Auto News and Geneva Auto Show Preview – Feb. 24

  A Geneva Auto Show Preview

Starting March 4th, the attention of the auto world shifts to Geneva where major automakers will compete for headlines by unmasking some new and imagined products.

Hyundai-PassoCorto

As previewed here earlier, McLaren will reveal a new supercar, the MP4-12 650S, while Hyundai will debut the PassoCorto, its answer to the Kia Stinger that turned heads in Detroit. It is said to be a two-seater about the size of the Alfa 4C and should heat up the rumor mill that Hyundai-Kia is serious about producing a sports car. The Hyundai is pictured above.

Audi TTAudi S3 Cabriolet

Audi’s new look TT coupe will catch a lot of attention, with the release of some drawings as to what it may look like. It will also show off an S3 Cabriolet.

Volkswagen will brag about a plug-in hybrid Golf GTE.

The 2015 Lexus RC 350 will dominate that company’s Geneva offerings. Reports indicate it will slot between the RC 350 coupe and the RC F performance model.

2015 MB S-Class coupe

Mercedes will talk up its 2015 S-Class Coupe with a rather awesome 5.5-liter, 577 horsepower biturbo V8 among the power options.

Concept cars are expected from Mazda and Subaru among others and who knows how many other surprises will light up the night.

2015 Ford Focus

Ford has unveiled the 2015 Focus with a redesign that echoes other recent company products. It will offer a standard review camera, and available lane-keeping system and Blind Spot Information System. Ford displayed the new model at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It will be offered with 1.0-liter EcoBoost three cylinder engine tied only to a six-speed manual transmission. Four and five door versions will be sold here Look for it in showrooms in the second half of this year.

Autoweek hints that Mazda is considering production of a new RX-7. It said work is being conducted on a new rotary engine, and at least preliminary design studies are being worked out. But here is the catch. It says a business case has not been made for the car, and that could be the death knell since the bean counters hold a lot of power. My guess is that Mazda may well go ahead with the new RX, but not until the market has been established for the updated Miata. The new two-seater, reports indicate, may appear at the Chicago Auto Show next year.

What country comes to mind if I ask you which one imports more cars to this country than any other? New research shows that in the not too distant future Mexico will be number one ahead of Japan and Canada. Honda just opened a new plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, that will bang out its subcompact Fit model. Automakers have found that it is cheaper to make cars in Mexico than Canada.

It is bye-bye Microsoft and hello Blackberry for Ford. The Detroit News reports that Ford will use Blackberry to update its much criticized Sync system this year or in 2015. Blackberry’s QNX system is already in BMW and Audi models. Nothing official yet from Ford, Microsoft or Blackberry.

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