We’ve found another hole in the sieve that is the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. And this time the hole is shaped like the Alfa Romeo MiTo GTA.
The MiTo is Alfa’s MINI-fighter and the GTA stands for something Italian meaning “faster and lighter”. Y’know, the usual hot hatch stuff.
The GTA, at least from this first picture, isn’t what I would call “pleasing to the eye”, especially when compared to timeless beauties such as the 8C Competizione. Which is a shame, because we all know that Alfa is capable of significantly better designs than what you see above.
More details on the unfortunately unsightly mini-Alfa after the jump.
Not content with waiting until Geneva, MINI themselves appear to have leaked photos and details on the 2010 JCW MINI Convertible. Unsurprisingly, it’s going to be powered exactly the same way the normal 2010 JCW MINI will be, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Just, maybe, a rather expensive thing. Still, they’re hardly going to have trouble finding people who want to motor happily in one of these. Follow the jump for MINI’s press release and a full and gorgeous gallery.
By all accounts, the VW GTI-based R20 looks to be stonking good fun. Unfortunately, it is just a rumour right now and is, at best, years away. The lime green beast you see above is the Euro Ford Focus RS and it entered production this week, albeit in Europe only. So not only is available today across the pond, but with Canada getting the Euro Fiesta and Euro Focus in the next year or so, a high-performance version can’t be far behind. It’s been years since Ford had a hot hatch competitor in North America to go up against VW, Mazda, and Mini so we are looking forward to some American-ish flavour. All the details on what we have to look forward to and a high-def gallery after the jump.
There have been a lot of great Fiat ads over the years, and it’s truly a pity that we can’t show you them all. Instead, we’ve chosen a handful to help you count down the days till you can have one to call your very own.
Spy shots of the Mini Crossman/Crossover/Maxi road tests in Finland have surfaced and BMW has come up with a thoroughly ridiculous looking camo job, which unfortunately works fairly well. Gazing past the black and yellow swirls we can make out a few details though. The front end is more blocky and rugged looking than the Crossover concept from Paris in September, and the big shiny grille appears to have been scrapped, but the rest looks close. More after the jump.
Not funny “ha ha”, more funny as in “interesting”. I wrote an article for no one but myself in July of 2008 that is funny when I look back on it now, and I think you’ll agree. At the time, gas prices were exorbitant and people were fearful or $2.00/L gas. As a result, sales of small cars were up and truck/SUV sales plummeted, at least that’s what I heard from the news. Alberta seemed oddly immune. The situation everywhere but Alberta undoubtedly compounded the impact of the worsening economy on the Domestic 3, who were and are reliant on truck/SUV sales for a significant portion of their revenue.
This having been said, no one could have predicted the failure of so many banks, insurance companies, newspapers, and automobile manufacturers even just 6 months ago. Take a walk with me in my time machine back to July, 2008. My how times have changed.
Since the LA Auto Show, the automotive world has been abuzz with news of BMW’s new MINI-E, which is set to launch in a limited test-fleet release in the New York City and Los Angeles metropolitan markets in 2009. Initial reports also stated that the MINI-E would be made available in Canada and later in Europe sometime further into 2009. As a brand that prides itself on having its finger on the pulse of what its loyal fanbase customers want, this is a crucial step for MINI, particularly while the state of the world automotive industry is very obviously undergoing some serious transformation.
However, it seems that the reports coming out of BMW have now changed somewhat. According to an AutoExpress posting, BMW have now said that they don’t intend to release the MINI-E as anything other than a limited test model, from which they hope to glean much useful data in order to power the future of both the BMW and MINI brands. This is due in large part to the lithium-ion power pack needed to power the MINI-E necessitating complete removal of the back seating area in the car. On larger BMW models, such as the 5 series and their SUV lines, it will be markedly easier to find someplace to stow the power-pack without sacrificing passenger and/or cargo space.
So which is it? The latter idea makes more sense, but it will be a shame if the technology doesn’t improve to the point where a mass-market MINI-E is possible.
Check out the “new” Mini Cooper Convertible (aka Cabrio)! Not only does it look exactly like the old one, but it’s 10% more expensive too! So what kind of changes has Mini employed to justify the price increase? A slight increase in horsepower, the use of a turbocharger instead of a supercharger, a 22lb weight reduction, a new rollbar, a top that can be lowered when driving at speeds up to 20 mph, and slightly larger cargo space. Most of these changes were on the regular Mini last year, and now it’s the Cabrio’s turn.
Seeing as how Mini had no problem selling its vehicles before the ultra-mild refresh, we suspect that the price increase is designed to milk the consumer. I mean, if they were going to buy in anyways, why not make a little more money?