Porsche 911 GT3 RS revealed at Geneva Motor show

Porsche has fitted its new 911 GT3 RS with a 4.0-litre version of its naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine boasting the same 493bhp as the similarly configured unit used by its predecessor, but with an additional 15lb ft at 384lb ft.

Unveiled at the 2015 Geneva motor show the pared-down road racer is based on the latest 911 GT3.

The GT3 RS is clothed in a modified aluminium body borrowed from the 911 Turbo. In order to save weight and lower the centre of gravity, it has a new magnesium roof structure and a bonnet and engine lid fashioned from carbonfibre-reinforced plastic.

The hood and roof each feature a 30cm-wide indent down their centre line in a look reminiscent of that seen on earlier air-cooled 911s. The engine lid has additional cooling elements and an integrated ducktail-style spoiler aimed at increasing downforce at speed.
The aerodynamic package also includes a prominent splitter element, modified front wings with integrated air ducts to lower the pressure in the wheel house and reduce front axle lift, and a large, adjustable rear wing.
Despite the adoption of the wider 911 Turbo’s bodyshell, the 911 GT3 RS’s kerb weight of 1420kg — 10kg under that of the standard 911 GT3 — endows it with a power-to-weight ratio of 347bhp per tonne. This gives it a claimed 0-100 (62mph) time of 3.3sec — 0.6sec faster than the old 911 GT3 RS — and a 0-200km/h (124mph) time of 10.9sec.
Top speed varies according to the amount of downforce dialled into the rear wing, although Porsche officials suggest it will crack 320km/h in low-downforce guise.
Details of the extent of the changes made to the 4.0-litre engine used by 911 GT3 RS remain under wraps, although its 493bhp and 384lb ft are 25bhp and 60lb ft more than that produced by the 3.8-litre powerplant found in its standard sibling, making it the most powerful naturally aspirated engine yet to be fitted to a road-going version of the iconic 911.
Drive is sent to the rear wheels through a reworked seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and fully variable locking differential with an integrated torque vectoring function.
Porsche claims the new 911 GT3 RS is capable of lapping the Nürburgring in just 7min 20sec.
In the meantime, Porsche is also working on a brand-new supercar to compete with the likes of the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 675LT.

Wolfgang Hatz, head of research and development at Porsche, has said it will be ready by the end of the decade “at the latest”.

Details are patchy, but the car is believed to feature the brand-new V8 motor already in development for the new Panamera, its 928-replacing two-door variant and the next Cayenne.

Mounted amidships behind the driver, the engine is likely to follow current thinking and derive its power as much from turbocharging as from its displacement. 
It is not yet known whether the car will feature any degree of hybridisation. However, it is clear that this is not a replacement for the 918 Spyder hypercar but a standard, production model. Hatz has, however, also confirmed that a new 918 will eventually be built.

Koenigsegg Regera hypercar revealed

Koenigsegg has revealed its new Regera hybrid hypercar at the 2015 Geneva motor show.

The first hybrid created by Koenigsegg is powered by the combination of a V8 combustion engine and a trio of electric motors – one on each rear wheel and one on the crankshaft.

The Regera features a softer front-end design than the Agera and comes with large front air intakes, a front diffuser, a wrap-around windscreen and a prominent roof scoop. At the rear, the new model gets an Akrapovic-developed exhaust which exits from a rear diffuser, above which is the Regera’s charging port.

The Regera’s large rear spoiler contributes to a total downforce of 450kg at 250km/h (155mph). It also receives carbon fibre wheels – 19in in diametre at the front and 20in at the rear – and features ventilated ceramic brake discs at all four corners.

Output from the Regera’s 5.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine is 1085bhp at 7800rpm. However, the added 697bhp coming from the electric motors produces a total system output of 1782bhp and combined torque of 1549lb ft.

Koenigsegg clsims the Regera is the most powerful production car in existence, with its outputs significantly eclipsing the likes of theFerrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder. 

Preliminary acceleration times confirmed by Koenigsegg include 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.8 seconds, 150-250 km/h (93-155 mph) in 3.2 seconds and 0-400 km/h (0-250 mph) in a claimed 20.0 seconds.

The key to the Regera’s stunning performance is its relatively lightweight hybrid set-up. Although the Regera is not referred to as a traditional hybrid, the model does feature a new Koenigsegg Direct Drive (KDD) transmission which, the company says, can reduce energy losses by up to 50% compared with traditional transmissions and CVTs.

Despite the huge power output of the Regera, Andreas Petre, Koenigsegg’s director of sales in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Oceana, said it wouldn’t be difficult to drive on the road: “It has very sophisticated ESP, traction control, active chassis and aerodynamics. It’s like a very fast Tesla with a beautiful sound."

Just 80 examples of the Regera will be made over the next five to six years, and each will cost $US1.89 million before tax.

The Swedish manufacturer also showed off the Agera RS at this year's Geneva motor show. The latest incarnation of the Agera supercar is track-focused and boasts upgraded bodywork, active aerodynamics and more power.

Fiat confirms 124 name will appear on new joint venture roadster to be built by Mazda

The heavily anticipated Fiat-Chrysler roadster based on the latest Mazda MX-5 will be badged as a Fiat 124 Spider, it has been confirmed. 

Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne confirmed the name during the Geneva motor show. 
News of a roadster co-operation between Mazda and Fiat Chrysler has long been acknowledged. However, speculation had suggested the Fiat model would be badged as an Alfa Romeo Spider, or a standalone model in the Abarth range. 
The Fiat 124 Spider name announcement fits with other recent comments from Marchionne, who stipulated that future Alfa-Rome models would be "built in Italy with Italian produced powertrains". 

Fiat badging for the Japanese-built roadster gels with these earlier comments.

Spied: New Chinese market Chevrolet Cruze spied

The first gainy picture of the new Chinese market Chevrolet Cruze has hit the internet.

Looking a lot more stylish than the Cruze offered in other world markets, the new new four-door sedan is earmarked to go on sale in the People's Republic in mid-2015 following its world debut at the Beijing auto show.

Citroen Wild Rubis morphs into DS 6WR SUV for Beijing auto show

Citroen has revealed its new Chinese market DS 6WR SUV in a set of official photographs prior to its debut at the Beijing motor show later this week.

Previewed in concept car form at last year's Shanghai motor show as the DS Wild Rubis, the  4553mm long, 1858mm wide and 1610mm hight SUV will be produced in a joint venture betwee Citroen parent company PSA and Changan.

The new front-wheel drive only Citroen SUV is based on the same platform as the Citroen DS5 LS - a long wheelbase version of the DS5 offered exclusively in China.

The DS 6WR is planned to be sold with three four-cylinder gasoline engine options: a turbocharged 1.6-litre with 163bhp and 200bhp and a naturally aspirated 1.8 with 139bhp - all mated to a standard six-speed automatic.


SAIC's Roewe previews heavily reworked W5 SUV

The Roewe division of Chinese automotive heavyweight SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) has dopped a series of pictures/stetches revealing its heavily reworked W5 SUV ahead of its public unveiling at the Beijing auto show later this week.

The new five seater continues to be based on the old Ssangyong Kyron but recieves sharper styling that gives it a more upmarket appearance, along with a more contemporary interior with imporoved materials touch screen controls and the latest in connectivity options.
Roewe confirms the W5 will get a new range of engines. Gone are the old 1.8 turbo and 3.2 liter six-in-line gasoline engines - the latter of which is based around an old Mercedes-Benz design with origins in the 1970s. In their place is a new turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder developed by parent company SAIC as part of units that go under the name "Cube Tech".

JAC Motors to reveal new six-seat crossover/SUV concept at Beijing motor show

It is not going to win any beauty contests, but there's no denying that JAC's new EC-9 concept car has presence - and plenty of it.

The new six-seat crossover/SUV concept is set to underpin JAC's stand at the upcoming 2014 Beijing motor show. Early rumours out of China suggest a less flamboyant version of the five metre long concept could go in to production in 2017.

As well as previewing JAC's ideas for a new range topping model, the EC-9 also reveals the company's new corporate logo.

We'll keep you updated when further info becomes available.

JAC Motors (official name Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co Ltd) is a state-owned Chinese car maker. The company is based in Hefei, Anhui Provence, China.

Latest data reveals JAC produced 445,000 cars in 2012.

To learn more go the JAC website at: jac.com.cn

Mercedes-Benz Sport Cruiser ... no, make that new R-class

Details have emerged on a new luxury crossover under development at Mercedes-Benz.

German media are calling it the Sport Cruiser - a name Mercedes-Benz originally applied to a bicycle back in 1998.

My contacts suggest the new crossover model ws been conceived to follow in the wheeltacks of the R-class, and thus will likely be badged as such.

Here's what you need to know about the Mercedes-Benz Sport Cruiser/R-class.
  • Planned launch date: 2017.
  • Five metre long one-box body with four conventional front hinged doors.
  • Two wheelbase lengths.
  • Billed by insiders as modern-day estate/wagon. Mercedes-Benz's answer to the BMW 5-series GT.
  • It's been described as a grown up (Ueber) B-class in appearance.
  • Standard five and optional seven seat interior layout.
  • Luxurious interior. Lots of kit.Based on Mercedes-Benz's MRA platform, as used beneath the new C-, E, S-class. Conceived to share driveline, chassis, suspension components as well as electrical system and connectivity functions with next E-class, the W213 as it is codenamed.
  • Among the new engines will be a new in-line six-cylinder. It is part of a modular range of new three-, four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
  • Combination of gasoline, diesel and hybrid powerplants. An AMG Version with 500bhp plus twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 also among the envisaged models.
  • Production: USA, China . . .



China auto sales hit 1.57 million in May 2012

A total of 1.57 million automobiles were manufactured in China last month, China Business News reported today. The figure, which comes from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, is 4.66 percent lower than April and 16.9 percent higher than last May.

Automobile sales, meanwhile, totaled 1.61 million units, decreasing 1.06 percent from April and growing 15.97 percent from last May.
May production and sales numbers for passenger automobiles were 1.27 million units and 1.28 million units, respectively.

The amount manufactured was 2.76 percent lower than the previous month, while the amount sold was 0.46 percent higher. Both figures represented positive year-on-year growth of slightly over 21 percent. 6.33 million passenger automobiles have been sold in the five month period from January to May.

Domestic own brand manufacturers sold 516,400 passenger automobiles in May. Their cumulative market share fell another 0.47 percent in April to 40.28 percent, a whole 3.28 percent less than last May. By comparison, German, Japanese, US, South Korean and French manufacturers sold 245,100, 238,800, 146,000, 100,400 and 35,200 vehicles. Their respective market shares were 19.12 percent, 18.63 percent, 11.39 percent, 7.83 percent and 2.75 percent.

US manufacturers' performance last month was particularly noteworthy, with their market share increasing a full 0.87 percent.
Furthermore, Chinese automobile exports broke the 100,000 unit barrier for the first time in May.

According to CAAM statistics, China exported a total of 103,400 vehicles last month, 18.2 percent more than the previous month and 43.4 percent more than last May. A total of 382,500 vehicles have been exported from January to May, with Algeria, Russia, Chile, Iraq and Iran being top buyers.

this report from gasgoo.com

Lotus acquisition by SAIC and Youngman denied

British sports car manufacturer Lotus Cars has been through a tumultuous time as of late. Only last week, CEO Dany Bahar was relieved of his position by new parent company DRB-Hicom, which appointed one of its executives, Aslam Farikullah, to take his place. At the same time, rumors began circulating of Chinese enterprises SAIC and Youngman Lotus preparing to purchase the manufacturer. However, in a report appearing on International Finance News today, Lotus officially denied such rumors.

"We have not received any such information," Lotus China's public relations office responded when asked about the rumors. The office added that the speculations are baseless. SAIC Group, Youngman Automobile and DRB-Hicom all have yet to officially comment on the matter.

Lotus has been in dire financial straits as of late. All sorts of rumors, including reports that the manufacturer is preparing to abandon its Formula One program, have been spreading throughout the media. Malaysian automobile manufacturer Proton sold its 42.7 percent stake in Lotus to DBR-Hicom earlier this year. However, due to the manufacturer's poor sales, DRB-Hicom saw its stock price on Bursa Malaysia drop heavily.
This report from gasgoo.com

New Seat Toledo leaks on to web

The guys over at seatfansclub.com have leaked these pictures of the new 2012 model year Seat Toledo on to the internet.

New Briliance concept car caught before unveiling

Brilliance, the Chinese car maker with close links to BMW (the two operate a joint venture that produces 3- and 5-series models for the domestic Chinese market), is working on a new concept car.

Caught here for the first time the new five door hatchback/crossover has reportedly been styled by ex-Pininfarina designer Dimitri Vicedomin who now heads up design operations at Brilliance. Hands up those who see cues from the Lancia Delta, Alfa Romeo Giulietta,Alfa Romeo Brera and Alfa Romeo Kamal concept in the new Chinese car's lines . . .

We figure the new Brilliance concept is a planned replacement for the Splendor/FRV/FSV line. But with a firm tongue in cheek we're already calling it the Alfa Romeo Delta here at TheAutoInsider.com 

Facelifted 2013 model year Kia Sorento without disguise

As the saying goes, you can run but you can't hide. Here's Kia's facelifted Sorento lurking in China. Seen here for the first time without diguise is the big Korean SUV's reworked front and rear end styling, including its new head- and tail lamp treatment.  

Hongqi 77X gets an internet airing

Hongqi, an upmarket brand of China's First Automobile Works, is set to launch a third model - the 77X. Revealed here for the first time, it is planned to slot into the Hongqi line-up between the 77H and 77L. Details remain scarce but whispers out of FAW suggest the 77X is based on underpinnings provided by the Volkswagen Group; most likely those of the superceded Audi A6.

Volvo XC40 hits the internet

This long range picture of Volvo's upcoming XC40 has made its way onto various internet sites over the weekend. Expect to see the toughened up V40, complete with raised ride height and four wheel drive, in all its production glory at the Paris auto show in September.