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Seoul 2009: Kia Double-Teases Sorento Replacement

Feb 25, 2009

If it seems like the Sorento has carried on basically unchanged forever, that's because it has. Other than a few mild alterations and additions, Kia's mid-size SUV has remained the same from its introduction in 2003 until today. That'll change later this year with the Sorento will migrate from a ladder-frame chassis to the Hyundai Santa Fe's unibody. Other details are thin, but the Sorento should use engines and transmissions from elsewhere in the Kia/Hyundai range, and should be right on top of the competition. The new car will go on sale later in 2009 after a debut at April's Seoul auto show. Two sketches follow the jump.

Geneva 2009: Bentley Continental GT Supersports, Fastest Bentley Ever

Feb 25, 2009

How could Bentley possibly make the Continental GT more impressive? Well, this new Supersports version reads like a laundry list of answers to that question. First, they'd remove the rear seat, adding extra structure and some beautiful leather in its place. Then, they'd drop in a set of Bugatti Veyron seats and a touch of carbon-fiber. With the cabin dealt with, they'd add unique bumpers and exhaust, along with massive wheels and shadowline black trim. In all, the changes save about 243 pounds compared to a regular Continental GT.

The weight savings are then combined with a tweaked, E85-capable W-12 producing 621 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque and a modified six-speed automatic with gearchange times that are twice as quick as usual. The results are predictably fantastic, delivering a 0-60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph. Wowza.

Geneva 2009: Alfa Romeo Mito GTA

Feb 23, 2009

The GTA edition of Alfa's adorable Mito has broken cover ahead of Geneva, and we've got to say it is a fantastic little Mini-fighter that we hope makes it over here as part of the Chrysler/Fiat deal. The coolest visual addition has to be the two center exhaust exits in the rear diffuser. They look like those of a VW R32, only bigger and cooler. And the dramatic flaring of the rear fenders--fantastic.

The engine, a 1.8-liter four, gets all sorts of goodies including direct-injection, variable valve timing, and turbocharging. It makes 240 hp, which should be more than adequate for this tiny hot hatch. The GTA, in addition to packing 90 extra horsepower, sits 20 mm lower on an active suspension system. Pictures are after the jump.

Geneva 2009: 2010 Audi TT RS Teasers, Engine MP3

Feb 20, 2009

It's been some time since Audi last built a turbocharged five-cylinder, but that engine layout is set to return soon with more power and better noises than ever with the TT RS, set to debut in Geneva. This MP3 from proves that second part. Audi's teaser press release, however, doesn't give any firm horsepower figures. Actually, it's one of the more vague pieces of text we've ever seen, with figures like "well over 300 hp," 0-62 mph in "nowhere near five seconds," and "overtaking is child's play" on the TT RS's way to a 155 mph limited top speed "only on paper." Whatever that means. We'll hopefully have more concrete stats to give you soon, but we can tell you that the RS isn't approved for sale in the U.S., at least yet. Teasers, front and rear, after the jump.

Sun Sets On GM High Performance Vehicle Operations

Feb 19, 2009

The writing was on the wall, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Just as GM's high performance division was on a serious roll--products like the turbo'd Chevy Cobalt SS, the Cadillac CTS-V, and the Pontiac G8 GXP were all built by the HPVO team--General Motors has disbanded its group of talented, true car guy engineers.

The announcement obviously comes as a result of the current economic climate, the push for fuel efficiency, and GM's viability plan just submitted to Congress. There are no plans for any high-performance variants of any cars going forward, so the current collection will last only until the product cycles are up. So go--go now--and get that HHR SS of your dreams. Seriously, this is sad--we've met the whole team at the performance division and they're some of the coolest, most dedicated guys in the business. They'll all reportedly be transfered to new, more mainstream products, and we're happy GM appreciates the work they've done. Here's to hoping they can all pass along some of their passion to the rest of the company in their new roles.

Cadillac CTS Coupe, Chrysler 300C, and Jeep Grand Cherokee All Debut In Chrysler/GM Government Documents

Feb 18, 2009

As you surely know, GM and Chrysler submitted proposals to Congress yesterday outlining how each company will survive the current economic climate. While the 300 or so combined pages were mostly depressing for car lovers, there were a few exciting pages. Some of those pages even had pictures. Pictures of new, unseen cars. They include a front three-quarters shot of the production Cadillac CTS coupe, along with renderings of the fronts and interiors of the next-generation Chrysler 300C and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which we already know will debut at the New York show in April. Not surprisingly, considering this proposal was to get more money from the government, all three look quite nice. See them after the jump.

Geneva 2009: Infiniti Essence Concept Takes C-Pillars To Wild New Places

Feb 17, 2009

Congratulations, you've officially been teased by Infiniti. How does it feel? We'd describe it as hurtful, yet strangely satisfying. The teaser photo shown here also brings out some other mixed emotions, as we wonder whether this squiggly-line C-pillar is attractive and original or just plain odd, like the Nissan Maxima's headlights. While we haven't seen the whole car yet, we'll at least venture a guess that the design element shown here will be polarizing. Hopefully the interior of Infiniti's Geneva concept--called "Essence"--won't split opinions, as it has been professionally trimmed by Louis Vuitton. The concept celebrates 20 years of Infiniti cars (except in Europe, where the concept debuts) and also will be an "inspiring exploration into the brand's future." We think that translates to "Next Generation M," as a new version of the mid-size sedan is due out next fall. See the full photo and release after the jump.

Hyundai Equus: No More Sketches, We've Got The Real Thing

Feb 17, 2009

That's right--it looks like there won't be any more "official sketches" of the Equus, Hyundai's Genesis on steroids that may or may not make it to the U.S. Two pictures, apparently from scans of a Korean market dealer pamphlet, hit the web today showing the new S-class-sized machine in all its glory. What we can tell so far is that it'll use a 4.6-liter Tau V-8 (look at the numbers on the rear) and that the earlier sketches were pretty accurate. While we're still not sure about the car's styling, it is at least less generic than the Genesis. From what we can tell, it borrows heavily from just one car, the new Buick LaCrosse. See the full pictures in our forums.

Geneva 2009: Rinspeed Meets Annual Concept Car Quota With iChange

Feb 16, 2009

We're not exactly sure why Rinspeed keeps rolling out these extravagant, extroverted concepts at the Geneva show (it being a company that doesn't build production cars and all) but we certainly don't mind. Every year, the Swiss company delivers on giving its home crowd a truly fantastic vehicle. If not producing a full range of dealership-sold vehicles has an advantage, it is that Rinspeed is able to take more spectacular photos than most companies and churn out press releases that would make most PR types cry.

On to the car--the iChange is Rinspeed's 2009 Geneva concept, and it is predictably outrageous. The car is a three-seat supercar that easily converts to a single-seater by the push of a button that drops the rear of the car down. It is powered by a 150kW motor capable of delivering 0-62 mph times of just over four seconds and a top speed, thanks to a six-speed Subaru WRX gearbox, of 137 mph. Solar panels on the roof operate the HVAC system, while an iPhone operates most of the controls inside. Good luck with the press release after the jump; we'd suggest clearing your next twenty minutes.

BMW 5-series GT Progressive Activity Vehicle Shot Ahead of Debut at Private Event

Feb 13, 2009

BMW's 5-series based PAS, which will be known as the 5-series GT, made its unofficial debut at a private event in Germany last night. A set of photos slipped out, unsurprisingly, and they've made it into our forums. We'll bring you the official photos and information later today, but for now hit the link below for the early pictures.