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2008 Paris Special: Mini Crossover Concept

One of the hottest debuts from the Paris show was definitely the Mini Crossover Concept. I’m not Mini’s biggest fan, but this concept rocks! And the production version will probably be awesome too. Though the concept looks a little weird at first sight, like a Cooper on steroids, that doesn’t mean it’s not great. And that’s not all. Though it has four doors, their arrangement is not ordinary: a conventional arrangement of doors is to be found only on the front passenger’s side, while on the driver’s side the MINI Crossover Concept comes with a conventional door for the ?rst row of seats plus a lift/sliding door moving along the outside for easier access to the rear and for loading the car from the side. And by dropping the B-pillar on the driver’s side, the MINI Crossover Concept exhausts the potential of this opening to an even higher degree.

Another cool feature of the Crossover concept is the MINI Center rail, an universal, multifunction fastening rail that extends between the seats on the centre console of the MINI Crossover Concept. The car’s coolness is completed by the three-dimensional MINI Center Globe, a multi-function display that allows the driver to control all major entertainment, telecommunication and navigation functions, plus speedometer function around its outer circumference.

Overall, we really loved the MINI Crossover Concept and we’re really excited to see how the production-ready version will look like, plus of course, the specs. Meanwhile, enjoy the photos from the Paris Motor Show.

Photo Gallery: MINI Crossover Concept at the Paris Motor Show


2008 Paris Special: The new Kia Soul

The debut of the new Kia Soul at the Paris Motor Show was no ordinary one, because Kia decided to create a special ‘Soul World’ zone, where seven versions of the Soul were displayed, Vanilla Shake, Blue Stone, Black Soul (two models), Java Brown, Clear White and Tomato Red. All the cars are top-of-the-range models that try to show the wide variety of styles and ‘looks’ the Soul can have.

Under the hood, the Kia Soul will be offered with a 126 hp diesel with DPF as standard (a 115 hp ‘low-power’ version will also be available in some countries), a 126 hp 1.6-litre CRDi 16-valve diesel engine with variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) and a 126 hp 1.6-litre Gamma petrol engine with electronic multi-point fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing (CVVT). Fitted with this engines, the Soul goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) between 10.4 and 11.3 seconds, top speed is around 175 km/h (109 mph) and fuel consumption figures range over a 5.1 to 6.6 litres/100 km span, while CO2 figures vary between 137 and 159 g/km.

We must say, the Kia Soul sounds like a very promosing car, targeted at “the young and the young-at-heart”. For example, when it will go on sale in Europe in late 2008/early 2009, customers will be able to choose from a line-up of up to 15* Soul cars, with five equipment levels, two engines (with manual or automatic transmissions), and a range of option packs – depending on individual markets.

“The innovative Kia Soul defies categorisation and encourages customers to build an emotional bond with this rebellious new car. Soul presents consumers with such a broad selection of styling, comfort and equipment choices, that it redefines the concept of freedom. It’s a brand new urban car packed full of liberating ideas – a car that challenges consumers to ‘free your mind’, a car that will encourage them to rethink everything they know about Kia,” said Panu Vainamo, General Manager Marketing, Kia Motors Europe.

Meanwhile, check out the photos we took at the Paris show:

Photo Gallery: Kia Soul at the Paris Motor Show


2008 Paris Special: Pininfarina Bollore Concept

This year’s Pininfarina stand was somehow sad, due to the big loss the company had back in August, when Andrea Pininfarina, the CEO, lost his life in a motorcycle accident. Both cars on display at the Italian stand, the Ferrari California and an electric car concept, were dedicated to his memory.

The Pininfarina Bollore concept, was one of the projects in which Andrea was a strong believer, and was developed by Pininfarina in cooperation with the Bolloré Group. The electric car was developed by the Pininfarina Design Department, led by Lowie Vermeersch, who has also coordinated projects like the Sintesi or the Ferrari California. That’s about all the info we’ve got on the concept, but here are the photos we took in Paris:

Photo Gallery: Pininfarina Bollore Concept at the Paris Motor Show


2008 Paris Special: Saab 9-X Air Concept

Making its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show, the Saab 9-X Air Concept is a four-seater convertible with a Canopy Top folding roof mounted on curved rear pillars with a separate retracting rear screen. With the 9-X Air, Saab tried to create a sports car that also offers open-top accommodation for four in ‘surround glass’ comfort. Under the hood, the concept features a 1.4 liter BioPower turbo engine optimized for E85 fuel (85% biothanol/15% gasoline), which delivers 200 hp (147 kW) and 280 Nm (207 lb.ft) of torque. According to Saab, the fuel consumption on gasoline over the combined cycle is 5.0 l/100 km (47 US mpg) and 119 g CO2/km. When using E85 fuel, CO2 emissions are projected at 107 g/km, with estimated fuel consumption of 6.5 l/100 km. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with an automatic clutch.

The car looks and sounds great, but Saab came up with a lot of concept cars over the last motor shows, and so far we really didn’t see any of those making it into production. Guess we’ll have to wait a little more. Enjoy the photos from the Paris show.

Photo Gallery: Saab 9-X Air Concept at the Paris Motor Show

Photo Gallery: Saab 9-X Air BioHybrid Concept


2008 Paris Special: The ‘new’ Seat Exeo

Probably one of the most controversial cars on display at the Paris Motor Show was Seat’s new sedan, the Seat Exeo. We can’t actually say it’s a new car, because the Exeo is practically a rebadged previous generation Audi A4 B7. A lot of people started saying that this was not a good move from Audi, but I actually think it’s a good idea. Of course, they could’ve changed at least the exterior styling a little more, but except that, I see no reason a great platform like the one on the A4 B7 shouldn’t be still used. The problem is the pricing, which is still pretty high (starts at around 22,000 Euros).

What I really didn’t like was the press release. I mean, ok, I know that’s a rebadged A4, I don’t mind, but the press release is ridiculuos: “clearly indicative of the Spanish brand’s image”, “Distinctive elegant styling abounds on the new Exeo”, or “with the arrival of the Exeo, SEAT is demonstrating its efforts to create and manufacture made-to-measure vehicles”. Except for the front fascia, which tells you that’s a Seat, and the restyled rear lights, the car is absolutely identical (including the interior, which looks exactly like the A4 cabrio) to the A4.

The new Seat EXEO will be launched with three petrol-engines, from 102 HP (75kW) to 200 HP (147 kW) and three common rail Diesel engines from 120 HP (88 kW) to 170 HP (125 kW), all of them being future Euro 5 standard compliant. The new Seat Exeo will be available starting with spring 2009.

Photo Gallery: The Seat Exeo at the Paris Motor Show


1959 Cadillac MM Ghostbusters Ecto-1 for sale on eBay

Here’s another interesting car available for auction on eBay, one of three Sony/MGM authorized Ghostbusters 1959 Cadillac Miller Meteor Ecto-1. This car wasn’t used in the films, but was created exclusively for the Universal Studios Theme parks. The current owner bought the car in August 2006, which was stripped of all the Ghost busting equipment, but managed to get all of the roof rack parts and the original light bars. This car was used at the park for over fifteen years for the Ghostbusters Experience, parades and display inside the Florida park.

The current bid on eBay is $18,100 and the new owner will also get the Original Bill of sale from Universal Studios and a Copy of the original Title. For more info about the car, head over to the eBay auction page.


Paris 2008 Special: The new Ford KA

Probably one of the most anticipated and interesting debuts from this year’s Paris Motor Show was the new Ford KA. Unfortunately, what we didn’t know is that Ford decided to surprise everyone and bring Olga Kurylenko for the official presentation. But, because the Ford event was early in the morning, I missed it, and didn’t get the chance to see her and take some photos. Anyway, back to the KA. The new mini car from Ford has definitely changed. From the really ugly previous generation, Ford has managed to come up with a really nice small car.

Like the previous generation, the new KA is targeted at young, urban drivers, having a very appealing design (Ford brought about 4 or 5 in different paint finishes) and two economical engines. The exterior styling follows Ford’s kinetic design language and, though, after seeing the Fiesta, the KA looks a little weird, still, it’s a very cool little car. Under the hood, Ford will offer the KA with two engines, a 69 hp 1.2-litre Duratec petrol unit and, a 75 hp Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel which is available for the first time on the KA and which achieves a combined fuel consumption of 4.2 litres/100km (56 US mpg). Both petrol and diesel models produce less than 120g/km CO2 emissions.

For more info on the new Ford KA, check out the official press release. And here are the photos we took in Paris:

Photo Gallery: The new Ford KA at the Paris Motor Show


2008 Paris Special: The new Toyota Avensis

At the Paris Motor Show, one of the premieres from the Toyota stand was the Toyota Avensis sedan.Toyota’s European flagship was designed at the Toyota European Design Development centredeveloped by a team of European and Japanese engineers, and its main market will be the old continent. Available both in sedan and wagon version, the new Avensis looks way better than the current generation and, considering Toyota’s known quality, the car will probably be a success.

Under the hood, the new Avensis will be available with a range of fuel efficient petrol and diesel engines. The petrol engines offer will include three new engines, an 132 hp 1.6 liter unit, an 147 hp 1.8 liter and a top of the range 2.0 liter Valvematic that delivers 152 hp and 196 Nm torque at 4,000 rpm. CO2 emission levels range from 152 g/km for the 1.6 liter and 164 g/km for the 2.0 liter version equipped with the Multidrive S transmission. Two diesel units will also be available, an 126 hp 2.0 liter D-4D engine and a 2.2-litre D-4D units that delivers 150 hp and 340 Nm between 2,000 and 2,800 rpm and which will be available with a brand-new 6-speed automatic transmission.

For the full info on the new Toyota Avensis, check out the press release. Also, here are the photos we took at the Paris show.

Photo Gallery: The new Toyota Avensis at the Paris Motor Show


2008 Paris Special: Skoda Octavia Facelift

One of the suprises Skoda prepared for the Paris Motor Show was a facelift of their popular Skoda Octavia. The front part received a major redesign, inspired by the new Superb, with a redesigned front bumper, newly designed chrome frame for the front grille, restyled front bumpers, new headlamps, restyled bonnet and new folding door mirrors. The car also received a couple of interior upgrades, like new materials for the redesigned seats, new audio navigation systems, redesigned instruments and new armrest with storage compartment.

The new Skoda Octavia will get five petrol and three diesel engines, including a brand new 1.4 TSI engine that delivers 122 hp (90 kW) and 200 Nm of torque from 1500 to 4000 rpm. Powered by this engine, the Octavia goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 9.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 203 km/h (126 mph), while fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are at 6.6 litres per 100 km (42 mpg) and 154 g/km.

We’re not sure we like the new design approach from Skoda, like the Superb or this Octavia facelift, but, overall, a pretty interesting change for the Czech sedan. You can read about all the new features in the official press release.

Photo Gallery: Skoda Octavia Facelift at the Paris Motor Show



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2008 Paris Special: Mazda Kiyora Concept

Before the Paris Motor Show, we told you that one of Mazda’s debuts will be the Mazda Kiyora Concept. The Kyiora is a small city car concept aimed at young urban drivers and it previews a future Mazda car in this segment. The concept is powered by next generation 1.3-litre DISI (direct injection spark ignition) engine mated to a newly developed automatic transmission. Combined to a rigid and lightweight body shell, the car manages to achieve high fuel efficiency and low emissions (under 90 CO2 g/km). Kiyora’s design supports these technologies with aesthetic features that are expressive of its water theme yet highly functional.

Of course, like Mazda has gotten us used to, the concept looks very futuristic, following the Nagare concept style. “Mazda Design has been working hard over the past two years to develop an exciting new design message with its Nagare series,” says Peter Birtwhistle, Chief Designer, Mazda Motor Europe. “Mazda Kiyora is the latest iteration of that philosophy.”

“The architecture of the car has been rethought,” says the concept’s lead exterior designer, Mickael Loyer. “The main structure of the car is an ‘in and out’ frame, like a shell that protects you from the outside environment, and lets you be opened and linked to it at the same time, thanks to the transparency of the top and the side windows, which also gives a lightweight feeling.”

Check out all the info about the Mazda Kiyora Concept from the official press release and here are the photos we took at the Paris show. Enjoy!

Photo Gallery: Mazda Kiyora Concept at the Paris Motor Show


Schumi hits ‘The Ring’ in the new Ferrari California

After the Ferrari California showed up at the Paris Motor Show, the Italian company also presented the car at the Ferrari Racing Days, an event that took place at the Nurburgring race track. And it was no ordinary presentation, because F1 legend Michael Schumacher was also there and he took the car for a spin around ‘the Ring’ (fortunately, without incidents). After the jump, check out a video of Schumi around the track in the California. (more…)

2008 Paris Special: Lexus IS 250C makes world debut

Like we’ve announced last month, one of Lexus’ premieres for the Paris Motor Show was the new Lexus IS 250C. We really loved the IS range ever since it was introduced, it’s a really tough competitor for the German cars, and the IS 250C sounds and looks very promising also, when it will debut, next summer. Like its name says, the IS 250C is powered by the 2.5 liter V6 engine that delivers 208 hp (153 kW) mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. According to Lexus, the lightweight folding aluminium roof is the world’s fastest three-part roof, with an opening time of just 20 seconds.

Of course, extra attention was given to the car’s aerodynamics and safety, especially when running with the top open. By fitting the car with a steeply raked windscreen, ultra-smooth cabin profile, aerodynamically efficient, “duck-tail” rear styling featuring “airkick” effect, rear tail lamp clusters, and a set of aerodynamic under-body covers, the IS 250C’s drag coefficient is just 0.29 (0.27Cd rating for the sedan version).

For more info on the Lexus IS 250C, check out the official press release.

Photo Gallery: Lexus IS 250C at the Paris Motor Show


2008 Paris Special: Ferrari California

We finally got to see one of this year’s hottest new cars, the Ferrari California, which showed itself to the world at the Paris Motor Show. From the beginning, we want you to know that we really, really loved it and Ferrari has done a very good job with the car. It’s really sexy (especially the red one, because there was also a blue California, but not that attractive) and we totally understand the dude that paid $550,000 for the first unit. We’re also sure the California is a blast to drive, with its 4.3 liter V8 engine that develops 460 hp at 7,500 rpm and goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4.0 seconds. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll get lucky and Ferrari will invite us to test drive it around a little. But enough with the dreaming, here are the photos from Paris. Enjoy! (we definitely did!)

Photo Gallery: Ferrari California at the Paris Motor Show


2008 Paris Special: Chevrolet Orlando Concept

One of the premieres GM came up with at the Paris show was the Chevrolet Orlando concept. Based on the new Chevrolet Cruze, which also made its debut in France, the Orlando show car is something between a seven-seats MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), a family van and an SUV. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbo diesel that delivers 150 hp (110 kW) and 320 Nm of torque, the car’s most important feature is its interior spacing. Can’t say we were very impressed with the car, but apparently Chevrolet is very proud of its latest product, though they didn’t mention anything about a possible future production-ready version of the car. Check out more info about the Orlando in the official press release.

And here are more photos from the Paris show. Enjoy!

Photo Gallery: Chevrolet Orlando Concept at the Paris Motor Show


2008 Paris Special: Citroen Hypnos Concept

Beside the breathtaking Citroen GT Concept, the French carmaker also brought another interesting concept at the Paris Motor Show, the Citroen Hypnos Concept. If we take a look at Citroen’s description of the car, we could think that this might just be the perfect car out there: “an elegant and distinctive cross-over vehicle, Hypnos explores new avenues in the design of luxury ecological vehicles. Its creative technologies deliver outstanding performance and environmental efficiency, combined with subtle but powerful motoring sensations.” Is it like that? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure, the concept definitely looks good.

According to Citroen, the concept is powered by a 2-litre HDi DPFS diesel engine that delivers 200 hp (147 kW) and 420 Nm of torque, plus an electric motor located on the rear axle developing 50 hp and 200 Nm of torque. The car’s range in all-electric mode is absolutely hilarious, 3 km (1.8 miles) at 50 km/h (31 mph), but this is porbably very good for those time when you’re stuck in traffic and move with the speed of a snale. The hybrid powertrain makes the car achieve a combined cycle fuel consumption of 4.5 l/100 km and 120 g/km of CO2 emissions.

You can read more details about the technology behind the Citroen Hypnos in the official press release. And also check out the photos we took at the Paris show. Enjoy!

Photo Gallery: Citroen Hypnos Concept at the Paris Motor Show


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