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    Drew Dowdell

    A new addition to the Mazda family.

    Previous Page Next Page At the 2019 Geneva Auto Show this afternoon, Mazda introduced the new CX-30 compact crossover to the world. The CX-30 is the second vehicle, after the Mazda 3, in Mazda's new-generation of vehicles. 
    Mazda has aimed to make the CX30, "not too big and not too small", aiming to be the perfect size for most drivers. The Mazda CX-30 slots in just above the CX-3 in size, running about 4.7 inches longer and 1.1 inches wider.  Ground clearance is higher at 6.8 inches. That's higher than the CX-3, but still below the CX-5. The CX-30 rides on the same platform as the Mazda 3.
    The European spec models will have a choice of three engines. A 2.0 liter Skyactiv-G engine has cylinder deactivation and can shut down two of the cylinders during light load situations.  A 1.8 liter diesel Skyactiv-D carries over from the Mazda CX-3.  Lastly, a Skyactive-X engine will offer a supercharged version of the 2.0 engine with Mazda's compression ignition technology that promises diesel-like fuel economy with the responsiveness of a gasoline engine.  Power specs were not released. Both of the gasoline models will come with Mazda's M Hybrid 24-volt mild hybrid system.  Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be available. We assume the U.S. will not see the diesel engines.  Mazda's i-Activ all-wheel drive system which features G-Vectoring technology is available. 

    The interior is designed to be a peaceful, serene place.  Mazda's quest against noise continues in this model and the interior will have a "high quality quietness".   The interior has a premium look, again like the Mazda 3. 
    The exterior is a subtly handsome interpretation of Mazda's Kodo design language, looking a bit more restrained than the CX-3 or CX-5. 

    Mazda says that the U.S. will see this model, but no announcements on when it will be sold here have been made. 
    Mazda Press Release on Page 2
     
    2019 GENEVA AUTO SHOW PRESS INFORMATION – MAZDA CX-30
    PROGRAM MANAGER’S MESSAGE
    MAZDA CX-30: BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS
    Mazda wants drivers – and their passengers – to truly enjoy the many ways in which owning a car can enrich your lifestyle. We designed the Mazda CX-30 to help customers make stimulating new discoveries within their daily routine and share them with the people they love. This new compact crossover is the second model in a new generation of Mazda cars that offer refined quality in every area.
    Our desire was to enable customers at various stages of life to choose a car that matches their sensibilities and thus invigorate their daily lives and help them develop stronger bonds with their loved ones. As people transition from one life stage to the next, what they need in a car changes as their family grows and their lifestyle evolves. Choosing a car that is the right fit for you can be a real challenge. That’s why we set out to develop a compact crossover that, while meeting a wide variety of needs, could broaden people’s horizons and help turn their run-of-the-mill daily routines into self-directed, creative lifestyles.
    In particular, we were determined to offer four things with the CX-30. It had to be a just-fit size for any kind of driver so you can take it wherever you want to go without hesitation. The design had to embody the joy of owning something that matches your sensibilities. The cabin had to be spacious enough to share good times with family and friends. And finally, vehicle performance had to be excellent, offering comfort and peace of mind so drivers and passengers can relax and enjoy the ride.
    To enhance maneuverability, we settled on a size that works on any road and in any parking lot and a turning circle that allows the car to turn on a dime, all while maintaining the looks and presence of a true crossover and an excellent field of view. Driving is stress-free even on congested city streets. Getting in and out is a breeze and, thanks to a generouscargo space and trunk opening, loading your bags is just as easy. The user-friendly CX-30 is the perfect size for multipurpose use, allowing you to throw your gear in the back, jump in and take off without a second thought.
    Embodying Mazda’s Kodo design theme, the exterior design captivates onlookers, while powerful and elegant styling means you will never tire of gazing at its curves. The highlight of the side view is the distinctive reflections that slide over the undulating body surface. Reflected in this way, even one’s everyday surroundings look beautiful, helping owners to feel creative and positive.
    Inside, we rigorously pursued the highest quality so that customers can spend time with their loved ones in comfort. The cabin has a premium feel and a design that seems to envelop occupants. It’s spacious enough to comfortably seat four adults, and we incorporated a number of measures designed to help passengers kick back and relax. The quiet cabin makes conversation a joy and the clarity and quality of the new audio system, with its optimized speaker layout, are reminiscent of a sound room. We hope you will enjoy spending time with your loved ones in this cozy space.
    The CX-30’s excellent driving attributes and advanced safety equipment offer peace of mind, allowing the driver and passengers to relax and enjoy the drive. The driving position, seats, visibility and outstanding operability, together with dynamicperformance that’s centered on the new Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture and tuned to match human sensibilities, combine to offer a natural and confidence-inspiring driving feel and a sense of unityas if the car and driver are operating in synchronicity. Just in case, updated i-Activsense features are there to back up the driver at all times. The powertrain lineup consists of our latest Skyactiv-X, Skyactiv-G andSkyactiv-D engines, which enable responsive control of speed in any driving situation. Skyactiv-G 2.0 and Skyactiv-X will come mated with M Hybrid, our compact and efficient mild hybrid system, for enhanced acceleration performance and real-world fuel economy. In addition, our all-wheel-drive system, which already achieved excellent dynamic and environmental performance, now works cooperatively with G-Vectoring Control to inspire confidence in any road conditions.The full package delivers peace of mind that allows everyone on board to relax and enjoy the ride and high-quality driving pleasure that keeps drivers endlessly engaged behind the wheel.
    We hope that the CX-30 will help customers discover new things in their surroundings, rediscover the delights of their daily commute and enjoy more in-car conversations. Nothing could please us more than knowing that the CX-30 has helped to make the lives of our customers, their families and their friends more wonderful.
    Naohito Saga
    Mazda CX-30 Program Manager
    MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF DESIGNER
    THE PROMISE: DAILY LIFE WITH A WORK OF ART
    Mazda CX-30 is more than an entirely new entrant in the rapidly growing compact crossover SUV category…it’s a bold new statement of what such cars should be. As the second model in Mazda’s new-generation product lineup to feature the further-matured Kodo — Soul of Motion design concept, a concept rooted in traditional Japanese esthetics, CX-30 was developed in pursuit of automotive styling as a work of art. To achieve the most alluring, sleek silhouette in this market segment, the designers and engineers worked together as a single team to realize an unprecedented vehicle that uncompromisingly satisfies the generally contradictory demands for roominess, ample cargo space, and truly beautiful proportions. I am confident that its flowing form and refined interior will strike the eye as a singularly beautiful work of art.
    Beyond that, my desire is for this beauty to stimulate our customers’ creative sensibilities, encouraging them to exercise more creativity in their own lives. Far from being art that is appreciated only on occasion, CX-30 promises to enrich the life of all who choose it by bringing a work of art to the everyday.
    Ryo Yanagisawa
    Mazda CX-30 Chief Designer

    SLEEK & BOLD: NEW STYLING CONCEPT REALIZED THROUGH THE MATURING KODO DESIGN LANGUAGE
    Since its introduction in 2010, Mazda’s Kodo — Soul of Motion design has been a driving force in enhancing the brand’s global value, and Mazda has now made this philosophy deeper and more sophisticated to raise car design to the level of fine art. The goal for this evolution of Kodo design is to express a new form of elegance inspired by and rooted in Japanese esthetics. The Mazda Vision Coupe concept model introduced in 2017 embodied this design language through finely honed, minimalist styling: its elegantly restrained body form generated a delicate play of light and reflections that change over time to create styling with a natural, dynamic feel.
    Sharing the same concept, CX-30 was developed to create an entirely new design for a compact crossover SUV. Based on the ‘Sleek & Bold’ design concept, its proportions combine the toughness of an SUV with a supple, flowing beauty that transcends the category. Body surfaces provide rich, unlimited impressions that change from moment to moment. And the highly refined cabin is marked by the fusion of a comfortably snug feel and an airy, spacious atmosphere, enabling all occupants to enjoy a feeling of connection as well as relaxing comfort. Every single aspect of the design enhances CX-30’s impressive personality, stimulating customers’ sensibilities each and every time they look at or touch the car.

    EXTERIOR DESIGN
    With ‘Sleek & Bold’ as its design concept, CX-30’s styling simultaneously realizes two contradictory elements: the flowing beauty of a coupe and the bold toughness of an SUV.
    The lower body features arresting black cladding to create the sleekly flowing proportions of a coupe. At the same time, the cladding provides an impression of stability and power worthy of an SUV. Styling is controlled by a new design language ‘Charge and Release.’ This language was derived from the brushwork used in Japanese calligraphy and developed to integrate the three key factors of the evolved Kodo design theme, namely Yohaku, the beauty of empty space; Soricurves with poise and balance; and Utsuroi, the play of light and shade. In particular, Soriis clearly embodied in the arc of the shoulder running from the front fender to the rear wheel, giving a sense of speed and vitality. Body surfaces beneath the shoulder line reflect the surroundings in an S shape that changes as the car moves, in a fascinating statement of Utsuroi. These expressions of body form finally come together in a single undulation at the rear where they diffuse. By eschewing character lines in favor of the movement of surfaces, CX-30 achieves styling with both the beauty of a work of art and a powerful sense of dynamism. Rear fenders stand proud from the inward-tapering rear cabin and the liftgate has a correspondingly narrowed arch shape. In combination, this creates an alluring and sensuously powerful rear end with a wide, dynamic stance like a sports car. Front styling conveys a refined, yet bold personality. Mazda’s signature wing takes on a sharper and deeper form that combines with the solid, sculpted contours of the front bumper to achieve a face strongly suggestive of forward motion. The size and pattern of the radiator grille’s triangular motif are tightly controlled to show rich variations according to the viewing angle and how light falls upon it. Headlamps and rear combination lamps are both elegantly sleek and supremely functional, featuring an LED arrangement that emphasizes the lamps’ elaborate cylindrical shape to point up their artistic beauty while delivering a distinctive mechanical impression. The LED turn signals have a new, distinctive light-up pattern that starts at full power and then gradually ramps down, giving a powerful impression of a pulsating, living creature. Nine body colors are offered, including Soul Red Crystal, Machine Gray, and Polymetal Gray developed for the new Mazda3.
    INTERIOR DESIGN
    Design of CX-30’s cabin is based on Mazda’s human-centered design philosophy and traditional Japanese architecture with its use of Maor empty space.
    The basic structure revolves around two areas with contrasting characteristics: a snug and condensed cockpit area for the driver, and a clean, airy open space around the front passenger. In accordance with the ‘Sleek & Bold’ overall design concept, CX-30’s interior achieves both flowing elegance and beauty, allied with the bold, do-everything attitude of an SUV. In addition, great attention was paid to every detail from choice of materials to improved fit and finish, to create a genuinely refined, top-quality interior space.
    The cockpit is symmetrical and firmly centered on the driver, with all three meters in the meter cluster and the center display correctly angled towards the driving position, giving the driver an enhanced sense of unity with the vehicle and even easier operation. A secondary, wing-shaped hood is fitted to the upper area of the dashboard. Running horizontally from the top of the meter hood to the end of the door trim on the passenger side, it generates an airy atmosphere that gives the cockpit an expansive feel, as well as adding to the front passenger’s feeling of relaxation, comfort and security. Stitching on the edge of the hood is one more expression of CX-30’s refined interior quality. The wide floor console groups the shift lever, cup holders and commander control forward in a ‘control area’ close to the driver for convenient operation, while the gently curved knee rests and arm rest behind create a warm, contrasting atmosphere. The shift panel has an evolved version of Mazda’s ‘two-layer molding’ technology originally developed for the new Mazda3. Light striking the deep smoke-gray panel reveals a metallic pattern engraved in the base layer to accentuate CX-30’s atmosphere of fine detailing and advanced character. Two distinctive interior color schemes are offered to match owner lifestyles and preferences. The option with Dark Brown accents accords with chic, mature tastes; the Dark Blue-accented variation appeals to a modern, intellectual sensibility.
    The Dark Brown scheme is available in Black or Pure White genuine leather, and the perforations in the Black leather upholstery option reveal a brown interior liner to further enhance the refined atmosphere.
    The Dark Blue scheme features fabric or leatherette upholstery, both offered in Greige or Black.
    INNOVATIVELY DESIGNED PACKAGING DELIVERS RICHER, MORE ENJOYABLE LIFE EXPERIENCES.
    Based on the human-centered development philosophy, Mazda aimed to endow the CX-30 with enhanced versatility as a compact crossover SUV. The packaging achieves a cabin that accommodates all passengers in relaxed comfort even on the longest drives, while the luggage space offers enhanced practicality and generous capacity to satisfy virtually all lifestyle requirements. The driver’s environment is further evolved through the adoption of the most advanced knowledge and technologies during research and development of the driving position and Human-Machine Interface (HMI). In short, every element of the packaging is designed and engineered to support an even wider range of lifestyles and provide CX-30 customers with a rich and rewarding experience.

    EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR DIMENSIONS
    The CX-30 boasts a spacious cabin and a generous luggage compartment that combine with its excellent maneuverability in urban environments and ease of entrance and exit to make it versatile and easy to use. There is generous distance between the front seats, allowing for a spacious console layout and a generous center armrest. Rear-seats are also spacious and feature a wide center armrest and door armrests that enable a comfortable, relaxing seating posture. There is plenty of legroom for rear-seat passengers and a low floor and high ceiling make the rear seats comfortable even for taller passengers. A spacious cabin and generous distances between seats make it easy for people in the front to turn and face people in the rear. At the same time, rear occupants can easily see front occupants’ faces in profile. The result is an interior space that encourages communication between all occupants. Comparison of dimensions (European specification models)
      CX-30 CX-3 CX-5 Overall length 4,395mm 4,275mm 4,545mm Overall width 1,795mm 1,765mm 1,840mm Overall height at roof panel 1,540mm 1,540mm 1,690mm Wheelbase 2,655mm 2,570mm 2,700mm Front overhang 915mm 910mm 945mm Rear overhang 825mm 795mm 900mm Minimum ground clearance 175mm 160mm 210mm Note: All values for CX-30 are tentative.
    LUGGAGE SPACE
    A generous luggage compartment with a large opening is easy to use in any situation. Luggage capacity is a generous 430 liters*, enough to simultaneously accommodate a large, global-standard baby buggy and a carry-on bag. The liftgate opening is 1,020mm wide, while the height of the lip is a relatively low 731mm, making it easier to load and unload heavy or bulky cargo. *Includes sub-trunk; measured in-house by Mazda
    Note: All values are for European specification models and may vary by market.
    The luggage compartment offers a clean, refined appearance with a spacious feel, thanks to the adoption of non-woven fabric on the side trim and a simple wall structure. A power liftgate allows one-touch opening and closing. The gears and housing of its damper unit are made of resin, realizing quiet operation. ENTRY AND EXIT
    The model features plenty of ground clearance and a hip-point height that makes it easy to get into and out of the car. The shape of the seat cushions and B-pillars were optimized in light of how people move during entry and exit to enable even heavily built rear passengers to get in and out in a smooth fashion. DRIVING POSITION
    Telescopic steering offers 70mm of travel for precise control over the driving position. In addition, front seat cushion tilt adjustment is included as standard equipment to help prevent the occupant’s thighs floating above the cushion (seat angle too low) or placing undue pressure on the thighs (seat angle too high). As such, it offers firm support that keeps the pelvis in an upright position to maintain the ideal seating posture Mazda aims for. The position of the gear shift lever, commander control and cupholders on the floor console is optimized for operating stability, ease and comfort. HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE (HMI)
    The Active Driving Display, meters and center display were all redesigned to present information in a simple fashion, while the fonts used were unified to create a pleasing and consistent look. CX-30 adopts an 8.8-inch wide-screen center display. Offering simplified operation that requires only the use of the commander control, it also features a new intuitive guidance system that makes the commander control easier to operate. VISIBILITY AND FIELD OF VIEW
    The driver’s seating position is set high to provide a clear field of view and let the driver focus on the road ahead. Thickness and shape of the A-pillar were optimized to minimize its obstruction angle and associated blind spots. Every detail of the pillar shape was carefully thought out after research into what degree of neck and eye movement would not burden the driver. As a result, the design significantly reduces blind spots ahead of the car, providing the driver with a continuous view of pedestrians or potential obstacles to the right or left while maintaining a natural driving posture. The C-pillar is small, providing good rearward visibility through the quarter window, offering easy confirmation of other vehicles or objects to the rear when changing lanes or entering a parking lot. The control system for windshield wiper operating speed was carefully engineered to both improve overall wiper performance and constantly adjust the operating angle of the wipers in fine increments, allowing cleaning right up to the A-pillar to greatly expand visibility near the A-pillar on the driver’s side. The wipers are housed beneath the hood to help provide a clear downward view out of the windshield. In addition, the washer nozzles are attached to the wiper arms so their spray can be wiped away immediately after application and not interfere with visibility. These measures combine to give the driver a clearer view and to quickly maintain clear visibility in wet weather. AUDIO SYSTEM
    Mazda carried out comprehensive new studies into how sounds are transmitted through a car’s cabin. This led to locating the bass speakers in the corners where low frequency sound is better reproduced, resulting in a more clearly audible lower register. Midrange and high-frequency speakers were positioned on the left and right sail garnish and upper sections of the door trim where the sound is transmitted directly towards the occupant’s ears, unmuddied by reflected sounds. This more powerfully and naturally locates the sound’s origin, enhancing both depth and clarity. The standard audio system features a 3-way, 8-speaker configuration with 3L woofers mounted at the sides of the cowl, 2.5cm tweeters on the left and right sail garnishes and 8cm squawkers on the upper section of the front and rear door trim. The 12-speaker Bose® system includes an 8cm center speaker, a pair of rear satellite speakers and a subwoofer. The system is custom tuned to provide more powerful bass and the enhanced audio quality expected of the Bose® brand.
    EFFORTLESS JOYFUL DRIVING:
    MAZDA’S JINBA-ITTAI PERFORMANCE EVOLVED YET FURTHER TO DELIVER MORE FREEDOM AND MORE DRIVING PLEASURE
    ‘Ultimate Jinba-ittai’ — the feeling that the vehicle is an extension of the driver’s body, precisely controlled without conscious thought — is Mazda’s goal. And to achieve it, Mazda has introduced Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, a set of new-generation structural technologies. Adoption of these technologies, the latest fruits of Mazda’s further evolved human-centric development concept, allows CX-30 to open up a fresh dimension of driving pleasure.
    In addition, the latest Skyactiv engine lineup including the newly developed Skyactiv-X delivers exhilarating performance, while the precisely coordinated control of i-Activ AWD and G-Vectoring Control (GVC) provides a pleasant and confidence-inspiring driving experience, along with enhanced fuel economy and environmental friendliness. Furthermore, the cabin achieves high quality quietness through painstakingly developed NVH performance based on thoroughgoing studies of human sensory characteristics. CX-30 offers the driver the utmost freedom to control the car at will, and at the same time provides all occupants a pleasant and comfortable ride.
    POWERTRAIN
    The latest Skyactiv-G 2.0 gasoline engine delivers enhanced driving performance, fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness. It adopts a cylinder deactivation system that shuts down cylinders 1 and 4 in light-load situations such as constant-speed cruising. This contributes to greatly reduced pumping loss and lowered mechanical resistance. The Skyactiv-D 1.8 diesel engine is retained in the powertrain lineup. It provides smooth yet robust performance combined with a fine balance of fuel economy, quietness andlow emissions. The new Skyactiv-X engine features Mazda’s innovative Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) combustion to bring compression ignition to a gasoline engine. As a result, it features both the superior initial response and powerful torque of diesel engines, as well as the linear response to even sudden driver inputs and the smooth revving up to the higher rpms typical of a gasoline engine. The Skyactiv-G 2.0 and Skyactiv-X engines are equipped with Mazda’s M Hybrid system for both greater gains in fuel economy, and higher levels of driving pleasure and real-world environmental friendliness. I-ACTIV AWD
    Thanks to a newly developed control system and new technologies to reduce friction, i-Activ AWD delivers a refined and stable ride in any situation and real-world fuel economy almost as good as a front-wheel drive vehicle. In advancing the dynamic performance of the CX-30, the team worked to always preserve grip in all four tires regardless of the road surface conditions. In addition to always being ready to handle rain, snow or other slippery conditions, it preserves extra amounts of solid grip at all times, which contributes to smooth accelerating, breaking or cornering on dry roads. The balance of grip between front and rear tires is constantly controlled to maintain smooth, stable AWD driving at all times. Furthermore, Mazda’s advanced i-Activ AWD works in harmony with G-Vectoring Control (GVC) to control the distribution of torque between front and rear wheels in accordance with the driver’s steering and acceleration inputs and the grip condition of all wheels in order to deliver a faithful response with that little bit of extra vehicle control to spare, regardless of the driving scene. To enhance real-world fuel economy, the new system adopts a rubber damper inside the power take-off unit, which greatly reduces fluctuations in input torque sent to the rear-wheel drive unit. A new design for the rear differential stores oil in the upper part and supplies just the necessary amount where and when required. In addition to the adoption of ball bearings and the use of low-viscosity oil, this design further reduces mechanical loss. A new setting applies slight difference in the deceleration ratio between the power take-off and rear differential. Not only does this maintain the same response in torque distribution, but it also increases the precision of the AWD-control unit, with a significant reduction in overall mechanical loss. G-VECTORING CONTROL PLUS (GVC PLUS)
    Aswith the all-new Mazda3, CX-30 adopts G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus). In addition to the smooth and efficient vehicle behavior delivered by G-Vectoring Control (GVC), GVC Plus adds direct yaw moment control via the brakes, which contributes to enhanced stability of vehicle posture. When cornering, GVC Plus lightly applies brake force to the outer wheels as the steering wheel is returned to the center position. This provides a recovery moment that restores the vehicle to straight-line running and achieves greater stability. As a result, the car better handles emergency avoidance maneuvers and offers more confidence-inspiring control in various situations, including lane changes at high speed and driving on slippery surfaces such as snowy roads. NEW-GENERATION STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES: SKYACTIV-VEHICLE ARCHITECTURE
    The seats adopt a basic structure designed to maintain the natural S-shaped curve of the spine. The seat cushion and lower seatback support the thighs, lower pelvis and upper pelvis to keep the pelvis in an upright position. Meanwhile, the upper seatback supports the rib cage’s center of gravity. This design enables the driver to stabilize his or her head in a natural fashion by shifting the pelvis and spine to maintain balance without any conscious effort. The body further evolves Mazda’s straight framework and continuous ring structure concept. New front-to-back connections complement the existing vertical and lateral connections of the previous body to form multi-directional ring structures. This increases rigidity while reducing lag in the transmission of energy, which helps maximize the function of the dampers and tires. By concentrating energy input from the road surface in specifically chosen locations and adopting a damping structure that helps absorb it, vibration that causes noise is reduced without increasing vehicle weight. The suspension system (MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam setup at the rear) is based on the concept of smoothing the transmission of forces to the sprung mass over time. A new spherical shape adopted for the internal structure of the bushings combines with new suspension geometry to realize lag-free transmission and linear action. EXCELLENT NVH PERFORMANCE
    As a result of Mazda’s human research studies, development focused on three characteristics of sound that directly impact cabin occupants. These are volume, changes in pitch and tone over time, and the direction from which sounds originate. Suppressing noise generation and reducing its volume, while also controlling the fluctuations and directionality of sounds, are all aimed at going beyond a ‘quiet’ cabin environment to instead create a ‘high-quality quietness’ that is satisfying to all cabin occupants. To improve the basic insulation qualities key to reducing NVH, CX-30 adopts a “two-wall” structure with space between the body and the carpeting. Considering the carpet and the body panel as two separate walls, and then designing them to match the characteristics of the carpet fibers improves sound insulation without increasing weight. The number of holes in the carpeting was also reduced wherever possible to significantly enhance sound insulation. Measures to deal with road noise focused on minimizing noise and vibration, and on controlling noise generated by changes in the road surface so it reaches occupants’ ears in a linear fashion. Sound-absorption added to the headliner and floor mats effectively suppresses high-frequency noise, while tires with optimized vertical yield and increased rigidity at possible entry points help prevent the transmission of unwanted vibrations to the cabin. Lag-free transmission of permissible sounds and vibrations helps create a reassuring and comfortable cabin environment.
    OUTSTANDING SAFETY PERFORMANCE BUILT ON THE MOST ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES TO HELP REALIZE AN ACCIDENT-FREE AUTOMOTIVE SOCIETY
    The Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy guides all the company’s research and development efforts in safety performance, driving advances in every area from safety fundamentals, such as the driving position, through passive safety technologies to advanced i-Activsense features. CX-30 is equipped with numerous safety technologies born from these research endeavors.
    In the area of active safety, CX-30’s i-Activsense features now include a Driver Monitoring system that observes the driver’s condition, while further evolved technologies to help prevent accidents through advanced brake control enhance the omnidirectional sensing capability Mazda is pursuing. Passive safety development focused on studies of human characteristics and details of actual accidents, contributing to greatly enhanced collision safety and pedestrian protection performance. Now, CX-30 delivers a further evolved capacity to provide all occupants a safe, secure and enjoyable driving experience, helping to realize an accident-free automotive society.
    ACTIVE SAFETY: I-ACTIVSENSE
    CX-30 is available with Mazda’s Driver Monitoring system. The system uses both an infrared camera and infrared LED to observe the driver’s condition while driving by monitoring how wide the driver’s eyes are open at any given time, the number of times he or she blinks, and also the angle of the mouth and face in order to determine the level of drowsiness or fatigue. It also monitors the driver’s line of sight and eye movement to determine when the driver is being inattentive. If the system judges that the situation has become dangerous, it sounds an alert to make the driver aware and works in conjunction with the Smart Brake Support (SBS) system to shorten the time required for the brake warning to sound. Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) is available on CX-30. When pulling forward, the system uses newly adopted front side radars to detect other vehicles approaching from blind spots at the front right or left of the vehicle and alert the driver to their presence. This helps prevent a common cause of accidentswhen cars enter a T intersection with a partially obscured view. Also available on CX-30 is Mazda’s Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS) system. CTS contributes to lower driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal andsteering operations when stuck in traffic jams on the highway. It also supports a safer, more reassuring and more comfortable driving experience in conditions that demand constant operation of the assisted functions. Note: Some markets use a different naming.
    PASSIVE SAFETY
    The vehicle body includes more high-strength steel than ever before. As with the all-new Mazda3, 1,310 MPa-class steel is used in places and steel rated 980 MPa or higher now accounts for approximately 30 percent of the body. This combines with the addition of a new perimeter beam, newly designed B-pillars that deliver both high strength and light weight, and rear side frames that. deform in an accordion-style pattern to create a strong body that can withstand impact force and a frame structure that effectively absorbs energy. CX-30 introduces a knee airbag for the driver’s seat as standard equipment worldwide. By suppressing forward motion of the driver’s body in the event of a collision, this new airbag helps lessen injuries to the driver’s legs, chest and The hood adopts a new energy-absorbing inner structure designed to receive the impact of a pedestrian’s head in the initial moment of contact and then gradually dampen the force to more stably absorb the impact energy. The front bumper is designed to support the thigh and shins if contact is made with a pedestrian’s legswhile softening the blow to the knee area. This reduces the degree of injury to the knees and ligaments due to bending and twisting. EUROPEAN SPECIFICATION
    Body type Station wagon Seating capacity 5 persons Overall length x width x height 4,395mm x 1,795mm x 1,540mm Wheelbase 2,655mm Engines SKYACTIV-G 2.0  
    SKYACTIV-D 1.8
    SKYACTIV-X
    Transmissions 6-speed automatic transmission  
    6-speed manual transmission
    Front suspension MacPherson strut Rear suspension Torsion beam Steering type Rack-and-pinion Brakes (front/rear) Vented discs/solid discs Tires 215/65R16  
    215/55R18
     
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    Drew Dowdell

    A concept electric van with a 249 mile range.

    Mercedes-Benz unveiled the EQV Concept at the Geneva International Auto Show today.  The concept features a 100 kWh battery that enables the van to travel up to 249 miles (400 km) on a single charge.  Rapid charging functionality enables 62 miles of range in just 15 minutes.
    The concept utilizes a front drivetrain with 201 hp electric motor.  The motor, transmission, cooling system and power electronics come together in a compact integral unit.  The battery is placed under the load floor and takes up no room in the passenger compartment.
    While this is a concept, Mercedes says that a production version of this van will come to market. No word yet on when that will be, though the word "soon" was used.




     
     
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    William Maley

    Fiat's 124 Spider Bulks Up (In Power)

    If you have been wishing for a more powerful version of the Mazda Miata, your wish has come true. Although to get your hands on it, you'll need to visit a Fiat dealership. Fiat's performance division, Abarth introduced their version of 124 Spider at the Geneva Motor Show.
     
    The Abarth 124 Spider begins outside with a new aero package, larger vents for engine cooling, blacked out hood, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels. The interior is swathed in Alcantara and Abarth badging.
     
    Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Abarth claims a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph. It should be noted the specs are for the European model. The U.S. model might have some slight differences.
     
    Other changes include a mechanical limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers, Brembo brakes, and a new Record Monza exhaust system that is said to produce a “beautiful growling sound.”
     
    The Abarth 124 Spider will go on sale this fall Europe with a base price of 40,000 Euros. No timeframe was given as to when we'll see it in the U.S.
     
    Source: Abarth
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    The new Abarth 124 spider
     
    The new Abarth 124 spider aims at sweeping a new generation off their feet with its performance and technical DNA. It combines the authentic roadster experience packed with thrills, technology, safety and a touch of unmistakable Italian design. The car will be available in September with prices starting from €40,000 for all Europe.
     
    Performance DNA
    The new Abarth 124 spider combines the great sensorial experiences of excitement and driving fun that only a spider can give. Developed with input from the Abarth Racing Team, the car exemplifies at best the distinctive Abarth values: performance, craftsmanship and technical excellence. It is the car that will bring back the smile on the driver’s face.
     
    Rear-Wheel drive architecture with Mechanical Limited-Slip Differential
    124 spider is designed for thrills and performance and has all the qualities needed to satisfy even the most difficult-to-please drivers. For exceptional dynamism, the Abarth 124 spider is equipped with a sports mechanical Limited-Slip differential as standard to secure drive and traction in the most critical situations and provide incomparable dynamic behaviour.
     
    Perfect weight distribution and lightweight design
    Abarth 124 spider creates a new benchmark in the sporty roadster segment and this is confirmed in numbers. Much of the weight is concentrated between the axles and the engine is installed behind the front axle to guarantee agility and superior driving feel. Sophisticated mechanicals and the use of special materials have contained the weight to just 1,060 kilograms, which results in a weight-to-power ratio of 6.2 kg/HP, the best in its category, and perfect 50/50 weight distribution in running order, which translates in great agility and performance. Taking on board the lessons learned through the Abarth racing series, the weight obsession pushed Abarth to eliminate gram by gram all possible weight: For instance, an active bonnet system was developed in order to comply with the strict passenger collision standards without damaging the weight coefficient or balance of the car. By using sensors on the cross-member and two pyrotechnic loads in the engine compartment, the system recognises danger and deploys in a few milliseconds to guarantee a safety gap and attenuate the collision against the bonnet.
     
    Supercar mechanics and suspensions scheme
    The suspension of the 124 spider has a high double-wishbone layout in front and a five-link set up in the rear, specifically tuned for greater braking and cornering stability. Steering ensures a great driving feeling with the use of a dual pinion electric power assist system.
     
    The Abarth dynamic vehicle set-up ensures customers can get the most out of the rear-wheel drivetrain, always aiming for the true driving pleasure. Also the “Abarth by Bilstein” dampers, together with stiffened anti-roll bars, provide ultimate handling and driving comfort.
     
    The Brembo braking system, with aluminium front callipers, guarantees very short braking distances and excellent resistance to brake fade, making the pedal always feel pleasant and safe.
     
    Powerful engine and sporty gearboxes for an extraordinary driving experience
    The Abarth 124 spider offered in the EMEA region is equipped with a powerful, reliable four-cylinder 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine. It delivers 170 HP (about 124 HP per litre) and 250 Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 230 km/h and goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8-seconds. Furthermore, the sound of engine really matters in an Abarth car, so the Record Monza exhaust come equipped as standard, generating a beautiful growling sound.
     
    The spider is available with a six-speed manual or the automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox. The first is characterised by quick and accurate shifting with a short-throw, direct lever.
     
    The Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox is the result of careful tuning to exploit all the engine torque and conveys genuine racing sensations. Using the lever or the paddles behind the steering wheel, shifting is extremely fast and the performance of the car is boosted even further by setting “Sport” mode on the driving mode selector.
     
    Throttle-steer driving style
    The Abarth 124 spider comes with state-of-the-art electronic devices and active safety features but to ensure the Abarth provides a proper race car feeling when driving on track, the new 124 Spider lets the driver disengage the electronic controls to experience the perfect mechanical balance and linear engine response, the trademarks of a genuine rear-wheel drive sportscar.
     
    Officine Abarth: high technology, hand-crafted care
    Officine Abarth, based in Mirafiori, is where the 124 spider emphasise the typical Italian art of driving.
     
    The 124 receives a special treatment from Abarth technicians, who truly love cars. The Abarth people bring their values to an already great product, by fitting the Racing Anti-glare kit, a matt black treatment for bonnet and boot lid, the Racing Alcantara® Kit that contributes to elevate the overall interior quality, ensuring at the same time a proper sporting feel due to its dark finishing and grip.
     
    The standard-fit Record Monza exhaust is also installed in Officine Abarth, to ensure outstanding engine performance and an unmistakable sound.
     
    Each car is tested and certified by an Abarth technician who applies a metal plate showing the sequential number of each car to certify the exclusiveness of Abarth 124 spider. A unique number for a unique client.
     
    Design true to the Abarth DNA
    The design of the Abarth 124 spider reflects the superb mechanical layout of the car, a key element to achieve the perfect proportions for a sport car: A long bonnet to underline the importance of the engine and the powerful attitude of the car, reduced overhangs to emphasize its agile attitude, a cabin close to the rear axle to let the driver feel the road.
     
    The passenger compartment-to-bonnet ratio is comparable to that of a racing car. A horizontal line rises from the front and stretches rearward to join with the rear line near the rear light cluster: this is an unmistakable reference to the classic 124 spider.
     
    The design is all about performance: both the front bumper, with its larger air intake, and the rear bumper’s aerodynamic extractor were both shaped in the wind tunnel, as were the rear spoiler and wind stop which both contribute to improving air flow. The 17-inch alloy wheels, the windscreen surround and the roll bars are finished in “Forgiato Grey”, a colour selected to underline the bold, technical inclination of the car.
     
    The original headlights together with the front hexagonal grille contribute to reasserting the car's bold personality. The bonnet humps suggest the longitudinal position of the engine: this is a direct reference to the original 124 spider. The exclusive LED headlights and rear lights add expressiveness to the car, both during the day and at night. An important detail are the rear light cluster inserts in matching body colour which form a luminous ring-shaped surface.
     
    The rear end of Abarth 124 spider is characterised by two elements: the swallow-tail section rear wings and the horizontal rear lights which pick up particular features of its classic predecessor. The shape of the rear bumpers with the upper surface jutting into the boot lid conveys a characteristic V-shape to the back of the car.
     
    Five body colours are available: special solid "Turini 1975 White " and “Costa Brava 1972 Red, metallic "Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue”, "Portogallo 1974 Grey" and “San Marino 1972 Black”. The nomenclature is a clear tribute to its prestigious success in rallying.
     
    Interior design
    The Abarth DNA is also confirmed inside with an overall focus aimed at guaranteeing ideal ergonomics. The leather seats are supportive and very comfortable at the same time, and allow for a positive driving position as far back and as low as possible to better perceive any lateral movement of the car. Also, the controls are perfectly in tune with the car's sporty set-up: the position of the aluminium pedal board, the small-diameter steering wheel, the short gear lever and the start button on the dashboard all contribute to conveying a sporty driving experience. The instrument panel includes a large rev counter with red background arranged in central position.
     
    Active and passive safety
    The new Abarth 124 Spider is equipped with a host of state-of-the-art active and passive safety devices. In addition to the ABS, standard equipment includes the EBD, for adjusting front and rear brake force distribution so as to optimise braking distances and control in all load conditions of the car, and ESC for increased control in all driving conditions. It is useful in critical situations, e.g. on corners and mixed surfaces in presence of snow, ice and gravel. The ESC applies selective braking and acts on the accelerator to bring the car back on line if a difference between the driver's action and trajectory is detected. The ERM is an extension of the ESC system and exploits the sensors to calculate whether the car is approaching a potentially dangerous condition at risk of rolling over. It corrects the risk by applying the brakes separately and modulating the accelerator position as needed. It can be fully disengaged for track driving to allow the driver exploit the Abarth 124 spider’s outstanding balance and dynamic abilities to the full.
     
    The three-point seat belts employ Constant-Force Retractors (CFR) to control the degree of force applied by the belt and then gradually release it in controlled manner.
     
    The LED adaptive headlights are available to guarantee driving pleasure even in poor visibility conditions. They can be equipped with rain sensor and dusk sensor on demand.
     
    Equipment: sportiness and comfort
    The following details apply to the EMEA region and may vary according to the various market needs. See the www.fiatpress.com website for complete information.
     
    The new Abarth 124 spider has a three-gauge instrument panel featuring a large rev counter in the middle, a speedometer on the right and a data display on the left allowing the driver to monitor all key driving information at a glance.
     
    Standard equipment includes manual climate control system, stereo with four speakers, MP3 player and USB port, cruise control, adjustable and electrically-folded door mirrors.
     
    Other features available on demand include the infotainment system with an ergonomic and intuitive knob on the central unit. According to the configuration, the system can feature a 7-inch colour display, satellite navigation system, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity and a rear backup camera.
     
    For superior sound quality, a Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, including dual headrest speakers on both seats and a subwoofer, can be chosen.

    William Maley

    A little more horsepower doesn't hurt

    A few weeks ago, Mercedes-Benz announced a mid-cycle refresh for the base C-Class sedan, but not for the AMG variants. It seemed Mercedes was holding back somewhat as they announced today a refreshed version of the C43 will debut this week at the Geneva Motor Show.
    Being an AMG model, let's begin with performance. The twin-turbo 3.0L V6 comes with larger turbos that boost horsepower to 385 - up 23 from last year's model. Torque remains at 384 pound-feet. A nine-speed automatic transmission routes power to all four-wheels via Mercedes-AMG’s rear-biased 4Matic AWD system. No improvement in the C43's performance figures - the run to 60 mph still takes 4.6 seconds.
    Like the standard C-Class, the C43's exterior sees some minor changes with new bumpers, lighting, and 18-inch wheels. A set of 19-inch wheels are optional. The interior comes with a new steering wheel featuring touch control buttons, and a larger 10.25-inch screen for the COMAND infotainment system.
    No word on pricing, but the 2019 C43 arrives at Mercedes-Benz's dealers later this year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The new 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
    Enhanced performance and a design update for the bestseller Mar 5, 2018 – Affalterbach: With four body variants globally (three available in the US market), three output levels and two drive types, the C-Class is the most versatile and most successful model series from Mercedes-AMG. Extensive measures now make the entry-level 2019 C43 Sedan even more attractive. The AMG radiator grille in a twin-louver design, powerfully sculpted front bumper and the new rear bumper with round twin tailpipe trim elements visibly enhance the new C43 Sedan and give it an even more distinct positioning. The interior benefits from an optional fully digital cockpit with unmistakable AMG displays and the new-generation of AMG steering wheels. The AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo now delivers 385 hp. Together with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission and rear-biased AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the engine combines agile driving dynamics with comfort on long journeys.
    "As the most successful model series for Mercedes-AMG, the C-Class family in all its facets has made a major contribution to our corporate success. One major component in this success story was the implementation of the 43-series of models, which have thrilled our customers worldwide since the market launch in 2015. The high demand and positive feedback have encouraged us to sharpen up not only the appearance of the facelift, but also its performance, efficiency and sportiness in true AMG style," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
    For this the AMG development engineers have increased the output of the 3.0-liter V6 engine by 23 hp to 385 hp. The peak torque of 384 lb-ft is available from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. This package guarantees impressive performance figures: the new C43 Sedan accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds (est.). The top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.
    Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design
    The exterior of the C43 Sedan is considerably more expressive, even more strongly identifying the new model as a member of the family. New distinguishing features include the AMG radiator grille with twin louver in matt iridium silver and the powerfully sculpted front bumper with additional flics. The side air curtains in the front bumper help with optimum guidance of the front airstream. The attachment on the cross fins plus the trim element on the front splitter are finished in silver chrome.
    The rear view also conveys a sporty impression with two round twin tailpipe trim elements in high-gloss chrome. The rear bumper with side air curtain and the significantly more expressive diffuser improve air flow characteristics at the rear. The spoiler lip on the trunk lid is painted in the vehicle color.
    The optional AMG Night Package creates highlights which are even sportier: a more expressive front splitter, the standard-fit spoiler lip, broader side skirt inserts and flics in the rear bumper are finished in high-gloss black.
    Enhanced for aerodynamic efficiency: new AMG wheels
    When viewed from the side, eye-catching features include the sporty side skirts plus new, aerodynamically optimized AMG light-alloy wheels. Their specifically designed outer aero rings and spoke geometry which has been optimized in the wind tunnel help to improve air flow around the wheels and thus increase aerodynamic efficiency. As part of this the developers aimed for the optimum combination of aerodynamics, weight and brake cooling, together with maximum performance and reduced fuel consumption.
    There is a choice of three aerodynamically optimized rim designs for the C43 Sedan: the standard specification includes the AMG wheel with five twin spokes painted in tremolite grey with a high-sheen finish, in size 7.5" x 18" with 225/45 R 18 tires at the front, and 8.5" x 18" with 245/40 R 18 tires at the rear. As an option there is another aerodynamic design with five twin spokes, painted with accents in tantalite grey or high- gloss black with a high-sheen finish, in size 7.5" x 19" with 225/40 R 19 tires at the front, and 8.5" x 19" with 255/35 R 19 tires at the rear.
    Sporty look with model-specific details: interior design
    The interior reinforces the dynamic caliber of the new C43 Sedan with numerous individual details. Sporty materials such as leather, DINAMICA microfiber and aluminum in a high-quality finish continue the theme of the expressive exterior in the interior.
    The optional AMG Performance Seats provide optimum lateral support when adopting a dynamic driving style thanks to the special design of the seat side bolsters of the seat cushion and backrest. The AMG Performance Seats with integrated head restraints emphasize the sporty character of the cockpit. For the first time in the C43 Sedan, the AMG Performance Seats can not only be heated, but is now ventilated in three levels in conjunction with leather upholstery.
    The upholstery in MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber in black with red topstitching equally underscores the dynamic driving character of the C43 Sedan. Matching the seat design, the door center panels and dashboard are finished in MB-Tex with red topstitching. Aluminum sports pedals with black studs, trim elements in Natural Grain Black Ash Wood and Brushed Aluminum, the black roof liner and the red seat belts create further sporty highlights.
    Comprehensive individualization options
    As an option there is a comprehensive choice of individualization options. New features include trim elements in Natural Grain Walnut Wood & Aluminum and Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood. On top of these there is the familiar Dark Brown Linden Wood trim and AMG trim in Carbon Fiber / Aluminum and AMG Silver Fiber Glass. In terms of upholstery, as an option there is leather in black, black with red topstitching, cranberry red / black and also as a new highlight saddle brown / black.
    A fine combination available from the designo range comes with diamond quilting in saddle brown / black and platinum white pearl / black, which can likewise be combined with the AMG Performance Seats.
    Interior with innovative display concept and operating system
    Whether with touchpad and Controller, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel or via voice entry, the operating system of the C43 Sedan is just as versatile as it is flexible. All options are aimed at enabling the control tasks to be carried out as conveniently, quickly and appropriately to the situation as possible in this sporty environment.
    Just as flexible is the display of the optional, fully digital instrument cluster with 12.3-inch screen diagonal, which brings the vehicle functions directly to life with the three AMG-specific display styles of "Classic," "Sport" or "Supersport."
    A host of additional AMG information
    Via the specific AMG menu, the driver is able to call up a host of additional information to make the driving experience even sportier:
    Warm-up: engine and transmission oil temperature plus charge pressure as Boost display Setup: current status of systems such as the drive system, suspension, exhaust system, ESP® and transmission G-Force: display of current g-forces in a coordinate system and ability to save maximum values Race Timer: manual stopwatch for lap times and color display of fastest and slowest laps, plus average speed and distance Engine Data: engine torque / rated output in a bar chart plus charge pressure as Boost display In addition, there is a digital display of the current speed and the currently engaged gear. The manual transmission mode is marked with a yellow "M."
    The visualizations in the central media display likewise enable further vehicle functions to be experienced even better, for example, with animated presentation of the driving assistance, vehicle and communication systems. Standard fitment on the new C43 Sedan is a 10.25-inch media display with a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels.
    New generation of AMG steering wheels
    Extremely sporty design, a grippy shape with a heavily contoured rim and intuitive operation are the key attributes of the new AMG steering wheel in nappa leather, which comes as standard equipment. It has a flattened bottom section and is perforated in the grip area. The galvanized steering wheel gearshift paddles support a sporty driving style with manual gear shifting. As an option it is also available in nappa leather / DINAMICA microfiber and in nappa leather with trim in black piano lacquer.
    The built-in Touch Control buttons are a new feature. These can be used to control the functions of the instrument cluster (left) and the multimedia system (right) by means of horizontal and vertical swiping movements of the finger. As in the S-Class, the settings for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and cruise control are made in the left control panels. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the multimedia system.
    Well-proven and powerful: the AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine
    The AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine boasts a high power output combined with low fuel consumption and emissions. The high power output is in part courtesy of separate, larger turbochargers (max. charge pressure 16 psi). Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are especially spontaneous in their response. The AMG power unit can be identified by the engine cover with red aluminum insert and AMG lettering.
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission with shorter shift times
    The C43 Sedan makes use of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission, which the Mercedes-AMG developers have tuned specifically for  a dynamic driving experience. This has a model-specific software application to achieve very short shift times.
    The multiple downshift function allows more spontaneous bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in "Sport" and "Sport+" drive programs makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gear shifts in the other modes. In all modes moving off occurs in first gear in order to always guarantee a dynamic driving experience.
    "Manual" mode can be selected using a separate button in the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected drive program, and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
    Characteristics at the touch of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
    With the proven DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+" and "Individual," the characteristics of the C43 Sedan can be customized at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The suspension set-ups can also be selected specifically on demand.
    The fifth mode "Slippery" is new, and is identified by means of the snowflake symbol. The moderate and even power delivery is specially programmed for slippery or snow-covered road conditions.
    Rear-biased and agile: AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive
    The standard-specification AMG Performance 4MATIC four-wheel drive features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear axle split of 31 to 69 percent. This configuration provides for enhanced driving dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road as well as improved traction when accelerating. The single-stage transfer case of the four-wheel drive system is flange-mounted to the transmission as a separate system.
    This configuration makes it easier to modify the torque split for each particular model, allowing even more individual characteristics for the respective model series. Its compact design means that it does not entail any space restrictions for passengers or luggage.
    With adaptive adjustable damping: AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension
    With its adjustable, electronically controlled damping system, the AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension of the C43 Sedan provides both sporty driving dynamics and brand-typical comfort on long journeys. The basis for this is formed by the 4-link front axle and independent multilink rear suspension. The AMG-specific kinematics and elastokinematics with newly developed components result in very high camber stability when cornering at speed. The axial brake connection on the front axle supports the agile and precise handling.
    The adaptive adjustable damping comes as standard. This fully automatic, electronically controlled system adjusts the damping at each wheel to the current requirements. This improves driving safety and ride comfort. The damping is adjusted individually for each wheel, and depends on the driving style, the road surface and the selected suspension setting. The ideal operating point can be selected at all times on the basis of a broad scope of information relating to acceleration or vehicle speed, for example. Via a switch on the center console, the driver can select between three different sets of damper characteristics, namely "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport+," and thus individually influence the driving experience — from highly comfortable to sportily taut.
    Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
    The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio. It impresses with its precise, authentic feedback. The steering servo assistance is reduced at high speeds and continuously increases at lower speeds. This means that comparatively little steering force is required at low speeds, and that the best possible control over the vehicle is maintained at high speeds. The steering servo assistance depends on the selected suspension setting. In "Sport" mode, more feedback is conveyed about the driving conditions.
    Data logger for use on the race track: AMG TRACK PACE
    As the virtual race engineer for recording data when driving on closed-off race tracks, AMG TRACK PACE provides a significantly extended and even more precise scope of functions. TRACK PACE can be ordered as an option for the COMAND Online infotainment system.
    When this function is activated, a wealth of vehicle-specific data (e.g. speed, acceleration) are recorded ten times per second while driving. On top of this there are displays of lap and sector times and also the respective difference for a reference time. Because specific display elements light up in green or red, the driver is able to see at a glance, without reading numbers, whether he/she is currently faster or slower than the best time.
    After fast laps on the racetrack, driving skills can be analyzed and improved on the basis of the data. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-60 mph, ¼ mile, 60-0 mph) can be measured and saved. Thanks to a new developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, TRACK PACE even detects when the circuit is departed from or shortened. Alongside GPS data, the sensors available in the vehicle  (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speeds) are used. The points of data are displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the head-up display. Known race tracks, for example the Nürburgring, are already stored.
    Furthermore, it is also possible to record your own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and updated online. A suitable iPhone app can also be connected via WiFi. Customers can use it to share their experiences and data from the race track with other AMG drivers via Facebook, YouTube or the AMG Private Lounge.
    The 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan will make its debut at the Geneva International Motorshow before arriving in US dealerships by the end of the year.
    Technical data at a glance
     
    Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
    Engine
    AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo
    Displacement
    2,996 cc
    Output
    385 hp at 6,100 rpm
    Peak torque
    384 lb-ft at 2,500-5,000 rpm
    Drive system
    AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution (31 / 69)
    Transmission
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission
    Acceleration 0-60 mph
    4.6 s (est.)
    Top speed
    130 mph (electronically limited)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    A day before its official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show, pictures of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class made their way onto the internet.
    The pictures show the new A-Class striking the same look as the A-Class concept shown at last year's New York Auto Show. The front end of the production A-Class is almost identical to the concept, with its large grill, headlights with LED running lights, and daring character lines.
    The back end is more sedate than the concept and features traditional squared off taillights with LED accents.
    The new A-Class rides on Mercedes-Benz's new MFA front-wheel drive platform, which underpins the new B-Class and is expected to underpin a new compact crossover, small CLS-like sedan, and a new Infiniti compact.
    Engines will be range of gas and diesel options for Europe.
    As for the U.S., we'll not see the A-Class. But, we will see a few models based on the same platform.

    Source: ForoCoches
    More Information on Page 2

    Only a few hours after the leak of some A-Class pictures, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new A-Class to everyone at a press event before the start of the Geneva Motor Show. We have some new information about engines and transmissions.
    The A-Class will have variety of gas and diesel options for the European market. Gas engines will include a 1.6L turbocharged unit producing 121 HP, a 154 HP version of the 1.6L engine, and a 2.0L turbo-four producing 208hp. Diesel options will include a 1.8L engine churning out 108 HP and 184 lb-ft, a 134 HP, 221 lb-ft of the 1.8L, and a 2.2L turbocharged four delivering 168 HP and 258 lb-ft.
    All engines are available with the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and come equipped with the ECO start/stop function standard.
    There is also talk of an AMG version that will use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine possibly delivering well over 300 HP and go to all four wheels.

    Press Release is on Page 3
    "All set for attack"


    Geneva/Stuttgart. The heartbeat of a new generation: at the centre of Mercedes-Benz's presence at the Geneva Motor Show (8 to 18 March 2012) will be the world premiere of the new A-Class. The company is opening up a whole new chapter in the compact segment: markedly emotive in design, with powerful engines ranging from 80 kW (109 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), and extremely efficient, with emissions from just 99g/CO2/km. At the same time the new model underlines that for Mercedes-Benz safety is not a question of price - the standard specification includes, amongst other things, the radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system.
    "A is for Attack: the A-Class is a clear statement of the new dynamism of the Mercedes-Benz brand", explains Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "It is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development, it's not often you get the chance to start with a clean sheet of paper. Our engineers and designers have made the very most of that opportunity."
    Design and dynamism are obvious characteristics of the new A-Class even at first glance, simply in the way it sits up to 18 centimetres closer to the road than its predecessor. The radical new design idiom that was so enthusiastically received upon its first appearance with the "Concept A-CLASS" has been rigorously applied for the series-production model. With their fresh interpretation of the classic two-box design, the Mercedes designers have created an emotive exterior with a pronounced sporty flair.
    "Applying the new dynamic style of Mercedes-Benz to the compact class was a challenge that we thoroughly enjoyed", explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. "The almost sculptural lines of the A-Class are very typical
    for Mercedes. The feature lines, particularly along the sides of the car, then give the A-Class structure and tautness."
    The objective when it came to the interior design was to complement the sporty look of the exterior. On top of this the car has a high-quality feel about it that is unique in this segment, achieved both through the design idiom as such and through the choice and combinations of the high-quality materials used. As seen in the Concept A-CLASS, there is an option allowing a smartphone to be fully integrated into the operating and display system. A special app makes it possible to use the full functionality of the iPhone®, and in due course also of other smartphones, in the car.
    All trim surfaces feature an electroplated finish in "silver chrome", giving them a genuine metallic surface with "cool touch" effect.
    "This is just one example of the way in which the quality of the A-Class's interior is not defined by classic trim elements but by consistent design and by the specific materials used", explains Hartmut Sinkwitz, Head of Interior Design. "The motto we used
    when designing the interior was 'pure sportiness, newly interpreted'."
    Particular visual highlights include, for example, the air vents, which stand out like "sparkling jewels" (Sinkwitz), so underlining the exceptional quality of the interior. The sporty character of the vehicle is further emphasised by the integral seats (optional extra) in the front. The rear seat is similarly sporty in appearance and can accommodate up to three passengers. As well as the basic specification, which can be individualised with a wide range of options, there is a choice of design and equipment lines that have been put together with the requirements of customers in mind: "Urban", "Style", and "AMG Sport".
    The world premiere of the new A-Class (length/width/height: 4292/1780/1433 millimetres) will take place at the Geneva Motor Show (8 to 18 March 2012). It will be making its way to European dealers in September 2012.
    Sporty exclusivity: the A-Class Sport offers a fresh definition of dynamism
    For the first time, the performance specialists from AMG were involved in the development of the compact class from a very early stage. The result is the most dynamic version of the new model series - the A-Class Sport 'engineered by AMG', in which the visual affinity to the Concept A-CLASS is at its most evident - particularly in terms of the new diamond grille. The A-Class Sport features exclusive 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a 5-spoke design with 235/40 R18 tyres all round and painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, together with red-painted brake callipers.
    These give an indication of the particularly dynamic driving qualities of the A 250 Sport and the A 220 CDI Sport, which are differentiated, amongst other factors, by a special AMG-developed front axle and a suspension that has been configured to match.
    Hints of red on the AMG front and rear aprons also serve to emphasise the expressive positioning of the new model. The contrast between black trim and additional accents in red continues in the interior: the contrasting decorative topstitching on the steering wheel and seats is in this same bright shade, as are the seat belts. The ambient lighting of the instruments and the highlight rings of the air vents are similarly red.
    Drive system: new petrol and diesel-powered engines
    A broad range of both petrol and diesel engines has something to suit every performance requirement, whilst also demonstrating the current state of the art in terms of efficiency: for the first time, a Mercedes-Benz will produce emissions of just 99 g of CO2 per kilometre.
    The bandwidth of the new generation of petrol engines with a displacement of 1.6 and 2.0 litres ranges from 90 kW (115 hp) in the A 180 and 115 kW (156 hp) in the A 200 through to 155 kW (211 hp) in the A 250. Common to all is the combination of direct injection and exhaust gas turbocharging, a more advanced combustion process and an extended stratification range for lean-burn operation that uses fast-acting injectors for the multiple injection of the fuel as well as on-demand multi-spark ignition. CAMTRONIC is an innovation that will be celebrating its world premiere in the 1.6-litre engine: adjusting the valve lift on the intake side restricts the amount of fresh mixture used in the partial load range, so reducing consumption.
    The diesel engines also offer an impressively high level of efficiency and environmental compatibility, thanks to sophisticated injection technology
    and turbocharging. The A 180 CDI offers an output of 80 kW (109 hp) and a maximum torque of up to 250 Nm, while the A 200 CDI has a maximum output of 100 kW (136 hp) and torque that rises to 300 Nm. The A 220 CDI has a displacement of 2.2 litres, an output of 125 kW (170 hp) and torque of 350 Nm, delivering absolutely exceptional performance in the A-Class.
    All engines in the new A-Class feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines can be combined either with the new six-speed manual transmission or, as an option, with the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission.
    Further highlights: suspension, aerodynamics, safety
    The dynamism promised by the design and drive system is realised by the suspension. A noticeably lower centre of gravity and a new 4-link rear axle provide the basis for this; and would also make the installation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive possible. Customers can choose between various suspension settings, among them the optional sports suspension with Direct-Steer system. The electromechanical steering in the A-Class has been completely redesigned, so that the electric motor for the power assistance now sits directly on the steering gear in the form of a compact and extremely precise Dual Pinion EPS.
    Its exceptional aerodynamic performance, with a new record Cd value of 0.26, puts the A-Class at the top of its class. This is further helped by the standard roof spoiler, which hides all the unsightly aerials on the A-Class. The A-Class is the only vehicle in its class to feature as standard a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist, which lowers the risk of rear-end collisions. The COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system gives a visual and acoustic warning to alert a possibly distracted driver to identified obstacles, and prepares Brake Assist for the most precise braking response possible. This is initiated as soon as the driver steps firmly on the brake pedal.
    The PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system is now available for the first time in the A-Class. This innovation, which was premiered in the S-Class in 2002, thus makes its very first appearance in the compact class. Core features of PRE-SAFE® are reversible belt tensioning, the closing of side
    windows and sliding sunroof in case of critical lateral dynamics and adjustment of the fully electric front passenger seat with memory functionto an ideal position for maximum effectiveness of the restraint systems. PRE-SAFE® is always activated in response to critical longitudinal and lateral dynamics and may also be triggered upon intervention by certain assistance functions.
    The democratisation of safety also encompasses an array of other assistance systems which have been adopted into the A-Class from the larger model series. These include:
    ATTENTION ASSIST (standard)
    Brake HOLD function (standard)
    Hill-Start Assist (standard)
    DISTRONIC PLUS
    Adaptive Highbeam Assist
    Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist
    Speed Limit Assist (speed limit sign recognition)
    Active Parking Assist
    LINGUATRONIC
    Reversing camera


    William Maley

    Pista, Not Pasta

    Ferrari was hoping to keep their Geneva debut under wraps, but a leak yesterday spoiled those plans. Today, Ferrari has revealed 488 Pista, their latest track day special.
    The Pista (Italian for track) is described by the prancing horse as a model that benefits from the knowledge that was learned in the FIA's World Endurance Championship (this includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans). Most of this knowledge is applied in the aerodynamics of the 488 Pista. This includes reshaped front diffusers, an F1-inspired S-Duct, and a larger rear spoiler. This allows the 488 Pista to produce 20 percent more downforce than the 488 GTB.
    Ferrari has also updated their Side-Slip Angle Control system that enhances driving pleasure. The system is comprised of an electronic differential, F1-Trac stability control, magnetorheological suspension, and Ferrari's Dynamic Enhancer system the varies the pressure of brake calipers. 
    In its lightest guise, Ferrari claims the 488 Pista is about 200 pounds lighter than the standard 488. This includes a number of "optional lightweight features" (which the company is keeping quiet as to what those features are), along with stripping out the interior and increasing the amount of carbon fiber.
    Power for the Pista is a reworked version of the 3.9L twin-turbo V8 engine. Output is rated at 720 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque, making this the most powerful V8 engine Ferrari has used in a street-legal car. Performance figures are impressive,
    0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds 0-124 mph in 7.6 seconds Top speed of 211 mph No word on a release timeframe or price.
    Source: Ferrari
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Introducing the new Ferrari 488 Pista
    Geneva unveiling for exhilarating, high-performance new Special Series Maranello, 21 February 2018 – The Ferrari 488 Pista, which will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, is the successor to Ferrari’s V8-engined special series – the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale – which have received critical acclaim for their performance and undiluted handling.
    The Ferrari 488 Pista marks a significant step forward from the previous special series in terms of both sporty dynamics and for the level of technological carry-over from racing. The name is, in fact, a direct homage to Ferrari’s unparalleled heritage in motor sports.
    The car’s development evolved directly from the company’s involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship – in which it has won five Manufacturers’ titles in the GTE class in the six years since the series’ inception – and its 25 years’ experience in running the Ferrari Challenge one-make series.
    The Ferrari 488 Pista’s extensive weight saving solutions, along with engine, vehicle dynamics and aerodynamic developments, all derive from Ferrari’s racing cars: the 488 GTE and the 488 Challenge. The result is a car with an uncompromising mission: to offer impeccable track-like performance on and off the road, even when in the hands of non-professional drivers.
    LIGHTER AND MORE POWERFUL
    The new model weighs an impressive 90 kg less (1280 kg dry) than the 488 GTB. This fact, combined with the largest ever increase in engine power for a special series car (+50 cv), sets a new benchmark for Ferrari’s V8 sports cars. Its engine is the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history and is an extreme evolution of the turbo unit that won the overall International Engine of the Year award titles in both 2016 and 2017.
    It punches out 720 cv with the highest specific output of in its class (185 cv/l) and is now lighter too, thanks to solutions adopted from the 488 Challenge. As a result it has a top speed of 340 km/h and sprints from 0-100 km/h in 2.85” and 0 -200 km/h in 7.6”.
    The engine sound is unique and unmistakably Ferrari, as such a special car warrants. Both the sound quality and the intensity are higher than the 488 GTB in all gears and at all engine speeds in proportion with the progressive increase in power.
    BOOSTED DOWNFORCE
    The Ferrari 488 Pista makes full use of Ferrari’s motor-sports experience for maximum aerodynamic performance even on the road. Among the racing solutions adopted is the front F1-inspired S-Duct and the design of the front diffusers which feature a ramp angle that was optimised for the 488 GTE to create strong suction for increased downforce. Additionally, the rear blown spoiler is higher and longer and the shape has been optimised. The final result of all these interventions is an impressive 20% increase in downforce compared to the 488 GTB.
    EXHILARATING DRIVING PLEASURE
    The vehicle dynamics were designed to enhance driving pleasure and make the car’s full potential available to all drivers, professional or otherwise. The objective was to make the car’s performance on the limit easier to reach and control.

    This was achieved by synergies between the development of the mechanical set-up and the electronic dynamic controls integrated into version 6 of the Side-Slip Angle Control system. SSC 6.0 incorporates all the following systems: E-Diff3, F1-Trac, the magnetorheological suspension (SCM) and, for the first time ever, the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer. The FDE features a world-first: it uses Ferrari software to adjust the brake pressure at the callipers.
    A POWERFUL, EFFICIENT DESIGN
    The design of the Ferrari 488 Pista is focussed on functional aerodynamic concepts while the cockpit is pared back in keeping with its very sporty vocation. Ferrari Design used innovative elements, such as the aerodynamic S-Duct at the front, as an opportunity to visually shorten the car’s nose, creating an original floating wing effect.
    The racing livery colour scheme is an integral part of the design of the car and the way it dives into the S-Duct underscores the berlinetta’s compact yet imposing forms. Contrasting edging on the aerodynamic elements on the bumpers and flanks add structure to the design.
    The concept of the front is echoed in the dolphin-tail rear spoiler which appears suspended to provide an impression lightness and efficiency, while the rear volumes add a sense of power to the tail.
    Ferrari 488 Pista
    Short technical specifications
    ENGINE
    Type V8 – 90° twin turbo
    Overall displacement 3902 cm3
    Max. power output * 530 kW (720 cv) at 8000 rpm
    Max. torque * 770 Nm at 3000 rpm in 7th gear
    DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS
    Length 4605 mm
    Width 1975 mm
    Height 1206 mm
    Dry weight ** 1280 kg
    PERFORMANCE
    0-100 km/h 2.85 s
    0 -200 km/h 7.6 s
    Max. Speed > 340 km/h
    FUEL CONSUMPTION AND C02 EMISSIONS
    Under homologation
    * With 98 octane petrol
    **With optional lightweight features

    William Maley

    BMW Adds More Confusion With the 4-Series Gran Coupe

    Time for a logic problem: This is the 2015 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe which is like the 3-Series sedan since it has four-doors. But the 4-Series Gran Coupe features a sleeker roofline, is 0.5 inches longer and wider, and a shorter height than a 3-Series. The 4-Series Gran Coupe is also like the 3-Series GT because the two models feature a hatchback, but the Gran Coupe has a bit more legroom than the 3-Series GT. Make sense? Probably not.
    Let's move onto something that will likely make a bit a more sense and that will be the powertrains. Much like the 3/4-Series, the 4-Series Gran Coupe will feature a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder (428i) with 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, and a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six (435i) with 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet. An eight-speed automatic is only transmission available for the U.S. All-wheel drive will be optional on the 428i when the 4-Series Gran Coupe is launched. If you want all-wheel drive on your 435i, you'll have to wait till the end of the year.
    The 4-Series will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, with sales beginning in the summer. Pricing will start at $41,225 for the 428i and $46,725 for the 435i. Prices include a $925 destination charge.
    Source: BMW
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    The New BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
    A new 4-door coupe in the mid-sized performance-luxury segment
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe adds a fresh dimension to one of the company's newest model ranges. It combines the sleek look and sporty character of the 4 Series Coupe with the functionality provided by four-doors and a spacious, flexible luggage compartment. The 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe arrives in the US in early summer of 2014 with two engine choices. The 428i Gran Coupe will feature BMW's award-winning 240hp TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder while the 435i Gran Coupe will be powered by the much-lauded 300hp TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline six. The 428i xDrive Gran Coupe will also be available at launch with BMW's intelligent all-wheel drive system. All versions will be offered in the US with an 8-speed sport automatic transmission. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2014 and makes its US debut at the New York International Auto Show in April 2014.
    Prices in the US will start at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $41,225 (including $925 destination & handling) for the 428i Gran Coupe. The 428i xDrive Gran Coupe will have an MSRP of $43,225, including destination & handling while the top-of-the-line 435i Gran Coupe will have an MSRP of $46,725, again, including destination & handling.
    
    While this model shares the same length, width, wheelbase and track with the extremely dynamic two-door version, the roofline of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is 4.4 inches (112 mm) longer and slopes gently to the rear of the vehicle. What's more, the silhouette is half an inch (12 mm) higher to offer more headroom and comfort for rear-seat passengers. This contributes to increased headroom at all seats and the overall feeling of interior spaciousness. At the same time, the short front and rear overhangs, the long wheelbase relative to the vehicle length, and the set-back passenger compartment are typical BMW touches that add to the perfect balance of the body design and the sleek appearance of this car, which is derived conceptually from the elegant BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.
    Elegant Coupe with the convenience of a Sedan
    "Taking its cue from a large BMW coupe, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe combines a dynamic and sleek silhouette with additional functionality and more spaciousness in the rear passenger compartment." –Won Kyu Kang, exterior designer responsible for the BMW 4 Series.
    Like the two-door version, the sporty dimensions of the 4 Series Gran Coupe are a reflection of its dynamic handling characteristics. The stretched roofline, four frameless doors and a wide, electrically operated tailgate provide the functionality of a sedan within the silhouette of a coupe. The volume of the trunk is 17 cu-ft (480 liters), based on EU measurements. The back of the rear seat can be folded down in a 40:20:40 configuration as desired to increase the load capacity to 45.9 cu-ft (1,300 liters). The flat floor and a two-part loading strip made of stainless steel are practical convenience elements, combined with premium materials. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe can easily transport a baby stroller, two golf bags or weekend luggage for four without using the folding function.
    In contrast to a two-door coupe, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe offers passengers easier access when entering or leaving the vehicle thanks to the four-door configuration. The doors are frameless, having the characteristic design features of BMW midsize coupes. The wide-access tailgate blends perfectly with the overall silhouette. When closed, the precise flow of the lid seams simulates the look of a typical coupe trunk. The standard electric drives that help move the tailgate are installed vertically and require very little space. Thus the area of the rear window is much larger and provides a very good visibility, without limiting available space.
    At first glance, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is an expression of dynamics and refined elegance. With a length of 182.6" (4,638 mm), a width of 71.9" (1,825mm) and a wheelbase of 110.6" (2,810mm), the four-door variant has the same dimensions as the two-door coupe. The track dimensions of both versions – 60.8" (1,545mm) front and 62.8" (1,594mm) rear – are identical and highlight the dynamic potential of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The silhouette of the four-door model is 0.5" (12mm) higher than the two-door. The stretched roofline flows gently across both rear doors and blends into the slightly raised and short rear section of the car.
    Athletic, elegant and powerful from any perspective.
    The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is instantly recognizable from classic BMW design features such as the iconic kidney grille and dual round headlight clusters. The body contours are executed with precision, with multifaceted surfaces that distinguish the eye-catching look up front. Full LED dual headlights can be ordered as an option to bolster the dynamic aura of the vehicle. The three-part, wide air intakes in the front apron emphasize this effect. The extreme left and right apron corners reveal vertical air channels for the Air Curtains. They generate a veil of air around the front wheels, enhancing the aerodynamic efficiency of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
    The profile is distinguished by a bold swage line and a subtle light-catching edge that create the impression of forward movement in the design of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Stretched lines and expressively contoured surfaces generate a dynamic interplay of light and shadows. The gentle slope of the roofline stretches the appearance of the sides even more and visually strengthens the presence of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The taut and smooth appearance of the side windows, with a B-pillar finished in high-gloss black that is nearly invisible, creating a homogeneous profile. The rear edge of the side glass provides a modern interpretation of the Hofmeister kink that is characteristic of BMW vehicles. This extended window surface allows more light into the interior and improves the overall visibility in the rear passenger compartment.
    The rear of the car features clear horizontal lines that accentuate its athletic elegance. The taillights are positioned at the outer edges to receive the swage lines, thus serving as transitional design elements that join the body side panels with the rear section. At the same time, they highlight the wide track and powerfully flared wheel arches. When viewed from the rear, the roof of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is somewhat wider than that of the two- door version, emphasizing its unique character.
    Stylish elegance and sportiness dominate in the interior.
    "The interior of the four-door coupe unifies the seemingly contradictory character of a dynamic two-door coupe with the elegance and utility of a BMW Sedan or a BMW Gran Turismo." –Tim Shih, interior designer responsible for the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
    The interior of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe presents a stylish fusion of sporty allure and luxury. An approach known as layering – the intelligent utilization of space through the structuring of lines and surfaces into layers – expresses the hallmark BMW driver orientation without compromising the passenger experience. The stylish and functional elegance of the interior is highlighted by prominent round instruments with a black panel look and the free- standing flat-screen iDrive monitor. The cockpit and rear passenger compartment are visually joined by trim strips originating in the instrument panel and extending along the upper sections of the door panels into the rear, and embellished by dual-color window sills. The B-pillar blends into the side panel design and includes flowing graphic effects across the entire surface. The side supports and slender head restraints in the rear seat are contoured for a modern, seemingly molded one-piece look that adds to the sporty character of the 4+1 seater.
    The backrest can be folded in 40:20:40 configurations to create more luggage and storage space as required – with a flat floor for easy loading and unloading. When the seat is completely folded down, the maximum volume capacity is 45.9 cu-ft (1,300 liters), based on EU measure. If only the center segment is folded, four people can ride comfortably while transporting long and bulky items like snowboards, skis, etc. When not folded down, this middle section provides space for two cup holders. The Smart Opener function of Comfort Access is included as part of the Premium Package on US models, which automatically opens the tailgate via gesture control – namely a foot movement underneath the rear bumper when arms are full carrying groceries, packages, etc.
    Exclusive: Choice of two Lines or M Sport.
    The premium ambience of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe results from exclusive colors, high-quality and rich material combinations along with special equipment packages for a customized look. In addition to the standard equipment, which highlights the classic character of the vehicle, two design Lines (Sport and Luxury) as well as M Sport are available. These optional packages endow each 4 Series Gran Coupe with a particular character and identity by embellishing the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Sport and Luxury lines offer various renditions of the following elements in contrast to the basic standard equipment: appearance and color of the kidney grille and air intakes, Air Breathers and mirror covers, side window design, front and rear apron trim, door sill finishers, and an interior center stack finished in high-gloss black.
    To make the strongest dynamic statement, the M Sport package is also available at model launch with special body elements, exterior colors, light-alloy wheels and interior elements.
    Sport Line: In this optional equipment line, special body elements are highlighted in black. The subtle B pillar and the nine slats in the chrome-colored kidney grille have a high-gloss black finish, whereas the side window elements are finished in matt black. The air intakes in the front spoiler and the Air Breathers in high-gloss black draw attention to the aerodynamic elements of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The sporty look is enhanced even more with 18-inch or 19-inch light-alloy wheels with a dynamic double-spoke design. The rear is also distinguished by dark elements. A black trim strip and a tailpipe embellisher finished in black chrome stand for sporty dynamics. The interior, by contrast, expresses sporty flair with red accents. For example, the inner rings of the dash instruments and contrast stitching on the steering wheel are red. This character can be highlighted further in the 4 Series Gran Coupe with additional options such as the Coral Red Dakota leather interior with red lower dashboard.
    Luxury Line: Bright chrome that highlights subtle accents contributes to the exceptionally elegant character of the vehicle. The 11 grille slats with chrome-colored fronts and the bright dual crossbar in the front apron's air intakes are very classy touches. The Air Breathers and high-gloss chrome window details add to the appealing look. Light-alloy wheels – 18-inch or 19-inch – with an intricate multi-spoke design reflect extravagance. From the rear, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe can be identified by the tailpipe and horizontal trim strip in the rear apron all finished in high-gloss chrome.
    Chrome accents also harmonize with the luxurious interior. The enclosure surrounding the audio system and air conditioning controls, as well as the circular rings highlighting the instrumentation, are eye-catching touches. Premium leather, finely crafted with precise stitching, is available in four classic and elegant colors such as Saddle Brown as well as the new Ivory White that is exclusive to the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
    M Sport: The technology, functions and extraordinary driving dynamics that distinguish every BMW automobile are also evident in the DNA of the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Of course, these can be augmented with M Sport which is available at launch. This equipment package is comprised of elements that emphasize street performance – for example, aerodynamic features like the large air intake up front, the diffuser insert in the rear bumper and rocker panel trim matching the color of the vehicle. The characteristic M styling of the 18-inch and 19-inch light-alloy wheels adds to the bold impression. Six exterior colors are offered with M Sport, including exclusive choices such as Carbon Black Metallic (which is available for the first time on any 4 Series) and Estoril Blue Metallic.
    Inside the car, features such as M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver's footrest shape the sporty yet elegant ambience. The driver and front passenger can settle into the dynamic-looking and elegant sport seats upholstered in either SensaTec or supple Dakota Leather.
    Technical features of this package include M Sport suspension and the optional M Sport brakes with calipers in contrasting blue paint finish.
    Engines feature BMW TwinPower Turbo technology.
    The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe offers a choice of two powerful, and efficient engines in the US featuring the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The range includes the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine in the BMW 435i Gran Coupe ‒ as well as the light and powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the BMW 428i Gran Coupe.
    The power from the engines is delivered to the rear wheels via the standard eight-speed sport Steptronic transmission. All BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe feature the Auto Start Stop function.
    At model launch, the BMW 428i Gran Coupe can be optionally equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive technology.
    The performance and torque delivered by ultramodern BMW engines is due in large part to TwinPower Turbo technology. This technology includes innovative solutions such as high- precision direct injection, a turbocharger operating according to the Twin-Scroll principle, double VANOS variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve control. The low-friction engines are also equipped with an aluminum crankcase. This technology package is unrivalled worldwide and combines high performance with utmost efficiency.
    BMW 435i Gran Coupe: inline six-cylinder engine with bold performance, powerful torque and silken smoothness.
    The large-displacement, inline six-cylinder in the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé delivers power with high-revving characteristics and extraordinary smoothness. The 3.0-liter power plant delivers 300 hp between 5,800 rpm and 6,000 rpm, thus contributing to the sovereign dynamics of the new Gran Coupe. Peak torque of 300 lb-ft is generated as low down as 1,300 rpm and remains on tap up to 5,000 rpm. The new BMW 435i Gran Coupé sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. While official US EPA numbers are not yet available for the 435i Gran Coupe, they are expected to be in line with the 435i Coupe, which is rated at 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25 mpg combined.
    BMW 428i Gran Coupe: four cylinders and the ideal balance between sportiness and efficiency.
    Superior performance, spirited power development, high-revving characteristics and low weight: These are the qualities of the innovative four-cylinder petrol engine in the BMW 428i Gran Coupe that ensure a perfect balance between dynamic performance and efficiency. The BMW TwinPower Turbo engine combines high-revving characteristics and high-performance output with low fuel consumption and reduced emissions. The 2.0-liter engine delivers a maximum power output of 240 hp, which is reached between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm. Peak torque of 255 lb-ft is generated between 1,250 rpm and 4,800 rpm. The new BMW 428i Gran Coupe sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. Official US EPA numbers are not yet available for the 428i Gran Coupe, they are expected to be in line with the 428i Coupe, which is rated at 23 mpg city/35 mpg highway/27 mpg combined.
    BMW xDrive: intelligent all-wheel drive for two engine variants.
    At model launch, the BMW 428i Gran Coupe can be optionally equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive technology as an alternative to classic rear-wheel drive. In addition to the typical all-wheel drive benefits, such as optimal transmission of engine power to the road, outstanding traction and maximum safety, BMW xDrive reduces understeer and oversteer in curves and thus contributes to agile and precision handling, especially when entering into and accelerating out of curves. The all-wheel system even compensates for sudden load shifts with ease – drivers will immediately feel the dynamic qualities of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The 435i Gran Coupe will be made available with xDrive later in the year.
    Eight-speed sport Steptronic automatic standard.
    Fast gear changes and outstanding shift comfort are qualities delivered by the eight-speed sport Steptronic transmission. Extra shift phases keep increases in rpm small between gear changes, and that contributes to optimal transmission of engine power in every driving situation. Numerous technological innovations and a remarkably high degree of internal efficiency ensure that fuel consumption and emissions do not rise. The intelligent management and control technology also results in extremely short shifting and response times, along with direct gear engagement.
    The standard eight-speed sport Steptronic transmission also rewards drivers with a sporty, "hands-on" experience – they can rely on automatic shifting or manually change gears themselves by using shift paddles on the steering wheel. Drive Mode and Sport Mode are selected with the Driving Dynamics Control on the center console.
    Elaborate suspension technology for the highest degree of comfort, typical BMW handling characteristics, steering and driving precision.
    Rear-wheel drive, steering free from drivetrain influences and well-balanced 50:50 weight distribution create the ideal preconditions for dynamic performance, excellent directional stability and agile handling characteristics. A low center of gravity, a meticulously tuned suspension setup and an intelligent lightweight construction concept result in a first-class overall package that combines seemingly contradictory qualities such as maximum dynamics and outstanding riding comfort in a unique way.
    The BMW 4 Series Coupe provides the basis for sporting performance.
    The suspension of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is modeled on that of the two-door model variant and has the corresponding dimensions. The wheelbase measures 110.6" (2,810mm), the track width 60.8" (1,545mm) at the front and 62.8" (1,594mm) at the rear. The rear track on xDrive variants is 62.6" (1,544mm). While the axle and elastokinematics correspond to that of the BMW 4 Series Coupe, suspension and damping were tailored exclusively to the four-door version.
    Lastly, specific car body reinforcement measures and an innovative strut concept within the front and rear sections of the vehicle help to enhance steering precision and response. Nevertheless, the four-door coupe is only marginally heavier than the two-door variant and even lighter than its competitors. Consequently, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is characterized by driving dynamics, agile handling characteristics and a high level of precision. Ride comfort remains at a very high level, so the dynamic four-door presents itself as a vehicle that is completely suitable for everyday use.
    Aluminum double-pivot spring-strut suspension up front.
    The front suspension of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is based on the tried and tested double-joint spring-strut aluminum construction, which combines maximum stiffness with minimum weight and significantly reduces unsprung masses. Furthermore, a torsion bar located between the front axle support and the sill creates an overall stiffer connection between the front wheels and the vehicle. Models with BMW xDrive all-wheel drive technology feature a special combination comprising a load-bearing strut and transverse brace. An additional strut connecting the suspension domes and the bulkhead significantly enhances the stiffness of the front end. Therefore, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe responds very directly to the driver's steering inputs, resulting in sporty and agile handling and allowing the car to corner effortlessly and with the highest degree of precision.
    Five-arm rear suspension for comfort and active driving.
    The rear suspension of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe plays a critical role in boosting the car's dynamic ability and motoring comfort. The proven five-arm concept features extra- wide mounts and supports on the wheel carriers for track and camber, slightly repositioned pivot points, ultra-stiff control arms and axle subframes. It uses thrust arms to connect the suspension with the body. This layout provides the basis for a sporty overall set-up combined with excellent comfort characteristics. As a result, the rear suspension guarantees precise wheel guidance, maximum directional stability and exemplary ride comfort.
    Servotronic as standard, variable sports steering as an option.
    The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coup features standard Servotronic power steering. The system provides speed-sensitive power assistance and the clearly defined mapping results in sharper steering feel and feedback. The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe can be equipped with variable sports steering as an option. This uses different steering ratios depending on the amount of lock applied. Only a small amount of steering effort is required for maneuvering, for example, while unbeatable tracking and straightline stability at high speeds are guaranteed.
    High-performance and lightweight brake system.
    The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe comes equipped with powerful swing-caliper or fixed- caliper brakes and large, inner-vented brake discs. The front calipers are made of aluminum. As well as boasting low unsprung masses, the brakes also give superior heat tolerance, excellent wet braking performance, ease of use and excellent feel. A brake pad wear indicator and the Brake Drying function are standard on all models.
    Intelligent lightweight construction: reduced weight, maximum stability.
    The weight optimization of all components significantly influences the dynamic performance of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Intelligent lightweight design, a complex bodywork construction and the innovative strut concept all provide a level of body stiffness that is on par with that of the two-door model variant. This is why the four-door Gran Coupe provides levels of agility and precision that one would expect of a BMW sports coupe. The use of high-strength and extra-high-strength multi-phase steel as well as tailored blanks – customized precision components for specific applications – maximizes the degree of stability at an optimized weight. Crucial, stiffness-enhancing components are made of micro-alloyed steel. As a result, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe features torsional rigidity that matches that of the two-door model variant.
    Aerodynamics: clever detail solutions for reducing consumption.
    The reduction of air resistance enhances driving dynamics and reduces consumption. Optimization measures on the front apron and at the rear as well as the streamlined, smooth-surfaced underbody help the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe achieve a remarkable aerodynamic drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.27. For example, the BMW Air Curtains in the front apron generate a veil of air that reduces turbulence – and therefore drag – around the front wheels. In order to further optimize driving dynamics, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe features aerodynamically designed wheel arches and air lips positioned in front of them. The Air Breathers positioned rearwards of the front wheel arches divert some of the air flowing through the wheel arches, thereby reducing air resistance.
    Adaptive suspension, M Sport suspension and M Sport brakes.
    An M Sport suspension with a firmer spring/damper set-up and more robust front and rear anti-roll bars is available as an option for the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, and can also be ordered separately from the M Sport package. 18-inch or 19-inch M light alloys are also included in this particular case. Alternatively, customers may prefer to specify adaptive suspension – with its focused sporting set-up and electronically controlled shock absorbers – which adjusts the damper mapping to the road surface and driving situation at hand. BMW also offers an M Sport brake system for the new Gran Coupe. The team of aluminum fixed calipers (four-piston at the front, two-piston at the rear) and generously sized discs provide ideal preconditions for very short stopping distances.
    Sportier, more comfortable or more efficient at the push of a button.
    In addition to superior driving dynamics, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe delivers a high level of motoring comfort. Using Driving Dynamics Control, the driver can change the vehicle's overall characteristic according to each driving situation or personal preference to either a sporty or comfortable setting. Accelerator pedal progression, engine response, power steering characteristics and response thresholds of DSC Dynamic Stability Control are influenced by this. The system also interacts with the Steptronic transmission and the optional Dynamic Damper Control. Drivers can select their desired mode – ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and even SPORT+. Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and suspension components.
    BMW EfficientDynamics: better performance, better fuel economy.
    Impressive performance coupled with exemplary efficiency is based on the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy, the results of which are implemented in almost all areas on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The optimized fuel economy of the engines, transmissions delivering a high level of efficiency, the intelligent lightweight construction concept, honed aerodynamics and other efficiency-enhancing technologies incorporated into the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe all help to optimize driving dynamics, while at the same time reducing consumption and emissions.
    Package of measures to consistently reduce emissions and increase the pleasure of driving.
    The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe features an Auto Start Stop function to bring about additional economy advantages. Brake Energy Regeneration, which is also a standard feature, ensures that the generation of electric current for the onboard electrical systems concentrates on the overrun and braking phases. ECO PRO mode in particular helps the driver of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe to achieve the best possible fuel efficiency. ECO PRO influences the engine control unit and the characteristic curve of the accelerator pedal. In addition, it contributes to intelligent energy and climate management. The driver is also provided with tips on how to reduce energy consumption even further for the best possible motoring efficiency.
    In conjunction with the Steptronic transmission, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe also features a coasting mode. At speeds of between 30 and 100 mph (50 and 160 km/h), in ECO PRO mode, the drivetrain is disconnected as soon as the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal. As a result, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vehicle is able to 'sail' without engine power, thereby also achieving maximum fuel efficiency.
    The ancillary units are also incorporated into the intelligent energy management system of the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Examples include the demand-controlled coolant pump, the map-controlled oil pump as well as electromechanical power steering, whose electric motor only uses energy when power steering is required. The same is true for the on-demand air-conditioning compressor which reduces the system's power loss to a minimum.
    Intelligent lightweight construction reduces consumption.
    Systematic lightweight construction plays a major part in increasing efficiency and agility. This concept is applied in all areas of development and comprises all components. The targeted utilization of plastics, state-of-the-art composites and the increased deployment of aluminum components in the manufacture of engines and suspensions have helped reduce the weight of the corresponding assembly groups. All these measures have a positive effect on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe's driving dynamics.
    BMW ConnectedDrive: Comfort, safety and infotainment.
    The networking of driver, vehicle and the outside world with new assistance systems and information and entertainment features is increasingly enhancing safety and comfort within the vehicle. BMW was early in recognizing the significance of networking and began integrating the digital world in its cars many years ago. The BMW ConnectedDrive systems offered in the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe either as standard or as an option underline the technological leadership. The extraordinarily high level of development in mobile automotive communication is reflected in the fact that even after purchasing a BMW, customers can, for a limited period of time, flexibly order and subscribe to a range of technologies and services.
    Navigation System: operation with touch controller.
    The latest generation of the Navigation System has a significantly greater breadth of functionality and a high-resolution, contrast-rich, color display. The graphics of the previous user interface have been completely revised and the navigation system's maps now have 3D elements. The central Control Display is operated in the familiar way using the ergonomically perfectly positioned iDrive touch controller in the center console, which now has an integral new, touch-sensitive surface and proximity sensor technology for even more convenient use. Users can use their finger to write characters or to enter destinations in the navigation system. They can now choose between using their handwriting or conventionally entering the destinations by rotating and pressing the controller.
    Head-Up Display: full-color, high-resolution.
    In the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, all information relevant to the driver is presented by the Head-Up Display directly in the driver's line of vision. The information from the assistance systems, the navigation system or information pertaining to speed is projected onto the windshield in a particularly brilliant resolution using the full color spectrum. The wide variety of driver assistance systems now available brings the amount of information that can be shown in the Head-Up Display to a whole new level.
    Advanced Real Time Traffic Information: the smart way to avoid congestion.
    The quality of traffic management depends on the quality and timeliness of traffic data available. The optional ARTTI (Advanced Real Time Traffic Information) system from BMW transmits data quickly and accurately via the mobile phone network. A SIM card integrated in the vehicle receives traffic data in real time and then calculates routes or detours instantly. ARTTI covers interstate highways and state highways as well as primary, secondary or even tertiary roads. Data is additionally obtained from local authority traffic management systems to provide precise information on traffic density. ARTTI is included with the Navigation System option in the US.
    Active Driving Assistant warns the driver of potential collisions – including those involving pedestrians.
    The Active Driving Assistant uses intelligently networked camera-based assistant systems and image processing to detect any people or vehicles within its field of vision. The movements of pedestrians are difficult to anticipate – they stop or suddenly change direction. Therefore, they impose much higher demands on the detection capabilities of assistant systems than vehicles driving ahead. When the system recognizes a looming risk of collision, it produces an acute audible warning and a visual signal appears in the instrument cluster or the Head-Up Display to alert the driver that he or she is drawing too close. The system ideally avoids a collision or, should worst come to worst, significantly reduces the consequences of an impact.
    Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function: a system of many talents.
    More active safety and more comfort are provided by the latest version of BMW's Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function (ACC Stop&Go). It uses the data provided by the full-range radar sensors, continuously measures the proximity of the vehicle ahead and warns the BMW driver if necessary. Active Cruise Control with automatic distance control is now available at speeds between 20 and 130 mph (30 km/h and 210 km/h).
    Active Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning systems use sensors and camera monitoring.
    Active Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning are convenience and safety- enhancing assistance systems. These systems employ radar sensors and use the data from the front camera to alert drivers to potential collision risks when changing lanes or if they veer out of lane unintentionally and also issue a warning when driving too close to the vehicle ahead. The Lane Departure Warning system is only available as part of the Active Driving Assistant.
    Speed Limit Info: always up to date.
    In conjunction with the Navigation System, Speed Limit Info helps to keep the driver informed of the speed limit for the current stretch of road. The front-mounted camera ensures that additional signs or variable overhead gantry signs are taken into account. In addition, the system is able to reliably identify and react to temporary speed limits. When the window wipers are active, the system also detects signs that are valid in wet conditions only. In conjunction with the exact onboard time, speed limits are presented which are only in force at certain times of day or night.
    Improved sight at night: full LED headlights with High Beam Assistant.
    The bright white light emitted by full LED headlights illuminates the road ahead with an exceptional intensity. The High Beam Assistant can also adapt to the traffic situation by switching to low beam. In conjunction with the front camera, the system reliably detects well lit stretches of road and switches to low beam when passing through cities, for example. The LED headlights with High Beam Assistant significantly increase the usage of high beam and therefore provide for better sight and increased safety when driving at night. When LED headlights are fitted, the optional fog lights are also implemented in LED technology, which further accentuates the premium character of the car's features and equipment.
    Superb overview and convenient parking.
    In addition to the rear view camera and PDC Park Distance Control, customers can also opt for the Surround View function with Side View and TopView, which provides a bird's eye view of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the area around it, enabling the driver to carry out precise maneuvers in tight spaces. If the car's speed is under about 12 mph (20 km/h), the Side View function can additionally be activated to allow the driver to keep an eye on cross traffic. Convenience is further enhanced by the BMW Parking Assistant system which is able to maneuver the car into parking spaces parallel to the direction of travel. Sensors detect possible parking spaces while driving by and the system perfectly maneuvers the car into the parking spot if desired. The driver controls the speed by applying the accelerator and the brake pedal as well as switch between the forward and reverse gear.
    Services and apps: innovative services and infotainment in its purest form.
    Due to the ever-increasing popularity of smartphones and other digital devices, Internet, apps and digital services have been an integral of everyday life for some time now.
    BMW ConnectedDrive offers high-performance interface technology and provides top-of- the-range infotainment and entertainment capability that enables the driver and passengers to make extensive use of external mobile phones and music players. Through the optional ConnectedDrive Services, the world of apps can be integrated into the vehicle. Browser- based BMW online applications are loaded directly into the vehicle via an embedded onboard SIM card. These applications put at the driver's disposal online services such as weather, news or office functions. Smartphone apps allow in-car use of innovative services like Stitcher, Audible, Amazon Cloud Player, Twitter or Facebook.
    The latest-generation Navigation System features a full speech recognition function and an optimized voice control system to complete the portfolio of office functions offered by BMW ConnectedDrive. The full speech recognition system enables drivers to dictate text freely and compose short text-based messages by voice. In addition, Internet-based services, as well as calendar entries and text-based messages, can still be viewed in the Control Display of the iDrive operating system and read out via the Text to Speech function.
    The all-new 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe arrives in US showrooms in early summer.

    Drew Dowdell

    A Swedish answer to Tesla Model 3.

    Polestar, a sub-brand of Volvo, is taking direct aim at the Tesla Model 3 with its just unveiled Polestar 2.  Polestar says it will be the first EV to compete directly against the Model 3 in the marketplace.  The MSRP of the Polestar 2 is listed at 39,900€ or about $45,395 at today's exchange rate. Polestar will start with a Launch Edition model at 59,900€ ($68,150) will be the lead off model for the first 12 months of production.
    The Polestar is a dual-motor 5-door fastback with a 78kWh battery that allows for a 310 mile range on the European cycle, or 275 miles when rated by the US EPA. Built on Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture, the battery is built into the floor of the chassis to increase structural rigidity and reduces noise.
    The dual-motor all-wheel drive setup in the Polestar 2 produces 408 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque and launches the car to 62 mph in under 5 seconds. Charging time was not released, but Polestar is partnering with the largest public charging networks to provide a hassle free charging experience.  Charging point locations are accessible through a phone app or the in-car electronics. Drivers' phone can also act as a key.
    Thought into progressive design is shown inside and out.  Pixel LED headlights and proximity lighting show a unique welcome sequence. The new Polestar logo is projected onto the panoramic sunroof. The interior is constructed entirely out of vegan materials.

    Production of Polestar 2 starts early next year in China.  The Polestar 2 will only be available for order online.  Initially, Polestar 2 will only be offered in China, U.S., Canada, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and UK.
    Polestar Press Release on Page 2
    Polestar reveals new Polestar 2
    Polestar has taken the next step in its development as the electric performance brand with the reveal of the new Polestar 2. Polestar 2 is the new all-electric fastback that brings electric performance cars to a broader and increasingly progressive audience. It offers avant-garde design and a unique customer experience in the premium compact electric segment. Polestar 2 is the first electric car to compete in the marketplace around the Tesla Model 3, with the range starting at a guide price of 39,900 euros. For the first 12 months of production, guide price of the launch edition is 59,900 euros1.
    “Polestar 2 is our first fully electric car and first volume model. Everything about it has been designed and engineered with passion and dedication. As an electric performance brand, and through the forthcoming launch of a portfolio of fully electric cars, Polestar is determined to address the world’s air quality challenges. Polestar delivers electric performance cars that are great to own and drive,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar.
    Polestar 2 is a premium five-door fastback with two electric motors and a 78 kWh battery capacity2 that will enable a targeted range of 500 km3, based on Volvo Car Group’s adaptable Compact Modular Architecture platform (CMA). The 27-module battery pack is integrated into the floor and contributes to the rigidity of the chassis as well as improves the car’s noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels – road noise has been reduced by 3.7 dB compared to a traditional chassis.
    Polestar will answer the important question of charging Polestar 2 with a smart, convenient and extensive approach. With a connected digital solution available both in-car and on mobile devices, Polestar is setting up strategic collaborations to give Polestar 2 owners easy and hassle-free access to the world’s largest public charging networks.
    For Polestar, performance underlies the entire driving experience. The all-wheel drive electric powertrain in Polestar 2 produces 300 kW (408 hp) and 660 Nm (487 lb-ft). This translates to a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of less than 5 seconds.
    The standard dynamic chassis can be enhanced by the Performance Pack that improves driving dynamics with Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and unique 20-inch forged wheels. Polestar’s signature gold seat belts, brake callipers and valve caps complete the performance visuals.
    Highlighting the technology spearhead role that Polestar plays within the Volvo Car Group, Polestar 2 is one of the first cars in the world to embed an infotainment system powered by Android. The Android backbone provides a solid and adaptable digital environment for apps and vehicle functions to coexist, and brings embedded Google services to a car for the first time – including the Google Assistant, Google Maps with support for electric vehicles and the Google Play Store5. Natural voice control and a new 11-inch touch screen display bring the new interface to life.
    Phone-as-Key technology enables car sharing and a more integrated ownership experience, as well as Polestar’s connected services such as pick-up and delivery. It also allows Polestar 2 to sense the driver upon approach. Smart features like enlarged graphics in the instrument cluster allow the driver to easily see the charging status and range before entering the car. Polestar 2 can also predetermine the driver’s next move to create a seamless experience with a prepared cabin and quick start sequence.
    Maximilian Missoni, head of Design at Polestar, comments: “We decided to bring something different to the segment. Our avant-garde design has evolved from Polestar 1 into an edgier, bolder statement. We have also designed a standard vegan interior with progressive textiles that will appeal to the forward-thinking audience who will subscribe to Polestar 2.”
    Design-led features include Pixel LED headlights4 and proximity lighting which enable a unique welcome sequence, Polestar’s now-signature frameless side mirrors and the unique illuminated Polestar logo, which is reflected onto the car’s panoramic glass roof.
    In common with all Polestar cars, Polestar 2 will only be available for ordering online. The guide purchase price for the launch version of Polestar 2 is 59,900 euros1 with subscription pricing to follow at a later date. Pre-orders are open at polestar.com. Production of Polestar 2 begins in early 2020 in China for global markets in both left- and right-hand drive.
    Polestar 2 will make its first public appearance at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show in March, and then embark on a global roadshow in Europe, North America and China throughout 2019. Polestar 2 will also be available in a network of soon-to-be-opened Polestar Spaces that will provide physical viewing and test drive opportunities.
    Initial launch markets include China, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Other markets are under consideration for future expansion.

    William Maley

    Who doesn't want 577 horsepower box on wheels?

    Last month's Detroit Auto Show saw Mercedes-Benz unveil the all-new 2019 G-Class. A number of folks were excited as this was the first full-redesign since the model was introduced back in 1979. But there were a number of people wondering if and when an AMG version would arrive. The G-Class is unique in Mercedes-Benz's lineup as half of the models sold are the AMG variant. Good news, Mercedes has revealed the 2019 G63 that will be debuting next month at the Geneva Motor Show.
    Under the G63's hood is a variant of the 4.0L BiTurbo V8 that is found in a number of Mercedes and AMG models. In this guise, the V8 produces 577 horsepower and 621 pound-feet of torque (available between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm). This is paired with a nine-speed automatic and a 40/60 split four-wheel drive system with three locking differentials. 0-60 mph takes 4.4 seconds (about a second faster than the current G63) and top speed stands at 137 mph. Opt for the Driver's package and top speed rises to 149 mph.
    The suspension has been given the once-over by AMG with new adaptive dampers and coil springs on all wheels. The steering system features a variable ratio and speed-sensitive rack.
    Outside, the G63 comes with AMG's Panamericana grille design, wider fenders, red brake calipers, and optional 22-inch wheels. A flat-bottom steering wheel and Nappa leather upholstery are key changes for the interior.
    Mercedes-Benz is keeping quiet on the price, but we're expecting to be above the $150,000 mark. The 2019 G63 arrives in the U.S. at the end of this year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The new 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63
    New appearance of the high-performance G-Class Feb 13, 2018 – Affalterbach: The new 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 has undergone the greatest change in its history - while remaining true to its well-proven virtues. The G63 underpins its unique position among performance off-road vehicles with a powerful drive system, an AMG-developed suspension, AMG-specific transmission modes and a new interior with optimal widescreen cockpit. The basis for the hallmark AMG Driving Performance both on and off road is provided by the 577 hp handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, rear- biased all-wheel drive (40:60) with three differential locks, extremely fast- shifting 9-speed automatic transmission, double wishbone independent front suspension and adaptive adjustable damping. The reinterpretation of the unmistakable design creates strong highlights with the AMG-specific radiator grille, flared wheel arches, striking side pipes on the exhaust system and wheels up to 22-inches in diameter.
    "The new AMG G63 brings driving performance to the segment of unadulterated off-road vehicles in unexpected form. It was important for us to tie in with the original character on account of the cult status the G63 enjoys with our customers and fans. The vehicle has nevertheless reached a completely new dimension in terms of technology with the handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine as well as in combination with the off-road characteristics, the agility and the vehicle dynamics achieved," explains Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "This applies to the entire G-Class model series. Mercedes-AMG is responsible for their suspension and chassis development as well as V8 competence."
    Proven to be powerful: the handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine
    The handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine now also replaces the previous 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine in the G63. It generates 577 hp in this model, and delivers a maximum torque of 627 lb-ft. This is available across a wide rev range between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm, and provides a sense of effortless superiority. The G63 completes a sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds (est.), 0.9 seconds faster than the previous model. This dynamic performance is maintained up to the limited maximum speed of 137 mph, or 149 mph with the AMG Driver's package.
    The two turbochargers are not positioned on the outside of the cylinder banks, but inside the cylinder "V." Advantages: a compact engine design, spontaneous response of the turbochargers and low exhaust emissions thanks to optimal airflow to the near-engine catalysts. The eight-cylinder delivers its power with muscular torque in all engine speed ranges, combined with maximum efficiency for low fuel consumption and emission figures.
    Two twin scroll turbochargers are used for optimal response. The housing is divided into two parallel flow channels. Combined with two separate exhaust ducts in the exhaust manifold, this makes it possible to control the exhaust gases on the turbine wheel separately. The exhaust gas from the first and fourth cylinders of the cylinder bank is fed into one duct, that from the second and third cylinders to the other duct. The aim is to prevent the individual cylinders from having mutually adverse effects on the gas cycle. This reduces the exhaust gas back pressure and improves gas exchange. The results are increased output by virtue of improved cylinder charging with fresh mixture, more torque at low revs and very fast response times.
    Other engine features include modified pistons, optimized intercooling and extensive software upgrades. Spray-guided direct gasoline injection with piezo injectors, an all-aluminum crankcase, four-valve per cylinder design with camshaft adjustment, air-water intercooling, alternator management, ECO start/stop function and gliding mode have all been retained.
    AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system
    For more efficiency, Mercedes-AMG has equipped the V8 engine in the G63 with the AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system. In the partial-load range, cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated, which significantly lowers the fuel consumption.
    When the driver has selected the "Comfort" transmission driving mode, the cylinder deactivation system is available in the wide engine speed range from 1,000 to 3,250 rpm. The AMG main menu on the instrument cluster informs the driver whether the cylinder deactivation system is in use and whether the engine is presently operating in the partial or full-load range. The transition from four to eight-cylinder operation is fast and imperceptible, so that the passengers do not experience any loss of comfort whatsoever.
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission with shorter shift times
    The AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission is used in the G63. This has a model-specific software application to achieve very short shift times. The multiple downshift function allows more spontaneous bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined engine manipulation makes for even faster gear changes.
    The wide ratio spread allows a choice of a very sporty or a very comfortable and efficient driving experience. In all transmission modes the G63 moves off in first gear so as to ensure a dynamic sprint from a standstill whenever required. The DIRECT SELECT lever has been repositioned as a steering column stalk.
    "Manual" mode can be selected using a separate switch. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
    Enhanced agility and traction: AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive
    The standard-specification AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear split of 40 to 60 percent. This configuration ensures greater agility on the road and improved traction during acceleration. In the preceding model the distribution was a neutral 50:50.
    The off-road reduction gear has been developed further for operation on difficult terrain and helps to ensure that the G63 is able to master even more demanding off-road stretches. The reduction ratio of the transfer case is now 2.93 : 1, considerably higher than in the preceding model (2.1 : 1). This assists moving off on extreme uphill gradients in particular, as the torque at the drive wheels is significantly increased.
    The off-road reduction gear can be engaged via the LOW RANGE switch at speeds of up to 25 mph. The gear ratio of the transfer case is then changed from 1.00 in HIGH RANGE to 2.93. It is possible to switch from LOW RANGE to HIGH RANGE at speeds of up to 44 mph.
    The new, intelligent multiplate clutch behaves like an automatically controlled locking differential. It ensures that the new G63 remains maneuverable for longer when off-road. The advantage is that the driver has more scope before having to engage the differential locks manually.
    When the driver operates the switch for the center differential lock, the multiplate clutch switches to a 100% locking effect. The locks at the front and rear axle differentials are differential locks with a dog clutch and a 100% locking effect. All the locks can be engaged individually while on the move in LOW RANGE: firstly center, then rear axle and finally front axle differential.
    The differential locks now respond to the switches even more rapidly, as they are electromechanically actuated and fully networked. An LED and the central driver's display indicate which lock is currently active.
    With adaptive adjustable damping: AMG-developed suspension
    The new G63 performs even better when off-road, and on the road it is more dynamic and comfortable than its predecessor. The agile driving impression is substantially due to the suspension system, which has been completely redesigned by Mercedes-AMG and features coil springs all-round. For the first time the front axle has an independent, double wishbone suspension; a rigid axle with a five-link suspension is used at the rear.
    The components of the double-wishbone front suspension are directly mounted to the ladder-type frame without a subframe. The attachment points of the lower wishbone are positioned as far up as possible. This arrangement ensures good drivability both on and off the road. A strut tower brace, known as a suspension bridge, now connects the front strut towers, which increases the torsional rigidity of the ladder-type frame.
    At the rear, the new axle is guided with four longitudinal control arms on each side and a Panhard rod. This makes normal driving on the road even more comfortable. When off-road, the rear spring compression of 3.2 inches and rebound of 5.6 inches plus the ground clearance of 9.5 inches to the rear axle gear help to ensure a safe ride even in extreme situations. To reduce body roll, the G63 has additional transverse stabilizers at the front and rear axles.
    The AMG suspension with adaptive adjustable damping is standard equipment. This fully automatic, electronically controlled system adjusts the damping at each wheel to the current requirements. This improves driving safety and ride comfort. The damping is adjusted individually for each wheel, and depends on the driving style, the road surface and the selected suspension setting. The ideal operating point can be selected at all times on the basis of extensive information relating to acceleration or vehicle speed, for example.
    Via a switch on the center console, the driver can choose between three different sets of damping characteristics, namely "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport+," and thus individually influence the driving experience from very comfortable to taut and sporty.
    Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
    The electromechanical speed-sensitive steering installed in the G63 for the first time has a variable ratio to ensure precise and authentic feedback. The steering servo assistance is reduced at high speeds and continuously increases at low speeds. This means that comparatively little steering force is required at low speeds and that the best possible control over the vehicle is maintained at high speeds. Steering power assistance is available in a choice of two modes - "Comfort" or "Sport." The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode, or can be personalized in "Individual" mode. In "Sport" the driver receives more direct feedback about the driving status.
    Characteristics at the touch of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
    For the first time in the history of the Mercedes-AMG G-Class, the driving characteristics can be individualized at the touch of a finger with five on-road and three off-road driving modes.
    With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT on-road modes "Slippery," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+" and "Individual," the characteristics range from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. Key parameters such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering are modified in the process. Independently of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. If required, the stages of the adaptive adjustable suspension can be selected as well.
    Three off-road modes - "Sand," "Trail," and "Rock" - are available when driving off the beaten track. These are accessed using the switch in the center console for activation of the central differential lock, and can then be selected with the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT rocker switch. "Trail" allows maximum performance on soft, muddy or slippery surfaces. "Sand" modifies the parameters for sporty dynamics and the best possible grip and steerability on sandy stretches or desert sand dunes. "Rock" is the mode for extremely demanding, rocky terrain with severe axle articulation and frequent lifting of one or more wheels.
    All the driving modes, both On Road and Off Road, are visualized in the instrument cluster and in the central media display. Deselection of all the locks returns the setting to the on-road driving modes.
    Bodyshell: made for the toughest jobs
    The basis for the enormous off-road capabilities of the G63 is provided by a torsionally rigid ladder-type frame of high-strength steel and a mounted body of composite construction. This design is considerably more robust and suitable for off-road operations than a unibody construction. As the lowest point of this construction, the frame ensures a low center of gravity and protects the major assemblies, fuel tank and exhaust system during ground contact when driving over obstacles.
    Another development aim was to reduce the weight of the body. Using a digital prototype, the developers simulated the operating life of individual components and assemblies to determine where lighter materials could be used without compromising durability, operating life and quality.
    The result is a new material mix: the bodyshell consists of various grades of steel. The fenders, hood and doors are made of aluminum. To be able to retain the door hinges and handles typical of the G-Class, the developers modified these to suit the new aluminum design. The A and B-pillars are made of high- strength steel in view of their load-bearing function.
    Thanks to this intelligent design, it was possible to increase the torsional rigidity of the frame, body shell and body mounts by around 55 percent, from 6537 to 10,162 Nm/deg. This provides the ideal basis for maximum handling precision. Comfort has also benefited: vibrations and noise in the interior have been considerably reduced.
    The roof is no longer spot-welded, but instead connected to the body structure by laser welding - resulting in better surface quality and higher body strength. The flange width was retained, but optimized for the new welding method. For the first time, all the fixed windows are adhesive bonded to the body. This not only increases the torsional rigidity of the body, but also makes the window frames more resistant to corrosion.
    Off-road capability was the main focus during further development of the doors. The side and rear doors have a protective foil cladding on the inside, so that no water can enter when fording watercourses. The surfaces of the frame, vehicle floor and body are specially treated to withstand even the most severe influences – whether water, snow, salt or sand.
    Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design
    Unmistakable design features give the new AMG G63 its unique appearance: the boxy silhouette, the proud hood, external door hinges, round headlamps, mounted direction indicators, robust door handles, muscular protective strips with inserts in high-gloss black with a silver AMG emblem, the exposed spare wheel on the rear door with a stainless steel cover and three-dimensional Mercedes star.
    The front section of the G63 is characterized by the AMG-specific radiator grille and the AMG bumper with large side air inlets and trim in matt iridium silver. The headlamps, indicators and tail lights are in LED High Performance technology as standard. This lighting consumes less energy and has a particularly long service life.
    MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are optionally available. These each use 84 individually controlled high-performance LED modules to illuminate the road surface automatically with an extremely bright and precisely directed beam of light, without dazzling other road users. That is because this individual control allows the light distribution of the left and right headlamps to be adapted separately, quickly and dynamically to suit the changing situation on the road. This improves safety for all road users.
    With the enhanced fog light function, the MULTIBEAM LED technology also allows the headlamp on the driver's side to illuminate that side more actively, while masking any rise in the light beam. As a result, the outer half of the road surface is more brightly illuminated and back-glare from the light reflected from the fog is reduced.
    New light functions for enhanced safety
    Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus also benefits from the performance of MULTIBEAM LED technology: thanks to a larger number of pixels, the dark areas in the light distribution are more precise and dynamic than ever before in partial main-beam mode, and the main beam can be used for longer than before. Once switched on, the system always makes the best possible headlamp range available.
    Mercedes-AMG G63 with further distinctive features
    Exclusive exterior characteristics of the G63 include the flared front and rear wheel arches, which create space for the larger, wider wheels, running boards as standard, distinctive trim elements on the front and rear bumpers and metallic paintwork as standard. Other distinguishing features include the "V8 BITURBO" lettering on the front fenders and the Mercedes-AMG G63 model badge on the rear door. Red brake calipers, perforated brake discs and available 22-inch wheels round off the exterior design.
    The G63 looks particularly striking with the optional AMG Night package. In this case the headlamps, tail lights, indicator lenses, rear window and rear side windows are dark-tinted. The Obsidian Black paint finish on the exterior mirror housings, the spare wheel ring and the trim in the front and rear bumpers, together with the black-painted underride guard, emphasizes the confident appearance which is rounded off by matte-black 21 or 22-inch wheels.
    Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design
    The new G63 has been given a completely newly designed, modern interior that echoes specific exterior features. The shape of the round headlamps is reflected in the side air vents, and in the shape of the indicators in the tweeters on the dashboard. Hallmarks of the G63 also include the grab handle in front of the front passenger and chrome-highlighted switches for the three differential locks.
    The completely redesigned dashboard has analogue tubes as dial instruments as standard. Optionally the fully digital Widescreen Cockpit with virtual instruments directly in the driver's field of vision and a central display above the center console can be ordered. The two 12.3-inch displays visually blend into a single unit beneath a shared glass cover. The driver is able to choose from three different views – "Classic," "Sporty" and "Progressive" – and access the required information individually.
    The new dimensional concept in the interior benefits all the occupants. The increase in length (+4 inches), width (+4.8 inches) and height
    (+1.6 inches) provides the basis for a significantly more airy and spacious impression than in the previous model. The most important interior dimensions at a glance:
    Description Difference Legroom in the front +1.5 in Legroom in the rear +5.9 in Shoulder room in front +1.5 in Shoulder room in rear +1.1 in Elbow room in front +2.7 in Elbow room in rear mm +2.2 in The rear seats can be folded down in a ratio of 40, 60 or 100 percent. The seats in the G-Class are equipped as standard with numerous convenience functions and are ergonomically designed, thus providing enhanced seating comfort and lateral support. Features include the Memory function for the driver's seat, seat heating front and rear, as well as luxury head restraints in the front.
    This ride comfort can optionally be boosted still further with the Active Multicontour Seat package. In addition to the special multicontour seats, this encompasses such features as various massage functions, climate-controlled seats, and fast seat heating. This variant also offers electrically adjustable lumbar supports for the driver and front passenger. The side sections of the seat cushions and backrests of the active multicontour seats include integrated air chambers that fill or empty continuously depending on the driving dynamics, thus providing better support for the seating positions of driver and front passenger and offering more lateral support during cornering.
    New AMG Performance steering wheel as standard
    Extremely sporty design, a grippy shape with a heavily contoured rim and intuitive operation are the key attributes of the new AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather, which is standard equipment. It has a flattened lower section and is perforated in the grip area. The steering wheel shift paddles are galvanized.
    Using the integrated touch control buttons, the functions of the instrument cluster (left) and multimedia system (right) can be intuitively controlled by horizontal and vertical swiping movements of a finger. As in the S-Class, the settings for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and cruise control are made in the left control panels. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the multimedia system.
    Typical AMG V8 exhaust note
    The dual-flow exhaust system features side pipes below the rear doors. The twin tailpipes in high-gloss chrome emit the typical AMG V8 sound. The standard exhaust flap can be adjusted in two stages using the switch in the center console or depending on the selected driving mode, to make the exhaust note more sporty or discreet.
    Exclusive "Edition 1" special model at market launch
    On market launch the new Mercedes-AMG G63 will also be available as an exclusive "Edition 1" special model: the combination of equipment details turns the special model into the flagship of the range. Painted in designo Night Black Magno with contrasting matte Graphite Grey sports stripes along the vehicle sides and finished with exterior mirror housings have a decorative red stripe, the Edition 1 boasts a distinctive look. The AMG Night package with features in high-gloss black reinforces the muscular impression. The matte black 22-inch forged wheels in a cross-spoke design have red-painted rim flanges.
    The red highlights continue in the interior: They can be found on numerous interior features, for example as red contrasting topstitching on the dashboard support, center console, door panels and rear seats. The front sport seats in Black/Red Pepper nappa leather also show this striking color. The sport seats feature a dynamic diamond pattern with red contrasting topstitching as standard. The carbon-fiber trim has highlights in Red Pepper, and the Performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfiber with a flattened lower section is embellished with red contrasting topstitching and a red 12 o'clock marking.
    The new, 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6, 2018, with a pricing announcement and US market launch to take place by the end of 2018.
    Technical data at a glance
      2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 Engine Handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo Displacement 3,982 cc Output 577 hp at 6,000 rpm Peak Torque 627 lb-ft. at 2,500-3,500 rpm Drive System AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 40:60 Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G Weight TBA Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.4 s (est.) Top speed 137 mph
    149 mph (Driver’s package)  

    William Maley

    CL-Class Says Farewell, S-Class Coupe Says Hello

    When the Geneva Motor Show begins next month, it will signal a change in Mercedes-Benz's coupe lineup. The CL moniker will be retired and in its place will be the S-Class moniker placed on the next-generation big coupe.
    The 2015 S-Class Coupe's styling is nearly identical to the Concept S-Class Coupe that debuted at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show. The front end is very reminiscent to the CLA and upcoming C-Class with a large grille and emblem. On the special S550 Edition 1 models, the LED headlights feature 47 Swarovski crystals to create a jeweled look. Out of those 47, 17 are used for the daytime-running lights and the rest are for the turn signals. Turning towards the side profile, long doors extend into pillarless side windows, a trademark of big Mercedes-Benz coupes. Around back is a much more racier tail with thinner taillights.
    The S-Class Coupe's interior is directly pulled from the S-Class sedan, including its “floating” lower dashboard. Standard on the S-Class Coupe is a panorama sunroof that Mercedes-Benz says is 150 percent larger than the outgoing CL's sunroof. The sunroof also features Magic Sky Control which can vary the transparency of the glass.
    For the U.S., the S-Class Coupe will be available with one engine at launch; a twin-turbocharged 4.7L V8 engine producing 449 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque. This is paired with Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Oddly, the automaker doesn't say what transmission will come with the V8. Most likely, it happens to be the seven-speed automatic transmission.
    On the handling front, Mercedes-Benz has fitted the S-Class Coupe with a system called "active curve tilting function." Working together with the Active Body Control, the system uses cameras and and accelerometers to tilt the vehicle up to 2.5 degrees. This is aimed to provide a more comfortable ride for passengers.
    The 2015 S-Class Coupe arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    New S-Class Coupe
    An aesthetic, exclusive high-end coupe
    Stuttgart. Stylistically self-assured presence, exclusive appointments and refined sportiness – the new S-Class Coupe from Mercedes-Benz combines the classic proportions of a large, sporty coupe with modern luxury and state-of-the art technology. As a world premiere, the breathtaking two-door coupe includes a touchpad as standard and can be optionally equipped with a head-up display. Available expressive headlamps, each featuring 47 Swarovski crystals, produce a uniquely striking appearance.
    "As exclusive as it gets – the ultimate in aesthetic sportiness", stresses Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management, Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The breathtaking design of the Concept S-Class Coupe marked by sporty-classic proportions and sensual purity is transferred to
    the series-production S-Class Coupe virtually unaltered. The large coupe has always been the supreme pinnacle of our model range and that's why it's now called the 'S-Class' again."
    "The world premiere of the active curve tilting function demonstrates the possibilities offered by Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive," notes Prof Dr Thomas Weber, member of the board of management of Daimler AG with responsibility for corporate research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development. "The vehicle leans into bends much like a motorcyclist, thereby reducing the lateral acceleration acting on the vehicle's occupants. On country roads in particular, this means greater driving pleasure and ride comfort for our customers." The new S-Class Coupe will have its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show (March 6 – 16, 2014) with U.S. dealer deliveries scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014. The two-door S550 Coupe will be available in the U.S. as a 4MATIC only with a 4.7L V8 biturbo engine. The S550 Coupe has an output of 449 hp and its torque level peaks at 516 lb-ft. The sporty driving experience is significantly enhanced by the emotional sound produced by the exhaust system.
    With the curve tilting function the Coupe introduces a further world first for series-production cars: The Coupe leans into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to when driving in a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances driving enjoyment and comfort.
    Like the S-Class Sedan, the new Coupe is available with numerous new assistance systems that make driving even more comfortable and safer. The "Intelligent Drive" systems include, among other things the PRE-SAFE® brake with pedestrian detection, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive High-beam Assist and Night View Assist Plus. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS features an additional function apart from the adaptive brake assistant, which provides collision protection from a speed of 4 mph: if there remains a danger of collision and the driver fails to respond, the system can carry out an autonomous braking maneuver at speeds of up to 65 mph, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 31 mph, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at up to 25 mph.
    As in the sedan, the PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system has been expanded through the inclusion of PRE-SAFE® PLUS. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognize an imminent rear-end collision. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the parking brake on the vehicle stationary and thus minimize the risk of whiplash injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.
    Numerous standard equipment features are available to make the interior of the S-Class Coupe exceptionally luxurious and comfortable. For example, the AIR-BALANCE package including the components "fragrancing" and "ionization" is available. Optional equipment includes an electric armrest heating as a component of the Warmth Comfort package.
    In cooperation with high-end audio specialists Burmester, two especially high- value audio systems have been developed: the Burmester® surround sound system and the Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system.
    Design: sensual purity at its most beguiling
    Sensual purity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers, and is the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that showcase high tech while radiating emotional appeal. The sensual purity is reflected in the core design values of tradition, emotion and progressivism. These make up the guiding star, and are accentuated differently depending on the model. Mercedes-Benz creates a bridge between modernity and the avant-garde, between tradition and progressivism. Each model series has an assigned role and a very specific character, depending on the attributes on which the design focuses. And yet a Mercedes-Benz is always recognizable as a Mercedes-Benz. Because in addition to incorporating new stylistic developments, and in the interests of keeping tradition alive, the designers draw from a gene-pool of styling features typical of the brand.
    "Our new S-Class Coupe is one of the most gorgeous coupes of all time, representing the most radical aesthetic departure from its predecessor," says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Daimler AG. "The sensuous flowing silhouette in interplay with the clear progressive design language forms a perfect symbiosis and expresses our philosophy of sensual purity with pithy precision."
    The exterior: flowing profile of perfect proportions
    The flowing profile of the S-Class Coupe embodies sensual purity in a modern way and is emphasized by the hallmark Mercedes dropping line. The long hood with pronounced lines and powerdomes, the low greenhouse with high beltline, the accentuated wheel arches as well as the large wheels (18- to 20-inch) and the broad visual effect created by the rear reinforce the S-Class Coupe's aspirations as a masterpiece of automotive refinement. With a wheelbase of 116 inches, the Coupe is 198 inches long, with a width of 75 inches and a height of 56 inches.
    Its convex and concave modeled surfaces lend the S-Class Coupe a sensuous character. The sculpted appearance lends it classic elegance that forms a perfect symbiosis with the modern-progressive design idiom.
    The view from the side is marked by the dropping line in keeping with the emotional character of the vehicle. It underscores the brand-typical proportions like a signature. The lines are deliberately reduced to the basics. This creates a sensual, timeless purity.
    The creative interaction of diverse design elements lends the S-Class Coupe a superior, self-confident front: in the center of the vehicle front end is the further-evolved three-dimensional diamond radiator grille, whose structure is defined by rectangular, chrome-plated elements. It incorporates the central Mercedes three-pointed star and one louvre.
    The full-LED headlamps with their iconic eyebrows as daytime running lamps lend it an extremely self-assured and distinctive gaze. On the S-Class Coupe the eyebrows have been further refined with a semi-circular counter-curve. In combination with the standard LED Intelligent Light System, the Edition 1 S550 special edition vehicle will also feature unique headlamps with no less than 47 Swarovski crystals. 17 angular crystals form the flare-shaped daytime running lamps, with 30 round-shaped crystals making up the turn indicator lamps.
    The side profile is defined by the dome-shaped stretched roof line and the frameless doors. An elegant 3D continuous chrome frame surrounds the glass areas that are uninterrupted by B-pillars. This underscores the Mercedes- typical coupe look.
    A muscle above the rear axle extending from the side wall generates a sense of lightness and dynamic spirit even at a standstill. The positively arched surfaces and lines of the side walls flow into the rear end with a dramatic tapered effect.
    The rear end with its surfaces, broad shoulders and distinctive character lines rounds off the emotive overall appearance. Moving the license plate mounting to the lower part of the rear bumper is a particularly striking modification. It allows the trunk lid to be made especially sleek in this area. The three-pointed star is, so to say, free-standing and can thus be made more prominent for greater effect. In addition it pivots outwards in order to locate the rearview camera and the surround view camera in an elegantly functional manner.
    The arrangement of the LEDs in two horizontal rows in the two-piece tail lamps reveals cutting-edge technology and underscores the sporty character of the vehicle rear, careful attention to detail and the car's premium value. Form and function fuse into a perfect unity. Part of the light functions is located in the wings, the other in the trunk lid. This characteristic arrangement makes the vehicle highly recognizable by night, too.
    The two-part rear bumper underscores the sportiness indicated by the front design. The diffusor, painted in high-sheen black, meets in equal measure the requirements made by aerodynamics and by design. Below it there is, as in the front bumper, a horizontal wing in silver look. Integrated in the diffusor are the premium-quality tailpipes.
    The S-Class Coupe features a standard panorama roof extending over two- thirds of the entire vehicle roof; with a surface area of around 1.32 m2, it appears almost 150 percent larger than on the predecessor model. MAGIC SKY CONTROL makes it possible to switch the transparency of the roof at the push of a button, from light to dark. When light, the roof is almost completely transparent and allows an open-air experience, even in the coldest weather. When dark, light transmission i.e. the proportion of outside light that is allowed through into the interior, is reduced to less than 1% and thus effectively diminishes heating up of the vehicle. In addition, it is possible to shade the interior completely by means of a roller blind.
    The interior: modern luxury as avant-garde design
    The interior design of the new S-Class Coupe is an expression of the Mercedes-Benz design idiom – sensual purity. An enthralling combination of sculptural sensuous volume elements and components, and the clear geometry of its basic architecture create an avant-garde design idiom. A high class appeal, quality workmanship and exceptional touch and feel are a treat for the passengers' senses, so that the car's interior represents the highest level of "modern luxury".
    The S-Class Coupe's dashboard fascinates with its spectacular architecture, giving rise to a vehicle of unique character in the upper coupe segment. The dashboard is divided into a very clear top-layer section with an expansive "wrap-around" effect extending to the doors, and an extremely low, sculptural "floating" lower section. This striking architecture was made possible by repositioning the airbag to a completely new low location. This concept enables the large, two-part wide-screen format TFT display to be placed in a prominent "hovering" position in front of this trim surface. In addition, it is stylishly highlighted with an ambience lighting corona. Under the display, the sporty elevated center console extends to the vehicle rear. All lids and armrests are lavishly covered in leather.
    The use of the finest materials, surfaces, color combinations and seam designs contributes towards achieving a truly exclusive car interior. Air vents, switches, belt extender rosette and trim elements are in electroplated "Silver Shadow". This gives the trim elements a particularly high value appeal and enhances the three-dimensional effect of their surfaces.
    In front of the armrest the standard touchpad can be found, with its black high- sheen surface and chrome-look surround. As on a smartphone, the touchpad allows all the head-unit functions to be operated using finger gestures. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting - in any of the head unit's languages. Diverse controls, e.g. for the multi-media system, are arrayed as keys in a semicircle in front of the central control element.
    Both the front and the rear seats have a pronounced sporty character, the two rear seats are designed as individual seats. The Exclusive upholsteries optionally includes seats in Exclusive nappa designo leather with a striking diamond backstitching pattern on backrests and seating surfaces. The front- seat seatbelts are integrated in the rear side panelling without interrupting the waistline with windows open; seatbelt extenders make them easily accessible for the seat occupants.
    There is a fluid transition between the doors and the rear side panelling, emphasizing the vehicle's well-being quality. Here too, surfaces and controls are masterfully executed in top-quality materials; the configuration with the standard Burmester® surround sound system and the optional Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system offers a special highlight in form and function.
    New interior colors such as Bengal red, saddle brown and porcelain allow individualization of the interior. The standard ambient lighting with several lighting moods provides the corresponding wellness character. The customer can choose from seven lighting moods.
    Less distraction: head-up display
    The optional head-up display brings important information directly into the driver's field of vision, presenting it on the windscreen to ensure less distraction from the traffic situation. The system informs about vehicle speed, navigation instructions and driving assistance system messages.
    The technical basis for this system is a specular optics system and a full-color display module with a resolution of 480 x 240 pixels, operating with high-power LEDs. They project the virtual image, which measures around 8 x 3 inches, into the driver's field of vision where it appears to float around two meters away above the hood. The resolution of more than 60 pixels per degree of viewing angle ensures a needle-sharp image. A special light sensor located near the top edge of the roof automatically adjusts the brightness of the head-up display to the exterior lighting conditions.
    Lower transversal forces: active curve tilting function
    With the curve tilting function the Coupe introduces a further world first for series-production cars: The curve tilting function makes the Coupe lean into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to when driving in a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances motoring enjoyment and comfort. The object is not to reach higher speeds, but to produce a more pleasant motoring experience.
    With Active Body Control the suspension struts are equipped with hydraulic cylinders (so-called plungers), in order to adjust the force in each strut individually. Depending on the curve driven, the curve tilting function shifts the base point of each individual strut. This allows the vehicle to incline automatically and continuously in fractions of a second and to angles of up to 2.5 degrees in curves – depending on the road angle and vehicle speed. The innovative suspension system detects curves using both a stereo camera behind the windscreen, registering the curvature of the road up to 49 feet ahead, and an additional transversal acceleration sensor. The curve tilting function can be selected as one of three drive modes using the ABC switch; it is active in the speed range from 19 to 112 mph.
    Emotive-sporty sound: exhaust system with flaps
    The emotive sound of the exhaust system makes a decisive contribution to the sporty driving experience. The deeper sound components ensure a fuller, sportier sound. In the transversally positioned rear silencer of the twin-pipe exhaust system there are two flaps that can be opened and closed pneumatically depending on the engine speed.
    When the flaps are open the exhaust gases are conducted through the rear silencer along a different path so that the vehicle sound becomes more powerful. The switching point of the flaps depends upon the drive program selected – in the S program the flaps open earlier than in the E program. As soon as the S-Class Coupe engine starts, the power of its sound can be heard.
    A long tradition: large coupes from Mercedes-Benz
    The history of the large post-war Mercedes coupes dates back to the year 1952, when Mercedes-Benz launched the legendary 300 S Coupe - a "car for the world's elite" as the automotive press of the time judged. It was followed in 1956 by the 220 S Coupe of model series W 180, which created a sensation in particular due to its self-supporting pontoon body. From 1961 to 1971 the long-drawn out elegant Coupe of model series W111/W112 enthralled no less than 29,918 highly discerning customers, who were able to choose between the Type 220 SEb Coupe six-cylinder models and the Type 280 SE 3.5 Coupe eight-cylinder models.
    The SEC coupes of model series C 126, which remained in the program of the Stuttgart-based automotive brand for ten years and of which over 74,000 were sold, were based on the S-Class of 1981. In 1992 the successor model (model series C 140) was presented at the Geneva Motor Show, also featuring for the first time as a S600 Coupe with a 389 hp twelve-cylinder engine. It was to be the car in which the Electronic Stability Program ESP® had its world premiere in 1995. Later on this coupe was renamed "CL-Class". Another forefather of the new S-Class Coupe celebrated its world première under this name in March 1999. With pioneering innovations such as active ABC suspension (Active Body Control) and bi-xenon headlamps this two-door car set new standards.
    Supreme exclusivity and sophisticated design combined with trend-setting state-of-the-art technology were combined in the last CL-Class (2006). This luxury coupe opened up a new dimension of vehicle safety with the introduction of the PRE-SAFE® brake. Beyond this, Mercedes innovations such as the Intelligent Light System with five light functions and PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant safety were also part of the vehicle's standard equipment.
    The new S-Class Coupe and its innovations seamlessly continue the tradition of large coupes into the future and will launch in the U.S. this fall with the S550 4MATIC.

    William Maley

    The iconic Pullman makes a return to Mercedes

    The preferred vehicle of leaders and villains is making a return to Mercedes. The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman will be shown at Geneva Motor Show next month, and be the second model in the Mercedes-Maybach lineup.
    The Pullman keeps the same styling cues as the standard Maybach S600, but adds more length and height. Overall, the Pullman measures out to 255.9 inches (41.2 inches longer than the standard S-Class) and rides on a wheelbase of 173.9 inches. Overall height increases 3.9 inches.
    All of that space goes towards the back seat which offers seating for four passengers or two passengers with lounge-like seating. The interior is swathed in leather and features electrically opaqueing glass partitions, three analog gauges, and a Burmester sound system. Of course, the Pullman will offer an "unrivalled scope for individualization" the company says.
    "Quite apart from providing stately and stylish seating for high-ranking passengers in the comfort and spaciousness for which it is famed, the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is of course the embodiment of exclusivity at its highest level," said Ola Källenius, member of Diamler AG's board. "One can sense the significance and greatness of it in every detail."
    Power comes from Mercedes' twin-turbo 6.0L V12 with 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque.
    Mercedes says the Pullman will go on sale in Europe next year. Sales for North America are still being decided on.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    Press Release is on Page 2
    The New Mercedes-Maybach Pullman
    High-end luxury-class motor vehicle with a proud pedigree

    February 17, 2015 - Stuttgart/Geneva
    The 50th birthday of the best-known Pullman sedan of them all, the Mercedes-Benz 600, is set to coincide with a special debut at the Geneva Motor Show: the launch of the new Pullman. Mercedes-Maybach's second model will assume the top-of-the-range position, with vis-à-vis seating in the passenger compartment and high-end automotive luxury that is traditionally associated with Maybach.
    Its length of 21.3 feet (6.50 meters) alone is a sign of the special status of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman. It provides space for a generously-sized and tastefully-appointed club lounge in the rear, which has a multitude of creature comforts fitted as standard. This chauffeur-driven limousine is more than equal to today's demands for the ultimate in exclusivity and luxury. The VIP occupants sit on two standard-specification executive seats facing the direction of travel. They can enjoy the greatest legroom in the segment; and can get into and out of the car with the greatest of ease and comfort. As is typical for a Pullman, the four passengers can sit facing each other in the compartment with an electrically-operated partition window. The prices for unarmoured models start at around half a million euros (as of mid-February 2015, EURO 500,000 = USD $566,922); the first customers will be taking delivery of their vehicles, which of course offer unrivalled scope for individualization, at the beginning of 2016 (this model is TBD for the U.S. market).
    Many governments, rulers and royal families around the world have for decades chosen Mercedes-Benz sedans with the designation "Pullman" to drive them with the stateliness and style befitting their status. With its new model, the company is now extending its unique position in this demanding segment: "Quite apart from providing stately and stylish seating for high-ranking passengers in the comfort and spaciousness for which it is famed, the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is of course the embodiment of exclusivity at its highest level," commented Ola Källenius, Member of the Daimler AG Management Board responsible for sales and marketing of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "One can sense the significance and greatness of it in every detail."
    The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman provides extremely spacious seating combined with unique features characterized by their extraordinary and perfect craftsmanship. It goes without saying that Mercedes-Maybach offers its customers unique opportunities to individualize the appointments of their top-class limousines. The exquisite Maybach paint finishes, which are applied in several layers, count as part of this specification.
    With a length of 21.3 feet (6499 mm), the Pullman is another 3.5 feet (1053 mm) longer than the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The wheelbase is an impressive 14.5 feet (4418 mm). Furthermore, at 5.2 feet (1598 mm) in height, the Pullman is more than 3.9 inches (10 cm or 100 mm) higher than a Mercedes S-Class, resulting in a tangible increase in headroom.
    The absolute top-of-the-range model is the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman S 600. Its V12 biturbo engine has an output of 390 kW (523 U.S. SAE hp). With displacement of 5980 cc, the maximum torque of 612 lb-ft (830 Nm) is available from 1900 rpm.
    The name Pullman was originally applied to railway carriages with luxurious open-plan compartments manufactured by the American Pullman Palace Car Company. This name was soon also applied to the motor cars from Mercedes-Benz which were based on an extremely long wheelbase and offered a very generously-sized passenger compartment. In the rear, separated from the driver's area by a partition, there was space for four passengers to recline regally in four single seats facing each other.
    Extremely spacious seating in the rear, entire vehicle interior is leather-clad
    As its name suggests, the four seats in the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman are arranged vis-à-vis. The owner and VIP guests are seated in the direction of travel on two executive seats which are part of the standard specification; other passengers can sit on the fold-down seats facing backwards. If specifically requested, the Pullman can also be delivered in an exclusive version without the additional seats.
    The executive seats offer a unique level of comfort thanks to their special adjustment kinematics. In contrast to the norm, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, with inclination and horizontal adjustment combined. For the executive seats, the maximum backrest angle is 43.5 degrees. The most upright backrest position of 19 degrees allows relaxed working in the rear. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. The luxury head restraints come with an extra cushion as standard. The two first-class travellers in the rear have the greatest amount of legroom of any car in the segment, as well as 2.4 inches (60 millimeters) more headroom than in a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
    There is one design difference compared with the existing Pullman model: in the new model, all seats are easy to get to. This improvement was achieved thanks to the large rear doors and the position of the passengers on the executive seats, which is even further to the rear. A real boost in comfort for those heads of state and monarchs for whom protocol dictates that they must take their places ahead of their interpreters. This seating arrangement also preserves their privacy, as a large proportion of their bodies is hidden by the rear roof pillar.
    The interior of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is upholstered in leather throughout as standard. Not only is the roof liner upholstered in high-quality leather, but also the door frames and seat consoles. As one would expect of a Maybach, there are three analog instruments in the roof liner informing passengers in the rear of the outside temperature, speed and time.
    The partition wall between the rear and the driver's area ensures discretion. The glass partition wall can be lowered electrically. It can also change from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. This allows – in combination with the equally standard-specification curtains for the rear windows – for different levels of privacy. The standard-fit 16:9 format 18.5 inch (47 cm) monitor located in front of the partition can also be extended electrically.
    Those who demand uncompromising quality of sound and appreciate perfect music reproduction can choose between two innovative Burmester sound systems. The existing Burmester surround sound system delivers the legendary and unmistakeable magical sound for which the high-end audio specialist from Berlin is famous. But as an option par excellence, the Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound System provides matchless listening pleasure and outstanding sound quality.
    It goes without saying that Mercedes-Maybach offers its customers unique opportunities to individualise the appointments of their top-class limousines. The key account managers in the exclusive Maybach centres throughout Europe as well as the sales advisors in the Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlets are happy to provide further information on this.

    William Maley

    Would you look at that interior!

    When Land Rover first introduced the Range Rover back in 1970, it was only available as a two-door model. The last two-door model would roll off the assembly in 1994, never to be seen again. But Land Rover is planning to bring back the two-door Range Rover as a limited-run model.
    Yesterday, Land Rover dropped a teaser picture of the upcoming Range Rover SV Coupe. The picture is an overhead shot of the SV Coupe's interior which looks like what you'll find in a highly-spec Range Rover. The front seats are upholstered in white leather, while the back seats come in blue. The dash appears to be from the new Velar with a similar center stack layout.
    “The Range Rover SV Coupé is a highly compelling design with peerless refinement and uncompromised sophistication from its breathtaking exterior proportions to its sumptuous, beautifully appointed, interior. This is a vehicle that will resonate on an emotional level,” said Land Rover lead designer Gerry McGovern.
    Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) will be tasked with building the SV Coupe. The plan is to only build 999 models for worldwide distribution.
    We'll have more information when Land Rover debuts the SV Coupe at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6th.

    Source: Land Rover
    Press Release is on Page 2


    LIMITED EDITION RANGE ROVER SV COUPE SET FOR WORLD DEBUT AT 2018 GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW
    Land Rover announces the introduction of a new addition to the Range Rover portfolio – the Range Rover SV Coupe Coupe design pays homage to the original Range Rover during the Land Rover brand’s 70th Anniversary year Limited to 999 units, the Range Rover SV Coupe will be offered to buyers worldwide, each hand-assembled by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations in Warwickshire, UK The all-new model will make its world premiere at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show as part of the Jaguar Land Rover press conference at 11:45 CET, live streamed on www.landroverusa.com (MAHWAH, N.J.) - January 23, 2018 – Today, Land Rover announces the introduction of an all-new full-size luxury SUV coupe. The Range Rover SV Coupe will be a dramatic and desirable addition to the Range Rover model portfolio featuring a seductive body design and a supremely refined interior.
    “The Range Rover SV Coupe is a highly compelling design with peerless refinement and uncompromised sophistication from its breathtaking exterior proportions to its sumptuous, beautifully appointed, interior. This is a vehicle that will resonate on an emotional level,” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer.
    The SV Coupe is a celebration of the Range Rover bloodline, with a dramatic two- door silhouette which alludes to its unique heritage – the Range Rover launched as a two-door in 1970 – while being thoroughly modern and contemporary.
    The interior image released today illustrates that traditional skills have combined with the latest technologies throughout the cabin to exquisite effect. Stunning to the eye, sumptuous to the touch, it is a light, contemporary space where attention to detail has been paramount.
    Land Rover Design and Special Vehicle Operations have created the Range Rover SV Coupe, which will be hand-assembled at the SV Technical Center in Ryton-on- Dunsmore in Warwickshire, UK. Production will be limited to no more than 999 vehicles for worldwide distribution.
    “Land Rover created the luxury SUV sector with Range Rover almost 50 years ago. In launching the new Range Rover SV Coupe, we will offer clients an alluring combination of peerless luxury and rarity,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director. “Unveiling this special vehicle at the Geneva International Motor Show in March, during Land Rover’s 70th Anniversary year, will be a defining moment for Land Rover, the Range Rover portfolio and Special Vehicle Operations.”

    William Maley

    Showing you can increase the performance of a vehicle, without touching the engine

    Power isn't everything in a sports car and Chevrolet would like to prove to that you with the introduction of the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport.
     
    The Grand Sport retains the 6.2L LT1 V8 producing 460 horsepower. But is able to pull 1.2 Gs and is almost as quick as the last-generation ZR1 at GM's Milford proving ground. How did Chevrolet pull this off? It comes down to the chassis and body. Corvette engineers fitted new stabilizer bars and springs to improve handling. A set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires keep the Grand Sport sticking to the road. Other changes for the Grand Sport include a limited-slip differential, a Z06-style front grille, wider rear fenders, and a new aero package.
     
    Optional is the Z07 package that adds carbon-ceramic brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires.
     
    Chevrolet will be offering Collector Edition of the Grand Sport that includes a Watkins Glen Gray paint finish with Tension Blue hash marks, satin black stripes, black wheels, and a full leather and suede interior finished in blue.
     
    The Grand Sport will be offered in a coupe and convertible when it goes on this summer.
     
    Source: Chevrolet
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    2017 CORVETTE GRAND SPORT HAS RACING ROOTS
    A ‘purist’ model that leverages a half-century legacy of motorsports success

    Lightweight architecture and track-honed aerodynamics An engine offering an estimated 1.05g in cornering capability and up to 1.2g with the available Z07 package Coupe and convertible available this summer in U.S. and fall in Europe Grand Sport Collector Edition available later in model year

    GENEVA – With Corvette Racing in its DNA, the all-new 2017 Corvette Grand Sport is a pure expression of the car’s motorsports-bred pedigree. It was introduced today at the Geneva International Motor Show.
     

    Like the 2015 Le Mans-winning Corvette C7.R GTE Pro race car, the new Grand Sport combines a lightweight architecture, a track-honed aerodynamics package, Michelin tires and a naturally aspirated engine.
     
    The 2017 Corvette Grand Sport offers an estimated 1.05g in cornering capability – and up to 1.2g with the available Z07 package.
     
    Heritage-inspired design cues and exclusive features acknowledge the historic Grand Sport legacy, established in 1963 to take on the world’s best sports cars. Only five were built before a corporate decision suspending direct motorsports involvement ended the project.
     
    “Racing has been part of Corvette’s essence for more than 50 years and that track experience has helped us build better, more capable cars,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development and Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The global acclaim for the seventh-generation Corvette validates that direct link and the 2017 Grand Sport takes its track-bred technology to a new, exciting threshold.”
     
    The Corvette Grand Sport coupe and convertible go on sale this summer in the U.S. and in the fall in Europe.
     
    No holding back
     
    Engineers adapted the chassis tuning, upgraded cooling systems, and performance technologies of the Corvette Z06 to give the new Grand Sport capability commensurate with its racing-derived history.
     
    “We didn’t hold back with the new Grand Sport,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “For the first time, buyers can equip the Grand Sport with a Z07 performance package – which adds carbon-ceramic brakes, Michelin Sport Cup 2 summer tires, and carbon-fiber aero package that delivers true downforce.”
     
    The result is a potent track car. In fact, the Grand Sport with the Z07 package is less than one second off the track record for the previous-generation Corvette ZR1 on the road course at GM’s Milford Proving Ground.
     
    Content highlights for Grand Sport include:
    Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires: 285/30ZR19 (front) and 335/25ZR20 (rear) Specific Grand Sport wheel design: 19x10 inches (front) and 20x12 inches (rear) Brembo brake system with (355 mm) 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers in front and (340 mm) 13.4 inch rotors and four-piston calipers in the rear Standard magnetic ride control, specific stabilizer bars and unique springs Standard electronic limited-slip differential LT1 V8 engine rated at (343 kW) 460 hp, with dry-sump oiling system and active exhaust Seven-speed manual transmission with active rev match and available eight-speed paddle-shift automatic with specific performance calibration

    Available Z07 package adds carbon ceramic-matrix brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires.
    In addition to track-focused aero elements, the Grand Sport also features specific front fender inserts, a Z06-style grille and wider rear fenders – a distinctive design package that gives the car a track-ready attitude.
     

    Grand Sport models are offered with the Stingray’s full exterior and interior color palette. An available Heritage package includes hash-mark fender graphics in six colors, with the hash-mark detail carried onto the interior’s brushed aluminum trim. Full-length stripes are also offered.
     
    “The choices are almost endless,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product marketing manager. “The packages take personalization to an unprecedented level, enabling customers to create their own Corvette Grand Sport statement like no other.”
     
    Grand Sport Collector Edition
     
    The Grand Sport Collector Edition features an exclusive Watkins Glen Gray Metallic exterior with Tension Blue hash-mark graphics, satin black full-length stripes, black wheels and a unique Tension Blue full leather and suede-wrapped interior.
     
    The Tension Blue color is a bold, modern take on the hue historically associated with the Grand Sport. Inside, a three-dimensional representation of an original Grand Sport race car is embossed in the headrests and that shape is also used on an instrument panel plaque that carries a unique build sequence number.
     
    The Collector Edition will be offered later in the model year in the U.S. and Europe.

    William Maley

    Jeep Tackles The Subcompact Marketplace With The Renegade

    Jeep is charting new trail to the subcompact marketplace with the introduction of the 2015 Renegade at the Geneva Motor Show today.
    You cannot mistake the Renegade for anything but a Jeep. The boxy design is very reminiscent of the XJ Cherokee. There is also elements of the Wrangler and the last-generation Liberty in the Renegade's design. Those looking for something a bit more aggression in the Renegade will be happy to hear that Jeep will offer a Trailhawk package which increases the ride height by 0.8 inches, front and rear tow hooks painted in red, unique front and rear fascias, a special paint treatment, and seventeen-inch all-terrain tires.
    Inside, Jeep designers mixed rugged cues and the latest materials to create a very comfortable, yet distinctive design. There is seating for five people and features 12.4 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats up. That increases to 30.7 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded. Chrysler's UConnect system will be available with a 5-inch or optional 6.5-inch touchscreen. Chrysler's 7-inch TFT screen in the gauge cluster is optional.
    Jeep has fitted the Renegade with the option of two removable roof panels called MySky. When the panels are removed, it gives the Renegade an open-air feeling that is similar to the Wrangler.
    For the U.S., the Renegade will come equipped with two different engines. The base will be the turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Optional will be the 2.4L Tigershark four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The MultiAir will come with a six-speed manual as standard, while a nine-speed automatic is optional. The 2.4L Tigershark will have the nine-speed as standard.
    Front-wheel drive is standard, while the Renegade has the option of two four-wheel drive systems. First up is Jeep Active Drive which uses a disconnecting rear-axle and power transfer unit. The system mostly operates in two-wheel drive until slip is detected and the system kicks into four-wheel drive. Then there is Jeep Active Drive Low which is standard on the Trailhawk. It features a 20:1 crawl ratio and is full-time. Both systems come with Jeep's Selec-Terrain system which varies the settings of four-wheel drive system to match the terrain.
    The Jeep Renegade arrives at dealers early next year.
    Source: Jeep

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade: Most Capable Small SUV Expands the Brand's Global Portfolio
    - All-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade marks the brand's first entry in the small SUV segment
    - Renegade Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class 4x4 Trail Rated capability with class-exclusive Jeep Active Drive Low, which includes 20:1 crawl ratio and Jeep Selec-Terrain system
    - Designed to expand the Jeep brand globally, the all-new 2015 Renegade combines the brand's heritage with fresh new styling to appeal to youthful and adventurous customers
    - Nothing else like it: Renegade displays a powerful stance with aggressive wheel-to- body proportions, plus the freedom of two My Sky open-air roof systems
    - Renegade's all-new interior exudes an energetic appearance with rugged and functional details, crafted in high-quality materials and inspired colors
    - All-new "small-wide 4x4 architecture" combines best-in-class off-road capability with world-class on-road driving dynamics
    - Designed for global markets – with 16 fuel-efficient powertrain combinations for different markets around the world – including the world's first nine-speed automatic transmission in a small SUV
    - Renegade will offer a best-in-class combination of fuel efficiency and off-road capability
    - Technology once limited to premium SUVs: award-winning Uconnect Access, Uconnect touchscreen radios and the segment's largest full-color instrument cluster
    - Loaded with up to 70 available advanced safety and security features
    - Designed in America, crafted in Italy, the 2015 Renegade highlights the Jeep brand's global resources and dedication to meeting customer needs in more than 100 countries

    The all-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade expands the brand's global vehicle lineup, entering the growing small SUV segment, while staying true to the adventurous lifestyle Jeep is known for. Renegade delivers a unique combination of best-in-class off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission that contributes to outstanding on- road and off-road driving dynamics, fuel-efficient engines, world-class refinement, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings. The result is an efficient vehicle created to attract youthful and adventurous customers around the world to the Jeep brand.
    The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade expands the brand's product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment around the globe with benchmark levels of efficiency and driving dynamics, while at the same time delivering best-in-class 4x4 capability that customers expect from Jeep,‖ said Mike Manley, President and CEO - Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. ―Renegade symbolizes the brand's renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand's first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe.
    Best-in-class off-road capability thanks to two all-new 4x4 systems
    Leveraging 4x4 technology from the all-new Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers two of the most advanced and intelligent 4x4 systems in its class, all to deliver best-in-class off-road capability. Both systems can provide up to 100 percent of the engine's available torque to the ground, through any wheel, for optimal grip.
    - Jeep Active Drive – full-time 4x4 system
    - Jeep Active Drive Low – class-exclusive full-time 4x4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio
    Innovation is also at the forefront of any new Jeep vehicle, and the Renegade is the first small SUV to feature a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU) – all to provide Jeep Renegade 4x4 models with enhanced fuel economy. The system instantly engages when 4x4 traction is needed.
    Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on- or off-road and in any weather condition.
    Trail Rated: Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 model
    For customers who demand the most off-road capability from their Jeep vehicles, the Renegade Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4x4 capability with:
    - Standard Jeep Active Drive Low (20:1 crawl ratio)
    - Selec-Terrain system with exclusive Rock mode
    - Increased ride height 20 mm (0.8 inches)
    - Skid plates, and red front and rear tow hooks
    - Unique fascias deliver 30.5 degree approach, 25.7 degree breakover and 34.3 degree departure angles
    - 17-inch all-terrain tires
    - Up to 205 mm (8.1 inches) of wheel articulation
    - Hill-descent Control
    - Up to 480 mm (19 inches) of water fording
    - Up to 1,500 kg (3,300-lb.) towing capability with MultiJet II diesel engine and 907 kg (2,000- lb.) towing capability with 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, with available tow package
    A global Jeep design for a rapidly growing global brand
    From the start, Jeep designers knew the Renegade would need to deliver best-in-class off-road capability with city-sized proportions that exuded the brand's rugged style while at the same time enhancing versatility, maneuverability and style. Additionally designers were tasked to create an all- new SUV that would symbolize the brand's renowned American design and ingenuity, as it would mark the Jeep brand's first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe. Last, Renegade had to offer the open-air freedom that dates back to its 1941 roots with the Willys MB Jeep.
    The result is the all-new 2015 Renegade, a vehicle that builds on the Jeep Wrangler's powerful stance, and features fresh new styling with rugged body forms and aggressive proportions that enable best-in-class approach and departure angles purposely designed to deliver best-in-class off- road capability. And for segment-exclusive panoramic views, two available My Sky open-air roof panel systems conveniently stow to provide passengers open-air freedom with ease.
    All-new interior exudes a rugged and energetic appearance
    The all-new Jeep Renegade interior features a rugged and energetic appearance that builds upon Jeep's legendary brand heritage. Its precisely crafted detail, innovative and high-quality color and material appointments, state-of-the-art technology, and clever storage features draw inspiration from contemporary extreme sports gear and lifestyles.
    The interior of the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade has a distinctive form language which Jeep designers have titled ―Tek-Tonic.‖ This new design theme is defined by the intersections of soft and tactile forms with rugged and functional details. Major surfaces such as the sculpted soft-touch instrument panel are intersected with bold functional elements like the passenger grab handle – indispensable for off-road adventures and borrowed from its big brother, the legendary Jeep Wrangler. Unique ―protective clamp fasteners,‖ anodized design accents and inspired colors are derived from extreme sports equipment, while the newly familiar ―X‖ shapes inspired by its roof and tail lamps add to Renegade's Tek-Tonic interior look. And to make sure all of the needed passenger gear fits, the Renegade is designed with an efficient and flexible interior package that includes a removable, reversible and height-adjustable cargo floor panel and fold-forward front-passenger seat.
    My Sky: continuing Jeep open-air freedom since 1941
    Keeping the tradition of the legendary 1941 Willys MB Jeep, the all-new 2015 Renegade offers open-air freedom with two available My Sky open-air roof systems. With a manual removable, or removable with premium power tilt/slide feature, the segment-exclusive My Sky roof-panel systems quickly bring the outdoors inside. Designed for convenience, the honeycomb fiberglass polyurethane roof panels are lightweight and stow neatly in the rear cargo area. For added design detail, both My Sky roof systems feature a debossed ―X‖ stamped into the roof that exude strength and play on the brand's utilitarian history.
    Best-in-class off-road capability with world-class on-road driving dynamics
    Designed and engineered to first and foremost deliver legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, the all-new 2015 Renegade is the first small SUV from Chrysler Group to use the all-new ―small-wide 4x4 architecture.‖
    With its fully independent suspension capable of up to 205 mm (8.1 inches) of wheel articulation and 220 mm (8.7 inches) of ground clearance (Trailhawk), Renegade raises the bar in the small SUV segment with best-in-class off-road capability. Extensive use of advanced steels, composites and advanced computer-impact simulations enable the all-new 2015 Renegade's architecture to deliver world-class torsional stiffness and Jeep brand's durability required for Trail Rated adventures.
    The all-new Renegade is the first Jeep to integrate Koni's frequency selective damping (FSD) front and rear strut system. This damping system enables the Jeep Renegade to deliver world-class road-holding and handling characteristics.
    Designed for global markets: 16 powertrain combinations

    True to the Jeep brand, the all-new Renegade will offer customers in global markets maximum off- road capability and fuel efficiency. The Renegade will offer up to 16 strategic powertrain combinations – the most ever in a Jeep vehicle – customized to markets around the world to meet a range of performance and efficiency needs. Powertrain options include:
    - Four MultiAir gasoline engine offerings
    - Two MultiJet II diesel engine offerings
    - Efficient and flex-fuel capable E.torQ engine
    - Emissions and fuel-saving Stop&Start technology
    - Segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission
    - Two manual and one dual-dry clutch transmission (DDCT) offerings
    World's first small SUV with nine-speed automatic transmission
    Like the new Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade has raised the bar - this time in the small SUV class - with the first available nine-speed automatic transmission. When paired with either the 2.0-liter MultiJet II diesel engine, or 2.4-liter MultiAir2 gas engine, the nine-speed transmission delivers numerous benefits customers will appreciate, including aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and improved fuel efficiency versus a six-speed automatic transmission.
    Segment-exclusive technologies once found only on higher classed SUVs
    The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers technology features once found only in upper-segment vehicles, and makes them attainable to customers in the growing small SUV segment – including award-winning Uconnect Access, Uconnect touchscreens and the segment's largest full-color instrument cluster.
    - Uconnect Access: Utilizes embedded cellular technology to allow Jeep Renegade occupants to get directly in contact with local emergency-service dispatchers – all with the push of the 9-1-1 Assist button on the rearview mirror. Uconnect Access applies the same logic to roadside assistance. One push of the ―ASSIST‖ button summons help directly from Chrysler Group's roadside assistance provider, or the Vehicle Customer Care Center. Further peace of mind comes from the system's ability to receive text messages, announce receipt of texts, identify senders and then ―read‖ the messages aloud with Bluetooth-equipped cell phones. AOL Autos named Uconnect Access its ―Technology of the Year for 2013.‖ (Uconnect services may vary in different markets)

    - Uconnect touchscreen radio systems: Award-winning in-vehicle handsfree communication, entertainment and available navigation. Key features available on the Uconnect 5.0 and 6.5AN systems include a 5.0-inch or 6.5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, single or dual-turner, radio data system capability (RDS), digital audio broadcast (DAB), HD Radio, digital media broadcasting (DMB), SiriusXM Radio, SiriusXM Travel Link, SiriusXM Travel Link, USB port and auxiliary audio jack input. (Uconnect services may vary in different markets)
    - Segment's largest full-color instrument cluster display: Filling the Jeep Renegade's gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, full-color, premium multiview display, featuring a reconfigurable function that enables drivers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. The information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily.
    Renegade features up to 70 advanced safety and security features
    Safety and security were at the forefront in the development of the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade, setting the stage for up to 70 available safety and security features – including the availability of Forward Collision Warning-Plus and LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus.
    In addition, engineers added both active and passive safety and security features, including Blind- spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines; electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and seven standard air bags.
    Jeep brand's global resources
    Designed in America and crafted in Italy, the 2015 Renegade continues the Jeep brand's dedication to the global marketplace and demonstrates the depths of its available resources. The final assembly location for the Renegade will be at the Melfi Assembly Plant. The Renegade's global portfolio of powertrain production includes the United States, Italy and Brazil.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    Once upon a time, the only luxury SUV you could get your hands on was the Range Rover. Now, it seems every luxury automaker aside from a few, offer an SUV.
    Now, Bentley is showing their new SUV. Called the EXP 9 F (No, that isn't the license plate on the car), this concept previews what could be the third vehicle in Bentley's lineup.
    Design is well... um.. unique. The front end borrows many cues from the Continental and Mulsanne. The side borrowed the doors off a Range Rover and the back end seems to be a blend of Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7.
    Inside the EXP 9 F is what you would expect of a car from Crewe. The wood trim lining the doors and dash comes from a whole forest. Everything else is either trimmed in leather, chrome, and aluminum. The EXP 9 F also comes with a full picnic set, wedged in the back.
    Along with the old world luxury, Bentley has fitted a lot tech into this concept. The front gets a TFT gauge-cluster screen, touch-sensitive center-stack controls, and motorized widescreen infotainment display. Back seat passengers get power-reclining seats, power footrests, and a cooled compartment. Plus, the EXP 9 F has internet connectivity.
    Power comes from a 6.0L W-12 and goes through an eight-speed automatic. Bentley says the engine is producing somewhere around 600 HP. However, a hybrid powertrain and Bentley's new 4.0L twin-turbo V8 could also fit in the vehicle.
    Bentley says a decision on whether to build the EXP 9 F will depend on reaction from their customers. Our guess, expect to see a Bentley SUV sometime in the next few years.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    BENTLEY REVEALS EXP 9 F – A PINNACLE LUXURY PERFORMANCE SUV DESIGN CONCEPT


    EXP 9 F all-wheel drive luxury Sport Utility Vehicle concept revealed at Geneva Motor Show
    Potential for third Bentley model-line alongside Mulsanne and Continental ranges
    Bold reinterpretation of Bentley design cues in a spacious, versatile and high performance SUV
    A fusion of contemporary, crafted luxury, advanced in-car technology, commanding driving position and all-terrain capability
    6.0 litre, twin turbocharged W12 engine and 8 speed transmission

    (Geneva, 5 March 2012) Bentley is offering a vision of the future with a dramatic new Sport Utility Vehicle concept, EXP 9 F, at the Geneva International Salon d’Auto. The Company’s designers and engineers have created a compelling new take on the Grand Touring Bentley - a vehicle that feels equally at home at an opera gala performance, on the sand dunes and the overtaking lane of the autobahn.
    Unmistakably a Bentley – yet a Bentley like none before it – the EXP 9 F could herald a third Bentley model-line alongside the bespoke Mulsanne and the high performance Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur.
    Today a global luxury brand with a network of 160 dealers from Shanghai to Beverly Hills, Bentley has an increasingly diverse customer base spanning every continent. For many customers, a dramatically styled, Bentley all-wheel drive SUV which combines a spacious, versatile cabin and commanding driving position, with Bentley’s hallmark power, performance, advanced technology and hand crafted luxury, would be a natural choice both on and off-road.
    “We are very excited by the potential of a high performance, ultra-luxury Bentley SUV. We know that many Bentley customers already own SUVs, admiring their style, luxury, performance and versatility. With EXP 9 F, Bentley is making a clear statement of intent that we have both the expertise and desire to meet and exceed their expectations.” Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors.
    BOLD, DYNAMIC, SPORTY DESIGN
    Key Bentley styling cues re-interpreted for EXP 9 F with innovative detailing
    Sculptured flowing surfaces emphasise power, muscularity and robustness

    From a designer’s perspective, EXP 9 F was a dream project, the chance to create a completely new type of Bentley. From the very beginning, the design team had a clear vision for the new Bentley SUV, as Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design, explains:
    “EXP 9 F had to represent the absolute pinnacle of the sport utility sector, setting a new benchmark for this type of vehicle. The style had to reflect Bentley’s sporting character despite its radically different package and purpose together with sculptured, flowing surfaces in keeping with the Bentley tradition.”
    A new class of Bentley allowed the styling team to adopt a more progressive design approach. The exterior is a bold, dynamic statement, combining clean, muscular surfaces with signature character lines, while retaining the qualities of luxury and power – a pure Bentley.
    Key Bentley cues such as the matrix grille, round lamps and the strong power-line and haunch along each flank are reinterpreted for EXP 9 F. The ‘hewn from solid’ design language and innovative detailing, emphasise the robust character of this high-luxury SUV.
    The designers were inspired not only by the more functional nature of EXP 9 F but by the ‘visible engineering’ of the famous Blower Bentleys. For example, the day-time running lamp apertures also act as the charge cooler air intakes for the twin-turbo W12 engine, each with a dramatic, mesh-covered turbine fan design and ‘rifled’ inner surface finish.
    The turbine theme continues with the stunning 23-inch alloy wheels, the design of which complements the sculptured coachwork. The multiple spokes are reminiscent of the shape of turbine fan blades while the centrally mounted wheel nut is a visual reference both to Bentley’s Le Mans racers of the 1920s with centre-lock spinner and to the single nut found on the modern-day Speed 8’s high-tech racing alloys.
    At the rear, the swooping lines of the tailgate avoid utilitarian overtones in favour of a distinctly sporting profile, while the ultra-wide, two-part split tailgate offers a high level of versatility when grand touring. The bold design language of EXP 9 F is complemented by twin exhaust tailpipes with ‘rifled’ inner surfaces, their elliptical shapes echoing those of the rear light clusters.
    The rear lights are inspired by the forms and details of fighter jet engines, uniquely designed so that they glow from within, spreading their light outwards.
    INTERIOR – A FUSION OF LUXURY WITH UTILITY
    Light, airy, contemporary cabin design with exquisite British ‘sporting’ luxury craft detailing
    Contemporary use of touchscreen and tailored interface technologies
    Fresh interpretation of traditional handcrafted materials with highly durable surfaces
    High degree of practicality including versatile rear cabin layout and full-width, two-piece tailgate

    Bentley is renowned for its fusion of extremes – technology and craftsmanship, luxury and performance – and the interior of EXP 9 F expresses the resolution of apparent opposites in its use of materials, techniques and technology, as Dirk van Braeckel explains:
    “The challenge for the interior design team was to create a cabin which provides a blend of luxury and utility. The result is a light and airy environment with a commanding view of the road and a versatile layout which showcases Bentley’s craft and design language in an innovative and contemporary way.”
    Traditional handcrafted elements such as wood, leather and polished metals such as aluminium, bronze and gunmetal are used to create a sense of British luxury, yet the way they are used sets a fresh and contemporary interior ambience. Soft-touch leather contrasts with highly durable surfaces with the concept car design experimenting with the use of saddle leather for the seat backs, top roll and loadspace – while analogue bezels and dials are paired with TFT ‘virtual’ instrumentation.
    Even the luxurious silk wool floormats are reversible – with one side finished in durable, ribbed saddle leather for use when the driver and passengers are dressed for the great outdoors.
    The upright dashboard design features a full-width, one-piece wood veneer with a subtly negative surface and instruments with a configurable display. Traditional Bentley ‘bulls eye’ vents have a ‘rifled’ gunmetal inner surface for a more contemporary and functional appearance. The centre console is a blend of functionality and supreme ergonomics with dynamic, architectural layers which help to create a central spine to the cabin. The frame of the console is also a structural component with integrated, sculpted grab handles.
    The flowing roof design with a panoramic glass panel is inspired by the roll cages of rally cars, expressing both strength and lightness.
    Rear seat passengers can chose between business mode, with generous legroom complete with fold-down keyboard and full internet connectivity via an iPad or tablet or a more reclined position with powered footrest, drinks table and an infotainment screen for movies. When the rear seats are not in use, they can be powered forward to create a larger loadspace for sports equipment or luggage.
    The EXP 9 F seating is 4+1, with a rear armrest lifting to reveal a cooled compartment for champagne and glasses. Seats feature a diamond-quilted ‘shoulder line’ in soft-touch leather, echoing the traditional appearance of a British field sport jacket.
    At the rear, the lower section of the two-piece tailgate may be used as a viewing bench or picnic table. Bespoke picnic hampers are stowed neatly to either side of the loadspace when not in use, but are located on rails for easy access. An awning extends over the tailgate to protect those seated there; two umbrellas fit either side of the rear luggage area for when the rain clouds sweep in.
    COMMANDING DRIVING POSITION AND CONTROL ARCHITECTURE
    Inspired blend of traditional analogue and TFT touchscreen technology
    Bespoke interface engineering – tailored to the individual with driver-selectable instrumentation modes

    As befits a Bentley, the EXP 9 F design concept features a near-infinite choice of driver information and entertainment options. However the design and electrical engineering teams sought to avoid creating a cluttered or confusing driver and passenger environment, presenting only the information that each user needs, when they need it.
    As a result, EXP 9 F places key driver information such as 3D navigation in a central TFT panel directly in the driver’s line of sight, where it is flanked by two analogue reverse-read dials. Meanwhile controls that are shared between driver and front seat passenger, such as cabin temperature, air vents and entertainment are presented in the central touchscreen and console. The TFT screen deploys from the full-width metal trim to provide a fully integrated extension to the glass surface of the centre console
    Three different driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Off-Road – are selectable according to the road environment and type of journey. Thus the driver information TFT panel would be able to switch between satellite navigation on the motorway to a ‘sump cam’ when negotiating a bumpy track.
    BENTLEY POWER AND PERFORMANCE
    Although the EXP 9 F concept is based around the Bentley 6.0 litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine with an 8-speed transmission, both the company’s recently-launched 4.0 litre, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could meet the performance requirements of a pinnacle luxury SUV.
    Whilst EXP 9 F is primarily intended to investigate new design territory – and all drivetrain options remain under consideration – any Bentley SUV would offer the thunderous performance the marque is renowned for. The W12 6.0 litre powertrain, for example, could develop 600bhp and 800 Nm of torque with key performance indicators like the top speed and 0-60mph sprint time all setting new benchmarks for the SUV sector.
    EVALUATION, REFINEMENT AND FUTURE PLANNING
    When the first generation Continental GT was unveiled in 2003 it represented the renaissance of Bentley as a global luxury icon, subsequent launches such as Mulsanne, Continental Flying Spur saloon and the new Continental GT have seen the Bentley brand growing from strength to strength.
    EXP 9 F represents the chance to take Bentley values of design, craftsmanship and engineering excellence into what would be – literally – new terrain for the brand. Bentley’s experience with the all-wheel drive Continental range makes the concept of a Bentley SUV a natural progression for the company.
    Customer and public reaction will be analysed following the unveiling of EXP 9 F at Geneva 2012, with the aim of refining the concept further. Above all, Bentley will be listening carefully to the reaction of customers and potential customers throughout the world, prior to making any definitive commitment to production.
    “A Bentley Grand Tourer doesn’t necessarily have to be a coupé, a convertible or a saloon – it could equally well be an SUV. What’s important is that it should be true to Bentley’s brand values and in line with the desires and needs of our customers.” – Alasdair Stewart, Member of the Board, Sales and Marketing.

    William Maley

    Jaguar to Tesla: You've been put on notice

    Various luxury automakers have taken Tesla as a serious threat and are working on models to take on the start-up. The first automaker out of the gate is Jaguar which premiered the production version in Graz, Austria today. This is quick turnaround considering we only saw the concept at the 2016 LA Auto Show.
    Let's talk about the I-Pace's heart. Jaguar has installed two electric motors (one on each axle) producing 294 kilowatts (394 horsepower) and 512 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 mph is said to take 4.5 seconds. A 90-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is estimated to provide a range of 240 miles between charges. 
    Plugged into a 100kW DC fast charger, the I-Pace can go from empty to an 80 percent charge. When plugged into a 230V/32A AC wall box, the I-Pace takes about 10 hours to get an 80 percent charge - "ideal for overnight charging" Jaguar notes in their press release.
    Like other PHEV and EVs, the I-Pace offers different brake-regeneration settings. The strongest one allows one-pedal driving.
    The I-Pace's structure is very different from other Jaguar models as the lithium-ion battery pack plays an integral role. Jaguar claims the I-Pace is its torsionally stiffest production model yet - mostly due to the battery pack. The low and central placement of the battery pack in the vehicle also gives 50:50 weight distribution. 
    Design-wise, there isn't much difference between the production model and concept. The overall length and wheelbase is similar to the F-Pace, but the interior is much more spacious as there is no gas engine up front. Designers were able to push the base of the windshield forward to maximize space.
    The interior is very much Jaguar with a modern design and various upholstery choices including a wool blend with recycled technical suede cloth. Jaguar's Touch Pro Duo infotainment system provides two touchscreens that control various vehicle functions including audio, navigation, and climate control.
    When the I-Pace launches in the second-half of this year, it will be available in S, SE, and HSE trims. A First Edition model offering numerous luxury appointments will be available during the first-year of production.
    Customers can begin placing orders at their local Jaguar dealer beginning today. As for pricing, Jaguar will be announcing that next week when the I-Pace rolls out on the floor of the Geneva Motor Show.
    Source: Jaguar
    Press Release is on Page 2


    JAGUAR CHARGES AHEAD WITH ALL-NEW ELECTRIC I-PACE
    Clean, smart and offering a wealth of driver assistance features, the Jaguar I-PACE delivers sports car performance, artificial intelligence (AI) enabled technologies and five-seat SUV practicality.
    Jaguar unveils all-electric I-PACE in live global webcast from the vehicle’s manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria Designed from the outset as a premium electric vehicle (EV), the mid-size Jaguar I-PACE SUV offers a bold aerodynamic design and interior space comparable to a larger vehicle Electrifying all-wheel drive performance from twin Jaguar-designed electric motors delivers 0-60mph acceleration in 4.5 seconds (1) 90kWh lithium-ion battery delivers an estimated 240 mile all-electric range (2); EV navigation provides range-optimized routing options Unique aluminum-intensive EV architecture delivers a rigid body structure and 50:50 weight distribution Public fast charging from 0-80 percent achievable in 40 minutes using a 100kW DC charger (3) ‘Smart Settings’ use artificial intelligence algorithms to learn driving habits and tailor the I-PACE to individual driver preferences Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) wireless updates available to ensure customers have access to the latest vehicle software Customer peace of mind from 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranty (4) and Best-in-Class Jaguar EliteCare ownership package (5) U.S. customer deliveries to begin during the second half of 2018 Since the debut of the Jaguar I-PACE Concept, U.S. customers have been registering their interest to purchase the new Jaguar I-PACE at www.jaguarusa.com As of today, Jaguar retailers can begin placing customer orders for the new I-PACE U.S. Pricing to be announced in conjunction with the vehicle’s public debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6 at 8:00AM EST (MAHWAH, N.J.) – March 1, 2018 – Today, the Jaguar I-PACE, the first all-electric production vehicle from the Jaguar brand, has been unveiled to the world in a live webcast. Clean, smart and offering a wealth of driver assistance features, the Jaguar I-PACE delivers sports car performance, artificial intelligence (AI) enabled technologies and five-seat SUV practicality.
    British comedian and actor, Jack Whitehall, self-proclaimed EV enthusiast and TV presenter Jonny Smith and American tech guru iJustine, hosted a special live show as the first I-PACE rolled off the production line in at the Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria, where the car will be built.
    Designed and engineered in the UK, the I-PACE will be built in Graz, Austria, as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr. It joins the growing family of Jaguar SUVs, alongside the all-new E-PACE and multiple award-winning F-PACE.
    “We set out with a clean sheet approach to harness new battery electric technology with an architecture engineered from the outset to optimize EV performance, aerodynamics and interior space. The result is the I-PACE – a true Jaguar and a truly driver-focused EV,” said Ian Hoban, Jaguar Vehicle Line Director.
    ELECTRIC
    With a 432 pouch cell, 90kWh, lithium-ion battery pack, the I-PACE delivers an estimated range of 240 miles2. Owners will be able to achieve a 0-80 percent battery charge in around 40 minutes using publicly available 100kW DC rapid charging facilities3. Home charging with a 230V/32A AC wall box (7kW) will achieve the same state of charge (0-80 percent) in just over ten hours – ideal for overnight charging3.
    A suite of smart range-optimizing technologies includes a battery pre-conditioning system which allows the vehicle to warm or cool its battery, and cabin, to an optimal temperature while plugged in to power. By allowing the vehicle to do this while still connected to power, the system reduces the need for the vehicle to tap into its driving range to reach optimal operating temperature.
    PERFORMANCE
    Two Jaguar-designed concentric electric motors – which feature driveshafts passing through the motors themselves for compactness – are placed at each axle, producing exceptional performance and all-wheel drive, multi-surface traction.
    The high torque density and high-energy efficiency characteristics of the motors combine to deliver sports car performance, launching the I-PACE from a standing start to 60mph in 4.5 seconds1. This instantaneous performance is matched with exceptional ride comfort and engaging driving dynamics Jaguar customers have come to expect.
    The aluminum architecture uses advanced riveting and bonding technology to deliver a light, stiff body structure. Together with the structural battery pack, it has a torsional rigidity of 36kNm/degree – the highest of any current Jaguar vehicle.
    The battery is placed centrally between the two axles, and as low as possible with a seal between the housing and the underfloor. This location enables a 50:50 weight distribution and a low center of gravity. Together with the advanced double wishbone front and an Integral Link rear suspension with standard Active Air Suspension and optional configurable Adaptive Dynamics, this packaging delivers agile handling and outstanding ride comfort.
    DESIGN
    The Jaguar I-PACE is designed and engineered to take full advantage of its smart electric powertrain, maximizing the potential of packaging benefits EVs inherently bring.
    Its sleek, coupe-like silhouette was influenced by the Jaguar C-X75 supercar concept; drawing inspiration for its short, low hood, aero-enhanced roof design and curved rear window from the concept. This cab-forward design contrasts with its squared-off rear, helping reduce the coefficient of drag to just 0.29Cd. To optimize the balance between cooling and aerodynamics, the I-PACE relies on Active Vanes in the grille which open when cooling is required and close when not needed; redirecting air through the integral hood scoop, further smoothing airflow around the vehicle.
    Inside, customers will experience a spacious cabin highlighted by the Jaguar brand's exquisite attention to detail and sophisticated materials – including the option of a premium textile Kvadrat interior.
    Although classed as a mid-sized SUV by its physical footprint, the cab forward design and packaging of the EV powertrain mean the I-PACE offers interior space comparable to a larger vehicle. The I-PACE affords a rear legroom space of 35.0-in (890mm) and a useful 0.43- cu. ft. (12.3-liter) central storage compartment in a space that would ordinarily by occupied by a transmission tunnel in a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Also in the rear, tablet and laptop storage can be found beneath the seats; while the rear luggage compartment behind those seats offers a 25.3 cu. ft. capacity, a generous 51.0 cu. ft. is available with the second row seats folded flat.
    CONNECTED-CAR TECHNOLOGY
    The Jaguar I-PACE introduces the Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro Duo™ infotainment system to Jaguar. First debuting on the Range Rover Velar and later on the 2018 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, Touch Pro Duo relies on a pair of innovative touchscreens which work in conjunction with capacitive sensors and tactile physical controls, to make the new system intuitive to use6.
    A new EV navigation system built into Touch Pro Duo calculates personalized range and charging status to assist with driver confidence. To gather this data, the Touch Pro Duo system analyzes the topography of the selected route to the destination and aggregates that information with insights from previous journeys, including individual driving styles.
    The advanced system uses ‘Smart Settings’ technology – driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms – to identify individual driver preferences, and then tailors the vehicle’s driving and interior settings accordingly.
    The I-PACE will also launch an Amazon Alexa Skill linked to the Jaguar InControl Remote App. Owners will be able to ask an Alexa-enabled device for information such as “Is my car locked?,” “What is the charging level?,” and “Do I have enough range to get to work?” among other things.
    To ensure customers always have access to the latest infotainment, telematics and battery energy control software, the I-PACE will also be the first Jaguar to provide Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates.
    In the U.S. the I-PACE will be available in the second half of 2018 as a 2019 model year vehicle, in S, SE and HSE derivatives as well as a one-year-only, First Edition model derived from a very well equipped HSE trim.

    William Maley

    Wonder what a refresh for the Buick Encore would look like?

    Opel and Vauxhall are gearing up for a busy Geneva Motor Show. They have already revealed the GT Concept. Today, the two GM Europe brands pulled the curtain back on the 2016 Mokka X.
     
    Despite the addition of the letter X to the name, the Mokka X is just a refresh of the current model.
     
    The big change in the refresh is a new front end. New headlights with LED accents complement a new grille that reminds us slightly of the one found on the Buick Avista concept. Inside is a new center stack design that removes the button-heavy layout and includes a new touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
     
    Powertrains for the Mokka X include a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder (152 horsepower) and a 1.6L turbodiesel with two power outputs (108 and 134 horsepower). Front-wheel drive comes standard while all-wheel drive is an option.
     
    Opel and Vauxhall say the Mokka will go on sale later this year.
     
    With this refresh announced on the Mokka, the question arises of whether Buick will get a refreshed version of the Encore. Speaking with Autoblog, Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle revealed that the refreshed 2017 Encore would debut at the New York Auto Show in March. Fowle is keeping his mouth shut as to what the refresh would bring to the table. We would expect a new front end and interior changes for the Encore, much like the Mokka X.
     
    Source: Opel, Autoblog
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Even More Adventurous – The New Opel Mokka X
    New look: Bold and masculine on the outside, refined elegance on the inside New choice: New gasoline 1.4-liter Direct Injection Turbo with automatic transmission and all-wheel drive New visibility: Adaptive LED headlamps and new generation Opel Eye front camera New infotainment system: With smartphone integration and OnStar services

    Rüsselsheim. Ever since its launch in 2012, the Opel Mokka has gone from strength to strength. With its perfect size (4.28 meters long), its sporty look and elevated seating position, the sub-compact SUV appeals to the zeitgeist and has already been ordered over 500,000 times across Europe making it one of the most popular models in its segment. Now the new Opel Mokka X looks to add to this popularity. It will celebrate its world premiere at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show (March 3 to 13, 2016) and will hit the market this fall with a fresh iconic exterior design, a new interior and outstanding, new generation infotainment systems making it one of the best-connected all-terrain eye-catchers on the market. Alongside the recently launched new generation 1.6 “whisper diesels”, the new Mokka X will also extend its gasoline offer with a new generation 1.4-liter Direct Injection Turbo which will be combined with an automatic transmission, Start/Stop and all-wheel drive.
     

    Bold and adventurous attitude
    The Mokka could be labeled as one of the symbols of Opel’s successful comeback in recent years. The sub-compact SUV has attracted many new customers to the brand who are attracted by the body style of a SUV combined with a stylish design, a sporty, adventurous flair, and genuine off-road capabilities. The new Mokka X will be the first carline to introduce the segment identifier for future Opel SUV and crossover vehicles with the “X” emphasizing a more adventurous and rugged personality as the one displayed by more traditional body styles.
     
    The Mokka X’ new exterior design displays a bold attitude. Its new front look is aligned with Opel’s new design including a wing-shaped horizontal front grille and the dominant, sharp double wing signature of the LED daytime running lights. The front fascia also gets more precisely and elegantly sculpted surfaces, with less plastic inserts. This gives the Mokka X a wider, more solid and masculine stance. It is continued at the rear with another double wing signature also features in the tail lamps – optionally available with LED technology. The body side retains its sculpted and elegant traits and sporty edge with muscular and athletic lower body lines, energized by Opel’s typical ‘blade’ that sweeps upwards to the rear. New vibrant colors such as ‘Amber Orange’ or ‘Absolute Red’ add to the desirability of the Mokka X.
     
    On the inside, the Mokka X’ ambiance has been totally redefined. A completely new dashboard inspired by the new Astra makes its debut. The new instrument panel is organized around more horizontally shaped elements. It looks both simpler and purer, as well as sharper and more precise in its execution. The center stack has been redeveloped completely around the 7 and 8-inch touchscreens of the new generation infotainment systems. It now impresses with refined elegance and a purer design with less buttons – many functions are now accessible via the capacitive touchscreens.
     
    New six-speed automatic with adaptive all-wheel drive
    After the introduction of the new generation 1.6 “whisper diesel” units with 81 kW/110 hp and 100 kW/136 hp, the powertrain portfolio of the Opel SUV will now be extended on the gasoline side. The new generation 112 kW/152 hp 1.4-liter Direct Injection Turbo that recently made its debut in the new Astra will be available in combination with a six-speed automatic transmission, Start/Stop and adaptive all-wheel drive (CO2 emissions and fuel consumption combined according to preliminary data: 154 g/km, 6.6 l/100 km). The all-wheel drive technology with an electro magnetic multi-plate clutch is clever and efficient. When the road surface is dry, the front wheels drive the vehicle forward (except when starting when the car is in AWD) meaning that fuel consumption remains low. Depending on the road conditions the range automatically and seamlessly varies from 100 percent front-wheel drive on dry road surfaces benefitting fuel consumption to a maximum distribution of torque of 50 percent on the front and rear axle, for example when the roads are covered in a thick film of water.
     
    AFL LED headlamps and new generation Opel Eye front camera increase safety
    In addition to the AWD system, the Opel engineers have once again followed Opel’s strategy of making innovative technology available to a broad group of buyers by introducing Adaptive Forward Lighting LED headlamps. The new AFL LED system adapts the headlights lighting patterns automatically to the driving situation so that the best possible light performance is given without glaring other drivers. It features nine different functions/lighting patterns such as town light, country light, tourist mode, a curve and cornering function, backing-up /maneuvering light and a stop mode light (eco). This LED system replaces the previous BiXenon AFL. On one hand, LED features a light quality that allows seeing the ‘true’ colors of things, to the benefit of visual comfort. In addition, as there is no mechanical operation within the lamp module, it is faster and more accurate in its reaction, while also being highly reliable over time.
     
    Furthermore, the new generation of the Opel Eye front camera with a higher resolution and an increased image processing power has a positive impact on all the functions it supports, including the High Beam Assist of the AFL LED lighting system. Due to the improved camera and the optional navigation support, the enhanced Traffic Sign Assistant of the Mokka X has a further increased detection rate. The Following Distance Indication (FDI) utilizes the front camera to detect moving lead vehicles, and the Forward Collision Alert is now enhanced with a reflective LED Alert Display. When the distance between the car and the vehicle ahead diminishes too quickly, red LEDs reflect in the windscreen. In addition, an audible caution alerts the driver that braking is necessary. The Lane Departure Warning is activated automatically at speeds over 60 km/h and warns the driver, in case the lane if left unintentionally with a telltale in the instrument panel and an audible warning.
     
    Best connected and most comfortable car in the segment
    Just like the new Opel Astra, the Mokka X will be available with all Opel OnStar services from its launch. In addition, two versions of the new generation of the IntelliLink infotainment system will celebrate their debut in the Mokka X. IntelliLink will bring the world of smartphones to the car via both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone projection.
     
    Apart from being the best connected car in the sub-compact SUV segment the new Mokka X can also claim to be one of the most comfortable. Like in most Opel models, the AGR (Campaign for Healthier Backs lead by independent back health experts) tested and certified ergonomic seats, unique in the segment, make long highway journeys just as enjoyable as excursions into rough terrain. The Mokka X also receives a further comfort feature: Keyless Open and Start. The driver does not need to actively press the button on his car key to open or lock his car. He just keeps the key in his pocket or bag and presses the small button on any door handle to enable or disable access to the passenger and cargo compartments of his vehicle. The vehicle’s start / ignition interface is also keyless.
     
    With its new design, complemented powertrain lineup, proven off-road capabilities, outstanding connectivity offer and its outstanding comfort features the new Mokka X comes with the perfect prerequisites to continue the winning ways of its predecessor, which, amongst others, won two “All-wheel Drive Car of the Year” awards and two “Company Car of the Year” awards in Germany.

    William Maley

    Volkswagen does the seemingly unthinkable, create a stylish vehicle!

    The Volkswagen CC held a distinction that very few models in their lineup could (aside from not being involved in the diesel emission mess); it was a model that actually had some style. The CC's successor, the Arteon looks to be taking this a step further.
    To be shown later this week at the Geneva Motor Show, the Arteon is mostly a carbon copy of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE shown two years ago. The front end gets a massive grille that extends into the LED headlights. Fenders bulge out and the swoopy roofline flows gently into a fastback. For the interior, Volkswagen is giving the Arteon some serious luxury credentials with available Alcantara/”Vienna” leather seats, Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit, and a 9.2-inch infotainment display with gesture controls.
    Europe will have the choice of six turbocharged engines; three gas and three diesels.
    1.5L TSI Evo: 148 horsepower 2.0L TSI: 188 horsepower 2.0L TSI:  276 horsepower 2.0L TDI: 148 horsepower 2.0L TDI: 188 horsepower 2.0L TDI: 236 horsepower A six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG will be on offer, as will Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive.
    Volkswagen says the Arteon will go on sale in Germany in June. North America has to wait till next year when the Arteon arrives as a 2019 model.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2


    VOLKSWAGEN ARTEON MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT THE GENEVA AUTO SHOW
    Mar 6, 2017
    Premium four-door coupe is positioned above the Passat mid-size sedan Five-seat Arteon combines the design elements of a sports car with the elegance and space of a fastback Standard LED headlamps merge with the radiator grille and bonnet to form a completely new front end Very long wheelbase in relationship to the overall length offers excellent space Six turbocharged engines offer power outputs from 148 to 276 horsepower Top engines come with a DSG® dual-clutch automatic gearbox and 4Motion® all-wheel drive as standard Infotainment options include available Volkswagen Digital Cockpit and 9.2-inch Discover Pro system Herndon, VA – Volkswagen is adding the avant-garde Arteon Gran Turismo to its lineup and will reveal the vehicle to a global audience for the first time at the Geneva International Motor Show (9 to 19 March). Volkswagen Head Designer Klaus Bischoff says: "The Arteon combines the design elements of a classic sports car with the elegance and space of a fastback. It’s an avant-garde business-class Gran Turismo that speaks to the heart and head alike."
    Tobias Sühlmann, responsible for the Arteon's exterior design, further explains: “The athletic lines of the Arteon embody a highly functional overall concept. Form and function find common ground here in a progressive way. Thanks to its long wheelbase, stretched roofline, coupe-style fastback design and large rear hatch, this Gran Turismo provides more space and flexibility than conventional sedans."
    The new Arteon was designed on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB). The architecture allows for a long, 111.9- inch wheelbase and for short overhangs on the 191.4-inch long body. With a width of 73.7 inches and a height of 56.2 inches, the Arteon delivers truly dynamic proportions and a visual starting point for the Volkswagen designers.
    One of the most important design elements of the Arteon is the completely new front section. Stand-out features include a hood that extends a long way forward and over both fenders and a radiator grille that encompasses the vehicle's full width. The standard LED headlights and Daytime Running Lights combine with the chrome-plated crossbars of the radiator grille and hood. The powerful shoulder section at the rear, the muscular fenders, the waistline, and the flared wheelarches are also reminiscent of a sports car.
    Just 24 months ago, Volkswagen unveiled the Sport Coupé Concept GTE, which was one of the stars of the Geneva Auto Show in 2015. Klaus Bischoff said then that: "The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is another milestone of expressive design. Unmistakably reinvented, from the first to the last stroke. A stylistic compass. In this concept car, Volkswagen is not only presenting the new design of a new model, but also initial glimpses of a new era in design."
    Now that Volkswagen is showing the production version, Klaus Bischoff adds: "The fact that the Arteon has gone into production with only minimal design changes from the show car demonstrates Volkswagen's appetite for innovation. Exactly like the concept car, the Arteon generates that 'I want it' feeling. As forecast in 2015, this car does indeed mark the start of a new design era."
    The Arteon takes its place in the Volkswagen model range above the Passat. The new Volkswagen is being produced at the Emden plant and will go on sale in mid June in Germany.
    The Arteon reinterprets the Gran Turismo concept with its combination of avant-garde design, sportiness, great flexibility and generous space. There is excellent legroom in the back and generous luggage space of 19.9 to 55.0 cubic feet. On the technical front, the new Volkswagen impresses with six highly efficient engines with power outputs that range from 148 to 276 horsepower, front-wheel and 4Motion® all-wheel drive, plus digitalized displays and controls. Further features include the Active Info Display (Volkswagen Digital Cockpit in the U.S.), a headup display and the new Discover Pro infotainment system with a 9.2-inch glass screen and gesture control.
    The Arteon's innovative driver assistance systems match its avant-garde looks. Three of the new technologies stand out here. First, the latest generation Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) now takes into account data such as speed limits and/or route information and automatically adjusts the speed accordingly. Thanks to the navigation system's GPS and road data, the new dynamic cornering light system with predictive beam control recognizes when a bend is approaching and is already lighting it before the driver actively turns into it. Further added safety is provided by the second generation of Emergency Assist: if the driver becomes incapacitated by illness, the system not only (within its system limits) slows the car down, but now also steers it into the nearside lane, traffic behind permitting.
    Despite the high-end looks and equipment, the Arteon is available at an attractive price. In parallel with the high-quality base version, the car will be available in two exclusive equipment lines: the Elegance and R-Line®. The Arteon Elegance is focused heavily on luxury and design. The Arteon R-Line, meanwhile, puts sportiness at its heart. It is possible for the vehicle to be extensively personalized.
    Every Arteon model has the following standard features:

    Exterior
    Chrome strips on side windows LED taillights LED headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights Aluminum-alloy wheels Keyless Go access Interior
    Stainless steel door kickplates, front and rear Composition Media infotainment system, including eight loudspeakers, AUX-IN and USB Electronically controlled air conditioning system Leather multifunction steering wheel (with paddle shifters on DSG models) Six-way power adjustable front seats Driver assistance and handling systems
    Driver Alert System Progressive steering system The Arteon Elegance includes the following custom details:

    Exterior
    Chrome door mirror caps LED taillights with dynamic indicator light function 18-inch 'Muscat' aluminum-alloy wheels Continuous chrome trim strip on lower bodywork Heated windshield washer jets Interior
    Contrast stitching on seat covers and floormats Aluminum-look pedal covers Alcantara/ “Vienna” leather seating surfaces Heatable front seats The Arteon R-Line includes the following custom details:

    Exterior
    High gloss black finish of the C-signature in the front air intakes Leather multifunction R-Line design sport steering wheel 18-inch 'Sebring' aluminum-alloy wheels Heated windshield washer jets Special R-Line bumpers Continuous chrome trim strip on lower bodywork Chrome-plated exhaust tips Interior
    'Titan Black' headliner Stainless steel door kickplates front and rear (with R-Line logo on front plates} Aluminum-look pedal covers Alcantara/ “Vienna” leather ('Vienna') seating surfaces with R-Line logo Special R-Line steering wheel Heatable front seats Powertrain
    The new Arteon is launching with a range of six turbocharged direct-injection engines. All are four-cylinder units: the entry-level petrol (TSI) and diesel (TDI®) engines each develop 148 horsepower. The most powerful TSI gasoline engine delivers 276 hp, while the most powerful TDI produces 236 hp.
    All the engines, except the 148-hp TSI in Germany, can be combined with a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. For the TSI, the DSG is standard for the 188-hp engine and above. In the case of the TDI, it is fitted as standard with the 236-hp version. The most powerful TSI and TDI models also have 4Motion all-wheel drive as standard, while this is available as an option for the 188-hp TDI. All other models have front-wheel drive.
    NEDC fuel consumption for the 276-hp gasoline engine is: 25.6 mpg on the urban cycle, 38.6 mpg on the extraurban cycle, and a combined rating of 32.2 mpg.
    The Arteon's engines in summary:
    Gasoline Output Gearbox / Drive system 1.5 TSI Evo 110 kW / 148 hp 6-speed / optional 7-speed DSG (DSG not in Germany) 2.0 TSI 140 kW / 188 hp 7-speed DSG 2.0 TSI 206 kW / 276 hp 7-speed DSG plus 4Motion Diesel Output Gearbox / Drive system 2.0 TDI 110 kW / 148 hp 6-speed / optional 7-speed DSG 2.0 TDI 140 kW / 188 hp 6-speed / optional 7-speed DSG / optional 4Motion 2.0 TDI 176 kW / 236 hp 7-speed DSG plus 4Motion  

    William Maley

    A piece of Honda's forbidden fruit finally comes to the U.S.

    It has been quite a while since Honda has offered a bonafide performance vehicle in its lineup (S2000 in 2009). So it was great news to hear that Honda would be bringing the next-generation Civic Type R to our shores. Today at the Geneva Motor Show, Honda pulled the curtain back on the production version.
    Honda wanted to make the Civic Type R's intentions clear to everyone. The exterior comes with aggressive bumpers, hood scoop, 20-inch wheels finished in black, carbon-fiber-look body kit, huge rear wing, and center-mounted exhaust makes the Civic Type R the most aggressive Honda ever sold in the U.S. For the interior, Honda has fitted the Type R with a set of sport seats, red accent trim, and a serialized Type R plaque on the center console.
    Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder found in the current Civic Type R. Output for this engine is rated at 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. As we reported a few months ago, the Type R will only come with a six-speed manual. Those wanting an automatic are just plain out of luck. 
    In terms of handling, Honda is fitting their Dual-Axis front-strut setup “to minimize torque steer and maximize sporty handling,” by letting the front wheels steer closer to their centerlines. The Type-R will also come with a limited-slip differential, new adaptive dampers, and larger Brembo brakes.
    Honda says the Civic Type-R will carry a base MSRP in the mid-$30k range when it goes on sale later this spring.
    Source: Honda
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The Wait Is Nearly Over: New 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes Global Debut at Geneva Motor Show

    Mar 7, 2017
    First Type R-badged Honda available in the U.S. goes on sale late spring Most powerful, quickest, fastest and most agile Civic ever 2.0-liter i-VTEC® DI TURBO: 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque Major chassis and suspension upgrades for track-ready performance GENEVA – Honda today took the wraps off one of the most anticipated models in its history with the unveiling of the production 2017 Civic Type R at the Geneva Motor Show. The long-awaited Civic Type R, slated to go on sale in the U.S. in late spring with an MSRP in the mid-$30k range, is the first ever Type R-badged Honda to be sold on American soil. The Type R will feature a high performance 2.0-liter turbocharged powertrain, substantially upgraded body and chassis, and other track-ready, Nürburgring-tuned and tested performance components. The 2017 Civic Type R will make its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show on April 12, 2017.
    "The fastest, most powerful Honda ever sold in America, the Type R caps off the incredible success story of our 10th generation Civic lineup," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president & general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We're happy to inform our U.S. enthusiasts that the long wait for the forbidden fruit of Honda Type R performance is nearly over!"
    The new Civic Type R, sharing the body style of the 5-door hatchback variant of the tenth-generation global Honda Civic platform, will be powered by a U.S.-built 2.0-liter DOHC, direct-injected and turbocharged i-VTEC in-line 4-cylinder engine with peak ratings of 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. The engine will be mated exclusively to a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission with rev matching capability – employing automatic throttle blips for smoother shifts and power delivery. A new single-mass flywheel reduces clutch inertia by 25 percent versus the previous (European) Type R and a lower final gear ratio is employed to improve acceleration response.
    The Civic Type R chassis builds on the major upgrades undertaken for the 10th-generation Civic makeover with model-exclusive spring, damper and bushing settings, a new Dual-Axis front suspension setup with aluminum lower arms and steering knuckles for improved at-the-limit cornering and reduced torque steer; a new four-wheel Adaptive Suspension System with three-chamber dampers; a retuned and adaptive dual-pinion electric power steering system with variable gear ratio; and a helical limited-slip front differential. Mounted to the suspension are 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels shod with 245/30R 20 Continental ContiSportContact 6 performance tires. Decisive stopping power comes from Brembo 4-pot aluminum calipers squeezing 350mm (13.8-inch) cross-drilled rotors at the front. The rear braking system features solid 305mm (12-inch) rotors.
    The Type R's scalpel-sharp responses are further enhanced by a body more rigid than the substantially improved Civic Hatchback on which it's based – with a 38 percent increase in torsional rigidity and 45 percent gain in bending rigidity versus the previous Civic Type R – enhancing steering response and cornering stability while mitigating body vibration and cabin noise. The improvements are made possible by the application of structural adhesive throughout the body. Ultra-high strength steel is used for 14 percent of the body structure, and the Type R has an aluminum hood, contributing to a 16 kg (35 lb) reduction in body weight versus the previous Type R, and a 7 kg (15 lb) reduction versus the base 2017 Civic Hatchback.
    The 2017 Civic Type R is designed to reward the driver in all driving conditions, on the track and on the street, and features three driving modes: Comfort, Sport (default) and +R.  The driver selectable modes adjust steering and throttle response, transmission rev-matching, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and the Adaptive Damper System. Utilizing new, three-chamber dampers, individual stroke sensors and three vehicle-G sensors, the new damper system offers a wider range of variability for ride comfort and dynamic handling response.
    The 2017 Civic Type R will launch this spring in a single, premium-contented Touring trim. A 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface with embedded Honda Navigation system has both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility; and should the driver ever tire of hearing the Type R growl, a 540-watt, 12-speaker audio system with SiriusXM 2.0, HD Radio and Pandora compatibility is also provided as standard.
    Additional interior Type R features include heavily bolstered sports seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift boot, aluminum shift knob, aluminum sport pedals, red Type R driver's meter and serialized Type R plate on the center console.
    The Civic Type R will be manufactured by Honda of the U.K. Manufacturing in Swindon, England, with its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine made by Honda of America Mfg. at its Anna, Ohio engine plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. Pricing specifics and additional details on the 2017 Civic Type R will be provided closer to launch.
    Specifications and Features Overview

    Powertrain Engine Type
    L-4 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC turbocharged engine with dual valve timing control
    Horsepower
    306 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
    Torque
    295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,500 rpm
    Transmission
    6-speed manual transmission
    Chassis
    Drivetrain
    Front wheel drive with limited slip differential
    Steering
    Dual pinion electric power steering with variable ratio and active steering
    Suspension
    Dual axis front strut suspension and independent multilink rear suspension with adaptive damper system
    Brakes
    Front Brembo aluminum four piston calipers with drilled 350mm (13.8-inch) rotor brakes. Rear brakes feature solid 305mm (12-inch) rotors
    Wheels
    20-inch aluminum alloy wheels
    Tires
    245/30R 20 Continental ContiSportContact 6 performance tires
    Driving Modes
    Three-mode driving dynamics control with Comfort, Sport (default) and “+R” modes adjust dampers, steering, throttle response, transmission (rev matching), VSA (vehicle stability assist) and traction control systems Body
    Increased body stiffness over current Civic Hatchback and previous generation Type R Exterior
    LED headlights, fog lights, brake lights and turn signals Interior
    High-bolstered sport seats with red/black suede-effect fabric Leather wrapped steering wheel Leather wrapped shift knob Sport/racing pedals Illuminated visors Features
    Display Audio with Navi Dual Auto HVAC XM and HD Radio 12 speaker 540-watt premium audio system Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™

    William Maley

    A mobile lounge

    The Geneva Motor Show kicks off tonight as the Volkswagen Group holds their annual Group Night event where the various brands show off new and concept vehicles. Volkswagen used the event to show off the latest I.D. concept called Vizzion.
    The I.D. Vizzion concept stands out from I.D. concepts as it doesn't require a driver. There is no steering wheel, pedals, or traditional dashboard layout. Around the Vizzion are a number of sonar and radar sensors; cameras, and laser scanners to sense the world and road ahead. An artificial intelligence (AI) system is capable of learning as it drives, along with providing navigation and obstacle avoidance.
    The interior is quite plush with seating for four and floating center consoles with a small number of buttons that controls the volume and brings the concept to a stop. Other inputs such as entering an address or adjusting the climate control system are done through either gesture or voice control. Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headsets helps keep passengers occupied by projecting various items. One clever touch is that you can darken the cabin if you want some privacy.
    Exterior design is very similar to the I.D. Crozz with a large greenhouse, pillarless suicide doors, and slim light bars. 
    Like other I.D. concepts, the Vizzion is based on Volkswagen's MEB electric car platform. Two electric motors provide a total output of 302 horsepower and all-wheel drive. A 111-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides a total range of 413 miles (on the European testing cycle).
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2


    VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS ALL-ELECTRIC I.D. VIZZION CONCEPT AT THE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW
    The fourth member of the I.D. Family features Level 5 automation and artificial intelligence Based on the MEB platform, the I.D. VIZZION concept showcases sedan design of the future Concept car features an electric all-wheel-drive system delivering 302 horsepower and an anticipated range of up to 413 miles on the European cycle I.D. VIZZION features Level 5 autonomy, operating solely with voice and gesture control Via artificial intelligence, I.D. VIZZION is capable of learning I.D. VIZZION uses biometrics to open doors and adjust settings for known occupants Wolfsburg/Geneva, (March 5, 2018) — Starting in 2020, Volkswagen will be launching the I.D. Family, a range of newly-developed electric vehicles with long driving ranges and visionary design that will come to market in quick succession. Three I.D. models have already been presented as concept cars: the compact I.D.; the I.D. CROZZ SUV; and the I.D. BUZZ microbus. At the Geneva International Motor Show, Volkswagen will present the newest member of the I.D. Family: the I.D. VIZZION sedan. It drives autonomously, is operated by voice and gesture control, and thanks to artificial intelligence, will be capable of learning.
    In a vision of what may be possible by the year 2030, the I.D. VIZZION’s ‘digital chauffeur’ assumes control of the vehicle—without a steering wheel or visible controls. The concept car drives, steers and navigates autonomously in traffic, enabling passengers to sit back and enjoy the ride. A virtual ‘host’ knows the personal preferences of the vehicle guests and it adapts to each of them individually. Interaction with the I.D. VIZZION is possible via augmented reality and newly designed mixed reality eyewear—the HOLOLENSTM developed by Microsoft®.
    Artificial Intelligence
    The I.D. VIZZION concept car is one of the first cars to have the potential of artificial intelligence incorporated into its concept. Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to programs capable of self-learning by using algorithms to recognize, evaluate and interpret patterns. Over time, these systems continue to learn more, which enables them to react to new situations.
    Currently, developers define comprehensive program code that describes all aspects of system behavior. For example, Volkswagen’s Lane Assist feature uses a conventional, model-based program which precisely describes mathematical parameters for the visual recognition of lane markings. In the programing, the developers must also incorporate all sorts of deviations—such as missing or interrupted lane markings—so that they can handle all conceivable scenarios. The optical information supplied by the front camera is then compared with the mathematical description of lane markings, and if they agree Lane Assist is activated and ready to intervene.
    Programs are now being trained, however, to learn very complex parameters. In this training process, they learn to deduce unknown facts based on machine learning. At Volkswagen, machine learning is being used in determining the vehicle environment by the use of peripheral cameras. For example, the cameras must recognize whether they are 'seeing' a truck, passenger car, pedestrian or bicycle rider. To achieve this, developers feed an image recognition algorithm with thousands of pieces of training data – images of trucks, passenger cars, pedestrians and bicycle riders. It trains with images to distinguish between the different road users. This enables the implementation of new functions.
    Artificial intelligence requires a program that can draw its own conclusions autonomously, which allows it to make its own decisions. The automobiles of tomorrow will operate with far fewer control elements, and with controls that can be operated fully intuitively. Assistants like the system integrated in the I.D. VIZZION adapt more perfectly to its users from day to day. The system recognizes their needs and tastes—such as seat and air conditioning settings and their favorite playlists—and activates them autonomously as a function of the context and situation. Hardware and software will be optimally synchronized by the Volkswagen car's artificial intelligence. For autonomous driving, this also includes the essential laser and radar sensors, cameras and electronic control units. They independently share the data and derive the right driving maneuver based on their own decisions.
    Fully Autonomous Driving
    With the I.D. VIZZION, Volkswagen is showing the maximum extension stage of automated driving. The levels of automation are subdivided into five levels. From Level 4, the multiple redundantly designed technologies for automated driving are so intelligent that a driver is no longer needed. Nonetheless, cars operating at Level 4 still have a steering wheel and cockpit inside, and the user can choose to drive it conventionally as well.
    The I.D. VIZZION is designed for Level 5, so it drives exclusively as a fully autonomous vehicle. Consequently, there is no longer any need for a driver's seat, steering wheel, dash panel or foot pedals. The I.D. VIZZION detects its environment via inter-connected laser scanners, ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors for objects in the near-zone and radar sensors for long distances, front and rear cameras and side area view cameras. Traffic data is also continually obtained via the cloud and is compared with the data in the I.D. VIZZION. Future networking of vehicles with one another will also enable the Volkswagen car to utilize the swarm intelligence of the immediate surroundings and the larger environment (Car-2-Car and Car-2-X). In addition, the I.D. VIZZION integrates high-resolution digital maps into navigation.
    Electric all-wheel drive
    The drive system components of the MEB architecture—two motors, two transmissions, the electronics that link everything together and the high-voltage battery—are optimally incorporated into the I.D. VIZZION package.
    The lithium-ion battery has an energy density of 111 kWh and is housed in the vehicle floor. This creates more interior space, lowers the center of gravity and ensures ideal weight distribution. The same applies to the two electric motors on the front and rear axles. The motor in front is a 101-hp coaxial drive, and a compact 201-hp motor is used at the rear. They develop a total system power of 302 hp and drive their respective axles directly. Intelligent drive control ensures optimal handling properties in every situation.
    The I.D. VIZZION concept has an anticipated range of up to 413 miles on the European cycle. The power electronics are a crucial link for controlling the flow of high-voltage energy between the motors and the battery. The power electronics convert the direct current (DC) stored in the battery into alternating current (AC). The ideal method for charging the battery is over an inductive interface. But conventional charging via a plug is also possible with the Combined Charging System (CCS), charging stations or conventional electrical sockets.
    Exterior
    The proportions of the I.D. VIZZION differentiate it from comparable production vehicles in the premium class. The wheelbase (122.0 inches) and roof are extremely long, while the front and rear overhangs are short. This creates more space than in today’s premium sedan models. In addition, the I.D. VIZZION sets new standards with its refined aerodynamics. The concept car is 203.3 inches long, 76.7 inches wide, and 59.3 inches tall.
    From the front, the I.D. VIZZION creates a dynamic look with its front fascia, which is extremely low in the middle, and its fenders that rise sharply to the sides. Light also dominates the front-end design, with a white, illuminated VW badge, which develops into a white, animated light axis. As soon as the I.D. VIZZION recognizes one of its passengers via electronic key or a facial scan, this light axis flows over the side of the body and the white-illuminated door handles and into the rear body.
    The lighting concept is designed to be interactive. For example, active lighting elements in the front end adapt to the environment of the vehicle according to the driving situation. The I.D. VIZZION uses HD Matrix lights—a first for Volkswagen. These intelligent dipped beam and main beam headlights operate with 8,000 light pixels. In the future, these dots of light can be used to project symbols and displays in front of the car. These could be the virtual 'zebra stripes' of a pedestrian crossing, signaling to pedestrians that the I.D. VIZZION has recognized them, and is stopping to let them cross the road safely.
    In profile, the I.D. VIZZION is simple, yet elegant. The coupe-like roofline of the concept car extends past the wheelarches in the rear, creating the silhouette of a GT. The side sections are eye-catching with their seamlessly designed surfaces. Even the windows are completely flush with the body panels, making the greenhouse visually merge more with the shoulder and side sections of the body. Suicide doors dominate the space between the aerodynamically designed 24-inch wheels. They open electrically in opposite directions at up to a 0-degree angle. This, and the lack of B-pillars, enables exceptionally easy egress.
    The rear, with its sharp trailing edge, has ideal aerodynamic properties. Instead of a conventional trunk lid, an electrically actuated rear hatch swings upward, giving access to a 20.0 cubic-foot trunk. Like the rest of the concept car, the rear also exhibits clean and expressive styling. The white light axis is present at the rear too. This low-profile strip of LEDs wraps into the sides of the car and the rear fenders, emphasizing the width of the I.D. VIZZION. Immediately above, a red LED strip provides tail and brake light functions. The rear window doubles as a gigantic OLED display, allowing it to become a third brake light. As braking intensifies, the brake light enlarges interactively from bottom to top.
    Interior
    The I.D. VIZZION has an interior which enables a new dimension in travel. Since the I.D. VIZZION is conceived for fully autonomously driving, there is no need for a traditional driver's seat with cockpit. Therefore, the space was designed create a lounge-like atmosphere. Four ergonomically balanced seats form the center of this world. Footrests invite guests to relax, and a bright atmosphere is created with large side windows and a continuous panoramic sunroof that runs from front to rear. To ensure that the transparency of the space is not too great, the glass surfaces can be darkened electronically. At maximum darkening, the privacy glass is nearly opaque.
    The car has no dash panel, as the concept vehicle is primarily operated by gesture and voice control. In addition, all guests aboard the I.D. VIZZION can, if they wish, use a HOLOLENS which projects a virtual interface into the real space by augmented reality. However, there are still two rotary/pushbutton controls on the center console of the I.D. VIZZION (one front, one rear) to enable the intuitive manual control of functions such as entertainment volume control. These controls can also fully stop the concept car.
    The virtual host recognizes its occupants by biometric facial recognition or electronic device, such as a smartphone, and is able to call up settings from the cloud via the Volkswagen ID, automatically adjusting the settings for individual occupants. The profile for the Volkswagen ID can control parameters such as seating, lighting, climate control, infotainment (including streaming services) and scents.
    In addition, the virtual assistant reacts predictively to a wide variety of events and relevant points of interest. For example, if the car is approaching a traffic jam that cannot be avoided, the interactive assistant automatically communicates the new arrival time for the given destination. If there is a cafe along the route, which one of the guests would like to make use of, the assistant asks whether it should drive to the cafe or perhaps order a coffee to go and pay for it. The car can also be interconnected with all conceivable digital devices, including fitness trackers. Via these and/or the HOLOLENS, the I.D. VIZZION tracks the vital parameters of its passengers. For example, if it notices that someone is too hot, it adjusts the temperature downward for the area of that passenger via indirect ventilation of the four-zone automatic air conditioner.
    Three different travel modes can be activated on-board via the personal assistant: Relax, Active, and Family. In the Active mode, for example, the passenger can sit as usual, work, communicate, play and call up information on the drive. As soon as a guest activates Relax mode, a footrest extends out, relaxing music is played, and the ambient lighting switches to a warm color. In addition, various scenarios can be called up via the HOLOLENS. They include the digital Business, Navigation, Entertain, Communication, and—especially for any children on-board—Learning modes. The projections that are customized for each mode are shown in the user's visual field as augmented reality via the HOLOLENS. The Business mode, for example, makes it possible to participate in meetings by video chat or easily process e-mails and presentations. In Learning mode, children can call up games and learning apps.

    Drew Dowdell

    VIZIV Adrenaline concept

    Subaru has released a teaser image of the VIZIV Adrenaline concept they plan to unveil in Geneva Switzerland at the Geneva Auto Show.  The image gives the impression of a small, sporty crossover with a fastback roofline, but the accompanying press release goes into little other detail.
    Subaru says that Viziv is a coined word from the phrase Vision for Innovation.  
    Subaru will also be displaying two European specification, electrified e-Boxer vehicles.
    The Geneva Auto Show starts March 5th, 2019

    William Maley

    How to make the Panamera somewhat more practical 

    Porsche is expanding the Panamera lineup once again with the introduction of the Sport Turismo (wagon). Riding on the same wheelbase as the standard Panamera, Porsche extended the roofline and increased the size of the rear hatch. If you're expecting a noticeable increase in cargo, prepared to be disappointed. The Sport Turismo only adds 1.8 cubic feet of additional cargo space. The Sport Turismo also boasts a unique rear spoiler. At low speeds, the spoiler will trim itself to reduce drag. Higher speeds see the spoiler rise to add downforce. The spoiler will also rise when the panoramic sunroof is opened to cut down on wind noise.
    The Panamera Sport Turismo's engine lineup will mostly match up with the Panamera, except the Sport Turismo will all-wheel drive as standard.
    Panamera 4: 330 horsepower Panamera 4S: 440 horsepower Panamera 4 E-Hybrid: 462 horsepower Panamera Turbo: 550 horsepower Porsche says the Panamera Sport Turismo will go on sale in North America towards the end of this year with pricing starting at $97,250 (includes $1,050 destination charge). 
    Source: Porsche 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    SPORT TURISMO EXPANDS THE PANAMERA MODEL LINE
    New body style with 4+1 seating configuration to debut in Geneva ATLANTA, March 1, 2017 -- Porsche is expanding the Panamera family with the addition of a new body style: The all-new Panamera Sport Turismo will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show (March 7 - 19, 2017). Four different versions will be available for ordering in the U.S. at launch: Panamera 4, Panamera 4S, Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, and the Panamera Turbo. Based on the successful sports sedan, the new Panamera variants make a profound statement in the premium segment with their unmistakeable design. At the same time, the Sport Turismo, with up to 550 hp, is one of the most versatile models in its class. With a large tailgate, low loading edge, increased luggage compartment volume and a 4+1 seating concept, the new Panamera model offers the perfect combination of everyday usability and maximum flexibility. "For Porsche, the Panamera Sport Turismo is a step forward into a new segment, but retains all of those values and attributes that are characteristic of Porsche", says Michael Mauer, Director of Style Porsche.
    From a technological perspective, the Sport Turismo is available with all of the innovations introduced with the brand new Panamera model line announced last year. These include the digital Porsche Advanced Cockpit, the advanced assistance system Porsche InnoDrive, Porsche Communication Management (PCM), adaptive cruise control, and turbocharged powertrains.  Chassis systems such as Rear Axle Steering and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC Sport), the electronic roll stabilization system, are also available. In addition, all Panamera Sport Turismo vehicles are equipped with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) — an active all-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, and adaptive air suspension with three-chamber technology as standard.
    The design and concept of an all-round sports car
    Just like the coupe-style Panamera sports sedan, the Sport Turismo is characterized by its very dynamic proportions — a reflection of the Porsche design DNA. The vehicle is 198.8 inches long, 56.2 inches high and 76.3 inches wide, while the wheelbase spans 116.1 inches. The silhouette is further characterized by short body overhangs and large wheels measuring up to 21 inches.
    Beginning from the B-pillars back, the Sport Turismo features a unique rear design. Above the pronounced shoulder, an elongated window line and equally long roof contour lend the vehicle its striking appearance. At the rear, the roof drops away less dramatically than the window line, resulting in a prominent and distinctive D-pillar which transitions into the shoulder section in a coupe-like fashion.
    First adaptively extendible roof spoiler
    At the top of the vehicle, the roof extends into an adaptive spoiler. The angle of the roof spoiler is set in three stages depending on the driving situation and selected vehicle settings, and can generate an additional downforce of up to 110 lbs. on the rear axle. In normal driving, the aerodynamic guide element — a central system component of the Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA) — stays in its retracted position with an angle of minus seven degrees, which reduces drag and thus optimizes fuel consumption.
    At track speeds, the roof spoiler automatically moves to the performance position with an angle of plus one degree, thereby increasing driving stability and lateral dynamics. When in the Sport and Sport Plus driving modes, the roof spoiler automatically moves to the performance position at speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour. PAA also provides active assistance by adapting the roof spoiler's angle of inclination to plus 26 degrees when the panoramic sliding roof is open at speeds above 55 mph. In this case, the spoiler helps to minimize wind noise.
    Redesigned rear compartment
    The new Sport Turismo is the first Panamera to feature rear seating for three passengers. The two outer seats take the form of individual seats — in keeping with the model line's reputation for sporty performance with maximum passenger comfort — thereby producing a 2+1 configuration in the rear. As an option, the Panamera Sport Turismo is also available in a four-seat configuration with two electrically adjustable individual seats in the back.
    The raised roof line of the Sport Turismo allows for easy entry and exit at the rear of the vehicle and offers excellent head clearance. The usability of the luggage compartment benefits from the wide opening tailgate and a loading edge height of just 24.7 inches. Measured to the upper edge of the rear seats, the  18.4 cu.ft storage capacity of the Sport Turismo (Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo: 15 cu.ft) betters that of the sports sedan by 0.7 cu.ft. When loaded up to roof level and with the rear seats folded down, the gains amount to approximately 1.8 cu.ft (50 liters). The backrests of the three rear seats can be folded down together or individually (in a 40:20:40 split) and are unlocked electrically from the luggage compartment. When all of the backrests are folded down, the loading floor is practically level. In this case, the storage volume is expanded to up to 49 cu.ft (1,390 liters) (Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo: 45.7 cu.ft).
    A luggage compartment management system is available as an option for the Panamera Sport Turismo models. Among other things, this variable system includes two rails integrated in the loading floor, four tie-down points, and a luggage compartment partition net.
    Four engines at market launch
    The Panamera Sport Turismo models will be available with the four engines launching with the sports sedan, and they consequently maintain the same 0 to 60 acceleration figures. The Panamera 4 Sport Turismo is powered by a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 generating 330 hp, and it will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds with launch control. The Panamera 4S Sport Turismo reaches 60 mph (with launch control) in 4.0 seconds and is powered by a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is powered by the same combustion engine as in the 4S, and it has an additional 136 hp electric motor which in combination propel it from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds. The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo reaches 60 (with launch control) in 3.4 seconds and is powered by a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 generating 550 hp.
    Availability and pricing
    The MY18 Panamera Sport Turismo models are expected to arrive in the United States at the end of 2017. Prices will start at $96,200 for the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo, $104,000  for the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, $109,200 for the Panamera 4S Sport Turismo, and $154,000 for the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo, excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing, and handling fee.

    William Maley

    More Power, More Standard Equipment

    Mercedes-Benz is hoping the updates that it is making for the 2019 C-Class will keep it towards the top of the midsize class. 
    Exterior changes are subtitle with updated bumpers, LED lighting, new 17-inch wheels for the base model, and adding two new paint colors. The interior doesn't seen any major changes in terms of design, but features. Push-button start, 7.0-inch infotainment system, sunroof, and automatic emergency braking become standard on all C-Classes.
    The C300's turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder gets a 14 horsepower boost to 255. Torque remains 273 pound-feet. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the rear or all four wheels via Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system. 
    The biggest news for the 2019 C-Class is that it will get the semi-autonomous features from the E-Class. The Intelligent Drive suite includes Active Driving Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Steering Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Lane Changing Assist that allows the vehicle to travel semi-autonomously in certain situations.
    Mercedes will debut the 2019 C-Class at the Geneva Motor Show next month, with sales beginning late this year in the U.S.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class Offers Improved Performance & Safety Innovations Feb 13, 2018 – Stuttgart/Geneva: The Mercedes-Benz C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz's top-selling model in its fourth year on sale with worldwide sales topping 415,000 in 2017. The newly updated C-Class Sedan celebrates its world premiere with increased power and extended driver assistance systems. Among the highlights are a new, more powerful, and efficient engine that increases output by 14 horsepower and the extended suite of Intelligent Drive features shared with the Mercedes- Benz E-Class. The facelifted 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan will celebrate its World Premiere at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.
    The newly refreshed C-Class combines emotion with intelligence. The vehicle's appearance is defined in particular by its redesigned front and the new design of the LED headlamps and taillamps, now standard.
    The front and rear bumpers have been redesigned and the vehicle equipped with AMG-Line features a diamond radiator grille as standard. These new designs render the vehicle's exterior even more expressive and lend an even more dynamic character. The front bumper features a chrome-plated trim as part of the standard vehicle. In conjunction with the AMG Line Exterior the vehicle sports an AMG front bumper with a new geometry and at the rear the insert in in the diffuser comes in a new design. The rear bumper on the Sedan has a new lower section; geometry, trim and tailpipe trim vary according to the selected equipment.
    The design of the headlamps and taillamps is defined by clear-lined contours. Exquisitely crafted details add highlights and underscore the modern character. The C-Class is now equipped with LED headlamps and taillamps as standard. An LED Intelligent Light System with High Performance headlamps and ULTRA WIDE high beam is optionally available.
    The paint color spectrum has been enhanced with the addition of Mojave Silver Metallic and Emerald Green Metallic. Additionally, the standard 17" twin 5-spoke wheel is new as well.
    Interior design: exquisite fine-tuning
    The sporty interior exudes class, featuring flowing forms in a new interpretation of modern luxury.
    The center console is characterized by an elegant flowing trim, now available in Natural Grain Walnut Wood or Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood. The 3D real wood veneer in the center console combines a hand-crafted character with a modern feel. Magma Grey/Black upholstery is newly available for the interior, as is Saddle Brown and Silk Beige/Black for the AMG-Line Interior.
    The KEYLESS START function is standard and the start/stop button comes in a new turbine-look design. The vehicle key also features a new design.
    The display concept: fully digital instrument display available as an option
    The C-Class adopts the display concept of the current S-Class, with an optional fully digital instrument display offering the three different display styles "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive."
    The screen options at a glance:
    Instrument cluster: The basic model features a classic two-tube instrument cluster. Between the tubes there is a 5.5-inch color display (resolution: 383 x 600 pixels). The display style here is "Classic."
    The fully digital instrument display is optionally available. The screen has a 12.3- inch diagonal and offers high resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. The cutting-edge screen design offers the three very different display styles: "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive." The styles can be switched quickly according to personal tastes or to suit the selected interior. Alongside certain menu items such as trip data or consumption figures, the driver can now additionally view the navigation display data or the ECO display in the instrument cluster. The latter supports the driver in adopting a fuel-efficient driving style.
    Central display: The multimedia screen above the center console is also available in two sizes. The C 300 and C 300 4MATIC Sedans are standard-equipped with a 7- inch display screen. Newly available is the optional 10.25-inch COMAND® display screen.
    As with the instrument cluster, a choice of three display styles is also available here. The state-of-the-art mode of presentation enables the displayed information to be grasped intuitively. For example, clear and informative graphics accompany the text information under the "Vehicle" menu item.
    The C-Class Sedan is also enhanced with a new multifunction leather steering wheel with Touch Control Buttons that respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. They enable the driver to control the functions of the instrument cluster and of the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The driver can also now operate DISTRONIC and cruise control directly from the steering wheel.
    The infotainment system can additionally be operated via the touchpad with controller (new: haptic feedback) in the center console or by means of voice control. Vehicle functions such as the seating heating can now also be operated by voice control. The optional head-up display is now adjustable throughout an even larger range.
    Intelligent Drive: state-of-the-art active safety
    The updated C-Class features the latest driver assistance systems available in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, offering the driver cooperative support and providing for a higher standard of active safety than its predecessor. The C-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this, it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation; improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 1,640 feet ahead. The vehicle's surroundings are scanned by radar across a distance of up to 820 feet to the front, 130 feet to the sides, and 260 feet to the rear, while with the camera a range of up to 1,640 feet is possible to the front, including 295 feet in 3D. The C-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC (as part of the Driver Assistance package) is able to support the driver in numerous situations on the basis of map information and predictively adjust the speed, for example when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Other new developments include the intuitive Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist as functions of Active Steering Assist.
    The redesigned C-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, this can help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slow-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead. This function operates even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists or prevents collisions altogether.
    The multimedia systems: customized information and music offerings
    The C-Class comes as standard with a multimedia system featuring two USB ports, an SD card reader, Bluetooth connection and media interface.
    The latest-generation COMAND® Online system (optional) boasts fast 3D hard-disc navigation with topographic map display, photo-realistic 3D buildings, and 3D map rotations. Comprehensive information is displayed on the navigation map. For example, in addition to real-time traffic density information, it can include Car-to-X Communication warning messages, the weather, filling stations including current fuel prices, and free parking spaces.
    With the Concierge service (available as a subscription service), MercedesMe Connect customers have a host of individual services at their disposal: from making restaurant reservations and obtaining tips about tourist routes, to gathering information on cultural or sporting events and sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle.
    Mobile devices corresponding to the Qi standard can be charged conveniently while on the move with the optional NFC wireless charging system. The charging surface in the quick storage tray at the front of the center console is also suitable for large smartphones.
    The C-Class Sedan is equipped with a FrontBass® 5-speaker Audio System as standard and with the Burmester® Premium Sound System available as an option.
    More powerful, more efficient engine
    The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will also benefit from a new 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo engine that produces 255 hp (vs. 241 previously) and 273 lb-ft of torque, an increase in 14 hp. The Sedan is also equipped with a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission that affords a dynamic driving experience.
    The C-Class Sedan is produced at four plants on four continents, including the lead plant in Bremen (Germany), East London (South Africa), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Beijing (China). The facelifted 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan will celebrate its World Premiere at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 28, 2013
    Maserati's most hardcore vehicle, the GranTurismo MC Stradale has got some changes that will be shown at next week's Geneva Motor Show.
    The big change is the addition of back seats, which means those who want to carry three passengers in their race-derived coupe have an option.
    Other changes for the GranTurismo MC Stradale include a new carbon fiber hood with an integrated air scoop, twenty-inch alloy wheels, and new air extractors in the back.
    Power will come in the form of a 4.7L V8 producing 460 horsepower. All of that power is sent through Maserati's MC Race Shift six-speed semi-automatic gearbox.
    Source: Maserati

    Album: Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale
    2 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    MASERATI: LUXURY AND SPORTINESS FOR FOUR: FOUR SEATER GRANTURISMO MC STRADALE MAKES ITS DEBUT IN GENEVA
    The MC Stradale will be the star on the Maserati stand, alongside all the new Quattroporte versions as they make their European debut
    Modena, 27 February 2013. From the moment the spotlight hits the new range - starting with the new Quattroporte, set to make its European debut at the Geneva Motorshow - Maserati also revamps those luxury sports models which provided the basis for the brand's growth.
    In line with this philosophy, Geneva will see the world debut of the new four seater GranTurismo MC Stradale, the optimum expression of sportiness combined with the luxury of a coupé made in Modena. Although the new Quattroporte is the first Maserati to be built at the new Giovanni Agnelli plant in Grugliasco (Turin), the GranTurismo MC Stradale will in fact be built at the historic factory in viale Ciro Menotti in Modena.
    Just like the previous two seater version, the new four seater GranTurismo MC Stradale takes its inspiration from the racing version which competes in the Maserati Trofeo Championship, offering the perfect combination of sportiness, luxury and elegance, comfort and style, functionality and dynamism - that can now be enjoyed by four people. The new aesthetic exterior features, with their clear racing edge, are highlighted by the new carbon fibre bonnet which frames a central air intake and two rear extractors and by the new forged 20" alloy rims. The new GranTurismo MC Stradale boasts a cabin that has four comfortable seats and an interior design featuring new materials and style.
    The new GranTurismo MC Stradale also features the 4.7 litre, 460 HP aspirated V8 engine which made its debut in the GranTurismo Sport and which is now fitted to the entire 4.7 litre GranTurismo range. Combined with an MC Race Shift 6-speed robotised manual gearbox, this engine ensures outstanding performance - with a top speed of 188 mph - which can be enjoyed in this new four passenger configuration. The safety of the vehicle is guaranteed by the Brembo carbon ceramic brake discs. The new GranTurismo MC Stradale also benefits from the work carried out on the latest engine range to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

    Drew Dowdell

    The GLE gets a new mild-hybrid inline 6-cylinder and AMG touches

    Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the AMG GLE 53.  The new GLE 53 features a 3.0 liter turbocharged 6-cylinder engine with a 48-volt "EQ Boost" mild hybrid. 
    The engine is equipped with both a standard turbocharger that runs off of exhaust gases and also has an electrically driven auxiliary compressor to activate boost at low RPM before the standard turbocharger kicks in.  Additionally, Mercedes has equipped the engine with an EQ Boost starter-generator sandwiched between the engine and transmission. The EQ Boost can temporarily boost powertrain output by 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.
    When EQ Boost is not being used, it feeds the 48v battery.  EQ Boost is also used for seamless engine start/stop function, idle speed controls, and glide mode.  The entire accessory drive belt system on the front of the engine has been eliminated, freeing up room in the engine bay for closer mounting of the exhaust gas treatment system, making it more efficient.
    Power is routed to the ground via a 9-speed automatic and standard 4Matic+ all-wheel drive.  The all-wheel drive system is variable with a permanently linked rear axle and variably powers the front axle as driving conditions warrant.
    AMG Active Ride Control is standard. The system is based on Mercedes' Airmatic and adds continuously adjustable dampening.  The pneumatic system will lower the GLE 53 by 15mm in Sport or Sport+ modes, or when in Comfort mode over 75 mph. The vehicle can be raised a maximum of 55 mm for when greater ground clearance is required. 

    Visually, the AMG GLE 53 distinguishes itself with an AMG specific 15 strip front fascia, AMG letter 20" wheels, red contrast stitching, red seatbelts, and AMG specific screens in the MBUX electronic system.  Air-Balance comes standard with an exclusive fragrance named AMG#63.
    The AMG GLE 53 goes on sale in the U.S. in late 2020.
    Mercedes-Benz Press Release on Page 2
    The new Mercedes-AMG GLE 53
    The SUV trendsetter now with even more power and precision Feb 27, 2019 – Affalterbach Mercedes-AMG launches its performance offering for the new GLE generation with the GLE 53. The basis for the signature AMG driving dynamics is provided by the 429 hp 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line engine, the fully variable all-wheel drive, the agile 9-speed automatic transmission, the AMG-specific drive programs and the AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL based on AIRMATIC with electro-mechanical roll stabilization. Thanks to the AMG-specific radiator grille with 15 vertical strips, it is immediately obvious that it is part of the AMG family. Numerous options such as the selectable performance exhaust system and the AMG steering wheel buttons make the driving experience even more dynamic.
    "As the inventors of the performance SUV, it is important to us to continue to be at the top with the new generation of the GLE when it comes to innovations, driving dynamics, individuality and design. The first step here is the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 53, with which we offer our customers more power than the predecessor model as well as our fully variable all-wheel technology. Not least of all its striking radiator grill shows our new GLE 53 as a fully-fledged member of the AMG family," states Tobias Moers, Chief Executive of Mercedes- AMG GmbH.
    Always staying nicely in line: six-cylinder engine with turbocharging
    Its centerpiece is the electrified 3.0-liter engine featuring turbocharging and an electric auxiliary compressor. The 6-cylinder in-line engine generates 429 hp and delivers maximum torque of 384 lb-ft. Its EQ Boost starter generator briefly provides an additional 21 hp of output plus 184 lb-ft of torque and additionally feeds the 48 V on-board electrical system.
    The EQ Boost starter-generator combines a starter and generator in a powerful electric motor and is fitted between the engine and transmission. This innovation as well as the intelligent charging via an electric auxiliary compressor and an exhaust gas turbocharger all have the same goal: to enhance the hallmark AMG performance and driving dynamics, but also to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. This move has been a successful one: The GLE 53 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.
    It really turns on the pressure: electric auxiliary compressor
    The electric auxiliary compressor builds up a high level of boost pressure without any delays until the big exhaust gas turbocharger kicks in. As a result, the 3.0-liter engine reacts quickly and provides a dynamic response without turbo lag. An additional bonus is the high level of refinement of the six- cylinder in-line engine.
    It will be electrifying: 48 V on-board electrical system
    The EQ Boost starter-generator can do even more. It also provides the 48 V on- board electrical system with electricity. The conventional 12 V electrical system is also supplied from the new network by means of a DC/DC converter. The 48 V battery increases the overall battery capacity in the vehicle, which supplies more electrical energy. An additional advantage: the same power requires only a quarter of the current when compared to a conventional system. The result is that the wiring can be thinner and therefore lighter, which indirectly contributes to efficiency. The existing 12 V system supplies power to consumers such as lights, cockpit, infotainment displays and control units.
    EQ Boost starter-generator
    The EQ Boost starter generator is a key component of the 48 V system and not only serves as a generator, but is also responsible for hybrid functions. This allows fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology. For the first time, the EQ Boost starter-generator is also responsible for idle speed control.
    The hybrid functions include boost with up to an additional 21 hp of output and 184 lb-ft of torque, energy recovery, shifting of the load point, gliding mode and the virtually imperceptible restarting of the engine with the start/stop function.
    Because the belt for ancillary components on the front edge of the engine is omitted, the installation length of the new six-cylinder engine is also significantly reduced when compared with conventional six-cylinder engines. This creates space for an exhaust gas aftertreatment system mounted near the engine, which is particularly efficient. The particulate filter is the only part of the emission control system that is under the floor.
    A special acoustic experience comes courtesy of the optional, selectable AMG Performance exhaust system. The variable adjustable exhaust flaps provide the option to change the sound of the vehicle at the touch of a button. Depending on the drive program, the sound characteristics change from unobtrusive comfort to maximum dynamic appeal.
    Speedy shifting: AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G
    The AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed automatic transmission ensures dynamic gear shifting with extremely short shift times. It is optimally tuned to the engine and promises agile acceleration typical of AMG as well as speedy shifting – regardless of automatic or manual shift modes, controlled via the steering wheel shift paddles. Upshifts and downshifts are implemented instantly. Especially in the "Sport+" and in manual driving modes, the transmission is very responsive. Multiple downshifts enable quick bursts of speed and make shift operations acoustically more dynamic.
    Grip: AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive
    The new GLE 53 is equipped for maximum traction and dynamics with AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive. The intelligent steering variably links the permanently driven rear axle with the front axle and continually calculates the optimum torque distribution – depending on the driving situation and the driver's wishes. The all-wheel drive thus improves longitudinal dynamics as well as traction and lateral dynamics. The outcome: more powerful acceleration from a standing position and for short sprints.
    Total stabilization: AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL
    Redeveloped in Affalterbach, AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL based on AIRMATIC forms the basis of a driving experience characterized by a high level of agility, neutral cornering behavior and optimal traction. A new feature makes a significant contribution to the AMG-specific tuning for high levels of driving dynamics: the active roll stabilization with two electro-mechanical actuators working independently of one another on the front and rear axle, as well as fully variable torque distribution.
    Not only does the system reduce rolling movements when cornering, it also enables more precise tuning of cornering and load changes. In addition, it increases driving comfort when driving straight ahead. Movements in the body can be actively and optimally adjusted to driving conditions.
    Air suspension with continuously adjustable damping
    The AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL based on AIRMATIC with particularly sporty spring/damper set-up, including adaptive adjustable damping ADS+ (Adaptive Damping System), combines outstanding driving dynamics with high ride comfort. The damping characteristics can be pre-selected in three modes, "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport+", allowing a significantly more noticeable differentiation between excellent long-distance comfort and sporty driving dynamics. In addition, there are two new levels for off-road use - "Trail" and "Sand".
    Thanks to pneumatic self-levelling at the front and rear axle, the GLE 53 maintains a constant ride height regardless of the vehicle load. The vehicle level is generally lowered by 15 mm in the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Sport" and "Sport+". In the "Comfort" drive program, the vehicle is lowered by 15 mm from a speed of 75 mph. This reduces aerodynamic drag and, in turn, fuel consumption. In addition, handling stability improves thanks to a lower center of gravity. In order to increase the ground clearance on poor road surfaces or on ramps, the vehicle body level can be raised by up to 55 mm at the touch of a button with the engine running – both with the car stationary and in motion.
    Everything under control: Sports steering and high-performance braking system
    The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio. It wins over customers with AMG-specific rack and pinion ratio and precise feedback. In addition, steering power assistance is adjusted in two stages: "Comfort" or "Sport". The configuration is automatically activated based on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program. They can optionally be personalized at any time in the "Individual" drive program.
    The large size high-performance braking system slows down the performance SUV even with heavy loads and short braking distances. 400 x 36 mm internally ventilated and perforated integral brake disks are used on the front axle as well as 2-piston fixed calipers, painted silver with black AMG lettering. On the rear, the internally ventilated brake disks measure 345 x 25 mm and have a 1-piston floating caliper.
    Select your program: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
    The GLE 53 has seven drive programs: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Slippery, Individual, and Offroad (Trail and Sand). AMG DYNAMIC SELECT adapts important parameters such as the responsiveness of the engine and transmission, the characteristic curve of the accelerator and steering, the suspension damping and even the vehicle's sound. Selected using the paddle in the center console or the AMG steering wheel buttons, the programs are then visualized in the instrument cluster and on the multimedia display.
    "Slippery": optimized for slippery road conditions, with reduced power and a flat torque curve for a driving configuration oriented toward stability. "Comfort": comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, e.g. thanks to early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up for an emphasis on comfort. "Sport": sporty characteristics thanks to a more agile response to the driver's accelerator pedal input, shorter shift times, earlier downshifts and significantly more dynamic gearshifts. A more dynamic suspension and steering set-up. "Sport+": extremely sporty characteristics thanks to an even more agile throttle response, increased acoustic emphasis during downshifts as well as selective torque control on upshifts with cylinder suppression for optimal shift times. Increased idle speed for faster pulling away. An even more aggressive set-up for suspension, steering and drivetrain. "Individual": individual adjustment of the drive system, transmission, AMG DYNAMICS, suspension and exhaust system. "Trail": safe driving at maximum performance on soft, muddy or slippery ground. "Sand": sporty set-up for the best possible grip and control on sandy slopes and desert dunes. AMG DYNAMICS is integrated into the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs. In the "Basic", "Advanced" and "Pro" levels, it influences the control strategies of the ESP ® (Electronic Stability Program) or the all-wheel drive. The intelligent pilot control anticipates the desired vehicle behavior based on the driver's actions and the sensor data. The spectrum ranges from extremely stable to highly dynamic. Additionally there are the "Traction" and "Slide" levels in the off-road "Trail" and "Sand" drive programs when the ESP® is deactivated.
    Quite the eye-catcher: exterior with AMG-specific radiator grille
    The appearance of the GLE 53 captivates thanks to its exclusivity, powerful sportiness and progressive dominance. Thanks to the AMG-specific radiator grille with 15 vertical chromed strips, it is immediately obvious that it is part of the AMG family. Equally striking is the star in the double ring, the narrow headlamps and the striking A-Wing in the front bumper. Apart from the slats in the outer air inlets and the trim element on the A-Wing, the front splitter is also silver chrome-plated. The wheel arches in the same color as the car provide space for the large wheels – mounted with 20-inch light alloy wheels with AMG lettering as standard.
    The horizontal chrome diffuser strip in the pronounced rear bumper and the special exhaust system with two round chrome tailpipes underline the powerful appearance from the rear and emphasize the width. The optional AMG Night Package further enhances the vehicle’s performance appearance. It includes A-wing trim, trim on the rear apron, tailpipes, front splitter, roof rails and window trim in refined black.
    The color of love: interior design with red accents
    The GLE 53 can be easily recognized by its characteristic red color accents. This starts with the seats, fitted standard with ARTICO / microfiber DINAMICA in black with red contrasting topstitching. They not only offer optimal lateral support, but also have an AMG-specific design and "AMG" badging in the front seat backrest. The top part of the instrument panel is covered in ARTICO. The black roof liner, standard red seatbelts, and the trim elements in aluminum brushed with light longitudinal grain underscore the sporty appearance.
    Further elements to individualize the interior include unique leather seat covers and a wide range of high-quality trim elements, among other items. The carbon AMG trim elements add a particularly sporty feel to the interior.
    A utility highlight is the optional, foldable third row seat, which make the GLE 53 a seven-seater. Thanks to the Easy Entry function of the fully electrically adjustable second seat row, the two rearmost passengers can conveniently reach their seats.
    Stylishly chic: AMG-specific displays in the MBUX system
    The innovative operating and display concept MBUX is included as standard in the GLE 53 and contains numerous AMG-specific content. With the widescreen cockpit, the instrument cluster and touchscreen multimedia display optically combine into one unit. Numerous functions can be activated via the intelligent voice-operated control "Hey Mercedes". The optional MBUX Interior Assist also allows intuitive, natural operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition and gestures.
    The instrument cluster has its own specific details such as the AMG start-up menu and the four selectable styles: "Classic", "Sport", AMG exclusive "Supersport" and "Discreet". When the AMG specific offroad modes "Trail" and "Sand" are activated, settings such as slope, incline and level can be selected and displayed on the instrument cluster. Rocker switches are embedded in the center console for displaying and controlling the drive programs, transmission, suspension, ESP® and exhaust system.
    Hands sitting pretty on the steering wheel: AMG Performance steering wheel
    The AMG Performance steering wheel in black Nappa leather combines maximum functionality, high-quality haptics and ideal ergonomics. Apart from the aluminum shift paddles, it also impresses thanks to the touch control buttons, which are intuitive to operate. The infotainment system can also be controlled with swiping finger movements.
    Innovative steering wheel buttons optionally enhance the steering wheel with a round controller with an integrated display beneath the right-hand steering wheel spoke, plus two vertically positioned color display buttons with switches beneath the left-hand steering-wheel spoke.
    Drive better: improve your skills with AMG TRACK PACE
    With the optional AMG TRACK PACE, MBUX is enhanced with a virtual engineer, which enables up to 80 vehicle-specific data metrics as well as times on closed routes to be recorded and analyzed in detail. Many of these values can be displayed if desired on the widescreen cockpit or in the optional head- up display in real-time. After putting in some fast laps, the driver can use the data to analyze and, if necessary, improve their driving skills. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-60 mph, ¼ mile, 60-0 mph) can be measured and saved.
    The driver can also record circuits and save them for later vehicle data recording and analysis. Thanks to a newly developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, AMG TRACK PACE even detects when the circuit has been left or has been shortened. This is done using GPS data as well as the sensors available in the vehicle (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speed).
    Sporty fragrance: fuel for the senses
    There is an exclusive fragrance for the interior, named "AMG#63" as part of the AIR-BALANCE package. It is an inspiring, sporty scent to match the spirit of the performance sports car brand.
    The new Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 will celebrate its World Premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show and will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2020.
    Data at a glance
     
    Mercedes-AMG GLE 53
    Cylinders/arrangement
    6/in-line
    Displacement (cc)
    2999
    Combustion engine output (hp)
    429
    at rpm
    6100
    Add. output with EQ Boost (hp)
    21 hp
    Max. torque
    Combustion engine (lb-ft)
    384
    at rpm
    1800-5800
    add. EQ Boost torque (lb-ft)
    184
    Acceleration 0-60 mph (s)
    5.2
     
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