Subaru BRZ Concept Revealed at Frankfurt Motor Show

Subaru’s new BRZ coupe will only be available with a normally aspirated engine and rear-wheel drive.

Speaking at today’s Frankfurt motor show, Subaru’s product planning chief and BRZ development head Toshio Masuda said the BRZ would be offered with a sole engine option: a direct-injection 2.0-litre normally-aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine, codenamed ‘FA’. He also said it would produce “less than 300bhp” and gearbox options would be six-speed manual and six-speed automatic.

Masuda also revealed the Subaru BRZ, which will go into production alongside its co-developed Toyota FT-86 sibling in spring 2012, would be one of the lightest and shortest cars [less than 1300mm] cars in its class, and would have the lowest centre of gravity of any rear-drive sports car on the market.

Despite Toyota showing its concept version of the coupe almost two years ago, Subaru insists the Toyota is a version of the Subaru and the smaller Japanese firm has led chassis and engine development throughout.

Masuda said the BRZ, which will be shown in final production form at November’s Tokyo motor show, will sport a completely different styling direction to the new Impreza seen at last year’s LA motor show. Expect to see strong familiarities with the Toyota FT-86, with subtle changes at the front and rear for the Subaru.

The BRZ will reach UK showrooms in summer 2012. A convertible version has been considered, but is not currently planned. The BRZ’s engine is not destined for any other Subarus.

Ford Reveals E Bike Concept at Frankfurt Motor Show

Ford revealed at this year’s Frankfurt auto show an electric bike concept called the E-Bike. Features include a Selle Italia SLR XC saddle and aluminum and carbon frame, with a Giant SLR Carbon 110mm stem. The E-Bike’s frame will weigh just 2.5 kg.

The Concept is powered by a front wheel hub motor which has an output of 350W. Top speed for the E-Bike will be around 25km/h when utilising electric power only. The E-Bike is also equipped with a freewheel function clutch, planet gears and Integral sensor technology.

The electric hub motor of Ford’s E-Bike is fuelled by a 340Wh, 36V, 9.3Ah Lithium-ion battery, offering a range of up to 85 km. The battery can be re-charged to 80% of its capacityin 2 hours, and to 100% in 3 to 4 hours. Ford’s E-Bike uses Magneotostrictive materials to convert movement in electric energy in vice-versa. The same material as used in Formula 1.

Ford’s E-Bike also features a 2012 Shimamo Rapidfire gear shift, Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub, and a carbon belt drive system.

Controller display functions:

Background lighting with light sensor system

Energy-saving automatic sleep mode

Diagnosis function with fault code display

Support modes: Economy, Comfort, Sport

Displays: Range, Battery capacity, Speed, Time, Distance, Maximum speed, Average speed, Total distance, Service reminder, System diagnosis, Support modes

2012 Renault Twingo RS Revealed at Frankfurt Motor Show

In a new twist, Renault also revealed today at Frankfurt Twingo’s high performance sibling – the 2012 Renaultsport 133.

Engine specifications and performance figures are yet to be disclosed, however from the images released we can see that a distinctive front facia is set for production alongside a great looking set of alloys and a more powerful engine.

The anticipated drive of the new Renaultsport model is promised to be just as fun as the current model.

The 2012 Renault Twingo RS will come is Renault’s distinctive Renaultsport yellow as seen across the current range of models, with a new more aggressivly styled front grille with integrated fog lamps and an F1 style blade within the bumper.

The 2012 Renault Twingo RS  comes with a rear roof spoiler, a stunning set of 16″ alloy wheels and will also feature two air vents integrated into the rear wheel arches, for cooling the brakes.

Inside the 2012 Twingo RS the interior does not disappoint. The steering wheel and seats will feature yellow stitching, the rev-counter will see a high gloss black finish and there will also be an optional Renaultsport Monitor onboard telemetary system.

Pricing and availabilty at this point is not confimed for the 2012 Renault Twingo as yet, however once we know we will be sure to fire out an update on this hotly anticipated pocket-rocket!

2012 Renault Twingo Revealed at Frankfurt Motor Show

Finally revealed today at the Frankfurt Motor Show was the hotly anticipated, latest generation 2012 Renault Twingo. Key changes are re-freshed exterior styling, an updated range of engines and a fresh new interior.

Further additions for the 2012 Twingo include two new colours; Fuchsia and Bermuda Blue, two additional tail lights integrated into the rear hatch, a re-styled rear bumper and a new set of 17-inch light alloy wheels.

The interior, the 2012 Renault Twingo will come with a higher quality upholstery and various colorful trim parts. The 2012 Twingo will also offer 22 cm of legroom  and feature independently sliding, 50/50-split rear seats. The boot can also be increased from 230 litres to 959 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.

A 1.2 TCe engine developing 100 hp and 155 Nm of torque will be available, offering a  55.4 mpg fuel consumption in the combined cycle and a 119g/km CO2 emissions level, meaning Euro 6 compliance.

In a further exciting announcement from Renault; personalisation is definitely the way forward. Options will include a selection of roof decals, contrast door mirrors and protective side door mouldings.

As yet, prices for the 2012 Renault Twingo are unconfirmed, however launch is destined for early in the new year.

Ford Fiesta ST Concept Revealed at Frankfurt Motor Show

Great news for Ford hot hatch fans! A Ford Fiesta ST concept has been launched at the Frankfurt motor show this morning – with Ford confirming it will go into production next year!

This stunner of a car will sit alongside the new Focus ST range, which will include an estate verion for the first time.

This exciting concept will follow in a long line of  baby fast Fords . Predecesors include the XR2, XR2i, RS1800, RS Turbo and the previous-generation ST.

In previous discussions Ford have played down speculation that the Fiesta ST would make prodution, claiming there was not enough global appeal, therefore suggesting it would not be approved under the One Ford strategy, however the success of the Fiesta in North America partered with strong demand from the European market has finally convinced Ford decision makers in Detroit to sign the car off for production next year.

At the heart of the front-drive concept sits a 178bhp, 177lb ft 1.6-litre, four-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The most powerful factory Fiesta at present is the 132bhp 1.6 in the special-edition Fiesta S1600.

The Fiesta ST concept can cover 0-62mph in less than seven seconds and reach 137mph, compared with the Renault Clio 200’s 6.9sec and 141mph. Ford claims CO2 emissions will be lower than 140g/km and the fuel economy figure will be “attractive”.

Inspired by the Fiesta RS WRC car and the forthcoming Focus ST procuction car the Fiesta ST is likely to feature a large trapezoid grille, rear diffuser, twin exhanust system, full ST body-kit and 17″ alloy wheels. The exterior vibrant molten orange paint will be carried through into the interior and cockpit with Recaro seats completing the package.

Ford claims that the concept’s handling has been influenced by Fiesta competition cars that run in the WRC, X Games and rallycross championships.

Subaru Launches new XV at Frankfurt Motor Show

The launch of the XV takes Subaru into the compact crossover segment for the first time, where combining style with functionality is key. In this highly competitive segment, the XV will offer something different, and will bring a new level of engineering excellence.

In the XV, Subaru has achieved its aim of providing a stylish and distinctive crossover with trademark Subaru driving dynamics, but combined with high level of functionality and fuel efficiency.


The XV’s interior provides:

A spacious and roomy passenger compartment

A cargo area that is both spacious and convenient to use

Door opening dimensions which have been enlarged and a seating position which allows much easier ingress and egress.

Ample storage space for small objects provided at ideal locations

Large Multi-Function Display (MFD) which is highly visible in the upper middle section of the instrument panel for comfortable driving.

Exterior design

The XV is a new type of crossover design that combines a stylish, dynamic form with a high body and side cladding to enhance the sense of functionality associated with an SUV.

Equipped with a hexagonal grille and hawk eye headlights, these design features emphasize the unique identity of the newest Subaru cars, while the striking and innovatively designed alloy wheels and cut-away cladding give the XV its sporting appearance.

The corners of the front and rear bumpers were designed with special edges that enhance the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle and also contribute to better fuel efficiency.

Interior design

Subaru’s designers worked hard on the XV’s interior to bring out the best qualities of the chosen materials and to give passengers a feeling of quality as well as spaciousness.


An upmarket interior was created by balancing and combining the different tactile and emotional qualities of leather, metal, and cloth.

The Multi-Function Display is highly visible in the upper middle section of the instrument panel and provides the driver and passengers with all the necessary information in a highly intuitive format. Higher specification models will get a large 4.3 inch full-colour screen equipped with advanced infotainment such as eco-driving display and vehicle information display

Engines and transmissions

The new, 3rd generation Subaru Boxer engine, introduced this year with a totally new design, is installed in 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol models. Along with the usual merits that horizontally-opposed engines inherently possess, this engine has improved fuel efficiency and exhaust performance. Together with the adoption of the new Lineartronic (CVT), a newly developed ‘Auto Start System’, the fuel efficiency was further improved.

A heavily revised version of Subaru’s Boxer Diesel, which was specially developed for the European market, is also featured in the XV line-up.

Making use of the inherent advantages of Chain-driven CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) such as lightness, compactness, superior fuel efficiency and wide ratio coverage, Subaru successfully developed a new CVT for the XV for improved environmental friendliness and drivability.

Fuel efficiency will be further improved through Subaru’s advanced new stop-start system which features a newly developed ‘change of mind control’* function to enable smooth restart within only 0.2 seconds of stopping.


A number of key features will take the XV to top of the class for safety.

By integrating the partition windows into the front doors and positioning the door mirrors on the door panels, class-leading forward visibility was achieved, and blind spots reduced. A stylish profile with a more streamlined rear roof edge was designed without impairing the rear field of view.

In addition to SRS driver’s/passenger’s airbags, SRS side airbags and SRS curtain airbags, SRS driver’s knee airbag are installed as standard in all models.

VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) is installed in all models as standard. Its ‘intervention timing’ has been optimized while a brake assist function is also incorporated into the VDC system


 Overall Length x Width x Height (mm): 4,450 x 1,780 x 1,570

Wheelbase (mm): 2,645

Track Front/Rear(mm): 1,525 /1,525

Minimum road clearance (at kerb weight)(mm): 220

Seating Capacity: 5

Renault Scenic takes MPV Category at WhatCar? Green Awards 2011

Renault’s Grand Scénic has won its second green award in a month, this time taking the MPV category in the What Car? Green Awards. 

Fending off a series of talented challengers, the Renault Scénic 1.6 dCi Stop & Start triumphed thanks to its frugal engine and low carbon emissions. The French marque’s latest state-of-the-art diesel engine impressively combines the lowest emissions of any MPV with the most power for an engine of its size on sale today, and yet still returns 64.2 mpg on the combined cycle.

Its latest award was collected by Renault UK’s Managing Director, Thierry Sybord, from What Car? Editor-in-chief Chas Hallett at the awards ceremony yesterday on the eve of EcoVelocity, the low-carbon motoring festival at Battersea Power Station which runs 8 to 11 September.

Commenting on the win, Chas Hallett said that Renault had been selected to win the award thanks to its combination of low CO2 and generous equipment levels.

He said: “Renault thoroughly deserves this award because making a green MPV is not easy. However, the Grand Scénic seats seven adults in comfort, and emits only 115g/km of CO2, ensuring a low carbon footprint for driver and passengers. Our winning Scénic has plenty of equipment, including climate and cruise controls, automatic lights and wipers, an MP3 adapter, Bluetooth, stability control and six airbags.”

Thierry Sybord added: “For a long time, Renault has been investing in finding new ways of ensuring our cars are as easy on the environment as possible. It’s more than three years since we introduced our Renault eco2 label to identify our most economical and ecological models, and the criteria for these on our cars has recently been made even more stringent.

“As part of our ongoing efforts on reducing the carbon footprint of our products, we’re committed to introducing the world’s first full range of electric vehicles, starting with the Kangoo Van Z.E. in a matter of weeks. However, we’ve not lost sight of the need to optimise the efficiency of our combustion-engined models. The 1.6 dCi Stop & Start version of Scénic and Grand Scénic is proving a revelation for families and business users alike, who appreciate its low CO2 emissions, impressive fuel consumption, and for the latter, low tax bracket.

Renault Leads the way at EcoVelocity

Whilst undertaking official launch duties today at EcoVelocity, London Mayor Boris Johnson swapped his usual pedal power for an equally emission-free mode of transport today, as he test drove Renault’s 100% electric Fluence Z.E. saloon to lead the opening parade.

The Mayor led a pack of electric and low-carbon vehicles around the green motoring festival’s dedicated test circuit in the UK’s most affordable electric car, Renault’s stylish, five-seat Fluence Z.E as it made its UK public show debut. The Mayor Boris Johnson was at the event promoting his Source London network of charge points and membership scheme. Source London is the capital’s charging network boasting 200 points and with plans for 1300 by 2013. The Mayor also announced that EcoVelocity customers would receive a discount £10 Source London membership rate over the course of the event, saving £90.

Mayor Boris Johnson, said: ‘I was delighted to try out one of Renault’s electric vehicles and glide it silently around the EcoVelocity test track. Trying out cutting edge vehicle technology is what Europe’s largest green car show is all about. To help people opt for a greener motor, my Source London electric charge point scheme is being showcased here too.’

During his tour of the show, Boris also spoke to Renault UK’s Managing Director, Thierry Sybord, on the company’s plans to support his electric vehicle vision with its four-strong family of electric vehicles for the capital and the rest of the country for the next 12 months, as well as get his first look at the French marque’s unique Twizy.

The ideal solution for inner city and suburban eco-driving, not to mention parking, Twizy features two seats, one behind the other, a range of up to 62 miles on a single charge, and costs from only £6,690 including VAT. Its monthly battery hire cost is £40 including VAT for a three year and 4,500 miles per year agreement.

EcoVelocity is a four-day event being held at Battersea Power Station in London to enable the general public to get behind the wheel of a variety of ecological cars all in one place. While they are there, visitors will get to look around static display vehicles such as Renault’s own Fluence Z.E. saloon and Kangoo Van Z.E., the world’s first electric van produced by a mass-market manufacturer, as well as drive them around the show’s dedicated 0.8 mile long test circuit.

The Fluence Z.E. is a four-door saloon that goes on sale in the UK during the first half of 2012, priced from only £17,850 on-the-road, after the deduction of the £5,000 Plug-In Car Grant. Renault’s innovative strategy of allowing its Z.E. owners to hire the lithium-ion battery to keep the upfront cost of its products as affordable to all as possible is already being well received. The idea removes any anxiety over battery longevity and replacement cost, and in the case of Fluence Z.E. means a monthly hire cost of £69.60 per month including VAT, based on 9,000 miles per year and a three-year agreement.

It’s the first electric medium-sized production saloon and has already caught the imagination of drivers who want the practicality and looks of a traditional car, while running a vehicle that’s economical and environmentally-friendly.

At the same time, Renault has received many pre-orders for the Kangoo Van Z.E. as it has the same carrying capacity (ranging from 3 to 3.5m3), the same payload (650kg) and the same high standard of comfort as the ICE version.

Thierry Sybord said: “As the manufacturer of the first complete range of EVs, we’re naturally delighted that Boris Johnson and Source London took such an interest in our products and chose Fluence Z.E. to open the show. Both are passionate supporters of greener transport for a cleaner and healthier London, so it was wonderful to see the Mayor enjoying his drive of Fluence Z.E. so much. Who knows, maybe we can tempt him to swap his bike for a Twizy in the not too distant future. We’ve already had a huge amount of interest from customers in our range of electric vehicles and look forward to even more after this positive endorsement, including the next few days at EcoVelocity itself.”

Ford Evos Concept Trailer

Ford Evos Concept Walk-Around


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