By on April 17, 2019

Genesis Motors revealed a small city car in The Big Apple this week. However, the model’s debut wasn’t part of the daily goings-on at the New York International Auto Show. Instead, the company decided to unveil the Mint Concept at Hudson Yards, ahead of the trade show’s official press days — utilizing terms like “urban icon” and “reductive versatility” while somehow expecting to be taken seriously.

“As a brand, Genesis embraces progressive design values, and the Mint Concept reinforces this commitment from a previously undiscovered perspective,” Manfred Fitzgerald, Genesis’ executive vice president, said at the vehicle’s introduction. “Mint belongs in the city, and we are proud to introduce our evolution of the ideal city car in New York.”

This is the kind of industrial-grade nonsense your author absolutely despises. However, I am elated Genesis did this, as it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to be exceptionally critical of a Korean brand. Outside of Hyundai’s Nexo, the country’s been on a hot streak lately. It’s wonderful to be able to prove that I’m still an unpleasant crankshaft without bias.  (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2019

Volkswagen will bring a modified version of the Atlas to the New York Auto Show this week, aimed to appeal to outdoorsy types. VW calls it the Atlas Basecamp Concept, claiming it offers “a go-anywhere attitude to the brand that is already synonymous with road-trip culture.”

That seems like a fair assessment. While the Atlas isn’t the most off-road-friendly vehicle on the market, it rides the line between everyday usefulness and being just capable enough to make it down a gently gnarled trail. Volkswagen is wisely trying to highlight the latter aspect without making outrageous claims about how it can tackle any terrain. It’s only supposed to get you to the base camp, hence its name. The peak is all you.  (Read More…)

By on April 8, 2019

Every year, the Easter Jeep Safari treats us to a batch of Fiat Chrysler’s finest off-road concepts and breathes a little fun into the auto industry.

While assuredly a marketing ploy, it’s one of the most enjoyable (and something this author eagerly waits for every spring). This year’s marketing proved a little more heavy-handed, thanks to the presence of Jeep’s all-new Gladiator, but no less palatable. Jeep is bringing six models to Moab for 2019 and every one comes with a truck bed and loads of accessories Mopar cannot wait to sell you via the Jeep Performance Parts catalog.  (Read More…)

By on March 7, 2019

The Meyers Manx has returned, only it isn’t technically a Manx. Volkswagen built it, it’s an EV, and it isn’t actually going on sale anywhere because it’s a concept car. Our apologies to any aged beach bums we just pulled the rug from beneath.

A lot of dune buggies (including the Manx) were adapted from old VW Beetles, but the manufacturer never built any of its own — at least none for public consumption. While we don’t see that changing anytime soon, Volkswagen certainly could move forward with the I.D. Buggy if it thought it profitable. After all, nobody thought we’d see the return of the Microbus, and yet the company is currently readying an all-electric Buzz that draws almost all of its inspiration from that vehicle. We think the Buggy would pair nicely with it, even though it exists far outside the mainstream.  (Read More…)

By on March 4, 2019

Under new management from Geely, Volvo’s former factory racing team has unveiled its first concept vehicle for Lynk & Co. Named after its creators, the 03 Cyan Concept is the product of Cyan Racing; the group of people who made rambunctious Volvo C30s and S60 Polestars for the exclusive purpose of designing something mental — though calling it “new” might be a little unfair.

The model, headed for a Geneva Motor Show debut, appears to be a consumer-friendly version of the 03 TCR racer Cyan Racing teased last December. However, they’re not trying to keep that a secret. The 03 TCR’s entire existence seems to be aimed at helping the brand develop a racing pedigree that can be affixed to subsequent performance models. But the Cyan Concept’s spec sheet goes above and beyond what the FIA-sanctioned touring car has on offer.  (Read More…)

By on March 1, 2019

While the reintroduction of the Supra will undoubtedly result in custom builds, where cars are purchased only to be gutted and rebuilt as a track day vehicle, Toyota is examining the possibility of doing all that itself. The brand just announced the Toyota GR Supra GT4 Concept.

Developed as a “racing study model” based on the GR (Gazoo Racing) Supra, the car is set up to compete in the GT4 European Series. If you’re unfamiliar, the category caters specifically to amateur racing drivers using factory-built race cars available to the public — though custom team builds can be approved by the FIA. While that series is this vehicle’s primary concern, Toyota said the GT4 would also be eligible for the IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge, Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia, Super Endurance Series, and more.  (Read More…)

By on March 1, 2019

Last week, Kia teased a mystery concept bound for a Geneva Motor Show unveiling as a way to show off its consistently improving skills in automotive design. With a second batch of teaser photos cropping up on Thursday, it’s now abundantly clear the brand made no small effort to create a shining beacon of vehicular style. But it also happens to have more screens than the TSA, indicating that Kia willingly engaged in one of this year’s biggest concept car styling trends.

Truthfully, the display bandwagon probably left town in 2018 — about the time when Byton revealed a crossover at CES with a screen that literally replaced the entire dashboard, plus one mounted on the steering wheel for good measure. The company could be seen disappearing beyond the horizon, whipping its horses while other manufacturers attempted to catch up and climb aboard.

Now, Kia is holding the reins. And it’s laughing maniacally.  (Read More…)

By on February 21, 2019

Image: Kia

Let’s face it — with the possible exception of the Stinger, Kia’s vehicle lineup is hardly the automotive equivalent of Britt Ekland, circa 1971. Few are. Still, the automaker has made great strides in terms of design, as well as quality. Also on the march is the brand’s technological prowess, and it’s this knowledge that underpins a new concept vehicle coming to the Geneva Motor Show next month.

It’s turning out to be a year of electrics for Kia, but the vehicle the brand plans to reveal in Geneva differs from the Niro EV and Soul EV in a key area: sex appeal, which is sorely — yet understandably — lacking in its brace of sort-of crossovers. (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2019

Automakers across the globe are readying teaser images for models they intend to debut at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show next month. For Subaru, that means the latest addition to its Viziv line of concept vehicles.

While initial Viziv concepts were highly conceptual designs, the line has gradually evolved to deliver models more in line with Subaru’s production vehicles. The 2016 Viziv-7 ultimately led to the creation of the Ascent and both the 2017 Viziv Performance Concept and 2018 Tourer Concept appear to directly foreshadow future incarnations of the WRX. But the new concept is an unknown quantity.  (Read More…)

By on February 10, 2019

Considering the Toyota Supra was revealed to the world just a few weeks ago, it feels slightly premature for the manufacturer to start releasing special editions of the model. However, we’ve heard it’s important to strike while the iron is hot in business and the Supra is certainly operating well above room temperature. It would be silly to think Toyota would cool its heels after two years of teasing the Supra just because it finally went on sale.

Now that you can buy the coupe, Toyota wants everyone to know that they’ll also be able to purchase snazzy upgrades for it through the performance catalog and released the GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD over the weekend as a reminder. Like the BMW M Performance Parts Concept that appeared over the summer, the Supra exists to show the world what’s possible when the full force of the TRD catalog is harnessed.

Unfortunately, engine upgrades aren’t currently a part of that equation. Like the M Performance car, the TRD Supra receives no improvements to its powertrain. Instead, Toyota showcased a festival of spoilers and fins aimed at optimizing the coupe’s aerodynamics.  (Read More…)

By on February 5, 2019

It’s the Chicago Auto Show this week, but some manufacturers are already teasing models for March’s Geneva International Motor Show. Despite many automakers taking a powder on next month’s event, Mazda just announced plans to unveil a new compact crossover in Switzerland.

Our best guess is that this is a preliminary concept for something that could eventually morph into the next-generation CX-9. However, there’s also an equally good chance Mazda may be testing the waters for a return of the CX-7 or possibly delivering an updated version of the CX-4 that’s only available in China right now.  (Read More…)

By on January 31, 2019

Image: VW

After Volkswagen strategy boss Michael Jost told a German newspaper Wednesday of his company’s plan to offer up its MEB electric vehicle platform to anyone who wants it, VW further disseminated the message on Thursday — making the pitch that the automaker now offers “e-joint ventures.”

Cute, but also potentially lucrative for automakers not interested in developing their own EV architecture. Or not able. Meanwhile, as a hint at what the MEB platform is capable of, Volkswagen issued a teaser for a culture-soaked model with a modern twist: an electric dune buggy, also riding atop an MEB. (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2019

Mitsubishi is too busy turning the brand around to bother trickling out newsworthy content to the media. Much of what you read in the press relates to how the brand is doing as the newest addition to the Renault-Nissan Alliance, hot takes regarding its marketing decisions, and the occasional update from auto executives on future products. For the most part, the latter issue can be paraphrased into “more utility models as soon as we can get them to you,” though the company does have limited aspirations for a new sedan and pickup.

However, crossovers come first at Mitsubishi. On Tuesday, the brand put out the initial teaser for its Engelberg Tourer Concept — an ultra-modern CUV with off-road ambitions headed for a debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. (Read More…)

By on January 17, 2019

Today’s Rare Ride is a fairly elaborate concept. A project that came a long way but was not to be, in a case of much ventured and little gained.

It’s the Jaguar C-X75, from 2015.

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

NAIAS 2019 Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept

Embracing the marque’s Japanese heritage, Infiniti today revealed the QX Inspiration concept SUV. The concept, a midsize crossover, looks towards an electrified future for the brand. Further, it introduces a new styling language that’s sure to influence future vehicles.

Sadly, the 11:40 a.m. press conference and reveal came and went without the concept rolling across the stage in front of a horde of journalists. It seems the QX Inspiration was shy and didn’t want to start. Thus, here is photo of the stricken concept in the lobby.

(Read More…)

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