Infiniti reveals the new Q30 Concept compact CUV at Frankfurt

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I was on hand in Germany this week at the 2013 Motor Show and snapped these photos of the all-new Infiniti Q30 Concept. Expectations are that this new concept car will be very close to the compact CUV that Infiniti will ultimately release.

The gold color really grabs your attention and the reveal came across as a big hit. The front end is very similar to the current design language we’re seeing from Infiniti, but the back end really stood out with the back window blending into the rear tail lights. The effect was very impressive.

I got shots from all angles so you can get a feel for the vehicle. The compact CUV market is very hot right now and the luxury brands are trying to grab their share as well, so it will be interesting to see how quickly Infiniti can get to a production model here.

“We are becoming the younger, trendsetting brand, more relevant and more exciting,” said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company, Ltd. “Infiniti Q50, and now the Q30 Concept, deliver on this promise.” Infiniti executives have been stressing the importance of design in the Infiniti strategy, and they are definitely pushing the envelope in an attempt to challenge the other luxury brands. It will be interesting to see if the buyer mix starts to skew younger. The company notes that “by the end of this decade, Gen X and Gen Y will represent 80 percent of buyers in the premium segment.”

The design of the Q30 is intended to create “a unique blend of features reminiscing of a coupe, a hatch and a crossover.” It definitely inspires a sporty vibe that should grab the attention of buyers looking for luxury and fun in their driving experience.

During the press conference de Nysschen was joined on stage by Sebastian Vettel, a 3-time Formula One world champion who has been assisting the company. He was presented with a special helmet to use in testing engineering prototypes of the future compact premium model, the first Infiniti model that he will have a role in influencing from its inception.


Ford Atlas Pickup Truck Concept at NAIAS

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One of the more memorable unveilings at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show was another monster pickup truck from Ford. The Ford Atlas Concept give us a look at the potential future if the flagship Ford F-150. To say that Ford was aiming for a muscular and rugged design would be an understatement. The front grille in particular stood out as particularly bold. The Atlas Concept also sports the next-generation EcoBoost engine.


Infiniti Etherea Concept at Pebble Beach Concours

Gerardo Orlando of checks out the Infiniti Etherea Concept at Pebble Beach!

I’ve seen tons of beautiful cars, old and new, this weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It’s an amazing celebration of the automobile, and this morning we found ourselves on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach as Infiniti introduced its Etherea Concept for the first time in North America. It was a little cloudy and chilly as you can see from the photos, but the view was spectacular. Tomorrow morning we’ll be back for the Concours as some amazing classic automobiles will be on display on the same spot.

The Etherea Concept is very impressive and is worthy of such a prestigious location for its introduction. I love the lines on this car, and the suicide doors punctuate the bold design. It’s clear from this vehicle and the JX Concept introduced yesterday that Infiniti will continue to be aggressive in its styling. The Etherea is an “exploration” of a future model so it will be interesting to see the final product, but they’re definitely headed in the right direction.

Check out the full gallery!


The Ralph Lauren Car Collection

Ralph Lauren shares his car collection in this video. As you might expect, he has some beautiful vintage autos.


The bold new look of the 2010 Jaguar XJ


As you can see from this photo, the 2010 Jaguar XJ is a gorgeous car. The company seems committed to bold, new designs, and even the official Jaguar web site is beautifully designed.

Reactions are coming in from the auto press. Car and Driver proclaims, “At last, a Jaguar XJ that doesn’t resemble the one that came before. And before. And before.”

Back in April, Jalopnik had this to say:

The current XJ, on sale since 42 AD, is a bloated attempt to pack modern luxury into an outdated design. If this shot is anything to go by, the 2010 Jaguar XJ isn’t. Hallelujah.

Jaguar released this image to coincide with the Shanghai Auto Show, but the car itself will actually be unveiled on the Queen’s soil on July 9th. Available with the pictured panoramic glass roof, a long or short wheelbase, A Europe-only V6 diesel or Jag’s usual selection of 5.0-liter V8s; the supercharged 2010 Jaguar XJR will produce 510 HP. Sales should start at the end of 2009.

The New York Times reported today on the unveiling of the new Jaguar today.

Jaguar has two emblems, and each is a version of its totemic animal. Their informal names, the Leaper and the Growler, suggest two aspects of the British company’s tradition. The Leaper is a long, lithe cat, usually seen as a hood ornament; it signifies feline grace. The Growler is a full-frontal cat face, its teeth bared aggressively; it represents raw power.

The Growler may be supplanting the Leaper at Jaguar, to judge from the company’s redesigned and radically different flagship sedan, the XJ, which was unveiled in London on Thursday.

The new XJ replaces a sedan — or saloon, as the British charmingly call it — whose basic shape had not changed since 1968. The old car’s proportions were like nothing else still on the road; it appeared as long and stately as its bloodline.

“The XJ completes the family,” Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director, said in a telephone interview before the unveiling. The big sedan carries out design themes that Mr. Callum introduced on the 2007 XK sports car and on the 2009 XF midrange sedan.

Jaguar also has a new owner, Tata Motors of India, which bought the marque, along with Land Rover, from Ford last year. Jaguar’s ill-fated venture into cheaper cars, with the X-Type line based on the Ford Mondeo, is history. And in recent years Jaguar has vastly improved its ratings in consumer quality and satisfaction surveys by J. D. Power & Associates and others.

The new sedan has a Growler, not a Leaper, on the front. “Aggressive” is the word Mr. Callum kept using to describe the design. “We want Jaguars to be noticed again,” he said.

Kudos to Tata Motors and Mr. Callum on an elegant but powerful design worthy of this great brand.