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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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 (36)

Nissan Invitation Concept at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

Nissan Invitation Concept

  • Looks like: The child of a Honda Fit and Nissan Leaf  
  • Defining characteristics: Prominent trapezoidal grille with headlight cutouts  
  • Ridiculous features: Around View Monitor seems sort of unnecessary  
  • Chances of being mass-produced: Launching in Europe in 2013

Are you over Nissan's subcompact Cube? The Nissan Invitation Concept may be what's next in this class from the automaker, but don't get your hopes up just yet.

What you're seeing here is an ordinary-looking subcompact hatchback, though it's just a concept for the moment. The vehicle is coming to the European market next year, where it will complement Nissan's Micra subcompact and Juke compact. Besides the Cube, the Japanese carmaker technically doesn't have a small hatchback offering in the U.S. since the Nissan Versa is considered a compact. That means there's a possibility that the model may be coming here, too, but Nissan made no mention of a U.S. release.

By Colin Bird | March 8, 2012 | Comments (0)

Nissan Hi-Cross Concept at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

Nissan Hi-Cross Concept

  • Looks like: Nissan is going mean and lean for its next compact crossover
  • Defining characteristics: Third-row seating, compact design, new hybrid technology
  • Ridiculous features: 3-D displays, but they’re low-hanging fruit for the chopping block
  • Chances of being mass-produced: We’re probably looking at the next Nissan Rogue

The current Nissan Rouge is getting long in the tooth. Although it received a mild refresh for the 2011 model year, the model sold today is nearly the same as the one on sale in 2007. Nissan's recently unveiled Hi-Cross Concept gives us a taste of what to expect from the Japanese carmaker's next-generation compact crossover.

The Hi-Cross Concept is a seven-passenger compact crossover, featuring Nissan's first in-house-engineered front-wheel-drive hybrid system. The concept features two four-cylinder engines: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (powering the current Rouge) and a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine coupled to a hybrid system. The hybrid system features lithium-ion batteries developed from Nissan's Leaf technology, according to the automaker. It also uses a new generation of the continuously variable automatic transmission that Nissan says will improve fuel economy by about 10% over its current CVT.

By Colin Bird | March 6, 2012 | Comments (3)

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

2013 mitsubishi outlander

  • Competes with: Ford Edge, Kia Sorento
  • Looks like: Outlander gets a more fluid and sculpted look
  • Drivetrain: No word on U.S. powertrains, but Europe will get diesel and gas versions: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel
  • Hits dealerships: On sale in Russia this summer; other markets will follow

Mitsubishi's Outlander is going green. The Outlander is redesigned for 2013 with more sculpted styling, new safety features and plans for a plug-in model.

The third generation of the midsize crossover loses less than an inch in length and gets a whole new look, including a restyled grille with Mitsubishi's three-diamond logo prominently displayed, a raised belt line, a more contoured body and wraparound headlamps. We first saw the new design in concept guise from the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

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

Infiniti Emerg-E Concept at the 2012 International Geneva Motor Show

Emerg-E Concept

  • Looks like: Infiniti intends to go ahead with building its first halo vehicle  
  • Defining characteristics: mid-engine, two-seater coupe, plug-in hybrid electric 
  • Ridiculous features: 0-130 mph in 30 seconds 
  • Chances of being mass-produced: 50/50

Unlike Lexus and Acura, which had halo vehicles like the SC and NSX to get the attention of leery American luxury car shoppers back in the late 1980s, Infiniti has never really had a honest halo vehicle.

That may be about to change, in the guise of the Infiniti Emerg-E Concept. The concept is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, 2-door coupe, with dual electric motors that product 400-horsepower, capable of propelling the model from 0-60 mph in about four seconds, says the automaker. Has that raised your interest?

By Colin Bird | March 6, 2012 | Comments (2)

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)

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