Sbarro Alfa Romeo Concept Geneva 2006

Sbarro's radical concept of a mid-engine AlfaRomeo at the Geneva Motor Show

Based on the theme of “interpreting Alfa’s glorious history”, this fully operational prototype, is one of my personal favourites at this years Geneva Auto Show. Although Sbarro concepts aren’t usually characterized as setting trends, this prototype revives Alfa’s fabulous styling history.

Designed as a mid-engined sports coupe, the concept is far more extreme than anything to come out in the future from Alfa Romeo’s own Centro Stile. Included on the Sbarro show car is an interesting approach to the front spoiler, incorporating an aerofoil positioned across the nose, broken only by the traditional Alfa Romeo ‘scudetto’ grille. The nose section also feature large individual scoops for cooling the front brakes, as well as spolier moulded into the bottom of each fender.

The concept car also incorporates gull wing doors, the top section of which being fabricated totally from glass, separated only by a central beam to provide an H pattern when viewed from above. Generous rear intakes, similar in shape to those on the Ferrari Enzo, feed air to Alfa’s 3.2 JTS V6 engine

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2007 Dodge Avenger

Dodge’s Geneva Presentation Video unveils a new model, which may be the new Avenger

While I was watching the press conference video of Dodge Geneva Presentation, I noticed something very interesting. At the 29th second of the video (Exactly after the clip of the new 2007 Jeep Compass and the Autoweek magazine cover with the Chrysler 300C) there are two snap shots of an unknown car which is neither a Caliber nor a Charger.

To prove this, look at the rear and front view of these two models and compare them with the video pictures. This unknown car may very well be Dodge’s new mid sized sedan, Avenger, programmed for production latter this year or early 2007.

To see the video click here: LINK

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Fioravanti Skill Concept – Fiat Grande Punto Cabrio Press Release

Geneva Show Press Release:

For the 2006’s edition of the Swiss motor show, Fioravanti proposes, with the prototype Skill, an innovative concept of vehicle’s transformability.

This technical proposal evidences the Fioravanti’s attitude to the automotive field that goes ahead the project itself, involving different activities at different levels : from strategic marketing with proposals of new products, to the research with new patents, from the vehicle’s architectural to the style till the engineering studies for the prototypes feasibility.

With Skill, based on the Fiat Grande Punto, Fioravanti proposes a new kind of product mainly dedicated to young people: a “fun pick up spider” that, thanks to a boot capacity of 750 l. and to an integrated structure, allows to easily carry: bikes, ski, snowboards, surfboards, go-kart…

After the patent showed in Geneve 2001 on the Alfa Romeo brand and then applied on the Ferrari Superamerica, Skill shows a new Fioravanti patent concerning the theme of retractable rigid roofs.

Also this solution is characterized by a simple cynematic and allows to keep the weight in the dynamically safer area. The roof, doing a rotation of 90°, and the rear window doing a translation, they lodge their self in a vertical position in a specific area between the seats and the boot itself.

The rear pillars contain the roof and the rear window moving mechanisms, they are also utilized for further integrated functions such as: the roll bar, the stop and the boot lights and the loudspeakers.

The Skill technical solutions could permit, by suitable synergies and small investments , to have a new accessible product and to increase the range with another version:

• A coupè easily transformable in a spider with a full capacity boot

Dimensions: Length : 4030 mm. Width: 1690 mm.

Heigth: 1470 mm. Wheelbase: 2510 mm.

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Mazda3 MPS - MAZDASPEED3 Press Release

Press Release: With its compact, lightweight body and maximum power of more than 184 kW/250 PS generated by an 2.3Turbo engine, Mazda3 MPS - MAZDASPEED3 is one of the highest perfor­mance sports compacts with front-wheel drive on the road today.

Mazda3 MPS -or MAZDASPEED3 in the US, is the second vehicle in the Mazda Performance Series, following the Mazda6 MPS launched in Europe two months ago. This high-performance sedan is equipped with the same MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine as the Mazda3 MPS, and incorporates a 4WD system and has a GT character with the accent on a feeling of stability. In contrast, the Mazda3 MPS uses a FWD layout to maximize the inherent agile handling characteristics of its lightweight and compact body. In addition, the FWD configuration permitted more affordable pricing, allowing Mazda the opportunity of offering Zoom-Zoom to a wider audience in an extremely fun-to-drive package.

MPS Design DNA – the Harmony of Refinement and Sensuality

Mazda3 MPS styling pursues a look of strength and solidity in a design that conveys the car's unmatched dynamic performance at a glance. Its form is characterized by boldly flared front fenders, and effective use of strong edges on the bonnet and other elements. These combine with the functional forms of the bumpers, spoil­ers and other parts developed for outstanding aerodynamic performance, to make a radical Zoom-Zoom statement in an FWD sports compact. Overall, Mazda3 MPS’s design is sporty and strong, befitting a high-performance model, without exaggerated styling cues. Instead, the focus is on creating a refined presence, which owners can take pride in. This approach is an important facet of MPS design DNA, also adopted for the Mazda6 MPS.

Exterior Design

The integrated form of the 5-door hatchback of the base model was the starting point for the individualistic statement Mazda3 MPS makes about the Zoom-Zoom spirit. Although it has the athletic form of a high-performance model, it also realizes a refined, supple look calculated to appeal to the aesthetic sensibility of the more mature driver. Its front fenders are 20 mm wider than on the base model to provide clear­ance for the large tyres and to evoke a well-planted stance. And to forge a uniform identity for the MPS series, two design elements are shared with the Mazda6 MPS: strong press lines flowing back along the bonnet from the upper part of the five-point grille used as the air intake for the intercooler, and the aerody­namically shaped front bumper and large lower grille serving as the air intake for the radiator. Additionally, the "floating image" angular fog lamps used here for the first time communicate the vehicle's unique personality. An athletic yet elegant side view is created by aerodynamic side skirts and 18-inch, 10-spoke aluminium alloy wheels.

The rear view is characterized by the design of the rear bumper, which suggests stable road hold, the tailpipe with a large diameter (95 mm) and the roof spoiler with integrated high-mounted LED brake lights. These items add up to a tautly defined rear design that is instantly recognizable as the Mazda3 MPS to other drivers who see it pass.

Interior Design

A high quality black sets the tone of the interior, accented by red stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and the six-speed manual transmission shift knob to create a sporty yet refined ambience – the hallmark of a Mazda MPS model. The instrument panel includes a matte black decorative insert panel finished with a hairline treatment to underscore the vehicle’s aggressively modern personality. A leather wrapped shift knob, aluminium pedals and stainless steel scuff plates further contrib­ute to the sporty, high quality ambience that distinguishes MPS models, while semi-bucket front seats provide firm support to match the uniquely sporty performance of the Mazda3 MPS. Additionally, the instrument panel houses a blackout type speedometer (scaled to 280 km/h) in the centre position and the front seats bear the MPS logo on the seatbacks, a casual reminder that this is the highest performance model in the Mazda3 line up.

Euro Stage IV Emissions Combined with Formidable Power and Agile Handling

Mazda3 MPS is equipped with a 2.3-litre petrol direct injection turbo engine (MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo) that is Euro Stage IV compliant while generating formidable maximum power of more than 184 kW/250 PS at 5,500 rpm and maximum torque of 380 Nm at 3,000 rpm. Installed in a lightweight and compact body, the engine propels Mazda3 MPS to a top speed of 250 km/h, and from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. These figures make the Mazda3 MPS one of the most powerful sports compacts with a FWD layout.

To handle this level of performance, torque characteristics are carefully controlled to improve driveability. The body, suspension and brakes are specially tuned as part of the vehicle’s all-round optimization. The result is outstanding performance and agile handling that deliver high levels of driving pleasure. Since this kind of driving can only normally be experienced in a pure sports car, Mazda3 MPS far exceeds driver expectations.

MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo Engine

In addition to delivering a high-performance Zoom-Zoom driving experience, the MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine also exhibits good environ­mental compatibility with low fuel consumption and Euro Stage IV emissions. This powerplant is a direct-injection turbocharged unit devel­oped by Mazda to achieve three aspects of performance that are difficult to realize with conventional manifold injection engines: good fuel-economy and low exhaust gas emissions, powerful acceleration thanks to the turbocharg­er, and a full and flat torque curve throughout the rev range for exceptional engine response.

Mazda’s MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo injects fuel into the cylinders at pressures as high as 11.5 MPa, which cools the combustion chambers (internal cooling effect) through latent heat of vaporization, thereby improving the charging efficiency. This can increase torque by up to 10 percent at around 3,000 rpm compared to a conventional manifold injection type turbo engine, making powerful, easy-to-control torque available across a wide range of engine speeds. This high power flat torque curve is attained by the use of a fixed geometry turbo­charger.

The internal cooling effect within the combus­tion chamber increases the cylinder charge volume under initial acceleration and hence the exhaust-gas flow, causing a linear increase in rotation speed of the turbocharger's compressor wheel. As a result, the turbocharger provides boost effect soon after the accelerator is pressed– at around 2,500 rpm – assuring excellent response at low to mid-engine speeds.

High-pressure direct injection of fuel into the cylinder also results in an optimized air-fuel mixture forming in the vicinity of the spark plug, reducing the risk of misfire. This allows earlier ignition, making it easy to raise the temperature of the exhaust gas. Moreover, use of a lightweight, fixed geometry turbocharger dramatically reduces the thermal capacity of the exhaust system, minimizing the loss in temperature of exhaust gas. As a result, the catalytic converter reaches its activation temperature faster after the engine is started. These advantages enable Mazda3 MPS to meet Euro Stage IV emissions regulations.

Because the internal cooling effect within the combustion chamber reduces knocking tendencies and boosts fuel economy without sacrificing low-end torque, the MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine has a relatively high compres­sion ratio for a turbo engine of 9.5:1 which contributes to improved fuel economy.

The form and materials used for the respective engine components are optimized to bear the added load and heat of the increased output. The cylinder block and cylinder head are optimally shaped to increase their strength. In addition, cross drilling between the block liners and between the valve bridges on the cylinder head improves cooling performance. All moving parts have been made stronger and more rigid. The crankshaft is made of steel, and the diameter of the crank pins is increased. Connecting rods are also made of steel, and the shape of the rods is optimized. Full-floating pistons are used with increased-diameter pins. The shape of the radiator fan blades has also been optimized, the capacity of the electric fan motor increased and a flap function added to the fan shroud controls the adequate airflow to the radiator. These mea­sures greatly improve the radiator's cooling performance at all engine speeds.

For Mazda3 MPS, the development team fine-tuned both the engine and exhaust system to produce a sporty sound that enhances driving pleasure. Tuning of the exhaust system focused on sounds in the low frequency range, while tuning of engine sound focused on the mid frequency range produced at high engine speeds to deliver an enjoyably sporty sound. A powerful exhaust note is hit the moment the engine is started, and a pleasurable sound sustained in sync with accelerator pedal input as the car gains speed.

High-level Torque Management

A wide range of optimizations give this high-power, high-torque FWD vehicle greater ease of use with more comfortable driveability and handling. volume and boost pressure control suppress sudden torque peaks, assuring smooth, linear torque delivery. Additionally, torque characteristics from first through fourth gears are optimized to deliver appro­priate drive power from take off. Torque control is also linked to the steering angle, and the stiff­ness of the left and right drive shafts is balanced with the angles optimized to control torque steer. A newly-developed limited slip differ­ential is also adopted to provide ample torque to the inner wheel during hard cornering for smooth, predictable driving in the curve.

Six-Speed Manual Transmission

The new Mazda3 MPS employs the six-speed manual transmission introduced with the Mazda6 MPS that provides the driver with the pleasure of having full control over the vehicle’s high power, while contributing to a quiet ride and better fuel economy. A compact three-shaft design made it possible to keep the over­all length the same as for the five-speed manual transmission used in the base model. In addi­tion, Mazda3 MPS’s six-speed transmission uses wide gear ratios to fully exploit the wide

torque band of the direct-injection turbo­charged engine. The transmission’s high-ratio sixth gear contributes to a quieter ride and improves fuel economy during high-speed cruising. Triple-cone synchronizers for first through third gears and a double-cone synchronizer for fourth gear assure ample sync capacity to enable a short, clean-action shift stroke and comfortable shift feel.

High Body Rigidity and Specially Tuned Chassis

Like the Mazda3 facelift, the new Mazda3 MPS features a body with greater rigidity than the original model. The MPS version is based on the Mazda3 5-door hatchback, with local rein­forcements added to realize a body sufficiently stiff and robust to stand up to the extra demands of sporty driving. Suspension and brakes have also been specially tuned for the MPS. These improvements assure a body and chassis capa­ble of easily handling the extremely high power delivered by the MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine.

Body rigidity has been increased by several features, including a reinforced front cowl member that is joined directly to a plate in the top section of the front damper mount, assuring the same rigidity as a car fitted with strut tower bars. This prevents deformation of the front suspension towers and maintains correct suspension geometry. In the lower body, a large closed section member is employed to rein­force the floor tunnel which improves the torsional rigidity of whole body. At the rear, the gusset introduced at the bottom end of the rear suspension towers restrains the tendency of the towers to displace inwards which maintains the correct suspension geometry in the rear.

Specially Tuned Suspension gives 60 Percent Improvement in Roll Stiffness

Special suspension tuning was conducted to support the high power output of Mazda3 MPS’s engine. Both the MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension have higher coil spring rates and larger diameter stabilizer bars than the Mazda3 face­lift. Dampers also have a higher damping force on the MPS. Damping force on both jounce and rebound is approximately 6 times better at low piston speed, and about 1.3 times better at moderate piston speed. Combined with the reinforced coil springs and stabilizer bars, this produces 60 percent more roll stiffness than the Mazda3 facelift.

Aerodynamics Engineered for Speeds of up to 250 km/h

With its exceptional performance, Mazda3 MPS demands exceptional aerodynamics. Special attention was paid to reducing drag to enable a top speed of 250 km/h, and to achieving aerodynamic performance that supports stable straight running, lane changing and overtaking manoeuvres at high speeds. A wide variety of underfloor parts were employed, to achieve the superior aerodynamic performance targets (Cd=0.31).

Focus on Safety – Upgraded Brake System to Match the High Power

The starting point for Mazda3 MPS safety package was to preserve the accurate, predict­able handling of the original Mazda3. Large diameter 4-wheel disc brakes, ventilated 320 mm discs at front and solid 280 mm discs at rear, a 8+9-inch tandem brake booster and a large 1-inch diameter master cylinder yield powerful and stable braking. Standard equip­ment includes 4W-ABS, emergency brake assist, and dynamic stability control (DSC), all of which provide active safety for the MPS in a range of driving scenarios. In addition, a rain-sensing wiper system and auto light system are also available (depending on market and grade) to give the driver a clear view of the road and help prevent accidents.

For protection during collision from any direc­tion, Mazda3 MPS employs the unique Mazda Advanced Impact-energy Distribution and Absorption System to deliver a robust and safe body structure. Inside the cabin, front dual airbags are fitted as standard, along with side and curtain airbags. A collapsible brake pedal and revised steering column structure reduce the risk of injury to the driver's lower legs, while a seat belt reminder

Mazda3 MPS Technical Specifications

Engine Type

MZR DISI 2.3L Turbo


2261 cm3

Max. power kW

more than 184 kW at 5500 rpm

Max. power PS

more than 250 PS at 5500 rpm

Max. torque

380 Nm at 3000 rpm


Front engine, front-wheel drive

Top Speed

250 km/h

0-100 km/h

6.1 sec

50-100 km/h in 3rd gear

4.2 sec

80-120 km/h in 5th gear

5.4 sec

Fuel consumption Combined

9.7 l/100 km

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