Renault releases an image of Capture Crossover ahead of Geneva Motor Show

French carmaker Renault had released an image of Clio based Captur crossover/SUV. It is expected to showcase this model in Geneva Motor Show this year. This particular image shows only the front exteriors, while other details are still under wraps. Well a couple of sources did manage to get the leaked sketches of it that clearly portrays the whole vehicle.

In the given image, we can figure out only the headlamps which resembles to Clio – the car that was showcased at Paris Auto Show last year. The leaked sketches of it further explain that it is the taller version of Clio with some off-road styling streaks that is gripped around doors and fenders. Identical concave lines can be spotted flowing on the lower end of the doors, and also features an integrated rear spoiler.

Renault releases an image of Capture Crossover ahead of Geneva Motor Show

As the Captur is based on Clio IV architecture, one of the media house expects that it will sport its same range of engines i.e. TCe 90 three cylinder turbo and TCe 120 four cylinders with 1.2 liter turbo for the petrol version. For the diesel variants they expect, two variants of Renault 1.5 liter diesel engine, dCi 130 and the latest 1.6 liter with more torque. All these power domes will be assimilated with 5-speed manual or optional 6-speed EDC double-clutch automatic gearboxes.

Renault Captur will lock its horn with Nissan Juke on one hand and the recently released Peugeot 2008 on the other hand. Juke is a successful selling model of Nissan, and thus it will be an interesting thing to see what the Japanese carmaker will do now to retain their hold in the market.

Automotive Brand Contest: Hyundai grabs three awards for design

Hyundai has bagged three awards in the second edition of the Automotive Brand Contest controlled by the German Design Council. The new generation of i30 received the ‘Best Exterior’ and ‘Best interior’ awards while ‘Best concept’ award was given to the i-oniq show car. Both the models were developed and designed by the European team in Russelsheim Germany at the Hyundai Europe Technical center.

The two winnings for i30 demonstrate Hyundai’s commitment towards designing products that appeal to the European consumers. The car’s exterior styling is branded with the company’s fluidic style philosophy creating a sense of motion even when it is stationary. The next gen i30’s interior is a step further than its predecessor by matching the exterior visuals and introduction of higher quality material in the cabin.

Hyundai get three design awards

The Hyundai i-oniq made its first appearance at 2012 Geneva Motor show. This concept showcases new technology and design to represent company’s future strategies. Codenamed as HED-8, i-oniq is characterized by muscular treatment and gentle feature lines carrying premium quality in both interior and exterior of the car. It also supports a driver oriented layout with maximum passenger comfort.

Senior VP and COO of Hyundai Motor European division, Allan Rushforth said that recognition from the German Design Council has further strengthened the evidence of transformation of Hyundai design in recent years. Styling engaged by the fluidic appearance has added emotional touch to our products that still carries the brand’s name with them. He also added that the next gen i30 is another example that proves that company is still focusing on building vehicles that matches aspirations of European consumers.

In 2011, Hyundai bagged award of best exterior design for i40 wagon, another model designed in Europe and for European market.

Bentley EXP 9 F to enter production virtually unchanged

Bentley had a rather disappointing unveil of the Bentley EXP 9 F SUV at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show held few weeks back. It didn’t quite please the world with the boxy design and contrasting bold headlamps and large air damps. There were later reports of the automaker sketching a new design for an upcoming SUV, though it wasn’t certain if it will be the EXP 9 F production model.

According to latest reports, the EXP 9 F concept that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show will see no exterior modifications when it makes it to production. Company official, David Hilton claimed that the car was well received at Geneva and there is no requirement of an exterior update for the production model. The car represents absolute pinnacle of sports-ute segment in terms of design and practicality.

Bentley EXP 9 F to enter production virtually unchanged

Based on the 20’s Blower Bentley design, the new SUV is in fact a blend of skillful craftsmanship, traditional luxury and state-of-the-art in-car technology. Powering the Bentley SUV is a 6.0-liter W12 engine that spits out an impressive 600 hp of peak power and 800 Nm of torque. Apart from the massive W12, there is also a 4.0-liter V8 that is good for 500 hp peak power and 650 Nm torque. Both the options come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The most important power plant option could be a hybrid V6 that can pull the luxurious SUV from 0-100 kmph in under 5 seconds. It offers an all-electric range of 30 km, while giving 130 g/km of CO2 emissions running on gasoline.

Next gen Volkswagen Tiguan to challenge the Toyota Fortuner

Toyota Fortuner is arguably the most dominating SUV on Indian roads. With sales figure reaching over 950 every month, the Fortuner in most preferred as entry-level luxury SUV. Since its launch in India over 3 years ago, the Japanese SUV has eaten into the sales of Chevrolet Captiva, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Endeavour and Mitsubishi Pajero.

However, this is about to change as the Germans are buckling up, as reported by Auto-motor-und-sport that the next gen Tiguan will challenge the Toyota Fortuner in emerging markets. Based on the Volkswagen’s flexible MQB platform that underpins most VW next-gen cars, the new Tiguan will feature as a three-row extended wheelbase SUV.

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

In addition, the new Tiguan will be more beefed up and target the emerging markets that are currently dominated by Toyota Fortuner. Sitting at 55 cm higher than the current version, the new Tiguan will feature as a three-row SUV owing to 15-20 centimeters extended wheelbase.

There is no word on the power plant, however, the new Tiguan is expected to sport a TDI and TSI engine, followed by a plug-in hybrid variant. Moreover, the new Tiguan will feature a more trust worthy, German quality stiffness, safety and fuel-economy.

VW has confirmed the price of the Extended wheelbase version as quoted $40,000 (about Rs 20 lacs). Despite the extra weight on the wheels, the Tiguan will sport the same engine as the smaller sibling.

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

In addition, the next-gen Tiguan could also feature as a cross-coupe that was previewed at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show and at the more recent 2012 Geneva Motor Show. It is designed to target the youth who are driven towards the sporty and high riding appeal of the Range Rover Evoque and BMW X6. With lesser off-road ability and more SUV style quotient, the cross-coupe is said to feature a diesel-powered plug-in hybrid.

Production of the next-gen Tiguan is scheduled for Feb 2015. It is also interesting to see that in the upcoming years, Skoda will roll out an SUV in the likes of Tiguan, based on the German’s modular platform.


Fiat 500X crossover making a debut next year

Fiat introduced the Fiat 500 as a small hatch. Then it grew into a 500C cabriolet; then the sporty 500 Abarth; while the 500L MPV made its world debut at 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Still growing bigger and meaner, the all-new Fiat is making its New York debut as a crossover, dubbed 500X.

Expecting a lunch in 2013, the Fiat 500X will battle in the mushrooming crossover market against the MINI Cooper Countryman, Buick Encore and Ford EcoSport.

Following the style of Fiat 500L, the 500X will draw on a widened adaptation of Italian automaker’s small car architecture that presently underpins the Punto. However, it is expected to be the longest in the Fiat 500 family at 13.7 feet.

Fiat 500X crossover making a debut next year

Fiat’s Mirafiori facility in Turin is expected to manufacture the 500X, and the same facility rolls out the 500L. Production is expected to commence in December 2013, with an expected annual capacity of 280,000 crossovers. The 500L will also hit the US market early as next year.

Power plant options available for the 500X include a two-cylinder 900cc TwinAir, four-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol and a turbocharged 1.3-litre Multijet II diesel motor.

For the Fiat-Chrysler venture, the new Fiat 500X is a crucial model that will provide the basis for a new compact crossover from Jeep brand, which is currently only known as the B-SUV. Though Europe is the chief market for Jeep, a US trim could roll in sometimes soon.

GM working on Chevrolet compact SUV

General Motor showcased the Mokka SUV from its Opel portfolio at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Recently published images by French magazine L’Automobile, suggested that GM is working on a compact SUV based on the Mokka. The American auto giant has filed for a design patent of the compact SUV. While the Opel Mokka will go as Vauxhall Mokka in European markets, China will soon receive the Asian version soon. Moreover, looking at current scenario in Indian market, with Premier Rio, Ford Ecosport, Mahindra Mini XUV, Toyota rav4 possible in the current calendar, GM might have plans for India too with the compact SUV.

GM working on Chevrolet compact SUV

On a closer observation, the patent designs appear to be of an SUV based on the Chevrolet Captiva, which is an excellent product for the emerging economies. Though the Indian market is more driven by small cars, tGM working on Chevrolet compact SUVhe compact SUV segment is booming with biggies like Ford Ecosport and Renault Duster in the line. The 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi witnessed immense response to the SUV class, and it is right time for GM to bring on the mini Captiva.

We speculate the GM compact SUV to share its platform with the Opel Mokka. In addition, we request GM to bring an all-wheel-drive variant as well. Resources also claim that GM could share technology with its French alliance, Renault, in building the compact SUV. The big question here is, how will GM position the new compact SUV. In India, it may battle against the Renault Duster, Ford Ecosport and Maruti XA Alpha in the compact SUV segment.

2012 Hyundai i20 Fluidic hitting the market soon

Within days of launch of the Sonata Fluidic, the news of i20 Fluidic coming is getting more heated up. Showcased at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the i20 Fluidic has been caught testing several times near the Chennai facility. As the Union Budget 2012-13 has been declared, this is the right time for the Korean automaker to introduce its 2012 lineup.

Following the Korean automaker’s ‘Fluidic sculpture’ design language, the 2012 i20 Fluidic is a facelift of the previous version. On the front, the car is highlighted by hexagonal grille that sports a Hyundai monogram. With sleeker headlamps and more bold fog lamps, the car displays a sporty yet friendly appeal. It also features a redesigned front bumper with wider chin. Going with the revived EU crash-test regulations, the car received a redesigned hood. On the rear, the i20 has larger tail lamps than before with a restyled tailgate. Closely inspecting, the rear bumper appears raised slightly higher from the bottom. The sporty traits can be seen along the side with redesigned 8-spoke alloys replacing the 5-spoke alloys.

2012 Hyundai i20 Fluidic hitting the market soon

There is no significant change on the interiors, with the car receiving reworked center console with large bulky control knobs featuring chrome finish. The steering wheel of the i20 Fluidic is incorporated with control knobs, something that is not seen in the current variant. Hyundai has kept the changes to minimal with just tweaks to give a more premium look and feel.

There is no word on the powerplant yet, and the i20 Fluidic is expected to feature the same options of petrol and diesel engine as the current version. Also we expect Hyundai to give an option of an automatic variant for the i20 Fluidic.

With the Sonata Fluidic receiving immense response, the i20 Fluidic is prepared to hit the market in coming weeks. We shall bring you the latest from the Korean automaker.

Renault Koleos based MPV coming in 2014 -15

Renault offers cars for every segment in the Indian market. Its Pulse is doing fairly well in hatchback section, the Fluence is also a decent sedan, while the Koleos has everything of a top-range SUV including a sharp price. And now the French automaker has a MPV in its bag.

The Renault Koleos crossover MPV is based on the Renault R-Concept showcased at the 2012 Geneva Motor show. Renault is taking advantage of the opportunity with rising demands of mulit-seater MPVs like the Tata Aria and Mahindra XUV500. For the Indian market, a seven-seater is always successful that can accommodate eight people and tackle through the most unforgiving terrains. With better off-road ability, the Koleos MPV will feature substance that is more, well, French.

Renault Koleos based MPV coming in 2014 -15

In India, the Renault Koleos SUV sports a 2.0-litre, 150 bhp engine that comes with a sharp price tag of Rs 22.9 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi). Though the French SUV had all the features of a successful SUV, it did not perform so well against the Japanese competitors because of its aggressive pricing. The French automaker brings the Koleos SUV via completely built units (CBU), which adds to the high pricing of the Koleos.

Expecting a launch in 2014-15, the Koleos MPV is expected to carry a small capacity, fuel-economic, greener engine with a competitive price tag.

Renault Koleos based MPV coming in 2014 -15

Callum confirms Jaguar Crossover in works

An SUV with a Jag badge is coming no time soon according to Jaguar design head, Ian Callum, who stated that the British brand would rather come up with a crossover, and leave the SUV for the sister brand Land Rover.

This is not coming as a big shocker for Jag fans, as Jaguar Brand Director, Adrian Hallmark has been reporting a crossover in works for over a year now. Moreover, with Land Rover already dominating the off-road segment, there is no need of Jaguar to reckon SUVs.

At the Geneva Motor Show, Callum clearly mentioned that Jaguar is planning to go for a crossover, and it was speculated as a cat-badged SUV. He also mentioned that there was no need to go for a mainstream SUV, as the sister brand Land Rover already dominates as the world’s best off-road SUV builder.

Callum confirms Jaguar Crossover in works

In talks at Geneva with Australia’s Car Advice, Jaguar’s design boss, Ian Callum, mentioned that, “ SUV as such is out of the question. We have a sister company that produces the best SUVs in the world.”

Ian went on to say that “ SUV is too utilitarian for Jaguar, but maybe there are some grey areas in between we could investigate”. On being asked if he had sketched the design of the crossover, Callum gave a subtle expression. It is expected to make extensive use of aluminum for weight reduction and feature four-wheel drive.

Speaking of which, a few weeks ago, we bought you the spy images of the Jaguar XF Allroad, and we speculate that it could be the Jag-badge crossover Callum was talking about. However, it has a long way to go until the British brand comes up with a four-wheel drive platform for the XF. Expect at least 2015.

Bentley picked the SUV over the Sports car

The Bentley EXP 9 F concept was the biggest party-pooper at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and there is more bad news from the British automaker. According to MotorTrend, the crossover SUV staged at Bentley at the auto show was chosen over a sports car and two other models.

After the massive disappointment, Bentley immediately put down the pen to redesign the SUV. But there is no coming back of Geneva, and all the praises the sports car would have received, if only they didn’t have second thoughts. Reports suggest, the car was based under the Continental GT with more aggressive and sporty appeal. Worse, this sports car was production variant and ready to go up against the Porsche 911.

Bentley picked the SUV over the Sports car

Ironically, the model still sits outside the office of head of design, Dirk Van Braeckels. Bentley CEO, Wolfgang Duerheimer, stated that the designers were very enthusiastic on doing a sports car, and there were several other unnamed models in the lineup, before the EXP 9 F concept was chosen for Geneva.

Before being employed at Bentley in 2011, Durheimer worked as Porsche’s chief of research and development, so he knows the risk of going against the Porsche 911. So with the EXP 9 F gone back to the sketching stage, Bentley will make sure not to skip the sports car next time.