Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Carscoop's A to Z Guide to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show [Update No8]

Switzerland is not a country that springs to mind when you think about cars. It doesn't even produce cars on a large scale. Yet every March since 1905, it hosts one of the world�s most important motor shows at its second-largest city.

The 2012 Geneva Motor Show will open its doors to auto journalists on March 6 and to the public, between March 8 and 18. It will host 260 exhibitors, including 30 major car manufacturers.

According to the organizers, visitors at the 82nd Geneva International Auto Salon will see 180 world and European premieres of all sorts. If we had to name a single characteristic, we would say that car designer seem to have gotten their "mojo" back, having penned many handsome models.

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Marussia Shows the Geneva Crowd how the Russians do Sports Cars

Thanks to events like the Geneva Motor Show, we have the chance to see some very eccentric sports cars like the Marussia B2, which remains an extremely rare sight.

To fill the gaps in your automotive history, the B2 is an evolution of the Marussia's foray into the sports car segment, the B1, and it was presented in a world premiere at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

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Bentley Explains the Design of its New EXP 9 F SUV Concept

Contrary to popular belief, the design inspiration for Bentley's EXP 9 F SUV concept that is currently enjoying its world premiere at the ongoing Geneva Motor Show did not come from the London Taxi, or so the British firm's people tell us.

If you'd like to hear Bentley's designers explain themselves, you can do so by the following the break to watch the video.

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Mansory's Brawny McLaren MP4-12C

These are the first pictures of Mansory's take on the McLaren MP4-12C, which is proving to be extremely popular with the high-end tuning scene at the Geneva Motor Show.

Of all the customized McLaren MP4-12C's we've seen up until now, Mansory's tune is no doubt the most hardcore when it comes to looks.

The German firm starts with an assortment of aero components made out of carbon fiber that widen the vehicle by 60mm and include among other things, a new front bumper with a splitter, a prominent rear diffuser and a large rear wing.

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Dacia�s Affordable and Roomy Lodgy MPV will Start from Just Under �10,000 [Updated]

Up until now, if you wanted to pay around �10,000 for a roomy MPV in Europe, then your only option was to search for a used model, but that's about to change as Dacia has unveiled a new and affordable people carrier at the 82nd Geneva Motor Show today.

It�s named Lodgy and according to the Renault Group's Romanian brand, it will enter the European market with a starting price of just �9,900 (about US$13,300).

"Once again, Dacia is flouting convention by offering genuine five and seven-seater variants of its new Lodgy from just �9,900, a revolutionary price for a car of this type," reads Dacia's press blurb.

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Hamann Motorsports Turns the McLaren MP4-12 into the memoR

The fourth customized McLaren MP4-12C to debut at the 2012 Geneva Auto Salon comes to us from Hamann Motorsports and it's called the "memoR".

The Germany company says its goal was to give the McLaren supercar a more aggressive and racier look which it achieves through the two-tone black and red paintjob and wide body aero kit that adds numerous new parts such as the front and rear aprons, side panels and a rear diffuser.

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Mansory Grabs Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 from the Horns

Making its world premiere at the 82nd Geneva International Auto Salon is Mansory's first attempt to tune the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4. The notorious German tuning firm's wild proposal includes both styling and performance upgrades.

Mansory was never known for its subtleness and for better or for worse, its Lamborghini Aventador tune won't go by unnoticed.

The comprehensive body package sees the replacement of the front and rear fenders and the bonnet with new pieces that increase the car's width by 40mm up front and 50mm at the rear.

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Touring Superleggera Dances to the Tunes of the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante in Geneva [Photos + Video]

Felice Bianchi Anderloni, the man who founded the Milan-based Carozzeria Touring, had once said that �Weight is the enemy, air is the obstacle�. With a brief to design a car that would be �insensitive to the wind�, Touring�s designers created the now famous, Alfa Romeo 1900-based C52 Disco Volante racing concept back in 1952.

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the impressive concept, Touring Superleggera unveiled the Disco Volante 2012 at the 82nd Geneva Motor Show which will be produced in a limited number.

It�s a two-seater coupe with a front-central (i.e. placed behind the front axle) engine and a transaxle drivetrain.

The new Disco Volante features an integrated front bonnet and wings and a distinctive rear end, while at the same time borrowing some details from the 1952 original like the partly covered front wheels and the pronounced waistline.

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Honda Brings CR-V, NSX and EV-STER Concepts to the Geneva Motor Show

With the exception of the special edition Jazz Si, Honda didn't really have something new per se to share with us at the Geneva Motor Show as all three concept models displayed at its stand have already received their world premieres.

The most interesting prototype if of course the NSX, which is exhibited in Geneva with Honda instead of Acura badges. Seen for the first time in Detroit this past January, the study previews the design and technology direction for the second generation of the NSX.

Some of the highlights include the new hybrid all-wheel-drive system that utilizes a mid-mounted V6 engine and three electric motors.

Honda's second concept foreshadows the next CR-V for the European market that will make its official debut in production trim at the Paris Salon in the fall of 2012. No need to wait to see how it looks though as the 4th generation CR-V is already on sale in North America and Japan.

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New Lotus Exige S Roadster and Carbon-Bodied Evora GTE Unveiled in Geneva by Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion who after a three-year foray into the WRC returned to F1 with Lotus for the 2012 season, was on hand at the Geneva Motor Show to unveil the British carmaker�s two new models.

The first was the open-top version of the Exige S. The Roadster is the first Exige ever to be fitted with a soft-top roof, which Lotus claims, is both lightweight and easily removable.

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Honda Sports up the Jazz with a New Si Limited Edition in Geneva

Honda quietly revealed a new special edition version of its Jazz supermini at this week's 2012 Geneva Motor Show. It's called the Si and it has been designed exclusively for the European market combining a sportier look inside and out with an uprated chassis.

The first thing you'll notice on the Jazz Si is the new aero package that consists of new front and rear bumpers, with deep valances and prominent side skirts, along with a set of 16-inch alloy wheels fitted with low profile sport tires.

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New Kia Cee'd Wagon Debuts Alongside Hatch at the Geneva Motor Show

The brand-new, second generation Cee'd hatchback isn't posing to the crowd alone at Kia's Geneva Motor Show display as the Korean automaker also premiered its station wagon variant.

And while we have the pictures to show you, for some reason Kia has decided to withhold all details simply stating that it will release more information closer to its on-sale date, later this year.

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Morgan Charges to Geneva with All-Electric Plus-E Roadster

If you throw a stone in the air at any stand in this year�s Geneva Motor Show, chances are it will land on an all-electric or hybrid car. Even all-out supercars like the Honda/Acura NSX and the Infiniti Emerg-E have been electrified.

However, if we asked you to pick one brand that you believe won't have such a model on its stand then Morgan Motors would probably get your vote. But you�d be wrong: the British carmaker came to Switzerland with the the Plus E concept, an all-electric version of the Aero 8 roadster fitted with a manual gearbox.

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Geneva 2012: Opel and Vauxhall Make a Mokka out of the Buick Encore

General Motors has set its eyes on the small crossover market with the new Mokka that will be sold in Britain under the Vauxhall brand and the rest of the continent as an Opel.

The European version of the North American Buick Encore, which made its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, will compete against the Nissan Juke and the soon-to-be revealed in production form, Ford EcoSport.

The 4.28 meter long B-segment crossover has seating for five passengers and will be offered with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

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New SsangYong XIV-2 Convertible Concept Crossover Debuts in Geneva [Updated]

At last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, SsangYong displayed the XIV-1 Concept for a compact crossover in the likes of the Range Rover Evoque.

Now, the South Korean automaker has revealed a second body style of the study called the XIV-2 �convertible� at the 82nd Geneva International Auto Salon.

Whereas the XIV-1 was a five-door model with "suicide style" rear doors, the XIV-2, (which stands for eXciting User Interface Vehicle 2), is a three-door crossover featuring a one-touch automatic opening soft-top roof that incorporates the rear window and rolls back in a similar way to Fiat's 500C.

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Geneva 2012: Seat Toledo Prototype is One Step Away from Production

At this year's edition of the Geneva Motor Show, Seat is exhibiting it�s vision of what the�Skoda Mission L study should look like with the Toledo prototype.

As it seems, the Volkswagen Group has more or less given up on its dream of creating an Alfa Romeo brand out of Seat so the Spaniards are once again targeting economy-minded customers.

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Tata Takes a Snapshot of the Future with New Megapixel Concept in Geneva

This sleek looking concept model is the Tata Megapixel and it made its world premiere at the 82nd Geneva Motor Show this week.

The Megapixel is Tata's vision of what a modern city car should be in the not so distant future. It is a follow up to the three-door Pixel concept that was displayed at last year's Geneva Auto Salon, and which Tata says will form the base for a production model targeting Western markets such as Europe.

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Citro�n Previews Ford Focus ST Contender in Geneva with DS4 Racing Concept

General Motors' new French partner Citro�n wants a stake in the highly competitive hot hatch segment and it plans to do so with the new DS4 Racing that was revealed as a thinly disguised concept model at the 82nd Geneva International Auto Salon.

Citro�n's answer to the Focus ST and RenaultSport Megane is based on the five-door DS4 hatchback but features a more aggressive look thanks to a textured-effect matt grey paint and new carbon fibre components that include an air diffuser, front splitter and wheel arch extensions.

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Italdesign Giugiaro's Brivido GT in Martini Racing Livery Makes us Say Humana, Humana�

Just in case anyone was wondering what the Brivido sports car concept would look like in a racecar outfit, Italdesign Giugiaro surprised us in very positive way with the presentation of a GT version developed in partnership with Martini Racing at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

In this configuration, the Brivido gains a full aero package that consists of new front and rear bumpers, a front lip spoiler, side skirts, a redesigned bonnet, a large rear wing, a race-spec rear diffuser that incorporates new exhaust pipes and deep-dish, lightweight alloy wheels.

All these upgrades come together through a new sumptuous paint job with the famed Martini Racing livery.

Italdesign doesn't mention any changes under the hood.

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Toyota to Debut Redesigned 2013 Venza Crossover at the New York Auto Show

Excuse the interruption but we're taking a quick break from our Geneva Motor Show coverage to bring you some...ahem...mildly interesting news on the Toyota Venza crossover.

The Japanese automaker has just confirmed the presentation of the redesigned 2013 Venza at the upcoming New York Auto Show in April.

Toyota also released the first official image that partially reveals the tweaked front headlamp and grille assembly. According to the automaker, the styling changes will also include a new lower grille, fog lamps and rear taillights along with a fresh set of alloy wheel designs and exterior colors.

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Carlsson Adds Some Zing to the Smart Fortwo in Geneva

Together with its existing styling upgrades for both the exterior and the interior of the Smart Fortwo, German tuning house Carlsson presented a performance kit for the Daimler group's smallest model at this week's Geneva Motor Show.

Carlsson's CK10 package for the Fortwo includes a revised engine management system and a sport air filter that help lift the 1.0-liter petrol unit's peak output to 110hp (82kW) and torque to 158Nm (116.5 lb-ft).

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Hyundai gets Practical with New i30 Station Wagon that Makes its World Premiere in Geneva

This is the new generation of the Hyundai i30 Wagon and it was revealed at this week's 82nd Geneva International Motor Show.

It's a C-segment model that competes against the Ford Focus Estate and it is based on the five-door hatchback version of the i30 series, which will be sold as the Elantra GT in North America. The previous generation of the i30 Wagon continues to be marketed under the Elantra Touring nameplate in the States.

The wagon is 30mm taller and 185mm longer than the hatchback, which translates into more space for passengers and their luggage despite the fact that the wheelbase remains the same as the five-door model, at 2.650 mm.

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Gemballa Dresses Up McLaren MP4-12C for the Geneva Auto Salon

Perhaps surprisingly to some, but not so much to others, the McLaren MP4-12C has captured the attention of many tuners at this year's Geneva Auto Salon.

After Wheelsandmore, Mansory and FAB Design, German tuning outfit Gemballa has also presented its take on the British supercar. This is the first time that Gemballa has tuned a McLaren model.

"McLaren�s lightweight construction philosophy, exclusivity and client profile are a perfect fit for our own philosophy," says the German company's Managing Director, Andreas Schwarz.

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Renault Unwraps Production Version of All-Electric ZOE in Geneva, Announces Pricing

In October 2011, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that the alliance would heavily rely on its electric cars in the years to come. And true to his word, Ghosn has overseen several introductions of pure electric models such as the Fluence Z.E. and the Twizy.

At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the French automaker revealed yet another EV, the production version of the ZOE supermini that will go on sale in Europe this summer available with two equipment levels, the ZOE Zen and ZOE Intens.

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Kia Raises the Stakes with All-new 2012 Cee'd Compact Hatchback in Geneva

Hiding behind these two lovely presentations at Kia's Geneva Motor Show stand is the all-new, second generation Cee'd.

The South Korean firm's entry in the compact hatchback category with rivals like the Opel Astra and Ford Focus is larger, more stylish and promises to offer improved quality throughout over the outgoing model.

�Just as the original cee�d represented a major step forward for Kia in 2007, this second-generation model represents a further leap for the brand � both in terms of the capability and sophistication of the vehicle, and what it will do to drive further momentum in our European sales," commented Paul Philpott, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe.

The new Cee'd was designed and engineered in Europe with manufacturing taking place at the company's Zilina facility in Slovakia.

Compared to the previous model, the overall length of the new car has been is increased by 50 mm to 4,310 mm while overall height has been reduced by 10 mm to 1,470 mm by lowering the ride height.

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