Geneva Auto Show 2014: details of every new production model, part 3

Opel Adam Rocks & Adam S

The Adam Rocks is almost identical to the concept car, which was shown one year ago. Its all-around body cladding and 15 mm raised ride height give the Adam a more rugged appearance. The Rocks is exclusively available with a folding canvas roof called Swing Top and will go on sale in early Summer. Opel will also add new three-cylinder 1.0 Turbo Ecotec engines (90/115 hp) combined with a six-speed manual transmission to the Adam line-up. Moreover, Opel launched a new top-of-the-range Adam S, which features a 1.4 Turbo Ecotec engine with a maximum output of 150 hp. Opel-Adam-Rocks-Geneva-Autoshow-2014

Peugeot 108

The Peugeot 108 was the first of the next generation triplets manufactured in Kolin, Czech Republic to be revealed. The 108 now comes with many styling cues from the 208, 2008 and 308. The overall length has increased by 40 mm to 3,470 mm, while the width decreased by 35 mm to 1,620 mm as compared to the preceding 107 and the wheelbase is unchanged at 2,340 mm. The luggage capacity is similar to the C1, which means 196 liters with a puncture repair kit or 180 liters with a spare wheel. The base weight of 840 kg is remarkably higher than the outgoing 107. Like Citroën, Peugeot offers 3-door and 5-door versions and an open-top body style, the TOP!. There is a choice of two petrol engines: the 1.0 e-VTi and VTi 68 with CO2 emissions of 88 to 95 g/km or 97 g/km for the ETG-version with semi-automatic transmission. While Peugeot uses a 1.0-liter Toyota engine, the 1.2 VTi 82 (82 hp) has an in-house developed engine with CO2 emissions of 99 g/km. … Continue Reading …

Geneva Autoshow Report: more tuners and supercars per m2 than Dubai

The Geneva Auto Show may offer one of the smallest floor areas of the international auto show circuit, it’s all about density. And when it comes to supercars and tuners, there’s no place in the world where you will find more of the most outrageous creations per square meter than here at the Palexpo Convention Center.

Brands like Koenigssegg, Pagani and RUF would stand out of the crowd in any other auto show, but here in Switzerland, their exotic car offerings are almost too ordinary to be worth a second look. No wonder in order to be noticed, the Ferrari stand is larger than Lancia’s, RUF has a floor space almost as large as Porsche, and tuners are going through extremes to be noticed.

Mansory-Bentley-Rolls-Royce-Bugatti-Aventador-Geneva-Auto-Show-2014In that light, Mansory, famous for its ostentatious creations, usually considered “over-the-top” for western likes, keeps things relatively civilized this year. … Continue Reading …

Geneva Autoshow Report: Minicars

The Geneva International Autoshow featured many premieres, and some of the most important product launches  are in the minicar segment. In the coming months, a handful of new A-segment models will hit the European market, and the competition will be fiercer than ever. These cars have made great strides in “growing up”: departing from their budget roots and promising improved handling and comfort.

Renault Twingo

Renault-Twingo-Geneva-Autoshow-frontRenault has just launched the new, third generation Twingo, a car that shares its platform with the upcoming Smart Fortwo and Forfour. That means its engine is placed in the rear, under the luggage compartment, and it is also rear-wheel drive.

According to Renault head of design Laurens Van den Acker, the concept of a rear-engined, rear wheel drive citycar makes sense for a number of reasons: first, it helps create a spacious interior, as they have been able to make the car 10cm (4 inches) shorter than the outgoing model, while adding 22cm (8 inches) of space inside. This does come at the cost of luggage space, as the floor of the boot has been raised. Secondly, because there is no engine between the front wheels, the wheels can be turned in further, thus creating a smaller turning circle, which is ideal for city driving. And finally, the all-rear layout should be a recipe for “fun to drive”.  That is true indeed, if done right (evidence no. 1: Porsche 911, or basically every good sports car), but it could just as well mean absolutely disastrous driving dynamics if done wrong (evidence no. 2: Smart Fortwo). Let’s hope the chassis technicians from Renault Sport have been asked to take care of the handling, so it will drive as good as it looks.… Continue Reading …

ADAC awards returned after fraud, president steps down.

Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes are returning their “Yellow Angel” prizes to the ADAC and the president of the German automobile club is stepping down because of last month’s award scandal.

ADAC-president-Peter-Meyer-steps-downLast month, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung discovered that the results of the “Gelber Engel” award were manipulated by artificially increasing the number of voters, in order to add credibility to the award. For example: the number of votes for the winning Volkswagen Golf was increased tenfold.

Research by consulting firm Deloitte shows that there has been “deliberate manipulation ” and that the data processing was flawed. It became apparent that not only the number of votes was manipulated, but also the order of the results. The Golf would still have been the winner, but while the BMW 3-Series would officially have taken second place, but it wasn’t even in the top 5 of the results published by the ADAC. The Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class were each moved up one spot into second and third position respectively. Deloitte is now investigating whether a similar fraud has been committed with the award surveys from 2005 through 2013.… Continue Reading …

Favorability of hybrids still higher than for full electric vehicles

In a recent survey among 1.084 American consumers, conducted by Navigant Research, favorability ratings for different kinds of clean transportation concepts were measured, among which electric cars, hybrid cars, natural gas vehicles and biofuels.

Electric-Hybrid-Natural-Gas-Biofuel-vehicle-favorabilityConsumers held increasingly favorable opinions of these clean transportation concepts. Hybrid vehicles were considered favorable by two thirds of all respondents, electric cars, and natural gas vehicles were considered favorable by more than half of all respondents, while biofuels were favored by more than two-fifths of respondents (43%).

Interestingly, alternative fuels, natural gas vehicles, and biofuels have significant contrasting opinion ratings between the genders with significantly higher favorability reported by males. In general, favorability for these alternative fuel vehicles also tended to be higher among older and more educated respondents.… Continue Reading …