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Ford Everest Concept shows China also has an affinity for big trucks

Posted Apr 21st 2014 3:33PM

Ford Everest Concept

The Ford Everest Concept SUV at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show shows the future of the Blue Oval's truck line in China. While a concept for now, we're told that JMC, Ford's Chinese joint-venture partner, will build a production version sometime in the near future.

With design from Ford's Asia Pacific design team, the handsome seven-passenger SUV shows off some very muscular styling with wraparound headlights that hook into the contours of the angular trapezoidal grille. The beltline rises up the body in the rear and makes the back appear higher than the front. The rear is made from hard, chiseled contours that give the truck a very tough look. The Everest looks ready for some rough roads.

Ford is keeping the interior and mechanical details about the Everest a secret for now, but the SUV is rumored to share some components with the overseas Ranger pickup. The company has no plans to sell the truck in North America. Scroll down to read the official announcement, including the few details on its production.

News Source: Ford

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Watch this 6-year-old ride a Harley in the desert [w/poll]

Posted Apr 21st 2014 3:01PM

Six-year-old riding motorcycle

Did your parents ever let you do something as a kid, and you later realized how dangerous it was? Well, depending on your outlook, the adult in this video is either the coolest guy ever or the most reckless. While on a motorcycle ride, he taps the young boy in front of him on the helmet and hands over complete control.

Unfortunately, we have no context for this video. The YouTube description just says, "6-Year-Old Boy Riding Father's Harley On An Open Road!" So it's difficult to say where this is happening or when. Regardless, it's almost certainly against the law to let a child ride a motorcycle on public roads.

To their credit, both of them handle things quite well. On the adult's side, they don't appear to pass any traffic during the video, and he waits for a long, straight piece of road for the kid to take over. The little boy is pretty cool too. He nonchalantly grabs the handlebars after two prompts from the man and gives the throttle a good twist. He doesn't seem afraid by any of this.

Is this a cool chance for the kid or an adult putting them both at risk? Scroll down to check out the video and have your say in the poll below.

Should the adult letting this six-year-old ride his Harley be in trouble?

News Source: Jacob Hughes via YouTube

Ford Escort is ready to focus on the Chinese market

Posted Apr 21st 2014 2:28PM

Ford Escort Concept

Ford officially revived the Escort name in China, showing of the new, four-door compact at the Beijing Motor Show. Painted in a stylish brown-bronze, the new sedan wears a number of global Ford styling cues while sharing its platform with the Ford Focus.

Power for the new model comes from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, although Ford doesn't specify just how much power is on offer, simply saying that the fuel economy of the new mill will be "outstanding." It's unclear what transmission will be distributing the engine's power, although based on the images we've seen, the Escort will definitely offer a two-pedal setup.

The layout of the cabin is fairly clean, although as we mentioned in our initial post on the new Escort, it's a decidedly sparser environment than we've grown use to in US-spec Fords of late. If anything, it's like a weird blend of current Ford switchgear with an overall look that reminds us of older Ford layouts. Still, it looks like a comfortable way of moving five people about without too much fuss. There's ample space both front and rear, and a rather spacious trunk.

Take a look above for our live images from Beijing, and then hop below for the official release and images from Ford.
Related GalleryFord Escort: Beijing 2014
Ford Escort: Beijing 2014Ford Escort: Beijing 2014Ford Escort: Beijing 2014Ford Escort: Beijing 2014Ford Escort: Beijing 2014Ford Escort: Beijing 2014Ford Escort: Beijing 2014Ford Escort: Beijing 2014

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Audi TT Offroad concept packs 408 hybrid horsepower, yet returns 123 mpg

Posted Apr 21st 2014 2:02PM

Audi TT Offroad Concept

Audi took the wraps of its TT Offroad Concept at the Beijing Motor Show, after teasing us with sketches earlier this month. "The Audi TT offroad concept provides a glimpse of how we might imagine a new model in the future TT family," says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. "It combines the sporty genes of the TT with the strengths of a compact Audi SUV."

The latest in Audi's eTron show cars reminds us an awful lot of the the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept that debuted a few months ago at the Detroit Auto Show. In addition to very similar physical appearances, the two share the same plug-in hybrid propulsion systems (the "plug-in" part is a bit misleading, as the concept simply needs to be parked over an inductive pad to take advantage of Audi Wireless Charging technology).

Proving that hybrid power never has to be a compromise, the TT Offroad Concept packs a 292 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood. The combustion engine is assisted by two electric motors (rated at 40 kW at the front and 85 kW at the rear) to provide a total system output of 408 horsepower and nearly 480 pound-feet of torque. With all-wheel drive, the concept hits 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and tops out at 155 mph - while returning a provisional fuel efficiency of 123 miles per gallon equivalent.

Inside the four-place cabin is Audi's forthcoming Virtual Cockpit Technology with a customizable 12.3-inch TFT display projecting high-quality 3D graphics to the driver. Other technology includes three Audi Smart Displays, which serve as mobile infotainment systems both in and out of the car, and a cabin ionizer to remove allergens from the cabin atmosphere. And, when owners tire of driving the TT Offroad Concept, they may tool around with a 1:8-scale radio-controlled car kept in a custom storage box in the trunk.

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Bugatti Veyron Legends Edition Black Bess isn't exactly subtle

Posted Apr 21st 2014 1:29PM

Bugatti Veyron Legends Black Bess

The Bugatti Veyron Legend editions may do nothing to alter the Grand Sport Vitesse's already prodigious performance, but buyers appear to love them. Four special models have been unveiled so far, and Bugatti has sold out of all of them. At the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, the automaker has introduced the fifth Legend – the Black Bess.

Unlike the previous models, this Legend is inspired by a specific car, rather than a person. Black Bess was the name of a Bugatti Type 18 owned by famous French aviator Roland Garros. With seven examples built from 1912 to 1914, the 18 was a supercar in its time. It sported a 99-horspower, 5.0-liter four-cylinder engine and could reach 100 miles per hour. While paltry today, it was amazing performance by contemporary standards.

The modern Black Bess packs the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse's 1,184-hp, quad-turbo W16 engine, and it wears rich, black paint with 24-carat gold accents. The interior has a combination of beige, brown and red leather, but its real showpieces are the hand-painted leather door panels that depict the Type 18 and Roland Garros' plane.

Like the rest of the Legends vehicles, the Black Bess will be limited to just three cars, and each one will be priced at €2.15 million ($2.97 million). Scroll down to read the full press release on the on Bugatti's latest, classically inspired creation.

News Source: Bugatti

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe Concept is an aspirational Jetta

Posted Apr 21st 2014 1:00PM

VW New Midsize Coupe Concept

Meet the Volkswagen baby CC. Okay, that's not really it's name (VW calls it the New Midsize Coupe Concept), but this sleek, four-door coupe draws more than a little inspiration from the CC while riding on VW's MQB platform.

It's a looker, we think, and is an eye-pleasing departure from the bland styling of the current Jetta. The sleeker front end is complemented by a wider body overall (it's wider than a Passat), while the more sporting roofline and the sharp rear fascia gives the New Midsize Coupe a decidedly sporting character. LED head- and taillights add a bit more personality to this already stylish design.

Thanks to its 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, it should get along rather sportingly, as well. The run to 62 miles per hour takes just 6.5 seconds thanks to the 217 horsepower on offer. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is also fitted, and contributes to an estimated 37 miles per gallon.

Take a look above for our full range of images from the floor of the China International Exhibition Center and the Beijing Motor Show. You can also scroll down for the full batch of official materials on the New Midsize Coupe Concept.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Race Recap: 2014 Chinese Grand Prix ruled by a three-pointed dragon [spoilers]

Posted Apr 21st 2014 12:32PM

Graphic for the 2014 Chinese F1 Grand Prix

If the Bahrain Grand Prix was a bounty for the fans, the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix returned to the script entitled "Displays of Dominance" yet still offered a fair bit of action throughout the weekend. After not being completely comfortable in the car during the three practice sessions, Lewis Hamilton put his Mercedes AMG Petronas on pole – again, passing Alain Prost and Jim Clark on the all-time list – in a wet qualifying session that no one expected to be a good study for a dry race.

So far every weekend, Daniel Ricciardo has proved Infiniti Red Bull Racing made the right choice in calling him up from the junior squad, the Aussie taking the second spot on the front row in his Red Bull, ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel. Nico Rosberg, suffering with brake and telemetry problems in qualifying, took fourth. Fernando Alonso predicted the best showing yet for Ferrari, a team in turmoil, and grabbed a fifth grid position he knows well, followed by the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hülkenberg in the Force India, and Romain Grosjean getting Lotus into the last spot in Q3. Heartening for Lotus is that Grosjean said he thought he could have got into the top five if not for the rain.

When the lights went out, you could almost hear plenty of other drivers thinking, "I could get onto the top spot on the podium if not for the Mercedes'."

Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images | AP Photo

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Jack Of All Trades, Master Of All Trades

Posted Apr 21st 2014 11:57AM

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

"No Land Rover has any business sounding like that!"

My dad's words hung in the air like the few stray puffs of exhaust trailing in my wake as I motored away from him following a nice dinner. His parting statement to me really summed up the experience of driving this Chile Red Range Rover Sport. This is a vehicle unlike anything else Land Rover has ever built – and it needs to be. The Sport has been the British marque's best-selling vehicle since it went on sale in 2005 – even in its predecessor's final full year of sales, 2012, it still netted a four-percent bump. That kind of staying power needs to be preserved.

Doing that would be difficult, though, as Land Rover launched a pair of particularly notable products before it was time to redesign the Sport. The Range Rover Evoque has set the design benchmark for the Land Rover brand, while the all-new, fourth-generation Range Rover was the best sport utility vehicle Land Rover has ever built, and arguably one of the very best on the road, full stop.

The task seemed clear, then: build a worthy successor to an SUV that customers have been clamoring to buy for the better part of decade, while also adding the design chutzpah of the Evoque and living up to the class-leading standards set by its big brother.

Vital Stats

Engine:
SC 5.0L V8
Power:
510 HP / 461 LB-FT
Transmission:
8-Speed Auto
Base Price:
$79,100
As-Tested Price:
$94,085

Chinese-designed Nissan Lannia Concept debuts in Beijing

Posted Apr 21st 2014 11:27AM

Nissan Lannia Concept

Nissan showed off a stylish new concept car to the assembled crowds of media at the Beijing Motor Show. The Lannia Concept is... well, it's not that easy to describe. It's kind of a sedan, only it looks a bit like a fastback from the rear. But for a twist, it has an ever-so-small rear deck. Regardless of how we'd classify it, it's a seriously sharp piece of styling, thanks to its unique shape and flowing character lines.

If the Lannia's styling appears familiar, it's because we've sort of seen it before. There's more than a little bit of inspiration from the Friend-Me Concept. The Lannia's overall shape is similar to the Friend-Me, while both the front and rear clips look decidedly more production ready. Considering this evolution, we shouldn't rule out a production Lannia in the next few years. And if Nissan's product boss, Andy Palmer is any indication, the new model might not be limited to China.

"It was designed by Chinese, built by Chinese for the Chinese people, and ultimately, for the world," Palmer said in a statement. If Nissan can keep this sharp styling, this could prove a compelling buy in a number of markets.

Nissan doesn't provide a great deal of additional information on this new concept. Rather than tell us about its engine, transmission or interior, the Japanese manufacturer simply said the Lannia is a "sedan theory-breaker," whatever that means. It's targeted, meanwhile, at Chinese "post-80s" trendsetters, which we take to mean either very hip nonagenarians or trendy people born after the 1980s (it's probably the latter).

Take a look above for our gallery of live images from Beijing, and then scroll down for the full round of assets from Nissan on the all-new Lannia Concept.

Image Credit: Live images copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Jeep brings quartet of concepts to Beijing to show its Chinese style

Posted Apr 21st 2014 10:59AM

Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia

Jeep is making a big play for the Chinese crossover market at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. It has a quartet styling concepts for the Renegade, Cherokee and Wrangler that are inspired by Chinese culture at the show.

Among them is the newest member of the Jeep lineup – the Renegade. Its Zi You Xia concept (pictured above) comes from the Mandarin for "rebel," and it's painted in Warm Chocolate Gray with Dark Anodized Bronze trim, including the 20-inch wheels. The roof, grille surround, and mirror caps are done in a complimentary Dark Charcoal color as an accent. The interior is a mix of dark brown leather and Anodized Copper trim. This is one swanky compact crossover.

The Cherokee Sageland and Urbane concepts are meant to show to different sides of Chinese style. With inspiration from the Shangri-La Region, the Sageland has Ivory Pearl tri-coat paint with bronze trim on the outside, and the interior is covered in Gray Nappa leather with red and blue stitching. The Urbane's look comes from the nightlife in the country's cities. The exterior is a color called Maximum Steel with Hyper Black trim. Inside, it combines Piano Black trim with dark red leather seats.

Finally, there is the Wrangler Sundancer concept that wears tri-coat Chocolate Brown metallic paint with gold accents, bronze fender flares and bronze-tinted glass. For an added dose of style, the front and rear bumpers are fitted with LED lights, and it rides on 20-inch pale gold wheels with polished gold inserts. Almost the entire interior is covered in Berry Baltique leather, which has a very red tone of brown, with pale gold trim.

Jeep didn't go into specific detail about the powertrains for any of the concepts. However, that makes sense because they show off more of what the brand can do with its styling than any performance advantages. Scroll down to read about all four of them in the official release.

News Source: Jeep

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Honda Concept B Hybrid production version coming to China in 2016

Posted Apr 21st 2014 10:28AM

Honda Concept B Hybrid at Beijing 2014

At the Beijing Motor Show this weekend, Honda took the wraps off of the Concept B Hybrid, a "new-value concept" that will apparently do its level best to get the Japanese automaker back into the entry-level gas-electric game. Powertrain details for the five-door concept hatch are noticeably absent, so we are assuming that what Honda wants with this concept is for us to focus on the looks. Honda says the car's exterior design is "advanced and cool-looking." We like the shape, but think a few changes will do wonders for the production model.

If the busy front end gets turned down a bit in production (it's especially glaring from the front), we can see this becoming a darn good replacement for the Insight at the lower end of the hybrid price spectrum. Sadly, for now, Honda is saying that the mass-production model that uses the Concept B as a foundation will be available "exclusively" on the Chinese market in two years.

Speaking at the Beijing show, Honda president and CEO Takanobu Ito continued to look for ways to green his company's line-up, and said Honda, "will strive to become number one in complying with Chinese CAFE regulations, which are the toughest in the world, and offer a new lifestyle for Chinese customers." Come 2016, that new lifestyle could look like the car you see in the gallery above. Think it's a good one?

News Source: Honda

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Peugeot 2008 DKR aiming for Dakar, makes detour to Beijing

Posted Apr 21st 2014 10:04AM

Peugeot 2008 DKR

Peugeot is no stranger to dirt-oriented motorsports, but with the 2008 DKR, the French automaker is striking out in a different direction than the rally stages of Europe. Instead, it has placed aim squarely on the notorious Dakar Rally, arguably one of the most grueling, demanding and dangerous (and longest) races on the planet.

The race has been dominated the past few years by the X-Raid team and its wildly modified Mini Countryman rally cars. Peugeot is aiming to change that, teaming with Red Bull (arch-rival of X-Raid's main sponsor, Monster Energy) and parking two-time World Rally champion Carlos Sainz in the driver's seat.

Like the Countryman, the 2008 has very, very little in common with its road-going cousin. For one, it's rear-wheel drive, unlike the production, front-drive 2008 (and the four-wheel-drive Countryman). Peugeot's reasoning, as we explained on our original post on the dune-busting racer was that larger tires could be fitted - 37-inch Michelins - while suspension travel could be increased substantially.

There's still no word on what sort of powerplant sits under the 2008 DKR's hood, but if the Countryman's 3.0-liter, turbodiesel six-pot is any indication, the DKR will likely be an oil burner.

Take a look up top for our full batch of images from the 2008 DKR's debut at the Beijing Motor Show, and then scroll down for the official press release, video and images from Peugeot.

Image Credit: Live images copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Start your private army with 43 Land Rover Defenders

Posted Apr 21st 2014 9:31AM

Land Rover Defender 110s for sale

Living in the United States, Land Rover Defenders aren't exactly thick on the ground. Even if you are lucky enough to stumble on one that's worth buying, though, the price can easily exceed the cost of a new Land Rover LR4 or Range Rover Evoque, with the finest, low-mileage examples going nearly as much as a new, fullsize Range Rover.

The obvious solution, then, is to just buy your Defenders in bulk. Ex Army UK somehow acquired 43 Defender 110 Puma models from military surplus. And get this - they're new. Yes, the diesel-powered beasts of burden were bought by some government agency and put in storage. They were bought between 2008 and 2009 and look pretty much pristine. The downside, at least for our friends in the UK, where the Landies are located, is that the vehicles can't be operated within the UK or European Union. We promise, if they're sent to the US, we'll take very good care of them.

We won't even attempt to hazard a guess at how much it'll cost to acquire this small army of SUVs, but it probably won't be cheap. Still, if you're contemplating starting your very own militia, 43 rough-and-tumble (and new) military vehicles would be a solid start.

News Source: Ex Army UK via AutoWeek

Peugeot reveals new Chinese-market 408 at Beijing Motor Show

Posted Apr 21st 2014 9:00AM

2015 Peugeot 408

Peugeot might not market in the United States – although according to our compatriots at Edmunds, that may be about to change – but don't think that it doesn't export out of Europe. In fact, together with its Citroën subsidiary, Peugeot SA is among the top ten automakers in the world. China is one of its most vital markets, one where it consistently turns a profit. And reflecting the importance of the Chinese market, Peugeot has rolled in to the Beijing Motor Show with several new debuts.

Aside from launching the new 2008 crossover and RCZ R in China for the first time – to say nothing of the new Citroëns debuting at the same show – Peugeot has created the Exalt concept sedan for the Beijing expo and also revealed its new 408 sedan. Slotting, as you might have guessed, in between the 308 hatchback and the 508 flagship, the 408 is a C-segment sedan designed specifically for the Chinese market but will, like its predecessor, likely find its way into other developing markets like Russia and South America in the near future as well.

Built as part of a joint venture with DongFeng, the new 408 rides on a 107-inch wheelbase to make it marginally longer than the model it replaces. Power comes from a 1.6-liter turbo four with direct injection and stop/start ignition, full LED headlamps, automatic parking system, blind-spot detection and more. It also moves the lion badge from the hood onto the grille, marking what could be a new trend for the French brand. Designed as the first car for a 30-year-old urban dweller, the new 408 promises to give Peugeot an even bigger slice of a pie that's estimated at 1.4 million vehicles strong each year. Read more in the press release below.
Related Gallery2015 Peugeot 408
2015 Peugeot 4082015 Peugeot 4082015 Peugeot 4082015 Peugeot 4082015 Peugeot 408

News Source: Peugeot

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