Geneva Preshow: New Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 [Updated Gallery]

After nearly a decade of running amok in the land of hypercars, Lamborghini's Murcielago is being retired. In its place will be the Aventador, a 700-hp devil providing a whole new generation with automotive wall art and high-speed screams.

The Aventador LP 700-4, Lambo's newest top dog, hopes to build on the glorious excess of its predecessor. Fusing design cues found in the Reventón and Sesto Elemento, the Lamborghini Aventador has much in common with past Lamborghini flagships: it is named after a famous bull, packs a V12 warp drive, allows entry through a pair of scissor doors, and makes no sense as a daily driver.

It has also picked up the Murcielago's electronic air intakes due to their functionality and downright awesomeness. Broad details, however, are where the similarities stop.

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Audi RS3 Sedan Concept: First Real Life Photos Surface Online

We've already seen teaser sketches of Audi's new A3 Sedan Concept, but tonight, the first real life photos of the design study started circulating around the web ahead of its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Salon . While Audi prefers to call the concept the A3 Sedan, the RS3 Sedan moniker sounds more appropriate given the RS3 Sportback-sourced 2.5-liter turbocharged five-pot with 408 ponies lurking under the bonnet.

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Geneva Preshow: Rolls-Royce 102EX EV Study Might Just have the Largest Passenger Car the World

Rolls-Royce has pulled the wraps off the next vehicle in its EX concept series, the 102EX (AKA Phantom Experimental Electric). The 102EX is meant to gauge reactions and opinions from the firm's clientele, shareholders, and the general public in regards to a Roller with a non-traditional drive train. As the 102EX is strictly a concept, Rolls-Royce hopes to resolve any issues that people might have with an all-electric - or any non-traditionally powered - Rolls.

Going back to the RR playbook, customers are the most important people to the Spirit of Ecstasy. Therefore, the manufacturer wants to be sure that expectations are met, not too much extra effort has to be put into ownership ("acceptable range...without frequent recharging"), and a proper Rolls-Royce ownership experience is provided.

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Hamann Gives the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG the Hawk Treatment

Mansory won’t be the only tuning firm to unveil its interpretation of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, as Hamann Motorsport has prepared its own version of the gull-winged supercar called the ‘Hawk’.

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Saab's Geneva Motor Show Surprise is Sports Car Concept Called the Phoenix

When Saab first revealed its plans to debut a new concept model at the Geneva Salon a couple of weeks ago, the Swedish company did not release any details whatsoever about the study. And while Saab is still keeping its cards close to its chest, we managed to find out that the study is called the Phoenix and that it's a sports car concept equipped with a turbocharged petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. The Phoenix is the work of Saab's new design boss of former Bertone fame, Jason Castriota, and its main purpose is to preview the brand's next styling direction.

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Skoda Reveals VisionD Design Study and Brand New Logo

Making its world premiere at the 81st Geneva International Motor Show is the Skoda VisionD, a concept model that previews the brand's new design direction and is the first vehicle to wear Skoda's new logo.

The VisionD concept car takes the form of a sharp-looking five-door hatchback. Skoda claims the long wheelbase and short overhangs allow for above-average interior space, while the dynamic roof line offers the car a “high degree of visual majesty”. The fluent integration of the tailgate into the car's overall line and the absence of a third latteral glass give the hatchback a dynamic appearance.

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Bentley Celebrates Ice Speed Record with New Special Edition Supersports Convertible

To celebrate the 205.5mph (330.7km/h) world ice-speed record that was set two weeks ago by Finland’s four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen in a Continental Supersports convertible, Bentley has unveiled a new special edition version of its drop-top model that will be built in a limited run of 100 units.

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Volkswagen Reinvents the Microbus with Bulli EV Concept Study

Volkswagen will show a new concept model in Geneva called the Bulli, which is a development of the Microbus study from 2001. However, at 3.99 meters long, 1.75 meters wide and 1.70 meters tall, with a wheelbase of 2.62 meters, the six-seater compact is more compact than the its predecessor. Volkswagen claims that the interior is spacious enough for six passengers, with three seating up front and three at the back.

The boot volume is 370 liters, but it can be extended to 1,600 liters when the rear bench is folded. The Bulli can also be turned into a camper van, since the seat system can be transformed into a large reclining surface.

The minivan is fitted with a removable iPad in the center console that serves as an infotainment touchscreen, controlling functions such as Bluetooth hands-free telephone, navigation system and media center.

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Mansory Adds Carbon Fiber Body and 89 Ponies to Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The Swiss aftermarket specialist Mansory has unveiled its take on the the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar and the result of their work is very different from what they began with. For starters, the tuners replaced the Gullwing-door model's aluminium bodyshell with a carbon fiber one, shaving 90 kg of the car's weight in the process.

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Geneva Preshow: Seat IBX Small Crossover Study Hints at Production Model

This is the new Seat IBX, a concept study for a three-door small crossover that will be officially unwrapped at the Geneva Motor Show this week. The IBX appears to be a follow up on Seat's 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show Tribu concept, which never managed to reach production. This time, however, the Spanish subsidiary of the VW Group says the IBX demonstrates "a possible expansion of the SEAT product portfolio".

Like the Tribu, the IBX has also been penned by Seat's Chief Designer of former Lamborghini fame, Luc Donckerwolke. “The IBX was created from the gene pool of our next vehicle generation. This design DNA will have a profound impact on every one of our models,” said Donckerwolke. “And, with this urban sports utility vehicle, we are proving that with our design, our sporty pedigree and our youthful character, we can also create a vehicle concept that is unique among SUVs.”

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850HP Dacia Duster to Go Hill Climbing at Pikes Peak

After successfully competing in the Andros Trophy ice-racing championship with F1 star Alain Prost behind the wheel, the guys at Renault Sport Technologies want the Dacia Duster to perform in a whole different league. In particular, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb which will be held on June 26 this year.

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Ford to Debut BTCC Focus Race Car at Geneva Motor Show

The first ever touring race car version of the all-new Ford Focus will make its world premiere at this week's 2011 Geneva Motor Show, ahead of it is scheduled track debut in the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch towards the end of March.

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Geneva Preshow: Ford Reveals B-MAX Small MPV Study Based on the Fiesta

Scheduled to make its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show this week is Ford's brand-new B-MAX concept that previews the firm's upcoming small MPV, designed to replace the current European Fusion and rival the Opel Meriva. Based on the
Fiesta platform, the almost production-ready minivan has some striking features, the most obvious being the new door concept. It has no B-pillar and the twin doors have a conventional opening system in the front and a sliding system in the back.

By eliminating the traditional B-pillar, Ford promises best-in-class access to the cabin without compromising safety. With both front and rear doors open, the aperture measures 1.5 metres, around twice the width offered by competitors, according to Ford.

“With its unique door format and dynamic design, the B-MAX sends a strong message that customers looking for a compact, stylish and versatile vehicle will soon have an exciting new choice,” said Stephen Odell, CEO of Ford Europe. Another highlight is the lack of door handles, with the opening system being remote-controlled.

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VIDEO: AC Schnitzer's Diesel-Powered BMW Z4 and 540HP 5-Series

The new BMW Z4-based 99d roadster and the BMW 550i-based ACS5 sports saloon will hog the limelight on AC Schnitzer's stand at this week's 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Both models were developed to offer performance without compromising on fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions. The Z4 99d comes with a 190HP 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine, while the ACS5 features a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 gasoline unit pumping out 540-ponies. Scope out the first promotional videos of AC Schnitzer's newest tunes right after the break.

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Geneva Preshow: New Koenigsegg Agera R gets 1,115 HP and...a Roof Box

Koenigsegg, the Swedish maker of exotic sports cars will bring its newest creation, the Agera R hypercar, along with the final production version of the Agera to this week's Geneva Salon. Building on the design of the 15-year-old CC, the Agera looks unmistakably "Koenigsegg".

The paint scheme of the car that will be displayed in Geneva is inspired by the legendary Speed Racer theme, as specified by the owner of the car. But as impressive as it might be, the design pales in comparison with the technology present beneath the car's carbon fiber skin.

The monocoque chassis weighs only 70 kg and the dry weight of the car is 1,330 kg, which makes it the lightest fully homologated hypercar in production, according to Koenigsegg. That's all the more remarkable given the fact that the 5.0-liter V8 bi-turbo engine is capable of 1,115 horsepower and 1,200 Nm when running on E85 ethanol biofuel (940 hp and 1,100 Nm on regular 95 octane gasoline).

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Nissan Qashqai Surpasses 1 Million Sales Milestone

Nissan's well-received Qashqai model has just passed the 1,000,000 sales mark after four years in production. The compact crossover model, which is also known as the Dualis in Japan and Australia and other markets, was designed and engineered in Britain. Introduced in 2007, Nissan expanded the crossover's range with the presentation of the seven-seater, long-wheelbase version called the Qashqai+2 in 2008, while the entire series received an update in March 2010 with a refreshed design and powertrain refinements.

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Holden Unveils Aussie-Built Cruze Series II with New 2.0L Diesel and 1.4L Turbo Petrol

Holden, General Motors' Australian division, introduced an updated version of its Cruze sedan bearing the Series II moniker today. The facelift brings powertrain, chassis and some styling changes, but most importantly, it marks the switch to local production starting from March, 2011. Up until now, the Holden Cruze sedan was imported to Australia from Korea. The first locally built compact model in the country in more than a decade will be manufactured at Holden's plant in Elizabeth, South Australia.

The styling updates on the Cruze Series II are kept to a minimum and concern the new trapezoidal grille, subtly redesigned front bumper, new headlamp bezels and a different rear fascia treatment.

The facelift brings two new engines, a 2.0-liter turbo diesel and a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline unit, while the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter engine carries over with some minor revisions from the Series 1 model.

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Ford Brings SYNC Technology to Europe Starting with the New Focus

Ford will offer the infotainment and connectivity system to its European models starting from 2012, the company announced today. The all-new Focus will be the first vehicle in Europe to feature the SYNC technology, with other models to follow. Ford said it wants to have 2 million SYNC-equipped cars on European roads by 2015.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series Rendered

It's only a matter of time before Mercedes-Benz unleashes an AMG version of its new C-Class Coupe to rival BMW's two-door M3, but antonio melandries reader Luis Silva from Portugal decided to craft a quick chop of the C63 AMG Coupe for our viewing pleasure.

The actual C63 AMG Coupe could be revealed as early as this year's edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Given that the two-door model is based on the current C-Class series, it's almost certain that the two-door variant will keep the 2012 C63 AMG Sedan's 6.2-liter V8, which produces 457HP and 600Nm / 442 lb-ft of torque in standard trim and 487HP with the optional AMG Performance package.

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VIDEO: This is how Muammar Gaddafi Rolls

When Muammar al-Gaddafi isn't taking "care" of his people [...], the Libyan dictator garners the media attention for his excessive behaviors. Take for instance the way Gaddafi chose to cruise the streets of Rome when he visited Italy last year: a motorcade of no less than 36 cars was necessary for the overly eccentric leader. And that's not even close to extreme by Gaddafi's standards. Read more »

U SPY...from the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

We're less than 48 hours away from the automotive extravaganza known as the 81st Geneva Motor Show and automakers are scrambling to get their booths ready for the grand opening on Tuesday. We'll be covering all the news from the press days of course, but thanks to a antonio melandries reader, we can now give you an exclusive look at the cars being loaded off the trucks in front of the Palexpo Center in Geneva as well as a sneak peak at some of the automakers stands inside. Check out the gallery right after the break.

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Lancia Could Sell the Ypsilon and Delta in the U.S., Has No Plans to Revive HF Integrale or Fulvia

When announcing the new Ypsilon’s key role in Lancia’s turnaround strategy at a press event antonio melandries attended in Turin, Italy, earlier this week, company officials told us that the small car could be sold in the States under the Chrysler brand if American buyers will show enough interest towards the recently launched U.S.-spec Fiat 500. Furthermore, the same could happen with the Delta.

On the other hand, Lancia's people told us the company has no plans to revive famous nameplates such as the HF Integrale and Fulvia, simply stating that there’s no market for Lancia sports cars.

Although in its current state, the new Ypsilon doesn’t comply with U.S. standards, Lancia Product Manager Claudio Nervi told us that it could be “easily federalized” and that logistically “it's not a problem, as the Ypsilon could be produced at the [Fiat Group’s] Mexican plant”. However, Nervi also pointed out the decision depends “on the performance of the Fiat 500 in the US”.

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MTM Geneva Show Display Includes Fastest Audi R8 with 777HP and TT RS with 472HP

Among the many tuning firms making their way to the Geneva Motor Show is VW Group specialist MTM. The German company will display two heavily modified Audi models, based on the R8 V10 and the TT RS. The most impressive proposal is the one-off MTM R8 Biturbo that comes with a polished chrome body that took over 700 working hours to complete. A large fixed spoiler at the back along with 20-inch forged rims and carbon fiber parts round off the exterior changes.

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Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4: Live Shots from Geneva

There's no doubt that the new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is the worst kept secret of the 81st Geneva International Motor Show. In addition to a bevy of studio shots that were leaked online in the past few days, we now have live shots of the Murcielago's replacement from Geneva, courtesy of the folks over at Autogespot.

"We have just received from a friend a few exclusive photos of the new LP700-4. It is the Grigio Estoque colorded Aventador that will be shown on the press day on the 1st of March," Emil from Autogespot told us. And well, there you have it: the new Aventador. We'll have all the juicy details in a couple of days when Lamborghini officially debuts its new flagship model at the Geneva show, but scroll down for the condensed version.

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Hseih’s Aerius: The Hypercar Goes Green in a Fictional 2025

Imagine it’s the year 2025. The Bugatti Veyron is an overpriced collector’s item outlawed on U.S. streets as it doesn’t meet the nation’s recently introduced (and some say draconian) emission laws. Dozens of tired Corvette Z06’s prowl America’s heartland, their engines in need of servicing and their paint peeling, their hick driver’s desperately avoiding the iron fist of the DoT. E85 costs US$9.00 a gallon and hydrogen is relegated to interstate trucks and some high priced luxury cars.

Into this Mad Maxian world comes the Aerius: a high performance EV with electric motors in the wheel hubs, carbon nanotube super-capacitors for energy storage and solar panels to recharge them on the go. With organic, jet fighter-like styling and the green cred disenchanted motoring enthusiasts have longed for, the Aerius is sure to be 2025’s Car of the Year...

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New Lancia Ypsilon Given a Key Role in the Italian Brand’s Revitalization Plan

The upcoming 2011 Geneva Salon will probably be the most important motor show in Lancia’s recent history, as the Italian brand is trying to start off its revitalization plan with a push of new models. However, the recently unveiled Flavia and Thema sedans and Grand Voyager MPV didn’t quite catch the public’s eye due to the fact that they’re all rebadged Chryslers, while the Delta hatchback hasn't even come close in repeating the first generation model's success.

This leaves the new Ypsilon to fend for the 105-year old company’s honor. The Italian firm's new small car is considered to be a “pocket flagship” and has been given a key role in Lancia's turnaround strategy, thoroughly emphasized during a press event that antonio melandries was invited to attend at the Fiat Group’s Centro Stile design center in Turin, Italy.

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Volvo to Build New Car Plant in China, Aims to Sell 200,000 Vehicles in the Chinese Market by 2015

At a press conference held earlier today in Beijing, Chinese-owned Volvo Cars announced plans to build a new plant in the city of Chengdu and continuing investigations for a second factory in Daqing, in north-eastern China. Volvo said that the deal is still pending approval from the Chinese government.

"We regard the Chinese market as the second home market for Volvo Car Corporation and a very important part of the plan to build a successful future for the company," said Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

The Chengdu assembly plant will only build Volvo cars and have an initial output of around 100,000 cars annually, with production estimated to start during 2013. Volvo said that the decision to expand in China will not affect operations and employment in Europe.

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Ferrari to Show Greener 458 Italia with HELE System in Geneva

The new Ferrari FF won't be the only model from Maranello to make its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Salon, as antonio melandries has learned that the Italian supercar maker will also introduce a greener version of the 458 Italia equipped with the company’s HELE (High Emotion, Low Emission) technology, which improves CO2 emissions and reduces fuel consumption.

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Volvo's Iconic P1800 Turns 50 This Year

Even if you are not a specialist in classic cars, you know you have seen this one before. And you're right, its fame came from being Roger Moore's ride in the TV series “The Saint”. In fact, the man who played Simon Templar liked the car so much that he bought one for himself.

Revealed at the 1960 Brussels Motor Show, the unmistakably-shaped Swedish coupe was not the first choice for the part in “The Saint”. The producers first asked Jaguar for the E-Type, but the British refused, arguing that the car didn't need more publicity. Volvo said yes and so the P1800 became known worldwide.

Production started in 1961 and almost 46,000 units of the model were made in various versions until production ended in 1973.

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VIDEO: Opel Touts Zafira Tourer Concept's "Lounge Ambience"

These are the first videos of Opel's new Zafira Tourer Concept, which will receive its grand premiere at next week's 2011 Geneva Salon. The first clip focuses on the relaxing "lounge atmosphere" found within the interior of the minivan, something that Opel highlighted more than anything else in the car's press release, while the second video showcases the new Flex7 seating concept. Hit the break to watch both clips for yourself.

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Maybach 57 S Coupe by Xenatec to Debut in Geneva...but not at the Show

German coachbuilder Xenatec will bring the new Maybach 57 S-based coupe to Geneva for the car's first public appearance. Strangely enough, the place chosen for the reveal will not be the Geneva motor show at the Palexpo center, but a specially built pavilion in the gardens of “La Reserve” hotel on the banks of Lake Geneva. The company's decision might have something to do with Maybach being present at the show, but this has not been confirmed.

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Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Photo Leak Part XLVIII

We've seen more leaks on the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 than on a rusty pipe of late, so we're hardly surprised that a new set of images surfaced online today. The three fresh pictures show the Raging Bull's engine bay with the brand-new 700-horsepower 6.5-liter V12 unit, the supercar's interior and the sculptured fuel cap. Unless someone spills the beans later today or during the weekend, you'll have to wait until Monday for the full reveal at the Geneva Motor Show.

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Ferrari CEO Made €8.7 Million in 2010 or Twice as Much as Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne

It's no secret that top car executives make big money, but the situation at the
Fiat Group is particularly interesting. How else could one describe the fact that in 2010, Ferrari's chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, was paid more than twice the amount of money than the CEO of the entire Fiat Group, Sergio Marchionne? Read more »

De Tomaso Shows More of its New SLS Crossover, Confirms Production for 2011

One of the surprises at this year's edition of the Geneva Motor Show is the resurrection of the De Tomaso brand, which will re-launch with a production ready concept model, set to go on sale in late 2011. The Italian company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, but was brought back to life after Rossignolo former Fiat executive, Gianmario Rossignolo, acquired the brand from a Modena bankruptcy court in November 2009.

The Italian brand's first vehicle was initially codenamed SLC for Sport Luxury Crossover, but in the latest press release, De Tomaso is calling it the SLS, which stands for Sport Luxury Sedan. We know what you're thinking in regards to Mercedes-Benz's Gullwing-door supercar, but De Tomaso was quick to state the vehicle will not be sold as the SLS, with the final production name to be revealed during the Geneve press conference on March 1.

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Opel to Launch New Astra-Based Convertible Model in 2013

Opel today revealed its plans to introduce a new convertible in 2013. The new model is part of the company's EUR11 billion investment plan which was announced last year and also includes the new Zafira and the Ampera EV. The droptop will be based on General Motor's compact vehicle architecture, which forms the basis for the current Astra hatchback, Astra SportsTourer and the upcoming Astra GTC, as well as Chevrolet's Cruze and Orlando.

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Toyota Patents Designs of Sport Version of New Yaris in Europe

Toyota introduced a new generation of the Yaris supermini in Japan (named Vitz for the local market) in December, 2010, and is also planning to showcase a thinly disguised concept of an upcoming hybrid version of the supermini at the Geneva Motor Show, which will be held for the public from March 3 to 13. But as these trademark fillings from Europe prove, the company is also working on a sport variant, most likely as a replacement to the Yaris TS.

The model seen in these patent designs features a full body kit with a new front bumper that replaces the standard Yaris' front grille with openings next to the headlamps while also boasting daytime LED strips, side skirts and profile graphics, a redesigned rear bumper housing a prominent diffuser, and bespoke tail lamps. The new roof spoiler and the multispoke alloy wheels sum up the differences over the regular Yaris.

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