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Audi TT Sportback Concept debuts with five-doors in Paris

  • Audi TT Sportback Concept debuts with five-doors in Paris
  • Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 is silent but deadly [w/video]
  • Honda Civic Type R Concept is the shape of hot things to come
  • Five reasons to love or hate the culture of North American cars

Volkswagen XL Sport brings Ducati power to Paris

Posted Oct 2nd 2014 11:59AM

Volkswagen XL Sport

The XL Sport is a tantalizing blend of lightweight technologies, extreme aerodynamic focus and high-performance punch.

One of the biggest deals at the 2014 Paris Motor Show is this, the Volkswagen XL Sport Concept. Boasting an engine donated by the wild Ducati 1199 Superleggera motorcycle and based on the limited edition, fuel-sipping XL1, the XL Sport is a tantalizing blend of lightweight technologies, extreme aerodynamic focus and high-performance punch.

While yesterday's news focused on the performance aspects of the XL Sport, including the 197-horsepower V-twin, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and slippery 0.258 drag coefficient, we're going to focus on the car's looks this time (mostly because we have some spiffy new live images), which in our eye, are exquisite.

The XL Sport maintains two of the XL1's most defining features: a wide, low shape and a kammback rear end. For performance duty, Volkswagen sacrificed the smooth body of the XL1 in order to fit large cooling ducts behind the rear doors, to better feed air into the Ducati engine.

The front end is more aggressive, with a prominent chin spoiler, while a significantly larger and wider wheel/tire package delivers additional grip and aesthetic appeal at the expense of aero efficiency. The door's character lines look more defined, likely to better feed air into the side-mounted intakes while a substantial rear spoiler helps keep the rear-end pinned at the XL Sport's 270-km/h (168-mile-per-hour) top speed. Our team on the ground in Paris, meanwhile, reports that this concept's matte paint is a particular highlight of the low-slung VeeDub. We can't be certain, but we're pretty sure it's Sepang Blue, a matte shade found on the Audi R8.

Inside the cabin, a set of aluminum-alloy shift paddles have spawned from the back of the flat-bottomed steering wheel, while anodized accents, red contrast stitching and a digital instrument cluster round out the most significant interior upgrades.

Take a look up top for our complete round up of live images of the new XL Sport Concept direct from the floor of the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Related GalleryVolkswagen XL Sport
Volkswagen XL SportVolkswagen XL SportVolkswagen XL SportVolkswagen XL SportVolkswagen XL SportVolkswagen XL SportVolkswagen XL SportVolkswagen XL Sport


2015 BMW 2 Series Cabriolet flips its lid [w/video]

Posted Oct 2nd 2014 11:30AM

2015 BMW 2 Series Cabriolet

Early next year, BMW will offer droptop versions of its entry-level 2 Series. Available in both 228i and M235i guise, the 2 Series Cabriolet will no doubt take everything we already like (and don't like) about the Twoer and add that wind-in-your-hair experience. Of course, taking in all the extra sun comes at a price – US$37,900 for the 228i and US$47,700 for the M235i. Those prices represent increases of US$5,800 and US$4,600, respectively. Canadian pricing for the Cabriolet versions are not yet available.

Powertrain specs are identical to the coupes, with the 228i powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four good for 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. The more potent M235i gets BMW's turbocharged, 3.0-litre inline-six, with 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of push, and can hit 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. That's with the eight-speed automatic transmission, which is available with either engine. And for those who prefer to row their own, BMW will thankfully offer a six-speed manual gearbox with both powerplants, as well.

Following the Paris Motor Show unveiling, the pair will be shown in North America at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November before hitting dealers a few months later. Have a look at the new droptop in our fresh batch of images live from the Porte de Versailles exhibition center, and read BMW's lengthy press blast, below, for all of the official information.

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2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible

News Source: BMW

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Infiniti QX70 S Design goes dark in the City of Light

Posted Oct 2nd 2014 10:45AM

Infiniti QX70 S Design at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, front three-quarter view.

As Infiniti continues its attempts at making inroads in the European market, it's showing off a sharper-looking version of its QX70 crossover. Much as it does in the North American market, the CUV, formerly known as the FX, is adding an S Design trim.

The new trim pack adds plenty of dark chrome to the exterior of the fashion-forward QX70, with the stuff finding its way onto the grille, foglight surrounds and side grilles. While not dark chrome, the 21-inch alloys, mirror caps and roof rails are now painted black, while the headlights are smoked. Black lacquer trim, black leather and purple stitching stand out in the S Design's cabin.

Hop up top for our full gallery of live photos of Europe's new, dark-chrome-adorned QX70, and then head below for the original press release, issued by Infiniti earlier this month.

News Source: Infiniti

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

Audi R8 LMX illuminates the City of Light with lasers

Posted Oct 2nd 2014 10:00AM

2014 Audi R8 LMX

Hard as it may seem to believe, the Audi R8 has been around for the better part of a decade. But does that make us love it any less? Hardly, especially not when Audi keeps rolling out ever-more enticing versions like the one you see here.

Debuting at the Paris Motor Show, the new Audi R8 LMX is the most powerful version of the supercar we've seen yet, thanks to a 5.2-litre V10 engine tuned to deliver 570 metric horsepower. That's 562 by our count, making it ten horses more potent than the R8 GT, or 37 more than the standard ten-cylinder R8 5.2 FSI – enough to propel the LMX to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds.

That's not all that sets the LMX apart, however, as Audi has fit it with cutting-edge laser-beam headlights. It comes exclusively as a coupe in Ara Blue with carbon fibre trim, special wheels, red brake calipers and a black leather cockpit. Only 99 examples will be made, and with those laser headlights banned in North America, your best chance of seeing one is in the gallery of live images above.

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2014 Audi R8 LMX: Paris 20142014 Audi R8 LMX: Paris 20142014 Audi R8 LMX: Paris 20142014 Audi R8 LMX: Paris 20142014 Audi R8 LMX: Paris 20142014 Audi R8 LMX: Paris 20142014 Audi R8 LMX: Paris 20142014 Audi R8 LMX: Paris 2014


Audi TT Sportback Concept debuts with five-doors in Paris

Posted Oct 2nd 2014 9:15AM

Audi TT Sportback Concept

That German automakers seem singularly fixated on filling any white space between their models isn't new – the last decade-plus has seen their showrooms overflowing with niche models, some of which seemingly occupy sub-genres of sub-genres. To our eyes, there's often diminishing aesthetic and utilitarian returns to go along with the heightened price tags that accompany these models, but we're beginning to think Audi is tackling its personal diversity initiative best. Unlike the often heavy-handed designs from rivals (we're looking at you, BMW), Ingolstadt seems to be doing doing a more graceful job of carving out models between models. The latest proof of this is the TT Sportback Concept, just unveiled here at the Paris Motor Show.

After showing off its Allroad Shooting Brake Concept in Detroit and, more recently, in the Offroad Concept in Beijing amidst rumours of the TT sports car platform expanding into an entire family, we're not surprised to see this more utilitarian five-door hatchback showcar here in France. This, despite the fact that Audi already counts similarly proportioned A5 Sportback and A7 Sportback models in its lineup.

Of the TT line extension concepts, this Sportback certainly looks the most production ready, with a bare minimum of showcar tinsel masking realistic proportions and detailing. We think it's quite handsome from stem to stern, even if it's a bit familiar looking. The design incorporates Audi's trademark big-grille look with the TT's prominent arched roofline and heavily radiused fenders, along with a rear lighting graphic that subtly echoes the A3. Despite its leggy looks, the TT Sportback Concept is surprisingly compact, spanning less than a foot (305 mm) longer overall than the production 2016 TT despite its 4.7-inch (120-mm) longer wheelbase and extra set of doors. Those sleek looks come at least partially as the result of an overall height that sits 1.2 inches (30 mm) lower than the TT coupe.

The gutsy 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder underhood punches out 400 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque through a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox and Audi's trademark Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Audi claims that the powertrain combination will go from 0-100 km/h (0 to 62 miles per hour) in 3.9 seconds, which sounds an awful lot like RS-level performance to us.

Related GalleryAudi TT Sportback Concept
Audi TT Sportback ConceptAudi TT Sportback ConceptAudi TT Sportback ConceptAudi TT Sportback ConceptAudi TT Sportback ConceptAudi TT Sportback ConceptAudi TT Sportback ConceptAudi TT Sportback Concept

News Source: Audi

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Toyota C-HR Concept is a high-riding hybrid hatch [w/video]

Posted Oct 2nd 2014 8:45AM

Toyota C-HR Concept

Despite having the tendency to offer decidedly bland production cars, Toyota occasionally surprises us with interesting concept cars. Such is the case with the C-HR concept making its debut at the Paris Motor Show this week. It's a concept showing forward-thinking design that hints at "a type of crossover vehicle Toyota would like to bring to market," according to the automaker's release, and it rides on an all-new platform and uses a hybrid powertrain.

About that powertrain: Toyota isn't revealing anything, just saying that it will – brace yourselves – "deliver significantly improved fuel efficiency" (over what, exactly?) The car also uses a brand-new architecture, though it hasn't really revealed any major details about that aspect, either.

It's a high-riding, muscular thing, with a rakish hatchback shape. Should it reach production, Toyota says it would take the shape of a C-segment crossover. It'd be cool to see something like this hit the road someday, but for now, we won't hold our breath.

See the C-HR for yourself in the galleries above and below, and scroll down for the full press release.

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Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 is silent but deadly [w/video]

Posted Oct 2nd 2014 7:59AM

Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4

The weirdest thing happened last night. During the annual Volkswagen Group Night festivities, everyone waited in anticipation for the Lamborghini section of the press conference. It's usually a treat for the senses – cool to look at, backed up by a ferocious sound that bellows throughout the venue. But not this time. There was no music, there were no laser lights, and most remarkably, there was no sound. The Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 drove onto stage under fully silent electric power. Audibly, at least, it was perhaps the most anti-climactic Lambo introduction we've ever witnessed.

And that's the big story with this new Lamborghini concept: it's a plug-in hybrid. Of course, it's still a product of the storied Italian supercar maker, so that electric powertrain is mated to a 5.2-litre V10, and total system output is rated at a staggering 910 horsepower. It'll run up to 50 kilometres (31 miles) on pure electric power at speeds of up to 125 km/h (78 miles per hour), and its 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time is estimated to be three seconds flat. Top speed? 320 km/h (199 mph). In other words, it may be capable of silence, but it still carries a stick, and it's still very much a Lambo.

So will the company actually build something like this? Right now, it doesn't look likely. Back in August at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Autoblog spoke with Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann about the then-off-the-record Asterion concept, who told us that if the automaker should choose to expand its model range, the bigger priority right now would be the Urus crossover. This is merely just a way to show how Lamborghini might present a gasoline-electric vehicle. And after scoping it out in person here at the Paris Motor Show, we have to say, it's cool. The styling is a bit softer and understated compared to the audacious Aventador or angular Huracán. But it still has quite a presence and it's still very much a Raging Bull.

See the Asterion for yourself in the new gallery of live photos above, and read more about the PHEV concept in the press release below and check out an Asterion walkaround video with Winkelmann from our friends at Autoline while you're there.

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Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 ConceptLamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 ConceptLamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 ConceptLamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 ConceptLamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 ConceptLamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 ConceptLamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 ConceptLamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Concept

News Source: Lamborghini, Autoline Network via YouTube

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Honda Civic Type R Concept is the shape of hot things to come

Posted Oct 2nd 2014 7:15AM

Honda Civic Type R

Soon, kids. Soon. The next-generation Honda Civic Type R is finally coming, and we're getting another preview of the hot hatch here at the Paris Motor Show. Of course, this one probably won't be headed to North America (boo!), but it doesn't mean we can't get excited. After all, we're big fans of little turbo hatches, and from what we know right now, this one sure sounds sweet.

Underneath that new blue paint and red decals is a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four, reportedly good for 276 horsepower. Honda tells us there's a "steer axis" system with adaptive dampers, and with the push of its +R button, the suspension, steering and torque mapping are all altered to make this Type R even more Type R-ier than before. In fact, Honda says this Civic will surpass every Type R that came before it – that means every Integra, Accord, Civic and even the NSX. Hot diggity.

We've got a fresh batch of images of the Type R Concept up top, and Honda's press release is available below. Hopefully it won't be long before the production car is finally revealed.

Related GalleryHonda Civic Type R Concept II
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Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

Aston Martin Vanquish Carbon Edition is back in black [w/video]

Posted Oct 2nd 2014 6:30AM

Aston Martin Vanquish Carbon Edition

Earlier this year, I spent the weekend with an Aston Martin Vanquish Volante in a particularly interesting shade of green – the same car you see photographed here, for our First Drive. When it was dropped off, I remember just staring at it, taking in all of its lines, the curves, its pronounced hips – all the details. To say the Vanquish is a gorgeous car is a vast understatement. And here at the Paris Motor Show, the already classy range-topping Aston coupe dons an even more gorgeous appearance in the form of the Carbon Edition.

Aston Martin has already given similar treatments to its Vantage, DB9 and DBS (the Vanquish's predecessor), and the svelte look can be had on either the coupe or convertible models, available in black or white. The car gets black window surrounds, darker headlight trim, gloss black alloy wheels and a stylish herringbone carbon fiber trim in the cabin to go with the quilted leather upholstery.

One thing that's left unchanged with the Carbon Edition is the massive, old-school powerplant underhood: Aston's 6.0-litre naturally aspirated V12 with 568 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Hitting 60 miles per hour takes just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of just over 320 km/h (200 mph).

Have a look at the Carbon Aston in our live gallery above, and click below for a short video showing the sleek new Vanquish.

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