issan shows Gripz crossover concept

4rAfter a run of success with unorthodox SUV styling, especially in the Juke subcompact crossover SUV, Nissan has apparently decided to mine this vein as the company’s new signature.

The result, shown at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, is the Gripz Concept, a sleek crossover SUV that seeks to chisel another niche into the Nissan’s already-packed line of SUVs. “We want to redefine the crossover segment,” explained Giovanny Arroba, Creative Design Manager for Nissan Design Europe, the London studio responsible for the concept.

Citing the Juke as a prior success in this this effort, he said, “This is a very important segment for us, and we wanted to see how far we could push it.”

Far enough to ruffle enthusiasts’ feathers, who fear that the Gripz could be approved for production at a time when the 370Z may be dropped from the line, prompting them to view the Gripz as the Z-car’s replacement. Arroba insists that the Gripz stands on its own and is unrelated to other product decisions, but the company made enough attempts to link the Gripz to the Z that suspicions remain that Nissan

GM dangles special pricing to families of dealership staffers

1eGeneral Motors is looking to boost sales by offering steep discounts to a vast new buying pool: families of U.S. dealership employees.

The one-month offer allows anyone who shares an address with an employee of one of GM’s roughly 4,200 dealerships to qualify for the Dealership Employee discount, which knocks off about 8 to 10 percent from the sticker price on most models.

The promotion covers nearly all models across the lineups of Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac. The employee price can be combined with other incentive offers too, in most cases.

For example, a GMC Acadia SLT with a sticker price of $41,745 can be had for the dealership-employee price of about $38,350, according to a GM website detailing the program. Applying current incentives gets the price down to $35,602.84.

Buyers have until Nov. 2 — the last day of the industry’s sales-reporting cycle for October — to obtain discount certificates. They have up to six months to redeem them.

It’s the first time in about a decade that GM had extended the dealership-employee deal to family members.

In a note sent to dealers last week, GM U.S. sales chief Steve Hill called it “a great opportunity

Toyota at Tokyo show sporty green retro and sci fi concepts

21 Toyota Motor Corp. is going big at the Tokyo Motor Show this month, with an eclectic display parading everything from a snappy compact sports car and futuristic hydrogen vehicle to a whacked-out retro concept and pocket-sized humanoid robot.

The array reflects the automaker’s desire to build a reputation for style and excitement on top of its status as a master of utilitarian, if ho-hum, rides.

Compact, sporty

Take the S-FR concept, a two-door sporty coupe with a long hood, rear-slung cabin and gaping front air intake. The sporty runabout is no bigger than the company’s Yaris subcompact, yet seats four. Designers gave it a low and wide stance and tried to create a driver-focused experience with a front mid-engine layout.

Toyota bills the concept, which looks remarkably production-ready, as a lightweight, entry-level sporty car with optimal weight distribution and independent suspension for superb cornering. It did not give engine details, but said the car has a six-speed manual tranny.

Toyota says the car would slot below the Toyota 86 sporty coupe. That car, sold as the Scion FR-S in the U.S., was developed with Subaru, which sells its own version as the BRZ.

Miata ties?

The S-FR

Millbrooks latest sound advice to the auto industry

22UK independent vehicle test, validation, and engineering services provider, Millbrook, is considering introducing acoustic holography as the next step in the further development of its new noise-measurement systems.

“Able to support the latest automotive technologies including electric and hybrid vehicles, our newly commissioned system provides a great opportunity to introduce more advanced test methods to reduce NVH, test to regulatory requirements, and facilitate investigation and development into improvements in vehicle refinement,” said Millbrook’s Principal Engineer, Ravi Bal.

He explains that the new system is ideal for (but not limited to) sound source localization and contribution analysis. Engineers will be able to measure acoustics and vibration inside a vehicle and sync it with data recorded outside, conducting a variety of objective measurements in a repeatable test environment.

The system that it replaces had been in service for 20 years, stated Bal: “Although everything was digital, there were limitations for efficient and thorough data analysis. So we have made a substantial investment in new equipment—both hardware and software—to expand on our test capability and to introduce more advanced test methods.”


Audi all electric concept to take on Tesla Model X

oAudi revealed plans for a production battery EV sport crossover in 2018 when it rolled out the e-tron quattro concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. The sleek SUV carries a large 95 kW·h lithium-ion battery pack and a trio of electric motors that have a continuous maximum output of 320 kW and a temporary maximum of 370 kW·h and more than 800 N·m (590 lb·ft) of torque.

Though it was termed a concept, “It is not a show car,” said Ralf-Gerhard Willner, head of vehicle concepts for Audi. “It is showing the direction for a series production car.”

To that end, and to offset the considerable cost of its abundant advanced technology, Audi used as many existing mainstream production components as possible, he said. “It was a goal for the team to use existing components to make it feasible from a finance standpoint.”

The concept and eventual production model feature the second iteration of company’s MQB platform for longitudinal drivetrains, he said. This “evo” MQB trimmed away 110 kg (243 lb) as it is applied to the latest A4 model, he said. “A 95-kW·h battery is quite heavy,

SsangYong takes on European challenge with Tivoli

15“Tivoli is the biggest thing to happen to SsangYong,” says Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK.

It’s a bold statement to make about a company that has had a long but sometimes commercially challenging history. But with the engineering and financial backing of India’s Mahindra & Mahindra automotive conglomerate, it is now set on making meaningful inroads into the challenging European market, where aesthetics and engineering need to cohere convincingly to achieve real success.

So what has the South Korean built Tivoli got from design and technology aspects that make Williams so confident? “Firstly, we believe the crossover styling is unique—and it was done in-house. Now, people are saying, ‘My goodness, you’re capable of doing this given what you have done in the past’.

“We have very high levels of engineering, with details including all-wheel drive, adaptive electric power steering (EPAS), efficient Aisin-supplied automatic transmissions, and a high-strength-steel (HSS) intensive architecture. We also offer an exceptional warranty for the Tivoli—five years limitless in the UK; a company can only do that if the vehicle has been screwed together well in the first place.”


BMW lightens 7 Series but bulks up on tech

14Prestige car manufacturers are trading body blows among their top-segment models, with each ladling on more lavish content and more cutting-edge technology with each new introduction.

So it was for BMW at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, where it pulled the cover off its 7 Series and released it to take on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8. We may not have yet reached the day when carbon-fiber chassis seen in sports cars have proliferated among these sedans, but the 2016 7 Series offers a step in that direction with a chassis featuring significant carbon-fiber reinforcement to a mostly steel structure. BMW terms this hybrid materials approach “carbon core.”

The car’s doors and trunk lid are aluminum, and use of that metal in the suspension, brakes, and wheels slashes unsprung weight by 15%.

“Its innovative combination of carbon-fiber structures with steel, aluminum, magnesium, and plastic means that the 750i xDrive is 130 kg (287 lb) lighter than the previous model,” noted Klaus Frolich, BMW Board Member for Research and Development. “Lightweight design measures adding up to roughly 200 kg (440 lb) have enabled us to integrate

Peugeot Fractal demonstrates a new take on sound design

13Peugeot used the 2010 SR1 concept to introduce its i-Cockpit touchscreen-based system, designed to control heating and ventilation, navigation, audio, connectivity, and the trip computer. The first-gen system entered production in the 2012 Peugeot 208. The company took the i-Cockpit concept one stage further in the Fractal electric urban coupe concept at the 2015 IAA Frankfurt Show, to include sound.

The concept plays a “sound signature”, created by DJ and sound designer Amon Tobin, which is triggered when the driver opens the car using the smart watch remote locking system. “Behind this concept of an electric car—that is not really new, there was this question that electric cars emit no sound”, explains Matthias Hossann, Head of Concept Cars and Advanced Design at Peugeot.

“In France, sometimes if you say you are driving an electric car, people say they are very sorry for you because they think it is not as exciting to drive an electric car. We thought about that and agree that you lack some pleasure with an electric car because it emits no sound. I have had this experience because even when you start an

New Mini Clubman concept stretches the definition of a shooting brake

12Minis have not been that mini for some time now. Similarly, the firm’s description of its new Clubman as a “shooting brake” also feels like poetic license. Nonetheless, it’s designed for everyday and long-distance usage and looks both practical and comfortable for those purposes.

In fairness, a length of 4,253 mm (167 in) is long for a Mini and the new Clubman, the first of which was released in 2007, has a visibly stretched body and roof-line. If it was to retain the “go-kart feeling” of a Mini, while also having additional size and comfort that takes it in the direction of a shooting brake, as the BMW Group says it does, then the carmaker should probably be given some leniency where terminology is concerned.

Completing the new Clubman’s larger exterior are a width and height of 1,800 mm (71 in) and 1,441 mm (57 in) respectively. There is also ample space inside, with five “fully-fledged” seats, a 360-l luggage compartment and maximum storage space totaling 1,250 l.

All this space will contribute to what Mini calls the “highest level of ride comfort” ever seen in one of its cars, but it also cites a

Bloodhound Supersonic Car makes world debut in London

11The Bloodhound team will aim to set a new land speed record of 800 mph (1,287 km/h) on October 15, 2016, it has been revealed. It will then aim for the 1,000 mph (1,600 km/h) barrier in 2017. But before then, members of the public are being invited to see the impressive, almost-complete Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) at its world debut in London. Gizmag was invited along, and was left suitably awe-struck at the raw power and engineering on show.

Since 2008 we’ve seen Bloodhound SSC develop from a bold ambition to set a new land-speed world record, taking in milestones such as the test firing of the rocket engine, the reveal of the cockpit, and seeing the wheels it will run on. However, so far our experience of the car has been limited to models and CGI impressions. That ended today when we finally got to get up-close with the real thing.

The car (a three letter word which spectacularly fails to do Bloodhound justice) has gone on show at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf – the Bristol-based team behind it says its technical center just isn’t big enough to cope with the

110 year old electric car sells for $95000

10A real automotive rarity went under the hammer at Bonhams over the weekend with the only known 1905 Woods Queen Victoria Brougham selling for DKK632,500 (US$94,548). Part of the Frederiksen auction at Ebeltoft, Denmark on September 26, the electric vehicle acts as a window into the early days of motor cars when new technologies fought for supremacy on the roads and in the show rooms.

Saturday’s sale is a reminder that in the automotive world, gasoline was not always king and that, even before the advent of today’s lithium-ion powered supercars, electric vehicles weren’t always the exclusive province of milkmen and nervous little old ladies.

At the turn of the 20th century, gasoline ran a distant third to both steam and electricity in terms of performance and popularity, with electric cars even breaking world speed records. On the other hand, gasoline-powered cars were notorious for being smelly, slow, and so dangerous that even starting one could result in a broken arm. Then there was the fact that you had to buy fuel at the chemist’s, as well as needing to be a fair mechanic just to have an even chance of getting home.

On the

Volkswagen admits defeat device used to circumvent US emissions tests

9Volkswagen and its subsidiary Audi may currently be in Frankfurt showcasing their wares, but the attention of the boardrooms of both companies is likely to be elsewhere. The US EPA has issued Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. with a notice of violation (NOV) of the Clean Air Act by running software in their vehicles that turns full emissions controls on only when undergoing official emissions testing.

A test program conducted independently by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) and West Virginia University (WVU) in 2014 first raised concerns of elevated levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in real world driving. They took their concerns to the US EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which prompted the agencies to begin investigations into the high NOx emissions in Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter diesel vehicles.

In July, the agencies shared their findings with Volkswagen Group America, which earlier this month admitted using a “defeat device” on its vehicles to circumvent official emission testing procedures. The device, which is described in the NOV as a “sophisticated software algorithm on certain Volkswagen vehicles detects when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and

VW doesnt mess with the formula for new Tiguan

8Volkswagen has used the Frankfurt Motor Show to take the wraps off an all-new Tiguan. Having sold over 2.6 million examples of the original VW hasn’t messed with the formula too much, instead taking an evolutionary approach to its styling, as well as offering up a concept Hybrid.

For anyone who followed our coverage of this year’s Detroit Auto Show, the new Tiguan will look familiar. That’s because it bears a striking resemblance to the Cross Coupe GTE. Both cars have angular headlamps and sharply creased flanks, topped off with VW’s horizontal grille.

Whereas the Cross Coupe was a concept, the Tiguan has been designed with far more practical considerations in mind. It’s built on the brand’s MQB platform, and boasts a boot that can hold 615 liters (21.7 cu.ft) with the seats up and 1,655 liters (58.45 cu.ft) with the seats folded flat. That’s 145 liters (5.12 cu.ft) more than its predecessor.

Details about the engines that are available are thin on the ground at the moment but VW says there will be eight options, ranging from an 85 kW (114 hp) motor in entry level cars to a 176 kW (236 hp) range-topper.


N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo takes pole position on Hyundai N car grid

7Hyundai has showcased its new N sub-brand at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The carmaker says its N cars will focus on performance, with new powertrains and lightweight materials. Its first models include the Generation i20 WRC rally car, and the RM15 and N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo concepts.

Perhaps the most exciting of the N models shown off at the IAA is one that will only exist in the digital realm. Described by Hyundai as the ultimate concept car, the N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo has been designed exclusively for PlayStation’s Gran Turismo racing game and is described as looking like a floating jet fighter.

Its powertrain is said to be based on the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell system and kicks out a projected 650 kW (871 hp). The dual fuel cell stacks themselves deliver an estimated 500 kW (670 hp) of that, with the remaining 150 kW (201 hp) produced via regenerative braking. Each wheel of the 2025 Vision Gran Turismo has its own independent motor.

Those lightweight fuel cell stacks and a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic monocoque structure keep the car’s weight down to 972 kg (2,142 lb), with the vehicle being

Artega Scalo electric sports car combines electric muscle with active aerodynamics

6Boutique German sports car maker Artega has partnered with auto electronics manufacturer Paragon for its latest creation – the all-electric, rear-wheel drive Scalo. Unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the two-seater Artega Scalo harbors some interesting tech both inside and out, including an adjustable rear spoiler and a curved OLED display in the center console.

The basic styling and body design for the Scalo is very similar to the 2011 Artega SE, through reflecting the larger powerplant and a greater emphasis on aerodynamics. The Copper-colored carbon composite body has a sleeker, yet more aggressive profile, and sports an automatic, electrically adjustable rear spoiler with gurney, and extendable flaps.

Inside, there are two Voltabox synchronous, water-cooled, high-performance electric motors that crank 300 kW (402 bhp) and 575 ft-lb (779 Nm) of torque thanks to a 37 kWh li-ion battery pack backed up by nickel-manganese-cobalt supercapacitor banks. According to Artega, this allows the Scalo to do 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.6 seconds with an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h).

In normal driving, the supercar can attain a range of 250 mi (402 km) and with its 64 kW DC quick

Concept becomes reality The technology packed Jaguar F Pace

5In 2013, Jaguar took the wraps of its C-X17 concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Now, at the same venue, the same design team has turned that concept into the Jaguar 2017 F-Pace. Combining the sportscar performance of a traditional Jaguar with more room and family-friendly features, the luxury five-seater SUV derived from the F-Type launched not only into the showrooms, but into the Guinness Book of Records.

Jaguar showed off its commitment to the new all-aluminum architecture featured in the F-Pace with an eye-catching stunt. The day before Monday’s formal unveiling in Frankfurt, British stunt driver Terry Grant drove a first-edition F-Pace through a 19.08 m (62.59 ft) tall, 360-degree loop with a force of 6.5 Gs to set a new record for the largest ever “loop the loop.”

It’s the sort of stunt that one would expect from a supercar in a movie, but not from a 4×4 aimed at the urban family market – which the F-Pace is. The C-X17 was already something of a head-scratcher, with the marque that’s best known for E-Types and bank manager luxury sedans trying its hand at

New Audi S4 flies under the radar in Frankfurt

4Audi might have committed to an all-electric SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it hasn’t forgotten fans of high-performance gasoline cars either. Sitting alongside the e-tron quattro on Audi’s stand is the new S4, packing a turbocharged V6 engine into a body so understated that it could just be the perfect sports sedan for the man with nothing to prove.

Hiding under the new S4’s bonnet is a new turbocharged V6 engine producing 260 kW (354 hp) and 500 Nm (369 ft-lb) of torque, all of which is available from just 1,300 rpm and lasts until 4,500 rpm and is enough for a 4.7 second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph).

An 8-speed tiptronic gearbox is standard, and uses a smart decoupling system to disconnect the engine from the wheels and coast to save on fuel. Thanks to this gearbox and the new car’s more efficient motor, it returns a fuel use figure of just 7.4 L/100km (31.8 mpg) and emits just 170 g/km of CO2.

With the exception of the B6 RS4, fast Audis have been heavily criticized for their habit of understeering at the

Nissan comes to Gripz with sporty SUV styling

2The Frankfurt Motor Show has played host to some fascinating SUVs and while there’s been some sporty examples, few can match the out-and-out high-riding sports car stylings of Nissan’s Gripz Concept. Inspired by classic rally cars, the Gripz is Nissan’s attempt to create a dual-personality crossover that can be practical during the week and rough it on the weekend

The Gripz’ designers aimed to pay homage to one of the brand’s first attempts at a “crossover” – the 240Z racer that tackled Safari Rallies across the Baja Peninsula, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the 70s. Just like those classic Z cars, the Gripz concept features a raised ride height and an orange and black paintjob. After that point, the similarities are a bit more subtle.

Unlike the 240Z racers of old, the Gripz has been designed as a “lifestyle SUV,” a car created for people living in cities who like to escape the city limits for a spot of kayaking, skiing or mountain biking. This is something which the team has tried to work into the design with, for example, the inclusion of 22-inch wheels designed by Bridgestone that emulate the wheels on lightweight

Bugatti makes Vision reality at Frankfurt

3Having revealed its Vision Gran Turismo in digital form a couple of weeks ago, Bugatti has rolled out the real thing at the Frankfurt Motor Show. While the show car on display at IFA won’t be going anywhere under its own steam, the carbon-fiber racer does serve as a design language stepping stone between the Veyron and Bugatti’s next super sports car offering.

Real to virtual is generally the road vehicles take when appearing in the Gran Turismo series, but the flexibility (and significantly reduced development costs) of creating a virtual vehicle has seen everyone from Peugeot to Chevy hitting the digital bitumen with out-of-this-world concepts.

Bugatti has attempted to keep its Vision Gran Turismo firmly grounded in reality, with every component required to have a real performance function, such as the NACA air intake on the roof that directs air into the engine at roof level without creating turbulence in the inflow of the rear wing.

Other practical design features include the eight-eye headlights that flank the Bugatti horseshoe symbol on the front grille. These headlights were specifically designed for the virtual car and perform an

Taiwans Thunder Power storms Frankfurt with road and race EVs

1When you think of electric car manufacturers, Thunder Power doesn’t exactly spring to mind. But the Taiwanese electronics company has used the Frankfurt Motor Show to unveil a new fully electric car with a claimed range of 650 km.

The Thunder Power Sedan is available with two different configurations: one with 230 kW (308 hp) and 320 Nm of torque, and another with 320 kW (429 hp) and a whopping 560 Nm. Power comes from a 125 kWh battery pack in both cars, for a claimed range of 650 km (404 miles). Top speed is pegged at 210 and 250 km/h (130 and 155 mph) respectively.

There’s also an all-wheel drive Race version on display, although details about it are scant.

According to Thunder Power, the less powerful of the two cars will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than six seconds, while the 320 kW model will handle the sprint in under five – quick enough to worry a petrol powered Audi S4, or the all-electric Audi e-tron quattro concept.

To put the size of that battery pack into perspective, the biggest battery offered up on the Tesla Model S is 90 kWh, while