway between a 5-Series and a 7-Series and looks indistinguishable from anything else in the lineup), followed by the M-Performance cars, which are kind of cool in a euro-diesel way, but also spit in the face of the once great M brand. A facelifted X6, new four-cylinder diesels for the 3-Series and an M135i Concept, based on the euro-only hatchback, will also compete for attention. The 116d EfficientDynamics, with its ultra-low emissions diesel and start-stop system is very cool.

Chevrolet: The Cruze station wagon debuts just in time for a mild facelift and some new engines for Europe, including a 1.7L diesel engine.

Dacia: The Dacia Lodgy is a boring car with some interesting implications for the industry. Dacia cars are replacing lower-end Renaults in certain markets (notably England, as well as other developing countries). Some observers in France aren’t too happy, since they are watching a famous marque get supplanted by a once-destitute Romanian automaker, while cushy factory jobs in France (protected by powerful unions) are being shipped to former colonies like Morocco, where wages are a fraction of what they are in France.

Ferrari: The F12berlinetta will make you feel like a man. The female-oriented California goes on Atkins, loses 66 pounds and gains 30 horsepower. That’s performance improvements we can believe in.

Fiat: The 500L debuts; not such a significant car in Fiat’s other markets (where the lineup includes the much-loved Panda) but a big deal for North American dealers who are starving for another product larger than the 500.

Ford: The B-Max MPV debuts alongside a Fiesta ST (powered by a 1.6L Ecoboost 4-cylinder), the new Kuga (aka our 2013 Escape) and the Tourneo, a replacement for the Transit commercial van.

Honda: The new CR-V, optimized for the European market, will bow.

 

Infiniti: The brand’s EMERG-E concept car, a range-extended electric supercar will debut on Infiniti’s stand. Check back at TTAC tomorrow for an exclusive story on the car.

Jaguar: The XF Sportbrake will take on the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes E-Class wagons, but only in Europe and select world markets. The car has not been homologated for North America and will only feature diesel engines.

Kia: Kia’s Volkswagen Golf rival will hopefully be the next Forte in North America – the Cee’d has won praise from many magazines in Europe, and the new car looks even better than its Hyundai i30 twin.

Land Rover:  Ugh.

Lexus: The RX gets a Predator-like facelift for 2013 to match the rest of the lineup.

Lotus: A super-secret roadster, possibly based on the Evora will debut. Armchair industry mavens will no doubt moan about the loss of “brand identity”.

Maserati: A new special edition GranTurismo Sport replaces the GranTurismo S, which is yet another plaything for hairy-chested types to throw away after two years.

Mercedes-Benz: A new A-Class and a new SL63 AMG will debut – the A-Class details are still murky, while the SL63 jettisons the demonic 6.2L V8 in favor of the more efficient 5.5L twin-turbo V8.

MINI: The Clubvan commercial van and a John Cooper Works version of the Countryman S ALL4 will debut.

Mitsubishi: An all-new Outlander will launch, much to the delight of nobody, as Mitsubishi attempts to fend off clergymen attempting to administer the Last Rites – and bankruptcy.

Nissan: Two concepts, one designed to replace the Note mini-MPV, and another dubbed the Hi-Cross, will debut at the Nissan booth. Little has been revealed so far.

Opel: A big performance for GM’s Sick Man of Europe, with no less than four debuts. The Astra OPC, aka the Verano that Buick fans dream about, will debut in 3-door hatchback form, packing a 2.0L 280 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, the same engine used in the Buick Regal GS. Also launching are a twin-turbo diesel Insignia, the Mokka crossover (aka the Buick Encore) and an electric bicycle.

Peugeot: The 208 hatchback will debut in barely disguised “concept” form. The power and equipment levels look similar to most major compacts, but the big news is that the 208 is as much as 380 lbs lighter than the outgoing 207.

Porsche: The all-new Boxster, with electro-mechanical steering and 991-esque styling gets its first public showing.

SEAT: Volkswagen’s bastard child will show off its new range of re-badged VW iron; the Mii city car, with its pop-out rear windows and 140 inch overall length, will be on display as a cheaper version of the Up! The new Toledo, essentially a re-badged Jetta, finally sheds its awkward hatchback proportions for the three-box shillouette of previous generations. No word on how Israeli cab drivers, the Toledo hatchback’s biggest fans, will react.

Suzuki G70: Now re-named from the super-awkward “Regina” to the alphanumeric “G70″, this concept is a little gawky but far more interesting than anything sold by Suzuki right now.

Volkswagen: A little known fact – VW’s impressive debut schedule is merely a front to force assembled journalists listen to a long, detailed and pedantic press conference outlining various industry minutiae. This, much like Ferrari’s F1 team, is the company’s true passion, while auto sales are an afterthought. To that end, VW will show off the production 5-door up!, three up! concepts, the new GTI cabriolet and the CrossCoupe concept, which now features a diesel engine.

Volvo V40: Despite the initially tepid reception, once the media and enthusiasts learned of the V40′s 250+ horsepower turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, the tide of opinion rapidly changed. A start-stop system, regenerative braking and a whole host of safety features make this one pretty enticing as a sort of 21st century hot hatch.

 

 

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