April 24th, 2012 at 11:30am
The Lamborghini crossover goes from sketch to reality in Beijing. Honda reveals a duo of concepts that it thinks are “cool” and “smart.” Jaguar and Land Rover move toward powertrain independence with a new 3.0-liter V-6. All that and more, plus a walk around the newly refreshed Ford Flex.
Hello again, and welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily! It’s Tuesday the 24th of April, 2012. And we’re glad you could join us today. I’m Craig Cole and there’s a lot of news to get through, so we’d better get rollin’.
A WHOLE LOTTA BULL
Last week we showed you an artist’s rendition of the Lamborghini Urus crossover. I’m sure pronouncing it wrong but it’s apparently named after a breed of Spanish bull. Anyway, the company just made everything official at the Beijing Auto Show. According to Autoblog this 4×4 beast should hit the road sometime in or around 2015. Whenever it does make it to market the company expects to sell around 3,000 per year – half of those in the United States. The price tag should exceed 200-grand. A magnum-caliber V-10 or V-12 under the hood seems logical. As you’d expect, large parts of the Urus will be constructed out of weight-saving carbon fiber. All I can say is I am super excited about this reveal. It’s just what the market needs . . . ANOTHER CROSSOVER! And one practically nobody can afford. But it gets better. Word on the web is that this baby is part of a premium SUV offensive from the Volkswagen Group, so stay tuned for more.
HONDA CONCEPT COMBO
Not to be outdone, Honda revealed a couple concepts in China as well – two small cars that feature pretty wild designs. First up, the Concept C, which is arguably the crazier looking of the two. Here “C” stands for “Cool,” “Challenge” and “China,” if you were curious. It’s a design study for a middle-class sedan specifically targeting the People’s Republic. Hopefully they tone it down a little bit because this thing is just a little too much. Next up, the Concept S is a “new-value” passenger vehicle featuring a hybrid drivetrain. The “S” supposedly represents “Stylish,” “Smart” and “Surprise.” Anyway, what do you think about these two Honda concepts? Let us know in the comments right below.
SAY “SYLPHY,” THINK “SENTRA”
Nissan also had some goods to show off in Beijing. The Sylphy is a small car that will launch in China, though it is basically the next-generation Sentra. It’s powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that’s matched to Nissan’s latest Xtronic CVT – a continuously vexing transmission. On the bright side though, it will wring the most out of every drop of fuel. Overall the cleanly styled Sylphy looks like a smaller version of the Altima that was just revealed at the New York Auto Show, and that is not a bad thing.
FIAT VIAGGIO IN BEIJING
First came the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, then Chrysler used that platform for the Dodge Dart, and as fate would have it, Fiat is reclaiming the architecture to come out with the Viaggio, which just debuted in Beijing. This will be the first sedan Fiat builds in China. It will be offered with just one engine – a 1.4-liter turbo – BUT it will come in two different horsepower ratings – 120 or 150. The Viaggio goes on sale later this year.
POWERTRAIN INDEPENDENCE (subscription required)
When Ford sold off Jaguar and Land Rover it promised to keep selling them engines through 2018. But clearly the British brands would like to have that area covered on their own. Taking a step toward powertrain independence they just announced a new 3.0-liter V-6 engine. It’s supercharged, boasts all-aluminum construction and is derived from the company’s 5.0-liter V-8. It also benefits from direct fuel injection, variable cam timing and stop-start technology. Two versions are planned, one belting out 340 horsepower and another with 380. Look for this bent-six to debut on the F-Type two-seat roadster next year.
After the break we’ll take a peek at the updated version of one of the most distinctive vehicles in Ford’s lineup
(Our walkaround of the 2013 Ford Flex is only available in the video version of today’s program.)
The Flex has always been a terrific crossover, if a slow seller. Part of the reason it hasn’t been a sales hit is that it’s so expensive. The base price is about $32,000! Still, the changes Ford has made for 2013 only make it more appealing. If you’re in the market and don’t mind the design give the Flex a look-see, you won’t be disappointed.
And that’s a wrap for today’s show. Thank you so much for watching, we hope you enjoyed it. Before I sign off, check out the latest episode of RoundAbout. It just went live on our website, Autoline.tv, and of course you can also access it via iTunes, Stitcher or wherever else other fine podcasts are found. Do check it out. Anyway, that’s it for now, John McElroy should be back in the driver’s seat tomorrow. We’ll see you then!