Bentley Continental Supersports | 2009 Geneva Auto Show |

MORE GENEVA AUTO SHOW @ INSIDELINE.COM: Just when you thought you'd heard the last of E85 ethanol, here comes Bentley with its alcohol-burning 2010 Continental Supersports. In this one way, this 621-horsepower matte-white terror is like a Chevy Tahoe. Otherwise, not so much. Now we suppose that if you've got the jingle to buy an example of this fastest and most powerful Bentley model ever, then you could probably afford to have someone deliver the E85 by the tanker truck to your garage. Otherwise, it won't be easy to find the stuff. Fear not, as the car's W12 engine will make the same horsepower running on regular old premium gasoline, too. Either way, Bentley says that while the Supersports will be available worldwide this fall, cars for the North American market won't be FlexFuel capable until the summer of 2010, following regulatory approval. The first several hundred U.S.-market cars will officially be gas only. Why did Bentley bother with all the ethanol stuff if the car can make the same power on gas? It's the first step in Bentley's plan to make its entire range compatible with renewable fuels by 2012. This should reduce the CO2 output of its fleet and deflect at least a little of the criticism that comes when you produce cars that deliver only 13 mpg in the city. Anyway, the car - it's fast. The company estimates it'll do zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds and top out at 204 mph. That's no small feat for a vehicle that weighs 2.5 tons. The Speed model, says Bentley, will get to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and top out at 202 mph. Though the Supersports has gone up in power with its turbocharged 6.0-liter W12, it has gone down in weight, dieting 243 pounds compared to the now totally slow-in-comparison Continental GT Speed. That's thanks to lightweight 20-inch wheels, standard carbon-ceramic brakes (which, despite being utterly massive at 16.5 inches across up front and 14 inches in the rear, save 44 pounds compared to conventional brakes), lightweight carbon-fiber sport seats and a few other things. Despite all of this, the Supersports will weigh in at about 5,000 pounds. The ZF six-speed automatic has been modified to shift 50 percent quicker than the standard box. The all-wheel-drive system now comes with a rear-biased torque split (40 percent front/60 percent rear compared to 50/50 for the Speed model). The suspension has been retuned with new dampers and antiroll bars. The standard Continental body has been modified to accommodate a 2-inch-wider rear track and suck 10 percent more air into the engine. The Supersports comes with four unique paint options - two pearlescent and two matte - and is finished with "smoked steel" trim in place of chrome. Inside, the Supersports two-seater is slathered with carbon fiber and Alcantara synthetic suede trim. Pricing hasn't been set for the Supersports yet, but figure about $250,000 or a little more than 20 percent higher than a Speed model. Bentley reckons it can sell about 250 Supersports at this price in the U.S. in a year.

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Curious Mitsu: Mitsubishi iMiev Sport Air @ 2009 Geneva Auto Show
MORE GENEVA AUTO SHOW @ INSIDELINE.COM: shi-imiev-sport-air-concept.html Mitsubishi iMiEV Sport Air concept will make its world debut at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show. The latest in Mitsubishi's electric iMiEV series, the Sport Air is designed to show how an electric car can be fun to drive and environmentally friendly. It even gets a tidy tagline that sums it all up: drive@earth. Get it? Makes no sense to us either.

Chevy Spark | 2009 Geneva Auto Show |
Chevrolet will roll out its Spark minicar on the world stage at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show. The production model was inspired by the Beat concept, one of a trio that made the auto-show circuit starting in 2007. The production Beat gets a choice of 1.0- and 1.2-liter 16-valve engines for the Europe market and comes with electronic stability control and ABS. The five-door hatchback measures a diminutive 143.3 inches in overall length on a 93.5-inch wheelbase. Inside, the steering-column-mounted instrument cluster is said to be "motorcycle inspired" and combines analog and digital displays. EDMUNDS VIDEO is a car-shopping web site driven to make car buying easy. We post at least two videos every week covering the latest cars and trucks with comprehensive reviews, comparisons, and tips & advice from our expert team of automotive editors. Subscribe for the latest videos: Related Links: Edmunds Price Promise: Edmunds Mobile: Follow Us Twitter: Facebook: Google+:

Fiat 500C @ 2009 Geneva Auto Show
MORE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW @ INSIDELINE.COM:* It was only a matter of time before Fiat brought out a soft-top version of its monumentally cute 500. The Fiat 500C will debut at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show and arrive at dealers in Western Europe in May. The 500, or rather, the Cinquecento, has been the cherry on top of Fiat's huge post-GM-put-option resurrection that was going well until the world economic crisis intervened. After being named the 2008 European Car of the Year and winning a wall full of other awards, the 500 outdid the company's sales plans by nearly 50 percent, selling 190,000 units in 2008. Understandably, the Fiat 500C is set to become this summer's hottest city-to-beach car in Europe. Built at the Fiat plant in Tichy, Poland, the 500C will launch with the same three inline four-cylinder engines first used in the hardtop 500 in 2007: a 1.2-liter gas engine worth 68 horsepower, a 1.4-liter gas unit at 99 hp and a 1.3-liter Multijet diesel good for 74 hp. The Pop, Lounge and Sport trim levels from the 500 hatchback also remain. Later on, there are firm plans to have a turbocharged 1.4-liter Abarth edition with 133 hp. All manual-five-speed-equipped 500Cs will have standard Start & Stop fuel-saving technology. This electronically retractable ragtop look, as opposed to a full convertible top, retains much more of the car's rigidity, not to mention greater safety, as well as much more of the heritage feel. Fiat says the engineering behind the parallelogram roof hinge means the cargo space is practically unaffected when the roof is open. Another nice item is the glass rear window. The original Fiat 500L in 1957 came with a half-retractable ragtop and started the cult craze. Now we get to see if the new 500C ragger can solidify the new 500 legend and keep causing troubles for the Mini. And if this whole Fiat-Chrysler deal actually happens, U.S. buyers could be able to get their hands on this adorable thing by 2012.

2009 New York Auto Show Highlights |
MORE 2009 NYAS @ INSIDELINE.COM:* So what does an auto show look like in the midst of one of the worst markets in history? Not so bad, actually. The 2009 New York Auto Show is looking like it will finish the season strong, with a handful of notable world debuts along with a dozen or so North American firsts. Think SUVs are dead? Well, not quite. Acura, GMC and Land Rover have all come up with what they think are the next generation of SUVs. Smaller, more nimble and less painful at the pump, all-new vehicles from all three manufacturers will be making their world debuts in New York. If you're still not buying into the efficient, high-performance SUV thing, then look for the new 2010 Subaru Legacy. It'll be shown for the first time in New York and is likely to have all the utility you'll ever need. And for those who couldn't care less about utility, Nissan will display the convertible version of its new 370Z coupe. Coverage starts April 8 with video, blogs and photos from the show floor.