Hydrogen fuel-cell projects are usually only the realm of global automakers such as General Motors, Ford Motor, and Honda, with enormous R&D budgets and a few thousand spare engineers. Boutique British carmaker Morgan is bucking the trend, however, with the unveiling of its LifeCar fuel-cell vehicle here in Geneva. The car is powered by four electric motor/generators, which in turn are driven by electricity from a four-stack hydrogen PEM fuel cell provided by QinetiQ, a British defense technology company. Morgan claims that the LifeCar differentiates itself from other fuel-cell cars through improved efficiencies: the fuel cell is … Read more
From a distance it looks just like a regular soccermom-mobile. But the car that BMW put center stage this morning at the Geneva auto show represents the German automaker's vision for fuel-efficient technologies over the next few years. The car is powered by a diesel-electric version of BMW's Adaptive Hybrid system, comprising a four-cylinder variable twin-turbo combustion engine mated to a 15 kilowatt electric motor driven by a lithium ion battery pack. BMW says that this is the first diesel engine in the world achieve an output greater than 100 horsepower per liter.
Also a first for a … Read more
There could not have been a better metaphor. The Pininfarina-designed retractable hardtop version of the Focus Focus on display here on the first morning of the Geneva auto show was unveiled in its full glory before the world's media. However, the salivating auto journalists could not get their hands on the car, which was raised above the show floor on a protected platform. A similar frustration will likely be felt by customers in the United States when they find out that this stylish addition to the Focus lineup will be not be making its way across the Atlantic. The … Read more
Volvo is making bold claims about its new XC60 crossover. The mini-Ute was touted as "the safest Volvo ever" as it was driven out to make its world debut here today at the 2008 Geneva auto show. Volvo justifies this claim with a new active safety technology called City Safety, which is designed to avoid and mitigate the effects of front impacts at low speeds and comes as standard on the XC60. The system uses forward-looking radar sensor mounted in the rear-view mirror to determine the distance to the car ahead and the XC60's speed relative to … Read more
The new Honda Accord just made its world debut here on the first morning of the 2008 Geneva auto show, but we could have sworn we'd seen it somewhere before--with an Acura badge on it. From a distance, the Euro-only Accord is essentially a rebranded version of the new Acura TSX, which is set to debut in the United States later this month. However, beneath the surface, there are few differences.
The first is that the Euro Accord comes in both sedan and station-wagon models. Second, the Accord has some safety tech features that have not been announced for … Read more
We sent Kevin Massy and Brian Cooley to Geneva, along with our video crew, to get full coverage of the 2008 Geneva auto show. They will be posting blogs, photos, and video from the show of the latest concept and production cars. We've already seen quite a few previews of what will be on the floor, including a number of new cars from Volkswagen, a new crossover from Volvo, and some individual concepts that show off beautiful design or wacky tech, such as the submersible sQuba from Rinspeed.
Driving around the streets of London and Geneva over the last couple of days, I have noticed a conspicuous absence of Infiniti and Acura models. The premium brands of (respectively) Nissan and Honda are virtually unknown in Western European countries, where they are currently unavailable. This is about to change, however, as Nissan prepares to use this week's Geneva auto show to launch the first Infiniti models for the European market. According to the Financial Times, Infiniti has "Europeanised" its lineup (smaller engines, diesel options), and will launch with four models, including a brand-new FX crossover SUV, … Read more
Honda announced it will unveil a new global hybrid car at the 2008 Paris Auto Show, which will launch in 2009 along with another hybrid based on the CR-Z concept. Both cars will be produced as hybrid models without a gas-only counterpart, similar to Toyota's Prius. These hybrids are part of Honda's strategy to sell 400,000 hybrids per year by 2011. The new global hybrid will launch in Europe first, then come to North America. Both hybrids will use updated versions of Honda's integrated motor assist (IMA) mild hybrid system, currently used in the Honda Civic … Read more
We're packing our bags for the Geneva auto show with high expectations. Europe's annual automotive jamboree is usually chock full with inventive concepts and new model debuts, but this year's show promises to be bigger than ever. We've already got word on more than 30 new car unveils and at least a dozen design concepts--and they're just the ones we know about in advance. From Maserati's Gran Turismo S to soft-top versions of the Fiat 500 and BMW M3 to the subaquatic Rinspeed sQuba, our preview slide show provides just a taste of what'… Read more