• Next Infiniti Q50 to produce 450hp?

    February 15, 2015

    The next-generation Infiniti Q60 luxury coupe will reportedly gain some serious horsepower.

    The successor to the G35 and G37 coupes was unveiled in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show last month, where it was revealed that it would pack a twin-turbo 3.0L direct-injection V6.

    Now, a report from AutoGuide claims that an Infiniti spokesman speaking anonymously at the Canadian International Auto Show has given the new engine a starting power rating of an astonishing 400hp, besting the current naturally aspirated 3.7L by a whopping 70hp.

    What’s more, that is merely the figure for the entry level model. The spokesman says a second version of the Q60 with more aggressive horsepower will produce 450hp, which would make it a serious contender against road hammers like the BMW M4 and Lexus RC F.

    In a separate finding, Jalopnik reports that another Infiniti spokesman has confirmed that this engine will be an in-house developed mill, rather than — as has been rumored — use an engine supplied by partner Mercedes-Benz.

    Packaged within the well-received skin of the Q60 Concept shown in Detroit, this could provide Nissan’s luxury division with some serious performance cred. The Q60 is expected to hit showrooms in 2016.

    Live images by Brian Williams.

  • SEAT launches Leon SC Cupra Ultimate Sub8 Performance Pack

    February 15, 2015
    Volkswagen’s Spain-based SEAT division has launched a new option package for the Leon SC Cupra hot hatch dubbed Ultimate Sub8 Performance Pack. The range-topping Leon is the fastest regular-production car that SEAT has ever built.
    Designed to hit the track, cars ordered with the Ultimate Sub8 Performance Pack lose the A/C unit in favor of a simpler heater, four speakers, the front arm rest, the storage boxes under the front seats and the rear air vents. The package brings lightweight 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels available in either black or orange, body-colored side skirts and Brembo brakes.

    Performance Pack buyers can order their Leon with semi-slick Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires at an extra cost.

    The pack does not bring any mechanical modifications. The Leon SC Cupra is powered by a Volkswagen-sourced 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder engine that sends 280 horsepower to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional dual-clutch DSG unit. The Cupra 280 can reach 62 mph from a stop in less than 5.7 seconds and reach an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

    Available the order now, the Ultimate Sub8 Performance Pack adds £4,200 (nearly $6,500) to the base price of a Leon SC, bumping the total price to £31,410 (a little over $48,000) when the hatchback is ordered with a six-speed manual transmission.

  • Geneva preview: Citroen Berlingo Mountain Vibe concept

    February 15, 2015
    Citroën will travel to next month’s Geneva Motor Show to introduce a close-to-production concept car called Berlingo Mountain Vibe.
    Based on the existing Berlingo Multispace people-mover, the Mountain Vibe concept gains an outdoorsy appearance thanks to features like roof rails, faux brushed aluminum trim on the bumper, a slightly raised ground clearance and black plastic trim over the wheel arches. It immediately stands out from its regular-production counterpart thanks to a Mountain Green paint job accented by pink graphics that represent a topographical map.

    Interior pictures were not published but Citroën promises that the five individual seats are upholstered with gray fabric that is accented by pink contrast stitching. The Mountain Vibe concept is equipped with a panoramic sunroof.

    Similarly, technical details are being kept under wraps until the show car is presented in Geneva. The regular-production Berlingo Multispace is available with a long list of three- and four-cylinder gasoline- and diesel-burning engines. Most engines are linked to a five-speed manual transmission that spins the front wheels, and all-wheel drive is not available from the factory.

    Citroën has already confirmed that the Berlingo Mountain Vibe concept will spawn a production car but a timeframe for when to expect the rugged people-mover was not given.