Alfa Romeo 4c Spider – Geneva 2015

The 2013 Geneva Motor Show saw the unveiling of the Alfa Romeo 4c, Alfa Romeos ‘comeback’ to its legendary past. It focused on being a lightweight drivers car. So what better time and place than the 2015 Geneva Motor Show to unveil the 4cs sportier sister, the Alfa Romeo 4c Spider.

The 4c Spider sits on the same lightweight carbon monocoque chassis just with added structural enhancements. This includes an aluminium rollover structure, a carbon windscreen frame and a steel engine compartment cross-member. However, all these structure enhancements add to the weight. To get around the weight issue, Alfa have improved aerodynamics ensuring very little wind and noise entering the cabin. Two roofing options are available, a removable carbon hardtop or cloth roof.

Alfa 4c DarraghCredit to Darragh McKenna for this picture of the 4c Spider in all its glory

Adding to the design element, four new wheel options are available on the Spider, they include 17/18-inch (front/rear) or 18/19-inch in a  silver or dark finish.

Inside, customers are greeted with leather seats with accent stitching and carbon surrounds. Tan leather upholstery is also an option. Adding to the Alfa experience is a new Alpine audio system with Bluetooth and multiple device connectivity.

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Performance is still the same as the Spider is powered by the same 1750 TBi engine producing 240hp and 350nm, a top speed of 257km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider was designed by Alfa Romeo Centro Stile will be produced at the Maserati plant in Modena alongside the Alfa Rome 4C Coupé, which is also upgraded for 2015. Many features which were previously optional are now standard on every model, including parking sensors, cruise control, an Alfa sound system, luxury floor mats, carbon fibre headlamps surrounds with Bi-LED headlamps, the Alfa Romeo 4C car cover and an Alfa Romeo car care kit. The covered, projector-style xenon headlamps and Giallo paint will also be an option on new Coupés.

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Prices are being revised for the Coupé model and will announced alongside the Spiders’ closer to the time of its launch this Summer.

Morgan Aero 8 – Geneva 2015

Morgan unveiled its newest member to its line-up, the new Aero 8. Since 2000, Morgan has produced over 1250 Aero 8s. Significant updates to the aluminium chassis, aerodynamics and suspension have been made. Still powered by a BMW V8, the Aero 8s engine produces 367hp and 490nm of torque. This translates to a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of up to 273km/h. It is available in either a 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic gearbox.

Morgan says that the new Aero 8 gets its sleek lines from that on a boat and the doors are inspired by classic open doors of the 1960s. The new ‘clam-like’ boot lid stores the mohair hood, on the convertible option of course. The Aero 8 is also available in coupe guise.

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Morgan says that the passenger experience has had a large role to play in the designing of this car. New dashboard arrangements, real wooden surrounds, textured box-woven carpets and leather trim are features of the new interior. Optional extras include; air conditioning, touch screen media systems, carbon seats and bespoke detailing packs.

As for the ride, Morgan has improved the aluminium chassis by improved torsional stiffness, a revised front end, all new suspension, anti-roll bars and a BMW limited slip differential. This increases the responsiveness of the Aero 8 and giving the driver a improved handling.  ABS, power steering, cruise control and airbags add to both the drivers and passengers convenience and safety.

Morgan will begin limited production in the fourth quarter of 2015. It will end production of the current SuperSports next month.

Have a virtual tour of Morgans stand at Geneva here:
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1550402148544132

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Seat Leon ST Cupra – Geneva 2015

Let me start with some numbers; 280hp, 350nm of torque, 0-100km/h is completed in either 6 or 6.1 seconds depending on what gearbox one chooses and a top speed of 250km/h. This is all achieved with the help of a 2.0L turbo charged petrol engine which can be mated to either a 7-speed DSG or 6 speed manual gearbox. What is it? Well the SEAT Leon ST Cupra of course, Seats answer to the fast estate car. You’re probably saying now that weighs something bonkers because it’s an estate car but SEAT says it’s just over 1400kg. CO2 emissions come in at just 154g/km for the DSG and 157g/km for the manual.

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The Leon ST Cupras purpose is to have good performance and be practical at the same time. As you can see from the figures above, it’s fast. Is it practical? Well it boasts 5 doors and 1,470litres of boot space.

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The Leon ST Cupra can be upgraded with a Performance Pack. This includes Brembo brakes, 19 inch rims in either Orange or Black, Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres and side trim strips. The looks can be further enhanced by the Line Pack which gives customers the option to customise the mirror housings, front grille frame, rims and the Cupra logo on the rear boot lid. Colours available are White, Black and Orange for this pack.

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Standard on the Cupra are full LED headlights and rear lights, rain and light sensors and automatically dimming rear-view mirror. Cruise control, Climatronic and high beam assist are also fitted to the Cupra. The interior includes Sport seats in Alcantara, Cupra steering wheel and Media System Plus with a 5.8 inch touch screen and not to forget ambient lighting. LEDs in the door panels add to the mood, glowing red in Cupra mode or white being the standard setting.

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The Seat Leon ST Cupra is on sale now in Ireland.

Remember Borgward? They’re back – Geneva 2015

Borgward is back. After a 50+ year hiatus it has decided to enter back into the automotive world. Back in the day, over a million cars rolled off its production line and it employed over 23,000 staff. Presdient of Borgward AG, Christian Borgward says: “Inspired by my grandfather’s example, we believe that, given the will to succeed, you can achieve anything. We are rolling out Borgward cars that are worthy of the name because they are luxurious, inventive, and bold. Just like those of my grandfather.”

DSC_0355he Borgward Isabella – A striving success for Borward

Borgward plans to launch a range of new cars consisting of two to three models per year. The first to be unveiled at this years Frankfurt Motor Show in September. It is focusing its product range at the German and emerging markets and this is where it will set up its production facilities. It will establish a HQ in Stuttgart, Germany.

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Borgward reckons it will go along the electric route, going back to its successful past of manufacturing electric mail delivery trucks in the 1920s. It is in the process of developing a e-mobility model and says it will use a telematic system it calls Multiple Interaction.

“Resource Integration, German Intelligent Manufacturing, Multiple Interaction” This is Borgwards strategy.

This is all we know of Borgward so far. Things will begin to emerge closer to the time of the Frankfurt Motor Show .

 

Opel Karl – Geneva 2015

Opel launch a new city car at Geneva Motor Show. Its called the Karl, or the Vauxhall Viva for the UK market, and entry levels start at less than €9,500. It will feature Opels latest 3 cylinder, 1.0L Ecotec petrol engine producing 75hp. Customers can expect to achieve 4.3litres/100km and a Co2 figure of only 99g/km. It will have a five speed transmission and will only weigh 939kg. With the rear seats folded, users will get 940litres of space.

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The KARL will be added to Opels existing range of small city cars including the ADAM and Corsa. The KARL will be available in 10 different colours and range of different alloys up to 16 inches.

The KARL will come standard with ESP but will also feature Hill Start Assist and Lane Departure Warning.  In City mode, the KARLs steering will become lighter. This is an existing feature in the ADAM and the Corsa. Park Assist and Cruise control are also available.

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For the winter, the KARL can be equipped with heated seats and a heated leather steering. While for the summer months, users can enjoy the use of an electric sunroof.

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Some technology on the interior includes a radio with 6 speakers, Aux-in and USB ports as well as Bluetooth connectivity. An optional extra includes a DAB radio.

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The Ssangyong Tivoli – Geneva 2015

The Ssangyong Tivoli was unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The CEO of Ssangyong, Yoo-il Lee was on hand to unveil the new B-Segment SUV.

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The Tivoli is derived from the XIV-3 concept which was shown in Geneva last year. It will feature a 1.6L petrol and 1.6L diesel engine, both with 160bhp.

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The two variants will be available in both manual and automatic and customers will have the choice of either 2WD or 4WD.  Safety is key when in comes to the Tivoli. It will come with seven airbags, both curtain and knee airbags, an Electronic Stability Program, Active Rollover Protection, Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist to name but a few. Ssangyong Ireland will have the petrol version on sale by June and July for the Diesel.

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What to expect for Geneva 2015

I will be heading to the Geneva Motor Show this Tuesday, 3rd March.  Unfortunately a lot of the cars on show have already been leaked all over Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites  so there won’t be much of a surprise. But thats not to say we can’t get excited about what will be seen. I will be live tweeting throughout the show so why not give me a follow: https://twitter.com/IanFitzpatrick3.

 

Here’s Drivers Editions top five cars to lookout for at Geneva:

1. Audi R8
610bhp, 5.2litres and a V10, Who wouldn’t want that? This is something that has been eagerly awaited by everyone. Audi will release its second generation R8 to the public. Its newly developed Quattro system will help it achieve a top speed of 330km/h and a 0-100km/h time of just 3.2 seconds. What are your thoughts?

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2. Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf
When Aston Martin launched the Lagonda back in the eighties it didn’t get a very warm welcome. It was designed in a rush and didn’t depict Aston Martin very well. However, it has decided to give the Lagonda another shot. Originally just meant for the Middle Eastern market, Aston reckons Europe should be allowed a look in also with a limited production of only 200 cars. The only real information we’re given is that it will feature a 6.0 litre V12. All will be (fully) revealed soon.

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3. Mclaren 675LT
“675LT re-establishes the McLaren ‘Longtail’ heritage, focusing on light weight, optimised aerodynamics, increased power, track-focused dynamics and driver engagement”. This is whats in store from McLaren this year; a road legal track focused coupé. the numbers are also impressive; a dry weight of 1,230kg, 666bhp and 700nm from a 3.8 litre V8, 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds and can achieve 200km/h in just 7.9 seconds!! An Audi A7 takes 7.9 seconds to get to 100km/h… Now thats a lot to take it.

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4. Kia
Kias latest concept has been leaked online for a couple of weeks now and it must be said it looks quite impressive. What it has lined up  is a ‘sports wagon’ called the SPORTSPACE, also known as KED-11. “The car is born out of a commitment to provide stylish and exciting transportation for four which is also spacious and functional, without sacrificing the performance, sustainability and economy”. Its ticking all the right boxes so far anyway.

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5.Skoda
Finally we have news from Skoda. It has three models lined up for this years show; the new Superb, Fabia Monte Carlo and the Octavia RS 230. As the name would suggest, the Octavia RS 230 has 230bhp, has a 0-100km/h time of 6.7 seconds and is good for 248km/h. Claimed to be the fastest Octavia to date. As standard, equipment includes an electrically controlled front differential. 

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The Fabia Monte Carlo will be available in both hatchback and estate versions. Sporty looks are complimented by black exterior detailing including either 16 or 17 inch alloy wheels. Sports suspension is an optional exterior but the interior gets new sportier seats and steering wheel.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for live updates – @IanFitzpatrick3 –  https://twitter.com/IanFitzpatrick3

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