2013 Geneva International Motor Show: FT-86 Open Concept

FT86OpenConcept
  • Looks like: Yet another FT-86 concept
  • Defining characteristics: It's a convertible version of the Scion FR-S
  • Ridiculous features: Aside from the Milan-inspired interior, none; it looks production-ready
  • Chances of being mass-produced: A Scion FR-S convertible seems likely

Toyota will unveil its third FT-86 concept in four years to the world this month at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show: the FT-86 Open concept. The compact sports car is the convertible version of the automaker's Scion FR-S, as it's known in the U.S., or GT86 overseas.

Built on the same platform as the Scion FR-S, the FT-86 Open concept shares the rear-wheel-drive Scion's 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission and good for 200 horsepower. Toyota says it will gauge customer reaction to the concept at the Geneva show for a possible launch of a production-version convertible.

"The FT-86 Open concept is designed to combine all the lively, accessible performance and highly engaging, readily exploitable dynamic abilities of the GT86 with the even greater levels of driving pleasure derived from open-topped motoring," the automaker said in a statement.

By Matt Schmitz | March 1, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Volvo XC70: What's Changed

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  • Most significant changes: New multimedia system and gauge cluster; minor exterior styling tweaks
  • Price change: TBA
  • On sale: This summer
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? If you think the wagon needs a style and tech features boost, go for the 2014.

Volvo's wagon hasn't been significantly revised since model-year 2008, but for 2014, the XC70 sees a host of interior and exterior updates. The XC70 will make its debut next month at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show with a slightly more rugged looking exterior and a new multimedia system.

On the outside, the grille is wider and houses an enlarged Volvo badge. There are also updated headlights, redesigned taillights, more matte silver trim bits outside, and the black body cladding below the beltline has been extended to surround the fog lights.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 20, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Volvo S60: What's Changed

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  • Most significant changes: Smoother front styling, new instrument cluster and multimedia system
  • Price change: TBA
  • On sale: This summer
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? Unless you're a gadget fiend, the 2013 should do just fine.

Volvo's S60 luxury sedan is the automaker's best-seller in the U.S., so it's no surprise Volvo didn't change the new one too much; the 2014 model will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The 2013's stylish looks are improved slightly for 2014, and there's new technology on the inside as Volvo's trademark metallic instrument gauges are replaced with a configurable digital display; a new multimedia system is available. 

The S60's front and rear styling doesn't appear radically changed at first glance. Closer inspection reveals a much smoother appearance with the removal of all chrome trim around the wider front grille. The previous washer fluid nozzles, which used to be visible, have been relocated out of sight for 2014. Also cleaned up is the radar for the adaptive cruise control — it's now masked black with a grille line painted on the cover so the entire grille appears uniform. The S60's signature daytime running lamps are relocated to the fog light area, and the rear exhaust tips now sit flush with the bumper.

By Joe Bruzek | February 20, 2013 | Comments (10)

2014 Volvo S80 Sedan: What's Changed

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  • Most significant changes: Wider, lower exterior design; a new touch-screen multimedia interface; enhanced safety technology.
  • Price change: TBA
  • On sale: This summer
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? If the lower profile and touch-screen technology suit your fancy, the 2014 is looking good so far.

An exterior makeover and new touch-screen multimedia interface top the list of changes to the 2014 Volvo S80, set to debut next month at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show.

Volvo says its flagship sedan gets new exterior design features for 2014 that will bring it visually closer with its crossover cousin, the XC70. New front and rear bumpers create a "stretched" effect making the car appear wider and lower. Rectangular daytime running lights in front give the S80 an updated look, Volvo says, while the rounded-off rear lights enhance the lower-to-the-ground aesthetic. Buyers can now choose 19-inch wheels with the Lowered Sport chassis, one of two including the Comfort Chassis.

"We have created a wider proportion on the front grille and added more detail, such as chrome exterior headlights, to give the car an elegant feel," said Fedde Talsma, exterior design director for Volvo, in a statement.

By Matt Schmitz | February 20, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Volvo XC60: What's Changed

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  • Most significant changes: Exterior styling tweaks and a new gauge layout 
  • Price change: TBA 
  • On sale: This summer
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? If you bemoan the loss of traditional gauges to panels and screens, stick with the 2013.

Volvo's smallest crossover is getting a makeover. The updated 2014 XC60 will debut next month at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show with subtle exterior styling tweaks, a new gauge cluster and revised interior materials.

Volvo's best-selling vehicle wears restyled headlamps and a wider hood with a more horizontal grille and a larger badge. The 2014 version is also one body color — no more black trim outside. Gone too are the previously visible washer nozzles; they're now out of sight under the hood. Volvo also says there's newly available 20-inch wheels that keep the same tire profile height as the 19s, so ride shouldn't be impacted.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 19, 2013 | Comments (8)

Alfa Romeo 4C: First Look

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  • Competes with: Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type, Lotus Evora
  • Looks like: A smaller, sleeker version of Alfa's limited-production 8C Competizione
  • Drivetrain: Turbocharged 1.7-liter four-cylinder and dual-clutch automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Sometime in 2013

Alfa Romeo left the U.S. in 1995, but in 2009 Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne promised the brand would return. At the time, Marchionne named four cars to arrive by 2013, but Chrysler-Fiat later scrubbed those plans as Europe's economy plunged into recession. Even as recently as January, Marchionne told reporters Alfa wasn't yet ready for its U.S. return.

The postponement was brief. Witness the production 4C, a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car based on the concept shown at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show. It's the first of several new Alfas planned between now and 2016.

The two-seater will debut officially at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show in March, and it arrives in the U.S. — presumably at Chrysler dealerships — sometime this year.

By Kelsey Mays | February 12, 2013 | Comments (4)

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible to Debut March 5

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Chevrolet will unveil a drop-top version of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at the international 2013 Geneva Motor Show on March 5. Photos haven't been released yet, though Chevrolet provided a stylized graphic of what to expect.

A convertible Corvette was inevitable and it didn't take long for Chevrolet to announce when to expect the roof-less Corvette. But why an international show for the convertible? Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe's President Susan Docherty says in a statement, "It's fitting to introduce the new Stingray convertible on the global stage at Geneva because Corvette is the face of Chevrolet the world over." Docherty continues, "It is an icon that has long been recognized and admired even in countries where it's never officially been offered."

Chevrolet says the convertible will deliver the coupe's balance of design, technology and performance. From the onset, Chevrolet designed the Corvette with the intention of a convertible version. The first production convertible offered for sale will appear at a Barrett-Jackson auto auction in the first week of April.

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By Joe Bruzek | February 7, 2013 | Comments (0)

Kia Teases New Urban Concept Car

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While it's unknown whether Kia's new "urban concept car" will ever make an appearance in the U.S., a statement from the Korean automaker this week teased its appearance at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March. Kia's brief release on the concept car used titillating terms like "provocative and racy" to describe it, though the announcement was otherwise cryptic.

"With the company's signature tiger-nose morphing into a mischievous yet friendly grille and headlight arrangement, coupled with strong styling lines that exude speed and energy from every angle, Kia's newest concept vehicle is guaranteed to attract attention," the automaker stated in the release.

The news aroused speculation that Kia could be angling to compete with the Nissan Juke, the smallest crossover in the Japanese automaker's lineup.

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By Matt Schmitz | January 24, 2013 | Comments (6)

Rolls-Royce Teases New Wraith Coupe

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British luxury-car maker Rolls-Royce is launching a coupe version of its Ghost sedan and resurrecting an old name for the model. The Wraith will join the Ghost and the Phantom in the lineup and will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The automaker released a teaser image but few details, saying only that the Wraith promises to be the most powerful Rolls-Royce in history. The current Ghost sedan is powered by a 563-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12 paired with an eight-speed automatic.

Rolls-Royce didn't provide any specs, but did say, "When Wraith is present, for that fleeting moment, the world will stand still." Commence eye roll.  

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Research the Rolls-Royce Ghost
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By Jennifer Geiger | January 22, 2013 | Comments (1)

Would You Buy It? 2013 Ford B-Max

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Does the U.S. market need another mini-minivan? Well, the Mazda5 is doing OK here, so why not add Ford's B-Max to the mix?

The B-Max was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show earlier this month and will go on sale in Europe later this year. It's a difficult-to-classify vehicle thanks to its compact wagon body style, tall ride height and sliding doors. Ford calls the B-Max a "city-friendly crossover," and in looks and purpose, it's a cross between the Mazda5 and Honda Fit. The wagon seats five passengers and rides on a stretched version of the Ford Fiesta platform, making the 164-inch B-Max quite a bit smaller than the 180.5-inch Mazda5 and a bit longer than the Fit.

In terms of styling, the B-Max gets points over the awkward, angular Mazda5, but they share the sliding door setup. We know the B-Max's minivan doors may seem uncool. We get it; however, they provide a much wider opening than a traditional door, which is great when trying to load people, stuff or a child-safety seat into the second row. Maybe sliding doors are even better for entering tight spaces like the B-Max versus the cavernous confines of full-size minivans. Ford says the front passenger seat and backseat can be folded to create a flat load floor capable of swallowing loads measuring up to 92.5 inches long.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 29, 2012 | Comments (37)

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