BMW has just launched the brand new 3 Series sedan that is expected to reach worldwide markets in February 2012. Although the sixth generation 3 series F30 has grown in size offering a slightly longer wheelbase, a wider track and some extra rear legroom, BMW are adamant that the new model is up to 45kg lighter than its predecessor, depending on the engine of course.
At the launch, BWM will be offering two diesel (120kW 320d EfficientDynamics and 135kW 320d) as well as two petrol (180kW 328i and 225kW 335i) variants. All of these variants will benefit from BMW TwinPower technology, which combines power with reduced overall fuel consumption.
The new sixth generation family will be available in a saloon (F30) first, a 3-series Touring estate (F31), a 3-series Coupe (F32) and then later a Convertible (F33).
The Seat Mii is Volkswagen’s third and final variant of the car manufacturer’s city car project with the Spanish Up. The new Mii will showcase the Spanish offering alongside the German and Czech versions of the Volkswagen Up. This particular city car is expected to launch Seat back into the small car segment since it abandoned the production of the Arosa back in 2005.
The Mii measures just 3550mm long with a boot volume of 251 litres and will be initially sold as a three door until the availability of a five door model later in 2012.
There is a choice of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with either 59bhp or 74bhp. Weighing just 854kg, the addition of the Ecomotive pack, which includes stop-start and energy recuperation, brings the CO2 output down to 97g/km. In standard form however, the two motors are understood to produce 105 and 108g/km of CO2.
Additional features include a City Safety Assist system, which uses a laser to detect vehicles in front of the car and at speeds under 20mph will warn the driver of a possible collision and apply the brakes automatically.
The Seat Mii differentiates itself from the VW and Skoda with shallower glass, a conventional body-colour lower half and a new set of distinctive triangular rear lights.
The Mii is expected to cost just under £8000 in entry-level form.
Just after the announcement of the Volkswagen Nils concept car, comes the surprising revelation of Vauxhaull’s very own electric city concept car. The car which has yet to be named, will join the Nils on the stands at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.
This tiny two seater that weighs under 500kg has batteries that give a 95km range and can take the car to about 120km/h at top speed which makes it suitable for urban driving.
The dramatic exterior design appears to have drawn inspiration from the hybrid Ampera up front, with the rear resembling that of a motorbike. Elongated LED headlights, a prominent grille and a sweeping glass roof contribute to the sharp and striking styling.
Vauxhall claims that the new EV city car has both “production potential” and could “revolutionise urban transport, especially for younger drivers and those on a very tight budget”.
According to Citroen, it’s time that travel became meangingful again and the French auto manufacturer intends to do just this with its new Tubik concept, a modern take on the MPV. Citroen describes the Tubik as “a high-tech executive shuttle based on one key idea: travel should be fun”. The futuristic nine- seater people mover draws inspiration from the Type H or TUB (French slang for a front-wheel drive commercial vehicle) van from Citroen’s auto history.
The interior showcases seats covered in purple leather and felt that can swivel and be re-positioned to create a lounge and/or sleeping area. The passenger area also comes fitted with an HD TV screen and surround sound. Although there is plenty of lighting, there is a significant lack of windows in the passenger area, which for some may not be ideal. The driver’s seat resembles that of a circular pod almost completely separated from the rest of the vehicle. The quirky design extends to the passenger door which opens much like the door of a private jet where the top half lifts up while the bottom half drops to form a step.
The Tubik is powered by PSA’s new Hybrid4 system with a 160bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine up front and the battery/electric motor gubbins generating another 37bhp out the back. All four of the 22 inch wheels can be driven in 4wd mode.
The Tubik concept is set to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Volkswagen has designed a new concept electric pod car that will be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show taking place in just under two weeks. The Nils, ideal for a single commuter, is a possible solution for crowded urban roads. Developed with the German Transport Ministry and designed to be environmentally sustainable is capable of travelling up to approximately 137km an hour with a range between charges of about 65km and weighs just 19kg. The single seater is just 3040mm long – half a metre shorter than an Up – and sits lower than a Porsche 911.
The battery has a capacity of 5.3kWh and is fully charged after two hours with a three point plug.
The design, based around a light but sturdy aluminum spaceframe, features gullwing style doors and free-standing wheels which makes it both fun to drive and friendly on the environment.
R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg said: “Nils is anything but a dry-run exercise and is very realistic. Despite its compact dimensions, the concept fulfils all safety requirements for contemporary vehicles.”
If you haven’t heard as yet, here’s some bit of exciting news for you. The Toyota RAV4 EV will debut in 2012 and will be offered to all customers who wish to get one for themselves. This puts to rest the reports that the car will be made available only to fleet purchasers and car-sharing companies.
When it comes to electric vehicles, there seems to be an added number of cars that are being lined up. Many top brands are geared up to follow the trend of future. German player Opel has taken it a step further, by announcing plans to launch a ground breaking fuel-cell vehicle (FCV). The vehicle is expected to roll out in 2015.