Paris Show: 2011 VW Passat Sedan and Estate B7 or more like B6.75... [Updated]

[Fresh pics added] What can we expect from the crisp, facelifted B6 Passat? Well, for one thing, it's actually labeled a seventh-generation model even though it's clearly B6-derived. In its defense, VW says "every body panel apart from the roof is new".

Said new panels extend the car by 4 millimeters (4,769 mm for sedan, 4,771 mm Estate), while the width and height remain the same at 1,820 mm and 1,474 mm, respectively.

Up front, the nose gets a more attractive grille / headlight treatment and is more in-line with VW's current styling. On the outer edges of the new, chromey grille reside LED running lights. At the rear, the tail lights get chrome accents and blend nicely with the sharper lines of VW's family saloon.

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Paris: Lotus Shows off New Elan, Begs the Question: What will Happen to the Evora?

Next up on our Lotus debut circus is the Elan, a small 2-seater (with an optional 2+2 layout) sitting somewhere between the Evora and the Esprit. Looking very similar to the Esprit (and in the rest of the new Lotus coupes), the Elan gets its power from a high-output Toyota-sourced V6 and, also like its new big brother, optional KERS and hybrid systems. Scroll on down for all the Lotus-certified facts.

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Paris Show: New Lotus Esprit Flagship with 620HP Lexus V8 in the Flesh and on Video

[Updated gallery] Lotus pounced on Paris like a rabid hyena, debuting no less than 6 all-new models. With the new Esprit, a car everyone has been waiting for, Lotus answered some important questions regarding its future mid-engined 2-seat monster. Scroll on down for video, pics, and all the basic info necessary to make a very important decision: to buy an Esprit or not to buy an Esprit?

Using the same supercharged 620-horsepower 5.0-liter Lexus V8 found in the Elite GT we recently showed you, and coming in at 1,450 kg, the Esprit is going to be a bit on the fast side (even in optional hybrid form).

If you're interested in picking up the new Lotus performance flagship, the price of entry will start at a cool £110,000 (about US$175,00 at today's exchange rates) come spring 2013.

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Paris Show: Maserati's 300+ km/h GranTurismo MC Stradale

As we told you in our previous post, the GranTurismo MC Stradale is a racier, sportier version of Maser's big coupe (think the GT3, but from Maserati). According to the Italian sports / luxury carmaker, the MC Stradale didn't budge an inch when it came to comprises in return for performance; it handles better without losing ride quality (that has yet to be tested), it's more powerful without sacrificing fuel economy, and it plants itself harder without adding any drag.

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Paris Show: Toyota Targets Honda Jazz / Fit with New Verso-S MPV

Toyota is re-entering the European small MPV segment with a new model called the Verso-S, which made its debut at the Paris Motor Show today. Set to go on sale across Europe from February 2011, the Verso-S is a spiritual successor to the Yaris Verso and targets cars like the Honda Jazz / Fit and Kia Venga.

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Paris Show: Renault ZOE Preview Teases 2012 Production EV and Hints at Next Clio

One or two sizes up from the quirky little Twizy is where Renault's ZOE Preview sits. Following in the vein of last year's ZOE Z.E. coupe, the ZOE Preview is a more realistic look at the production version that will be available in 2012 wearing Renault's newest face. Not only that, but it may just be previewing (ZING!) the next Clio as well.

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Paris Show: BMW Confirms Smaller than 1-Series FWD Model for the USA

*Opening Photo: 1993 BMW Z13 Concept

Motor shows aren't only about new car and concept model presentations as many carmakers take the opportunity to either announce or detail future projects. And while we already know about BMW's plans to develop a smaller than 1-Series front-wheel drive model, BMW AG board member for sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, told reporters on the sidelines of the Paris Show today that the car will be sold in the United States.

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Paris Show: Ford Previews New Fiesta RS WRC Prior to 2011 Race Debut

Not one to let Mini's announcement of the new Countryman WRC to go unanswered, Ford has revealed its new soon-to-be-airborne Fiesta RS rally car. Co-developed by Ford of Europe and M-Sport (with a little help from the French Pipo Moteur), the Fiesta RS gets a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine which, like the Mini, has direct injection.

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Paris Show: Citroën Updates C5 with LEDs and New Engines

Citroën chose the Paris Motor Show today to roll out its updated C5 sedan and estate (Tourer) models. The French firm's VW Passat rival has been refreshed for the 2011 model year with some modest styling changes and technology upgrades.

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Paris Show: Audi e-tron Spyder Concept puts Porsche's Boxster on Notice

In order to keep its e-high rolling, Audi has created yet another pretty and efficient vehicle for Paris: the e-tron Spyder. Audi's latest plug-in no-top is powered by a 300-horse 3.0-liter V6 TDI outfitted with two turbochargers and two 88-horsepower / 64 kW electric motors; the results are impressive, to say the least.

The e-tron system in this car will help it hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds on its way to a limited 250 km/h (155 mph), provide an all-electric range of 31 miles, return a combined 128.4 mpg, and only pollute your air with 59 g of CO2 per kilometer. Total range is 621 miles for the 1,450-kg car.

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Paris Show: Lotus Unveils New Esprit, Elan, Elise, Eterne Sports Sedan and Concept City Car

Possibly one of the biggest surprises of the 2010 Paris Motor Show, was the unveiling of six new models from Lotus. Aside from the Elite GT (see here) that we've already told you about, the British sports car maker revealed not one, not two but five more new models and concepts!

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Audi Teases Rally Fans with Quattro Concept Model Decked out in Racing Livery

Well surprise, surprise. Do my eyes deceive me or did Audi just take a swing at the WRC? Hidden at corner at Audi's Paris Show stand, is this scale model of the Quattro Concept in rally guise hinting at the possibility of Audi returning to the dirt/snow/tarmac stage that made the four rings what they are today. Who knows, maybe it's just there to look cool (but my fingers and toes are crossed).

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VW Releases Fresh Drawings of New Midsize Sedan, will Replace the Passat in the USA

In an effort to stem the outpouring of criticism aimed directly at the recently-revealed B7 Passat, VW has released some more pics of the upcoming American NMS (New Midsize Sedan). Thankfully, we here in the States won't have to deal with the reskinned Passat and its - according to our readers - "boring" looks. Instead, we'll be getting a production version of the car seen here, Teutonic and built in Tennessee.

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Paris Show: Jaguar C-X75 Concept in the Flesh Plus First Videos

We've already played 'show and tell' with Jaguar's C-X75 Concept (read full details here), but now we've got real live photos from the pre-show media event as well as from the British firm's Paris Motor Show stand, plus a trio of videos including one from last night's presentation.

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Paris Show: Mini Unveils Countryman WRC in Preparation for 2011 S2000 Rally Season

Working with Prodrive, Mini has officially re-entered the World Rally Championship after a decades-long hiatus. With its Countryman WRC, which made its world premiere in Paris today, Mini will be ready to compete in the 2011 season with a car driven by Kris Meeke.

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Paris Show: Renault Debuts Production Twizy, the Electric Scooter Car

Welcome to the Twizy, Renault's third model in its Zero Emissions lineup after the Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Van Z.E. The little city car pod is an all-electric mix between a scooter and a car, allowing for clean and efficient city driving thanks to its 20-horsepower / 42 lb-ft (57 Nm) electric motor. That helps it reach a top speed of 47 mph after it has charged for 3.5 hours.

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Paris Show: Mazda2 Facelift Makes Euro Debut

The subtly updated Mazda2 was given its European premiere in Paris today. The Fiesta's brethren enters the 2011 model year with a new face featuring a revised front grille and a re-sculptured front bumper. A fresh choice of exterior colors and alloy wheel designs complete the look.

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2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Unveiled: World Premiere in Los Angeles, on Sale in February from $30,000

Taking a short break from our Paris Motor Show coverage, General Motors surprised us this morning with the release of the first official picture of the production 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible.

The soft-top iteration of GM's muscle car will make its world debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on November 17, and arrive in Chevrolet showrooms in February 2011 with a starting price -yes, we have that too- of $30,000, including $850 destination, for the base V6 model. Full pricing details will be released later this year.

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First Official Photo of New Range Rover Evoque 5-Door

At the world premiere of the new Range Rover Evoque 3d (see here) at the Paris Motor Show today, Land Rover re-confirmed it will be producing a more practical, five-door version of its new compact SUV model and released the first official photo of the vehicle before its official reveal later this year.

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Paris Show: Nissan Townpod EV Concept May Hint at Future Cube

Although Nissan didn't mention the Cube in its press release on the new Townpod EV concept, it's not hard to make the connection between the two cars. However, the quirky looking sub-compact study, which made its world premiere today at the Paris Motor Show, makes use of the same zero-emission technology found within Nissan LEAF in a tall van-like body with suicide-style rear doors and split trunk doors.

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VIDEO: Audi's Quattro Concept in Slow Motion and with Techno

Interested in seeing vids of the new 'anniversarious' Audi quattro concept? You know you are, and we aim to please. As a brief recap, you should know that this RS5-based concept is powered by a 408-horsepower inline-five displacing 2.5 liters that spins all four wheels through a 6-speed stick.

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Paris Preshow: Skoda's All-Electric Octavia Green E Line

[Updated] This year's edition of the Paris show will see the VW Group's successful Skoda brand unveiling its first-ever electric-powered vehicle called the Octavia Green E Line. Skoda says it is planning to create a special test fleet of Octavias Green E Line in 2011 with the goal of obtaining additional information relevant to the further development of the electric drive.

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Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept: Live Photos from Paris Presentation [Updated]

[Updated Gallery] After many teaser shots and leaked images, Lamborghini finally took the wraps off its new Sesto Elemento conceptual supercar during the Volkswagen Group's pre-show event in Paris. We'll have more photos of the car from Lamborghini's Paris Show stand tomorrow, but for now, hit the jump to check out the first batch of real-life pictures from the unveiling.

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Audi Unveils Quattro Concept to Celebrate its Original Rally Monster's 30th Birthday

Audi has finally revealed its 'quattro concept' in Paris to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original car's 1980 debut. The new quattro, much like the original, gets driven around the rally stages of your dreams by a turbocharged 5-cylinder.

In this case, though, the 2.5-liter unit makes 408-horsepower / 300 kW and uses a 6-speed manual transmission to drive all four 20-inch wheels with 480 Nm / 354 lb-ft. Behind the center-locking dubs are carbon-ceramic discs wearing 6-piston grippers.

With its high-output 5-pot and diet, the new quattro is said to be able to spring to 100 km/h / 62 mph in a scant 3.9 seconds and return a fuel economy of 8.5 liters/100 km (27.67 mpg US).

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New Focus ST: Ford Releases More Info and Pics of 250HP Hot Hatch

Ford has released some more official info regarding its new GTI-fighting boy racer, the 2012 Focus ST, which will make its world premiere in Paris on September 30th. As we've already told you, the golden catfish will be propelled by a 250-horsepower four-cylinder engine and rides on snazzy 19-inch rims spun by 360 Nm / 265 lb ft of torque. The car also rides a centimeter lower than the standard Focus.

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Paris Preshow: Jaguar's Micro-Turbine-Powered C-X75 Supercar Concept

To celebrate the big 7-5, Jaguar has rolled out its XJ220-inspired 780-horsepower C-X75 RE-EV (range-extended electric vehicle) concept. Power for this looker is supplied by electric motors working in conjunction with "micro gas-turbines", which also throw in 1180 lb-ft / 1,600 Nm of torque. Jaguar claims the 6-hour-to-charge plug-in sports car has a range of 560 / 900 km miles and an Lithium-ion-only range of 68 miles with a "potential top speed" of 205 mph (330 km/h).

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Paris Preshow: Peugeot HR1 Small Crossover Concept

Peugeot has lifted the covers off a second concept model on the eve of the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Billed as an urban crossover, the HR1 study is said to blend together a number of elements from various categories including city cars, coupes and SUVs, and is designed to appeal to young people with active lifestyles.

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Paris Preshow: Seat IBE Sports Coupe Concept No2

At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, which opens on 30 September, Seat will present a second iteration of its IBE small sports car concept. The first version of the coupe-ish hatchback with the low bonnet and long roofline was introduced at the Geneva Salon this past March (see here).

Since then, the car has gained an interior while its exterior design has been tweaked with a restyled lower fascia and new LED headlamps and tail lights. Furthermore, the car is now finished in a more eye-catching cherry-red color.

The super-compact sports coupe concept with the 2+2 seat layout is around 200 mm shorter than the Ibiza measuring just 3,830 mm in length. However, it is also unusually wide at 1,770 mm with a height of just 1,230 mm.

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Paris Preshow: Lamborghini's 999kg Sesto Elemento Concept Revealed [Updated]

[Updated with New Images] These are the first full-blown pictures of the concept car Lamborghini has been teasing Ford Explorer-style for a little while now. It's called the Sesto Elemento (Sixth Element) and, according to antonio melandries sources, it is powered by the Gallardo Superleggera's 5.2-liter V10.

Riding on center-locking wheels (seen in one of the teasers), the Superleggera's 570-horsepower mill pushes the car to 100km/h (62mph) in 2.5 seconds. That's nearly a second faster than the rocket ship-like Superleggera, all thanks to a massive reduction in weight.

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Infiniti Announces Pricing on New IPL G Coupe with 348HP

We may not be getting the new 2011 Infiniti Performance Line G Coupe until the second week of December, but that's not stopping the Japanese carmaker from announcing prices on the sportiest version of its G37 Coupe.

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Holden's HSV Considering 286 hp Twin-Turbo Cruze to Compete With Focus RS

When Holden axed its Opel-sourced Astra small car in Australia in 2009, it also dealt a death blow to Holden Special Vehicle's wicked 177kw (237 hp) / 320Nm VRX hot hatch. Now the high performance brand is searching for a replacement for its entry level model, setting its sights on the Daewoo / Chevrolet-sourced Cruze.

In the event that Opel does come to Australia as a stand-alone brand, HSV is looking for its own hot hatch to go up against the likes of the Focus RS and Subaru WRX, and the Australian developed Cruze 5dr hatchback is on the cards.

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MINI Core Design Concept Shows what a Non-Retro Cooper could Look Like

Niels Steinhoff, a student at the Munich University of Applied Sciences, clearly envisions the next Mini as sleeker, more rounded, and less retro. His concept is called the Mini Core and comes off more as a shooting brake than a typical hatch. Much like a Mini, the Core is still meant to provide "reasonable functionality, driving pleasure, the possibility of individualization".

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Bentley Releases Pricing for 2011 Continental GT before Paris Debut

If you're interested in the redesigned 2011 Continental GT, you'll be happy to know that Bentley released pricing today and has confirmed that customer deliveries of the twin-turbocharged W12 model will start in the first quarter of 2011.

Technical specs and pricing of the newly added base model, which is powered by a 4.0-liter V8 engine and will be available later in 2011, have not yet been announced.

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Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Announces Pay-By-Height Pricing and Merry-Go-Around with Never Before Seen Prototypes

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has announced that it will be opening to the public for a short Inaugural Period, beginning at 7pm on October 27th, 2010. This period, which will no doubt be used to sort out any kinks, will continue up to the park's official, Grand Opening in November.

Unlike most parks, which sell tickets based on age, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi's tickets will be sold according to height. Guests under 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) will pay AED 165 (US$45), while guests over 1.5 metres will pay AED 225 (US$61).

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Saab Seals Engine Deal with BMW, gets 4 Cylinder Turbo Units from 2012

The BMW Group and Saab-owner Spyker Cars N.V. have come to an agreement for the use of the German automaker's petrol engines in Saab's vehicles from 2012 onwards. The long-rumored deal, which will ultimately help Saab further reduce its reliance on previous owner General Motors, currently the firm's only supplier of gasoline powerplants, was signed on Wednesday by Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, and the CEO of Saab Automobile, JanÅke Jonsson, in Trollhättan in Sweden.

Under the agreement, BMW will supply Saab with 4-cylinder 1.6 liter turbocharged petrol engines, which will incorporate the Bavarian automaker's fuel-saving and emissions -cutting stop-start and regenerative braking tech. Saab said the engines will be adapted to meet the firm's specific requirements.

"We look forward to integrating this technology into our next-generation vehicles in a true Saab way," said Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson.

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FAIL No2: Volvo V60 Safety System Flub Ends with a Dead Dummy Named Bob

This is officially the second safety system demonstration in as many "Look at this!" announcements that has gone horribly wrong for Volvo. That's right, two. The first one was back in May and led to a new S60 estate crushing itself into the back of a truck - see the video here. This latest mishap occurred during a media demonstration to Australian journalists in Europe.

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2011 Infiniti G37 Coupe & Convertible with Reworked Snout Priced

Infiniti has released photos and announced U.S. pricing on its 2011 G37 Coupe and Convertible models, which will both hit showrooms nationwide on November 10th. Following up on last year's updates that focused on the interior, Infiniti has now refreshed the two-door G37 models exterior appearance with a resculptured front bumper featuring a new lower grille and fog light housing / vent designs, as well as with new 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheel styles.

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New Chevy Montana Small Pickup Truck Launched for South America

The South American arm of Chevrolet has dropped info and pics on its new Montana ute/truck/thing, and from the looks of it, the US market has avoided a bomb. If memory serves me correctly, the closest thing we've had here was the Subaru Baja, and that ended in tears.

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NHTSA Investigates '04-'05 MINI Cooper Over Power Steering Issue

After having received 54 complaints from owners of the 2004-2005MY Mini Cooper over an alleged loss of power steering, the National National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to take action and open a preliminary investigation into the matter.

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Citroën Releases Dating 2.0 to Help People Find a Date for The Paris Motor Show (and Market the DS3)

Ooohweee, does Citroën know how to get this pale, pajama-wearing, cries-himself-to-sleep-every-night hippie blogger interested. Screw match-dot-com, we've got a car dating service now. The French brand know for its wild and out of this world concepts (see GTbyCitroën, Survolt, Revolte, etc.) has created a new form of match-up for the car enthusiast called Dating 2.0, and it's one nifty little time-waster.

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2011 Toyota iQ with Euro5 Engines Available for Order in the UK

Starting from today, Toyota UK is accepting orders for its modestly updated iQ mini, which will make its debut at this week's Paris Motor Show. Priced from £10,158 on the road, the 2011 model year iQ benefits from some barely noticeable changes inside and an engine lineup that has been revised to meet Euro 5 emissions standards.

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Hasselblad H4D Ferrari is Another Cynical Marketing Excercise

Why can't carmakers stick to building cars? You don't see Dyson and Prada making a limited edition vacuum cleaner or Apple and Westinghouse producing an iPad integrated refrigerator (so far).

And yet, here we are. Swedish camera company Hasselblad (famous for its camera's use on the Apollo moon missions) and Italian supercar maker Ferrari have collaborated on a limited edition model of the Hasselblad H4D camera.

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Sigh... Viral Marketing Tricksters Knock on our Door with a Kia Called Mediocrity

We not sure how Kia's marketing people are going to feel about this one (unless they're part of it...), but photos of an older generation Optima covered in beige cladding and featuring a badge with the word "MEDIOCRITY" have just landed in our mail box. Tony B, the tipster-reader-scooper who sent in the photos, claims he snagged the car in LA.

Of course, it didn't take long to figure out that this is a viral campaign of some sort. However, since we're gearing up for this week's Paris Motor Show, we're not going to waste our time looking for answers about a covered up Kia...

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