Bentley EXP 9 F Concept at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

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  • Looks like: Bentley is upping its calorie count big time
  • Defining characteristics: It's Bentley's first SUV concept
  • Ridiculous features: Pop-up picnic area complete with awning, umbrella and, of course, a champagne bucket 
  • Chances of being mass-produced: Likely, though its name will change

We've heard rumors of a Bentley SUV for a while now, and it looks like the automaker is still testing the waters, this time with the EXP 9 F Concept. The SUV looks like a portlier version of the Continental, especially up front, where it wears Bentley’s large traditional matrix grille. The concept's design suggests the automaker was inspired by fighter jets, with large turbine-looking 23-inch wheels and taillights that resemble a jet engine.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 6, 2012 | Comments (6)

Mercedes-Benz A-Class at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

  • Competes with: BMW 1 Series, Audi A3, Lexus CT 200h 
  • Looks like: It’s a little more sporty-minded than traditional Mercedes models 
  • Drivetrain: 115-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder; 156- and 211-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission; front- and all-wheel drive 
  • Hits dealerships: September for Europe, North America TBD

You're probably asking yourself, "Mercedes has a compact hatchback model?" Indeed, the A-Class has been the brand's entry-level offering in most parts of the world, particularly in Europe, since at least the late 1990s. But the current model's tall, utilitarian looks have kept the vehicle from being offered in the U.S., where Mercedes is considered a luxury carmaker, first and only.

The fact that the A-Class Concept was unveiled at last year's New York International Auto Show — and that Mercedes spokesman Dan Barile had told us the odds of the A-Class coming here were "very good" — makes us to believe that this Mercedes hatchback (there's something about "hatchback" that sounds a bit anachronistic for this luxury brand) is probably coming here soon.

By Colin Bird | March 6, 2012 | Comments (5)

2013 Lexus RX at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

2013 Lexus RX 450h 001

  • Competes with: Acura MDX and Mercedes-Benz M-Class
  • Looks like: RX gains some style with a couple of new appearance packages; sweeping LED headlights and a more dynamic-looking grille also help
  • Drivetrain: 270-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission (gas); 295-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and continuously variable automatic transmission (hybrid)
  • Hits dealerships: this April

Gas and hybrid versions of Lexus' popular midsize crossover get a face-lift for the 2013 model year. The Lexus RX now wears what the automaker calls a bolder version of its signature "spindle grille," and it gets an updated interior, more standard equipment and new appearance packages for the model year.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 6, 2012 | Comments (10)

Lamborghini Aventador J at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

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  • Looks like: a chop-top Aventador
  • Defining characteristics: It’s missing a roof and windshield
  • Ridiculous features: Almost everything is made of carbon fiber
  • Chances of being mass-produced: Lamborghini will make and sell just one

A racing-inspired version of Lamborghini's Aventador supercar was unveiled in Geneva today, but it’s missing a few things, namely a roof and windshield. Not quite a concept and not a typical production vehicle, the Aventador J is a one-of-a-kind convertible, and Lamborghini will build and sell only one unit.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 5, 2012 | Comments (7)

Volvo Won't Bring the V40 Stateside

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It's a gloomy day for Volvo enthusiasts jazzed at the prospect of the V40 making its way to U.S. shores. Volvo recently released official photos of the compact hatchback, but it also confirmed the V40 will only be sold in Europe.

The car is set to debut next week at the Geneva Motor Show. Volvo previously released a shadowy image of the V40 and hinted that it also might go on sale in the U.S. market. Since the S40 sedan and V50 wagon were discontinued for the 2012 model year in the U.S., a V40 made sense. We also thought it might make a compelling replacement for the C30, the automaker's slow-selling two-door hatchback. Alas, no.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 2, 2012 | Comments (2)

Jaguar XF Gains Wagon Body Style at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Jaguar is expanding its lineup with a station wagon model, at least in Europe, according to the automaker.

Dubbed the Jaguar XF Sportbrake, the new model is based off the revised 2012 Jaguar XF and will debut at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday. Unlike the sedan, this model is slightly longer and features all-new sheet metal past the B-pillar, Jaguar says.

The rear seats are redesigned with "more generous" seating for three, Jaguar says. Rear-seat passengers also get more headroom in the wagon. The rear seats feature remote levers in the cargo space, allowing the 60/40-split seats to fold down quickly. An integrated floor rail system in the cargo area features retaining bars to help keep cargo items secure.

The XF Sportbrake comes with two diesel engines. Since there are no diesel engine offerings from Jaguar in the U.S., that doesn't bode well for this model's future here. However, Jaguar is currently working on three new models — a station wagon, a new entry-level roadster and a compact entry-level sedan, according to the CEO of Tata Motors, which owns Jaguar Land Rover — so maybe the Sportbrake could make its way to our shores, too.

Continue below for more photos.

By Colin Bird | February 29, 2012 | Comments (1)

2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta: First Look

F12berlinetta

  • Competes with: Lamborghini Aventador, Aston Martin V12 Zagato
  • Looks like: You can almost make the FF grille attractive
  • Drivetrain: 730 hp V-12 engine, F1 dual-clutch transmission
  • Hits dealerships: TBD

A new Ferrari model is cause for celebration in the automotive world. Well, maybe except for the FF unveiled last year.

The F12berlinetta — yes all one word — will spark boyhood fantasies and adorn computer desktop backgrounds of working adults worldwide.

The design incorporates the grille from the FF, the headlights from the 458 Italia and the hood scoop of the California all into what is a rather cohesively drop-dead gorgeous look.

Ferrari, of course, isn't selling this front-engine machine — likely to cost upward of $300,000 — on looks. It can haul, too. Zero-to-62 mph speeds of 3.1 seconds are about as fast as you can get in any road-ready vehicle. To get that performance, Ferrari tuned its V-12 engine to produce 730 horsepower and 590 pounds-feet of torque — the most powerful Ferrari of all time, as well as the fastest.

By David Thomas | February 29, 2012 | Comments (1)

Nissan Teases Hi-Cross Concept

Nissan concept
Could Nissan be readying a Land Rover Range Rover Evoque competitor? A new teaser video posted on YouTube outlines Nissan’s newest concept, the Hi-Cross SUV.

Though the video doesn’t reveal much, the Hi-Cross looks compact in size, and it ditches Nissan SUVs’ traditional boxy lines for more fluid styling cues, similar to the new look of the redesigned-for-2013 Pathfinder.

The concept will be unveiled in Geneva next week, along with the Infiniti Emerg-E. The hybrid sports coupe concept hints that a plug-in electric vehicle may be in Infiniti’s future.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 28, 2012 | Comments (1)

Land Rover Eyes Convertible for Evoque

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Although Land Rover's new, eye-catching compact SUV has been on the market for only a few months, it looks like a convertible version may soon join the lineup.

Can a droptop really add to the Range Rover Evoque's popularity? Maybe. At the very least, the automaker is keeping the buzz about its newest vehicle alive. The Evoque recently won the North American Truck of the Year award, and its sales are gaining momentum.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 27, 2012 | Comments (3)

Would You Buy It? Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon

Chevrolet cruze station wagon
In advance of the Geneva International Auto Show next month, Chevrolet announced plans to sell a wagon version of its Cruze compact in Europe. This news was followed quickly by a statement that Chevy won’t sell it in the United States. But why not?

In America's ongoing love affair with the automobile, hatchbacks and wagons have often taken the role of jilted paramour. For whatever reason, wagons are not part of the "in crowd" in the U.S., and Americans continually choose coupes and sedans over their trunk-less counterparts. Although many automakers have tried to shift the tide of public opinion, wagons don't usually last long in a vehicle's lineup, especially if that automaker isn't European.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 27, 2012 | Comments (104)

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