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Barcelona International Motor Show 2013

By raccars Published

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The Spanish event runs from 11th-19th May, coinciding with the Spanish Grand Prix which, serendipitously, was won by national hero, Fernando Alonso. This year sees two world premieres – a couple of completely different electric vehicles – and four European launches.

The Range Rover Sport stops in Barcelona on the latest leg of its massive worldwide publicity drive, on the back of star turns in New York and Shanghai. Range Rover's new Premium Lightweight Architecture Platform has seen the new Sport reap the benefits of a serious diet. Having shed the weight the result is faster and cleaner than the old Sport, while there's added versatility with the option of seven seats. The Sport arrives later this year, costing from £51,550 upwards.

Nissan is using the Spanish event to showcase the latest addition to it funky Juke line up, the 1.5 DCI, focusing on efficiency with 110bhp and a six-speed transmission. Mercedes' entry into the premium compact SUV market sector, the GLA, is also new in Europe this week, hoping to take on the Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q3. The company says the show edition is a faithful example of the car buyers will see leaving the production line, with laser technology lights and a 355bhp CLA 45AMG high performance variant.

Audi is introducing Europe to its A3 saloon, using the same engine range as the hatchback and Sportback A3 variants. The smallest of the brand's four-door saloons is expected to attract young professionals and compete with the Mercedes CLA.

The global debuts belonged to the Volkswagen E-Up! and the Renault Twizy. The first is VW's first all electric vehicle, boasting an average 53bhp, capable of being boosted up to 80bhp and already subject to pre-order at the show, even though its price is as yet unknown. The E-Up! can be charged to 80% of its battery capacity within an hour, using its rapid charge facility and should reach a top speed of 84mph, although VW is being vague about a 0-62mph hour figure, only stating "within 14 seconds."

The Renault Twizy F1 has only its all-electric powertrain in common with the E-Up! A joint venture between Renaultsport and its F1 section, the Twizy is a show pony for the concept of F1 technology use in road cars. It's also the brand's smallest ever car, a Smart-esque two seater, that gets 17bhp from its motor and 79bhp from KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System). It looks... different.

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