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Saturday, 24 July 2010

See you some other time

Dear friends of MotorTips,

I have maintained this blog for the past two years with a lot of joy and pride of the work it helped me to develop. MotorTips has since been a huge source of satisfaction, but now I have taken new professional responsibilities that will prevent me from keep on writing here. That said, I would like to thank everyone that has visited MotorTips during this time. MotorTips will eventually get back to business, but now it will stay dormant for a while.

All the best,


Sunday, 27 June 2010

Gordon Murray Design releases first official pictures and specs of T.25

Gordon Murray Design has just released the first official images of the T.25. The car will be presented for the public for the firt time at the Smith School’s World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, in Oxford, this Monday, June 28th. But you can check it out right now.

The new car, represented here by its prototype, the XP1, also called Lizzie (an hommage to the United Kingdom queen), is 2.40 m long, 1.60 m tall and only 1.30 m wide. It will allow two of these cars to share the same lane in roads and streets. And this is one of the objectives of the company: to protect personal mobility. Not appealing to easy ideas, but giving small cars some of the same solutions McLaren F1 has adopted back in 1992: bonded steel structure and central driving position.

Have a look at the steering wheel. Behind it you can see the pads used for changing gears. T.25 has a five speed semi-automatic sequential transmission that controls the three-cylinder 660 cm³ engine. It is able to deliver 52 bhp at 7,000 rpm and 57 Nm at 4,000 rpm. For a car that weighs only 575 kg, that is enough. This would allow the car to reach 156 km/h if it was not limited to 145 km/h. It also makes T.25 reach 100 km/h from 0 in 16.2 s. This may not be a very appealing performance, but, since the goal is fuel efficiency, something that the central gauge proves by indicating the fuel consumption, we may have to change priorities.

The last interesting characteristic of T.25 is its door, or else, its canopy, similar to the ones used in airplanes. Besides letting all three occupants enter and leave the car, it also works fine in tight parking places. The passengers travel just behind the driver and the car also carries 160 l of luggage. If no passenger is in the car, luggage capacity can reach up to 720 l.

Dinamically speaking, T.25 counts on full independent suspension, rear wheel drive, ABS, ESP and traction control as standard equipment. This is the first product of the iStream manufacturing technology, but it surely won't be its last. T.27, the electric version of T.25, is also on the works, but many more vehicles are sure to arise. Gordon Murray speaks of developing cars for specific countries, such as Brazil. We count on that.

Source: Car and Driver Brasil

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Fifth generation of VW Polo Sedan appears in India disguised as a Ford

The world presentation of the new VW Polo Sedan, based on the fifth generation of the hatchback, was expected to happen at the 2010 edition of Auto Delhi, in India, but it didn't. Anyway, India seems to have a love affair with this car and it has appeared there for the first time almost undisguised, as our friends from Source: Motoroids have managed to register. See the images below:

The images indicate the new car may as well be presented in Gandhi's homeland. Its production is already confirmed to take place at the VW Talegaon plant, but India will not be the only country that will produce the new vehicle. China, Russia and Brazil may also see the car produced in their VW plants.

Getting back to the pictures Motoroids has managed to snap, one can initially think this car is a new Mondeo, or a Ford Focus Sedan, if the rear lights and the blue oval badge on the back were to be taken into consideration. But the fact is these are only fake accessories added to hide the car's true identity. With a very small success rate, let's say.

Pay attention to the tail lights. The upper part is made of red tape, only to make them seem like Focus Sedan rear lights. The real thing is much smaller, and the internal lines of these pieces show the same angles the tail lights of the Polo V bear. In the picture below, Motoroids has managed to spot the round space reserved for the VW logo, just under the fake blue oval badge.

Motoroids guys have also made this comparative image below, which confirm the real identity of the new car. It can be stated through the rear mirrors, the radio antenna and the sidelines of the car. In other words, Motoroids managed to get a world exclusive. Hats off for them!

Source: Motoroids

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Citroën reveals first pictures of the new AirCross, the adventure version of C3 Picasso

Citroën has announced last year it intends to present a lot of new vehicles. Most of them will be versions of existing cars, such as the new AirCross, an "adventure" version of the C3 Picasso. The company will first present it in Brazil, possibly in the second semester of 2010, but its first official images have been presented today, through its Twitter. Check them below.

The AirCross, codenamed A58, is only different from the C3 Picasso due to a higher suspension and to some external aspects, such as the front grille, entirely new, the spare tire, fixed on the back door of the car, side skirts and inscriptions with the name of the car all around.

Due to the spare tire, its total lenght must be a little bigger than 4.08 m. The higher suspension must have also contributed to make it taller than the regular 1.62 m tall C3 Picasso, but it must still be 1.73 m wide. Its luggage compartment, able to hold 500 l, must be a little bigger, considering the space reserved for the spare tire must have been seized to carry small stuff.

Engines must be limited to one choice, the 1.6-litre 16V flex unit already in use in Brazil, if it is not a little bigger, or else, the 2-litre unit already in use by the C4 family, also capable of running on ethanol or gasoline in any proportion. We'll be sure about all data when the car gets its official presentation, in some months from now.

Source: Twitter

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Lotus releases images and info on its first electric car, the Evora 414E Hybrid

When people say electric cars can be exciting, some will doubt it. Tesla has already tried to prove them wrong with the Roadster, but the final statement on that must come from Lotus, a company that is widely known for its sports cars with superb handling. That final statement is called Evora 414E Hybrid.

Lotus calls it a hybrid, but only because it also uses a combustion engine. Since it is a mere range extender, we do not understand it is a hybrid car, but a full electric car with some old timer's help.

The new machine will be able to accelerate from 0 to 97 km/h in under 4 s, something that can be credited to its two electric engines, which drive the rear wheels in an independent way.

The number 414 is due to the power of the car, 414 ps/306 kW, since each engine has been limited (yes, that's right) to produce only 207 ps/153 kW each. Torque is 400 Nm, 200 Nm in each engine.

Since range is what electric car detractor more fiercely attack, the Evora 414E Hybrid can run up to 483 km with the help of its range extender, a 1.2-litre three cylinder engine designed by Lotus specifically to generate electric energy. Able to generate 48 ps/35 kW, it weighs only 85 kg, in accordance with the low weight philosophy from Lotus.

Since this is a plug-in car, the Lithium Polymer batteries can make the car run up to 56 km, more than enough for most people to go from work back home, and home to work, on a day-to-day basis. No word on how long they take to recharge, but surely no more than 8 hours, or a good night of sleep.

Lotus treats the car as a concept, one of its biggest attractions for Geneva, but the British carmaker can surely come up with a production version of this beauty very soon. That's the advantage of a small and agile structure.

Source: Lotus

Friday, 29 January 2010

Pininfarina will take 2-seater spider concept to Geneva

Pininfarina has just released the first official image of its next concept, a 2-seater spider built over an Alfa Romeo platform in order to celebrate the studio's 80th anniversary.

We still do not have any technical specs on the vehicle, but its rendering already leaves us mouthwatering for a production version of the car. It may help save the Cuore Sportivo, who knows?

Source: Pininfarina

Monday, 18 January 2010

LEAKED! - 2011 Kia Sportage appears ahead of Geneva

These images from the 2011 Kia Sportage have leaked from the European patent office and they present the car in full details. They would only be better if the interior of the vehicle had also been revealed, but the images already allow us to know what to expect from the new crossover when it is officially released at the Geneva Motor Show, which will take place in March.

Based on the Hyundai ix35, also named Tucson in some markets, such as the USA, the new Sportage is ahead of its sibling due to the visual identity Peter Schreyer has given Kia (and Hyundai still did not manage to present). We can see the high waistline as a promise for a crossover that has a good handling, but this is something we will only be sure about when we drive it.

Considering ix35 and Sportage have so much in common, we can try to guess its final technical specifications: 4.41 m long, 1.82 m wide, 1.66 m tall and a wheelbase of 2.64 m. Engines will probably be a petrol 2-litre four-cylinder able to generate 123 kW (165 bhp) and a turbodiesel 2-litre four-cylinder that produces 135 kW (180 bhp), both managed by a 6-speed automatic transmission.

If the new-generation Sportage is not presented at the Geneva Motor Show (what is not very likely, considering these images have leaked from the European patent office), it will make its world premiere in April, back in its homeland, South Korea.


Wednesday, 13 January 2010

LEAKED! - First picture of new Fiat Uno emerges

Emerging countries (and possibly Europe) have been hearing rumours of a new Fiat Uno to come up in the next few months. Well, the rumours are true, as these pictures, obtained by Novidades Automotivas in a Brazilian registry office, INPI, have confirmed. Check it below:

The picture confirms the renderings our friend Marlos Ney Vidal, from the blog Autos Segredos, has already presented about a month ago, but also presents a few important differences, such as the hood fold that goes from the front to the windshield of the car following the forms of Fiat shield. The three air scoops between the headlamps (by the right side of the car, when looking at it from the front) are also bigger and more aligned to Fiat's logo. Below these air scoops there is the main air entrance, trespassed by a bar in which the front plate will be placed. It will be black, not in the body colour, what makes it look like a big mouth.

Another sensible difference is in the rear mirrors, similar to the ones once used by Fiat Punto. Although there are differences, the renderings, which you can see below, give us quite a good idea of what the car will be like when it goes on sale, next March, in Brazil.

The image above presents us the back lights of the car. The central part will be for the brake lights, while the upper part will be dedicated to turning lights. The lower niche will be reserved for rear lights and possibly for a fog lamp in one of the sides of the car, something we would not like to see. If the car is to have a fog lamp, we hope it to be somewhere else.

There will be two flexible fuel engine options: a 1-litre able to generate 75 bhp on ethanol and a new 1.4-litre engine, which will be called Evo, based on the current 1.4-litre Fire. The luggage compartment will not be exactly big, with 200 l, but the fuel tank will hold 48 l, something important due to the smaller range of ethanol.

The new Uno will be sold in other South American countries and may be produced in other BRIC countries, such as India, China and Russia.

Source: Novidades Automotivas via Autos Segredos

Friday, 8 January 2010

Peugeot wants to change, but is the SR1 the right path?

Peugeot wants to take a big step forward. In fact, three, as it aims to become the seventh biggest automaker in the world (it is currently the tenth). Besides changing its badge for the one you can see at the end of gallery below, it has announced 14 new cars from up to 2012. Will it work? If the new design directions it takes are well received by the public, perhaps. And the SR1 Concept gives us a hint on what this new design direction will be.

Some have called this car stunning, but it really does not look that striking or revolutionary for us. It's nice, to say the most. Anyway, the car presents other qualities that may help it sell well, if it manages to reach the production lines.

The SR1 is 4.83 m long, 1.92 m wide, 1.25 m tall and bears a wheelbase of only 2.60 m (not enough for a car this big). It points out one of Peugeot's main problems lately: big overhangs. They may help the car look beautiful (discussable), but are a pain in the neck for handling.

In a straight line, anyway, the SR1 is able to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 s, a respectable mark. This is due to the total 230 kW (313 bhp) the car has available. Follower of the HYbrid4 concept (preached by Peugeot for a long time, but still not accomplished), it uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged THP engine, good for 160 kW (218 bhp), for the front wheels, and an electric powerplant, able to generate 70 kW (95 bhp) for the rear wheels. All that with only 119 g/km of carbon dioxide.

The transmission is a six-speed automated manual gearbox. No double-clutch mentioned, a sign Peugeot should be concerned about other things rather than design. Double-clutch automated transmissions are considered to be the best units of the world and should become predominant in the years to come.

Peugeot also says the car is a unique 2+1 vehicle (as if it was something to be proud about; Toyota iQ, that tiny little thing, is a 3+1) and will present the car at the Geneva Motor Show, in March, with shiny 20" alloy wheels. We still ask: will that be enough to reach the seventh biggest automaker goal? Car buyers will decide.

Source: Peugeot

Thursday, 7 January 2010

LEAKED! - New generation Chevrolet Aveo appears ahead of Detroit Auto Show

Here are the first images of the new Chevrolet Aveo, a relief for all the ones that were expecting the new car to be anything like the South American Agile.

No info has been released so far, but expect the new car to be equipped, in its top version, with the same engine that powers the Cruze, a turbocharged 1.4-litre four cylinder engine able to pump out 140 bhp. More news and images to emerge very soon. Stay with us!

Source: Auto.Blog.RS via Autoblog

Nissan teases its small crossover, the Juke

Nissan praises very much its crossover range, which nowadays goes from Qashqai to Murano. But the Qazana concept, presented at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, has indicated the company intended to have a smaller crossover to offer customers. Little more than one month before its official unveiling, in February 10, the company has decided to tease customers with a glimpse of the production version of Qazana. And it will be named Juke.

In Europe, the car will be built at the plant of Sunderland, United Kingdom, which already produces Qashqai, Qashqai+2 and Note. After its unveiling to the public, in the 2010 edition of Geneva Motor Show, it will go on sale in the Old World by October.

Source: Nissan

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Tata presents Nano's version for Minibus, the Magic Iris

If the VW Beetle has managed to have its own van, the VW Minibus, why would not the future people's car, Tata Nano, come up with the same variety of bodies? This is what Tata intends to do with the new Magic Iris, a microvan built over Nano's platform in order to take rickshaws out of Indian streets.

Powered by a rear 611 cm³ diesel engine able to produce little more than 11 bhp, Magic Iris has a top speed of 55 km/h and carries five people (including the driver), what makes it a faster and safer option of public transport compared to rickshaws. If prices are as low as the ones charged for a Nano, soon there will be no more three-wheeled vehicles carrying people in India. Nor in other emerging countries of the world.

Source: Tata

Toyota introduces Etios, its EFC, to Indians in Delhi

Emerging countries have already become a focus of attention from automakers, but it has never been so intense as it is today. Besides Honda and Nissan, which are planning to develop and sell respectively the New Small Concept and the new Micra specifically for these markets, Toyota has also made an effort in this direction. And the effort has been named Etios.

Expected to be sold in India and Brazil by 2011, the car has been shown today at Delhi Auto Show in sedan and hatchback bodies. The new sedan resembles Dacia/Renault Logan very much, not only in appearance, but also in its construction, which has been planned to be cheaper and easier than that of other vehicles. The most evident example of this is the dashboard, mounted in the centre of the car, what will allow Toyota to sell it in right-hand drive and left-hand drive countries with minimum changes.

Equipped with a 1.2-litre engine, the hatchback has a sportier interior, in black, as you can see below. It is a paradox, we know, but the car will certainly have other engine options. It will be necessary for Toyota to achieve the goal of 70,000 sales in its first year of production in India.

One of these engines will certainly be the 1.5-litre engine that is under the hood of the sedan. More familiar, this car bears a white interior. Not that the production vehicles will reproduce these details, but they give us a clear idea of the intentions of Toyota for both cars.