Volkswagen Group is one of the largest automakers on Earth, operating 106 factories in 27 countries and building everything from motorcycles to commercial vehicles. However, it saved something very special to celebrate its latest production milestone. During VW's preview night ahead of the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the company showed off the frankly amazing XL Sport concept and announced that it was the 200-millionth vehicle ever built by the group.
Honda just took the wraps off of its thoroughly updated 2015 CR-V for the US, with a touch more style and improved powertrain to provide more torque and better fuel economy. In our First Drive, we found that all of the changes really focused the CUV even more towards the desires of its audience of mostly families. European crossover shoppers don't have to wait too long to see these tweaks for themselves and get a few exclusive upgrades of their own.
Škoda may not get the bulk of our attention, but it's hard to argue with the nearly 1 million vehicles it moved last year. In terms of sales volume, that makes Škoda the third biggest division under the Volkswagen Group umbrella (after VW and Audi). The Octavia accounted for over a third of that, but despite having been introduced back in 2007, the Fabia remains its second most popular model worldwide. Good thing it's got an all-new model on the cusp, then.
Let the speculation finally end – we know what will power the next-generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, and it's not turbocharged. The US model will get a SkyActiv 2.0-liter engine and six-speed manual, while models in the rest of the world have a 1.5-liter engine, confirming earlier rumors.
One week after a leaked sketch ran on these very pages, Audi has introduced the latest member of a "potential TT family," according to Audi board member Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. This is the TT Sportback Concept, a five-door, 400-horsepower version of the brand's stylish sports car and at this point, it looks darn likely to herald the debut of a third body style for Audi's design icon.
Just over one year ago, we reported on rumors that Volkswagen was pairing with its then-new corporate cousin, Italian motorcycle maker Ducati, to build a high-performance version of the XL1, a vehicle that we (actually, I) said would be a "firecracker," thanks to its super-low curb weight, slippery aerodynamics and alleged 190-horsepower engine. Now, only slightly late for its rumored Geneva Motor Show debut, VW is trotting out the so-called XL Sport to the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
Well, this certainly looks like a concept, doesn't it? From the wide, portal-esque door opeings to the boattail rear window design, there's just so much about the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration that looks like it would never actually reach production that we're impressed the automaker had the gumption to put the machine together and show it off at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
The reveal of the next-generation Honda Civic Type R has been a gradual one. First Honda showed us a camouflaged prototype, then let us drive one at its Japanese proving ground and followed up with a concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Now with the Paris Motor Show looming on the horizon, it has revealed yet another concept to keep hot-hatch enthusiasts on their toes.
At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Kia showcased a new diesel hybrid powertrain. And at the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show, it will present that new technology in the Optima sedan concept you see here.
The first purportedly leaked images from an Italian magazine of Lamborghini's new vehicle for the Paris Motor Show are on the web, and they closely echo the model's silhouette from the teaser. However, there's no official mention of a name to confirm that this is being called the Asterion, as rumored.
We all know that the letters GT stand for Gran Turismo, but tacking on another letter can evoke a different meaning altogether. GTO for Ferraris (or Pontiacs), GT-R for Nissan supercars, GTA for high-performance Alfa Romeos (or car-theft video games, or metropolitan Toronto)... The list goes on and on, but few are as familiar with the idea as Volkswagen, which uses the letters GTI for hot hatches, GTD for their diesel counterparts, and most recently, GTE for plug-in hybrids.
For roughly the past 30 years, the Renault Espace has been among the definitive European minivans, but the rising tide of crossovers has put that streak to an end. The French automaker has released the first three images teasing the next-gen model, and it has confirmed the van's transformation into a CUV to debut during a press conference at the 2014 Paris Motor Show led by company CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Let all of the speculation finally end because the convertible version of the Ferrari 458 Speciale is here. However, the Prancing Horse isn't calling it a spider; instead it's dubbed the 458 Speciale A, which stands for Aperta or "open" in English. It's also limited to a scant 499 cars, a few more than the 458 first rumored.
With the debut of the new TT and TTS hardtops in Geneva earlier this year, as well as the more recent debut of the convertible model, Audi has ticked the same body style boxes as the first two generations of TT. Unlike those earlier examples, though, the German luxury manufacturer has provided a slow and steady parade of concepts showing off possible directions for the TT.
Honda has released the details on its freshened Euro-spec Civic ahead of its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, whose media days are set to open next week. Aside from a fairly pleasant visual upgrade for both the standard Civic as well as the Civic Tourer, Paris will also see the arrival of a new Civic Sport model.
The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is getting a baby brother at this year's 2014 Paris Motor Show in the form of a new Golf Alltrack. Like its larger sibling, the little wagon is supposed to offer light-duty off-road driving ability combined with a more rugged look to show it off.
The TT may be first and foremost a coupe, but in presenting the third-generation model, Audi has toyed with all sorts of body-styles. There's been the prototypical coupe, of course, but also shooting brake and crossover concepts. The one thing it hasn't shown us is the convertible model, but that ends today as Audi takes the wraps off the new TT Roadster and TTS Roadster.
Say hello to the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63. That's right, it's no longer the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG – its a formal Mercedes-AMG product, just like the GT that just launched earlier this month. Coincidence? Hardly. The new C63 packs the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 and features some of the same new-age tuning that AMG used in creating its new Porsche 911-fighting coupe. And boy, are we excited to drive this one.
With the alternating main European auto show landing in Paris this year, French automakers won't miss the opportunity to unveil lots of new metal on their home turf, and that includes Citroën. So far, we know that the Chevron marque is rolling in to Versailles this year with the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L, a pair of specials done with fashion designer Ines de la Fressange, and the Divine DS concept from its newly emancipated luxury division. But that's not all – it's also lined up the littl