During last year's Monaco Formula One Grand Prix weekend, Renault introduced us to the Alpine A110-50. This year, it's another revival called Twin'Run - the follow up to the Twin'Z but not called TwinFun, as we previously thought - a smooth blue hatch to update all those yellowed memories of the Renault R5 Turbo and Clio V6. With the same footprint as the Twin'Z, this is the other side of the 'play' theme in Renault's six-stage exploration of the stages of life through concept cars.
The Twin'Z is admittedly a neat piece of work, but the Twin'Run one - and its murderous exhaust note - has our hot breath all over it. A steel, tubular chassis provides the structure. Within it, just ahead of the rear axle is a 3.5-liter V6 with 320 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, shifted through a six-speed sequential transmission. To keep its city-car proportions stable on 18-inch wheels, the fuel tank, radiator and hydraulic system are in the front, under the hood, resulting in a 43/57 front-to-rear weight balance.
The bodywork is a mix of glass fiber and carbon fiber, the squarish headlamps and supplemental quad headlamps a nod to the R5 Turbo rally car and its light rack for nighttime stages. Inside is lots of black and red Alcantara, a gauge cluster wrapped in white lacquer and aluminum pedals whose setup is said to be motorsports tested.
The whole package weighs 2,090 pounds, and you can read all about it in the press release below. There's also a very French short film to go with it that you know involves lots of models clad in lots of leather, and those vintage forbearers.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The first collaboration between BMW and Pininfarina is this blunt-force two-door called the BMW Pininfarini Gran Lusso Coupe revealed at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. Said to be the "interpretation of a luxurious BMW Coupé as seen through the eyes of Pininfarina," once you get past all of the design-speak, you can focus on the full-bodied and keen-edged missile sitting on 21-inch wheels.
The long wheelbase makes for short overhangs. Up front, BMW's design language gets scraped across a whetstone, everything getting sharper, including the usually round cat's eye headlights that have gone dihedral. Under the hood is a V12, behind the twin-kidney grille in matte-sheen aluminium and high-gloss black. The same aluminum treatment also backs the taillights, the lenses designed to let air flow through them.
Inside is room for four, a cockpit canted toward the driver, Foglizzo leather in black and Tobacco Brown, 48,000-year-old kauri wood from New Zealand, deep pile carpet on the floors, a patterned virgin wool headliner and an "oblong aperture in the roof liner" set off by white LEDs.
There are words as flowery as the materials in the press release below and a gallery of high-res images to make sense of it all above. What do you think, should BMW consider a production version of this concept as a successor to the long-dormant 8 Series? Have your say in Comments.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Concept 90 is one of two new vehicles BMW is showing off at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este on the tony shores of Lake Como in Italy. This year is the 90th anniversary of BMW Motorrad and the 40th anniversary of the R 90 S (inset) - the first production motorcycle to come with a front fairing - and BMW has worked with custom bike builder Roland Sands Design to craft a homage to the Daytona Orange boxer from the Seventies.
While following the line of its forbearer, obviously the Concept 90 has been sexed and sleeked up. The bodywork is of hand-worked aluminum, the giant halogen lamp of the 1975 model (which is when Daytona Orange was introduced) has gone LED, and the front engine cover, valve covers, exhaust and wheels have been made with a contrast-cut milling process.
For a finer description of the Concept 90 check out the press release below, or skip the words and go straight to the high-res images above.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Generally speaking, today's Aston Martin is known more for its beauty and power than for its minimalism or lightness. But that could change if it decides to produce a version of this CC100 Speedster concept, designed to celebrate the company's centenary. The V12-powered roadster is being unveiled at the Nordschliefe today ahead of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, where it is expected to lap the circuit with Aston CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez at the wheel. The rakish concept is a nice surprise, and will be run around the circuit along with a 1959 DBR1 with racing royalty Sir Stirling Moss in the driver's seat. No surprise, then, that designers had the company's Nürburgring- and Le Mans-winning '59 racecars in mind when they conceived of this car.
Aston says that the two-seat CC100 Speedster came together in under six months time, carbon fiber bodywork and all. Powered by the British automaker's well-known naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V12 and six-speed sequential manual paddleshift gearbox, the company estimates 0-60 in four seconds and a top speed of 180 mph. Aston claims the butterfly-doored CC100 affords onlookers with "teasing glimpses of potential future design direction," suggesting a pugnacious new face is in store for the company.
Production hopes? None are mentioned, but even if today's Aston isn't known for its minimalism or lightness, it is known for turning concepts into production cars, and we wouldn't be surprised to learn in a few months that a handful of the company's best customers have managed to cajole it into building a handful of examples.
Oh, and about that Stirling Moss connection - forgive us if we're experiencing a bit of déjà vu. After all, doesn't this half-door speedster concept remind you a bit of another car? The Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Stirling Moss comes to mind for us. For some reason, however, this doesn't really bother us. If it doesn't bother you either, scroll down for to watch a video from Aston and to find the official press release.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We knew Aston Martin was taking three cars to the Nürbrurgring 24-Hour race this weekend, they being a V12 Vantage GT3 car, the Rapide S Hybrid Hydrogen concept and a V12 Vantage N24 that is close to road-legal. We've just discovered that the automaker is bringing a fourth, a concept to be revealed on Sunday, May 19 that we know nothing about save that it will celebrate the company's centennary.
Based on the image above it looks like it will be a modern take on the Aston Martin racer from the late fifties that contested the World Sportscar Championship and won Le Mans, but we'll just have to wait until tomorrow to find out. There's a short video below, and a press release on its other 'Ring efforts this weekend, to tease you until then.Permalink | Email this | Comments
BMW and Pininfarina are planning to debut a new concept at the 2013 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. The Gran Lusso Coupé is designed to be the next logical step forward from the Zagato Coupé, and the one-off creation boasts plenty of BMW earmarks to set the car off as a true member of the German automaker's family. With a long wheel base and a stretched nose, the two door can't help but channel the long-dead BMW 8 Series, and the potent V12 under the hood only reinforces the link.
BMW has been kind enough to slip the world a few teasers, and the images show what looks like it could be the low-slung grand tourer of our dreams. Check out the full press release below for more information, and stay tuned for the full unveiling.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Speaking to some of its dealers recently, Mitsubishi unveiled its plans for a new subcompact sedan offering in the US. Automotive News reports the automaker showed off a rendering of a new subcompact sedan and said the machine will debut sometime in 2015.
The little four-door could be based on the three-cylinder G4 Concept that bowed at the Shanghai Motor Show this year, effectively making it a four-door version of the current five-door Mirage. Mitsubishi dealers are currently starving for new products to entice buyers into showrooms. A redesigned Outlander will show up this summer, long before the teased subcompact sedan. The automaker is also planning to bring out a revised version of the five-door Mirage compact later this year.
Dealers are taking the announcement as a sign that Mitsubishi has finally begun to turn things around. Automotive News spoke with Scott Grove, who owns two Mitsubishi dealerships near Chicago. Grove said he thought the dealer meeting was more positive than it's been in years, and that he believes Mitsubishi is finally on the offensive.Permalink | Email this | Comments