Mitsubishi Global Small concept

Following the teaser sketch generated last month, Mitsubishi has now released the first official picture of its Concept Global Small Vehicle.
The compact hatchback previews a new low cost Mitsubishi model planned to head into production at the company’s new factory in Thailand in March 2012.

Mazda Minagi concept previews new CX-5

Mazda has released sketches of its new Minagi concept ahead of the new compact SUV's public debut at the Geneva auto show.

The new five door, styled under Mazda design boss Ikeo Maeda, previews a Kia Sportage rivalling SUV set to carry the name CX-5 into production later this year.

Hyundai Curb concept sketched ahead of Detroit debut

Hyundai has released a teaser sketch of its new Curb concept. The compact SUV, which was styled at Hyundai’s Californian studio and is described as sharing the “fluidic sculpture” design first seen on the Sonata, is set to share space with the Korean car maker’s new Veloster coupe at next week’s Detroit auto show.  

Official pictures: Kia Picanto revealed ahead of Geneva auto show

Kia has revealed its new Picanto prior to its planned public debut at the Geneva auto show in early March. More details soon . . .

Ford Focus Electric teased ahead of CES debut

Ford has posted a teaser image of the upcoming Focus Electric on its Facebook page ahead of this week's CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.

There are no hard and fast technical details on the new car just yet, but the following statement accompanies the picture, which reveals the Focus Electric's charging port mounted in the front left hand fender:

"On Friday at 11 AM PST, CEO Alan Mulally will have big news from the 2011 International CES in Las Vegas. We'll broadcast his keynote address on a Livestream tab on this page and have exclusive technology news every hour leading up to his address."

The Focus Electric is planned to go on sale in the US in late 2011, with European sales likely to follow in early 2012. Production is planned to take place at Ford's recently refurbished Michigan Assembly Plant.

Ford Fiesta ST on the way

Fiesta S to get more powerful ST sibling

Ford Europe bosses have signed off on a new Fiesta ST.

The junior hot hatch is planned to get an airing at the Frankfurt auto show in September alongside a facelifted version of the standard Fiesta.

Powering the new car is Ford’s new turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder direct injection gasoline engine, also planned for the new Focus among other models from the Blue Oval stable.

With 182bhp and 199lb ft (270Nm) of torque it provides the Fiesta ST with 0-62mph (100km/h) acceleration in seven seconds and a top speed of 143mph – enough to give the Volkswagen Polo GTi a fright.

Along with the boost in performance, Ford Europe designers have also given the range topping Fiesta a more aggressive appearance. Included is a larger grille, beefed up front bumper, blackened headlight graphics, wider sills, lower rear bumper and a pair of chromed tail pipes.

There’s no official word yet on whether the Fiesta ST will be sold in North America but Ford officials in Dearborn are said to be pushing for its inclusion in the US line-up. "It's a simple matter of profitability. If we can get the numbers to stack up, we'll look to bring it in."

Smart patents design of new roadster. CrossBlade the sequel?

Mercedes-Benz's struggling Smart division has patented the design of a new roadster.

Similar in style to the earlier CrossBlade with a cut down windcreen and no provision for a roof of any kind, the new two seater is based on the rear-engined underpinnings of the ForTwo.

New detailing, including distinctive round head- and tail lights possibly points to the look of the third-generation version of the diminuitive city car due out in 2012.

There's no official word just yet as to if and when we'll see get to see the new Smart roadster. However, speculation doing the rounds of the German media suggest it may appear in concept car form at the upcoming Geneva auto show before going on sale during the European summer.

Further pictures after the jump . . .