Sunday November 6th, 2011 21:49 SEAT Look to the Future with the IBX Concept Car

Earlier this year, at the Geneva Motor Show, SEAT unveiled its latest concept car – the IBX hybrid car. The concept car has been described by SEAT as a cross between a sports utility vehicle and a sports coupe, and represents the company’s vision for an urban SUV.

In terms of its appearance, the two-door concept car has an understated, minimalist feel to it. A crisp and clean exterior, devoid of any flashy design features, gives the SEAT IBX a confident and sporty look. The IBX bears no ornamentation, and SEAT representatives say this is because “perfect design requires no decoration.”

SEAT’s Chief Designer Luc Donckerwolke said of the IBX: “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.”

This uniqueness among SUVs may come from the fact that the IBX is both agile and compact enough to meet the demands of urban streets and parking spaces.

SEAT say that the IBX has an electric range of 50 kilometres, something that will no doubt appeal to those living in city areas. This electric range should be more than enough to cover local everyday journeys, while having an emission rate of zero. The car can be charged from a domestic power point, but the IBX’s internal combustion engine means that the concept car will be able to handle longer journeys just as easily.

Although there has been no official confirmation, there have been reports that the IBX concept car will go into production in the near future. If it does, then SEAT’s hybrid car is sure to create a stir with in the SUV market with its sports coupe sensibilities.

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Wednesday June 15th, 2011 19:39 Mazda Reveals the CX-5 SUV


Just days after Mercedes announced it would be entering the SUV market with its M-Class, Mazda has revealed plans for its own new SUV, the CX-5. The Japanese car manufacturer hope that the CX-5 4X4 will be able to provide stiff competition in the compact SUV market for the Land Rover Freelander.

Although there are no official images of the CX-5 SUV as of yet, it is based on the Minagi concept car pictured above. It will be the first car to be produced under Mazda’s new SKYACTIV technologies, and will feature a new array of more efficient engines and transmissions.

With the use of SKYACTIV technologies, Mazda expect the new car to be a class leader for economy, emissions and performance. The CX-5′s 2.2-litre diesel engine will boast 173bhp and will produce less than 120g/km of C02. It is also 20% more economical than the current 2.2 diesel, and will be mated to a new six-speed manual transmission.

The CX-5 will be underpinned by a new lightweight modular chassis and suspension set-up. This set-up will also be used by Mazda as a base for a range of new models, ranging from a Mazda 3 to the CX-7. This flexibility is attained because of the new platform’s modularity.

The CX-5′s engine already meets Euro 6 emissions standards, and is also cheaper to build than today’s Euro 5 diesels, so it will be interesting to see whether this impacts on its price tag. Expected to be available in the UK from spring 2012, Mazda will be hoping that the CX-5 makes a big impression in the SUV market.

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Saturday June 11th, 2011 00:23 Mercedes Unveils New M-Class SUV


Yesterday, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new M-Class SUV. Stylistically reminiscent of Mercedes’ saloon line-up, the new luxury 4X4 looks all set to provide a strong challenge to Range Rover in the SUV market. Featuring permanent all-wheel drive, as well as innovative driving dynamics systems and new chassis developments, the M-Class is expected to go on sale in April 2012.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new off-roader, Dr Thomas Weber, a member of Mercedes’ management board, said: “The M-Class embodies all the automotive experience that we have accumulated over 125 years and thus represents – in short – a quantum leap in terms of efficiency, safety, agility and design!”

With fuel consumption reduced by an impressive 25% from its predecessor, the M-Class is set to be the German carmaker’s most efficient off-roader yet. Mercedes will produce gas and diesel versions of the M-Class, these being the ML350 4Matic and the more environmentally friendly ML350 BlueTec. The BlueTec features a reworked 240-horsepower, 3.0-litre V6 engine, and comfortably meets EU6 emissions standards. With increased power and torque, the M-Class will comfortably be able to go from 0-62mph in under 10 seconds.

By making the new M-Class longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, Mercedes have ensured that the interior of the five-seater cabin is also roomier than previous models. The range of wood and leather finishes on offer should help to further enhance the feeling of luxury in the car’s interior.

Drivers looking to take the SUV off-road should be pleased by the fact that the M-Class features a comprehensive off-road programme as part of its standard equipment. This programme includes an off-road button that activates a special off-road transmission mode. A new ‘active curve system’ will also help to ensure that the body of the M-Class remains under tight control when it is cornering.

Although Mercedes has not yet confirmed prices for the M-Class, expect the luxury off-roader to be a popular choice for 4X4 enthusiasts upon its release in April 2012.

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Thursday January 13th, 2011 13:21 Baby Porsche SUV – The Cajun Arriving in 2015

Porsche, the predominant German sports car manufacturer continues to expand its line-up with models that cross lines between sports and utility. The Cayenne was the first offering from the manufacturer into the area of sports activity vehicles. Keeping with the Porsche credo of building the fastest and do anything models that are available on the market, this SUV scorched the roads and yet provided off road capabilities that rivalled other trail rated models from rival companies.

The baby SUV was recently green lighted for production by management in Stuttgart and its parent company, Volkswagen. This smaller offering will be based on other models already available in the Volkswagen and Audi lineups. The German manufacturer will add its own flair and spice up the vehicle though. Preliminarily named the Cajun, this smaller SUV is different from the other models offered by its parent company. Just as the Cayenne is a radical departure from the Touareg and the Q7 the Cajun must offer more go and more off road-ability than the Q5 and the Tiguan.
Testing is currently going on to establish vehicle dynamics. The timeline for introduction of this baby SUV from Porsche is in early 2015. The company now has over four years to put together an asphalt melting, Rubicon conquering vehicle that will maintain its supremacy in the automotive world.
For many purists the expansion of the lineup to include a second utility vehicle, after the introduction of the first four door sedan, dilutes the true mission of the company. Many, however, say that in order to survive a company has to play in every market, bring on the Cajun.

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