ACWWG: New Vauxhall Vivaro utility van

Okay, this isn't a car so it's really not a candidate for the Another Car We Won't Get files, but it is interesting. GM just released this van on an unsuspecting Europe through Opel and Vauxhall dealers. The van is made in cooperation with Renault and features two diesel engines (both turbocharged) for improved fuel efficiency and low emissions. It is an interesting design borrowing styling cues from GM's Euro cars. The sculpting in the side view is especially nice and makes this van stand out from the crowd of flat flank vans. The main reason I include this post is to raise the question, if GM can create and build a vehicle this distinctive in Europe, why does the US market get a warmed over Nissan badged as a Chevrolet? To hard to re-engineer? Good questions. We shall see what the future holds... Check out the Renault Traffic version with press release and pics after the jump.

Source: Vauxhall - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Mercedes Benz unleashes the spectacular all-new S63 AMG Coupé

Mercedes S-Class Coupes are some of the most beautiful cars on the road and the new 2015 model is no exception. What you see here is the high-performance S63 AMG Coupe that takes the performance and luxury to new heights. AMG stuffs a 5.5-litre, V8 biturbo engine under the hood that puts out 585 hp through the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission and available AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive (rear drive is standard). Ride and handling duties fall to the AIRMATIC and MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension systems with special 19-inch AMG alloy wheels. The interior has special seats (pic after the jump) with Nappa leather and the highest-quality materials and power everything. The features list would go on and on so check out the press release, after the jump, for info on all the goodies. Sales of the all-wheel drive model begin very soon with rear-drive model sales starting in July with a full market launch in the Fall. The Mercedes Benz S63 AMG Coupe will be one exclusive ride with a six-figure price tag to match. When a friend and I saw the standard S-Class coupe at a recent auto show, my friend walked away in disgust cuz he couldn't afford to buy one. It's that pretty. If you want to be one of the first to get your hands on one of these big hi-per coupes, get to your dealer with a large check real soon. More to come...

Source: Mercedes Benz - Extensive press release and pics after the "read more" jump.

Evolutionary new Porsche 911 Targa 4 and 4S go topless at the touch of a button - w/videos

I remember the original Porsche Targas and always thought what a nice compromise the cars were. Sort of right between a full convertible with the perceived safety of a fixed-roof coupe...not to mention the power and handling of a Porsche. This new Targa calls the older 911T to mind with the brushed metal roof band and soft (ish) top. What's cool about the new Targa is that the removal of the roof is done at the touch of a button. No lifting off the roof manually and stowing it for this 21st-century Porsche, no way. (Watch the videos. It's cool the way the roll bar and rear glass lift to stow the roof.) All 2014 Targas will come well-equipped with all-wheel drive and the 3.4-liter turbo six (350 hp) in the 911 Targa 4 and the 3-8-liter engine (400 hp) again with AWD in the Targa 4S. Equipped with the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) and Sport Chrono package, the 4 will hit 60 in about 4.5 seconds with the 4S taking just 4.2 seconds. As with all Porsche's, you can option the new Targas to the max if your checkbook will allow. Prices start at $101,600 (plus taxes, license, fees, options, and $995 destination) for Targa 4 models while the 911 Targa 4S model will have an MSRP of $116,200 (+). If you want to be the first on your block to get one of these babies, order now cuz deliveries start this Summer. Check out the press release and three videos for lots more info.

Source: Porsche - Press release, pics, and videos (3) after the jump.

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge speeds to life - w/videos

The Infiniti Q50 is a good-looking premium mid-to-large sized sedan that reflected Infinit's intentions and aspirations when it was released about a year ago. The Q50 is a high-style, performance sedan that doesn't scrimp on luxury or efficiency. There are many ways to outfit your Q50, there's even a performance hybrid, and the Eau Rouge concept hints at a possible next step for Infiniti's Q50. Think of it as a Q50 on steroids or a Nismo Q. Whatever moniker you choose, the Q50 Eau Rouge stuffs a 560-hp, twin-turbo V6 (GTR anyone) that is mated to a seven-speed transmission with all-wheel drive for a run to 60 in under 4 seconds. Top speed is estimated at about 180 mph which would make the Q50 Eau Rouge not your grandmother's sedan. Think AMG or BMW M. And that could be the point of this give the Germans a run for their money. The Q50 Eau Rouge is a fine-looking automobile with a body kit that isn't overdone, large attractive wheels, nice carbon-fiber accents, great paint, and a racing-inspired interior treatment. The Q50 Eau Rouge concept has been slowly rolled out by Infiniti at the Detroit and Geneva shows. Who knows, maybe the production version will be the next one to pop out from behind the curtain. For more info, check out the three press releases, pics (clickable), and two videos after the jump. Enjoy!

Source: Infiniti - Press releases, pics, and videos after the "read more" jump.

Maserati Alfieri concept to be considered for production - w/video

Most concepts, except for the outlandish, have some shot at production. Maserati's latest, the Alfieri, looks ready to go and would be (relatively) easy to do. The Alfieri (one of the Maserati brothers) is based on the GranTurismo with a shortened version of the GT's transaxle platform. The Alfieri features Maser's 4.7-liter, 460-hp V8 that is mated to the rear-mounted, six-speed, electro-actuated gearbox (MC Shift) for near perfect weight distribution for excellent handling. The Alfieri is a beautiful example of Maserati's current design themes taken to the next level. Since the concept is based on production hardware, we should see it on the road. right? Again, a business case must be made for the Alfieri to see production, so if you want one, let Maserati know. Heck, they could even put in the turbo V6 and still have a hell of an automobile. We shall see... Check out the press release for more detailed info, additional pics and brief video.

Source: Maserati - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Nissan Juke gets updates for 2015 - w/video

Nissan's Juke is one of those cars that you either love or hate. The Juke's styling has been criticized by some and praised by others, but Juke sales are better than expected. The Juke sorta falls into the category of "car as fashion statement," but its small size and sparkling personality have won the hearts of almost a half million folks in just three years. So Nissan's updates are expected to broaden the Juke's appeal, but will the updates take away some of the sparkle? We shall see. New engines are on hand like the 1.2-liter turbocharged engine that is lighter, more efficient, and slightly more powerful than the 1.6-liter four that it replaces. The 1.6 has received upgrades to make it the "next step up" engine. In Europe, the 1.5-liter diesel is a carryover and a very popular choice. Transmissions include a six-speed manual and the dreaded CVT Xtronic doing automatic duty (Really Nissan, no dual-clutch automatics for even better economy?). All-wheel drive is still on the menu as are numerous personalization options with new colors and equipment. The Juke falls into many car categories: compact, premium compact, crossover, sedan, hatchback, soft-roader, etc., which is part of the charm. I've always liked the Juke and think its size and style are nearly spot on. The new detailing (see pics) may soften my enthusiasm. but the deal-breaker for me is the CVT. Not everyone cares, obviously, and Nissan's CVT is pretty good as CVTs go... The Euro press release is Euro-centric and may not relate to US-market cars. US Jukes may offer different equipment, drivetrains, and options, but the basics will remain the same. More to come...

Source: Nissan - Press release, pics (6), and video after the "read more" jump.

Bentley adds Speed to the new Continental GT - w/video

The Bentley Continental series of premium performance coupes and convertibles are arguably some of the finest-looking vehicles on the planet. The new Continental GT has been updated and Bentley showed the new hi-po Speed models at the Geneva Motor Show. The new Conti GT Speed (coupe or convertible) features the 6-liter, twin-turbo, 616-hp W12 engine with new engine management tech that is now mated to a new ZF eight-speed automatic putting all that power to the pavement through all four wheels. Sixty mph shows up in 4 seconds with the GT Speed hitting 100 mph in just 9 seconds. Giant brakes slow things down and the chassis has been updated for improved handling and driving dynamics. Exterior styling has been tweaked to reflect current Bentley styling uses and the GT Speed can be had in any one of 17 paint colors with 17 different interior hide colors. Options include the 11-speaker Naim for Bentley audio system, the Muliner Styling pack, and more. In other words, you can get your new GT Speed anyway you like and can afford (yes, bring a large bank account and/or line of credit). For lots more info, check out the extensive press release (with specs) and video after the jump.

Source: Bentley - Press releases (2), pics (3), and video after the "read more" jump.


Aston Martin announces special edition models for V8 Vantage and DB9

Aston Martin used the Geneva Motor Show to unleash two new special edition models onto a waiting planet, the V8 Vantage N430 and the DB9 Carbon Editions (Black and White). The V8 Vantage N430 calls to mind Aston's racing heritage and successes with a high-performance car that tops out at 190 MPH and can hit 60 mph in about four and one half seconds. The N430 includes the V8 with 430 hp and adds carbon fibre and Kevlar® seats, ten-spoke forged alloy wheels in a new graphite painted finish, dark-themed exterior details (alloy wheels, black front grille, headlamp bezels, exterior meshes, side window surrounds, textured tailpipe finishers and clear rear lamps with black surrounds), and new interior features and materials such as machined carbon sill plaques, N430 seat logos, black magnesium paddle-shifts or carbon fibre gearshift surround; contemporary driver instrument panel; black anodised rotaries; leather steering wheel with contrasting on-centre stitch feature (or Alcantara with matching stitch); seat and door inserts in technical Plissè Alcantara – indented leather on Roadster models – and unique seat trim patterns.Options include a close-ratio seven-speed Sportshift™ II automated manual transmission with short final-drive ratio, a state-of-the-art 1000W Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system with ICEpower® technology, and more. The V8 Vantage N430 (Coupe and Roadster) starts at just over $148,000 at today's exchange rates with Euro deliveries starting in September of this year.

The DB9 Carbon Black and Carbon White special editions start with the 510-hp V12 DB9 and add special dark accents on the interior (a strong black styling theme with a choice of accent colors in line with the caliper shade showcases carbon fiber details and new black hardware) with dark exterior carbon-fiber accents (carbon fibre side strakes and black window surrounds) with Carbon White models featuring Stratus White paint. Prices and availability info can be gleaned from Aston Martin dealers, so yeah, it won't be cheap inexpensive.

Source: Aston Martin - Press release and links after the "read more" jump.

Cadillac sees red with new ATS Crimson Sport special edition - w/video

Cadillac is getting into the special edition business with the new 2014 ATS Crimson Sport Edition special. The ATS CSE package can be added to the 272-horsepower ATS 2.0T Performance Collection (with automatic transmission) or 321-horsepower 3.6L Premium Collection (with rear- or all-wheel drive). Crimson Sport ATS models feature the Crimson Red Metallic exterior paint that has been seen on high-performance Caddies in the past along with special Sport touches and features. Upgrades include a heated steering wheel in microfiber suede, a microfiber suede shift lever, and heated front seats on the inside and 18-inch Manoogian Dark Silver Premium Painted wheels; a ground effects package with color-matched front splitter, rocker moldings and rear diffuser; and an aero decklid spoiler outside.Interior colors include Morello Red with Jet Black accents, Caramel with Jet Black accents, Jet Black with Jet Black accents or Light Platinum with Jet Black accents. Options include the Track Package (with 3.50liter engine), navigation, sunroof, the Driver Assist Package. and the Advanced Security Package. Prices start at $46,010 (plus taxes, license, destination, fees, options) for the 2.0T Performance Collection and $51,010 (+) for the 3.6L Premium Collection. ATS Crimson Sport Editions will be arriving at your local Cadillac dealer within days and production will end this Summer. So if this is the ATS you've been waiting for, now is certainly the time... Brief press release and regular ATS B-roll video after the jump.

Source: Cadillac - Press release, pic, and ATS B-roll video after the "read more" jump.

All-new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer to come to the US - w/videos

BMW unveiled the all-new 2 Series Active Tourer MPV in production-ready form at the Geneva International Motor Show recently. The 2AT is an entry into a new niche for BMW and represents their first front-wheel-drive, people-and-stuff-moving utility vehicle. The 2 AT shares it's platform with the upcoming 2014 Mini and BMW calls the 2 AT the "BMW of front-drive cars." MPV's like the the 2 AT, the Ford C-Max and Grand C-Max, and VW's new Golf Sportvan, among others, are very popular in Europe and their popularity is spreading to new markets. The 2 AT will be available with numerous three- and four-cylinder engines (some turbocharged) that will be mated to manual and automatic transmissions. There is even word of an all-wheel-drive (xDrive in BMW-speak) option in the little Bimmer's future. The Five-seat, five-door hatchback will feature many BMW options like iDrive and ConnectedDrive infotainment systems, leather, full power, MSport packages and more allowing consumers to spec their new 2 anyway they like (and can afford). The new 2 Series Active Tourer will be made available in Europe later this year, but recent reports put a US intro off for just over a year. At least we'll get this cutie. More to come... For more info, check out the press releases and videos after the jump.

Source: BMW - Press releases, pics, and videos after the "read more" jump.

Dodge releases affordable 2014 Journey SE AWD crossover with V6 power

Dodge's popular mid-size crossover, the Journey, is adding a new model for 2014. The Journey SE V6 AWD brings PentaStar V6 power with all-wheel drive wrapped in a more affordable package. With average car prices hovering near $30,000, the Journey SE V6 AWD is a relative bargain at a starting price of  $24,895 (plus taxes, license, fees, destination, and options). Your 25k gets you the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque), all-wheel drive, 17-inch wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), seven airbags, 4.3-inch touchscreen Uconnect Media Center, Keyless Enter ‘n Go with push-button start, power windows, power door locks, power heated mirrors, remote keyless entry, tilt-and-telescoping steering column, cruise control, deep-tint sunscreen glass, black side roof rails, LED tail lamps, and more. The new model represents an almost $2,000 savings over the closest comparable model, the Journey SXT AWD. For more info, check out the press release after the jump. The top pic is of the new model, all others are for reference and represent higher-level models.

Source: Dodge - Press release and pics (3) after the "read more" jump.

Nissan's first 21st century Datsun ready to Go for India debut - w/videos

Datsun is back as an entry-level econo brand for Nissan and India (notice the right-hand drive) is the first market to get the first 21st century Datsun named "Go." Few specifics are available for the Go, but I wouldn't expect to see any of the little scooters on US roads. The Go is an okay looking econobox that has decent styling with a nose that just might set it apart from the crowd. In the beginning, the Go will get a 1.2-liter engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission that will drive the front wheels. The five-seat Go will be joined by the seven-seat Go+ mpv very soon. Will this allow Nissan to go upmarket in areas (India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa at the start) that will get the new Datsuns or will this keep these probably "cheap-to-buy" (Go - under 400,000 rupees - about $6,500)  vehicles from diluting the Nissan brand? We shall see how Nissan's latest marketing idea works for them. It has worked for others but it will depend on Nissan's motivations. Check out the press releases (with videos) and additional pics after the jump and click on the link below to visit the Datsun Go website.

Source: Nissan - Press releases, pics, website, and video after the "read more" jump.

Honda announces refreshed 2014 Civic Si specs and prices

Honda has rolled out the new Civic Si Coupe and Sedan for 2014 with refreshed styling and more power. For many folks, the six-speed manual only specification is a problem and even Volkswagen has added a dual-clutch automatic to the GTI. But the good news is that the Coupe has more aggressive and angular styling to announce the performance boost. The side view (pic after the jump) is very nice and the front fascia is also stylistically very strong. Civics now have unique grilles and front clips for each individual model. The large (18-inch) wheels on the coupe are especially nice and fill out the wheel openings for a very sporty look. The 2.4-liter engine creates 205 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque yet still manages to return 32 miles (smiles?) per super unleaded gallon on the highway. Both the Civic Coupe and Sedan are well equipped (see spec charts) and prices begin at $22, 790 (+taxes, license, fees, $790 destination, options) for the Coupe with Si Sedans beginning at just $200 more. Summer tires add $200 and the Navigation package adds an additional $1,500 to both body styles. Compared to '13 Civic Sis, prices have increased just over one percent or $275. For more information, check out the press release, specification charts, and pics after the jump. 2014 Civic Si Coupes are at your local dealer now with Si Sedans (pics after the jump) arriving at the end of March.

Source: Honda - Press release, specification charts, pics (5) after the "read more" jump.

Compact 2015 Jeep Renegade debuts in Switzerland - w/videos

Some may question the need for a Jeep smaller than the new Cherokee, but here it is, the 2015 (I guess) Jeep Renegade. The Renegade shares its platform with a Fiat off-roader, but the new "cute-ute" has been sufficiently Jeep-ified to achieve Jeep's vaunted "Trail-Rated" level of ability (for the Trailhawk model). Even Jeep has to meet fuel economy standards and the growing market for small machines that fit specific niches so the Renegade hits the spot. Firstly, it's cute and the design should be appreciated by those in need of a small crossover-type of people mover with decent economy, those that want to make a style statement like the KIA Soul, et-al, and those who want a Jeep but really can't afford the bigger models but won't settle for anything less than a Jeep. If the pricing is right, the Fiat Chrysler Group will sell a lot of these. The interior is attractive, functional, but not too spartan and the Renegade should fill about any need (and wallet). The Renegade will be available with numerous engine/transmission/driveline combinations (16 total) for everything from economy cruiser to go-(just about) anywhere off-roading and front-wheel drive or two all-wheel drive systems (Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model). Jeep hasn't announced the US specs, but we can expect at leasr the 2.4-liter Tigershark four and one of the larger diesels (2.0-liter possibly) mated to the nine-speed automatic. As with many smaller cars today, the Renegade will be available with premium features like Uconnect infotainment, MySky open-air roof systems, back-up cameras, full-color instrument displays, and more. The Trail-rated, Trailhawk model (the grey and orange not-red cars in the pics) will feature Jeep Active Drive, 17-inch wheels, skid plates, Hill-Descent Control, tow bars, Selec-Terrain, and more. For all the available info, check out the extensive press release, pics (clickable), and videos after the jump. More to come... US Jeep customers can expect the Jeep Renegade later this year or in early 2015.

Source: Jeep - Press release, pics (7), and videos after the "read more" jump.

New VW Golf Sportsvan gets the TDI treatment

For those that aren't aware, TDI in Volkswagen-speak indicates that the vehicle is powered by a clean (usually) turbo-diesel engine and the new Golf Sportsvan is no exception. Let's talk Sportsvan first. The regular Golf Sportsvan (interior shots and the silver car with the press release) is a vehicle type that is very popular in Europe, the multi-purpose vehicle or MPV. MPVs are available in varying sizes from five- to seven-passenger capacities in compact footprints with the Ford C-Max being the only Euro-style MPV available in the US so far (although the C-Max is currently hybrid only in the US). While the new Golf is just reaching our shores, the chance of US consumers getting the opportunity to purchase this compact people-mover is unknown at this time even though they are very popular in other parts of the world. We can hope and now that VW is making their clean diesels available in almost every vehicle, the chances of seeing a new 2015 Golf Sportsvan TDI here is pretty good. There are parts of the US where the Jetta Sportswagon diesel is in high demand, so... For more info, check out the brief release after the jump.

Source: Volkswagen - Press Release after the"read more" jump.

Volkswagen unveils T-ROC compact utility concept (?) - w/video

Volkswagen unveiled the T-ROC SUV concept at the Geneva Motor Show. This concept provides hints at an upcoming compact SUV that will fit into VW's line-up below the Tiguan. Yes Monica, it's little. But it is a handsome thing with a unique honeycomb (-esque) grille, LED lighting (including spotlights) and a turbodiesel engine mated to VW's adjustable 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. I like the two-door body and the removable roof panels, but would a production version have those? The T-ROC (great name) uses the latest tech with cameras front and rear, digital instrumentation, LED lighting, digital climate control, and a portable tablet that houses the vehicle's infotainment system. Will it all see production? Probably not, at least today but it does showcase VW's future. Let's hope the T-ROC also foreshadows future Volkswagen design with its attractive detailing and proportions. It looks ready to go, so how about it VW? Stay tuned. A new, smaller VW "cute-ute" is on the way, so... Check out the fairly extensive (for a concept) press release and intro video after the jump.

Source: Volkswagen - Press release, pics, and video after the "read  more" jump.

New Audi TT quattro concept and production TTS coupe shown in Geneva - w/video and Update

Let's be honest with ourselves, what you see here is mostly the next Audi TT sportster. Delete the rear wing (except for possible gonzo performance models), take the wheels down a size or two (although these do look great), and put in an engine from Audi's current line-up, and voila, you've got the next TT. Audi's TT, with it's Bau Haus-inspired design, has always featured evolutionary design updates and this one is no different. You know at a glance that this is a TT and a looker it is. This concept features the updated look (with newer Audi grille design), quattro all-wheel drive (which is available in production), a clean new dash, and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder Turbo that puts out 420 hp (the 420 in the side stripes) that is mated to the all-wheel-drive system through an S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission. With the TT quattro concept's light weight, power, and chassis development, this would be one go-fast sports car. How much of the TT quattro concept can we expect to see at our local Audi Dealer you ask? Probably more than you'd expect. The hi-po engine is a distinct possibility (in some form), but let's hope for a cleaner rear-wing design. For more info, check out the press releases after the jump. This new TT should show up in the next year or so. Now let's try to get Audi to expand the TT range with the estate (shooting brake) model previously shown and possibly a four-door coupe version to appear after the requisite convertible. More to come...

Update: The extensive press release (with pics) for the production version of the new TT (including the TTS performance model) is included after the jump. Three production engines (at launch) feature power ratings from 184 to 310 hp mated to either a manual or dual-clutch automatic with front or quattro all-wheel drive. All the info available and a UK intro video appear after the jump to whet your automotive appetite...

Source: Audi - Press releases, pics, and video after the "read more" jump.