Saturday 28 February 2009

News in brief

Before it's debut in Geneva, Nissan has revealed its new NV200. The NV200 will arrive in 3 variants; a commercial van and two 7 seat passenger versions - a combi for passengers and load carrying and a passenger only version. Nissan is presenting the NV200 to the world as a global product which has been tested under many different conditions to suit very different markets. Nissan is launching the NV200 in Japan before Summer, in Europe in Autumn 2009 and then in China and other markets. Engines are a 1.6 litre petrol with 108PS and 153Nm of torque. The second option is a 1.5 litre dCi, producing 86PS and 200Nm. Both use a 5 speed manual transmission.Optional equipment includes a rear view parking camera, ESP, ABS with EBD, driver and passenger airbags and side airbags on the options list.

Hyundai is likely to sell the Genesis Coupe in Europe. Prices should start around €25,000, undercutting the Nissan 350Z by €13,000 at €38,000. Sales should start in 2010 with EU cars limited to 1,000 units a year. Hyundai Genesis Coupe priced at €25k.

Ford reveals revised Ranger pick-up. Set to debut at next weeks Geneva motorshow, the Ranger is built in Thailand and will reach European showrooms in April. Engine wise, buyers can purchase 2 4-cylinder diesels; 2.5 litre, 143bhp and a 3.0 litre 156bhp unit both of which can be paired with either a 5 speed auto or manual.

Kia's new mini-MPV, referred to as the "YN" will be unveiled in Switzerland in concept form. The concept named, Kia No 3 Concept is designed by Peter Schreyer, who heads the Korean brand's European design studio. At 4,045 mm in length, the new MPV is a little longer than the Ford Fiesta. Underpinnings will be borrowed from the Soul.

Kia has released 2 more teaser images of the forthcoming Sorento SUV. The Korean market will get a 2.4 litre Theta II petrol, a 2.7 litre LPI and a 2.2 litre turbo-diesel R-engine, kindly donated by sister firm Hyundai. The 200bhp, 2.2 litre turbo-diesel R engine will achieve 33mpg UK whilst mated to a new 6 speed automatic transmission. CO2 emissions are likely to top 225g/km. A 175bhp, 2.4 litre Theta petrol engine will be offered in the UK alongside the 2.2 diesel. A 3.8 litre V6, expected to produce more than 270bhp won't be offered in the European market. The U.S will only get the petrol engines. The new Sorento goes on sale in South Korea in April. In Europe and North America, the model will be launched late in 2009.

The Skoda Fabia Scout will stand in Geneva next month. Based upon the Fabia, it receives cladding along the front, side and back. Sales start in May.

Rolls-Royce will show a concept version of the forthcoming "RR4". The 200EX will use the underpinning of the BMW 7 Series. Measuring at 5.4 metres, the baby Rolls is likely to start at £180,000. Power will come from a V12. The official product will premier at the Frankfurt motorshow with worldwide sales starting in 2010.

Courtesy of the European Office for Harmonization of the Internal Market (OHIM), where trademark records are kept and spy photographers, we can see the European Chevrolet Volt, named Vauxhall/Opel Ampera in all it's glory in Germany. Set to debut in Geneva next week, the 5 door hatchback will be on sale by 2011. It'll be built in Ellesmere Port, England and is claimed the Ampera will be capable of returning upto 176mpg with CO2 emissions of under 40g/km. It will use the same Voltec plug-in hybrid system as the Volt. GM says that Voltec system has a 40 mile range from a single charge. A small petrol engine in the car which powers the generator will increase the range to about 500 miles. Recharging from a European 230-volt outlet is expected to take 2-3 hours.

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