Subaru Corporation has unveiled the Subaru VIZIV Tourer Concept at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show. Since the debut of the first Subaru VIZIV Concept in 2013, Subaru has produced a series of themed models embodying the brand’s vision for the future of making cars that deliver “Enjoyment and Peace of Mind to its customers.”

Designed on a tourer theme, the VIZIV Tourer Concept unites Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive layout and Boxer engine with Subaru’s expertise in driving performance, practicality and safety. In anticipation of widespread future deployment of automated driving technologies, advanced driver-assist functions include the next-generation EyeSight driver-assist system and other devices to reduce driver fatigue on long journeys.

Subaru’s design and development will advance in directions indicated by the VIZIV Concept models. The name VIZIV has been coined from the phrase “Vision for Innovation.”

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS OF SUBARU VIZIV TOURER CONCEPT

Body size (overall length × width × height): 4,775 × 1,930 × 1,435 mm
Wheelbase: 2,730 mm
Tyre size: 245/40 R20
Seating capacity: 4

DESIGN FEATURES

Evoking successive generations of Subaru touring wagon models that have paired superior driving with high levels of practicality, the VIZIV Tourer Concept design is based on Subaru’s shared “Dynamic x Solid” design philosophy. Large luggage space offers utility and practicality.

ADVANCED DRIVER-ASSIST TECHNOLOGIES

Subaru has teamed advanced driver-assist technologies scheduled for launch around 2020, with the high performance offered by the boxer engine and symmetrical AWD, creating a tourer symbolizing the Enjoyment and Peace of Mind to be expected of its cars. By also incorporating further enhancements to EyeSight driver-assist technology, radar, and highly accurate GPS and navigation systems, Subaru continues to pursue ultimate levels of safety in the aim of eliminating accidents.

Nearly 50 years ago, Land Rover created the luxury SUV sector with the introduction of the Range Rover. Now it’s defining a new genre with the world’s first full-size luxury SUV coupé: the limited-edition two-door Range Rover SV Coupé.

Created by Land Rover Design and Special Vehicle Operations, SV Coupé is an exemplar of Range Rover design, craftsmanship and capability. It features a seductive body allied to the next-generation of cabin luxury – with the peerless all-terrain ability expected from Range Rover. No more than 999 will be hand-crafted by SVO for clients worldwide.

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “The Range Rover SV Coupé is a celebration of the Range Rover bloodline. With a dramatic two-door silhouette, this breath-taking four seat coupé alludes to its unique heritage whilst being thoroughly modern and contemporary. Beautifully realised, superbly engineered, the Range Rover SV Coupé delivers the most distinguished, luxurious and exclusive Range Rover ever built.”

Beautiful proportions with a powerful stance give SV Coupé unrivalled on-road presence. The signature floating roof, continuous waist and tapering tail are instantly recognizable Range Rover DNA, yet are expressed in a unique way for this exclusive addition to the Range Rover family. SV Coupé’s purity of line is perfectly complemented by elegant power-close doors with frameless glass. In combination with the panoramic roof, light floods into the cabin, accentuating the relaxed, sophisticated and contemporary ambience.

Carefully curated body colour combinations, including a new Contour Graphic available in four duo-tone colourways, are offset by unique side vent and grille designs. This is also the first Range Rover with a 23-inch wheel option.

Enhanced luxury and exquisite craftsmanship extends inside too, with semi-aniline leather front seats bringing Range Rover’s already premium interior to a new level of luxury: accommodation comparable to private jets and yachts. Their gradated diamond quilt design is unique to SV Coupé. Each SV Coupé will be hand-assembled to the client’s personal specification by the fastidious experts at the SVO Technical Centre in the UK – a first for Range Rover.

John Edwards, Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director said: “The introduction of the new SV Coupé brings a new level of individual expression to the Range Rover portfolio and builds on the success of Special Vehicle Operations’ existing bespoke Range Rover programme. Feedback from SV clients who have already seen the vehicle in confidential commissioning sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.” 

SV Coupé clients can choose from four front-to-rear contrast interior colourways, or a range of single-tone interior colours. Both are complemented by a choice of three elegant wood veneers. A first for Range Rover is Nautica, which carefully balances heritage craftsmanship with new technology, fusing walnut and sycamore together. 

Optional paint finishes include Liquesence, which brings a sensational liquid metal finish to Range Rover for the first time. 

Additionally, Special Vehicle Operations’ bespoke personalisation team offers SV Coupé clients the opportunity to indulge their desire to create a truly unique vehicle to their exacting taste, granting access to 100 more paint colours, plus unique ‘match to sample’ hues, with a range of finishes; duo-tone front and rear leather colours with a bespoke quilt pattern; contrast stitching; headrest embroidery; door handle and tread plate engraving and semi-precious metal badging.

SV Coupé is also the fastest-ever full-size Range Rover, with a 226kph top speed. Powered by an exhilarating 416kW 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol powertrain, the most powerful engine ever placed in a full-size Range Rover, means SV Coupé hits 0-100kph in just 5.3 seconds.

Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director, said: “As you’d expect from Range Rover, the engineering integrity in SV Coupé is more than skin deep. This is a meticulously honed vehicle that’s designed for SV clients who love driving.” 

The suspension is tuned to provide a more driver-focused edge than the standard Range Rover, with a ride height lowered by 8mm, but will remain composed and comfortable at all times. Plus, the SV Coupé loses none of Range Rover’s legendary all-terrain ability, with 900mm maximum wading depth – and a maximum towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes.

*Range Rover SV Coupé sales are anticipated to start in Australia from the Q1, 2019, local pricing will be announced shortly.

RANGE ROVER SV COUPÉ: IN DETAIL

COMPELLING BODY DESIGN

With the exception of the bonnet and lower tailgate, all of the two-door SV Coupé’s aluminium exterior panels are new, as are the front and rear bumpers. A new two-part grille features Brunel Metallic rear mesh overlaid with Bright Chrome front mesh and a Satin Indus Silver metal surround, while Bright Chrome/Black Knurled Range Rover bonnet and tailgate script is handcrafted in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter.

Noble Chrome metal side vents with Brunel Metallic mesh and Satin Indus Silver metal surrounds complement frameless doors with Power Close functionality and Bright Chrome embellished body colour door handles. Pixel-laser LED headlights with 144 LEDs and four laser diodes (market dependent fitment) provide five times higher luminance than standard LED lights on Laser Supplementary High Beam – over 500m, operational above 80kph when no other lights are detected. 

SUBLIME PAINTWORK

Eight body colours are available, in gloss or satin effects, four offered for the first time on Range Rover: Constellation, Parallax, Liquesence and Obsidian; and four from the SV Premium Palette: Ethereal, Flux, Valloire, and Desire. The Liquesence option brings liquid metal finish to Range Rover for the first time. SV Coupé clients can also specify one of four exclusive duo-tone gloss Contour Graphic options: Valloire/Flux, Valloire/Ethereal, Parallax/Ethereal, Obsidian/Desire. 

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover said: “Accentuating Range Rover SV Coupé’s proportions, and available as a unique feature for the first time, the new Contour Graphic is created by applying a contrasting paint to the flanks of the vehicle. Starting at the side vent, it flows rearwards and around to the opposite vent, and offers customers the opportunity to further personalise their specification.”

16 optional SV Premium Palette colours include a range of finishes including tri-coat, tinted clear coat, pearlescent, ChromaFlairTM and satin matte finishes. And, further colours are available as part of Special Vehicle Operations’ bespoke personalisation service offered exclusively at Range Rover SV Coupé commissioning events or by appointment at the SVO Technical Centre in Warwickshire, UK.

SUMPTUOUS INTERIOR

Stunning to the eye, sumptuous to the touch, SV Coupé’s interior is a light, contemporary, space where attention to detail has been paramount. Four curated duo-tone colourways, contrasting light to dark, front to rear include Orchid/Eclipse, Orchid/Vintage Tan, Brogue/Ebony and Cirrus/Lunar, while four single-tone colours are also available: Ebony, Lunar, Eclipse and Vintage Tan.

The heated and cooled 20-way electrically adjustable front and 10-way electrically adjustable rear seats, wrapped in specially selected semi-aniline leather from a single tannery established in 1905, feature a unique gradated diamond quilt design. Concurrent with the latest Range Rover line, SV Coupé has wider, deeper seat foams and specially developed interlayers for world-class comfort. 

Nautica veneer – a first for Range Rover – combining heritage craftsmanship with a patented new form-following process to fuse walnut and sycamore together, joins three elegant wood veneer options for the steering wheel rim, door casings, centre console, instrument panel and loadspace floor: Nautica, Natural Black Ash and Santos Palisander. 

InControl Touch Pro Duo infotainment includes a 10-inch display, 10-inch control panel and 12-inch Interactive Driver Display, while a 10-inch full-colour Head-Up Display shows turn information including street names, slope and wheel information, cruise control, RPM and gear information. The 1700w, 23-speaker, Meridian 3D Signature Sound System with dual-channel subwoofer features Trifield 3D technology for optimum sound quality. 

POWERFUL PERFORMANCE

SV Coupé features Range Rover’s most powerful 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol powertrain producing 416kW, 700Nm, mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with rotary drive selector and paddle-shift. That delivers a 0-100kph time of just 5.3 seconds and a 266kph top speed. Permanent four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer box and Active Locking Rear Differential ensures effortless go-anywhere progress, assisted by Terrain Response 2 featuring Dynamic, Eco, Comfort, Grass Gravel Snow, Mud and Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl programmes. 

REWARDING DYNAMICS

SV Coupé’s ride height is lowered by 8mm over the standard Range Rover, to deliver enhanced dynamic performance and aesthetics and automatically lowers by 15mm at cruising speeds of 65mph or above to enhance stability and minimise fuel consumption. Its five air suspension height settings include: Access Height (-50mm max below normal ride height), Off-Road 1 Ride Height (+40mm max above normal ride height, up to 80kph), Off-Road 2 Ride Height (+75mm max above normal ride height, up to 50kph) – additional 30-40mm automatic increase if obstacle detected, and a further manually selectable 30-40mm increase above that. 

Four alloy wheel options from 21-inch to 23-inch include two new forged wheels – the 23-inch wheel, a two-tone silver polished six split-spoke design with 275/40 R23 all-terrain tyres, is a first for Range Rover. The 22-inch dark grey polished five split-spoke with polished finish is also new.

EXTRA CARE

Unique to Range Rover SV Coupé is a five-year Care Package, available either as standard or as an optional extra in most markets*. An extension to the existing Land Rover warranty is accompanied by five-year servicing and maintenance plans, which cover scheduled services plus wiper blade, brake disc and pad replacement.

*Excludes Latin America and the Caribbean region (LACRO), Ukraine, Morocco. Terms and conditions vary by country

Hyundai Motor unveiled the ‘Le Fil Rouge (HDC-1)’ concept at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, marking a new era for Hyundai design and providing a glimpse of its future design cues. As its name implies, Le Fil Rouge (common thread) is a reflection of Hyundai’s belief that the brand’s past, present and future designs are all connected.

“‘Le Fil Rouge’ is a reinterpretation of Hyundai’s design DNA that originated from the brand’s historical Hyundai Coupe Concept in 1974,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Design Center. “Building on our long history of creating distinctive and sporty character in vehicles, we will open a new era for Hyundai design.”

“Our goal is to build a beloved brand by creating vehicles with heightened emotional value to reshape the landscape of car design. This is the foundation of our concept,” added Sang-yup Lee, Vice President and Head of Hyundai Styling.”

The new concept is an introduction to the car manufacturer's latest approach in design, ‘Sensuous Sportiness’, which will be embodied by all future Hyundai vehicles, ranging from sedans to SUVs. The goal of this new theme is to bring instinctive beauty, creating emotional value and desirability in Hyundai vehicles.

Sensuous Sportiness is defined by the harmony between four fundamental elements in vehicle design: proportion, architecture, styling, and technology.

Proportion

Le Fil Rouge creates proportional character based on the golden-ratio - a common mathematical ratio found in nature – which enabled Hyundai designers to create an aesthetically pleasing, natural looking composition that embodies charisma. Proportional uniqueness is further achieved through a long wheel base, large wheels and short overhangs. A respectful dash to axle – the distance from front wheel center to base of windshield –provides a comfortable driving position, whilst a teardrop roofline completes the overall look.

Architecture

With Le Fil Rouge, Hyundai took a new approach called ‘Light Architecture’, to integrate a progressive identity into the brand’s design heritage. Light Architecture generates a dynamic look and forward motion effect for the vehicle. The front and the rear pillars, as well as the roof are seamlessly blended into the overarching silhouette of the vehicle, as though it is drawn with a single line.

The exterior and interior are smoothly merged by the ‘Tube Architecture’, keeping the exterior’s sensuous and sporty character consistent inside the vehicle. The Tube Architecture’s principle is to create the same emotional value inside and outside the vehicle, while also allowing for a lightweight profile. The interior design differentiates between the needs of both the driver and passengers. The front passenger seat maximises comfort even on long-distance trips with more ample leg room, while the driver’s seat position is designed to further add to the fun of driving with optimised ergonomics.

A wrap-around architecture emphasises depth, creating a calm, spacious and comfortable travel environment for everyone inside.

Styling

Another goal of the team was to create a vehicle that is instantly recognisable as a Hyundai from a distance or amongst a herd. This was achieved by creating a sensuous tension on the side through a harmonious blend of layered crisp lines and pure volumes. Concave and convex forms are carefully orchestrated to provide a sexy character.

Also recognisable is the concept’s distinctive ambience with a wide, layered front hood, combined with a further enhanced Cascading Grille, Hyundai’s most distinguishing design feature. The new Cascading Grille comes with a three-dimensional treatment, featuring parametric jewels inside, giving the vehicle a commanding presence.

Technology

A core design principle for Hyundai designers was to create a design that enables a seamless experience of function. Inspired by aircraft ventilation, a two-way air ventilation system blows air over the curved surface of lightweight tube architecture. Re-vitalised wood and high tech fabrics are used extensively throughout and sculpted into exquisite, sensuous forms. This evokes natural beauty with an emotional touch to add an airy feel to the vehicle.

Meanwhile, a panoramic floating display coupled with haptic technology sits in front of the driver, providing access to intuitive controls for climate control and other vehicle configurations.

The all-new Kia Picanto city car has been revealed to European media for the first time ahead of its public debut at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show on March 7. The new Picanto will go on sale across Europe from the start of Q2 2017.

Now in its third-generation, the new Kia Picanto brings a new, more youthful and energetic character to the A-segment. Boasting an assertive new design and a high-quality, high-tech new cabin, the latest model also offers buyers greater potential for customisation and promises to be the most versatile car in its class.

The new Picanto will be powered by one of three petrolengines, including Kia’s new 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) power unit. When the new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine goes on sale during Q4 2017, it will be the most powerful engine ever offered in the Picanto, and the first time this car has offered a turbocharged petrol engine.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Picanto is one of Kia’s best-selling models around the world, and has a particularly strong fan base here in Europe.

“Our European customers have told us that they love the design of the outgoing Picanto. They love its low running costs, its compact dimensions for city driving, and the high level of equipment available for the money. The new model retains these strengths, and now offers a new level of dynamism and performance, as well as introducing the latest technologies for in-car connectivity and enhanced safety. For these reasons we are confident that the new Picanto will help us further build our profile and market share in this very competitive segment.”

Worldwide, more than 1.4 million of the current-generation Picanto have been sold since it was launched in 2011, with more than 300,000 of those sold in Europe. Despite the car approaching the end of its lifecycle in showrooms, Kia sold more than 55,000 Picanto models in Europe in 2016, representing year-on-year sales growth of 3 per cent.

Exterior design

The all-new Picanto has been created by Kia’s design centres in Namyang, Korea and Frankfurt, Germany, collaborating to design a youthful, energetic look. Briefed to produce an innovative, bold and fun-looking urban city car, designers have followed up on the mandate to full effect, giving the new Picanto a more assertive stance with bolder body lines.

With the wheelbase extended to 2400mm (an increase of 15mm), the wheels have been pushed further out to the corners of the car for a 25mm shorter front overhang, making the car look more planted on the road. Strong, straight lines run horizontally across the front of the car, emphasising the ‘tiger-nose’ grille and angular new wrap-around headlamps. Vertical lines that encompass the side intakes and lower grille enhance the Picanto’s more confident new ‘face’.

In profile, the new Picanto is characterised by distinctive lines running along the side skirts, shoulder and around the wheel arches, and subtly-sculpted body surfacing – again, each helping to create a more confident on-road design and visually ‘stretching’ the car for a greater sense of ride stability – although the Picanto is no longer than the outgoing model, at 3595mm in length.

The new model adopts Kia’s wide C-pillar as a design motif, which stands more upright than that of the previous model. Combined with a longer rear overhang – up 10mm, to 520mm – for a more assured posture.

The all-new Picanto will offers buyers greater potential for customisation than ever before, with a choice of 11 vibrant paint finishes designed to make the car stand out. Among the six new colours available to buyers are ‘Lime Light’, ‘Shiny Red’, ‘Aurora Black’ ‘Pop Orange’, ‘Sparkling Silver’ and ‘Celestial Blue’ pearlescent metallic paint finishes. The Picanto is fitted with 14-inch steel wheels in its most basic form, and customers can select one of four aluminium alloy wheel designs, ranging from 14-inch to 16-inch in diameter.

The exterior of the Picanto is also complemented by new projection headlamps with LED indicators and LED daytime running lights, and, from Q3 2017, a subtle shark-fin antenna on the roof to replace the existing aerial.

For the first time, Kia will also offer the Picanto in a new ‘GT-Line’ specification, inspired by the sportier appearance of the company’s higher-performance ‘GT’ models, such as the Optima GT. In GT-Line specification, the exterior of the new Picanto is completed with red, silver and black highlights in the grille, side intakes, along the side skirts and in the rear valance, as well as chrome-tipped twin exhausts.

Interior design

Inside the new Picanto, Kia designers have created a more modern, refined cabin than the second-generation model, with new materials and layout adding a greater sense of quality for occupants. The predominantly horizontal design adds greater visual width to the interior, highlighting the increased cabin dimensions.

The dashboard layout is now more centrally aligned, with a large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) sitting at the heart of the centre console and moving many of the car’s controls further up into the driver’s line of sight. A satin chrome-effect strip runs across the dashboard for a higher quality ambience, and large, vertical air vents at either end ‘bookend’ the front passenger compartment.

Customisation is key to the appeal of the new Picanto’s cabin. While black and grey cloth seats are available as standard, buyers can also personalise their new Picanto with one of five optional colour packs, featuring contrast artificial leather upholstery and stitching. Available at launch, these colour packs are:

  • High Gloss Black – a combination of black, grey and white upholstery with white stitching (and available with a black or grey base colour)
  • Brown – brown seats with light blue flashes down the side and light blue stitching
  • Blue – navy and true blue artificial leather and cloth upholstery with white and orange stitching
  • Red – black and grey seats with red flashes and red stitching
  • Lime – grey and light grey upholstery with lime green stitching

The contrast colours of the seats can be paired with optional new colour pads on the door armrests, echoing the contrast scheme selected for the seats. Finally, the Picanto’s new GT-Line derivative will be equipped with a D-cut steering wheel. The interior of the GT-Line model will be available with the full range of colour packs.

Practicality and packaging

Despite its on-road footprint remaining the same as that of the outgoing model, the all-new Picanto will offer buyers best-in-class packaging efficiency, with maximum versatility resulting from its larger cabin and class-leading boot capacity.

The Picanto meets the increasing trend towards five-door models in the A-segment, with Kia discontinuing the three-door model for the third generation car. Offering maximum practicality, the new model is no larger than the model it replaces, at 1485mm in height, 3595mm long and 1595mm wide. The new platform boasts a longer wheelbase and longer rear overhang, however, freeing up more space in the cabin and boot (the front overhang is reduced by 25mm, to 675mm).

Inside, the new Picanto provides occupants with more leg- and head-room than best-selling rivals in the A-segment, while a lower step height makes for easier ingress and egress. The base of the dashboard has been moved upwards by 15mm for greater knee and leg space for front passengers. The new Picanto is available with either four or five seats, with the rear bench split into either two or three seats depending on buyer preference (1.2-litre models are five-seat only).

The new central armrest for front passengers can slide back and forth up to 55mm – a first in the class – and covers a small storage compartment designed to accommodate a one-litre water bottle or a sunglasses case. At the base of the centre console is an open double-shelf tray to store mobile devices and other small items, with retractable twin cupholders which can fold away to yield more storage space.

Beneath the sun visors in the front of the cabin, the vanity mirror also features bright new LED lights and a strip of mood lighting. By providing the surrounding glow of a make-up room mirror, the Picanto’s new vanity mirror makes it easier for occupants to apply make-up, check their hair-style, or adjust their hat, scarf or tie.

The boot grows from 200 litres (VDA) to a maximum 255 litres – the most of any car in the class – and also features a two-step boot floor, which can be raised or lowered by 145mm to create additional space as required, as well as create an under-floor storage area. The 60:40 split-folding rear seats can be folded down completely flat with a one-touch lever, for maximum ease of use. This also boosts cargo capacity to 1010 litres.

Comfort levels are also improved. Where the seats in many A-segment rivals provide one-piece back rests with integrated headrests, the new Picanto gives buyers fully-adjustable headrests, which move up and down and tilt forwards and backwards.

The Picanto’s new seats are also more comfortable for longer journeys, featuring the same seat-base materials and construction found in larger Kia models (such as the new Optima). In the rear, the angle of the back rest is more reclined – from 25 to 27 degrees – for a more relaxed posture, and slightly more prominent side bolsters on the rear bench further improve comfort and support during faster cornering.

Ride and handling

The outgoing Kia Picanto won plaudits for its combination of immediate handling responses and a comfortable ride. Engineers have emulated these characteristics in the new model, while making a series of modifications to the suspension – independent by MacPherson strut at the front; torsion beam at the rear – to realise greater ride stability and quicker, more enjoyable handling responses.

Designed to reduce the body roll angle under cornering by up to one degree and enable more immediate reactions to steering inputs, the Picanto’s anti-roll bars are 2 per cent stiffer and mounted slightly lower at the front, and 5 per cent stiffer and slightly higher at the rear. The Picanto’s revised dimensions – with a longer wheelbase and slightly shorter front overhang – also enable the pitch centre of the car to be placed further towards the rear of the car, helping to naturally reduce ‘nose dive’ under braking without firming up the suspension and potentially compromising ride comfort.

In addition, the longer wheelbase contributes to a natural improvement in ride quality and stability on all roads. The torsion beam rear axle has been reshaped and features newly-designed trailing arms, helping to reduce weight by 1.8 kg over the rear axle with no loss in component rigidity.

A new steering rack means the steering ratio has been quickened by 13 per cent over the outgoing Picanto, from 16.5:1 to 14.3:1. Not only does this enable more immediate responses to driver inputs, but reducing the turns of the wheel lock-to-lock (from 3.4 to 2.8 turns) makes the Picanto even easier to drive at low speeds and in the city. With the front wheel pushed closer to the front of the vehicle, resulting in a shorter overhang, the reduced weight ahead of the front axle reduces inertia for more agile handling.

The new Picanto is the first car in its class to offer buyers torque vectoring by braking – an additional function of the Electronic Stability Control system. The adoption of this new technology for an A-segment car means the Picanto retains a higher degree of handling stability and security under cornering, while helping to reduce understeer during harder cornering.

Engines and transmissions

Underpinning the all-new Picanto’s quicker, more responsive steering is a range of highly efficient small-capacity petrol engines. Serving to minimise the weight over the front axle, the downsized engine line-up also delivers the sprightly acceleration and immediate powertrain responses that customers expect of an urban car.

Three petrol engines will be available to buyers. The 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre naturally-aspirated multi-point injection (MPI) engines have been carried over from the outgoing Picanto, with a range of enhancements to improve efficiency and driveability. From Q4 2017, Kia’s new 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) power unit will also be available, offering turbocharged petrol performance in the Picanto for the first time ever. All engines are paired with a five-speed manual transmission, delivering power to the front wheels. Idle Stop & Go is available on certain manual models, while the 1.25-litre MPI engine is also available with a four-speed automatic transmission.

The 1.0-litre MPI engine provides the entry point into the Picanto range, producing 49kW at 5500rpm and 96Nm torque. The most fuel efficient engine available to Picanto buyers, the 1.0-litre unit is capable of producing just 89 g/km of carbon dioxide (four-seat model; New European Drive Cycle, combined), down from 95 g/km on the outgoing model (a 6.3 per cent reduction). Upgrades to the engine include a new exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, and a new cooling system with shut-off valve, reducing the time it takes the engine to warm-up from a cold start. A new two-stage oil pump also reduces mechanical friction.

The mid-range 1.25-litre MPI produces peak power of 62kW, and 122Nm of torque. Picanto models with this engine will emit 104 g/km of CO2 on the combined cycle, compared with 106 g/km for the existing Picanto. For its application in the new Picanto, Kia engineers have optimized the valve timing of the engine’s dual CVVT (continuously-variable valve timing) system, and have also adopted a similar new cooling system and shut-off valve to the 1.0-litre MPI engine. New low-friction coated piston rings also help to reduce cylinder friction for greater efficiency.

The 1.0-litre T-GDI engine, available in the Picanto for the first time, produces 74kW and 172Nm torque, the highest power and torque outputs ever offered in Kia’s A-segment model. The engine features a single-scroll turbocharger for instant acceleration, as well as an integrated exhaust manifold, and a high-pressure (200 bar) fuel supply. Laser-drilled injectors deliver precise quantities of fuel into the cylinders to accurately control combustion, delivering instantaneous accelerative responses and contributing to the engine’s high efficiency and low fuel consumption.

Refinement

Refinement has been dramatically improved in the new Picanto, with a range of modifications designed to further isolate the cabin from vibrations and noise from the road, wind and the engine. The result is a car that offers the quietest cabin of any A-segment model, both at idle and at a steady cruise.

New refinement measures adopted for the latest Picanto include a new soundproofing panel beneath the dashboard and in the floor of the cabin, while expandable sound-absorbent foam has been applied to lower sections of the A- and B-pillars. Beneath the bonnet, a new sound-absorbent engine cover and reshaped air intake help to isolate engine noise from the cabin. The structure of the engine mounts has also been revised to counteract engine vibrations. Furthermore, the windscreen wipers have been lowered by 6mm to reduce the level of wind ‘roar’ generated at the base of the windscreen

As a result of these upgrades, the new Picanto produces a quietest-in-class 39 dB of noise at idle – 3 dB less than the current A-segment leader – and 68 dB at a steady cruise.

Technology

Buyers of the new Kia Picanto will have access to some of the most advanced infotainment and convenience technologies available in the A-segment, while still enjoying the same high value for money expected of a Kia vehicle.

The large, ‘floating’ 7.0-inch HMI touchscreen at the centre of the dashboard houses a navigation system with 3D map, and is available with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ for full smartphone integration. A rear-view parking camera with dynamic guidelines is also on offer to buyers who want an additional level of assurance when completing parking manoeuvres. An optional wireless smartphone charger and USB port, located at the base of the centre console, ensure drivers can keep mobile devices charged on the move.

Safety and body

The new Picanto is the safest A-segment car Kia has ever made, featuring double the proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) compared to the outgoing model and a selection of active safety technologies.

With a stronger body than ever before, 44 per cent of the new Picanto’s bodyshell is cast in AHSS (up from 22 per cent), reducing body-in-white weight by 23kg while improving tensile strength by 12 per cent. The new, stronger steel has been used to reinforce the floor pan, roof rails and engine bay, as well as the A- and B-pillars, strengthening the core structure of the car. The new bodyshell also uses more than eight times the quantity of structural adhesive found in the outgoing model (67 metres of joins throughout the structure are now reinforced with the adhesive). Overall, static torsional stiffness has been improved by 32 per cent.

The stronger, lighter body is supported by six standard airbags (front, front side and curtain airbags), and an optional knee airbag, as well as a range of active safety features. These include standard Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to ensure stability under braking and cornering, detecting a loss in traction and using ESC to help the driver keep the car on course.

In addition, the new Picanto will be available with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)* – a key technology adopted to enhance safety in the predominantly city and urban environments in which the majority of customers drive their Picanto. An indirect Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is also available.

On-sale

Maintaining the value for money and high quality that has made the current-generation Picanto so popular, the all-new Picanto will be sold as standard with Kia’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty when it goes on-sale across Europe from the start of Q2 2017.

Dynamic excellence, aesthetic appeal and intelligent functionality are attributes for which the BMW 5 Series Touring is well renowned. And the new-generation model takes this combination to a whole new level. Like the recently launched new BMW 5 Series Sedan, the second body variant in this tradition-steeped model range also impresses with an exceptional display and operating concept, trailblazing assistance systems and stand-out advances in digital connectivity.

“The BMW 5 Series Touring was developed specifically for the European market, where it has enjoyed great success over the last 25 years. I am sure that the versatility of this new, fifth generation will prove even more popular with those customers who appreciate the 5 Series Touring’s characteristic roomy, variable loading space combined with its distinguished appearance and – of course – its BMW-typical driving dynamics,” says Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management at BMW AG, Sales and Marketing.

The new BMW 5 Series Touring celebrates its world premiere in March 2017 at the Geneva International Motor Show. Four engines from the BMW Group’s latest generation of power units will be available to order when sales begin in June 2017, while the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system will be fitted in two models from day one. Additional variants with both classical rear- wheel drive and all-wheel drive will join the line-up over the course of the year.

Weight reduced, agility enhanced, efficiency optimised

The sporty driving characteristics of the new BMW 5 Series Touring are the product of new chassis technology and a commitment to reducing weight. Rear air suspension with automatic self-levelling is part of standard specification. Included on the options list, meanwhile, are Dynamic Damper Control, the Adaptive Drive system with active roll stabilisation, Integral Active Steering (now available in conjunction with xDrive) and M Sport suspension with a ten-millimetre drop in ride height.

The suspension side members and tailgate are now made from aluminium, which is also employed alongside high-strength steels in many other chassis components and the extremely torsionally-stiff body. This use of materials, together with the efficient drive-system technology already mentioned and optimised aerodynamics, results in fuel consumption and emissions 11 per cent lower than the figures recorded by the new 5 Series Touring’s predecessor.

Athletic design for a versatile sports machine

With surface contouring that creates a clearly defined athletic build and dynamically stretched lines, the exterior design of the new BMW 5 Series Touring clearly expresses the blend of sportiness and versatility for which this model is renowned. Precise contours mark out the front end of the new Touring, and the standard LED headlights extend up to the forward-surging BMW kidney grille. The flanks, meanwhile, combine the car’s distinctive geometry with harmonious proportions. Another contributor to the sporting aura exuded by the new BMW 5 Series Touring is its long roofline, flowing into heavily raked D-pillars. The rear window is framed by a roof spoiler with integrated auxiliary brake light and air deflectors at the sides. Lower down, a series of prominent horizontal lines and the L-shaped rear lights reaching deep into the car’s flanks accentuate the body’s width.

Improved spaciousness and intelligent functionality

Inside the new BMW 5 Series Touring, a driver-focused cockpit design shares the stage with the premium ambience generated by a combination of contemporary elegance, precisely finished high-quality materials and a devotion to detail. The instrument panel rises up less prominently than in the outgoing 5 Series Touring, helping to create a generous feeling of space. The Control Display now comes in freestanding, flatscreen form. All seats benefit from appreciably greater head-, shoulder- and legroom, while optimised backrest contours, longer seat surfaces and extended kneeroom elevate comfort for the rear passengers. Further upgrades to the soundproofing provided by the windscreen, headliner and load compartment raise the acoustic comfort on board the new BMW 5 Series Touring to sedan levels.

The increase in interior width allows up to three child seats to be fixed securely and comfortably across the rear

The boot capacity of the new BMW 5 Series Touring has grown to 570 – 1,700 litres and its permissible load by up to 120 kilograms, depending on the model variant (to 720 – 730 kilograms). Similarly impressive is the high degree of functionality rooted in an array of practical details, such as the 40 : 20 : 40 split/folding rear seat backrest, electric remote backrest release (operated by pressing a button in the boot), separately-opening rear window and automatic tailgate operation – which, as an option, allows hands-free opening and closing. The load compartment cover and luggage partition net are now contained in separate cartridges that can be stowed away in matching recesses underneath the load compartment floor.

Driving pleasure, just as you like it: four engines and BMW xDrive available from launch

The engines available to customers from the market launch of the new BMW 5 Series Touring boast BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and combine enhanced performance with reduced fuel consumption and emissions. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet of the new BMW 530i Touring generates maximum output of 185 kW/252 hp and peak torque of 350 Nm (258 lb-ft). The BMW 530i Touring comes as standard with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.5 seconds. Its combined fuel consumption stands at 6.3 – 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres (44.8 – 48.7 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions are 143 – 133 grams per kilometre.

A 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line petrol engine, eight-speed Steptronic transmission and intelligent all-wheel-drive system team up to whisk the new BMW 540i xDrive Touring down the driver’s road of choice. Output rising to 250 kW/340 hp and peak torque of 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) deliver acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.1 seconds. The BMW 540i xDrive Touring posts combined fuel consumption of 7.7 – 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres (36.7 – 38.7 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 177 – 167 grams per kilometre.

The four-cylinder engine in the new BMW 520d Touring extracts 140 kW/190 hp and peak torque of 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) from its 2.0-litre displacement. This diesel unit teams up as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, but can also be specified with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission as an option. The BMW 520d Touring powers from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.0 seconds (automatic: 7.8 seconds), but the exceptional efficiency of its engine also allows it to record combined fuel consumption of 4.9 – 4.5 litres (4.7 – 4.3 litres) per 100 kilometres / 57.6 – 62.8 mpg imp (60.1 – 65.7 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 129 – 119 grams (124 – 114 grams) per kilometre.

Rounding off the line-up of engines available from launch is a 3.0-litre straight- six diesel unit producing maximum output of 195 kW/265 hp and peak torque of 620 Nm (457 lb-ft). This engine can send its power through either the rear wheels or xDrive all-wheel drive, and links up with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The BMW 530d Touring completes the dash from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.8 seconds, the BMW 530d xDrive Touring in 5.6 seconds. Combined fuel consumption is 5.1 – 4.7 l/100 km (55.4 – 60.1 mpg imp) / 5.7 – 5.3 l/100 km (49.6 – 53.3 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions come in at 134 –124 or 149 –139 grams per kilometre.

Operating system: extremely intuitive, more versatile than ever

The high-resolution, up to 10.25-inch Control Display used by the iDrive operating system comes in touchscreen form in the new BMW 5 Series Touring. As before, the vehicle, navigation, communication and infotainment functions can also be operated using the Touch Controller, should the driver prefer. The new tile-look menu display helps ensure intuitive usability and minimal distraction from what is happening on the road. Lending additional variety to the options available for operating the car’s functions are the further developed voice command technology and the gesture control system now also available in the BMW 5 Series. With its 70 per cent larger projection surface, the latest-generation BMW Head-Up Display represents another step forward for the car’s display and operating concept.

Ongoing progress towards automated driving

The new BMW 5 Series Touring is the latest model to point the way to automated driving with the help of new assistance systems and extended functionality. Contributing to the relentless progress in this area are Crossing traffic warning and Priority warning, Lane Change Assistant and Lane keeping assistant with active side collision protection, and the evasion aid. The new systems provide steering and lane control assistance from walking speed up to 210 km/h (130 mph), ensuring additional comfort and offering a helping hand in challenging driving situations. With the Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function activated, the driver can now factor in speed restrictions detected by the Speed Limit Info system by simply pressing a button.

Personal mobility assistant and intelligent parking space searches

The new BMW 5 Series Touring also features BMW Connected, which provides a seamless bridge between the car and its driver’s smartphone. This technology assists drivers with their personal appointment and mobility planning – both on the road and at their home or workplace. For example, navigation destinations can be sent into the car from the user’s smartphone and the ideal departure time calculated using Real Time Traffic Information. Added to which, Remote 3D View allows users to access images of the area around their car on their smartphone. And users can manage their calendar, e-mail and contact details via Microsoft Exchange. Wireless smartphone integration also enables the use of Apple CarPlay and is complemented by an inductive charging facility.

The new and comprehensive parking systems also enhance comfort. In addition to the Parking Assistant, the new BMW 5 Series Touring is now available with the Remote Control Parking function. Plus, drivers can also take advantage of the ParkNow service enabling online reservation of parking spaces and cashless payment. And the innovative On-Street Parking Information service helps users to find vacant on-street parking spaces.

BMW will use this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, taking place on 3 – 13 March, to present the world premiere of the new BMW M760Li xDrive. Also making its debut appearance will be the iPerformance model designation which, from July 2016, will identify the transfer of technology from BMW i to the BMW core brand in all BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles. The new BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance plug-in hybrid luxury sedans will be presented at the Geneva show. Plus, the new BMW M2 will take to the stage with a host of M Performance components, BMW i will give a debut to the BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition and BMW ConnectedDrive will unveil the new On-Street Parking Information service.

The new BMW M760Li xDrive

Supreme comfort and intoxicating performance combine. The BMW M760Li xDrive will be celebrating its world premiere in Geneva. The prestigious flagship of the freshly launched BMW 7 Series model range underlines its range-topping status with an M Performance TwinPower Turbo 12-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet. Exceptional refinement and majestic power delivery at all times are its standout attributes. With its combination of prominently dynamic driving characteristics and superb ride comfort, the BMW M760Li xDrive makes a powerful statement and redefines the state of play in the luxury sedan segment.

Indeed, it embodies the dynamic mission statement of BMW M Performance Automobiles with striking clarity. The M Performance TwinPower Turbo 12-cylinder petrol engine develops 441 kW/600 hp (fuel consumption combined: 12.6 l/100 km [22.4 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 294 g/km), covers the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h / 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h / 155 mph (governed) – or 305 km/h / 189 mph (governed) with the M Driver’s Package specified.

BMW iPerformance celebrates its premiere

Customers can now identify the transfer of technology from BMW i to BMW in the name and design elements of various models. The new iPerformance model designation, which will be given to all BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles from July 2016, provides a visible indicator of the transfer of technology from BMW i to the BMW core brand. It will celebrate its premiere in the new BMW 7 Series model range with the addition of three plug-in hybrid luxury sedans to the line-up. With a total of what will now be five plug-in hybrid variants in model ranges from the BMW 2 Series to the BMW 7 Series, BMW has spread the technology over a wide area of the market – from the compact class to the luxury segment.

And further models are set to join them. All BMW’s plug-in hybrid models already use expertise from BMW i when it comes to electric motors, battery cells and electronic control systems, for example. In order to also make BMW’s rigorously-applied electrification strategy visible from the outside, all iPerformance models will display a BMW i logo on the front side panel, BMW i-style blue elements in the kidney grille and wheel hubs, and an eDrive logo on the C-pillar.

Customers can also make use of the BMW i 360° ELECTRIC range of products and services. These include the BMW i Wallbox for home charging, which is offered together with an installation service. Arrangement of a suitable green energy contract with renewable energy suppliers is also part of the services available. The BMW i Remote app and intelligent BMW ConnectedDrive Services provide additional benefits.

The new BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid models source their power from a four- cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor, which together generate a system output of 240 kW/326 hp. The new BMW 740e iPerformance with standard wheelbase and new BMW 740Le iPerformance with long wheelbase capture the imagination with their supreme dynamics yet average fuel consumption of just 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres (134.5 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 49 grams per kilometre.

In the new BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance (fuel consumption combined: 2.3 l/100 km [122.8 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 53 g/km) intelligent all-wheel drive distributes the combined power of the combustion engine and electric motor permanently and as required between the front and rear wheels. The plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series allow top-level driving pleasure, long-distance comfort and luxury to be experienced in combination with all-electric, locally emission-free mobility as well. In so doing, they represent the most rigorous implementation yet of Efficient Dynamics in vehicles from the BMW brand.

BMW presents an extensive range of BMW M Performance Parts for the new BMW M2 Coupe which enhance the car’s dynamics and individualise its design. The new BMW M2 Coupe sets the benchmark in the compact high- performance sports car segment in terms of dynamics and performance. Its extrovert design shines an even brighter spotlight on its razor-sharp sporting The new BMW M2 Coupe sets the benchmark in the compact high- performance sports car segment in terms of dynamics and performance. Its extrovert design shines an even brighter spotlight on its razor-sharp sporting character and outstanding track ability.

And now the dynamic qualities and stylistic appearance of the BMW M2 Coupe can be honed even more effectively with the selection of BMW M Performance Parts presented in Geneva. Customers can choose from an array of motor sport-inspired components that enhance the car’s aerodynamics, drivetrain, cockpit and chassis and meet – without exception – the highest standards of functional excellence and design.

BMW i presents the BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition special-edition model

Largest market presence of any premium supplier of electric vehicles worldwide. With its all-electric BMW i3 and trailblazing BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, plus the introduction of pioneering and easy-to-use services, BMW i has achieved the largest market presence of any premium supplier of electric vehicles worldwide – and is in the process playing an active role in shaping the future face of personal mobility.

The BMW i brand is committed to an approach defined largely by sustainability. For example, the BMW i3 is the only car worldwide to have a certified carbon footprint. BMW i places particular emphasis on innovative mobility and progressive design. These attributes are embodied to impressive effect by the new BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition presented in Geneva, whose exclusive accents and equipment features offer a new level of individuality and represent the opening instalment in a series of special-edition variants of the innovative plug-in hybrid sports car.

BMW ConnectedDrive

Premiere for the On-Street Parking Information service. The BMW Group underlines its role as a leading supplier in the field of premium mobility, with unique services such as the intelligent parking space search function On-Street Parking Information. Here, the company utilises the potential of connected vehicles, becoming the first carmaker worldwide to show how areas of cities offering available public parking places at the roadside can be identified more quickly with the help of a parking probability display. Available spaces are highlighted on the vehicle’s Control Display, so the driver can head directly for those areas of the city where there is a greater likelihood of finding a vacant spot.

Hyundai Motor showcased a wide range of innovative fuel efficiency and connectivity technologies at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. While two fuel efficiency concepts underline Hyundai’s capabilities in advanced drivetrain technologies, the connectivity cockpit concept and wearables on display grant a view of how controlling and interacting with Hyundai vehicles could look in the future. Based on the All-New Tucson platform, the 48V Hybrid technology is a smart and cost efficient way to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions significantly. Compared to a full hybrid system, the 48V system delivers similar efficiency, for only a quarter of the cost and is just another example of Hyundai’s engineering capabilities under the premise of ‘New Thinking, New Possibilities’. Based on a 2.0-litre diesel model with 100kW and six-speed manual transmission, the show car promises to boost power by 10 %, while emitting only 109g/km CO2 emissions. The 48V Hybrid Concept delivers a lively performance as the combined power pack (100kW petrol engine plus a 10kW electric motor) generates 110kW and 413Nm of torque. 

Especially suited to fitment in larger cars and SUVs, the show car’s 48V Hybrid technology comprises a Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) – an electric motor replacing the conventional starter - an inverter and a low voltage DC/DC converter. The HSG supports the diesel engine with its additional output, enables the ISG to restart the engine with almost no noise or vibration and acts as a generator during deceleration, recharging the 48-volt lithium-ion battery. The new hybrid system adds a modest 20kg to the vehicle weight.

Hyundai’s concept of a plug-in-hybrid vehicle (PHEV), also based on the All-New Tucson platform, is equipped with a 1.7-litre diesel engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, both available in the All-New Tucson line-up. The engine generates 85kW and is accompanied by an 85kW electric motor and a 10.7kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, which enables the car to drive in pure-electric mode for more than 50km. The combined engine has a maximum combined power of 135kW and delivers an impressive 474Nm torque. Hyundai engineers estimate CO2 emissions of less than 48 g/km while the vehicle’s performance capabilities could be increased significantly. The electric motor is placed at the rear of the car and drives the rear axle, whereas the diesel engine drives the front axle. This setup enables the car to switch between rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive depending on the driving situation. For greater driver engagement and choice, the PHEV concept is equipped with a 4-mode drive selection. The ‘Auto’ mode operates all systems for highest fuel efficiency. The ‘Zero Emission Vehicle’ (ZEV) mode uses only the electric motor - if the battery charge level is sufficient.

This mode is particularly useful when leaving the house quietly in the morning or when driving in low-speed city traffic. In ‘4WD’ mode both engines operate to enable all-wheel drive functionality, while in ‘Sport’ the performance characteristics of both engines are prioritised. Hyundai is continually exploring new ways to improve the vehicle ownership experience for its customers. The Connectivity Cockpit Concept holds a collection of new advanced technologies including wearable devices, integration of car generated data, rear seat child care and 3D-gesture controls. These assets offer an insight to Hyundai’s new ways of thinking to provide customers with value beyond expectations, and setting out ways they could control and interact with its vehicles in the future. A wearable device like a smartwatch paired with the in-car-system can monitor the driver’s status (heart rate and alertness), recommending rest periods to promote safe driving. It can also in form the driver about blind-spots, alert him or her to appropriate following distances, and provide navigation-details.

Also on display is Hyundai’s content connectivity feature, which provides a calendar ‘life-log’ of daily driving activities, delivering integrated information from vehicle, cloud, tablet, smartphone and wearable devices. It can display POI suggestions by ranking driver preferences, while also listing petrol stations near the user’s route. The rear seat child care function uses innovative tablet features to monitor passengers and children via a mini-camera and the head unit screen on the center stack. The system also has tablet-based ‘co-pilot/navigator’ controls, which allow a passenger to interact with vehicle infotainment and comfort features, such as air-conditioning, while the driver’s eyes remain on the road. A fourth area of focus for the Geneva display is the company’s 3D hand-gesture controls, showcased in the Connectivity Cockpit Concept. The innovative system employs infrared and camera sensors to recognise driver’s hand commands to select navigation, infotainment, audio, air conditioning and even smartphone connectivity functions. While driving, only basic commands will be available, whereas when at standstill and neutral mode, the full range of functions will be accessible. This intuitive gesture interface provides the driver with a host of controls, while keeping his or her eyes on the road, and demonstrates clearly Hyundai’s future vision for human/machine interface.

Innovative design and product planning gave birth to the QASHQAI and JUKE, two of the biggest motoring success stories in recent years. Now the company has applied the same radical thinking to one of the most important sectors of the market: the compact hatchback. Unveiled at the Geneva Show, the Sway is a glimpse at how a future generation of compact Nissan models might look if the company's striking new design language was applied to a European hatchback. It is a concept car designed especially to appeal to European tastes: it is seen as emotional, edgy and exciting. Sway has been designed to shake up the compact hatchback segment, traditionally a conservative sector of the market. With its swooping lines, striking nose, elegantly simple interior and bold use of sophisticated colors, the concept is a daring and emotional design. There is an overall sense of unity and harmony but with edginess unexpected in this market segment. The interior, for example, applies techniques more usually seen in industrial architecture such as structural aluminum elements to signify both simplicity and strength, but also the attention to detail and use of color and materials associated with premium goods.

The exterior, meanwhile, blends four highly distinctive elements - the V-motion grille, floating roof, boomerang lamps and kicked-up C-pillar - to shape a new design signature that has already been seen on the Nissan Lannia Concept that was presented last year in Beijing at Auto China 2014, as well as the new Murano recently launched in the US. The Sway represents the first time this new design language has been expressed on a compact hatchback, while future Nissan models in different market segments in all regions will follow this styling direction. The Sway's character line begins with the V-motion grille, mounted low at the front between twin V-shaped quarter bumpers. The grille is the starting point for a bold contour that curves over the bonnet and front wheels before dipping dramatically towards the centre of the front door. It then sweeps upwards towards the rear of the car, giving the side profile an almost sensuous form. It sits proud of the bonnet before leading into a distinct and sharp crease down the car's waistline – a waistline that is pinched by the rising indented triangular sill feature. Alongside the V-motion grille sit the boomerang headlamps. Usually the boomerang shape is created by the use of LED lamps within a more conventional lamp shape: this time the lamps themselves take the signature shape, while the LEDs within create the impression of a pair of eyes, watching.

The signature boomerang taillights are equally dramatic, dissecting the rear three-quarter elements of the car. Twin trapezoidal exhaust pipes emerge from either side of the registration plate housing towards the middle of the rear section rather than underneath the bumper. Complex rear doors house not only the extended sill and waistline crease, but also the shapely flared fenders needed to cover the rear wheels. An upward flick towards the rear of the glass-line reduces the C-pillar between the door and the floating roof to a minimum. To ease ingress and egress, this concept car has no central B-pillar and rear-hinged back doors. Another feature of Nissan's new design language is the floating roof, which is expressed this time by a panoramic glass roof, framed by an extended C-shaped construction running from the A-pillars along the side of the roof to the rear cross link above the tailgate. On the concept car this structure is highlighted by the use of a bold orange color that contrasts with the blue-grey of the body. Extra rigidity is provided by a distinctive deformed X-structure in the centre of the roof with the crossing point of the ‘X' sitting above the front seat passengers.

The glass roof provides two major benefits: those on the inside can enjoy a sense of freedom and space while those on the outside can admire the interior. Additionally, the Sway is unique in its color coordination between the exterior and interior. The exterior color of the car is "bluish dawn grey," a grey with hints of blue which are visible under light, harmonised with a contrasting orange colour. The sophisticated colour combination fits yet stands out beautifully with the European cityscape. The interior uses a darker, deeper blue, with high contrasting ivory and orange colors matching the exterior to give a sense of unity to the car. Inspired by the IDx show car first revealed at the 2013 Tokyo motor show, the Sway adopts – and develops – its interior design concept of a gliding wing shaped dashboard.

The driving force behind the gliding wing shape is its elegant simplicity. The result is an interior in which function takes a priority, and where nothing has been used for mere decorative effect. Structural elements, for example, are shown as structural elements. The door pulls are designed to be integrated as a part of exposed aluminum struts. Even the three-spoke steering wheel has a “back-to-basics” simplicity, with a squared off bottom section and aluminum spokes. Just two basic instruments face the driver, with all other functions captured on a large trapezoidal tablet in the centre of the dashboard visible – and usable – by both driver and front seat passenger. The lightweight seats have an aluminum structure - once again exposed - and are covered in a premium suede-like fabric partially accentuated with pearl-effect material, featuring stitching techniques more usually found on luxury handbags. Colour co-ordination sees the use of strong blue and orange themes inside, complementing the exterior perfectly. Although a compact car, the lack of clutter, the removal of the B-pillar and the use of simple yet elegant structures makes the interior seem larger than expected.

"We believe that the Sway continues our tradition of challenging the status quo in market segments by bringing something fresh, distinctive and striking, much as we did with QASHQAI and JUKE. "With this new concept car for Geneva, we are experimenting to see how Nissan might be able to bring fresh ideas to the compact hatchback segment," said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Paul Willcox, Chairman Nissan Europe, said: "Nissan is on the move. The brand stands for bold, innovative thinking in the European motoring market – indeed around the globe – and our growth in Europe is led by outstanding new products, which are defined by outstanding design. The Sway underlines how important design is for Nissan in building our brand and driving our growth."

Exuding high performance and sport dynamics, Infiniti's Q60 Concept makes its European premiere at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show. The stunning two-door concept hints at Infiniti's next sports coupe. Fresh from its acclaimed reveal at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit earlier this year, the show-stopping Q60 Concept is an original and bold reinterpretation of an elegant lifestyle 2+2 coupe. Its unique combination of eye-catching contours, heart-pumping power and high-quality finishes gives premium customers a fresh and expressive style icon to which they can aspire. "The Q60 Concept is more than a design exercise; it is earmarked for production," said Roland Krueger, Infiniti President and CEO. "What you see in this concept vehicle inspires the sports coupe that Infiniti will produce next year."

Design

Infiniti designers wanted to create a sports car that is power and performance personified. They gave the Q60 Concept taut lines, razor-sharp edges, and strikingly deep recesses in the body sides – culminating in a potent road presence. Sitting at 4690 mm (184.6 inches) long, 1865 mm (73.4 inches) wide and 1370 mm (53.9 inches) high, the angular concept is as sporty in motion as it is at rest. The Q60 Concept's sleek and aerodynamic design is anchored by its deep double arch grille, whose elaborate waved mesh pattern gives it a three-dimensional quality. From the grille, the flowing character lines rise and merge into the headlamps, drawing attention to the intelligent LED lights. These adaptive headlamps react to the steering, speed and elevation of the car and automatically adjust the beam around each bend to illuminate the road ahead. Inspired by the human eye – characteristic of Infiniti's vehicles – the headlamp has very fine fibre optic-like lines branching out from the projector. When lit, these filaments of LED lights look like lines of the iris radiating from the pupil, giving the headlamps a high-tech stare. The character line running the length of the car from the double arch grille to the aerodynamic tail spoiler gives the vehicle its assertive look from front to rear. The highly defined body contours are executed with precision, and where the shoulder dips in with exaggerated depth is reminiscent of chiselled cheekbones or rippling muscles.

Wearing a special colour named Arctic Aluminium, the Q60 Concept looks like it is machined from a solid aluminium block rather than painted. The designers also made the wheels more visible than the body to give the Q60 Concept an athletic profile. Donning arresting spokes in matte blacks and high-gloss black chromes, the deep 21-inch wheels fill up the wheel arches and give the concept its domineering stance. The same refinement on the outside extends into the smallest detail on the inside, evoking a premium atmosphere with three-dimensional textures and meticulous craftsmanship. While the familiar asymmetry from the top of the centre cluster to the wide centre console has been updated to make it more fluid, the centre console continues to demarcate the driver and passenger zone. Stitched by hand, the leather-wrapped instrument panel, steering wheel and door inserts all bear testament to bespoke finesse. The two-tone black-and-white instrument panel adds contrast to the interior, reflecting Infiniti's attention to detail.

Carbon fibre in the door accents echoes the performance of the car while high-quality driver-oriented controls intuitively build driver confidence. The seats have also been designed to go with the car's exhilarating character. An array of leathers was used to bring out the best comfort, from premium saddle leather to thick cushion quilting. Even oft-ignored rear passengers get stylish bucket seats, adding to the premium environment in the car.

Performance

The Q60 Concept is expected to deliver exceptional performance befitting a true-blue sports car from the next-generation 3.0-litre V6 engine with direct injection and twin-turbocharging. This all-new engine was first previewed in the Q80 Inspiration during the Paris Motor Show last year and will be part of a new family of lighter, smaller, more efficient and more powerful engines. Slated to be introduced within the next two years, this new line of engines significantly reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions while boosting power and torque for a more thrilling drive. The Q60 Concept also showcases a host of ingenious technologies to not only enrich the driving experience but also provide an intuitive level of driving assistance where required. This is in line with Infiniti's philosophy that technology should enhance the driver, not restrict them.

For example, the enhanced Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering™ system allows independent control of the car's tire angle and steering inputs, transmitting the driver's intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system. This increases the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver. Developed after more than ten years of research, the system was a world's first when it premiered on the Q50. Apart from augmenting the driving experience, the Q60 Concept puts the spotlight back on the desires and needs of the driver and passengers through human-centric systems that provide a higher degree of available personalisation. This is made possible with the new Infiniti InTuition™ system, a fully customisable digital environment, which works with the vehicle's advanced Intelligent Keys to recognise the vehicle settings for up to four different drivers, including preferences for driving position, heating and cooling, audio, navigation, telematics. "The Q60 Concept is Infiniti's vision for a sports coupe," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. "Design, performance and premium quality – these are what makes a sports coupe stand above the crowd. And these are what you'll find on the definitive Q60 Concept."

As the first MINI with four doors, a large tailgate, five seats and optional all-wheel drive, it took on the role of an irresistible front-line force from the very outset - both in the conquest of additional target groups for the British premium brand and in the area of off-road driving. Its forward thrust and flexibility are now expressed even more strikingly in an exclusive edition model. The MINI Countryman Park Lane sees its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2015. It will be available worldwide in up to four engine variants from July 2015. The MINI Countryman has enabled the brand to establish a secure standing in the premium compact segment. Unmistakable design, premium quality, an interior concept of exemplary versatility and typical MINI driving fun both on and off the road go together to create an overall package that is unique in this category of vehicle, meeting the multi-faceted mobility needs of demanding target groups in urban traffic and beyond. In this way the MINI Countryman has successfully asserted itself as an all-round talent with individual style. For the first time, this special status within the competitive environment is now underscored with an edition model. A distinct design and colour concept as well as high-end equipment features make the MINI Countryman Park Lane an authentic ambassador for versatile driving fun in the compact segment.

The MINI Countryman Park Lane indicates its high-end individual flair at first sight with a specially developed design and colour concept. The body finish in Earl Grey metallic is combined with the entirely new colour variant Oak Red for the roof and exterior mirror caps, supplemented with optional sport stripes in the same colour for the bonnet, tailgate and lower side sections. The characteristic side turn indicator surrounds in chrome known as side scuttles also comprise an inlay in Oak Red. The MINI Countryman Park Lane boldly accentuates its classic athletic character with 18-inch light alloy wheels in Turbo Fan Dark Grey design and the MINI ALL4 Exterior visual package including silver body elements for the front and rear apron as well as the side sills. Exclusive emblems on the side scuttles and the cockpit surface bear the inscription "Park Lane", as do the entry sills. The interior surfaces in Oxide Silver for the door bezel and cockpit trim and Cross Stripe Grey for the side surrounds of the centre console were also designed exclusively for the MINI Countryman Park Lane. These go together with the inlay colour Carbon Black for the door trim and centre console to create a sports-style premium ambience in the interior. The edition model can also be combined with a particularly high-end equipment package. As the MINI Countryman Park Lane Chili, the all-rounder additionally comprises features such as LED fog lamps and white direction indicators. The Chrome Line Exterior is available as an optional extra at no additional charge. What is more, the models MINI Cooper S Countryman, MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4, MINI Cooper SD Countryman and MINI Cooper SD Countryman ALL4 are fitted with xenon lights. The interior fittings are supplemented with sports seats in the fabric/leather finish Parallel Lines Light Tobacco, automatic air conditioning, an on-board computer, a rain sensor with automatic driving light control, the Sport Button, a sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons, velour floor mats and a storage and lighting package.

Located in the London borough of Mayfair, Park Lane is one of the most distinguished addresses in the British capital. MINI itself has a prestigious showroom there. It is the third time that Park Lane has lent its name to an exclusive edition model of the brand. A version of the classic Mini with particularly high-end fittings bore the designation in 1987, while another MINI Park Lane came out in 2005, following in the footsteps of its predecessor after the brand's relaunch. Now the tradition of naming design and edition models made by the British premium automobile manufacturer after London streets and districts is applied to the MINI Countryman for the first time. The precisely coordinated exterior and interior features of the MINI Countryman Park Lane underscore both the versatile functionality and the exclusive charisma of the premium compact model. With its high-end features and versatile customisation options, this all-round talent offers five seats, including a rear seat that can be shifted longitudinally and has a folding backrest with a 20 : 40 split. As a result the luggage volume can be expanded from 350 to up to 1 170 litres as required, allowing the MINI Countryman not just to tackle the challenges of everyday urban traffic but also transport bulky sports equipment or carry everything required for a family holiday. Powerful, efficient engines and high-quality suspension technology ensure that the hallmark brand agility known as the go-kart feeling is brought to life in the compact segment, too - further enhanced by an additional facet with the permanent all-wheel drive system ALL4 that was developed especially for MINI.

What is more the car's raised seating position offers a supreme view of the road, giving the characteristic MINI drive feel a whole new dimension. For the MINI Countryman (combined fuel consumption: 7.3 - 4.2 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 169 – 111 g/km) there are three petrol and three diesel engines available, covering an output range of 66 kW/90 hp to 140 kW/190 hp. Four power units can be optionally combined with ALL4. Over and above this, the 160 kW/218 hp MINI John Cooper Works Countryman provides extreme driving fun: here the engine power is transmitted to all four wheels as standard.

The MINI Countryman Park Lane is offered in up to eight model variants, depending on the market. The edition model is available both with the characteristic MINI front-wheel drive as well as the all-wheel drive system ALL4. 4-cylinder petrol engines with 90 kW/122 hp or 140 kW/190 hp power the models MINI Cooper Countryman and MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 as well as the MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4. 4-cylinder diesel engines deliver 82 kW/112 hp in the MINI Cooper D Countryman and MINI Cooper D Countryman ALL4, and 105 kW/143 hp in the MINI Cooper SD Countryman and MINI Cooper SD Countryman ALL4.