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Volkswagen NMC production guise caught in China

04/29/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Spy Photos, Sedans/Saloons, China, Volkswagen, Beijing Motor Show

Spy shot of the Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe taken in China.

Chinese car site Autohome has what are said to be the first pictures of the Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe concept in production form. VW's NMC was just introduced at the Beijing Motor Show, while background chatter indicated it would go on sale in China, Autohome says that production version will be built at the Shanghai-Volkswagen plant in Ningbo, and the retail guise could be introduced at the Guangzhou Motor Show in November and go on sale that same month.

Assuming this is the production car, its main lines have made the jump from the concept but with less fine detailing, a silver hue and with conventional VW wheels it's lost a little bit of oomph. Still, a few checkmarks on the option sheet can fix most of that, the shape remains handsome and the 2.0-liter turbo underhood keeps performance peppy and mileage frugal enough. You can head to Autohome for a couple more photos of a sedan we'd be happy to make room for over here.

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Kawei K1 pickup blatantly copies Ford F-150

04/24/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Trucks/Pickups, China, Beijing Motor Show, Diesel

Kawei K1

The Chinese auto industry used to be looked at as a joke full of products blatantly copied from foreign vehicles. However, companies like Qoros and others show that the country's automakers have taken big steps in terms of original design. It doesn't look like every automaker there is ready to put down the tracing paper yet, though. Case in point: The Kawei K1 pickup pictured above, which is an obvious rip-off of the Ford F-150. In fact, the company isn't even hiding it.

Kawei deserves a little credit for its openness. In describing the new model, it says: "No matter the black net grille and the outline of the headlamp, even if the styles of fog lamp and engine cover, it looks the same as Ford Raptor." It also admits that spelling out the model name on the hood is inspired by Land Rover. It's available with either a 2.4-liter, gasoline-fueled four-cylinder producing 141 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque (elsewhere it also lists it as having 162 lb-ft) or a 3.2-liter six-cylinder diesel with 106 hp and 181 lb-ft. Regardless of engine, power is sent to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. The trucks cost around 100,000 Yuan ($16,033). So at least the K1 is a reasonably priced knockoff.

According to Car News China, the K1 is actually selling in small numbers. The company made 10,000 of them last year and even exported some to Africa and the Middle East. Kawei's factory is doubling in capacity this year to build even more. You can read more about the truck on the company's website in some very mangled English.

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Range Rover Hybrid brings advanced powertrain to Chinese market

04/24/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, SUVs, China, Land Rover, Beijing Motor Show, Luxury

Land Rover Range Rover Long Wheelbase Hybrid

The Land Rover hybrid models are growing both in terms of offerings and in size. At the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, the brand unveiled the Range Rover Long Wheelbase Hybrid to join the standard version and Range Rover Sport Hybrid.

The long-wheelbase Range Rover's powertrain is identical to what is offered in the standard Range Rover Hybrid. It combines the brand's SDV6 3.0-liter turbodiesel with an electric motor producing 47 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. It grants a total system output of 335 hp and 516 lb-ft, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox from ZF routs power to all four wheels. The company claims the hybrid adds 265 pounds of weight to the SUV. However, it gives a 26-percent improvement in emissions and is rated at about 37 miles per gallon in the EU combined cycle. It can even run purely on electric power for a mile at speeds up to 30 mph, and regenerative braking keeps the system topped up.

The styling remains nearly identical to the standard LWB Range Rover. There are a few Hybrid badges, and that's about it. However, rear seat passengers get to take advantage of the cavernous backseat that adds 7.3 inches of room over the regular Rangie.

Orders for the SUV begin in May, and Chinese deliveries begin around the end of the year. However, like the rest of the hybrid Range Rovers, it likely won't be coming to North America anytime soon. Last year, Land Rover's US boss said the diesel hybrid would come here eventually, but he didn't give a timeframe. We have contacted the company for an update. Scroll down to read the full release about Land Rover's massive new Range Rover Long Wheelbase Hybrid.

Continue reading Range Rover Hybrid brings advanced powertrain to Chinese market

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Citroen CX-R concept makes late debut from China

04/24/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, China, Crossovers/CUVs, Citroen, Beijing Motor Show

Citroen C-XR Concept

We obsessively covered the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, but apparently Citroën decided it had one more vehicle to debut to join its DS 6WR and DS 5LS R at the Chinese show. This C-XR Concept is far less wildly styled than the two other models, however, as this concept is actually quite close to production spec.

The C-XR blends the styling of Citroën's hatchbacks with some SUV cues. Up front, it has a wide, chrome grille that links directly into the headlights, and lower down, there are vertically mounted LED running lights. The rear pillar has C-shaped chrome accents to link the chrome roof rails and belt line.

The concept isn't really meant to go off-road, but it gets a dash of ruggedness from its protective wheel arch cladding and raised ground clearance. The interior is still a secret, but the top does have a large panoramic sunroof to let light in. The concept's powertrain uses the company's THP 160 petrol engine with stop/start and an automatic gearbox. Scroll down to read the full release about the concept.

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First production Hongqi L-Series sells at Beijing Motor Show for $800,000

04/24/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, China, Special/Limited Editions, Beijing Motor Show, Luxury

Hongqi L5, front three-quarter view

The Hongqi has arrived, and with it the greater hopes that powerful Chinese will ride in symbols of Chinese power. The Honqi L5 sedan produced by China's FAW Group, first unveiled last year (and called the L9 at the time), is - in some circles - intended to be among the homegrown replacements for the millions of foreign luxury cars the Chinese government purchases for important officials. Shown at this year's Beijing Motor Show in production guise and now available to civilians as well, a Chinese businessman bought the first one for "at least five million yuan" ($801K) according to Bloomberg.

About the length of a Rolls-Royce Phantom and weighing 7,000 pounds, there's an all-aluminum 6.0 liter V-2 up front with 402 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque, a hydro-pneumatic suspension and "intelligent" 4-wheel-drive technology below. The passenger quarters mix modern and retro with a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel of sixties design, hand-carved, cloud-motif wood inlays surrounding a stack of digital displays and celadon-jade door handles.

A sub-brand of Chinese automaker FAW, "Hongqi" means "red flag" and the L5 mimes cues from the CA770 sedan FAW built in the fifties for the country's leaders. With its features, price and ostentation, private-sector Mandarin moguls might also make it the Chinese word for "Gatsby."

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Autoblog Podcast #377

04/23/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, New York Auto Show, Podcasts, Chrysler, Lexus, Beijing Motor Show

Autoblog Podcast logo

Episode #377 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth and Steven Ewing talk about the New York Auto Show, the Beijing Motor Show (and a tangent or two). We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #377:

Topics:

  • New York Auto Show wrap-up
  • Beijing Motor Show wrap-up
In the Autoblog Garage:
  • 2014 Lexus GX 460
  • 2015 Chrysler 200S

Hosts: Dan Roth, Steven Ewing

Runtime: 01:24:17

Rundown:

  • Intro and Garage - 00:00
  • New York Auto Show - 29:43
  • Beijing Motor Show - 55:31
  • Q&A - 01:03:46

Get the podcast:

[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes

[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator

[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:

Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #377

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Autoblog Podcast #377 goes LIVE at 10PM Eastern!

04/22/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: New York Auto Show, Etc., Beijing Motor Show

Autoblog Podcast Live

We're almost ready to record Episode #377 of the Autoblog Podcast! You can check out the topics below, add your own to the Q&A and join us live via UStream, as well. Keep reading for our embedded UStream player, and thanks for listening!

Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #377

  • New York Auto Show wrap-up
  • Beijing Motor Show wrap-up

Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #377 goes LIVE at 10PM Eastern!

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VW may actually build gonzo Golf R 400

04/22/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Sports/GTs, Hatchbacks, Volkswagen, Beijing Motor Show

Volkswagen Golf R400

The Golf R 400 Concept with 395 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque might be one of the coolest concepts at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. The absolutely scorching hatch can hit 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 174 miles per hour. All of that power comes out the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that is nearly ubiquitous in VW Group's cars with all-wheel drive. The even better news about the R 400 is that it might actually see production.

According to Car and Driver, Volkswagen head of research and development Heinz-Jakob Neusser confirms that there will be a production version. However, there is no word whether the model is coming to North America. Neusser also claims that the engine in the R 400 is only mildly revised over the Golf R to take the extra boost. There is also the possibility the powerful four-cylinder could make it into other VW Group models.

It's great to hear that the Golf R 400 is more than just a styling exercise. It does a fantastic job at looking understated yet powerful, with the big wheels and bumper but few other body modifications. Now, let's hope VW deems North America worthy of its halo hot hatch.

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We obsessively covered the 2014 Beijing Motor Show

04/22/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Beijing Motor Show

Beijing Motor Show roundup

Didn't we just wrap up a major international auto show? Oh, yeah, we did. Fresh off the heels of New York, we're back with another slew of debuts direct from the Beijing show in China. While the Big Apple expo was full of new production cars that'll be hitting the streets of the States in the not-too-distant future, Beijing gave us a preview of what's coming beyond that.

Take a look at the roundup below, and note that the majority of these debuts are pure concept cars - things that point the way forward, but really only show what "could be." That said, China grows more and more important to the automotive landscape every year, and the selection of major, international debuts was more robust than it has been in years past. We expect that to be a continuing trend in years and expos to come.

Have a look at what's good from Beijing, below.

Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV

Beijing first to see next-gen Chevy Cruze

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

Ford Escort is ready to focus on the Chinese market

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

Bugatti Veyron Legends Edition Black Bess isn't exactly subtle

Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe Concept is an aspirational Jetta

Chinese-designed Nissan Lannia Concept debuts in Beijing

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

Honda Concept B Hybrid production version coming to China in 2016

Peugeot 2008 DKR aiming for Dakar, makes detour to Beijing

Peugeot reveals new Chinese-market 408 at Beijing Motor Show

Kia unveils K4 sedan concept in China

Lamborghini reveals Aventador Nazionale in Beijing

Mini reveals refreshed Paceman in Beijing

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV blurs lines in Beijing

Lincoln MKX Concept goes for the gold in Beijing

Lexus NX debuts in turbocharged and hybrid guise

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

BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept is bold and beautiful in Beijing

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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #377 LIVE!

04/22/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: New York Auto Show, Etc., Beijing Motor Show

Autoblog podcast graphic

We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #377 this evening. Check out the topics below, or drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #377

  • New York Auto Show wrap-up
  • Beijing Motor Show wrap-up

[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator

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