Bentley Diamond Series Continental GT & Arnage R

Diamonds are forever

Bentley unveils two
ultra-luxurious versions of the Arnage R and the Continental GT

Celebrating its 60th anniversary of the historic Crewe factory, Bentley is going to show two ultra luxurious versions of its Continental GT Coupe and 4door Arnage R Sedan, bothed dubbed "Diamond Series".

The Continental GT Coupe Diamond Series will get among others, massive 20 inch alloy wheels, carbon ceramic brakes and a series of special badges. The British maker plans to build overall, 400 Diamond Series Continental GT’s.

The Arnage R "Diamond Series" will be even more unique as only 60 models of this version will be built. Bentley’s top range sedan will differ from "plain" versions thanks to its 19-inch alloy wheels, 60 year Union Flag badges, special leather interior and the Flying B mascot on the radiator, a feature that was last seen in a production version of a Bentley model back in the early 70’s.

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Mitsubishis Concept-EZ MIEV


An “electric” proposition with plenty of space for the near future

These are the latest –real life- pictures of Mitsubishis Concept-EZ MIEV compact mono-box concept vehicle which will make its world debut at Geneva .

The Concept-EZ MIEV showcases Mitsubishi’s vision for next-generation electric vehicles that employs in-wheel motors and a high-energy-density lithium-ion battery as core technologies.

The prototype uses a 20kW outer rotor-type in-wheel motor on each wheel to generate a maximum 80kW (110PS) of power. Maximizing the space freed up by the design, which

does away with a central powertrain (thus resulting in a low flat floor layout), Concept-EZ MIEV realizes roomy interior space with an interior height that matches that of a large mono-box model despite its relatively low overall height of 1,750 mm.

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Volkswagen Concept A SUV

Tribal wars
VW study shows an “avant-garde” cross between sports cars and SUV’s, but it also gives us a sneak preview of its "mini" Touareg SUV, the 2007 Beduin

Concept A or in other words, Volkswagen’s preview of its new compact SUV model which will be built at the Palmela plant in Portugal from 2007. The prototype seems very close to the production model which will be named Beduin, as Volkswagen headquarters decided to follow the same name strategy as the Touareg SUV, which was named after a Saharan Tribe. The name was registered in Germany in August 2004 and worldwide last January.

The prototype, that combines sports car design with SUV elements, gives us a flashback to the late 80’s as it “borrows” a some styling cues from the Porsche Panamera Concept of the late 80’s, which never found its way to production.

The study shown in Berlin is powered by a 110 kW (150 hp) 1.4 Twincharger (TSI) engine. Its power reaches the wheels via a six gear transmission and an all wheel drive 4MOTION.

Although the concept dumps its B column in favour of rear hinged “wing” doors, this solution is highly unlikely to find its way in the production model. The latter will be based on the Golf Plus MPV platform and it will wear 1.6 FSI (115 hp), 2.0 FSI (150 hp), 1.4 TSI (170 hp) and 2.0 TFSI (200 & 220 hp) engines as well as a serious of diesel direct fuel injection (TDI) engines with diesel particle filter. When it reaches the European and US market in 2007, the Beduin SUV will take on the likes of the Nissan X-Trail, BMW X3 and Land Rover Freelander II. It is also assumed that this model may also base an Audi SUV model.


Volkswagen has revealed its latest design study, the Concept A, a crossover between a sports car and a compact SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle). At 4,348 mm long and 1,854 mm wide, Concept A is 144 mm longer and 95 mm wider then the Golf Mk V. The height of Concept A is 1,551 mm, compared with 1,485 for the Golf; while its 2,602 mm wheelbase is 24 mm longer than the Golf’s.

The concept combines a sleek coupe-style silhouette with the raised stance of an SUV. At the front, the shield-like front grill which is common to the Passat & Jetta has been developed to emphasise off-road styling by forming part of the underbody protection. High-efficiency LED headlights add a further modern touch.

At the rear, Concept A has a practical hatchback tailgate; but this is coupled to a pick-up style fold-down rear section beneath the rear LED light clusters. This hatch can be opened independently and remain open while driving so long loads can be carried. Concept A does away with the traditional B-pillar. It features opposing opening wing doors which allow easy access for front and rear passengers as well as giving a feeling of space and light. This airy feel is enhanced by concertina-style soft-top which slides all the way back to the C-pillar. Inside are four sculpted, patent leather seats and ultra-modern facia with stylish and ergonomic controls.

Under the bonnet is a 150 PS TSI engine: this uses Volkswagen’s latest turbo and supercharger technology for maximum performance but minimum fuel consumption. Designers say alternative engines, including TDI diesel units, could also be used in the concept. Whatever its source, power is distributed via six-speed DSG automatic transmission to all four 20-inch wheels using the 4MOTION system currently employed in the Passat and Golf R32.

Concept A made its world debut today in Berlin and will be revealed to the public at the Geneva Auto Salon which starts at the end of this month. Production plans for the vehicle have not been confirmed. However, the concept further expands Volkswagen’s model range, at a time when customers’ needs continue to diversify.




4,348 mm


1,854 mm


1,551 mm

Wheel base

2,602 mm

Overhang front

925 mm

Overhang rear

821 mm

Track gage front

1,546 mm

Track gage rear

1,541 mm



1.4 TSI (Twincharger)

Max. output

110 kW / 150 PS

Drive train/Wheels


Six gear transmission

Axle drive

4MOTION all wheel drive

Wheels front

10Jx20 – ET 42

Wheels rear

10Jx20 – ET 28

Tire dimensions

295/40 ZR 20

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Opel Signum Sport 2.8 V6 Turbo S

Signum gets a “blow”

New 2.8 V6 Turbo 250 hp engine for top model

After its 2006 facelift, Opel decided to add a bit of sporty touch to its top of the range model. The Signum will wear the same 2.8 V6 turbocharged engine that the Vectra OPC uses. Even though an engine upgrade is always welcome, I still wonder –as probably most of you do too, is what exactly this model represents and in which category does it want to compete. The answer to the latest could easily be the same category as the Renault Vel-Satis, Citroen C6 and the Lancia Thesis did…

Press Release:Rüsselsheim. The new name for Opel’s flagship and top model in the Signum range is the faster, more powerful and more exclusive “Signum Sport 2.8 V6 Turbo S”, debuting at the Geneva Motor Show (March 2 - 12, 2006). The 2.8-liter, V6 engine with twin-scroll turbocharger and 184 kW/250 hp delivers maximum torque of 350 Nm from 1800 to 4500 rpm for superb pulling power. The ultra-modern high-tech engine provides very high driving performance with moderate fuel consumption. The new Signum Sport 2.8 V6 Turbo S accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 7 seconds, has a top speed of 250 km/h and average fuel consumption of 10.6 liters per 100 kilometers. These values refer to the version with six-speed manual transmission as standard. A six-speed automatic gearbox is also available. The Signum Sport 2.8 V6 Turbo S can be ordered now, with prices starting at 35,290 euros.

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Audi Geneva Premiers

Hide & Seek

Audi announced it will show three World Premieres in the Swiss auto show
Audi just issued a “Spartan” press release stating that it will show three World Premieres in the Geneva Show. Although it is still early to assume anything, I speculate that the three new premieres may consist 3 of these models: next generation TT Coupe, A6 Allroad, R8 supercar and a concept version of its upcoming A4 based SUV, which will be put against the BMW X3

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Daihatsu Terios SUV 2006

Diehard…part II

Daihatsu presents its european version of the Be-go compact SUV which will replace the Terios

Toyota’s sister company Daihatsu, will debut its second generation Terios 4x4 SUV at ‘The 76th Geneva International Motor Show’. On sale in Europe in early May, the totally new Terios is actually a renamed Be-go which is sold in Japan.

As you can see, the Daihatsu compact SUV could easily be mistaken for a shrunken RAV4, something that is not at all bad considering the former Terios design.

Under the hood lays a larger 1.5 litre engine with 105 hp, replacing the 1.3 of the previous Terios. I just hope that Daihatsu has vastly improved Terios on road driving handling as the previous model was let’s say, dangerous, at least…


· Totally new Daihatsu Terios 4x4 debuts at Geneva Motor Show

· Considerably bigger than before with new 1.5 litre engine

· Genuine off-road ability – full-time 4WD with diff-lock

· Stylish, convincing SUV design but compact and agile

· ‘Politically Correct’ fuel economy – 40.4 mpg Extra Urban

· Lowest exhaust emissions in class at 186 g/km

· Four-door, five-seat body with space for mountain bike

· First European deliveries early May

· Unveiled in Geneva on Daihatsu Stand at 1.15 pm, Tuesday, 28 Feb

Dynamic Design, Convincing Credentials

Its roomy, four-door, five-seat body succeeds in being compact yet practical, avoiding the bulk, high fuel consumption and negative image of some 4x4s.

Designed to appeal to young families and older people seeking the traditional 4x4 qualities of visibility, bad-weather traction and versatility, the new Terios also offers small car running costs and manoeuvrability.

Its turning circle is a tight 9.8 metres (kerb-to-kerb) for the S and SE and a still hatchback-like 10 metres for the bigger-tyred SX, while the SX body length is between that of the new Renault Clio and larger Megane.

Compared to the previous model, the new Terios 1.5 SX is 230 mm longer at 4,075 mm and a significant 190 mm wider at 1,745 mm. It is 45 mm higher but purely because of its standard roof rails. The entry-level ‘S’ model – which lacks roof rails – is actually 5 mm lower than before.

Greatly boosting the new Terios’s tough, stable stance are front and rear tracks measuring 1,450 and 1,480 mm respectively – a massive 145 and 170 mm greater than before. Meanwhile, the wheelbase – at 2,580 mm – grows by 180 mm.

Complementing this are especially large 16 ins wheels for all models with either 215/65R tyres for the entry-level Terios 1.5 S manual and higher-spec SE automatic or beefy 235/60R tyres for the manual SX.

Versatile Interior

The versatile interior offers mid-sized hatchback passenger space with a clever split fold-and-tumble rear seat which liberates a 1,290 mm maximum floor length – long enough to take a mountain bike.

Even with the rear seat in use the 380 litre capacity boot is capable of taking four 45" golf bags, four vertically-stacked mid-sized suitcases or a typical baby buggy. Most models also have load-floor securing hooks.

Sprightly, Efficient Powertrain

Based on the Sirion’s 1.3 litre DOHC 16-valve petrol engine, the new Terios has a larger 1.5 litre capacity, producing 105 PS at 6,000 rpm and a flexible 103 lb. ft of torque at 4,400 rpm.

Top speed for manual models is almost 100 mph and over 93 mph for the automatic, while the Terios 1.5 S manual records 40.4 mpg on the Extra Urban Cycle and the Terios 1.5 SE automatic not far behind at 39.8 mpg.

The short-throw five-speed manual gearchange is light and slick, while the four-speed automatic is both quick-reacting yet capable of selecting a higher gear during more gentle driving, aiding fuel economy and refinement.

Meanwhile, all new Terios models have a full-time 4WD system with a fixed 50/50 front to rear torque-split and centre differential which eliminates axle wind-up – the phenomenon of the steering becoming increasingly heavy on full-lock.

Because of this 50/50 torque split, high-speed stability and slippery surface traction is greatly enhanced compared to most rivals. These models are usually rear-wheel drive with selectable 4WD or effectively front wheel-drive, only calling on 4WD when sensors detect wheelspin.

A fascia-mounted switch activates the electronically-controlled differential-lock. This further aids traction in mud or deep snow, while short front and rear overhangs and a 190 mm ground clearance also signal serious off-road ability. The new Terios has a front approach angle of 38 degrees with a rear of 37 degrees.

The compact engine is mounted in-line, followed by the gearbox. A centre differential transfers torque to both the front and rear axles via two separate propeller shafts.

Sporty Handling From New Chassis

The new Terios benefits from a totally new monocoque platform with a revised chassis tuned for car-like, confidence-inspiring handling with vastly improved ride and stability compared to the previous model.

Aided by its considerably wider front and rear tracks, the new Terios features front MacPherson struts, lower wishbones and an anti-roll bar.

The five-link rear suspension has variable-rate coil springs and near vertical rear shock-absorbers which improve damping and therefore comfort, pitch and roll.

Compared to the old Terios, the front anti-roll bar is of a new design, the revised hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering gear achieves excellent accuracy and feel, while the bump stops better control axle articulation.

In addition, an increased shock-absorber rebound stroke improves rough terrain driveability.

At the rear, a new lateral rod reduces axle squirm and benefits refinement, a newly-designed upper control arm enhances stability, a new shock-absorber reduces brake judder and a longer suspension stroke improves ride comfort.

Other rear suspension improvements include a more compact design resulting in a lower boot floor and a new design of spring and lower control arm which reduce rear differential noise.

Outstanding Safety Measures

The new Terios has outstanding safety measures with in-house tests giving results equal to a Euro NCAP 4-Star occupant protection and 3-Star pedestrian protection.

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Kia “cee’d” concept

Cee...ya in Geneva

New Kia “cee’d” concept points to future C segment class car

After the Picanto, Sorento, Sportage and Rio models, Kia is going to give it a shot at the very popular C segment class with an all new compact hatchback. We are going to get a taste of the car at the Geneva Show with the concept “cee’d”.

The forthcoming compact passenger car, codenamed “E.D.” (European Developed?) is
designed specifically for the European market and it will be produced at Kia’s new plant in Slovakia. According to my information, the “cee’d” will be taking the European roads at the end of 2006 competing against cars like Ford Focus, Opel Astra and the Volkswagen Golf. It is also speculated that in 2007, the compact hatchback will be available in the US and the Asian markets

PRESS RELEASE: (SEOUL) February 16, 2006 -- Kia Motors will unveil an exciting new concept car at the 76th Salon de l’Automobiles, in Geneva, Switzerland at the end of this month. The stunningly attractive, precisely styled show car, named cee’d (pronounced ‘seed’), is based on the forthcoming all-new C-segment model which Kia will begin building at its first-ever European assembly plant in Slovakia from December 2006.

With its tough appearance, combining strongly solid forms with sensitively flowing lines, jewel-like detailing and a broad stance, cee’d points towards the future elements of Kia’s evolving design language.

“Our design brief was to create a ‘teaser’ for the all-new Kia which has been designed entirely in Europe and will make its world premiere at the Paris Show in September,” explained Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Kia, European Design Centre. “We wanted to make cee’d as beautiful, as exquisitely detailed and precisely executed as possible. We wanted to introduce this concept as the starting point for the new design DNA for Kia, to highlight that this car is designed in Europe and made in Europe, to fulfill 100% of European customer needs.”

The cee’d has several of the core design elements of two earlier Kia cars -- the Sorento SUV and A-segment Picanto. With this concept car Kia is making these design elements even more understandable to the public. cee’d is a new stage in Kia design, the beginning of communicating its new design language.

cee’d features flowing lines carried through strong forms. The major flow-line runs from low on the nose spoiler, around the grill, over the bonnet, up the A-pillar, along the roof rail to the tailgate spoiler, down the C-pillar and around the rear bumper -- enveloping the whole car.

At the Geneva Show, cee’d is finished in ‘English Pewter’ bespoke exterior paint, blended to give the external surfaces a unique luster that is echoed by the interior. The concept car will be displayed on a low, rotating glass turntable so that visitors can fully appreciate the interior styling, as well as the exterior form. The extended, flared wheel arches envelop bespoke 19-inch diameter polished aluminum wheels sporting 265/30 R19 low-profile tires.

Full details of the cee’d concept car, the all-new Kia Carnival MPV and 2006 upgraded Sorento SUV will be available at the Kia press conference to be held on February 28 in Hall 5 at 12.30 hrs (local time).

The Geneva Show concept car is named cee’d for two reasons. ‘CEE’ to symbolize that both the concept and the forthcoming production model are ‘made in Europe’ with European consumers in mind. And to represent the ‘seed’ for future growth in Kia sales, which the new model will undoubtedly ensure.

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Dodge Hornet Concept

Me not so Horny...

Dodge is ramping up its European presence as its going to unveil a compact concept car in the Geneva show. The Hornet seems to be a bit more than just a concept.

Rumors have it that this peculiar looking concept, may very well be the base for an all new compact car from Dodge that will compete in the B Segment that consists of cars like the Fiat Grande Punto and Toyota Yaris that just came to the US.

Under the hood of the Hornet lays a 1.6 liter-16-valve, overhead cam supercharged four-cylinder engine putting out 170 horesepower. While the engine makes me go mmm I can't say the same for the concepts appearance as it looks like a Scion that just had plastic surgery after a good smash on a Ram pick-up truck…

Press Release: Internationally Sized, Amped With American Attitude

2006 Dodge Hornet Concept Set to Create A Buzz

Geneva, Switzerland – Rally-ready and eager to go, the new Dodge Hornet concept vehicle is designed to bring to the B-segment market a unique blending of European sensibility regarding engine size and overall footprint with an American flare for aggressive attitude and flexible interior space.

“We wanted the Hornet to be dynamic, nimble, fun to drive, and have an adaptable space-efficient interior,” said Mark Moushegian, principal exterior designer. “At the same time we set out to create a vehicle with a uniquely American character to expand the image and presence of the Dodge brand in Europe and international markets, especially in the entry-level market.”

“We went for a rallly-inspired look—robust, capable, and most definitely not ‘cutesy.’ We wanted a distinct ‘edge’ to the design. We especially wanted to push the envelope of interior volume. That’s why the Hornet is almost as wide as a C-segment vehicle,” Moushegian continued. Consequently the Hornet’s chunky, wheels-to-the-corner silhouette imparts the fun of assertive motoring to even the most mundane of errands.

With its wide stance, the Hornet is solidly planted on the road. Up front, the signature Dodge crossbar grille is set above an exposed engine intercooler flanked by front brake air ducts and fog lamps. The raised plateau on the hood features a recessed scoop on the driver’s side to funnel air to the engine air box. Under the hood is a 1.6L 16-valve OHC supercharged I/C four-cylinder engine putting out 127 kW (170 hp)/224 N m (165 lb.-ft.) of torque @ 4000 rpm.

The muscular side view is dominated by the large 19-inch diameter open-section aluminum wheels designed to show off the “mechanicals,” including the gold-colored brake calipers. The arching wheel flares and notched sill are complemented by curving body surfaces that “spear out” into the full front and rear opposed half-doors which, in section, are quite shallow so as to maximize the interior space. The framed doors open to reveal the absence of a B-pillar, while the three-window side glass terminates in a dynamic wedge-shaped quarter window.

Inspired by the look of fashion sunglasses, all the glass in the vehicle, including the oversize sunroof, is rendered in a deep “Blue View” tint which contrasts vividly with the car’s Liquid Silver exterior.

“The idea is that the car would be available in a limited number of colors,” Moushegian said. “The customer selects the contrasting glass color of his or her choice as an accent.” Inspired by the legendary Dodge Viper, dual “skunk stripes” in Beryllium Gray boldly traverse the hood, roof, overhanging rear defuser wing and the liftgate, including the “sky view” sunroof which offers a panoramic outlook overhead for both front and rear passengers.

Set in matte metallic gray tiered bezels and grouped under clear covers, all exterior lamps share a common “mechanical” style vocabulary that features prominent circular elements plus “triple orange slice” front and rear turn signals. Similar repeater lamps are set into the side mirrors which also incorporate auxiliary rallye lamps. The circular theme is reprised by three-inch diameter dual exhaust tips propelled through the rear chin spoiler.

“Like the exterior, the interior is geared around young rallye enthusiasts,” said John Sodano, principal interior designer. “Our intention was to maximize the interior volume by pushing all interior surfaces to the perimeter of the vehicle as much as possible. I studied images of space capsule interiors, since they are designed for high efficiency in a limited space. I wanted the Hornet inside to have a functional, ‘engineered’ look, but with pleasing surfaces and materials.”

Extreme flexibility also is central to the sporty interior. The space-saving foam seats are exceptionally slim but comfortable, with the striking satin-silver finished aluminum framing deliberately exposed. Seat bolsters are covered in a smooth, black urethane-coated fabric while a black, fine-woven textured Pique cloth is used on the cushion and back inserts. Belts are integral with the seats.

Good-looking as they are, the seats’ real beauty lies in their adaptability. Both the passenger front bucket seat and the 40-60 three-passenger rear seats fold forward and collapse to the floor to provide a flat load bed. To facilitate this, the headrests fold forward to stow between the seat back and cushion. The cabin floor is covered with an attractive and durable honeycomb-texture rubber.

In addition, the rear seats also flip rearward to stow in back, flush with the liftgate sill. This position provides for the highest possible vertical storage behind the front seats. When upright, the rear seats track rearwards to provide an additional 225 mm of legroom for rear seat passengers. Accessible to passengers regardless of the fore-aft seat position, overlong grab bars are mounted high on each rear quarter and also serve as clothes hangar racks.

The crisp black and slate gray interior is designed for both style and utility, with surfaces having a disciplined, space-saving planar look. The driver’s door trim panel, for example, contains a first aid kit, open storage bin, and a closed case with carrying handle that can be removed from the car. The passenger door boasts both open and closed bins plus a longer open bin with bungee cords to retain stowed items. All bins are removable and can be easily rearranged to suit each customer’s requirements. Moreover, the designers envision the Hornet as a vehicle that can be easily customized through the purchase of add-on exterior and interior parts and accessories, allowing owners to personalize their cars to express individual needs and desires.

Both front doors also have a hinged storage pocket just above the remote handle. The driver’s side rear door contains a handy beverage cooler while the door opposite boasts a fold-out table module. On all doors, cloth-covered armrests with integral pull cups are underlined by narrow satin silver moldings while side air bags are concealed in the Pique cloth bolsters.

Designed to accommodate both left- and right-hand drive, the modular instrument panel features twin horizontal Pique cloth wrapover pads divided by a satin silver center stack topped by a fixed navigation screen with non-glare glass. The pads front shallow open storage trays directly ahead of the driver and front seat passenger, with storage for smaller items provided in divided bins below. The center stack also accommodates large, easy-to-use entertainment and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system controls whose circular elements mimic the exterior lamp detailing, “because,” explains Sodano,” we sought to create a common style architecture for the exterior and interior.” Ten spherical speakers in varying sizes are supplied in the cabin, two on each front door and three on each quarter panel.

The three-circle, six-gauge delta-shaped instrument binnacle with attached hood moves with the steering column while the steering wheel itself features a textured, molded rubber rim and three “tuning fork” spokes that echo the exterior wheels. A freestanding cantilevered center armrest “floats” over the front floor console, pivoting downward to permit unfettered access to the six-speed manual shift lever during aggressive driving.

Tough, brash and eager to be off, the Dodge Hornet concept vehicle brings to the competitive entry-level B-segment market an ideal combination of American fun and European function.

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