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Citroen Aircross Concept for Shanghai

Citroen Aircross Concept for Shanghai

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Citroen has taken its polarising C4 Cactus and created a bold new concept car, called the Aircross Concept. The Aircross Concept points to a new range of crossovers following this new design, in a bid to separate itself from the rest of the competition.

This new design shown on the Aircross will be used on a family of new crossovers, ranging from a Mini Countryman-sized car, up to a seven-seater SUV. Citroen knows that this new design will not please everyone, and will be an either love it or hate it kind of car. However, this is exactly what Citroen wants. Through this new design language, Citroen is trying to establish itself as a separate brand, distinct from both Peugeot and DS. Citroen knows that sportiness is not a character trait of Citroen, but that design flair is. Cars like the CX, the GS, the 2CV, the SM and C6 are all cars known for their outstanding design, and Citroen would like to continue along that line of great design.

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Based on PSA’s latest EMP2 platform, which underpins the entire range of Peugeot and Citroen’s mid to large cars, the Aircross is almost exactly the same size as the Land Rover Discovery Sport in terms of length and height but is narrower than the Discovery.

At the moment this car is purely a concept, so the powertrain is based on current technologies found on current PSA roadcars, but tarted up a bit for the glitz and glam of the Shanghai Motor Show. Under the bonnet of the Aircross is a 1.6 litre petrol engine producing 218 bhp, mated to a 95 bhp electric motor mounted on the rear axle. The electric motor is powered by a lithium ion battery pack which is said to recharge in three and a half hours from a domestic socket. This powertrain also features a ‘boost’ function which calls on the full 313 bhp during heavy acceleration. 0-62 mph is claimed to be 4.5 seconds, and is said to emit just 39 g/km of CO2 and return 166 mpg. Whether this powertrain will ever reach production is uncertain, but the numbers certainly are appealing.

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Inside there is the usual flair of very little buttons, brightly coloured interior fittings and upholstery and several million screens dotted throughout the interior of the car. If the Aircross does go into production, expect an interior more akin to the interior of the C4 Cactus than to this concept.

No mention of when this car is slated for production, but expect to see a more roadworthy vehicle to hit showrooms in about 12-to-18 months.

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Bentley Wows Geneva!

Bentley Wows Geneva!

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Welcome everybody, to the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept. I know, a truly awful name, but bear with me, because it is worth it.  It is, by far, the show-stopper of Geneva 2015. This is clearly Bentley’s apology to petrolheads for showing off that horrible Falcon SUV thing a few months back.

However, the Speed 6 is a lot more than that. Its their gladiator in the supercar world. A machine to do battle with Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren. I don’t agree. This is a more a competitor for a Vanquish more than anything else, but let’s give Bentley a chance to prove themselves against such esteemed company.

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The Maserati Alfieri Concept

The Maserati Alfieri Concept

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Last week the Geneva Motor Show opened its doors to the public, and while I was not expecting much from the Italian automakers, other than the Ferrari California T and a couple of hotter Alfa Romeo hatchbacks, Maserati has gone and created another masterpiece to replace its aging GranTourismo.

Aging? That gorgeous two-door, four-seater coupe cannot be more than three years old! Well much to my surprise, the GranTourismo was actually unveiled to the world in 2007. It is seven years old! I honestly had not realised, the car still looks as fresh as the day it was unveiled to the world.

So, despite its looks, its time to start thinking about a replacement, and come up with something that will add a fresh dose of excitement into the line-up.  A new coupe, to usher in its latest crop of engines and gearboxes, something to keep the kids interested in Maseratis.

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Here is what they have come up with. The Alfieri Concept. Yes, unfortunately still a concept, and the only unfortunate thing about it. However, do not fret, because having watched the press launch of this car, it is clear that all the heads of the Fiat group want this car to make production, most of all the head of Maserati himself, Harald Wester, a sharp suited, unassuming German who clearly knows what makes a Maserati, and knows how to push the brand forward.

If you have a spare twenty minutes, I suggest you watch the entire press conference. He shows off the car with a certain style and elegance that is not seen outside the Fiat Group. Anyways, here is the car. It is a a sharp looking thing, with its long bonnet, low front, short tail and gorgeous headlights, this machine just begs to be driven.  There is not a single line which I do not like about this car.  The man himself, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, the same man who penned the current Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Peugeot 406 Coupe, and the Ferrari 456. Clearly, this man knows his way around a pen and paper. His latest design shows the world, that this guy is still churning out some great designs. Ian Callum may be good, but Ramaciotti is better.

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Now lets get to the technical bits. What exactly is powering this bad boy? Well the actual concept uses the same underpinnings as the GranTourismo MC Stradale, with the same 4.7 litre V8 engine and ceramic brakes. It also has the same gearbox as the MC Stradale.  If this car does see the light of day, expect it to be powered by the latest generation of V6 and V8 engines currently powering the Ghibli and Quattroporte, probably using the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox too. However, it might be the case that they will use the MC Shift from the MC Stradale, to make it feel a little sportier.  Insiders are also claiming that if this car does make it into production, they want it to weigh about 1400 kg, which is about 300 kg lighter than the GranTourismo, and about 150 kg lighter than a Jaguar F-Type, one of its key rivals. Pricing will be around the region of £60,000, again F-Type money.

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All I will say is, this car needs to go into production. As soon as possible.