Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show


KIA RIO Hybrid

March 7, 2007 To mark the massive expansion of Korea’s domestic hybrid vehicle development programme, Kia Motors is displaying a very special version of the Kia Rio Hybrid saloon at the 77th Salon de l’Automobiles in Geneva. The European premiere of the Kia hybrid comes on top of the recent announcement that Kia and Hyundai are to supply the Korean Ministry of the Environment with an additional 3,390 hybrid vehicles over the next two years, as part of the country’s on-going programme of ‘real-world’ testing to develop hybrid vehicles for the future. The Kia Rio Hybrid saloon created by Kia R&D to take part in these ‘real-world’ test fleet activities, features a unique powertrain with a 1.4-litre petrol engine, mated to a 12kW, 95 Nm AC synchronised electric motor and a CVT gearbox.  Read More

The BMW M3 Concept Car

March 7, 2007 For two decades, the BMW M3 has embodied the athletic heart of the brand in its most fundamental and succinct form. Now BMW has given us an inkling of the future of this lineage with the presentation of the new BMW M3 Concept Car. The concept study being presented to the public for the first time at the 77th International Motor Show in Geneva (8th to 18th of March, 2007) gives a first impression of what a future BMW M3 might look like. At the core of this concept study is an M3-typical V8 engine tuned to the high revving M concept.  Read More

Citroen’s six wheel cruise crosser concept

March 7, 2007 Citroen has teamed up with the world famous Espera Sbarro School to develop the Cruise Crosser all-terrain concept car. Based on Citroen’s first SUV, the C-Crosser, also making its world debut at Geneva, the new concept features three axles and six wheels to provide outstanding traction to tackle even the harshest of off-road conditions. The vehicle is designed to tackle the roughest possible road and weather conditions.  Read More

The Bentley Brooklands Limited Edition Coupe

March 7, 2007 Bentley has taken the wraps off a very exclusive coupe which it will call the Bentley Brooklands. The motivation behind the new coupe is Bentley’s proud sporting pedigree, forged by the exploits of the immortal ‘Bentley Boys’ on the famous Brooklands racetrack in the 1920s. The stunning new model marks the company’s return to the luxury coupe market with just 550 of the machines to be built. It is the ultimate Bentley: a stylish, four-seat, grand touring coupe with classic British proportions and muscular performance from the most powerful V8 engine Bentley has ever produced – a 530bhp, twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre unit that also produces a prodigious 1050Nm of torque.  Read More

Abarth reborn – the return of the scorpion!

March 4, 2007 Fiat is relaunching one of the motor industry’s legendary performance and sporting car brands this week at the Geneva International Motor Show, when it takes the wraps off its new Grande Punto Abarth, the first of a new range of high performance and sporting Fiats, as well as performance and sporting kits for the Fiat range. Fiat supremo, Luca de Meo, decided some time ago that Abarth had to be much more than a badge attached to certain models in the Fiat range. So a new Abarth division of the company will run its own racing and rally teams, starting with the successful Grande Punto Abarth S2000, which won both the Italian and European Rally Championship titles last year, in its debut season. The new Abarth division will also prepare racing and rally cars for customers in a wide range of series and one make championships. For road car customers, Abarth will develop new models for the Fiat range, starting with the Grande Punto Abarth, as well as developing performance and styling packages for the owners of existing Fiat products.  Read More

Subaru's new Impreza WRC contender

March 4, 2007 The Subaru World Rally Team (SWRT) has released details of the latest evolution of its rally challenger, the Impreza WRC2007, which will make its competitive debut in the fourth WRC round of 2007 next weekend at Rally Mexico in the hands of Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson. Although outwardly similar to its predecessor, a number of key engineering improvements have justified the production of a new car for the remainder of this season. As the basis of a rally winning machine, few cars can match the competitive pedigree of the. First launched in 1992, the Impreza road car has developed in tandem with its rallying counterpart and over the last 13 seasons, has scored 46 WRC victories and lessons learned on the rally stages have been fed back into the production model. The targets were to produce a car with a more responsive front end with better traction and more balanced tyre wear, particularly on longer stages. To achieve that, SWRT applied a different philosophy into areas such as weight distribution, suspension geometry and differential set-ups.  Read More

Flower Power - Koenigsegg's 1018 bhp biofuel-burning CCXR

March 3, 2007 When Bugatti unveiled the Veyron supercar, many people thought the ongoing contests for the world’s fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car in history were over – many motoring scribes wrote that due to increasing environmental concerns and the immense cost of developing a faster car, we’d never see the like of it again. It’s figure of 1001 bhp so completely eclipsed the previous best-of-breed cars such as the Koenigsegg CCX's 806 bhp that quite realistically, the game appeared to be over. Volkswagen spent so much money developing the Veyron, that although the car sells for UKP840,000 (US$1,630,000), when the all-up cost of development is added, they should be charging roughly UKP 5 million (US$9,700,000) per vehicle just to break even. No other manufacturer would be prepared to take a hit like that. Everything about the Veyron, from its 64 valve, quad turbocharger, W16 (16 cylinders in 4 banks of 4 cylinders) 8.0 litre engine, it’s dual-clutch DSG computer-controlled seven speed manual transmission, to its remarkable brakes are thoroughly engineered to enable the 1890 kg projectile to travel safely at over 400 km/h. Now Koenigsegg has surpassed the Bugatti’s power output, and is likely to threaten the Veyron’s 407 km/h top speed too. In a wonderful example of how a small goal-focussed team can achieve the seemingly unattainable, Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg has announced details of a new variant of its 806 bhp CCX which will run Biofuel. Due to the fact that the biofuel has higher octane and better cooling characteristics, the power has gone up 25% to 1018 bhp at 7200 rpm and torque is up 10% to 1060 nm at 6100 rpm, compared to the “standard” CCX’s 806 bhp at 6,900 rpm and 920 Nm at 5,700 rpm. Even though the low and exclusive production volume of Koenigsegg is hardly likely to have a measurable impact on the Co2 problem faced by global society, it is an impressive statement that a small company can afford to develop environmentally focussed solutions.  Read More

The EDAG LUV - a modular vehicle concept with maritime flair

March 2, 2007 As we previewed last month, EDAG’s latest concept car will be making its first appearance on March 6 in Geneva – the “EDAG LUV”. The design concept of the “LUV” is based on an luxury-class SUV and incorporates a maritime look from bow to stern: oiled teakwood on the hood, as the flooring on the interior, and on the elegant cargo area conveys a maritime flair. But the “EDAG LUV” is a real eye-catcher in other respects as well: the cargo area, behind the two rows of seats with plenty of room for 5 passengers, has been outfitted with teakwood and distinctly resembles a quarterdeck – in keeping with the maritime look of the concept car.  Read More

US$660,000 Tramontana supercar set to begin production

February 28, 2007 The law of averages suggests the gestation period for a new elite sportscar marque ranges from two to three years between first sighting and available product, and the Tramontana looks set to fall well within this time-frame despite liberal lashings of leading edge technologies. First seen two years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, the final production version will be seen at this year’s show and six are planned for production before the end of the year. a.d.Tramontana is located on the Costa Brava of North-eastern Spain and is one of the new generation of entrepreneurial automotive engineering companies seeking to apply creativity and new technologies to all aspects of automotive design and manufacturing - the company even has a modern distribution model for its bespoke services. Its avowed intention is to create a brand that is synonymous with extreme quality – the equivalent of a Koennigsegg, Pagani and Spyker in performance terms and the modern day flagbearer of Spanish automotive excellence in the same vein as Hispano Suiza or the Pegaso Z-102. The company’s first product is very exciting – the Tramontana G-07 – make a note of that name because we suspect it’ll fit right in amongst the aforementioned elite. It is a combination of advanced materials (Carbon, titanium, specially treated wood, exotic leathers and gold) and the kind of exquisite craftsmanship and fine detail that is incredibly rare these days. It doesn’t really have a fixed price because every car is custom made – a one off vehicle for which you are not only measured as if for a Saville Row suit, but the company’s aim is to craft a vehicle that perfectly fits its owner’s every ergonomic requirement. Each year from 2008, just a dozen cars will be made, and we’re tipping that very few customers will be opting for the base level vehicle which retails for US$660,000.  Read More

New 370 km/h ultra-high performance Pirelli PZero

February 28, 2007 Founded in 1872, Pirelli is known variously around the world for its Pirelli International Award (involving the communication of Science & Technology), its sponsorship of Italian Soccer Club Internazionale and the Brazilian soccer club Palmeiras, the Pirelli Tower in Milan, its highly-sought-after calendars and more recently its short films starring Uma Thurman, but mainly because of its tyres. To celebrate 100 years of motorsport, the Italian icon has launched its most technologically advanced ultra-high performance tyre ever - the P Zero. The tyre features a new tread pattern, innovative compounds and structure, and is protected by five patents. It is already being fitted to the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, the Lamborghini Murciélago and Gallardo, the Audi R8 and S8, the Aston Martin DB9, the Maserati Quattroporte, the Jaguar XK, the Mercedes AMG, and will shortly appear on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and the hottest Porsche and BMW models.  Read More

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