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Honda Concept B Hybrid production version coming to China in 2016

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Honda Concept B Hybrid at Beijing 2014

At the Beijing Motor Show this weekend, Honda took the wraps off of the Concept B Hybrid, a “new-value concept” that will apparently do its level best to get the Japanese automaker back into the entry-level gas-electric game. Powertrain details for the five-door concept hatch are noticeably absent, so we are assuming that what Honda wants with this concept is for us to focus on the looks. Honda says the car’s exterior design is “advanced and cool-looking.” We like the shape, but think a few changes will do wonders for the production model.

If the busy front end gets turned down a bit in production (it’s especially glaring from the front), we can see this becoming a darn good replacement for the Insight at the lower end of the hybrid price spectrum. Sadly, for now, Honda is saying that the mass-production model that uses the Concept B as a foundation will be available “exclusively” on the Chinese market in two years.

Speaking at the Beijing show, Honda president and CEO Takanobu Ito continued to look for ways to green his company’s line-up, and said Honda, “will strive to become number one in complying with Chinese CAFE regulations, which are the toughest in the world, and offer a new lifestyle for Chinese customers.” Come 2016, that new lifestyle could look like the car you see in the gallery above. Think it’s a good one?

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Honda Concept B Hybrid production version coming to China in 2016 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 10:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chinese-designed Nissan Lannia Concept debuts in Beijing

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Nissan Lannia Concept

Nissan showed off a stylish new concept car to the assembled crowds of media at the Beijing Motor Show. The Lannia Concept is… well, it’s not that easy to describe. It’s kind of a sedan, only it looks a bit like a fastback from the rear. But for a twist, it has an ever-so-small rear deck. Regardless of how we’d classify it, it’s a seriously sharp piece of styling, thanks to its unique shape and flowing character lines.

If the Lannia’s styling appears familiar, it’s because we’ve sort of seen it before. There’s more than a little bit of inspiration from the Friend-Me Concept. The Lannia’s overall shape is similar to the Friend-Me, while both the front and rear clips look decidedly more production ready. Considering this evolution, we shouldn’t rule out a production Lannia in the next few years. And if Nissan’s product boss, Andy Palmer is any indication, the new model might not be limited to China.

“It was designed by Chinese, built by Chinese for the Chinese people, and ultimately, for the world,” Palmer said in a statement. If Nissan can keep this sharp styling, this could prove a compelling buy in a number of markets.

Nissan doesn’t provide a great deal of additional information on this new concept. Rather than tell us about its engine, transmission or interior, the Japanese manufacturer simply said the Lannia is a “sedan theory-breaker,” whatever that means. It’s targeted, meanwhile, at Chinese “post-80s” trendsetters, which we take to mean either very hip nonagenarians or trendy people born after the 1980s (it’s probably the latter).

Take a look above for our gallery of live images from Beijing, and then scroll down for the full round of assets from Nissan on the all-new Lannia Concept.

Continue reading Chinese-designed Nissan Lannia Concept debuts in Beijing

Chinese-designed Nissan Lannia Concept debuts in Beijing originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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

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Audi TT Offroad Concept

Audi took the wraps of its TT Offroad Concept at the Beijing Motor Show, after teasing us with sketches earlier this month. “The Audi TT offroad concept provides a glimpse of how we might imagine a new model in the future TT family,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. “It combines the sporty genes of the TT with the strengths of a compact Audi SUV.”

The latest in Audi’s eTron show cars reminds us an awful lot of the the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept that debuted a few months ago at the Detroit Auto Show. In addition to very similar physical appearances, the two share the same plug-in hybrid propulsion systems (the “plug-in” part is a bit misleading, as the concept simply needs to be parked over an inductive pad to take advantage of Audi Wireless Charging technology).

Proving that hybrid power never has to be a compromise, the TT Offroad Concept packs a 292 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood. The combustion engine is assisted by two electric motors (rated at 40 kW at the front and 85 kW at the rear) to provide a total system output of 408 horsepower and nearly 480 pound-feet of torque. With all-wheel drive, the concept hits 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and tops out at 155 mph – while returning a provisional fuel efficiency of 123 miles per gallon equivalent.

Inside the four-place cabin is Audi’s forthcoming Virtual Cockpit Technology with a customizable 12.3-inch TFT display projecting high-quality 3D graphics to the driver. Other technology includes three Audi Smart Displays, which serve as mobile infotainment systems both in and out of the car, and a cabin ionizer to remove allergens from the cabin atmosphere. And, when owners tire of driving the TT Offroad Concept, they may tool around with a 1:8-scale radio-controlled car kept in a custom storage box in the trunk.

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

Audi TT Offroad concept packs 408 hybrid horsepower, yet returns 123 mpg originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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

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Ford Everest Concept

The Ford Everest Concept SUV at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show shows the future of the Blue Oval’s truck line in China. While a concept for now, we’re told that JMC, Ford’s Chinese joint-venture partner, will build a production version sometime in the near future.

With design from Ford’s Asia Pacific design team, the handsome seven-passenger SUV shows off some very muscular styling with wraparound headlights that hook into the contours of the angular trapezoidal grille. The beltline rises up the body in the rear and makes the back appear higher than the front. The rear is made from hard, chiseled contours that give the truck a very tough look. The Everest looks ready for some rough roads.

Ford is keeping the interior and mechanical details about the Everest a secret for now, but the SUV is rumored to share some components with the overseas Ranger pickup. The company has no plans to sell the truck in North America. Scroll down to read the official announcement, including the few details on its production.

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

Ford Everest Concept shows China also has an affinity for big trucks originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV

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Hyundai ix25 Concept

Hyundai introduced an all-new crossover concept to the crowds at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, showing the ix25, a near-production concept that heralds the arrival of a new compact CUV for the People’s Republic.

Boasting Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0,” the ix25 is a handsome little soft-roader that we could see slotting in nicely below the vehicle we call Tucson (the rest of the globe knows it as the ix35), and would serve as the entry point for Hyundai’s Chinese CUV range. Under hood sits a familiar 2.0-liter, “Nu” four-cylinder, which we’ve sampled in assorted Hyundais and Kias over the years.

At 168 inches long it’s ten inches shorter than a Ford Escape and five inches longer than the Soul, from sister company Kia. Despite these differences, the ix25 Concept’s wheelbase is less than an inch longer (eight-tenths to be exact) than the Soul’s 101.2-inches. More notably, the ix25 is roughly the size of the new Chevrolet Trax.

Considering the rapidly growing popularity of the B-segment CUV in the US market – initiated by cars like the Soul, popularized by the Buick Encore and brought to the masses by the impending arrival of the Trax and Jeep Renegade – it seems like it’d be a logical move for Hyundai to bring the production ix25 to North America. Hyundai’s already said that it’s looking at the B-segment, meaning we could see the ix25 on our shores sooner rather than later. (Ditch the alphanumeric handle and call it “Mesa,” and it’d fit in nicely with Tucson and Santa Fe, we think.)

Take a look below for a very brief gallery from Hyundai, as well as the official press release on the ix25 Concept.

Continue reading Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV

Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe Concept is an aspirational Jetta

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VW New Midsize Coupe Concept

Meet the Volkswagen baby CC. Okay, that’s not really it’s name (VW calls it the New Midsize Coupe Concept), but this sleek, four-door coupe draws more than a little inspiration from the CC while riding on VW’s MQB platform.

It’s a looker, we think, and is an eye-pleasing departure from the bland styling of the current Jetta. The sleeker front end is complemented by a wider body overall (it’s wider than a Passat), while the more sporting roofline and the sharp rear fascia gives the New Midsize Coupe a decidedly sporting character. LED head- and taillights add a bit more personality to this already stylish design.

Thanks to its 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, it should get along rather sportingly, as well. The run to 62 miles per hour takes just 6.5 seconds thanks to the 217 horsepower on offer. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is also fitted, and contributes to an estimated 37 miles per gallon.

Take a look above for our full range of images from the floor of the China International Exhibition Center and the Beijing Motor Show. You can also scroll down for the full batch of official materials on the New Midsize Coupe Concept.

Continue reading Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe Concept is an aspirational Jetta

Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe Concept is an aspirational Jetta originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kia unveils K4 sedan concept in China

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Kia K4 Concept

Among the dozens of foreign automakers eager to showcase their wares to the Chinese market, Kia arrived at the Beijing Motor Show with the new K4. Though technically categorized as a “concept,” the K4 previews a sedan which Kia intends to launch in China later this year.

The K4 is a midsize sedan measuring 186 inches long and riding on a 106-inch wheelbase that makes it bigger than the Forte (sold in the Far East as the K3) and just a few inches shorter than the Optima (aka K5). The form is draped in familiar Kia-style bodywork, with a high trunk and low nose to give it a wedge shape and a familiar if somewhat new take on the headlights and grille seen on other new models from the Korean automaker.

Power comes from a 1.6-liter turbo four (smaller than the engines available in the Optima/K5) mated to a seven-speed DCT. Kia has also fitted the K4 concept with push-button ignition, UVO infotainment system, rear-view camera, six airbags and stability management. In short, everything you’d expect from the latest product of a global automaker.

Unfortunately Kia hasn’t released much more information than that (or more than two photos, for that matter), but the K4 isn’t a product destined for our shores anyway.

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Kia unveils K4 sedan concept in China originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept is bold and beautiful in Beijing

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BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept

BMW officially unveiled the Vision Future Luxury Concept today (or is it tomorrow?) at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, giving the world’s media an in-the-flesh look at not only a future design theme for the brand, but a rumored flagship model.

This is a looker in person, thanks to its Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe-inspired design, and it’s not too difficult to imagine it in production car form, with smaller wheels, larger mirrors and the other minor transformations that take place from drawing board, to auto show and, finally, to assembly line. In general, it seems like there are more than a few parts of this vehicle that are ready for production.

We didn’t talk about it in our initial post, but it bears mentioning that this particular concept is wearing an eDrive badge on its backside, indicating that under the Vision Future Luxury’s long hood is some form of plug-in-hybrid propulsion. It’s anyone’s guess as to what engine, battery and motor combinations BMW is playing with, although it does seem questionable whether BMW would launch a PHEV flagship to do battle with a top-rung variant of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (which will likely use V12 power).

Have a look up top for our gallery of live images from the floor of the Beijing Motor Show, and then scroll down for the official press release and images from our original post on the Vision Future Luxury Concept.

Continue reading BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept is bold and beautiful in Beijing

BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept is bold and beautiful in Beijing originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 20 Apr 2014 10:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jaguar Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept unveiled at Beijing Auto Show 2014

Proving that it is quite intent in maintaining its presence in China despite a slowdown in the Chinese automotive market, Jaguar Land Rover has given the crowd at the 13th … Continue reading
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Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept is your new favorite hot hatch [UPDATE]

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Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept

UPDATE: A previous version of this story listed the Golf R 400 Concept’s top speed as 201 miles per hour. This is incorrect. The correct top speed is 174 mph and the story has been edited to reflect that.

This, friends, is what happens when you shoehorn 395 horsepower into a Golf. You get a three-door hatch that will happily scurry to 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 174 mph. Oh yes, we like you, Golf R 400 Concept.

As we explained in our original post, the R 400 is the long-awaited successor to bonkers Golf creations like the GTI W12 from 2007 and, more recently, the Design Vision GTI. It’s powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder found in a number of Volkswagen (and Audi, SEAT and Skoda) products, although it’s been heavily massaged to pump out 332 pound-feet of torque along side its amplified horsepower.

Naturally, it’s been lowered and now rides on 19-inch wheels. Outside of those changes, though, mums the word on suspension and chassis enhancements. While this is a bummer, the striking looks of the Golf R 400 more than make up for it.

We’re digging the Lemon Yellow accents and Silver Flake paint, while we’re quite pleased that VW has avoided the urge to fit an absurd body kit akin to the Golf W12′s. Instead, the body of this Concept is tastefully finished and surprisingly, once the carbon fiber is replaced, it all looks quite production ready. The interior, meanwhile, looks mostly stock aside from the trim work (carbon leather and Alcantara abound) and the awesome racing seats. Build it VW. We know you want to.

Scroll up for our gallery of live images from Beijing, and then hop below for the press blast and stock images from VW.

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

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept is your new favorite hot hatch [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 20 Apr 2014 11:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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