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    We obsessively covered the 2014 New York Auto Show [w/video]
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    Lincoln MKX Concept goes for the gold in Beijing
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    Lexus NX debuts in turbocharged and hybrid guise
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Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV blurs lines in Beijing

Posted Apr 20th 2014 2:30PM

Mercedes Concept Coupe SUV

With apologies to Robin Thicke (and to anyone offended by his unarguably catchy hit song), but Mercedes-Benz has just shown that BMW isn't the only automaker that knows how to blur the lines between seemingly unrelated market niches to create something new entirely. The subject today is the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV, and its name alone tells you pretty much all you need to know about its style, shape and intentions.

Some might argue, and perhaps rightly so, that putting a sleek coupe-shaped body atop a chassis that is styled to look like it's capable of traveling off the beaten path makes little sense. Others may counter that the BMW X6 has proven that there is a market for the disjointed merger, and they too may be right. Regardless of which side of that line of demarcation you fall, here we are with MB's latest concept, powered as it is by a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 with 333 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, sending that motive force through a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox to all four 22-inch wheels.

We suggest you take it all in by perusing our image gallery of live photos above, and you're free to complete the picture by reading through the press release below. Oh, and don't be surprised if something eerily similar to this Concept Coupe SUV hits dealership floors in the coming years...

Image Credit: Live images copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Lincoln MKX Concept goes for the gold in Beijing

Posted Apr 20th 2014 1:20PM

Lincoln MKX Concept

We've now seen the Lincoln MKX Concept in the metal, and we've shot it with the lenses of our own DSLR cameras. And we have to say, our opinion of the concept's design language has improved over our initial reaction. Yes, it's clear that this MKX shares its underpinnings with those of the Ford Edge Concept that we saw in LA, but the changes made by Lincoln stylists are a welcome departure from the angular lines of its corporate cousin from The Blue Oval.

We like the subtlety of the MKX Concept's front fascia, and the lighting elements both front and rear lend a luxurious quality to the crossover's typical two-box proportions. When combined with the smaller MKC that was shown in production form late last year, it's clear to see that Lincoln has a specific design direction that at least seems visually capable of setting it apart from the Ford models with which the brand shares its platforms. Here's hoping there are some Lincoln-specific upgrades underhood...

Have a look at our image gallery of live photos from Beijing above, reread the press release below, and feel free to let us know what you think.

Image Credit: Live images copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Lexus NX debuts in turbocharged and hybrid guise

Posted Apr 20th 2014 12:19PM

2015 Lexus NX200t

2015 Lexus NX300hLexus showed off its polarizing new NX at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, trotting out both the turbocharged 200t model (Lexus' first production turbo) alongside the hybrid-powered 300h.

We still don't know a great deal about the turbocharged model, aside from the fact that the engine underhood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, although we're hoping to get details sooner rather than later. For reference, the 2.0-liter turbo in the BMW X1 pumps out 240 horsepower while the four-pot turbo in the Mercedes-Benz GLA250 turns out 208 horsepower, which leads us to think we should expect the Lexus to fall somewhere between these two figures.

If Lexus' naming strategy in the past rings true here, though, we can confidently say the 300h will use a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery, just like the Lexus ES300h and Toyota Avalon Hybrid. That should mean around 200 system horsepower and well over 30 miles per gallon, although it's probably too early to predict economy with any degree of certainty.

We have images of both the 200t (up top) as well as the 300h (below). We've also included the initial press release from Lexus and a larger gallery of official images, both available below. Scroll down and have a look.

Image Credit: Live images copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept is your new favorite hot hatch [UPDATE]

Posted Apr 20th 2014 11:23AM

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept

UPDATE: A previous version of this story listed the Golf R 400 Concept's top speed as 201 miles per hour. This is incorrect. The correct top speed is 174 mph and the story has been edited to reflect that.

This, friends, is what happens when you shoehorn 395 horsepower into a Golf. You get a three-door hatch that will happily scurry to 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 174 mph. Oh yes, we like you, Golf R 400 Concept.

As we explained in our original post, the R 400 is the long-awaited successor to bonkers Golf creations like the GTI W12 from 2007 and, more recently, the Design Vision GTI. It's powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder found in a number of Volkswagen (and Audi, SEAT and Skoda) products, although it's been heavily massaged to pump out 332 pound-feet of torque along side its amplified horsepower.

Naturally, it's been lowered and now rides on 19-inch wheels. Outside of those changes, though, mums the word on suspension and chassis enhancements. While this is a bummer, the striking looks of the Golf R 400 more than make up for it.

We're digging the Lemon Yellow accents and Silver Flake paint, while we're quite pleased that VW has avoided the urge to fit an absurd body kit akin to the Golf W12's. Instead, the body of this Concept is tastefully finished and surprisingly, once the carbon fiber is replaced, it all looks quite production ready. The interior, meanwhile, looks mostly stock aside from the trim work (carbon leather and Alcantara abound) and the awesome racing seats. Build it VW. We know you want to.

Scroll up for our gallery of live images from Beijing, and then hop below for the press blast and stock images from VW.

Image Credit: Live images copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept is bold and beautiful in Beijing

Posted Apr 20th 2014 10:20AM

BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept

BMW officially unveiled the Vision Future Luxury Concept today (or is it tomorrow?) at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, giving the world's media an in-the-flesh look at not only a future design theme for the brand, but a rumored flagship model.

This is a looker in person, thanks to its Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe-inspired design, and it's not too difficult to imagine it in production car form, with smaller wheels, larger mirrors and the other minor transformations that take place from drawing board, to auto show and, finally, to assembly line. In general, it seems like there are more than a few parts of this vehicle that are ready for production.

We didn't talk about it in our initial post, but it bears mentioning that this particular concept is wearing an eDrive badge on its backside, indicating that under the Vision Future Luxury's long hood is some form of plug-in-hybrid propulsion. It's anyone's guess as to what engine, battery and motor combinations BMW is playing with, although it does seem questionable whether BMW would launch a PHEV flagship to do battle with a top-rung variant of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (which will likely use V12 power).

Have a look up top for our gallery of live images from the floor of the Beijing Motor Show, and then scroll down for the official press release and images from our original post on the Vision Future Luxury Concept.

Image Credit: Live images copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

MV Agusta F3 800 AGO to be personally signed by Giacomo Agostini

Posted Apr 20th 2014 10:01AM

MV Agusta F3 800 AGO, front three-quarter view.

MV Agusta has let loose the official specs and pricing for its F3 800 Ago, the decked-out trackday bike dedicated to ex-MV Agusta rider and 15-time World Motorcycle Champion Giacomo Agostini. Starting with its F3 800 triple, the Ago adds uprated electronics including an eight-setting traction control that can also be turned off entirely. The Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System allows the pilot to adjust the relationship between throttle twist and opening, Bosch ABS with race mode controls the Brembo brakes with the assistance of MV Agusta's rear-wheel lift-up mitigation system that works to keep the back end planted when the front stoppers are hard at work.

A carbon fiber fairing and forged aluminum wheels help shave nearly five pounds off the weight of the standard F3 800, and a price of 22,990 euros ($31,645) - more than double the $15,798 of the standard F3 800 - will lighten your bank account. Act quickly if this is your game, because the company is only making 300 of them, to go on sale next month. Each will be signed by Giacomo himself and will be accompanied by a plaque on the yoke and a certificate of authenticity, and come in that tricolore paint job to let the world know who you ride for.
Related GalleryMV Agusta F3 800 Ago
MV Agusta F3 800 AgoMV Agusta F3 800 AgoMV Agusta F3 800 AgoMV Agusta F3 800 AgoMV Agusta F3 800 AgoMV Agusta F3 800 AgoMV Agusta F3 800 AgoMV Agusta F3 800 Ago

News Source: Ride Apart

Lincoln MKX Concept announces impending launch in China

Posted Apr 20th 2014 12:01AM

Lincoln MKX Concept

Lincoln has finally dropped the details on the MKX Concept after a few days of teasing. Set for a very important global debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, we're going to have to see this conceptualized version of the third-generation MKX in person before we can draw any real conclusions on the effectiveness of its design.

One of the things Lincoln will need to do to succeed is deliver something to customers that's unique to the brand's vehicles, which are exclusively rebadged models from parent company Ford. We're not sure this is going to be distinctive enough.

Unlike its last new vehicle, the Navigator, the work done on the MKX is smooth and refined. The stance of the vehicle, with its 21-inch wheels, is aggressive enough. Viewed from the profile, the overhangs appear rather short, while character lines keep it from looking slabsided. In front, we might be witnessing the cleanest interpretation yet of Lincoln's twin grilles. The headlights are slim and stylish, and we're digging the shape and style of the mirrors, which feature integrated turn signals that outline the mirror cap.

That said, the overall look still reminds us too strongly of the Ford Edge Concept that was shown in LA. A number of key styling elements, like the taillights and the shape of the greenhouse, have more Edge DNA in them than we'd like to see. The MKX does have an interesting styling to its roof, although we can't say that this treatment would make it into production.

In any case, this is a clean, stylish and attractive piece of design. Certainly, Lincoln seems to be coming to grips with its styling language, adding some of the very best cues from the upcoming MKC to the MKX Concept. All things considered, had the MKX debuted before the Edge Concept, we'd probably be a lot more impressed.

Unfortunately, we don't have any interior images to share, and Lincoln is completely mum on the details. Here's hoping that the interior is attractive enough to create some distance between the MKX and the Edge. And we hope the same can be said of mechanical details.

All things considered, then, it's time we asked what you thought. Take a look at the full gallery of images at the top of the page, read through the press release below, and then head into Comments and let us know if Lincoln's handiwork is up to snuff. What do you think they should change, and what's your favorite design aspect on the MKX Concept? Have your say below.
Related GalleryLincoln MKX Concept
Lincoln MKX ConceptLincoln MKX ConceptLincoln MKX ConceptLincoln MKX ConceptLincoln MKX ConceptLincoln MKX ConceptLincoln MKX ConceptLincoln MKX Concept

Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe concept unveiled in Beijing

Posted Apr 19th 2014 11:45PM

VW New Midsize Coupe Concept

This is the New Midsize Coupe in the metal, and as a demonstrator of the versatility of the Modular Transverse Matrix platforms, Volkswagen says it's what "customers all over the world can look forward to over the next few years." Wider than a Passat, shorter and lower than a Jetta and weighing less than a Jetta, these are the cues a sport sedan on the MQB-B platform could wear.

VW designers didn't take any shortcuts with the detailing, the every corner of the sedan meant to reinforce its presence and draw the eye in. At the front of that long bonnet is a three-bar grilled, with the top bar painted high-gloss black to make the car look lower, the lower two bars finished in chrome look at the front and brushed aluminum in back. They front a collection of finned, ornamental modules, the design reaching all the way into the LED headlights where the finned modules act as cooling vanes for the headlights. The motif is recreated in the lower intakes as well.

From the side you get a full view of the long hood and short decklid, set off by a lower sill in metal. The Dragon Red paint is matched in the 20-inch wheels, with spokes carrying a touch of the body color, and their black inner surfaces complementing the high-gloss black roof panel. In back, 3D LED taillights have aluminum accents, sitting high above twin exhaust pipes split by a high-gloss black diffuser.

The 217-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo will scoot the New Midsize Coupe to 62 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds, and with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission VW says a driver can get fuel economy of 6.4 liters per 100 kilometers, about 37 mpg.

We're told there won't be any sacrifice in the cabin for that, with "ample space for five," cargo capacity of 500 liters, trim in Silk and Ebony Black with Dragon Red piping, Alcantara on the headliner and pillars, and controls from the Golf (which rides on the MQB-A platform).

There's a press release below with more details. We wouldn't mind being a part of the world that gets a shot at this, should VW make it...

News Source: Volkswagen

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV blends sleekness and utility in Beijing

Posted Apr 19th 2014 10:00PM

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV

Automakers attempting to mix the sexiness of a coupe and the utility of an SUV don't appear to be going away. BMW arguably created the niche with its X6, and Acura latched onto it with the awkward ZDX. Mercedes-Benz might be taking the best stab at the form yet with the Concept Coupe SUV, which debuts at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show.

At over 16 feet long, over six feet wide, and riding on 22-inch wheels, the Concept Coupe SUV is an imposing vehicle. The front of the concept is dominated by tons of chrome mesh, and the three-pointed Mercedes star stands proudly in the middle. The hood features some very pronounced creases to lead the eye to that big front end.

Compared to the eye-arresting expanse of chrome at the front, the rest of the styling is surprisingly soft. The profile shows a sweeping curve starting at the A-pillar and ending just above the taillights. It's a sporty look but still slightly weird on a vehicle with SUV proportions. From the rear-three quarters perspective, the design appears to be nothing but curving lines and glass. The back uses simple, horizontal lines with a strip of lights wrapping around, and flat oval exhaust pipes to complete the elegant look below. There are no photos of the interior so that remains a secret for now.

The concept is propelled by a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 with 333 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. It routes through Mercedes' 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox to send power to all four wheels.

Recently, Mercedes is treating concepts as thinly veiled previews of future vehicles, and it seems the Concept Coupe SUV is no different. In fact, the company goes so far in the release to say: "With this concept car, Mercedes-Benz is announcing the possible expansion of the previously uniform SUV off-roader family." It's not hard to read between the lines. Scroll down to get all the details.

News Source: Mercedes-Benz

Jeep gives Cherokee its yin and yang with Sageland and Urbane concepts

Posted Apr 19th 2014 9:02PM

Jeep Cherokee Sageland design concept

Among the design concepts Jeep has prepared for Beijing Motor Show this year are a pair of Cherokees dressed up in contrasting schemes.

In one corner we have the Sageland concept pictured above, drawing its inspiration from Shangri-La with an Ivory Peal tri-coat and bronze trim for the grille, fascia appliqués, roof rack, sunroof, mirror caps and exhaust tips. Inside it's all earth tones with light gray Nappa leather seats and red and blue top-stitching inspired by traditional Chinese themes.
Jeep Cherokee Urbane design concept
Meanwhile the Urbane concept (pictured right) takes the Cherokee in a different direction with steel blue metallic paintjob and black accents. Inside it adopts the theme of Chinese calligraphy with Piano Black accepts and dark red Nappa leather.

Though Jeep isn't saying with which engines these specific concepts are equipped, the Cherokee is available in China with the same engines offered here: the 2.4-liter MultiAir four or the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6, both mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Scroll down for the official press release.

News Source: Jeep

Jeep does Renegade Chinese-style with Zi You Xia design concept

Posted Apr 19th 2014 9:01PM

Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia design concept

As we mentioned, Jeep is bringing a quartet of concepts to the Beijing Motor Show this year. Its largest model, the Grand Cherokee, is nowhere to be found, but its smallest is. That, of course, would be the new Renegade, which has been done up as the Zi You Xia design concept.

Taking its name from the Mandarin word (or words) for "rebel," the Zi You Xia takes its inspiration from the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, with a Warm Chocolate Gray paintjob with contrasting dark bronze trim. The roof, grille and mirror caps are color-keyed to match the rest of the exterior, riding on 20-inch alloys in the same dark bronze finish.

Inside it's all Piano Black, Anodized Copper and brown leather with plaid fabric inserts. Scope it out in the high-res image gallery above and the press release below.

News Source: Jeep

Jeep Wrangler Sundancer design liberally applies bronzer

Posted Apr 19th 2014 9:00PM

Jeep Wrangler Sundancer design concept

Jeep is bringing a total of four concepts to the Beijing Motor Show, and the one you see here is called Sundancer (no relation to the Sundance, of course), based, as you can plainly see, on the Wrangler.

To create the Sundancer – a name that riffs off of nearly forgotten Plymouths of yore – Jeep coated the Wrangler in a tri-coat Chocolate Brown metallic paint with gold accents, bronze fender flares and bronze-tinted glass. The bumpers have been color-keyed to the rest of the bodywork, and the 20-inch billet aluminum wheels have a tone-on-tone gold finish.

Inside, it's been outfitted with Axis II perforated and Berry Baltique semi-aniline leather with lace stitching on the control surfaces with gold trim throughout. All of which makes the toughest model in the Jeep lineup look more like a box of high-end sweets. Whether that's a good thing or not, we leave up to you.

News Source: Jeep

Shanghai GM debuts Trax and redesigned Cruze in Beijing

Posted Apr 19th 2014 6:55PM

CDM Chevrolet Cruze

Shanghai GM, General Motors' joint-venture partner in China, has officially unveiled a pair of new entries for Chevrolet in the People's Republic. First up is the Trax, a vehicle that is also set to arrive in the American market.

The Trax appears largely unchanged for China, following the theme set by the USDM model, which in turn was plucked from other markets around the globe. Based largely on the Buick Encore/Opel Mokka, the CDM variant offers the same 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder found around the globe. All-wheel drive and Chevrolet's MyLink system are available, just like on Trax models sold in Canada and other world markets.

The Cruze is the bigger news. While we're set to receive a lightly refreshed model here in the US, the Chinese market is getting something more extensive. Images of the new fascia were first seen a few weeks back, giving us our first indication that there'd be a separation between the US and China. The CDM Cruze draws inspiration from the Tru 140S Concept, shown a few years ago in Detroit. That accounts for the Dodge Dart-like headlights and more aggressive lines, which Shanghai GM calls "coupe-like."

Two engines will be available when the Cruze launches in China, both of which come from GM's latest family of Ecotec mills. A 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine and a 1.4-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-cylinder provide motivation, while the Chinese market will have a choice of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission or a six-speed automatic.

We're a bit short on images of the CDM Cruze and Trax, although once more pics become available, we'll be sure to update this gallery. Until then, scroll down up and have a look. You can also take a peek at the official press release, below.

News Source: Shanghai GM

BMW Vision Future Luxury arrives in Beijing dressed to the nines

Posted Apr 19th 2014 6:00PM

BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept

BMW Vision Future Luxury ConceptAlmost two weeks ago, we reported that BMW may be bringing a concept to the 2014 Beijing Motor Show that could herald a flagship 9 Series model that would be better suited to do battle with the tip-top of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class range than the current 7 Series. Well, here it is. This is the Vision Future Luxury Concept, and straight away, it looks suited to the role of ultra-luxury flagship.

In our original story, we reported that the Beijing concept would wear styling similar to the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe that was shown in Villa d'Este nearly a year ago. Unlike that car, the Vision Future Luxury sports four doors, although its roofline plunges aggressively enough for it to be considered a four-door coupe. That doesn't mean it will compromise on rear-seat space, however. Judging by the length of the rear doors alone, this is a very large vehicle.

Its styling, though, is, as we reported, quite familiar. We can see the evolution of the Concours' concept's styling, with a narrower grille that still leads up into the hood. The thin headlights use BMW's Laserlight technology while retaining a shape similar to the Gran Lusso, and the lower intake is dominated by a carbon-fiber air deflector on both ends. BMW's Air Breather system can be found behind the front wheels, adding an accent along the lower portion of the doors. In back, organic LED lighting is used for the super-slim taillights.

Considering that this car has "Luxury" in its name, the cabin should be a pretty nice place to spend time. There's no shortage of concept car styling, but the overall sense of design looks like a nice evolution of the styling we see on newer Bimmers. BMW opted for a layered design to the interior materials, using carbon fabric as a base before adding an aluminum support layer. Finally, wood and aniline leather are added, as needed. There's no shortage of exposed carbon fiber, but it's found in such tasteful doses that it looks quite nice.

Being a concept, BMW took the opportunity to include a few next-gen interior technologies. A new head-up display projects information onto the road, highlighting certain buildings or road signs, for example. Rear-seat occupants, meanwhile, have access to a detachable Touch Command Tablet, which can access BMW's Luxury Concierge Service, as well as games, the Internet and trip information. There are two other seat-mounted displays for rear-seat occupants, as well.

Make no mistake, this might be a wild, out-there concept, and there's no talk of what might potentially power it, but much of its look seems very much grounded in reality. Perhaps, like the Vision concept that went before it, we'll be talking about this fullsize, four-door coupe for the next few years. Take a look above to see what BMW's put together for the PRC's annual Auto China show, and then scroll down for the official press release on the Vision Future Luxury concept.

News Source: BMW

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