You won't see a lot of pickup trucks at the Geneva show. Crossovers and SUVs are represented a lot more there, but this year there are plenty of good ones to see. There are two special editions, the Infiniti EX Black Premium and the Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition, as well as a surprising electric hybrid SUV. You can also check out the next Tiguan. There is no shortage of concept vehicles at Geneva this year, including cool ones from Fiat, Mazda, and Ssangyong.

2011 Infiniti EX Black Premium

2011 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition

2012 Fiat Freemont

2012 Ford Ranger Wildtrek

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

Hyundai ix35 FCEV

Land Rover Range_e

Mazda Minagi Concept

SEAT Alhambra

SEAT IBX Crossover Concept

Ssangyong Sut1 Concept

Range Rover Evoque - Personalized

Volkswagen Bulli Concept

2012 Fiat Freemont

European Journey: Fiat Shows Dodge-Based Freemont Crossover
By Andrew Peterson

Plenty has been written about Fiat's technologies, platforms, and vehicles making their way into Chrysler's future portfolio, but the American automaker is also expected to contribute to Fiat's European offerings. Perhaps the first instance of this transfusion lies with the new 2012 Fiat Freemont -- a seven-seat crossover that's little more than a badge-engineered Dodge Journey.

The new Fiat Freemont, a rebadged Dodge Journey. Like the Lancias, the translation has been mostly cosmetic, though Fiat claims they’ve also reset the suspension tuning to European standards. The Freemont will launch in May with two MultiJet diesel engines driving the front wheels only through a six-speed manual transmission. One offers 140 horsepower, the other 170 horsepower. In October, the Freemont gets even less Italian with Chrysler’s Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic and all wheel-drive.

Predictably, the Freemont isn't worlds removed from its North American sibling. Styling revisions do help set it apart from the Journey, but are relegated mostly to the front sheetmetal. A new grille insert (which incorporates a large Fiat badge) and a rounded, lowered front fascia help lend the crossover a sportier look. In back, cosmetic revisions are relegated to a new taillamp design, along with a sleeker bumper fascia with integrated fog taillamps.

Changes beneath the sheetmetal, however, will be harder to spot. From what we've seen, the new Fremont will share its cabin with the updated 2011 Journey, and incorporate the same 8.4-inch touch screen infotainment display on most -- if not all -- trim levels.

When it comes to engine selections, however, the Freemont markedly differs from the Journey. Base front wheel-drive Freemont models receive a Fiat-sourced, 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo-diesel I-4 mated to a five-speed manual transmission. A 170-horsepower version of the same engine is optional, but those seeking all-wheel-drive are apparently forced into gasoline engines. A 170-horsepower, 2.0-liter I-4 is standard on Freemont AWD models, while Chrysler's 276-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 is optional. Fiat also promises the suspension tuning has been recalibrated to suit European tastes, but only time -- and a crack behind the wheel -- will verify that claim.

Why a Fiat-badged Journey? Product planners believe there's still an opportunity for a seven-seat crossover to succeed in Europe, but since the Dodge brand is no longer sold in European markets, the Fiat portfolio is arguably best suited for selling such a high-volume vehicle. Although the Freemont will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, expect production to begin at Chrysler's plant in Toluca, Mexico, later this summer.

2011 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition

By Andrew Peterson

Few would dare to suggest the new Range Rover Autobiography Edition isn't a luxurious vehicle, but those seeking further amenities may prefer the new 2011 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition, which will debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

Although based upon the current Autobiography trim level, Ultimate Edition models differ significantly aft of the B-pillars. A pair of adjustable bucket seats and a center console replace the standard three-passenger bench seat, while the console itself houses a drink cooler and a laptop table crafted from machined aluminum and Kalahari wood. The latter feature is perfect for holding a Bluetooth wireless keyboard, which can network with the Apple iPads embedded into the back of the front seats. If that isn't enough, the entire cargo area is finished with teak wood decking.

Like other Autobiography models, Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition models cosset passengers with semi-aniline leather seating, while Oxford leather adorns the door panels, dashboard, and steering wheel. Buyers can choose from either dark cherry or Arabica leathers, which are paired with machined aluminum and Kalahari wood trim accents.

When it comes to the exterior, the accoutrements are much less extensive. Buyers can choose from unique Roussilion Red, Otago Stone, or -- in select markets -- Santorini Black paint hues. Other touches include unique 20-inch diamond-turned aluminum wheels, a dark grille insert, and dark fender vents.

Abroad, the model will be available in both gas- and diesel-powered forms, but Ultimate Edition models destined for North America will only be fitted with a 510-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Pricing for U.S.-spec models hasn't been announced, but European versions are expected to sticker for nearly $209,000. Even at those prices, expect demand to outstrip supply - only 500 examples will be built, and Land Rover plans on selling them across 20 different markets.

Land Rover Range_e

Land Rover's Range_e development vehicle isn't quite ready for prime time. The test vehicle, based off a Range Rover Sport, is fitted with Land Rover's latest plug-in hybrid driveline. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 is mated with an electric motor, along with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Precise specifications on both the electric motor and the entire PHEV drivetrain are still under wraps, but the company does say the Range_e has an EV range of 20 miles. When combined with the diesel engine, the vehicle can travel 691 miles before replenishing both the fuel tank and battery pack.

The Range_e heading to Geneva is one of several working prototypes used by the company for PHEV development. Land Rover hasn't officially confirmed a version for production, but we wouldn't be surprised if a similar system eventually works its way into future Land Rover and Range Rover models.

Read the full Press Release below:

Land Rover Reveals Its First Fully Capable 4wd Plug-In Diesel Hybrid
• Range_e: Land Rover advanced plug-in hybrid diesel technology debuts at Geneva Motor Show
• Low emissions and exceptional fuel efficiency: Range_e capable of delivering 89g/km CO2 emissions and a fuel economy of 85mpg (3.36 l/100km)
• Electric range: over 20 miles (32km) range in all-electric EV mode
• Hybrid programme: Land Rover announces intention to launch first diesel-electric hybrid in 2013
• Land Rover 4WD capability: First fully capable 4WD plug-in hybrid diesel

Geneva, 1 March 2011 - Land Rover's on-going commitment to building vehicles that are more fuel and emissions-efficient reaches another milestone at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with the first presentation of the Range_e. This development model is equipped with an advanced plug-in hybrid diesel-electric powertrain that Land Rover expects to make available in future production models, following the scheduled launch of its diesel-electric hybrid in 2013.

Range_e is based on the Range Rover Sport and uses the current 245PS 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine, working with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a 69kW electric motor. Using a parallel hybrid system, with a 14.2kW/h lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from an external 240V power source, Range_e can be driven on electric power alone for more than 20 miles (32km), with zero harmful tailpipe emissions.

A full recharge from a standard domestic power supply can be accomplished in around four hours. Typically the majority of European car drivers cover less than 25 miles (40km) a day and therefore the EV range offered by this technology will support the majority of short urban journeys, where fuel economy and emissions are of prime concern. However, for longer journeys the diesel hybrid drivetrain will engage and continually optimise CO2 emissions.

Overall CO2 emissions are just 89g/km, yet Range_e has a maximum system output of 339PS and a top speed of around 120mph (193kph), delivering a fuel economy of 85mpg (3.36 l/100km). Improved fuel efficiency from the hybrid system makes 690 miles (1,112km) possible on a full tank of fuel.

Range_e is also engineered with the same full 4WD capability as the standard Range Rover Sport, with high and low range in the transmission, front and rear differentials and a mechanical locking centre differential. Dependant on the driver demand, the car's intelligent system decides the most efficient method to deliver the power required, whether this is by electric, diesel or both. The Range_e also features regenerative braking to capture energy usually wasted in heat energy via the brakes. This energy can then be redeployed to drive the vehicle, further reducing fossil fuel consumption.

John Edwards, Land Rover global brand director, said: "This system is the first example of a premium plug-in hybrid that also provides the full four-wheel-drive capability that you would expect from a Land Rover. It is an evolution of the production intent diesel-electric hybrid technology which will be launched in our next generation of SUVs and will be available for customers within the next two years."

Land Rover in Partnership with CABLED
The Range_e is one of a number of Land Rover projects supported by the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board and five prototype models are currently engaged in a test programme with Land Rover's fellow members of the CABLED - Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators - consortium. Land Rover anticipates its plug-in hybrid system will be brought to market in the near future, following on from the debut of its first standard diesel-electric hybrid models from 2013.

Pete Richings, chief engineer hybrids, said: "We started the Range_e fleet trial in December 2010 and we have so far covered 12,000 miles on the trial between the five test vehicles. We are gathering invaluable real world data that will enable us to refine the technology ahead of introducing a production vehicle."

Land Rover continues to recognise the need to work on all aspects of our CO2 footprint such as reducing weight, reducing mechanical losses and increasing powertrain efficiency and our hybrid technology represents one part of the research and development journey.

Jaguar Land Rover is committed to spending #800 million on environmental technologies and has targeted a 25 per cent reduction in its fleet average CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2012.

Source: Land Rover

Mazda Minagi Concept

Are you ready for a yet another compact CUV? Is the world? What if we phrased the question like this: do you need the packaging of a small crossover, but like the act and art of driving? If you answer yes, Mazda has a vehicle for you. Meet the Minagi (pronounced like Mr. Miyagi), the first Mazda to feature both the new Koda corporate design language and their new Sky Active technologies.

2011 Geneva: Mazda Minagi Concept Puts Mazda Design Back On Track imageWe’ve been loving the Koda-based and Rapide-lookin’ Shinari concept sedan since we first saw it. Likewise, the Minagi draws on that same language and the result is a sharp, crisp, athletic looking truckette. Is there a touch of Kia Sportage in the overall form, and Infiniti in the grille? Perhaps, but both cars are such a huge step forward from Mazda’s previous smiley-face format (Nagare) that metaphors escape us. Let’s just say Mazda wins the Most Improved award.

Sky Active technologies also get us excited. In essence, Mazda claims that Sky Active engines are more powerful and efficient, the transmissions are better at better at interpreting the driver’s intentions while being much more efficient, and the body structure and chassis are lighter yet stronger and more rigid. All of that sounds absolutely fantastic to us. And the Minagi? Look for the production version to show up at Frankfurt (with door handles!) and be called the CX-5.

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

By Evan McCausland

No, the revamped 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan won't officially be introduced until the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March, but that won't stop interested customers from buying them. VW revealed today that the first examples off the line are already rolling into German showrooms as we speak.

So, what's new for 2012? A new look, at least for the exterior. Designers have reworked the Tiguan's form to bring it in-line with recent Volkswagen design trends, leaving it looking like a 2011 Touareg in three-quarters scale. New headlamps with LED running lights smoothly flow into a slender, broad grille. In back, the compact SUV receives new tail lamp assemblies, complete with interesting L-shaped lenses, echoing those used on its big brother.

These modifications, however, appear to be simply skin deep. The new Tiguan's cabin appears to be a carbon-copy of the last model, although engineers have thrown in a streamlined HVAC control interface, along with a color information screen within the gauge cluster. Switchgear previously placed just above the shifter have been relocated, allowing room for a keyless ignition button.

Expect even fewer changes to permeate the engine compartment. VW has yet to announce U.S. specifications for the revamped Tiguan, but the European model appears to still be offered with at a turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4, along with the ubiquitous 2.0-liter turbo-diesel TDI I-4. We imagine U.S. models will continue to utilize the turbocharged 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter I-4 offered in today's model, although we'd love to see the TDI come stateside as a means to improve fuel economy (the EPA rates AWD models at 19/25 mpg city/highway).

U.S. pricing hasn't been announced, but seeing as the European model appears to avoid a price hike, expect the 2012 Tiguan to start near $24,540 when it arrives stateside later this year.

Ssangyong SUT1 Concept

These sketches preview the Ssangyong SUT1 concept, the latest chapter of the South Korean automaker's rejuvination and an evolution of the once popular Actyon Sports series. It will debut at the 2011 Geneva motor show.

According to Ssangyong, the SUT1 retains the 'essential characteristics of a traditional pick-up,' and combines these with more refined styling attributes, something the company believes is essential in this sector. The concept's DRG is dominated by the prominent grille and swept back headlights that sit atop the large air grille and visible under body protection. In side profile, the SUT mixes familiar SUV surfaces and details, even down to the DLO. The seemingly tacked on rear bed's load area is lined with ribbed wood, reminiscent of the Cadillac Escalade EXT.

Measuring 4985mm long, 1910mm wide and standing 1755mm high, the concept is similar in size to the current Actyon Sports. The rear bed size has not been announced, but with a wheelbase of 3060mm it should be ample.

The production version of the vehicle is not expected to go on sale before early 2012.

Source: GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW

2011 Infiniti EX Black Premium

Read the full press release below:

VIP Treatment All The Way With The Infiniti EX Black Premium

* Infiniti announces limited edition EX30d to be called the Black Premium
* Just 150 for sale across all of Europe – each coming with membership of Relais & Châteaux's Club 5C, usually available by invitation only
* The most comprehensive standard equipment level ever offered by Infiniti with the EX crossover
* Based on the EX30d GT Premium with the addition of standard Malbec Black metallic paint, 19 inch alloy wheels, graphite leather, Bose(R) sound system, sunroof and aluminium roof rails
* Priced at £45,671 … including one night with dinner and breakfast for two in a Relais & Châteaux hotel

ROLLE, Switzerland (January 20, 2011) – Demonstrating that where you go can be just as rewarding as how you get there, Infiniti's latest limited edition – the most seductive EX ever – comes with a VIP pass to a selection of the world's most beautiful hotels and restaurants.

Production of the EX30d Black Premium will be limited to 150 units to be shared among all of Infiniti's European markets. This exclusive car marries Infiniti's passion for luxury and performance with the passion for hospitality and fine cuisine that is Relais & Châteaux. In what could be the most unique automotive partnership of 2011, each owner of an EX Black Premium is automatically entitled to join the Relais & Châteaux Club 5C. Membership is otherwise by invitation only and the benefits simply cannot be bought.

THE GETTING THERE
Launched simultaneously across all of Infiniti's European markets, each 238 PS V6 diesel-powered Black Premium offers both a stunning drive and a spectacular way to arrive. Setting off its exclusive (for an EX) Malbec Black paint are 19-inch five double-spoke alloy wheels, sunroof and polished aluminium roof rails. The interior is just as special, with its Bose(R) sound system, graphite leather interior and highlights of aluminium and black lacquer.

Hailed as one of the world's first coupé crossovers, the Black Premium delivers everything the EX30d is known for including dashing looks, refinement, luxury and a class-leading 550 Nm of torque.

Based on the top-selling GT Premium, the Black Premium is comprehensively equipped as standard with an array of advanced technologies to top anything in the compact crossover class. Standard features include Around View Monitor, Intelligent Cruise Control, Scratch Shield paint, cornering xenon headlamps, Lane Departure Prevention and Blind Spot Warning as well as state of the art entertainment, navigation and communication systems.

THE STAYING OVER
As official automotive partner to Relais & Châteaux – a unique association of more than 500 of the world's greatest hotels and restaurants – Infiniti is proud to be able to offer EX Black Premium owners something that literally cannot be bought – membership, for two years, in the exclusive Relais & Châteaux Club 5C programme.

Created in 2004 as a way of sharing more of the Relais & Châteaux experience with its most loyal clients, these Relais & Châteaux "ambassadors" are looked after more like house guests than hotel customers.

Like Infiniti, the Club 5C is based on a philosophy of hospitality and in particular a passion to share some of the treasures behind the five key words – Courtesy, Charm, Character, Calm and Cuisine – at the heart of the Relais & Châteaux experience.

Each Relais & Châteaux hotel has its own individual take on offering 5C members some unique gift or "Discovery Privilege". Thus, the 5C member might create their own, customised scent in the Galimard studio, or visit the market with the chef to select the produce for lunch that day. They might enjoy a guided tour of the grounds from the head gardener, or be privy to cultural or historical insights on the property and the surroundings from the general manager.

It is on top of what 5C members can expect in every Relais & Châteaux establishment: a VIP welcome, personalised attention from a dedicated Concierge Service and invitations to exclusive events. Just what the Infiniti customer is already used to, in other words. And of course, every 5C member on arrival benefits from a room upgrade, availability permitting.

So that the 150 EX Black Premium owners can fully appreciate what the Club 5C offers, the first sumptuous night is on Infiniti. In fact each of the special EXs comes with a Lys d'Argent, valid for a double room for one night, dinner with drinks and breakfast for two people in one of more than 200 Relais & Châteaux hotels around the world.

From the grandest establishments in capital cities to spectacular rural or coastal retreats, the EX Black Premium driver's destination could be Europe – another excuse to take the EX for a drive then – or as far afield as Morocco. Or Mexico. Or French Polynesia.

With typical Infiniti attention to detail there's even a Relais & Châteaux guide in the glovebox to help owners decide where to enjoy their memorable stopover.

Available to order now, the EX Black Premium costs £45,671 ($74,019)

Source: Newspress Ltd (Subscription required)

Ford Ranger Wildtrek

ALL-NEW HIGH-TECH FORD RANGER WILDTRAK MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT IN GENEVA

• Range-topping Ford Ranger Wildtrak model revealed
• New engines include Dagenham's 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel
• Exceptional towing capability of up to 3350 kg and increased payload capacity
• Ranger Wildtrak among the most high-tech compact pickups with smart technologies such as Bluetooth Voice Control and Rear View Camera system
• Best-in-class water-wading capability of up to 800 mm and a ground clearance of up to 230 mm
• On sale in Britain in November 2011

GENEVA, 28 Feb, 2011 – The all-new Ford Ranger Wildtrak makes its global debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, a sporty compact pick-up that delivers impressive power and safety, excellent fuel efficiency and significant capability. It exudes a powerful presence bolstered by the latest in-car comfort and technologies.

Aiming to deliver class-leading safety, new Ranger utilities a whole suite of technologies, including Electronic Stability Program (ESP), to keep its wheels sturdily planted on the road under all conditions. Despite being an enormously capable vehicle, the Ranger is also fitted with technologies such as satellite navigation and Bluetooth® voice control, more commonly found on premium or luxury cars.

Building on Ranger’s long-standing heritage of capability, the all-new model extends Ford’s credibility further, with selected European versions achieving a best-in-class towing capacity of 3350 kg.

New from the ground up – with everything changed except its name – new Ranger is the first commercial vehicle to be built under the One Ford strategy as part of a global product programme, bringing together the full engineering expertise of Ford around the world.

Designed and developed in Australia, Ranger will be offered as a complete family of compact pick-ups with three different cab body styles, 4x2 and 4x4 drive trains, two ride heights and up to four series choices to suit every pocket and market. It will be produced in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina for more than 180 markets worldwide.

Ranger Wildtrack styling
The aggressive and sporty stance of the new Ranger line-up is enhanced for the range-topper, Wildtrak. There is a unique colour split on the front and designers masked out the feature line on the fascia and contrasted it by highlighting the lower intake. The same accent colours were used on the side mirrors, door handles and side air vents to give the vehicle a dark sporty look.

“Wildtrak's aggressive look and bold new graphics are a perfect fit for those who appreciate a sporty and more expressive image. It will look fantastic transporting the latest quad bike or jet ski for their weekend getaways,” said Craig Metros, chief designer of the all-new Ranger.

Sitting high on 18-inch alloy wheels, the Wildtrak also comes with a roof rack and a sports hoop which enhance its profile. Exclusive Wildtrak badging and graphics help to set it apart from other lifestyle vehicles.

Car-like levels of comfort and features
The purposeful interior of the Wildtrak echoes the dark sporty look of the outside. A special hydrographic finish on the centre console around the audio is reminiscent of strong but lightweight materials like carbon fibre.

The seat trim – a combination of leather and woven cloth inspired by sportswear with ventilated sections – provides lateral support and confidence even on rough terrain. Contrast stitching and a discreet strip on the seat upper and bolster, all in distinctive Wildtrak Orange, accentuate the premium feel of the interior.

The cabin of Ranger has been stretched to provide segment-leading spaciousness and comfort. Three passengers can easily fit in the second row of the Wildtrak, for instance. It offers ample knee room and better foot clearance between the B-pillar and the seat. This means that getting in and out of the new Ranger is easier than ever for rear-seat passengers.

With 23 storage spaces in the cabin, Ranger offers more practical stowage than any competitor. A deep centre console bin will keep up to six cans of beverage cool, while the glove box is large enough to accommodate a 16-inch laptop computer. Ample storage for mobile phones and other small items can be found in the console.

Also poised to be a leader in innovation, Ranger Wildtrak comes with Bluetooth®audio streaming, USB and iPod connectivity. There is voice control over the radio, CD, iPod, USB, air-conditioning and phone. It also offers a five-inch colour screen with satellite navigation.

More power, more torque
There is a choice of two state-of-the-art common-rail Ford Duratorq TDCi diesels and new fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions that serve up more power and torque.

The new, Dagenham-built, 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel delivers peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 150 PS, whilst a highly responsive and efficient new 3.2-litre 5-cylinder diesel produces a powerful 470 Nm of torque is power rated at 200PS. Both new powertrains have been developed and refined to deliver excellent fuel economy that is among the best in class. Fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank, Ranger is also expected to have one of the longest ranges in its segment.

New Ranger also features smart Ford technologies such as Adaptive Automatic Mode, which adapts gear shifts according to driving style and Grade Control Logic, which automatically downshifts when driving downhill and the brake pedal is depressed. This feature prevents the transmission from changing to a higher gear.

Source: Ford Motor Company

SEAT Alhambra

(read the full press release below)

DEBUT FOR ALL-WHEEL DRIVE SEAT ALHAMBRA

• MPV becomes even more versatile with all-wheel drive
• Impressive dynamics combined with excellent comfort
• Progressive bodyshell concept with sliding doors and five or six seats

The SEAT Alhambra - an acknowledged leader among today's full size people carriers and already crowned Whar Car? MPV of the Year in the UK - is now even more versatile thanks to the addition of four-wheel drive.

Making its public debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the new Alhambra 4WD is even more versatile, flexible and capable thanks to its permanent all-wheel drive.

Offered with a 140 PS 2.0 TDI powerplant and six-speed manual transmission, the extension to the already comprehensive Alhambra line-up adds a whole new range of travel possibilities for families, leisure and business drivers.

From the outset, SEAT's new MPV has claimed a top spot in its segment thanks to its practical bodyshell concept, maximum flexibility, innovative use of technology and outstanding efficiency. These features are backed up by exceptionally high quality build quality, great value pricing and a premium feel that comfortably exceeds expectations in the MPV sector.

Greater dynamics and traction
This summer will see the new Alhambra 4WD join the SEAT line-up in showrooms - and with its permanent all-wheel drive, this version offers a major benefit in traction on every road surface and in every situation.

Driving safety and mobility in the face of wintry road conditions are boosted every bit as much as its performance as a towing vehicle. At the same time, the next-generation, electronically controlled all-wheel drive is set up for optimum driving dynamics. Thanks to the sophisticated design of its carefully tuned chassis, the SEAT Alhambra stays true to the spirit of the brand by delivering a surprising level of sporty driving fun - something not usually associated with MPVs. Yet the Alhambra's dynamism doesn't come at the expense of long-distance comfort.

The all-wheel drive system smoothly and quickly adapts the distribution of torque in line with the driving situation. Key to the system is an electronically controlled and hydraulically operated multi-plate clutch. To further improve the already excellent axle load distribution, the multi-plate clutch is mounted at the end of the drive shaft in front of the rear axle differential - which is also a re-engineered, extremely compact and highly robust component.

Next-generation hi-tech design
Running in an oil bath inside the central clutch is a disc set that can be pressed together in a continuously variable fashion using regulated hydraulic pressure. A control unit constantly analyses the driving conditions and, in the event that the front wheels slip, an electrically driven annular piston pump immediately builds up the oil pressure necessary for the clutch to divert a proportion of the driving force to the rear wheels. Thanks to a high-performance pressure accumulator, this process takes just a matter of milliseconds.

Powerful performance and excellent economy
The SEAT Alhambra 4WD is equipped with a 2.0 TDI 140 PS diesel engine and manual six-speed transmission. These combine to deliver a potent mix of powerful performance and excellent efficiency.

The car is capable of 119 mph (191 km/h) and can sprint from rest to 62 mph in only 11.4 seconds. Meanwhile, the frugal TDI offers 47.1 mpg on the combined cycle (6.0 litres per 100 km) equating to a CO2 figure of just 158 g/km*. Naturally the Ecomotive package, with brake energy recovery and automatic start/stop, has a major role to play in these figures. The MPV is also equipped with an SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction) - placing it among the world's cleanest diesels.

Deliverable as either a five- or six-seater
In its home market the SEAT Alhambra 4WD will be offered as a five-seater in Reference and Style versions. The comprehensive standard equipment and many hi-tech options are identical to those offered on models with front-wheel drive.

Towards the end of the year, the Alhambra 4WD will also be available with six generous individual seats. This 2+2+2 seating arrangement further enhances the premium character of the Alhambra.

No decision has yet been made over whether right-hand drive versions of the new Alhambra 4WD will be offered for sale in the UK.

*All figures are provisional and subject to homologation.

Source: SEAT

SEAT IBX Crossover Concept

(Read the full press release below.)

GENEVA 2011: STUNNING SEAT IBX CROSSOVER CONCEPT UNVEILED

• Urban sports utility vehicle for an active lifestyle
• New SEAT design DNA combines SUV and sports coupe
• Conceived for an advanced hybrid powertrain application
• Possible expansion of the SEAT product portfolio

SEAT is continuing the ambitious development of its new design DNA with the unveiling at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show of the new SEAT IBX concept car.

This stunning urban sports utility vehicle concept combines the powerful character and sporty design language of the Spanish brand with a self-confident look and distinctive proportions.

The SEAT IBX also boasts exceptional utility and outstanding versatility, as well as sustainable mobility through resource conservation. Its drive would come from an advanced hybrid powertrain that combines local zero-emissions electromobility in the city with the extensive cross-country range of an internal combustion engine.

In laying the groundwork for SEAT's innovative new design language, the compact IBE electric sports coupe from last year met with enormous positive feedback. The IBX now demonstrates the evolutionary development of this new genetic code from SEAT Design in a completely different vehicle architecture - an exciting crossover between SUV and sports coupe.

The sporty alternative in the SUV segment
Measuring 4.26 metres long, the SEAT IBX expands Europe's extremely successful compact SUV segment with a dynamic and unique design alternative. And with its combination of compact dimensions and wide-ranging versatility, the IBX is the perfect fit for an active lifestyle in urban areas.

James Muir, President of SEAT, S.A. said: 'With the IBX, we are once again demonstrating just how intensively we are working on the renewal of the SEAT brand, and how determined we are to develop for the future.

'The IBX represents the values of the SEAT brand perfectly - with its unique design, its youthful energy and its outstanding sustainability as a result of its hybrid drive concept. Even though a decision has yet to be taken, we could certainly envisage the IBX as a future expansion of our product portfolio.'

Design - pure precision and sporting finesse
Following the IBE from 2010, the IBX offers a further, extremely promising insight into the ongoing development of the SEAT Design world. The pure forms, the precise lines and the exact surfaces of the IBX convey the same distinctive design language that, in its modernity, sustains and strengthens the SEAT identity.

As the first evolution of this new design line, the IBX demonstrates just how well this design language works in combination with a completely different vehicle architecture and significantly larger dimensions. In its proportions, the IBX is a sports utility vehicle, but in its appearance it is clearly a sports coupe - it is hard to imagine a more accurate expression of the word 'crossover'.

'The IBX was created from the gene pool of our next vehicle generation. This design DNA will have a profound impact on every one of our models,' said SEAT Chief Designer Luc Donckerwolke.

'With this urban sports utility vehicle we are proving that with our design, our sporty pedigree and our youthful character, we can also create a vehicle concept that is unique among SUVs.'

Compact format with powerful proportions
At a length of 4.26 metres, the SEAT IBX is relatively compact. However, its width of 1.80 metres and height of 1.62 metres ensure powerful proportions. And even though the IBX possesses the full versatility and utility of an SUV, with its two doors, stretched roofline and distinctive rear roof pillar it forms the perfect crossover between sports utility vehicle and classic sports coupe.

The front of the SEAT IBX is defined by full LED technology headlamps that are as sophisticated as they are distinctive. They display the characteristic V that is a hallmark of the SEAT arrow design. The entire front end bears this arrow shape, with radiator grille and bonnet also picking up the V-form.

The surfaces above the wheel arches are clearly accentuated in their lines like carefully toned, sinuous muscle. Equally distinctive are the air intakes low down on the front end and featuring integrated fog lamps - their wide positioning reinforces the impression of width and power.

Meanwhile the side view of the IBX emphasises its powerful stature - a clearly defined shoulder, the powerful, three-dimensional flanks and the sharply differentiated surfaces underscore the dynamic look, as do the large wheels featuring an aerodynamic five twin-spoke design. Typical of SEAT are the two distinctive scores that run from the front wheel arch into the door and over the rear wheel arch.

The length of the stretched roofline is further emphasised by the rear spoiler and the narrow horizontal of the glass surfaces along the sides, with the distinctive, trapezoidal roof pillar creating an impression of exceptional solidity. The sharply cut exterior mirror is mounted on the door, as on a sports car. Sharp precision is also evident in the slender, recessed door openers.

The rear end adopts the characteristic form of the front and reinterprets it. The rear lights in LED light-guide technology and the rear windscreen with its additional angle in the centre also bear the arrow motif, while the suggestion of a diffuser beneath the bumper surface derives its form from the front air intakes.

Importantly the entire vehicle bears no extraneous ornamentation. Every single line has the function of structuring the volume and surfaces of the car, each of the muscles emerging from the form emphasising the sporty design. The reduction of form consistently applied and the precision in every detail are fixed features of the SEAT Design philosophy.

Concept - flexible mobility with responsibility
The modern, young lifestyle has many facets; offering endless options for job and leisure time, for friends and family. However, as a partner in mobility, the car must be just as multi-faceted. In response, the IBX has the perfect format - it boasts plenty of interior space and the variability to meet all requirements, yet it remains agile and compact enough to fit the bill on the streets and parking spaces of an urban area. And this is where a vehicle height of 1.62 metres with its suitably lofty seating position is invaluable. Particularly in dense urban traffic it delivers enormous benefits in terms of visibility, leading to greater safety.

The powertrain concept is perfect for the mobility requirements of an urban area, while meeting personal expectations of freedom. The vehicle, with its electric range of 45 kilometres, can cover many everyday journeys - with zero local emissions and sustainable responsibility. And yet its range is not limited. Personal freedom is always guaranteed and unlimited mobility supplied courtesy of the internal combustion engine.

Possible combustion engine candidates are the state-of-the-art direct injection TDI and TSI engines from the modern SEAT line-up. And, of course, the IBX is equipped with all the efficiency technologies from the Ecomotive programme. In its base configuration, the IBX is set up for front wheel drive. However, a modern 4WD system might be an option for further enhanced mobility.

Source: SEAT

Volkswagen Bulli Concept

Back in 1950, Volkswagen engineers called it the Transporter 1, or T1. Americans later called it the Microbus. But Germans always labeled it the Bulli, and in 2011, the Bulli is back. This time, however, no fossil fuel-fed mill can be found under the rear hatch.

The six-passenger Bulli concept you see here is a reinterpretation of a reinterpretation. At the 2001 Detroit Auto Show, VW rolled out its first Microbus concept powered by a 3.2-liter V-6. Nowadays, priorities have changed, and the internal combustion engine is replaced by an 85 kilowatt electric motor with 199 pound-feet of torque.

A 40-kilowatt-hour battery cell resides under the flat floor and can propel the 3190-pound, front-wheel-drive bus to 62 mph from a standstill in 11.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 87 mph. Engineers say the new Bulli can travel 186.4 miles on a single charge - far more than the Nissan Leaf's claimed 100-mile range. A full charge can be had in an amazing 60 minutes when it's plugged into the correct power outlet (what voltage outlet was not specified).

The front hatch was constructed to accommodate a multitude of Volkswagen mills, including 1.0-liter and 1.4-liter gas or diesel direct-injection engines. So those wanting some classic gasoline powered fun could theoretically have it if the Bulli hits production lines.

Designers wanted to stay true to Ben Pon's original bus design by maintaining simplicity. Blunt ends with short overhangs define the vehicle, as do extra-large badges and wide windows that allow a multitude of light inside.

The cabin space continues on as a simple environment. Two bench seats can be folded in a variety of ways, or if need be, the entire rear bench can be completely stowed. An iPad serves as the main passenger interface and controls entertainment, Bluetooth, and navigation functions.

So we have to ask: Do you want the Bulli back?

Hyundai ix35 FCEV

Hyundai showcased the latest products to be developed under its Blue DriveTMsub-brand, further demonstrating the company’s efforts to minimise its global corporate environmental impact. The ix35 FCEV is Hyundai’s third-generation fuel cell electric vehicle that includes a 55% improvement in driving range, a 15% increase in fuel efficiency and an 80% reduction in manufacturing costs compared to the previous generation. These enhancements help the SUV to cover 650 kilometres on a single charge.

Range Rover Evoque - Personalized

Geneva, 1 March 2011 - The exciting all-new Range Rover Evoque - the smallest, lightest, most fuel efficient Range Rover ever produced - brings its stylish personalisation options to life at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

The coupe and 5-Door models on display highlight the Range Rover Evoque's vast array of personalisation options, which gives every customer the opportunity to tailor their Evoque to suit their lifestyle. A huge number of colour and feature combinations are available, such as contrasting roof colours and beautifully crafted designer interiors.

As the Evoque gears up for its sales launch, there is a growing buzz amongst prospective buyers who have been seduced by the car's bold and radical approach.

Much of this awareness stems from Range Rover's 'Pulse of the City' campaign, which links a worldwide audience via a series of interactive events and social media activities.

The campaign features contributions from over 40 'City Shapers', leading influencers from fashion, design, music and film, who are based in major cities around the globe.

"The all-new Range Rover Evoque has received an overwhelming reception following its public debuts in Paris and Los Angeles," said Land Rover's global brand director John Edwards. "Many prospective buyers are customers who have not considered Land Rover before, and yet are excited by the unique design, premium technologies and compact size that the Evoque offers."

Tempting array of options
Customers can tailor their Range Rover Evoque with a tempting array of design, trim and technology options, so that each car meets its customer's own taste and lifestyle.

The choices range from designer exterior packs, contrasting colours on the roof and spoilers, immaculately-trimmed designer interiors, and a range of desirable technologies to maximise comfort and enjoyment on board.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover design director said: "Customers like to make their own unique statement with a vehicle and we have provided individuals with lots of opportunity to personalise their new Range Rover Evoque, whilst maintaining the essence of the design.

"The options on offer are spectacular and customers can use our 'designers choice' to guide their selection, with carefully co-ordinated colour and material combinations that have their own distinctive character," he added.

Three design themes
Uniquely in the compact SUV segment, the Range Rover Evoque allows customers to specify a lavishly appointed cabin, with soft, premium leather and beautifully tailored, twin-needle stitching providing a luxurious finish to almost every surface of the instrument panel, doors and seats.

Rather than using a traditional trim hierarchy, the Range Rover Evoque gives customers the choice of three design themes: the cool and contemporary 'Pure', the luxurious 'Prestige', and the bold and sporting 'Dynamic'.

Customers can further tailor these themes with different designer interiors, option packs, standalone and accessory items, providing even more freedom to specify the car of their choice.

Total choice
Even just considering the appearance related items, the scope of options includes:

• 12 exterior colours
• three contrasting roof colours
• seven alloy wheel designs, from 18-inch to 20-inch
• 16 tailored designer interiors
• four metal finishers and two contemporary wood veneers
• three interior headliner colours
• illuminated aluminium and chrome tread plates
• full-sized fixed panoramic glass roof
• black or chrome roof rails

To complement these items there is a vast range of comfort and convenience technologies to choose from, such as the sensational 825W Meridian surround sound system, the innovative Dual-View touchscreen display, TV, rear seat entertainment, an advanced Park Assist automated parking system and powered tailgate.

Owners can also choose from a very broad selection of official Range Rover accessories. The accessory range includes exterior and interior styling, together with a comprehensive choice of practical loading and towing items.

Most of the items were developed specially for the Range Rover Evoque, from bright side protection sill tubes and sports pedals, to roof-mounted carrier systems and a full towing kit, including tow hitch mounted bicycle carriers.

Versatile luggage stowage systems are made possible with the addition of loadspace stowage rails. A strap with an Inertia locking reel, which works in a similar way to a seat belt, is one feature which prevents movement of items in the luggage area.

Source: Land Rover