Bright spot in the global market, where automakers reveal pickup concepts.
Mr. Ecclestone and his wife can rest easy once again.
If you've been following the news from the Sao Paulo Motor Show, you'll likely have seen not only a series of new concept cars, but also a whole mess of production vehicles you never knew existed because they were developed specifically for the Latin American market. One of them is the Hyundai HB20.
Crossovers are the name of the game at the Sao Paulo Motor Show this year, with numerous European and Japanese automakers using the occasion of Latin America's largest auto show to showcase new high-riding concepts. This latest example comes from Citroën.
The striking new concept vehicle seen above is called the FCC4, which stands for Fiat Concept Car... with, um, four doors. We're not quite sure what else to call it, because the Fiat Design Center Latam (as in, Latin America) has apparently tried to transcend market segments and traditional bodystyles as much as possible. It's sort of like a four-door coupe, riding high on a jacked-up suspension, with what looks at first like a pickup bed but is actually covered by a sloping glass fastback.
The Sao Paulo Motor Show only comes around once every other year, and Nissan – an automaker deeply vested in the Latin American market – isn't missing out on the opportunity to showcase a new crossover concept.
The Bronco may be long gone from Ford dealerships back home, but down in Brazil its spirit lives on in the Troller brand. Founded independently in 1995, Ford do Brasil took over Troller in 2007 and has been teasing us with its rough-and-tumble SUVs ever since. So with the Sao Paulo Motor Show coming up, Troller has revealed this special version of the T4.
We've gotten used to the idea of Volkswagen keeping certain models like the Scirocco and Amarok to the European market and not bringing them to North America, but the German automaker also has a full line of vehicles made right here in the Americas that don't make it to US showrooms either. Those are the products of Volkswagen do Brasil, which has just revealed two new debuts for the upcoming Sao Paulo Motor Show.
Back in 2012 at Brazil's São Paulo Motor Show, Nissan showed off an angular subcompact crossover concept, Extrem, that seemed to to portend the future of the Nissan Juke. Now, the Japanese automaker is teasing an as-yet-unnamed CUV concept for this year's show. The new showcar, set for an October 28 unveiling, is expected to be a closer-to-production version of the Extrem ethos.
Arguing over the pros and cons of using ethanol as a transportation fuel isn't just an American thing. The Brazilians are going at it, too. We will translate.
If you ever thought your car was as cool as one sold by Hot Wheels, then a parking lot at Shopping Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil had your name all over it. Mattel's ad agency there, AGE Isobar, placed a giant rendition of Hot Wheels packaging at the front of the lot for one day last month. Instead of putting a giant Hot Wheel inside, however, the 'box' was empty, and customers could drive their cars inside and then have their pictures taken.
Brazil is now the world's fourth-largest national automotive market.
Until Ford bought it in 2007, Troller was an independent Brazilian brand that made the T4 and the Pantanal pickup. The T4, still in production, looks like a Jeep Wrangler hooked up with an old Ssangyong Korando and a snorkel. With Ford blood coursing through its design offices, the TR-X concept shown off at the São Paulo Auto Show looks like a Wrangler hooked up with an old Bronco and Toyota FJ Cruiser behind one of the booths at SEMA.
Today at the São Paulo Motor Show, Honda unveiled the its new Fit Twist softroader. Based on the familiar Fit/Jazz subcompact, the Twist gets its own, distinctive grille and roof rails, along with unique front fascia, matte fender lips and what looks like more ground clearance for the region's notoriously rough roads. Inside, the Twist gets its own seat coverings as well.
The Sao Paulo Auto Show is in full swing, and General Motors has chosen the event to showcase the manufacturer's newest subcompact, the Onix. Penned specifically for the Brazilian market, the little creation rides on the same platform as the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Encore. Buyers can look forward to sinking their teeth into a 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission as well as a MyLink infotainment system.
We didn't have to wait very long for recent reports of a new small Volkswagen crossover to come true... well, sort of. In a side note to our report on a seven-passenger VW CUV last week, we also mentioned the possibility of a new sub-Tiguan crossover, and we may have gotten our first look at such a vehicle courtesy of this Volkswagen Taigun Concept that is debuting at the São Paulo motor show.
Less than a week ago, Nissan teased us with what it called a "high character" concept to be unveiled in São Paulo, Brazil this weekend. We were skeptical, suggesting the concept might be less than sporty considering the show's traditional emphasis on inexpensive workaday iron.
It's been one heck of a season in Formula One racing. Not since the days of Michael Schumacher at the pinnacle of his career with Ferrari have we seen the kind of domination that his fellow countryman Sebastian Vettel has smote upon the championship.
Come next May, the public transit system in Sao Paulo, Brazil will be a bit greener thanks to the addition of 50 Scania buses designed to run on pure ethanol. The people haulers are part of the first wave of an initial fleet of 200 ethanol-fueled buses. Sao Paulo operates more than 15,000 public transport buses and has set its sights on converting each and every one of them to renewable fuel models by 2018. With biogas in limited supply, ethanol will likely the dominant biofuel used in the buses