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    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    Ford has been teasing us with a hotter version of Fiesta for the past year. They have shown a concept Fiesta ST in a three-door at Frankfurt and a five-door at LA. Now, Ford will be unveiling the production version of the Fiesta ST at the Geneva Motor Show.
    Outside, the production model matches the concept; aggressive treatments for the front and rear, large wheels, and a rear spoiler. Step inside and you're greeted with some nicely bolstered Recaro seats.
    Under the hood lies a 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder good for 178 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. Ford says that can send the Fiesta up to 60 MPH in less than seven seconds and onward to a top speed of 137 MPH.
    Europe will get their hands on the Fiesta ST later this year. As for the U.S., Ford says they're open to bringing the Fiesta ST here, albeit in a five-door guise.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Production-Ready Fiesta ST Debuts at 2012 Geneva Motor Show


    Dynamic new Fiesta ST unveiled as a production-ready model at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and confirmed for introduction in Europe in 2013
    New Fiesta ST is powered by a 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine that delivers 180PS – 20 per cent more power than the previous model – accelerates 0-100km/h in less than seven seconds and can reach a top-speed of 220km/h-plus
    Class-leading driving dynamics delivered by enhanced Torque Vectoring Control system, specially-tuned chassis and three Electronic Stability Control settings – all tested extensively at Germany’s world-famous Nürburgring Nordschleife
    Ford remains open to the idea of introducing the high-performance small car to North America for the first time, following a positive response to the five-door Fiesta ST concept at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

    GENEVA, Switzerland, March 5, 2012 – Ford Motor Company is unveiling the new production-ready Fiesta ST at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in advance of the performance hatchback’s launch in Europe in 2013.
    Customers have clamoured for a new Fiesta ST since the last model disappeared from European showrooms in 2008. The all-new model will take Fiesta ST performance to a new level. The numbers tell the story: 180PS 1.6-litre EcoBoost, 240Nm of torque, 0-100km/h in under seven seconds, and top speed of more than 220km/h. At the same time, the EcoBoost technology delivers a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with the previous Fiesta ST.
    Developed by Ford’s Team RS, the new Fiesta ST delivers significant ride-and-handling improvements through the introduction of a specially tuned chassis that sits 15mm lower than the standard Fiesta; Ford’s enhanced Torque Vectoring Control system; and three Electronic Stability Control modes. The technologies were put to the test over 5000 kilometers of driving on Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife.
    “We believe Ford customers will be blown away by the new Fiesta ST, and not only by the exhilarating performance but by the styling and specification, too. This dynamic new hot-hatch is undoubtedly our best Fiesta ST to date,” said Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles.
    The high-contrast interior features unprecedented levels of equipment and specification to suit the sporting driver, with standard Recaro sports seats appearing in a Fiesta ST for the first time. It also will be equipped with MyKey, which allows owners to limit performance and ensure activation of safety features for when less-experienced drivers use the vehicle; and SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated in-car connectivity system. A new bold and dynamic exterior design drives home the high performance message and features the latest Ford design signatures including a large trapezoidal grille.
    The new Fiesta ST was engineered using Ford’s global Performance Car DNA and developed by Ford Team RS, the European arm of the company’s Global Performance Vehicles group.
    The experience of the engineering team in working with Ford’s motorsport partners to develop the Fiesta RS WRC, Fiesta Rallycross and Racing Fiesta vehicles, also proved invaluable for developing the new Fiesta ST.
    With production of the new Fiesta ST confirmed for Europe, Ford also remains open to the idea of introducing the high-performance small car to other regions, including North America for the first time following a highly positive response to the five-door Fiesta ST concept that made its North American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
    “We’re delighted to be bringing a new generation Fiesta ST to our European enthusiasts in 2013 and we’ll have more to say about our plans for other markets in the near future,” said Capito. “With the Fiesta ST joining the new Focus ST, we will again be able to deliver a choice of affordable small performance cars that are designed to deliver a unique blend of stand-out styling and dynamic on-road performance with true practicality for everyday use.”

    William Maley

    Volvo readies the second act of the XC60

    The XC60 crossover is an important vehicle for Volvo. Despite being one of the oldest models in the lineup, the XC60 made up 30 percent of Volvo's total global sales last year. Getting the second-generation XC60 right is a big deal and it seems Volvo may have pulled it off.
    Making its global debut today at the Geneva Motor Show, the 2018 XC60 is the first model of the revamped 60 series lineup. At first glance, you might think Volvo's design team just used the reduce function on the copy machine since it looks like a scaled-down XC90. But Volvo's designers did make some small changes to have the XC60 stand apart from its bigger brother. The XC60 has a lower front end with a hood that drops down to the nose. The windshield has been raked to give the model a sporty look.
    The interior mirrors the 90 series with a clean layout and a large screen housing Volvo's Sensus infotainment system. One new feature for the XC60 is a four-zone climate control system that has the ability to remove harmful pollutants and particles from the air.
    For power, the XC60 mirrors the larger XC90.
    T5: Turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder, 250 horsepower T6: Turbo and Supercharged 2.0L four-cylinder, 320 horsepower T8: Plug-In Hybrid, 407 horsepower At launch, all XC60s will get an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. 
    Safety is an important trait for Volvo and the XC60 proves this with the introduction of Steer Assist. This system will automatically steer the vehicle if it detects an imminent collision. Optional is Volvo's Pilot Assist system that provides semi-autonomous driving capability at speeds of up to 80 mph on “well-marked roads”.
    The 2018 Volvo XC60 arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Volvo
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Volvo Cars reveals new XC60

    Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today revealed the long-awaited new XC60 SUV at the Geneva Motor Show.
     
    The new car replaces Volvo’s highly-successful original XC60, which in the nine years since its launch became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe with nearly a million units sold globally. The XC60 today represents around 30 percent of Volvo’s total global sales.
     
    “We have a strong heritage in designing stylish and dynamic SUVs that offer the latest in technology. The new XC60 will be no exception. It’s the perfect car for an active lifestyle, and it represents the next step in our transformation plan,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive, Volvo Car Group.  

    New comfort and safety technology
    The new XC60, one of the safest cars ever made, is fully-loaded with new technology. Steer Assist has been added to the ground-breaking City Safety system. A new safety system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation uses steer assist to help mitigate head-on collisions, while Volvo’s Blind Spot Indication System (BLIS) now uses Steer Assist functionality to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions.
     
    “We have focused on building a car that can deliver pleasure to all of your senses – from a commanding view of the road ahead in a beautifully appointed and calm cabin, to a safe, inspired and confident ride,” said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Product & Quality at Volvo Car Group. “We’ve paid particular attention to making life easier for our customers by providing them with the creature comforts and services that take the hassle out of everyday life.”
     
    Pilot Assist, Volvo’s advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 80 MPH, is available in the new XC60 as an option.
    Performance
    The new XC60 offers Volvo’s award-winning T8 Twin Engine gas plug-in hybrid at the top of the powertrain range, delivering 400 hp and acceleration from 0-100 Km in just 5.3 seconds.
     
    But it is not just under the hood that the new XC60 delivers healthy performance. The new CleanZone four-zone climate system removes harmful pollutants and particles from outside the cabin to deliver Scandinavian-fresh air on the inside.
     
    Volvo Cars’ driver infotainment and connected services offer, Sensus, and the Volvo On Call app both receive a graphical update with improved usability. As in the 90 Series cars, smartphone integration with CarPlay and Android Auto is also available.
     
    Sculpted feel
    “The XC60 is an SUV not designed to look down on others but to drive. The exterior has an athletic sculpture with a subtle, timeless quality. The interior is a masterful composition of well-resolved architecture, beautiful materials and the very latest technology - all perfectly blended together. The XC60 provides a true Scandinavian experience which will make our customers feel special,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design at Volvo Car Group.
     
    Volvo Cars’ new XC60 is set to go into production in mid-April at the Torslanda Plant in Sweden.

    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
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 27, 2013
    The new trend in improving fuel economy is adding gears to the transmission. We've been seeing a number of vehicles equipped with eight-speed transmissions, but Land Rover is one upping the competition by introducing a new nine-speed for the Range Rover Evoque.
    Developed by ZF, the ZF 9HP nine-speed transmission will take the place of the Evoque's current six-speed automatic. The new nine-speed automatic is lighter than the outgoing six-speed, provides better fuel economy and lower emissions, and improves the Evoque's off-road capability (if you decided to take your Evoque off-road).
    The ZF 9HP nine-speedfeatures such tech as a adaptive shifting system that customizes that transmission whatever driving style, skip-shift function that avoids the need to move through the gears sequentially, and "Fast-Off" and "Curve" modes that offer two different ways of upshifting.
    The new nine-speed will be available on the Evoque starting in 2014.
    Source: Land Rover

    Album: Range Rover Nine-Speed Automatic
    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
    Land Rover To Demonstrate The World's First Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission
    Land Rover announces new ZF nine-speed automatic transmission for transverse applications
    Increasing the number of gear ratios to ninewill help reduce emissionsand improve efficiency
    Lower gear ratios enhance all-terrain and all-weather capability
    Adaptive shift system matches and remembers customer driving style for a tailored driving experience
    Land Rover is lead partner on this project with ZF, a world leader in transmission technology

    (MAHWAH, NJ) February 26, 2013 - Land Rover will demonstrate the world's first nine-speed automatic transmission for a passenger car at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The ZF 9HP transmission is designed for transverse applications, and is one of the most efficient and technically advanced transmissions ever used in a production vehicle. Land Rover is the lead partner with ZF on this project.
    Increasing the number of gear ratios from six to nine will help reduce emissions and improve efficiency. Smaller ratio steps also give improved response during acceleration, with improved shift quality and refinement. A higher top gear improves efficiency by lowering engine speed, which also improves comfort and reduces noise when cruising at highway speeds.
    The 9HP is quite robust and complements the all-terrain capability expected of a Land Rover vehicle while delivering exceptionally high levels of refinement and efficiency. The lowest ratio in the 9HP is lower than the existing six-speed transmission and is designed for off-road use, towing, and on-road conditions like steep gradients.
    Whereas the existing six-speed transmission makes downshifts sequentially, the 9HP has a skip-shift function for much swifter downshifting to meet rapid deceleration demands. If the driver requests a downshift when the vehicle is travelling too fast for the selected gear, the transmission will remember the request and make the shift when the speed drops to an appropriate level. "Fast-Off" mode measures the rate of throttle release, anticipates further requests by the driver for high power, then holds the gear if necessary.
    The torque converter incorporates a multi-stage damper system for smoother pull away and improved refinement. An innovative adaptive shifting system matches the driver's mood within seconds, sharpening up during brisk driving and then seamlessly shifting to a more economical program when taking a more relaxed driving approach. Additionally, "Curve Mode," detected acceleration/deceleration forces, and pedal position all control upshift timing.
    The 9HP is masterfully packaged and despite the extra three gear ratios is only 0.24 inches (6mm) longer and actually weighs 16.5 lbs (7.5kg) less than the outgoing six-speed transmission. The compact packaging is achieved by using a number of innovative design features: A new compact hydraulic vane-type pump, two patented dog clutches replacing bulkier conventional clutch packs, and a nested gear set.
    Land Rover and ZF are on-going partners in transmission development; having jointly developed fully integrated transmission solutions in the Range Rover, Land Rover LR4 and Range Rover Sport. The new nine-speed transmission will be produced at ZF's Gray Court facility in South Carolina, USA.

    William Maley

    Yeah, we're not sure why they went with this name

    With a name of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, you might think this is a teaser for the next-generation GT Coupe. Instead, it is the name for a four-door coupe concept that will spawn a production model within the next few years.
    It is clear that AMG wanted to draw a family connection from the GT Coupe to the GT Concept in terms of the design. The GT Concept gets the "Panamericana" grille and narrow headlights found on the coupe. The back features bulging fenders, narrow taillights, and a sloping roofline similar to the coupe. 
    The GT Concept's powertrain is very interesting. A 4.0L twin-turbo V8 is paired up with an electric motor to deliver 805 horsepower. Power is routed to all four wheels via Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Mercedes says the GT Concept can hit 60 mph in under three seconds. While the concept doesn't scream hybrid, the badge on the back does give a hint. 'EQ Power+' will be the designation AMG will be using this on future performance hybrid models.
    “With the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, we are giving a preview of our third completely independently developed sports car and are extending the attractive AMG GT family to include a four-door variant,” Tobias Moers, Mercedes-AMG chairman of the board of management, said in a statement.
    Source: Mercedes-AMG
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Mercedes-AMG GT Concept
    The Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, a four-door coupe that heralds a further extension of the AMG GT family As part of its 50th anniversary, Mercedes-AMG is celebrating a successful past while also continuing to look forward. With the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept show car, the sports car and performance brand is giving an indication of the alternative drive configurations AMG is designing. This four-door coupe heralds a further extension of the AMG GT family, following the legacy of the SLS AMG and AMG GT, which were completely developed at AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach. The designation and fundamental design elements on the front and rear end denote the family affiliation to the AMG GT. The "EQ Power+" badging on the mirror camera indicates the increased performance that can be expected from hybridization at AMG.
    "With the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, we are giving a preview of our third completely independently developed sports car and are extending the attractive AMG GT family to include a four-door variant,” said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “The AMG GT Concept, like the AMG Hypercar, which we are presenting at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, illustrates how we are defining performance of the future at AMG. Impressive driving dynamics coupled with high efficiency, resulting from an innovative drive system tailored specifically to the vehicle segment – that is ‘Future Performance’ made by AMG. With our AMG GT Concept, that means a combination of an ultra-modern V8 gasoline engine and a high-performance electric motor, both intelligently networked with an extremely powerful yet lightweight battery concept. This performance hybrid powertrain offers an impressive electric range and the opportunity to generate a system output of up to 805 horsepower in its last level of development, and covers the sprint from 0-60 mph in less than three seconds – which corresponds to the performance of a super sports car."
    The four-door sports car from Affalterbach will seamlessly continue the success story of the AMG GT. The dynamic fastback will be highly suitable for everyday use thanks to a large tailgate, luggage compartment and comfortable interior. The AMG GT Concept blends the high functionality of performance cars with the sportiness of AMG GT sports cars, and gives a sneak preview of the exterior design coming to the series production model.
    Muscular proportions and clear surface design
    With the aid of an unmistakable design idiom featuring a deeply drawn hood and powerfully raked windscreen, the AMG GT Concept is recognizable at first glance as a genuine AMG GT. The exterior design stands out with extremely muscular proportions and sensuous surface styling. The concept car represents the design philosophy of “Sensual Purity” with the added performance characteristics of AMG.
    "The AMG GT Concept embodies the most extreme expression of our design idiom and underlines the autonomous profile of AMG as a performance brand," said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer, Daimler AG. "Through ideal proportions it creates a pure design with emphasis on its surfaces, featuring sensuous shapes, and is hot and cool at the same time."
    Advanced AMG GT characteristics
    The Panamericana grille—with vertical ribs painted red on the sides—newly configured and extremely slim headlamps and side air gills with a dominant design in the front bumper are hallmark AMG GT design characteristics which have been advanced to a new level in order to express pure power. The hood, reaching right to the wheel arches, underscores the AMG GT Concept’s sports car genes. This is also expressed by the eye-catching “Hot Red” paintwork featuring a finish that shimmers in the light like liquid metal thanks to a special formulation.
    The Mercedes-AMG principle that fascination is always linked with function also applies to the AMG GT Concept. Proof of this includes moving radiator shutters in the center and side air intakes which improves both aerodynamic and thermal efficiency, and are inspired by the AIRPANEL active air control system found in the AMG GT R.
    Rear assembly in hallmark AMG GT look
    The wide rear assembly provides an unmistakable AMG GT look with extremely slim horizontal tail lamps and the shape of the tailgate. The taillamp also has new light technology, located beneath the three-dimensional lens of the rear lamps: a ribbed cooling module is integrated into the lens to guide waste heat away.
    Further design elements at the rear end include a wide carbon-fiber diffuser curved downwards at the sides and a centrally arranged tailpipe reminiscent of the Mercedes-AMG GT R.
    The crouched, dynamic greenhouse, with its steeply sloping roofline and slim layout of the frameless side windows, emphasizes the dynamic forwards thrust of the AMG GT Concept when seen from the side. The tapered side, broad rear shoulders and flared wheel arches reinforce the overall muscular expression. Exterior side mirrors on this concept are replaced with aerodynamically favorable miniature cameras, known as “mirror cams.” The roof, A-wing of the front spoilers, rear diffuser and side sill panels are finished in carbon fiber and make a distinct connection with motorsports.
    Uniquely styled wheels allow for a good view of the AMG ceramic high-performance compound braking system. The brake calipers are painted in a bronze color and showcase "AMG Carbon Ceramic" lettering.
    "Nano active fiber technology" for daytime running lamps and tail lamps
    With "nano active fiber technology," Mercedes-AMG is presenting future-oriented daytime running lamps for the first time. This is produced by a special bright light system in a freely styled light cord. The three-dimensional illumination effect lends the AMG GT Concept an autonomous light signature, which is flanked by numerous further accents in the high-tech headlamp. Two tubular rod lights illuminate the road surface directly in front of the car and constitute the driving light together with a large LED main headlamp. A red AMG logo within the headlight denotes a special attention to detail. Overall, the front headlamp is a three-dimensional, multilayered, high-tech component which underscores the technical standards of the AMG GT Concept.
    AMG Future Performance: forward-thinking hybrid drive system
    The drive system of the AMG GT Concept represents a completely new development. In 2010, Mercedes-AMG proved that a super sports car with a battery/electric drive system can be realized with the SLS AMG Electric Drive. Additionally, Formula 1 driving dynamics and impressive efficiency are promised by the planned AMG Hypercar, which will give a sneak preview of the ultimate application of what is currently feasible with hybrid technology.
    Following the AMG brand pledge "Driving Performance," Mercedes-AMG will develop segment-specific hybrids in the future that will boast impressive performance and maximum efficiency.
    Innovative combination of combustion engine and electric motor
    After the W08 EQ Power+ Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula 1 car, the AMG GT Concept show car is the second AMG model to bear the new designation "EQ Power+," a designation which all performance hybrids from Mercedes-AMG will be given in the future.
    The performance hybrid system combines a powerful Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine with an additional powerful electric motor, ensuring immediate response and offering extraordinarily high performance. A sprint from 0-60 mph takes the AMG GT Concept less than three seconds, demonstrating the performance of a super-sports car.
    Maximum driving performance AMG’s primary focus on all projects and is why the AMG GT Concept has a balanced axle load distribution. The fully variable AMG performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system is supported by an electric motor which drives the rear wheels directly and has the effect of an additional booster. Additionally, with torque vectoring, every wheel can be allocated torque individually resulting in a tangible increase in performance.
    The electric drive unit
    Three operating modes can be preselected via the electric drive unit: the AMG GT Concept can either drive purely electrically, purely with the combustion engine or with an optimal combination of both drive sources as a hybrid.
    The exclusive AMG-developed hybrid components aim to facilitate a unique and dynamic “Driving Performance” experience.
    Power from two drive systems: performance operating strategy from Formula 1
    The operating strategy of the AMG GT Concept is derived from the hybrid powerpack of the MERCEDES PETRONAS AMG Formula 1 racing car and was developed through cooperation with the development engineers at Mercedes-AMG HPP (High Performance Production GmbH). As in Formula 1, the battery is charged while the vehicle is driven in order to have the maximum amount of electrical power available for use at all times.
    Scalable performance battery
    The energy storage unit in the AMG GT Concept is more powerful than conventional hybrid batteries, but at the same time is more compact and lighter – further proof of the systematic way in which the AMG Lightweight Performance Strategy is being implemented. Charging of the battery while driving can occur via brake recuperation or with the aid of the combustion engine if the battery charge has dropped beneath a certain charge threshold.
    On a modular basis this system is scalable upwards — the performance and capacity of the battery can be adjusted to meet specific requirements of customers or markets, for instance.

    William Maley

    Take Three On The TT

    Ladies and Gentlemen... May we present the 2015 Audi TT.
    If you're scratching your head and wondering, wow it looks like the current model except for a new front end, you're not the only one. It appears the new TT is an evolution of the current model with some elements of Audi's quattro and Sport quattro concepts. Meanwhile inside, Audi designers made some radical decisions. The most obvious decision is no center display in the center stack. Those duties are handled by a new multifunction LCD screen in the gauge cluster. Another interesting decision is the climate controls placed on the center of the air vents.
    Power will come from three different engines:
    2.0L TDI four-cylinder: 184 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque
    2.0L TFSI four-cylinder: 230 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque
    2.0L TFSI four-cylinder: 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque (TTS)
    All models will have a six-speed manual as standard, while the two 2.0L TFSI engines will have a six-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission as an option. Front-wheel drive is standard across the range, while quattro is available except for the TDI model.
    Audi isn't saying at this time when the TT will be heading to U.S. and what powetrains it will have. We'll likely have that information down the road.
    Source: Audi

    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
    Emotion, dynamism and high-tech – The new Audi TT
    Audi TT and Audi TTS celebrate world premiere at Geneva Motor Show
    Compact sports car impresses with its design and driving dynamics
    Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg: "Offering drivers a technology experience that is even more compelling"
    A completely revised edition of a modern classic is ready to take center stage: The Audi TT and Audi TTS will celebrate their world premieres at the Geneva Motor Show (these vehicle are currently not available for sale. they do not yet have a general type approval and are therefore not covered by Directive 1999/94/EC.). The third generation of the compact sports car is again captivating, with its emotional design and dynamic qualities. The new Coupé is characterized by the use of innovative technologies in its engine and in its control and display concept, including the Audi virtual cockpit.
    "The Audi TT is the epitome of an authentic design icon and a top-performance driving machine," explains Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Technical Development. "With the new generation, we are making this technology even easier for the driver to experience – just as they would expect from a real sports car."
    Exterior design
    When the first-generation Audi TT came on the market in 1998 it was a design revolution – its strictly geometrical, formally coherent design language made it an icon with huge charisma. For the third TT generation, the Audi designers have returned to many of these ideas and placed them in a new context that is as dynamic as it is diverse.
    The front of the new TT is dominated by horizontal lines. The Singleframe grille is much broader and flatter than that of the previous model, with a powerful line dividing it into two zones. Starting in the top corners of the grille, sharp contours run in a V across the hood, which bears the four Audi rings – as on the Audi R8 high-performance sports car (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 14.9 – 12.4 (15.79 – 18.97 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 349 – 289 (561.66 – 465.10 g/mile). The air intakes feature struts that direct part of the flow away from the front to the flanks.
    The flat headlights give the new TT's face a determined look. Xenon plus units are standard, and Audi can optionally provide LED headlights or ones in pioneering Audi Matrix LED technology, where the high beam is generated by controllable individual LEDs. On both versions, there is an unmistakable contour created by the separating strip in the headlights, which is illuminated by light guides.
    The Matrix LED headlights consist of 12 LEDs and include another Audi innovation: dynamic turn signals that light up sequentially in the direction in which the driver is steering. The predictive cornering light uses navigation data to move the cone of light into the curve before the steering wheel is turned.
    From the side, the new Audi TT is equally lean and muscular; it rests low on the road as if ready to pounce. At 4.18 meters (13.71 ft), the Coupé is almost exactly the same length as its predecessor, though its wheelbase has grown by 37 mm (1.46 in) to 2,505 mm (8.22 ft), making for especially short overhangs. It is 1,832 mm (6.01 ft) wide, and has the same height as the previous model at 1,353 mm (4.44 ft).
    A lot of the details of the new Audi TT's profile are reminiscent of the first-generation of the modern classic. The contour of the sill creates a striking refracting edge, while the broad wheel arches form their own geometric bodies. The front wheel arch breaches the line of the hood, which continues over the door as a tornado line and runs almost horizontally through to the tail as a strong body shoulder.
    The flat greenhouse gives the impression of being an independent unit and the slight kink in the rear side window gives it additional tension. The fuel flap on the right side panel is the classic circle and surrounded by socket screws; a light tap on the TT logo and the flap opens. This shape is again reminiscent of the first-generation TT. What is new is that there is no tank lid beneath the flap. This means that there is nothing to be unscrewed and the pump nozzle slots straight into the tank neck, just like in motor racing.
    Specifically at the tail, horizontal lines underline the impression of the new TT's sporty width. Together with the LED and Audi Matrix LED headlights, the tail lights also have dynamic turn signals. Another parallel to the front headlights: the strip in the tail lights, which also form a daytime running light contour – another Audi innovation. The third brake light is an extremely narrow strip positioned under the edge of the rear spoiler. It plays an essential part in defining the tail light silhouette.
    At a speed of 120 km/h (74.56 mph) a spoiler extends from the trunk lid to improve both air resistance and downforce. All models have two large round exhaust tailpipes. These are again reminiscent of the original TT. Like all Audi S models, the TTS exhales through four oval tailpipes.
    The optional S line exterior package makes the design of the bumpers, air intakes, Singleframe grille, sills and the rear diffuser even sharper and sportier. And handling is even more dynamic, with 18" wheels and a body that rests 10 mm (0.39 in) lower.
    Body
    Lightweight construction is one of Audi's greatest areas of expertise. The second-generation Audi TT already featured an Audi Space Frame (ASF) body made from aluminum and steel. For the new TT, Audi has systematically taken this composite construction principle even further, in line with the idea: the right amount of the right material in the right place for optimal functions.
    The Coupé's underbody structure has optimized axle loads and is made of modern, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel alloys. In the sections of the passenger cell that are subject to the most structural stress, form-hardened steel panels, which are both ultra-high-strength and light are used – these constitute 17 percent of the body's weight. The side sills and roof frame are made of extruded aluminum profiles that are integrated into the structure using cast aluminum nodes. This structural principle creates a very rigid and safe bodyshell. The aluminum side sections and roof complete the structure. The hood, doors and trunk lid are also made of this light metal.
    All in all, the Audi engineers have, for the second time in a row, succeeded in significantly reducing the unladen weight of the Audi TT. At the first model change in 2006, up to 90 kg (198.42 lb) were saved, and the 2.0 TFSI engine variant of the new TT weighs just 1,230 kg (2,711.69 lb). This makes it around 50 kg (110.23 lb) lighter than its predecessor.
    The low overall weight is further proof of Audi's expertise in lightweight construction. It impacts positively especially on acceleration, handling and fuel consumption.
    Interior
    Clearly structured volumes with a taut surface and light, almost floating lines – the interior is the embodiment of the new Audi TT's pure sports car character. As with the exterior, horizontal lines and surfaces emphasize the width of the interior. The center tunnel console, which supports the calves when driving fast through bends, and the door panels have similar flowing shapes.
    The rule was once again: "less is more." Clear, purist lines underscore both the lightness and the uncompromising sportiness of the Audi TT's interior. Two other ingenious design and technically innovative tricks enabled the designers to create an instrument panel that is impressively slender: The instrument cluster and the MMI screen have been combined to form a central, digital unit – the so-called Audi virtual cockpit. In addition, the controls for the air conditioning system are positioned directly in the air vents.
    Seen from above, the instrument panel resembles the wing of an aircraft; the round air vents – a classic TT feature – are reminiscent of jet engines with their turbine-like design. The vents also contain all the controls for the standard air conditioning system and the optional automatic air conditioning system (standard in the TTS). The controls for seat heating, temperature, direction, air distribution and air flow strength are located at their center; the setting selected is shown on small displays in the automatic air conditioning system. The horizontal control panel is located under the central air vents. The 3D-designed toggle switches activate the hazard warning lights, Audi drive select and the assistance functions.
    The standard sports seats in the new Audi TT have integrated head restraints and are positioned lower than in the predecessor model. Compared with the seats in the predecessor model, they are more than five kilograms (11.02 lb) lighter. As an option – and as standard in the TTS – there are newly developed S sport seats with highly contoured and pneumatically adjustable side sections that are exceptionally comfortable and provide excellent support.
    The new multifunction steering wheel has a flattened rim, and aluminum-look clasps encompass the spokes. It also has a driver airbag that takes up 40 percent less space without compromising safety, and hence emphasizes the sense of visual lightness.
    Countless details demonstrate the high standards which Audi places on interior design and craftsmanship. They include the newly designed, split gear lever, the very precisely engaging MMI rotary pushbutton and the finely finished loudspeaker covers with light guides in the optional Bang & Olufsen sound system.
    As a 2+2 seater, the new Audi TT is a sports car that is highly suitable for everyday use. The trunk has a capacity of 305 liters (10.77 cubic ft), which is 13 liters (0.46 cubic ft) more than before, and can be extended by folding the rear seat backrests forward.
    Colors and equipment
    The new Audi TT offers a far more distinct and colorful range of colors than its predecessor. There are 11 exterior colors, one of which is exclusively for the S line. Seven of the colors in the range are new for the TT, and two of these are completely new for Audi: Nano Gray and Tango Red. There are also two additional paints available for the TTS – crystal-effect Panther Black and the highly expressive Sepang Blue.
    There is a completely new range of colors for the interior, too – the Audi TT and the TTS each offer three interior colors to choose from. For the first time, Audi is offering a two-tone interior including sporty contrasting stitching for S line models.
    The equipment for the new Audi TTS includes extended interior elements that add individually selectable color accents to the S sport seats clasps, the sides of the center console and the rings of the air vents. Customers with exquisite taste have many options for customization. Upholstery in various cloths and leather grades are available for the seats, as well as three leather packages. The S sport seats have characteristic diamond quilting in the center section.
    One special highlight is the exclusive design selection which comprises a combination of two fine leather colors: dark murillo brown on the seats and a slightly metallic shimmering stone-grey pearl on the armrests, knee supports and cowl. Alternating contrasting stitching, dark aluminum, matching paint for the extended interior elements and a special woven floor mat are further features of this elegant upholstery and trim.
    For the TTS, the Audi designers have come up with an innovative technical laser texture for the wings of the instrument panel: It has a honeycomb-patterned, slightly raised surface that gives the Audi TTS a unique sporty feel.
    Controls and displays
    The operating concept for the new TTS has been revised from the ground up – in line with the consistent sports car character, all the elements focus on the driver. There are two variants of the multifunction steering wheel available. Drivers selecting the top version can activate almost all functions from the steering wheel without taking their eyes off the road.
    The second control unit is the likewise newly developed MMI terminal on the console of the center tunnel. Two toggle switches activate the navigation/map, telephone, radio and media menus. There are two buttons on both sides of the central rotary pushbutton, supplemented by a main menu and a back button. The driver can easily enter destinations using the touchpad on the top of the rotary pushbutton (from the Connectivity package upwards) – the MMI touch recognizes your personal handwriting. It is also possible to scroll through lists or zoom in on maps.
    The menu structure of the MMI resembles that of a smartphone, including the free-text search. All important functions can be accessed directly. One special highlight is the MMI direct search. This enables you to start writing immediately when navigating, without having to use a set form. In most cases, inputting four letters is enough for you to see relevant destinations throughout Europe. The two side buttons activate context-dependent functions (right button) and options (left button). The operating logic is easy to understand and conveys a completely novel "joy of use."
    Alongside the operations possible using the control panel, the Audi TT offers a further possibility: the voice control system. Audi is also breaking new ground in this area, too. For the first time in the Audi TT, natural voice controls are used that enable simple commands – such as "Take me to Munich" or "I want to talk to Sabine" – to control the vehicle systems without having to take your hands off the steering wheel.
    Instead of the conventional analog displays, the new TT has the Audi virtual cockpit on board – this fully digital instrument cluster sets new standards with its dynamic animations and precise graphics. Drivers can choose between two display modes: In the classic view, the speedometer and rev counter are in the foreground; in "infotainment" mode the virtual instruments are smaller. The space that becomes free as a result provides ample room for other functions, such as the navigation map. In the Audi TTS there is a third, sporty mode. Here, the centrally positioned rev counter dominates the display.
    With a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels, the 12.3" TFT screen boasts brilliantly sharp images. At work in the background is a Tegra 30 graphic processor from market leader Nvidia's Tegra 3 series. At the lower edge of the Audi virtual cockpit, the displays for outside temperature, time and mileage are permanently visible. Warning or information symbols may also appear there.
    Engine
    (All consumption and output figures are provisional)
    Audi offers the new TT and TTS with three different four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and direct injection. Their power output ranges from 135 kW (184 hp) to 228 kW (310 hp). The two TFSI gasoline engines and the TDI combine athletic power with trailblazing efficiency. The start-stop system is a standard feature.
    For the launch of the TT, the 2.0 TDI will be available with manual shift and front-wheel drive. It delivers 135 kW (184 hp) and torque of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft). The new sports car can thus accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 235 km/h (146.02 mph). Standard fuel consumption is a mere 4.2 liters per 100 km (56.00 US mpg), which translates into CO2 emissions of 110 g/km (177.03 g/mile), a new record low level in the sports car world.
    The 2.0 TDI features two balancer shafts in the crankcase, adjustable camshafts and a common rail injection system delivering maximum pressure of 2,000 bar. The Audi TT 2.0 TDI meets the Euro 6 standard and, thanks to its high efficiency, bears the "ultra" label.
    The 2.0 TFSI is available in two versions – a 169 kW (230 hp) version for the TT and a 228 kW (310 hp) version for the TTS. In both versions it unites various ultramodern technologies – the additional indirect injection supplementing the direct injection of the FSI, the Audi valvelift system (AVS) to adjust the valve stroke on the exhaust side and thermal management, which uses a rotary valve module and an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head.
    In the Audi TT, the 2.0 TFSI delivers torque of 370 Nm (272.90 lb-ft) from 1,600 to 4,300 rpm. It accelerates the Coupé – which has a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive – from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.0 seconds, and on up to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
    On the version with six-speed S tronic and quattro all-wheel drive, the key figures are as follows: the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes 5.3 seconds; top speed is 250 km/h (155.34 mph); fuel consumption of 6.8 liters per 100 km (34.59 US mpg) and CO2 emissions of 159 g per km (255.89 g/mile). The dual-clutch transmission shifts through the six gears without any noticeable interruption in traction, and in manual model it can be controlled by paddles on the steering wheel. In the "efficiency" mode of Audi drive select, the S tronic selects freewheel as soon as the driver takes his or her foot off the gas pedal.
    The Audi TTS is a peak performer. It covers the standard sprint in 4.7 seconds; its top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155.34 mph). The 2.0 TFSI produces 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque at an engine speed of between 1,800 and 5,700 rpm. Controllable flaps in the exhaust system modulate the sporty sound and make it even richer. A manual transmission is standard. The S tronic option includes launch control, which regulates maximum acceleration from a standstill.
    quattro drive
    In the new Audi TT, quattro permanent all-wheel drive delivers additional stability, traction and driving fun. It has been consistently advanced and optimized especially for the new TT. Its electro-hydraulically controlled multi-plate clutch is mounted on the rear axle. The special pump design reduces weight by around 1.5 kg (3.31 lb) compared with the previous model. The distribution of drive torque between the axles is controlled electronically within fractions of a second.
    The intelligence of quattro drive – in other words, the software that determines precisely the possible torque distribution between the front and rear axles – is a completely new development especially for the TT. The innovative control philosophy continuously senses the ambient conditions, driving status and the driver's wishes. This means that the ideal distribution of torque is calculated and the TT's dynamic drive characteristics enhanced in every situation.
    By networking quattro drive with Audi drive select, the driver of the new Audi TT can adjust the all-wheel-drive properties to suit his or her individual requirements. In "auto" mode, this produces optimum traction and balanced driving dynamics. In "dynamic" mode, torque is distributed to the rear axle earlier and to a higher degree, which means that driving dynamics are enhanced further, especially on surfaces with low friction coefficients.
    Alongside optimizing the driving dynamics, the advances made to quattro drive also focused on the subject of efficiency. In the drive select "efficiency" mode the torque distribution is adjusted to optimize the level of efficiency. Determining driving conditions and driver type precisely allows for efficiency-optimized all-wheel-drive control – which can even result in the temporary shutdown of the quattro drive system. In this operating state, the intelligent software carefully monitors the driving situation and activates the all-wheel drive before torque is once again required at all four wheels. In this way, quattro drive provides optimum efficiency along with a level of traction and dynamic handling that is typically quattro.
    Chassis
    The chassis also reflects the technological expertise behind the new Audi TT. The front suspension is based on a McPherson system; aluminum components reduce the weight of the unsprung chassis masses. The four-link rear suspension can process the longitudinal and transverse forces separately.
    One particular highlight is the new third generation of the adaptive damper control system, Audi magnetic ride. Compared with the previous version, it has been improved in terms of characteristic spread, control dynamics and precision as well as user friendliness. Audi magnetic ride can be adjusted to three settings (comfort – auto – dynamic) via Audi drive select and, at the press of a button, either makes the compact sports car hug the road more tightly or lets it glide smoothly across the road irrespective of which mode the driver selects. Magnetic ride technology delivers ultra-swift wheel-selective control of the damper forces, which means that in all driving situations there is optimum contact between wheel and road.
    In this way, the new Audi TT's superb driving dynamics are further optimized, and body control also ensures good comfort behavior. The system is unique in this market segment. Audi magnetic ride is standard on the Audi TTS and is available as an option for all other TT versions.
    Another highlight is the standard progressive steering – its rack is designed such that the ratio becomes more direct as the steering is turned. In this way, the new TT can be steered agilely and precisely with little movement of the steering wheel in downtown traffic and on winding country roads. The electromechanically driven and thus highly efficient progressive steering adapts its assistance to speed and forms the basis for the optional assistance systems – Audi active lane assist and park assist.
    With its elaborate chassis design and firm setup, the new Audi TT handles superbly in all situations. The body is lowered by 10 mm (0.39 inch) on the TTS, with the S line sport package and with the adaptive damper control system, Audi magnetic ride.
    The dynamic driving system known as Audi drive select is an option for the new Audi TT, but standard on the TTS. It controls the engine characteristics and the steering assistance. The driver can choose between comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual modes. In addition, Audi drive select influences several optional modules – the S tronic, quattro drive, the Audi magnetic ride system, which at the press of a button makes the compact sports car hug the road even more closely, and the engine sound. In efficiency mode, Audi drive select influences the air conditioning and the start-stop system accordingly.
    There are 11 different wheel versions available. The TT 2.0 TFSI and the 2.0 TDI come as standard with 17" forged wheels in five-spoke design, each of which weighs only 8.7 kg (19.18 lb), and with size 225/50 tires. On request, Audi can supply other wheel designs with diameters of 17", 18" or 19", and tires up to 245/35 R19. quattro GmbH also offers wheels with a diameter of up to 20".
    The front discs are ventilated and, depending on engine version, have a diameter of up to 338 mm (13.31 in). The new electromechanical parking brake that the driver actuates by pressing a button is integrated into the rear braking system. The TTS uses newly developed aluminum fixed-caliper brakes to slow the front wheels; these are five kilograms (11.02 lb) lighter than on the predecessor model – another example of Audi's expertise in lightweight construction.
    The electronic stabilization control (ESC), which can be switched off either partly or completely, perfectly complements the car's sporty handling. When driving through bends, torque vectoring takes effect. If required, the drive torque is distributed from the inside front wheel to the outside front wheel (front-wheel drive) or, on quattro models, to the rear wheels, too. Thanks to the difference in propulsive forces, the car turns very easily into the curve, which is helpful for the driver. In this way, bends can be navigated with great precision and neutrally. This significantly boosts the TT's dynamism and stability. Sport mode supports particularly sporty driving, facilitating steering and control when drifting.
    The way that all components interact and harmonize enhances agile handling and consequently the driving pleasure that an Audi TT offers – just as you would expect of a sports car.
    Equipment
    All versions of the new Audi TT Coupé come with a generous range of standard equipment. Alongside those features already mentioned above, the MMI radio and the electromechanical parking brake deserve a special mention. The options include – alongside the S sport seat with numerous leather and trim variants – the convenience key, hold assist, high-beam assist, the LED interior lighting package, front seat heating, and the storage and luggage compartment package.
    As regards infotainment, customers can choose from various options. The connectivity package boasts a touchpad, MMI touch. At the top of the modular range is the MMI Navigation plus with its large flash memory, two card readers, DVD drive, Bluetooth interface and voice control system. The T30 chip from market leader Nvidia's Tegra 3 series, which is used in the new generation of the modular infotainment platform, controls all navigation and multimedia functions in the car and, together with the processor, presents all content in the Audi virtual cockpit.
    The Audi connect system complements the MMI Navigation plus perfectly – it connects the new TT to the internet using the fast LTE transmission standard. The integrated Wi-Fi hotspot means passengers can surf the internet and e-mail as they please, while the driver can rely on the customized Audi connect services.
    The infotainment package is rounded out by attractive components. The Audi Phone Box smoothly links a cell phone to the car. Its centerpiece is a universal planar antenna which is integrated into the storage tray in the center armrest. Thanks to close-range coupling, the phone communicates with the flat planar antenna, which uses an amplifier to transmit the signals to the car antenna.
    The Bang & Olufsen Sound System features a 14-channel amplifier and 12 loudspeakers; the woofers in the doors gleam in the dark thanks to an adjustable, discrete light conductor.
    Powerful assistance systems make driving the new TT an even more pleasurable experience. As an option the car can be equipped with Audi side assist, which uses rear-mounted radar sensors to help drivers change lane more safely; camera-based traffic sign recognition; Audi active lane assist, which helps the driver if required by steadily correcting steering or warning him or her if there is a danger of unintentionally drifting out of lane and the park assist system with display of surroundings, which independently guides the car into suitable spaces.

    William Maley

    Because Land Rover thought the gap between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport needed to be filled

    The next member of the Range Rover family was introduced a week before its official showing at Geneva Motor Show. Called the Velar, it will slot into the small space between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. We're not kidding about the small space. The Velar is 17-inches longer than the Evoque and two inches shorter than the Sport.
    In terms of its design, think Range Rover Sport with a lowered roofline and the front end from the Range Rover. The door handles have been integrated into the body to help with aerodynamics (this makes it the most aerodynamically efficient Range Rover with 0.32 coefficient of drag ). All Velars will come with a panoramic sunroof as standard. The interior features Land Rover's Touch Pro Duo infotainment system which is comprised of two 10-inch HD screens. The top screen handles infotainment duties, while the bottom is for climate control (with control knobs) and Terrain Control system.
    For North America, the Velar will have three engines on offer,
    2.0L Ingenium Turbodiesel-four - 180 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque 2.0L Ingenium Turbo-four - 247 horsepower 3.0L Supercharged V6 - 380 horsepower A ZF eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive is standard across the board. For the suspension, Land Rover uses coil springs on four-cylinder models and an air-suspension setup for the V6. Land Rover's off-road technologies such as Terrain Response 2, Low-Traction Launch, hill-descent control, and All Terrain Progress Control are here. Don't expect to be taking the Velar into the muck as it doesn't get a low-range transfer case.
    You won't be waiting long for the Velar to arrive at Land Rover showrooms. The Velar will arrive this summer with a starting price of $50,895 (includes a $995.00 destination charge).
    Source: Land Rover
    Press Release is on Page 2
    LAND ROVER INTRODUCES FOURTH MEMBER OF RANGE ROVER FAMILY, THE RANGE ROVER VELAR
    Range Rover Velar showcases a compelling new design, all-new technology and unrivalled capability across a variety of surfaces and weather conditions A mid-size luxury SUV that delivers new levels of refinement, elegance and technology to the segment Range Rover Velar arrives at U.S. retailers later this year; priced from $49,900 (MAHWAH, NJ) - March 01, 2017 – Land Rover today unveiled the fourth member of the Range Rover family, the Range Rover Velar, at London’s famed Design Museum. Bringing a new dimension of modernity and elegance to the Range Rover family, the Velar is positioned between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport; offering levels of luxury, refinement and all-terrain capability never before seen in the mid-size SUV segment.
    Five elements define the absolute desirability of the Range Rover Velar:
    DRIVEN BY REDUCTION:

    Stripping Away Complexity to Reveal True Quality
    Designed and engineered with an unwavering belief in ‘reductionism’ The luxurious, spacious interior is a calm sanctuary, combining elegant simplicity with premium materials and beautiful details such as hidden-until-lit controls THE FOURTH RANGE ROVER:
    The Next Revolution in SUV Design, With Precision in Every Detail
    The Range Rover Velar fills the ‘white space’ between Evoque and Range Rover Sport Born from reductionism, Range Rover Velar relies on technology-enabled design, providing the next logical step in expanding the Range Rover portfolio A BLOODLINE LIKE NO OTHER:
    Respecting Range Rover Heritage without Being Harnessed by it
    Almost fifty years of Range Rover pedigree provides the confidence to aim higher and allow customers to make more of their world The royalty of the SUV world, Range Rover heritage began with the original prototypes in 1969 which were named Velar ESTABLISHING THE TRENDS OF TOMORROW:
    Progressing a History of Technology and Innovation for Range Rover
    Continuing on a history of innovation for Range Rover, the Velar incorporates advanced technologies, compelling design and an absolute attention to detail that portend Range Rover design language for future models Dual touchscreen infotainment system2  called Touch Pro Duo, full color Heads Up Display, super-slim LED headlights, flush deployable door handles and burnished copper detailing offer a glimpse at design trends for future Range Rover models REFINED FOR EVERY OCCASION:
    Exceeding Expectations with Land Rover’s Legendary Capability On Varying Terrains
    The refinement customers expect, combined with the unrivalled capability Land Rover is known for Exceptional on-road performance and agility combined with outstanding ride quality and composure RANGE ROVER VELAR
    AT-A-GLANCE:
    A compelling, stand out design which features perfectly optimized interior space, powerful, taut surfaces and a stunning silhouette Design purity emphasised by segment-first flush deployable door handles. The debut of a new, state-of-the-art, Land Rover InControl® infotainment system, Touch Pro Duo, featuring two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens for improved functionality and intuitive operation Constructed from a lightweight and stiff aluminium-intensive body structure which enhances performance, agility and efficiency versus traditional steel construction The 113.15 in. wheelbase and intelligently-designed interior deliver an exceptionally large 34.4 cu ft luggage compartment Available air suspension is standard on six-cylinder models improving on- and off-road refinement and capability, while Adaptive Dynamics damping technology further enhances comfort and control All-wheel drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics and an optional active locking rear differential (available on six-cylinder derivatives only) deliver maximum driver engagement on-road and ensure Velar leads its segment in all-terrain capability Available traction technologies include Terrain Response®, All Terrain Progress Control, Low Traction Launch, Hill Descent Control(HDC®) and Gradient Release Control A towing capacity of up to 5,500 lbs in six-cylinder models is complemented by the Advanced Tow Assist function – instead of directly steering the vehicle when backing up, the driver can aim where they want the trailer to go using the Touch Pro Duo rotary controller, and the vehicle determines what steering inputs are needed to park the trailer where directed Three available powertrains include a responsive 180HP 2.0-liter Ingenium diesel 4-cylinder, a 247HP 2.0-liter gas Ingenium 4-cylinder and a potent 380HP supercharged 3.0-liter gas V6 engine. Each engine is mated to an 8-speed ZF transmission with all-wheel drive standard. Full suite of available advanced drivers assistance systems including Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, Reverse Traffic Detection, and Driver Condition Monitoring Created from a clean sheet using Jaguar Land Rover’s Lightweight Aluminium Architecture, the Range Rover Velar represents the next chapter of the Range Rover success story. Velar is defined by a visually reductive approach and meticulous attention to precision in every detail; this helps evolve Range Rover DNA and previews the next generation of Range Rover vehicles.
    Beautifully balanced with optimized proportions, a proud Range Rover lineage is instantly recognizable from the formal, horizontal feature lines, floating roof and continuous waistline, through to the taut and tapered lines at the rear. An optional 22-inch wheel further complements the vehicle’s stunning silhouette while further enhancing a dramatic sense of presence for the Range Rover Velar.
    Advanced technology is pivotal to the contemporary design: the full-LED headlights are the most slender ever to appear on a production Land Rover vehicle. The flush deployable door handles on the Range Rover Velar help emphasise a taut, elegant design language and contribute to a coefficient of drag of only 0.32Cd – this is the most aerodynamically-efficient Land Rover ever produced.
    The interior has been designed as a calming sanctuary; combining an exceptional sense of space with luxury materials and finishes, beautiful simplicity and precise execution. Unique in the segment, the Range Rover Velar offers a sustainable, premium textile seat material as an optional alternative to leather. The Dapple Grey woollen upholstery material was developed together with Kvadrat, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high-quality design textiles, and is complemented with Suedecloth inserts finished in Ebony or Light Oyster.
    The interior space of the Range Rover Velar is also defined by a new Land Rover Touch Pro Duo infotainment system. Two 10-inch high-definition touchscreens integrate seamlessly into the cabin architecture reducing the complexity of the dash and enhancing a sense of elegant simplicity. The Range Rover Velar is also practical. Built with seating for five and space for everything that comes with them, the Range Rover Velar features a luggage compartment volume of 34.4 cu ft. behind the second row seats.
    The incredibly lightweight and stiff aluminium-intensive body structure, together with double-wishbone front- and Integral Link rear suspension provides the perfect basis for agile handling, exceptional ride comfort and outstanding refinement.
    Combined with a comprehensive restraint system that includes six airbags, and a suite of advanced driver assistance systems including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue-Assist and an Adaptive Speed Limiter (3), the Range Rover Velar integrates the latest automotive technology.
    The Range Rover Velar – like all Range Rover vehicles – offers exceptional capability on a variety of surfaces, terrains and weather conditions. The Range Rover Velar features a highly sophisticated all-wheel drive system, available four-corner air suspension and, when equipped with air suspension, a ground clearance of 9.88 in. (8.38 in. with coil springs), wading depth of 25.59 in. (23.62 in. with coil springs) and a suite of traction technologies which include Terrain Response® 2 and All Terrain Progress Control.
    Exceptional performance comes from the range of three petrol and diesel powertrains, all matched to a smooth-shifting ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics.
    A clean and refined 180HP four-cylinder Ingenium diesel delivers 317 lb-ft. of torque and will lead the range. The diesel engine is joined by a new and highly-advanced 247HP four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine which enables acceleration from 0-60 mph in just 6.4seconds. An even more powerful, 380HP supercharged V6 petrol engine combines sports car performance with a unique soundtrack and enables the Velar to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in only 5.3seconds before reaching an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.
    The Range Rover Velar and Velar R-Dynamic range comprises of four selectively available specifications including Standard, S, SE or HSE, with three powertrain options depending on trim. Customers can also specify Black and Premium Exterior Packs for an even more distinguished appearance.
    Most exclusive of all will be the Velar First Edition. Limited to approximately 500 units in the U.S. and available for one model year only, the Velar First Edition is even more luxurious than the HSE specification. This model is powered solely by the 380HP 3.0-liter V6 petrol engine and features a wealth of extra features as standard, including a full extended leather interior, as well as a copper weave carbon fiber trim finisher, to complement the perforated Windsor leather seats finished in two tone Light Oyster/Ebony, a 1,600W Meridian Signature Sound System, and special 22-inch Split-Spoke wheels with diamond-turned finish.
    First Edition models are available exclusively in one of three colors; Corris Grey, Silicon Silver, or Flux Silver– a unique added cost satin finish exclusive to the First Edition, which will be meticulously hand-sprayed at Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations’ Oxford Road Technical Centre in the UK.
    Land Rover set a new all-time sales record for the U.S. in 2016. In 2017, the brand will launch the all-new fifth generation Discovery and Range Rover Velar, expanding the line up to six models. Designed and engineered at Jaguar Land Rover’s development centers in the UK, the Range Rover Velar will be produced at the company’s Solihull production facility. In the U.S. it goes on sale later this year, priced from $49,900.
    2018 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER VELAR PRICING:
    Model/Trim Engine Priced From (1) Range Rover Velar
    2.0T Si4 247HP
    $49,900
    Range Rover Velar S
    2.0T Si4 247HP
    $54,700
    Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE
    2.0T Si4 247HP
    $60,100
    Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE
    2.0T Si4 247HP
    $67,600
    Range Rover Velar S
    2.0 Td4 180HP Diesel
    $56,200
    Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE
    2.0 Td4 180HP Diesel
    $61,600
    Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE
    2.0 Td4 180HP Diesel
    $69,100
    Range Rover Velar S
    3.0 SC V6 380HP
    $64,200
    Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE
    3.0 SC V6 380HP
    $69,600
    Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE
    3.0 SC V6 380HP
    $77,100
    Range Rover Velar First Edition
    3.0 SC V6 380HP
    $89,300
    (1) All prices shown are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Excludes $995 destination/handling charge, tax, title, license, and retailer fees, all due at signing, and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. See your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2013
    When the name of Ferrari's successor to the Enzo leaked, most if not all of us thought it was a joke. But when Ferrari introduced their new supercar today at the Geneva Motor Show, we all realized the name wasn't a joke. Meet the Ferrari LaFerrari. LaFerrari literally translates to 'The Ferrari.' We'll leave the jokes to the peanut gallery on this.
    Starting with the design of LaFerrari, it melds the Enzo, F12berlinetta, and F1 race car into one vehicle. There are vents, diffusers, and a rear spoiler throughout the vehicle to help improve downforce and efficiency The LaFerrari is 3.3 inches longer, 2 inches wider, and 6 inches shorter than the F12berlinetta. The LaFerrari tips the scales at 2,767 pounds.
    Power comes from Ferrari's new HY-KERS hybrid system which couples a 6.3L V12 engine and a 120-kilowatt electric motor. Total output stands at 949 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The battery pack sits in the middle of the vehicle so it doesn't affect the center of gravity and weight distribution.
    Performance stats for the LaFerrari are,
    0 - 100 KPH (0 - 62 MPH): under three seconds
    0 - 300 KPH (0 - 186 MPH): 15 seconds
    Top Speed: 217 MPH

    Inside the LaFerrari there is fixed drivers seat and a a 12.3-inch reconfigurable dashboard screen.
    Ferrari says they will build 499 LaFerraris and each one will cost cost €1.3 million (about $1.69 million).
    Source: Ferrari
    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 LaFerrari unveiled at Geneva
    Maranello, 5th March 2013 – The wraps are finally off the LaFerrari. The Prancing Horse's eagerly-anticipated limited-series special, of which just 499 will be built, made its world debut today at the Geneva International Motor Show.
    "We chose to call this model LaFerrari," declared Ferrari's President, Luca di Montezemolo, "because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling and the sheer thrill of driving. Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range, and it represents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry. LaFerrari is the finest expression of our company's unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula 1."
    For Ferrari the development of a limited-series special like the LaFerrari represents an opportunity to experiment with all the technological solutions that will later filter down onto the production cars. Of particular significance in this context is the introduction of the hybrid system which, making full use of the Scuderia Ferrari's F1 KERS know-how, has resulted in a solution that exalts Ferrari's fundamental values – performance and driving thrills. The hybrid technology used, known as HY-KERS, represents the perfect combination of maximum performance and lower emissions. LaFerrari in fact emits just 330 g/km of CO2 but without resorting to electric-only drive which would not fit the mission of this model. The HY-KERS system is, however, designed so that in future applications a car can be driven using exclusively electric power for a few kilometres and, during development testing, a full-electric version of LaFerrari achieved just 220 g/km of C02 emissions on the combined cycle.
    The LaFerrari is equipped with dynamic controls that are integrated for the first time ever on a Ferrari road car with active aerodynamics and the HY-KERS system. Thanks to Ferrari's proprietary logic which govern all the systems, the car can achieve absolute levels of performance, aerodynamic efficiency and handling without any form of compromise in any area. A very advanced and uncompromising approach was also taken with the interior design which features an HMI inspired by F1 single-seaters.
    Architecture
    The LaFerrari's architecture posed the first challenge for the Prancing Horse team at the planning stage of the design. The aim was to achieve ideal weight distribution (59% at the rear) and a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. The result is that all of the masses are situated between the car's two axles and as close as possible to the floor to lower its centre of gravity (by 35 millimetres) and thereby guarantee dynamic handling and compact dimensions.
    The layout of the cabin made a significant contribution in this regard. The seat is fixed and tailored to the driver while both the pedal box and steering wheel are adjustable. The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed after consultation with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who played an active role throughout the entire development process.
    The LaFerrari's chassis features no less than four different types of carbon-fibre, all hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as the Formula 1 car. This helped optimise the design: various functions were integrated (e.g. seats and battery compartment) into the chassis to improve torsional rigidity (+27%) and beam stiffness (+22%) whilst cutting weight.
    Powertrain
    The LaFerrari is the first car in Ferrari history to be powered by the HY-KERS system. The ICE represents the pinnacle of engine development and research, with a 6262 cc V12 that punches out 800 CV and revs to a maximum of 9,250 rpm, a record for an engine of this displacement. It also features a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio and a high specific output equal to 128 CV per litre. The engine is coupled with a 120 Kw (163 CV) electric motor, giving it a combined power output of 963 CV.
    The high torque levels available at low revs from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimise the internal combustion engine's performance at higher revs, thus providing a constant supply of exceptional power throughout the rev range. Total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm. The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli – one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries – and a battery pack attached to the floor of the chassis consisting of cells that are assembled in the Scuderia Ferrari department where the KERS for the F138 is also made. The Scuderia's expertise allowed considerable savings in weight and size of the individual components and the batteries weigh just 60 kg while providing the highest energy density possible for this kind of application.
    The batteries are charged in different ways: under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter instance, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries.
    The electric motor is coupled with the F1 dual-clutch gearbox to the benefit of optimal weight distribution, but also to boosting energy efficiency as torque is instantly available to the wheels and, vice versa, from the wheels to the electric motor in recharging.
    Aerodynamics
    Active aerodynamics play an essential role, as they allow a complete adjustability of the car's configuration to attain LaFerrari's exceptional performance.
    The engineers' aim was to deliver the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car, with a coefficient of nearly 3, thanks to technical solutions honed with CFD analysis and fine-tuned in the F1 Wind Tunnel.
    To boost efficiency, the LaFerrari sports active aerodynamic devices front (diffusers and guide vane on the underbody) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler) which generate downforce when needed without compromising the car's overall drag coefficient. These devices deploy automatically on the basis of a number of different performance parameters which are monitored in real time by the car's dynamic vehicle controls, thus guaranteeing the ideal configuration on the basis of the driving conditions.
    Control systems
    One further innovative aspect of the LaFerrari is the integration of its active aerodynamics and hybrid system with the other dynamic control systems aboard. This means the car responds intelligently to driver inputs, making for a seamless blend of unprecedented performance and unparalleled driving emotions.
    Proprietary Ferrari algorithms deliver optimal integration of the electric motor and V12 for instantaneous response. In cornering, for instance, the HY-KERS keeps the V12's revs high to guarantee better acceleration on exit.
    The LaFerrari's Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system, and incorporates several new features, including new lightweight callipers designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition.
    The car's extreme performance potential called for a different tyre set-up, with 265/30 R 19 Pirelli P-Zeros on the front and 345/30 R 20s on the rear.
    All in all the car guarantees maximum driving thrills in every situation and performance levels are top level: 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in under 7 seconds, a lap time at Fiorano of under 1'20" – 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and over 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta. LaFerrari is thus the fastest road car in Maranello's long history.
    Styling The Ferrari design team led by Flavio Manzoni developed the LaFerrari's styling working in close synergy with the engineers to emphasise the exacting link between form and function. The result is an extreme, innovative design which retains close links to the marque's tradition. This is most evident in its side profile: the car has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches, a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.
    The LaFerrari's body has been given a sculptural treatment heavily influenced by its clearly F1-inspired aerodynamics and a tail section that exudes uncompromising sportiness.
    Inside there's a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. The signature bridge on which the F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape. The whole interior, in fact, has a fiercely track-inspired, pared-back allure.
    The Ferrari range
    Aside from the new limited-series special, the Ferrari stand also features the complete range which is the most wide-ranging and critically acclaimed in its entire history. The five models all share the same Ferrari DNA in terms of performance, driving pleasure and technology, yet each one has its own strongly unique identity, in line with the company's philosophy of "different Ferraris for different Ferraristi".
    Ferrari's 12-cylinder GT sports car prowess is represented at Geneva by the FF, the very first four-seater and four-wheel drive in Prancing Horse history. It will be sporting a Grigio Ingrid livery with an elegant glass roof and Iroko interior. The FF is also now seamlessly integrated with Apple technologies, thanks to direct access to the infotainment system via SIRI voice commands and the adoption of two iPad Minis as the entertainment system of choice for the rear seat passengers.
    Blistering performance and sublime driving pleasure even at low speeds are assured behind the wheel of the multi-award-winning F12berlinetta, which is powered by a mid-front V12. Unique handling characteristics, extreme aerodynamics and an innovative yet classic design are its signatures. The car on show at Geneva has a Grigio Silverstone livery and a Sella di Cavallo interior.
    Moving on to the 8-cylinders, the California 30, in sophisticated Nero Stellato with a Crema interior, is a convertible GT that uncompromisingly marries sportiness and versatility. The California's already-massive popularity with both press and public alike grew still further after its V8's output was upped by 30 hp to 490 hp, and 30 kg was slashed off its overall weight.
    The blistering 458 Italia is a sublime, thoroughbred sports car. It and its drop-top sibling, the 458 Spider, are equipped with the same extraordinary mid-rear-mounted V8 engine which was named International Engine of the Year in both 2011 and 2012. These two models continue Ferrari's glorious tradition with this particular layout. The coupé seen at Geneva sports an aggressive Bianco Avus livery and sleek black interior with carbon-fibre trim, while the Spider, which dominates the Tailor-Made extreme personalisation area, takes its inspiration from the legendary 1957 250 Testa Rossa that sold for a record 16 million dollars at auction at Pebble Beach in 2011. It has the same red and blue livery and a host of competition car details in its cabin, not least of which are suede-upholstered seats and Alutex trim.
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    HY-KERS system
    Total maximum power 963 CV
    Total maximum torque >900 Nm
    V12 maximum power* 800 CV @9000 rpm
    Maximum revs 9250 rpm
    V12 maximum torque 700 Nm @6750 rpm
    Electric motor output 120 Kw (163 CV)
    CO2 emissions** 330 g/km
    Performance
    Maximum speed over 350 km/h
    0-100 km/h <3 sec
    0-200 km/h <7 sec
    0 - 300 km/h 15 sec
    ICE
    Type 65-deg. V12
    Bore and stroke 94 x 752 mm
    Total displacement 6262 cc
    Compression ratio 13.5:1
    Specific power 128 CV/l
    Dimensions
    Length 4702 mm
    Width 1992 mm
    Height 1116 mm
    Wheelbase 2650 mm
    Weight distribution 41% fr, 59% r
    Gearbox
    7-speed DCT
    Suspensions
    Front double wishbones
    Rear multi-link
    Tyres(Pirelli P-Zero)
    Front 265/30 - 19
    Rear 345/30 - 20
    Carbon ceramic brakes (Brembo)
    Front 398 x 223 x 36 mm
    Rear 380 x 253 x 34 mm
    Electronic controls
    ESC stability control
    High performance ABS/EBD Sistema frenata anti bloccaggio prestazionale /electronic brake balance
    EF1-Trac F1 electronic traction control integrated with the hybrid system
    E-Diff 3 third generation electronic differential
    SCM-E Frs magnetorheological damping with twin solenoids (Al-Ni tube)
    Aerodynamics
    active
    * with dynamic ram effect
    **Undergoing homologation

    William Maley

    Volvo Completes Their Concept Trifecta!

    First came the Volvo Concept Coupe at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This was followed up by the Concept XC Coupe at the Detroit Auto Show. For Geneva, Volvo completes the concept trifecta with the Concept Estate.
    Think of the Concept Estate as being the sister car to the Concept Coupe as the two models are the same below the beltline. Both have similar front fascias with wide grilles and distinctly shaped headlights. Where the Concept Estate differs is above the beltline and back. The roofline is much longer than the Coupe and flows into a tailgate. The back end has wide haunches and slim, angular taillights. Volvo says the overall design of the Concept Estate pays homage to the 1800 ES from the early seventies.
    Inside, the Concept Estate features seating for four people and single digital cluster for the instrument cluster. The center stack is taken up by a tablet-sized touch screen that features Volvo's new infotainment system.
    Volvo isn't saying what the Concept Estate is powered by at this time.
    Source: Volvo

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Volvo's new concept car is a celebration of Scandinavian creativity
    State-of-the-art technology meets fashion and craftsmanship in the Volvo Concept Estate

    After unveiling two applauded concept cars in the Concept Coupe and the Concept XC Coupe, Volvo Cars will use the Geneva Motor Show to uncover the final car in a series of three, revealing where Volvo is heading in the very near future. The new interior design language, the Stutterheim collaboration, the large portrait touchscreen and the intuitive new user interface manifest how Volvo put Scandinavian creativity at the core of its new design strategy.
    "Creativity is thriving in Swedish society. This includes design and technology as well as the fashion, music and arts. This inspired us to create a new, exciting way to express Sweden's soul," says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Car Group.
    Under Ingenlath's direction, Volvo Cars is undergoing a transformation, and the Concept Estate is his bold interpretation of the most classic Volvo heritage – the estate car. The exterior echoes the design of the iconic Volvo 1800 ES from the early 1970's, but with modern features such as the low bonnet, a glass roof, the new 'floating' grille and the T-shaped DRL light guides. While the silhouette is a powerful display of Volvo's new proportions, the most striking feature of the Concept Estate is the inside of the car.
    With this car, Volvo reveal, for the first time, how the interior of Volvo's upcoming models will both look and function. The Concept Estate's most prominent interior design feature is its simplicity, utilizing exclusive materials and bringing the driver cutting edge technology and authentic craftsmanship in perfect harmony. The traditional selection of buttons and controls have been replaced by one large tablet-like touch screen control panel in the center console, bringing the interior firmly into the 21st century.
    "We have created a digital environment that is fully integrated in the car. The basic idea is to organize controls and information in a perfectly intuitive way, making the drive more enjoyable, efficient and safe. Everything is exactly where you expect it to be, and available at the touch of your finger," says Ingenlath.
    The touch screen will be the main control panel for Volvo's new in-car user experience. It replaces all buttons and controls except for a few crucial functions such as volume, play/pause, hazard warning and window heaters. It also interacts seamlessly with the adaptive digital display in front of the driver. "Not having to deal with buttons and controls for a growing number of functionalities is like being freed from a pair of handcuffs," explains Robin Page, Design Director Interior of Volvo Car Group.
    Contrasting the cutting-edge technology is the craftsmanship, the high-quality materials and the beautiful detailing in the cockpit. The colorful trends within contemporary Swedish design has inspired the orange seat belts and the woven wool carpets from Swedish designer Kasthall, and Volvo's collaboration with the Swedish fashion scene is manifested by two exclusive Stutterheim raincoats in the back of the car. The trunk also holds a specially designed "kubb" game set, offering people a piece of Swedish lifestyle.
    The interior is exceptionally confident. The glass roof and seats covered by light, soft leather help to retain that bright and cosy feeling that is the hallmark of a Swedish living room. The crystal gear leaver from Kosta Boda, a recurring feature in all three concept cars, has an orange glow, giving ambience to the room – and the instrument panel is covered by thick, naturally tanned saddle leather from Tärnsjö with inlays made of naturally aged wood and machine copper details.
    Volvo Car's new design language and the groundbreaking driver experience will be introduced in the next car generation, starting with the all-new Volvo XC90 revealed during the fall of 2014.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2013
    Only a couple months after the new C7 Corvette Stingray made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, Geneva was the place where Chevrolet introduced the new 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible. The convertible marks the third introduction of a Corvette at the Geneva. The other two being the C6 Convertible and the monstrous C4 ZR1.
    The Corvette Stingray convertible shares many of design and performance cues as the coupe except for one. On the rear quarter panels , the Stingray convertible is missing the air intakes that are on the coupe. The reason? Well its due to the convertible top's mechanism being in the way. Engineers moved
    Another big change for the Corvette Stingray convertible deals with top. On the C6 convertible, you had the choice between a manual or power-operated top. On the C7, its power-operated only. The top can be raised or lowed up to 30 MPH. Plus, the top can be remotely operated by a button on the key fob.
    Power for the Corvette Stingray Convertible is the same 6.2L V8 producing 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque as in the coupe. Transmissions include a seven-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
    The new Corvette Stingray Convertible will be arriving three months after the Corvette Stingray goes on sale, so around late 2013.
    Source: Chevrolet

    Album: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
    13 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
    Chevrolet Lifts Lid on 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible
    2013-03-05
    GENEVA – Chevrolet revealed the 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible today at the Geneva Motor Show, featuring an all-new, fully electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car’s key fob. The top can also be opened or closed on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h).
    “The convertible has been a part of the heart and soul of Corvette since the very beginning in 1953,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “With the all-new Corvette Stingray, we designed and developed the coupe and convertible simultaneously. As a result, the Corvette Stingray offers an open-top driving experience with no compromise in performance, technology or design.”
    The Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible arrive in global markets in late 2013, with left-hand-drive models to be offered in Europe, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Japan and Russia. Changes to Corvettes for export vary only in equipment required to accommodate a respective market’s regulations, such as lighting, headlamp washers and outside mirrors.
    “It's fitting to introduce the new Stingray convertible on the global stage at Geneva, because Corvette is the face of Chevrolet the world over,” said Susan Docherty, president and managing director of Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe. “It is an icon that has long been recognized and admired even in countries where it’s never officially been offered.”
    All of the performance technology and capabilities introduced on the Corvette Stingray coupe carry over to the convertible. The only structural changes are limited to accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts. Central to the Corvette Stingray’s driving experience is an all-new, more rigid aluminum frame structure, which is 57-percent stiffer and 99 pounds (45 kg) lighter than the current steel frame.
    All models are powered by the new LT1 6.2L V-8, with an estimated 450-hp (335 kW) and 450 lb-ft of torque (610 Nm). As no structural reinforcements are required for the convertible, both models share almost identical power-to-weight ratios.
    The LT1 combines several advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing to support an advanced combustion system designed to balance power and efficiency. The new Corvette Stingray is expected to improve upon the current model’s fuel economy of 13.6L/100km (EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 26 mpg).
    With the top up, the Corvette Stingray convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick, three-ply fabric top, along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, contributes to a quiet cabin and premium appearance.
    With the top down, the Corvette Stingray’s signature profile is further accentuated. Behind the seat backs, dual black accent panels enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray’s signature “waterfall” design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior.
    Additional highlights of the all-new Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible include:
    A sculpted exterior with advanced high-intensity discharge and light-emitting diode lighting and racing-proven aerodynamics that balance low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability
    An interior that offers genuine carbon fiber and aluminum trim, hand-wrapped leather materials, dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens, and two new seat choices – each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support
    Advanced driver technologies, including a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to fit the driver’s environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time
    Lightweight materials, including a carbon fiber hood on all models and a carbon fiber removable roof panel on coupes; composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame help shift weight rearward for an optimal 50/50 weight balance that supports a world-class power-to-weight ratio
    Track-capable Z51 Performance Package, including an electronic limited-slip differential; dry-sump oiling system; integral brake, differential and transmission cooling; as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability.

    “We wanted the driving experience of the Corvette to live up to the performance expectations that come with the ‘Stingray’ name,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “Because it was designed from the beginning as an open-top car, the Corvette Stingray delivers an exhilarating, connected driving experience – no matter what configuration you choose.”

    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

    Ford Brings The Focus Up To Date

    Thanks to early release of photos before the official showing at the Geneva Motor Show in March, Ford has come clean and revealed the 2015 Focus.
    The most noticeable change on the Focus is the front fascia, which adopts the Aston Martin-esq grille. Other changes to the front include reshaped headlights, hood, and front fascia. The rest of the vehicle appears to be the same as the current model. Inside, the 2015 Focus gets new trim pieces and the addition of buttons if MyFordTouch is equipped. A back-up camera is standard, while Ford's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) becomes an option.
    The 2015 Focus will also become the second model in the U.S. gain the the 1.0L EcoBoost three-cylinder producing 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. This engine will only be available with the six-speed manual transmission. All other powertrains will carry over.
    The 2015 Focus will go on sale in the second half of this year.
    Source: Ford
    Press Release is on Page 2
    World's Best-Selling Nameplate Gets Even Better: Ford Reveals Sophisticated New Focus with 1.0-Liter EcoBoost

    Redesigned Ford Focus delivers new exterior design, completely revised interior and advanced new technologies for improved customer comfort and safety
    1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine raises the competitive bar for fuel efficiency
    New Focus will offer driver-assist technology including a standard rearview camera, along with available lane-keeping system and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®)

    DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 24, 2014 – The 2015 Ford Focus, the world's best-selling nameplate, is expected to hold onto this coveted title with a bold new look that emulates other recent Ford vehicle designs and more advanced technologies that improve driver comfort and safety.
    The new look and added technologies were revealed today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry.
    "We have taken the title of world's best-selling nameplate to impressive new heights with the redesigned Focus," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president of The Americas. "Its combination of compelling, modern design and the most high-tech interior in the class will appeal to contemporary consumers who desire a small car with very sophisticated features. What makes Focus so attractive to consumers today – being great to drive, delivering exceptional fuel economy and value, and offering leading-edge in-car technologies – is amplified with the new Focus."
    Award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost
    In addition to a host of styling and technological advances, the new Focus will offer the remarkably efficient, fun-to-drive, award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine with a six-speed transmission – surpassing the fuel efficiency of the previous model, and once again raising the bar amongst the competition. Twice already, automotive journalists have named Ford's 1.0-liter EcoBoost powerplant International Engine of the Year, for 2012 and 2013.
    "The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is proof that excellent fuel economy and performance can come in one package," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. "Focus is already known for bringing together efficiency and fun, and our latest addition will bring consumers a whole new level of enjoyment – on the road and at the pump."
    The smallest engine in the company's growing EcoBoost family will increase the choice for Ford customers in the United States, as Fiesta is already available with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
    In Europe, where it is already on five nameplates, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost accounts for 32 percent of sales of the current-generation Focus and 26 percent of Fiesta sales this year. Robust demand for the 1.0-liter in Europe has prompted Ford to double production capacity at its state-of-the-art plant in Cologne, Germany, to more than 1,000 engines a day.
    EcoBoost technology combines smaller-displacement engines with turbocharging, direct injection, variable valve timing and proprietary Ford software to bring customers outstanding performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost engines can deliver significantly better fuel economy than larger-displacement gasoline engines.
    Stylish new Focus
    The new Focus will arrive with a more stylish, bold look. It features a restyled hood and grille, signature lighting for the headlamps and taillamps, new rear lamp clusters and a restyled trunk lid. Four-door and five-door versions will be available in the United States.
    Inside, colors and materials have a clean, modern look, with satin chrome detailing, new seat trims, switches and an available heated steering wheel. Storage is improved with a new center console incorporating adjustable cupholders, and a new, easier-to-access glove box.
    Advanced technologies
    A package of sensors brings a new level of convenience for compact car customers by adding driver-assist technologies including a rearview camera and an available Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) and lane-keeping system.
    Standard on Focus for the first time, the rearview camera will appear on either a 4.2-inch screen or the 8-inch screen that comes with MyFord Touch®-equipped cars.
    BLIS uses two multiple-beam radar modules, the same used with cross-traffic alert, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels, one on each side. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror, providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching.
    Should a Focus driver start to drift out of the current lane without a turn signal on, the available lane-keeping system provides a warning through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic a rumble strip. If the unintended lane departure is not corrected by the driver, the aid function of the system actively applies steering torque to help the driver direct the car back toward the center of the current lane.
    SYNC AppLink
    New Focus drivers will also have access to powerful new capabilities thanks to a host of new functions developers can integrate as they modify their apps to communicate with enhanced SYNC® AppLink™.
    Android and iOS smartphone owners can download more than 60 AppLink-enabled apps from the Apple App Store and Android market.
    New functions include:
    Connected apps can access a variety of real-time vehicle data such as speed, acceleration, odometer and location information that can be used by the app to further customize and personalize the user experience. For example, access to the in-vehicle GPS signal can enable more precise and accurate location-based services than phone sensors
    More consistent user experience thanks to voice pass-through capability. This enables developers to use on-device or cloud-based voice-recognition systems to evaluate driver commands, meaning drivers can use the same set of voice commands to control an app when connected to the vehicle as they would use when not connected
    Notifications read aloud as a driver enters the car, with no need to touch the phone. Best of all, alerts are available any time a mobile device is connected to SYNC AppLink, even if the app is not currently active. This means a driver could get an alert about a traffic jam ahead while listening to the radio or using another app

    In addition to the many advancements in exterior styling, interior design, powertrain and technology, the new Focus will also benefit from suspension and chassis upgrades. These include a new shock absorber valve design providing improved interior quietness, a new electronic stability program system with less intrusion and improved comfort, and a change to the rear suspension to give drivers a more connected feel to the road.
    The 2015 Ford Focus goes on sale in the second half of 2014.

    William Maley

    Bentley Surprises All with the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept

    Now for a big surprise at the Geneva Motor Show. Bentley revealed the EXP 10 Speed 6 during Volkswagen's group night. This concept gives an idea of the future direction of luxury and performance for the brand.
    Designed as a two-seater coupe, the front end features a larger version of the familiar Bentley grille and four-round headlights. The tail end is reminiscent of the Jaguar F-Type Coupe. Bentley describes the shape as “a dynamic sculpture, creating harmony between sharp lines and flowing surfaces and using twisted surfaces to imply speed.”
    Inside is furnished with quilted leather and cherry wood trim. Infotainment duties are handled by a 12-inch touchscreen.
    “EXP 10 Speed 6 is one vision for Bentley’s future – a powerful, exquisite and individual concept. The showcar has the potential to be the new pinnacle luxury two-seat sports car. It offers thrilling, driver-oriented performance, complete with trademark modern Bentley luxury and effortlessness. It could be a future model line, alongside the Continental GT and redefining the pinnacle of another market sector, and the styling of the EXP 10 Speed 6 could influence the expansion of the Bentley family. This is not just a new sports car concept – but the potential Bentley sports car – a bold vision for a brand with a bold future,” said Bentley chairman Wolfgang Dürheimer.
    Source: Bentley

    Press Release is on Page 2
    EXP 10 SPEED 6 - A VISION OF BENTLEY DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE
    Concept for sector-defining two-seater sportscar
    Futuristic Bentley design, a statement in modern British luxury
    Potential future model line

    (Crewe / Geneva, 2nd March 2015) Bentley Motors is showing the future direction of luxury and performance with the EXP 10 Speed 6 at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show. The concept is a British interpretation of a high performance two seater sportscar using modern automotive design, highly skilled handcrafting, the finest materials and advanced performance technology.
    From the racing success of the company’s early years to the international motorsport success of today, ‘speed’ is part of Bentley’s DNA. This inspiration is expressed throughout the EXP 10 Speed 6, where iconic Bentley design cues are fused with progressive craftsmanship techniques and modern technologies.
    Copper elements are used as accents to both exterior and interior features to highlight the performance hybrid potential of the concept’s advanced new powertrain. Performance goals including top speed are set to challenge competitors and define a new segment benchmark.
    Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, comments:
    “EXP 10 Speed 6 is one vision for Bentley’s future – a powerful, exquisite and individual concept. The showcar has the potential to be the new pinnacle luxury two-seat sports car. It offers thrilling, driver-oriented performance, complete with trademark modern Bentley luxury and effortlessness.
    It could be a future model line, alongside the Continental GT and redefining the pinnacle of another market sector, and the styling of the EXP 10 Speed 6 could influence the expansion of the Bentley family. This is not just a new sports car concept – but the potential Bentley sports car – a bold vision for a brand with a bold future.”
    Contemporary Design, Yet Unmistakably Bentley
    The exterior design of EXP 10 Speed 6 is an expression of muscular, athletic surfaces inspired by the aerodynamic shapes of aircraft fuselages and wings. The ethos of the design was to develop contemporary interpretations of Bentley styling cues, which have been brought together with beauty and precision. The result is a coupe of clean, modern surfaces whilst remaining unmistakably Bentley.
    Creating exciting contemporary ideas from classic starting points is evident across the car, from the new interpretation of the iconic Bentley matrix grille and four-round headlamps to the paint colour – a deeper, richer and heavily metallic version of British Racing Green. The principles of established Bentley luxury have been applied in new and invigorating ways that use the latest technologies and techniques.
    The shapes and lines of EXP 10 Speed 6 represent a dynamic sculpture, creating harmony between sharp lines and flowing surfaces and using twisted surfaces to imply speed. Combined with muscular proportions and an athletic stance through the use of a short front overhang, long bonnet, low grille and wide rear shape with a long C-post, the exterior styling hints at high speed potential of the car.
    Every exterior material and each individual detail is designed to modern Bentley style. Cutting-edge 3D metal printing technology has allowed the grille mesh, exhausts, door handles and side vents to be delivered with micro-scale design detail precision. The iconic Bentley mesh grille, for example, is no longer a flat plane of latticework but includes varying depth with a complex 3D geometry only visible when viewed at an angle. Bentley’s renowned quilted leather has inspired three dimensional texture to the precision glass of the headlamps.
    These exterior elements come together to present a Bentley for the next generation – lean, toned and exquisitely precise, designed around new evolutions of the design elements that unite all Bentleys – past, present and future.
    Bentley’s Most Performance-Orientated Luxury Cabin
    The inspiration for the interior comes from the continuous line that runs around the cabin, driving through the console and into two symmetrical wings before flowing into the door and looping back into the console armrest. Two elegant quilted sports seats are positioned either side of the narrow centre console which houses exquisite driver controls and a highly intuitive 12” touch screen. These features combine futuristic technology seamlessly with progressive Bentley craftsmanship.
    Each detail has taken core Bentley interior DNA principles and moved them forwards. For example, the classic and purposeful Bentley knurled surface is a feature throughout the controls of the car, but now created using steel and copper together to create a two-metal 3D texture.
    Continuing the fusion of traditional materials and contemporary design statements, the doors of EXP 10 Speed 6 feature 3D quilting, milled directly in to solid straight-grain cherry wood. Each resulting diamond is finished with a copper centre.
    The centre console integrates digital information with tactile controls via a curved touch screen housed in an aluminium frame. The fascia instruments deploy from a flat position into the drivers view as the car is started using the floating “B” button integrated in to a non-symmetrical gear lever finished in aluminium, copper and cherry wood. A mechanical rev counter and digital display combine to provide the perfect balance of modern driver information and analogue beauty.
    The rear interior space is divided into two compartments designed to house a specifically designed four-piece luggage set. Like the rest of the interior, the rear has been trimmed by the master craftsmen at Bentley in the highest quality Poltrona Frau leather.

    William Maley

    The Crossover Craze Continues At Volkswagen

    The past few years have seen a number of crossover concepts from Volkswagen. There has been the three-row CrossBlue, the sleek CrossCoupe, and the very small Taigun. The trend will continue at next month's Geneva Motor Show as the company will reveal the T-Roc concept.
    Volkswagen says the concept previews the direction of future Volkswagen crossovers. The overall shape looks more like hatchback than crossover thanks to a low stance and high beltline. The front end gets a narrow honeycomb grille and LED headlights. Below are a set of pods that have LED lights that can swivel and cameras that give you a view of the road. Out back is wide tailgate with narrow LED taillights. Much like the front, the back also have pods that have LED lights and cameras. The concept sits on nineteen-inch wheels that are pushed out the corners. One other design cue that needs to be mentioned is removable roof panels.
    Heading inside, the T-Roc concept features a number of digital displays. The instrument cluster is made up of a 12.3-inch screen and there is a a portable tablet as the infotainment system. Even the rearview mirror is a display for the cameras in the back.
    Power comes from a 2.0L TDI four-cylinder with 182 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed DSG and Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive. There are also three drive modes which adjust engine, transmission, all-wheel drive, and ABS.

    Source: Volkswagen
    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
    World premiere of the T-ROC
    Key aspects:
    Progressive SUV design:
    World premiere of T-ROC offers outlook on new SUV model series
    T-ROC makes debut with removable roof halves and digital instruments
    Powerful front-end design with LED headlights and integrated cameras
    Ten important facts on the world premiere of the T-ROC:
    1. The progressive design of the front end demonstrates a new approach to compact SUVs by the Volkswagen brand.
    2. Cameras are at work at the front and rear, supported by LED spotlights in darkness.
    3. The roof halves can be removed and stowed in the boot.
    4. The T-ROC is powered by a 135 kW / 184 PS turbodiesel engine with 380 Nm of torque. The gearbox used here is a 7-speed DSG.
    5. The fuel consumption of the 2.0 TDI is a low 4.9 l/100 km.
    6. The concept has the latest version 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive with a Haldex-5 coupling.
    7. The T-ROC can be driven in three different driving modes: "Street", "Offroad" and "Snow".
    8. Only digital instruments and digital climate controls are used in the T-ROC.
    9. A portable tablet serves as the infotainment display.
    10. The T-ROC design is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform. It is 4,179 mm long, 1,831 mm wide and 1,501 mm high.
    Wolfsburg / Geneva, March 2014. Volkswagen has two of the most successful SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicle) of European origin in its range with the Tiguan and the Touareg. Now Germany's largest carmaker will significantly extend this range with new models in a wide variety of classes. Back in 2013, Volkswagen showed how a large SUV for the USA or China might look with the CrossBlue and CrossBlue Coupé concept vehicles; development of the production vehicle is ongoing. In the mid-size segment, Volkswagen demonstrated in 2012 with the Cross Coupé concept car – another vehicle with a concrete connection to production cars – just how extremely fuel-efficient an all-wheel drive SUV can be with a TDI plug-in hybrid drive system. A compact model in the lower price segment, the Taigun, is in the development phase; the latest version of this SUV concept was presented in New Delhi, India in February 2014. Following now in a world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show (4 to 16 March) is another vehicle that offers a glimpse at future Volkswagen SUVs: the T-ROC. An SUV concept vehicle one down from the Tiguan in the Golf format, for more than just urban driving.
    Removable roof halves. The concept car being presented in Geneva follows a new design and interior line. In addition, the two-door car combines the talents of an all-wheel drive SUV – which does not shy away from rocky off-road trails ("ROCK") – with the light summery air of a convertible. That is because the middle section of the roof consists of two halves, which can be removed with just a few hand movements and stowed in the boot. Incidentally, the "T" in T-ROC is a reference to the nomenclature of current and future Volkswagen SUVs such as the Taigun, Tiguan and Touareg.
    Street / Offroad / Snow. The T-ROC, which is powered by a 135 kW / 184 PS direct-injection turbodiesel engine, is equipped with three different operating modes: "Street", "Offroad" and "Snow". Each mode modifies the parameters of the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, engine, 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch gearbox), ABS and hill start and hill descent assist systems. The modes are activated by an intuitively operated turn wheel on the DSG gear shift grip; the mode that is active is shown in a pop-up window in the fully digital instrument set.
    Exterior – features and design of the T-ROC
    Dimensions and weight. The T-ROC is 4,179 mm long, 1,831 mm wide and 1,501 mm tall. It is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform, and thanks to its lightweight design, the SUV weighs just 1,420 kg. Visually distinctive and in part responsible for the SUV's proportions are its relatively short overhangs (front: 811 mm, rear: 772 mm) and track widths of 1,578 mm (front) and 1,564 mm (rear), which are large relative to the body width. The wheelbase is 2,595 mm. Front and rear, the SUV is equipped with multi-part 19-inch alloy wheels; 245/45 tyres maintain contact to the ground both on the road and off-road.
    Forward-looking design. The team at Volkswagen Design, led by Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff, has progressively advanced the brand's SUV DNA in the T-ROC, but at the same time have preserved Volkswagen history. This is immediately apparent at the front end. Distinctive here is the 3D radiator grille designed with large, honeycomb-shaped openings – a new and dominant design element, high and wide in the middle, running out narrower on the sides. In an upwards direction, it is surrounded by a high-gloss black trim strip with a knife-sharp look; on the sides, it is bordered by the dual LED headlights, and at the bottom it is framed by a cross-member in aluminium look. This cross-member that progressively narrows towards the sides is more than just a decorative element; at its outside ends it houses the LED daytime running lights and LED indicators (when the indicators are activated, the white daytime running lights become orange indicator lights). If only the daytime running lights are active, then one LED light point is automatically lit at the centre of each of the dual headlights. The dipped beam light is generated by the out-board LED headlights; when the main beam is activated, this adds the adjacent LED headlights mounted in-board of them. Also visually prominent is the lower section of the front end: it is designed almost as if one were to place a mirror under the radiator grille with its contours reappearing in the lower air inlet. The side of the bumper facing the street is bordered by a rugged underbody protection element.
    Multifunctional spotlights. A dominant element of the front-end design between the radiator grille and the lower air inlet is a cross trim piece in body colour ("Blue-Splash Metallic"). Towards the sides in this area are the large, round headlight modules, which are visually reminiscent of those of the legendary Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34. However, unlike five decades ago, the technology behind the glass covers can do much more than just generate light. Each of the two round headlights has a strip of three LEDs at its centre, with these LEDs forming the fog light. Above this light strip is a power LED which assumes the function of a swivelling spotlight. Beneath the strip of three LEDs, Volkswagen has integrated a movable camera. Whenever the driver activates Offroad mode, the spotlights and cameras can be activated. Here, the power LEDs and cameras follow the steering angle of the T-ROC; the image of the surroundings is transmitted to a large display (removable tablet) on the centre console, so that the driver can see the stones or potholes in front of the car and drive around them.
    Design of the side profile... The sides of the car give a clean and powerful appearance. At the top, the silhouette is defined by the contour of the high-gloss black roof which forms a dark line in the vehicle's silhouette and together with the front windscreen, large roof spoiler and rear windscreen gives the T-ROC a coupé-like contour. Beneath the roof line, an aluminium strip that runs out into the termination of the C pillars makes the car appear lower to the ground than it really is at a height of 1,501 mm. When viewed from the sides, the C pillars themselves look like a roll-over bar that is set far to the rear. Integrated between this imaginary bar and the front windscreen frame are the removable roof halves. When they are removed and all four side windows are lowered, the T-ROC becomes a convertible, especially for those sitting in front.
    ...is clean and precise. The window line transitions into the engine bonnet and the wings at the height of the A pillar; giving the bonnet an especially long appearance which is further emphasised by the significant rear-ward offset of the front windscreen. In the area beneath the window line, there is what is known as the character line; this light-reflecting edge, upon whose line the door handles are also integrated, runs between muscular wheel arches, front and rear. The upper radius of the rear wheel arch transitions into a horizontal line that finally ends in the LED rear lights – so each line has its purpose. And that is typical of Volkswagen design. Also eye-catching in side profile are the spokes of the 19-inch alloy wheels with interior surfaces painted in body colour. The chrome side sills have a sophisticated look, while the wrap-around off-road accents of dark plastic in "Cool Granite" that protect the body are rugged.
    Design of the rear body. The C-pillar elements of the boot lid and the roof spoiler are designed in high-gloss black. Beneath them is the consistently horizontal organisation of the rear elements. The LED rear lights have a three-dimensional shape; on the sides they are part of the rear wings, and towards the middle they are part of the boot lid. Like the daytime running light bars at the front end, the rear lights also have visually hovering aluminium elements. The elements of the rear lights adjoining the boot lid are also completely made of aluminium.
    Rear cameras as well. At the front end, the outer contours of the radiator grille are repeated in the lower air inlet. In the rear body, it is the design of the rear lid lines that appears to be reflected on the surface for the vehicle licence plate. Large round elements are also integrated in high-gloss black trim panels to the left and right of the surface. As in front, three LEDs are integrated in these elements as well, and these form the reversing lights. The power LED above them assumes the role of the rear fog lights here. There is also a camera beneath the three LEDs, which is used to display visual images of the space behind the T-ROC. The images from the rear-view camera are also projected onto the tablet on the centre console. Beneath the round lighting and camera modules and to the sides are the exhaust tailpipes (aluminium, matt with a carbon frame) which are integrated in the bumper and the underbody protection with four aluminium elements.
    Interior – features and design of the T-ROC
    Designed for adventure. The T-ROC is a four-seater with a fully reconceptualised interior. In their functionalities, all elements are designed to match the off-road character of the T-ROC. That is, the features are rugged, with non-slip surfaces and are designed to be used on the move – such as the touchscreen in the centre console that was conceptualised as a tablet and the HD camera integrated in the area of the rear-view mirror. These features can also be used outside the T-ROC.
    Blue and anthracite dominate. Stylistically, the low-profile dashboard exhibits a horizontal layout. A central element here is the dashpad painted in "Blue-Splash Metallic". Volkswagen implements painted interiors in production as well, such as in the up! and Beetle lifestyle models. Also painted in body colour in the T-ROC are the door accent strips, the trim panel of the centre console and the trim accents of the leather-trimmed steering wheel that are arranged in the shape of wings. The other interior surfaces – with the exception of the seats – are designed in an anthracite named "Adamantium Dark". The four leather-upholstered seats, meanwhile, exhibit a colour transition from blue to anthracite.
    Digital instruments. The controls, status indicators and climate control functions in the T-ROC are all entirely in digital form. Accordingly, a 12.3 inch colour display is used as a combined instrument. Depending on the driving mode – "Street", "Offroad" or "Snow" – it shows a range of colours and information that is adapted to the given situation. In "Offroad" mode, for instance, the speed range displayed by the speedometer ends at 80 km/h instead of 260 km/h. These interactions are displayed in a fascinating way with flowing transitions and clear animations; the information is visualised by an entirely unique form of digital aesthetics.
    User-configurable infotainment screen. The touchscreen that is used for the infotainment system is a tablet. It is firmly locked into the dashboard with the upper two-thirds of the display extending out from the dashboard. The multitouch display (reacts to finger gestures) is user-configurable. Just like the instrument cluster in front of the driver, the range of colours and information displayed on the tablet also change according to the driving mode. In Offroad mode, the tablet also becomes a screen for the cameras. The HD camera mounted in the rear-view mirror bracket is also controlled from the tablet and can be used to take videos of either the outside or the inside of the vehicle.
    Digital climate control. The climate control system of the T-ROC also has digital controls. A super-brilliant and high-resolution AMOLED display (Active Matrix Organic LED) is used here. The climate functions are set via this touchscreen. The AMOLED display is integrated into the centre console. Cutting-edge here is the "body-related" operating logic, where the user can set an individual "perceived temperature" – i.e. not just the temperature of the air stream – for different body areas. The climate control system automatically regulates the temperature and fan settings as well as the air distribution for this setting. Showing a love of detail, meanwhile, is the centre console panel; its design of integral straps was inspired by the motocross helmet.
    Technology – drive system of the T-ROC
    Strong and efficient. The T-ROC is powered by a torque-strong and fuel-efficient turbodiesel engine: the 2.0 TDI with 135 kW / 184 PS, the engine that is also used in the sporty Golf GTD. In the concept vehicle, the high-tech diesel delivers a top speed of 210 km/h, acceleration to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and a ample torque to the two driven axles (380 Nm from 1,750 rpm). This contrasts with a combined fuel consumption figure of 4.9 l/100 km (equates to 129 g/km CO2). A 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) handles the transmission of engine power to the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system.
    4MOTION all-wheel drive. In normal operation, the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, which is equipped with the latest Haldex coupling, transfers nearly all of the engine's power to the front axle. That is very fuel-efficient. Nonetheless, even in this situation the 4MOTION system continues to be a permanent all-wheel drive solution, because the rear axle momentarily receives more power as soon as slip is detected at the front wheels or the sensors of the T-ROC detect an increase in transverse acceleration. 4MOTION utilises pre-control strategies depending on the specific driving state. This system variably engages the rear axle in fractions of a second via the Haldex coupling whenever necessary.
    "Street" / "Offroad" / "Snow". The T-ROC is equipped with three driver-selectable driving modes: "Street", "Offroad" and "Snow". Parameters of the running gear, engine-gearbox unit and hill start and hill descent assist systems are modified depending on the mode. The desired mode is activated via an intuitive turn wheel control on the DSG gear shift grip; the mode that is active is indicated in a pop-up window in the digital instrument cluster.
    "Street". The standard mode is known as "Street". The all-wheel drive only directs power to the rear axle if traction or transverse acceleration makes it necessary.
    "Offroad". In "Offroad" mode, off-road driving can be optimised at the push of a button. This mode presets the power distribution between the front and rear axles to 50:50 and activates an entire network of assistance systems. The systems integrated here include hill descent assist, hill start assist, more sensitively metered accelerator pedal response, preselection of gears with DSG and ABSplus. The latter utilises a different pulsing frequency on loose road surfaces, which contributes towards reducing braking distance – e.g. on gravel hills. The cameras at the front and rear can also be activated in Offroad mode.
    "Snow". When the vehicle is used to go skiing, the "Snow" mode offers an advantage in terms of active safety. As in the "Offroad" mode, in this case the all-wheel drive system switches to a 50:50 power distribution by default. The ABSplus system is also activated. At the same time, the parameter maps for the engine and gearbox are modified for the very low traction that occurs while driving on snow.

    William Maley

    We get the bare details on the Ioniq Plug-In and EV versions

    Last month, Hyundai introduced the world to the new Ioniq. What makes this vehicle unique is how it can accommodate a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrain without making any drastic changes to the vehicle. This is due a new platform built for hybrid and electric vehicles. Hyundai only provided details on the hybrid model at the time. But today, the Korean automaker revealed details on the plug-in and EV models before their debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
     
    The Ioniq Plug-In comes with the same 1.6L four-cylinder (104 horsepower and 108 pound-feet of torque), but features a 60 horsepower electric motor and larger 9.3 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Hyundai hasn't divulged total output of the system, but does say it will have a range of 31 Miles on electric power.
     
    The Ioniq EV features an electric motor producing 118 horsepower, and a 28 kWh battery. Top speed is said to be 103 mph and overall range is estimated to be 155 Miles.
     
    We'll have even more details, including a possible release date when Hyundai brings the Ioniq to the New York Auto Show later in March.
     

     
    Source: Hyundai
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    All-New Hyundai IONIQ line-up electrifies Geneva Motor Show
    World’s first vehicle platform with three electrified powertrains offers low- to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone Innovative IONIQ delivers uncompromised driving experience and design Unveiling of the IONIQ line-up at the Geneva Motor Show is available live stream: media, enthusiasts and fans worldwide can be part of the experience

    February 24, 2016 - At the Geneva Motor Show 2016, Hyundai Motor is introducing the All-New Hyundai IONIQ line-up consisting of: IONIQ Hybrid, IONIQ Electric and IONIQ Plug-in. As the world’s first model offering three electrified powertrains, IONIQ will make low-to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone. This new approach delivers an uncompromised design and driving experience through innovative technology, latest connectivity and safety technologies.
     

    The All-New Hyundai IONIQ is an important milestone of Hyundai Motor’s sustainability strategy, bringing to life the brand’s new thinking through new innovative technologies and extending the company’s product range to support further organic sales growth in Europe and other markets.
     
    “IONIQ is an important step forward for our brand in Europe. We are bringing a unique new approach to e-mobility, without compromising on design, driving pleasure and new connectivity features. And we’re making it accessible to more customers by further extending our product line-up,” said Jochen Sengpiehl, Vice President Marketing at Hyundai Motor Europe.
     
    The IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in both feature the new Kappa 1.6 GDI, direct injection petrol, four-cylinder engine with a class-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent, delivering 105 PS and 147 Nm of torque. The engine has been tailored to the hybrid application and is combined with the directly responding, smooth shifting six-speed double clutch transmission – differentiating the
    IONIQ from its competitors with a more dynamic driving experience. The mated electric motor enables pure electric driving and delivers instant torque as the chassis with rear multi-link suspension greatly enhancing driving dynamics.
     
    The IONIQ Hybrid’s electric motor delivers 32 kW (43.5 PS) with maximum torque of 170 Nm, powered by a lithium-ion-polymer battery with 1.56 kWh capacity positioned under the rear seats. In combination with the 1.6-GDI engine, IONIQ Hybrid offers a system output of 103.6 kW (141 PS) and up to 265 Nm of torque accelerating to a top speed of 185 km/h with targeted CO2 emissions as low as 79 g/km (combined).
     
    Drivers choosing the IONIQ Plug-in can safely rely on over 50 kilometres of estimated pure electric driving range powered by the potent 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The 45kW (61 PS) electric motor together with the 1.6 GDI four-cylinder Kappa engine targets CO2 emissions as low as 32 g/km.
     
    The IONIQ Electric offers pure e-mobility through a 28 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery for an estimated range of over 250 km. The instantly available maximum torque of 295 Nm is delivered by the electric motor with maximum output of 88 kW (120 PS) through the single-speed reducer transmission accelerating the car up to 165 km/h.
     
    The IONIQ line-up provides an enhanced customer experience inside through state-of-the art connectivity features like Android Auto, Apple Car Play as well as Tom Tom live services and wireless charging of your smartphone. Furthermore, the driving experience becomes digital through the 7-inch TFT instrument cluster displaying all key driver information.
     
    A holistic and innovative safety package including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist System, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control ensures high safety levels for drivers and passengers alike.
     
    All versions feature the sleek aerodynamic silhouette with a class-leading Cd value of 0.24 that complements the soft lines and surfaces tracing the All-New IONIQ’s outline. A fluid exterior shape and natural air flow channels emphasize the aerodynamic body lines and volumes.
     
    Blue accents in the IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in emphasize specific elements on the exterior and completing a seamless design in the interior. The IONIQ Electric features exclusive copper coloured accents, creating an impression that electricity flows through the car’s interior inspired
    by the trait of copper being a conductor for electricity.
     
    “With our pioneering ix35 Fuel Cell electric vehicle and several hybrid and plug-in hybrid models sold around the world, Hyundai Motor already has a proven capability in electrified powertrains. Now, with the launch of our first dedicated model, we are taking the lead as the only car manufacturer with hybrid, electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles in production,” said Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe.
     
    The All-New Hyundai IONIQ Line-up will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1 during the Hyundai Press Conference at 10:30 CET on the Hyundai stand (No. 1040).

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 29, 2012
    At next week’s Geneva Motor Show, Mini will unveil their most powerful vehicle, the Countryman John Cooper Works.
    Power comes from a tuned version of Mini’s 1.6L inline-four producing 211 HP and 207 lb-ft of torque (221 lb-ft on overboost). The power goes through either a six-speed manual or automatic and Mini’s All4 all-wheel drive system to propel the Countryman JCW from 0 to 62 MPH in 7.1 seconds.
    The Countryman JCW also gets some tweaks in the suspension with stiffer spring and damper settings, stronger anti-roll bars and a 0.4-inch lower ride height. A bigger brake package lies behind a set of lightweight 18 or 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
    Aside from all the of performance bits, the Countryman JCW also gets a number of visual tweaks. The Countryman JCW comes with reworked aero and is available with a “chili” red roof and mirror caps, among other exclusive paint colors.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Extreme driving fun on any terrain:



    The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.


    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – February 28, 2012… MINI The MINI family is constantly expanding, and new additions have also been made to the range of John Cooper Works models available to customers. For the first time, MINI racing-inspired thrills can be experienced in combination with all-wheel drive. The global introduction of the MINI John Cooper Works will get under way in autumn 2012.
    The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, will be fitted as standard with the all-wheel-drive system known as ALL4, and powered by a newly developed four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 211 hp. This new combination assures the driver of extreme driving fun on any terrain. The John Cooper Works Countryman is also the first John Cooper Works model available for order with a six-speed automatic gearbox as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual.
    With powertrain and chassis technology developed calling on the brand’s vast motor sport expertise built into the first MINI with five doors and four/five seats, MINI will deliver its John Cooper Works presence in another new segment… complete with all of the customary handling characteristics and sporty appearance the brand is known for.
    The Countryman, MINI’s first five-seater, already shares the racing genes which define the character of every MINI, and now the John Cooper Works polishes these inherent talents to really shine. The new engine brings another hike in output, transferred onto the road with impressive style by the MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system. The John Cooper Works suspension ensures every change in direction is imbued with addictive agility. The MINI John Cooper Works sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 7.1 seconds. While U.S. fuel economy figures are not yet available, average fuel consumption of 7.2 liters per 100 kilometers / 39.2 mpg imp in the EU test cycle represents an outstanding return when you consider the performance on offer (automatic transmission: 8.0 liters/100 km and 35.3 mpg imp).
    Note: performance and fuel consumption figures are provisional.
    The distinctive style of the sixth John Cooper Works model in the MINI line-up is also expressed through the car’s design, including the exclusive selection of paint finishes, light-alloy wheels and interior materials available for order. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is equipped as standard with an aerodynamic kit, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system with chrome tailpipes and door sills bearing the John Cooper Works logo. The color Chili Red can be specified as a contrasting paint finish for the roof and exterior mirrors. And Chili Red flourishes for the interior, such as in the exclusive design of the sports seats, also add a distinctive flavor to the sports car ambience carried over from the other John Cooper Works models.
    The most powerful member of a new generation: the engine in the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.
    The motor sport roots of John Cooper Works are reflected in a constant thirst for new performance benchmarks. This ambition has inspired even more power from the new four-cylinder engine in the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, as well as ensuring further gains in efficiency. The latest generation of the twin-scroll turbocharged engines benefit from both direct injection and a variable valve control system based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology. This throttle-free load control development significantly improves both the engine’s responsiveness and its efficiency. Reinforced pistons and intake valves, and further optimization of the cooling, air supply and exhaust gas discharge system, enable further increases in output and torque. Added to which, the 1.6-liter engine’s turbocharger is given a particularly large intercooler.
    The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman’s engine reaches its maximum output of 211 hp at 6,000 rpm and generates peak torque of 207 lb-ft between 2,000 and 5,600 rpm. The Overboost function briefly pushes this figure up to 221 lb-ft between 2,100 and 5,200 rpm. The sports exhaust system – its slanting tailpipe embellishers providing an extra dose of the hallmark John Cooper Works design – gives this outstanding power delivery the one-of-a-kind soundtrack it deserves.
    All-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox are both offered for a John Cooper Works model for the first time in this vehicle. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is the first model to send the extreme output from its motor sport-inspired engine through all four wheels.
    The new car’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive system uses an electromagnetic center differential to distribute drive seamlessly between the front and rear axles. This ensures the engine’s power always finds its way to where it can be converted most effectively into forward motion. In normal driving conditions, the MINI’s intelligent ALL4 system directs all of the engine’s power to the front tires, and up to 50 percent of its power can be diverted automatically to the rear wheels when driving conditions require it. This provides a traction-led expression of the handling talents for which MINI is famed, ensuring maximum directional stability and dynamic performance whatever the weather and road conditions. Together, the engine’s imposing power and the added John Cooper Works technology employ to harness it lay on a full-blooded brand of driving fun.
    The market launch of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is complemented by another MINI powertrain premiere, the introduction of an optional six-speed automatic gearbox for John Cooper Works customers as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual. Detailed tweaks have been made to both the gearboxes themselves and the clutch for the manual variant to take into account the extra engine power, and ensure outstanding performance and efficiency. The manual and automatic versions of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 7.1 and 7.5 seconds respectively on the way to a top speed of 127 mph.
    Sporting flair, John Cooper Works style: chassis, aerodynamics, design and interior.
    Chassis technology including a front axle with MacPherson struts, central-arm rear axle, Electric Power Steering and a model-specific, exceptionally high-performance braking system is also in keeping with the sporty character of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman. The standard sports suspension includes particularly stiff spring and damper settings, strengthened anti-roll bars and a 10-millimeter drop in ride height. The standard-fitted DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) includes DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode.
    Pressing the likewise standard Sport Button tweaks the engine responses, the character of its soundtrack and adjusts the power assistance provided by the steering.
    18-inch Twin Spoke light-alloy wheels with polished spoke fronts and black rim wells are fitted as standard. 19-inch light-alloy wheels – also designed exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman – can be ordered as an option.
    The muscular front and rear aprons and bespoke side skirts of the standard specification aerodynamic kit ensure visual impact and optimized airflow. Customers can choose from seven colors for the exterior paintwork. A contrasting paint finish can be specified for the roof and exterior mirror caps – in the Chili Red shade exclusive to John Cooper Works models, as well as Light White and Jet Black. Also available as an option are Sport Stripes in the same colors. The John Cooper Works logo on the radiator grille, tailgate and door sill strips and near the side indicators highlight the car’s identity even more clearly.
    The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman also comes with additional sporting touches as standard. Sports seats in Diagonal Track Carbon Black cloth trim with red contrast stitching have been designed specifically for the new model; while options such as the similarly exclusive sports seats with Lounge Leather trim in Carbon Black Championship Red can also be ordered. The trim strips around the cockpit, door panels and center console come in Piano Black as standard. The optional Chili Red trim elements, meanwhile, are exclusive to the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman and include red flourishes for the cockpit and doors, and red stripes for the black trim elements on the center console. Added to this are the sports steering wheel with red contrast stitching and John Cooper Works logo, the dark speedometer and rev counter dials, anthracite-colored roof liner, gearshift lever with red shift pattern lettering, red contrast stitching for the gearshift lever gaiter and floor mats with red stitching add further depth to the sports car ambience.

    William Maley

    Audi debuts an update to their super car, the R8, at the Geneva International Motor Show.

    Thanks to a leak showing revealing the next Audi R8 yesterday, Audi has spilled the beans on 2016 R8 before its official debut at Geneva Motor Show next week.
    The basic shape of the R8 hasn't changed much, just slight tweaks here and there. Measurements for the new R8 are 14.5 feet long, 6.4 feet wide, 4.1 feet high, and a 8.7-foot wheelbase. Inside the R8, Audi has taken the ideas used in the new TT and applied them into the R8. This means a minimalistic layout and new 12.3 inch display which features driver information and infotainment settings.
    As for power, there is a 5.2L V10 with two levels of power. The base V10 packs 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, while the V10 Plus increases power to 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive get that power to the road. At this moment, we don't know if Audi is planning to do an V8 version for the R8.
    Under the skin, the R8 uses an all-new Audi Space Frame chassis which combines aluminum carbon fiber to provide not only a lighter model, but also a stronger one. Other bits for the R8 include underbody aerodynamic panels, carbon ceramic brakes, and a choice of either 19 or 20-inch wheels.
    At the moment, Audi says the R8 will launch in Europe this summer for 165,000 euros (about $185,392) for the V10 and 187,400 (about $210,463) for the V10 Plus. Details for the U.S. will be released at a future time.
    But that isn't the whole story. Audi is also working on a electric version of the R8 which is expected to produced 479 horsepower and 679 pound-feet of torque. There's also a new R8 LMS for GT3 racing next year which is expected to share 50 percent of parts with the road going model.
    Source: Audi

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Audi presents the new R8: The sporty spearhead just got even sharper
    The second generation of the high-performance sports car makes its debut in Geneva
    5.2 FSI engine with up to 449 kW (610 hp), 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.2 seconds
    New multimaterial Audi Space Frame with high proportions of aluminum and CFRP

    No model with the four rings is closer to motorsport, none is more striking and more dynamic: at the Geneva Motor Show, Audi is presenting the second generation of its high-performance R8 sports car. The V10 mid-engine and a newly developed quattro drive ensure breathtaking driving performance, especially in the top-of-the-range version with 449 kW (610 hp): achieving 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 3.2 seconds, its top speed is 330 km/h (205.1 mph).
    A high-revving mid-engine with superior performance, a consistently lightweight construction concept and an extremely dynamic chassis with quattro drive system and fully variable torque control – this is what makes the R8 the sporty spearhead of Audi. The high-performance sports car has been newly developed from the ground up – it is more taut, more striking and more fascinating both on the race track and on the road.
    “Motorsport is in Audi’s genes, it has always been a permanent feature of our brand’s character,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi. “With the new Audi R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track onto the road. No other model of ours evokes more dynamic emotion. The new R8 V10 plus is therefore the most powerful and fastest series-production Audi of all time.” Thanks to the close cooperation between racing engineers, racing drivers and developers, the Audi R8 has seen a clear performance increase – this benefits both the series production car and the R8 LMS developed on the basis of this.
    The engines: 10 cylinders in two versions
    The 5.2 FSI is available in two versions: one with 397 kW (540 hp) and another sporting 449 kW (610 hp). The range-topping model accelerates in a mere 3.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) and keeps going to its maximum speed of 330 km/h (205.1 mph). The sound of the freely aspirated V10 engine, whose maximum torque is available at 6,500 rpm, has become even fuller and sharper. A 7-speed S tronic transmission and a newly developed quattro drive system transmit the power to the road. The distribution of the drive torque adapts to the respective driving conditions – in extreme cases, 100 percent of the torque can be transmitted to the front or rear axle. The new performance mode in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system enables adaptation of the most important ride dynamics parameters to the friction coefficient of the road.
    Lightweight construction: only 1,454 kg (3,205.5 lb) dry weight
    The top model R8 V10 plus has a dry weight of 1,454 kilograms (3,205.5 lb). Despite a lot of extra equipment and greater rigidity, the new Audi R8 weighs up to 50 kilograms (110.2 lb) less than its predecessor. The multimaterial Audi Space Frame (ASF) ensures low weight and optimum axle load distribution. The combination of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) in the Audi Space Frame opens up new dimensions with regard to weight, rigidity and crash behavior. The aerodynamic underbody which integrates a long diffuser boosts downforce. The chassis, too, with its double wishbone suspension demonstrates how close the new Audi R8 is to motorsport.
    Design: flat, wide, muscular
    The design reflects the powerful sporty character of the R8. A visual distinguishing feature which also provides enhanced safety comes in the form of the standard LED headlights. For an extended field of vision and more brightness, Audi offers the laser spot for the high beam as an option – complemented by the dynamic turn signals at the front. Dynamic turn signals are standard at the rear.
    In the new Audi virtual cockpit, the displays are digital. The most important controls are grouped together in button clusters on the steering wheel, also known as satellites. In the interior, the driver has the impression of sitting in a race car. The air conditioning controls emphasize the simplicity of the control panel with its floating effect. MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard.
    Sales of the new Audi R8 start in summer 2015. Prices are 165,000 euros for the R8 V10 and 187,400 euros for the top-of-the-range version R8 V10 plus.
    New factory for quattro GmbH: production at the “Böllinger Höfe” site
    The new Audi R8 is produced at a new quattro GmbH production site that was specially built for the sports car – the “Böllinger Höfe” site in Heilbronn. An elaborate manufacturing technique ensures that Audi-typical quality is produced.
    Specialists: the Audi R8 e-tron and Audi R8 LMS
    The second generation of the Audi R8 forms the basis for more models. The latest evolutionary version of the electrically-powered high-performance R8 e-tron sports car achieves a performance figure of 340 kW and a torque of 920 Nm (678.6 lb-ft). It sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds. Thanks to new battery cells, the range could be more than doubled compared to the first version of this technological wonder – it is now more than 450 kilometers (279.6 mi).
    The new Audi R8 LMS race car was developed based on the new GT3 regulations due to come into effect worldwide from 2016. This year it will already be put through its paces at the factory. Despite massive performance increases, around 50 percent of its components are the same as the series-production car.
    The new Audi R8
    The R8 is the dynamic spearhead of Audi. In its second generation, the high-performance sports car has been newly developed from the ground up – it is more taut, more striking and more fascinating. The high-revving V10 engine is available in two performance variants. In the top-of-the-range version with 449 kW (610 hp), it develops breathtaking power.
    “Motorsport is in Audi’s DNA, it is part of our brand’s character,” says
    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi. “With the new R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track onto the road. No other model of ours evokes more dynamic emotion, none is closer to a race car. The new R8 V10 plus is the most powerful and fastest series production Audi of all time.”
    The mid-engine principle used for the Audi R8 is not only a classic concept in motorsport but also an important piece of Audi tradition. The powerful engines were located in front of the rear axle even in the Grand Prix race cars brought to the start line by Auto Union in the 1930s – a revolutionary step at the time. In 2000, Audi won the 24-hour Le Mans endurance race with the LMP R8 prototype for the first time. By 2005, the car which provided the name for today’s series-production high-performance sports car had secured five overall victories at the Sarthe – the name chosen for the road version of the super sports car from Audi, R8, indicates the technological relationship between the two winners.
    As the R8 LMS, the Audi R8 is also highly successful in customer racing. The basis for its success: motorsport was part of the development strategy from the very beginning. In 2009, the R8 LMS customer racing race car began its success story which would lead it to more than 190 victories and 23 championship titles worldwide. Technically speaking, it is closely related to the road version of the sports car with around 50 percent of the same parts.
    Up to 449 kW (610 hp): the two V10 engines
    The new generation of the Audi R8 utilizes the latest development of the ten-cylinder engine. With its spontaneous throttle response, quick revving up to 6,500 rpm and inimitable roaring sound, the naturally aspirated 5.2 FSI engine is enough to give you goose bumps. In the new R8, the freely aspirated V10 engine offers even more power and torque than before. Controllable flaps in the exhaust pipe and an optional sport exhaust system make the car sound even more characteristic.
    The ten-cylinder engine is available in two versions. In the R8 V10, it develops a power of 397 kW (540 hp) from its 5,204 cc displacement and a torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) at an engine speed of 6,500 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) takes just 3.5 seconds, and it can reach a top speed of 323 km/h (200.7 mph). The R8 V10 plus is even more powerful and is the fastest series-production Audi of all time. It develops 449 kW (610 hp) and its maximum torque of 560 Nm (413.0 lb-ft) is available at 6,500 rpm. The performance figures are equally impressive: 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.2 seconds, 0 to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in 9.9 seconds, and a top speed of 330 km/h (205.1 mph).
    A further innovation in the 5.2 FSI engine is the additional indirect injection. It complements the FSI direct gasoline injection, lowers fuel consumption and enhances engine output. Moreover, the R8 features yet another innovative system in the form of COD (cylinder on demand). It shuts off one of the two cylinder banks by deactivating injection and ignition. The R8 V10 consumes an average of 11.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (19.9 US mpg) with CO2 emissions of 275 grams per kilometer (442.6 g/mi), for the R8 V10 plus those values are 12.4 liters per 100 kilometers (19.0 US mpg) and 289 grams per kilometer (465.1 g/mi). The fuel consumption reduction of up to 10 percent compared to the previous model is also due to the new start-stop system.
    The dry sump lubrication completes the technology package of the 5.2 FSI. The ten-cylinder engine is hand built in the Hungarian engine plant in Gy 014Å‘' type="#_x0000_t75">r. As a traditional motorsport technology, it allows for low installation of the engine, which is particularly beneficial for the car’s center of gravity. What's more, it also ensures oil supply even under extreme lateral acceleration.
    Fast as lightning and highly variable: the power transmission
    In both engine versions, power is transmitted to a rapid-shifting seven-speed S tronic transmission installed behind the engine. The S tronic has three automatic modes and can also be controlled manually. Shift commands are transmitted electronically (shift-by-wire). The launch control system manages full-throttle acceleration from a standing start.
    Another function of the S tronic comes into play when the driver’s foot is removed from the accelerator pedal at speeds above 55 km/h (34.2 mph). In such cases, both clutches open and the car goes into coasting mode. This function saves a considerable amount of fuel, especially in everyday use by the customer.
    The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system gives the new R8 a decisive plus in terms of stability and traction when compared with two-wheel-drive competitors. On the front axle, an electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch replaces the Visco clutch of the predecessor model. The newly developed quattro drive system enables completely unrestricted and fully variable distribution of the drive torque to the front and rear axles depending on the driving situation and weather. In normal operation, up to 100 percent is transmitted to the rear wheels and, if required, the clutch continuously diverts up to 100 percent of this torque to the front wheels. Thanks to the mechanical differential lock on the rear axle, the driver experiences maximum traction without any slip.
    Audi drive select: the chassis
    In the chassis of the new Audi R8, double wishbones made from aluminum guide all four wheels. The R8 V10 plus has a particularly sporty setup – for both engine variants, variable adaptively controlled Audi magnetic ride shock absorbers are available as an option. The newly developed electromechanical power steering system provides close contact to the road surface and makes a further contribution to reducing CO2 emissions. As an option, Audi offers dynamic steering, whereby the steering ratio varies in accordance with the road speed and the settings in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system.
    As standard, the new Audi R8 V10 has 19-inch wheels with size 245/35 tires at the front and 295/35 at the rear. Upon request, Audi is also offering 20-inch wheels for the first time in the R8. With this option, the tires are size 245/30 at the front and 305/30 at the rear. The steel brake disks have a weight-saving wave design and the calipers can be painted red upon request. In the R8 V10 plus, high-tech disks made from carbon fiber ceramic are responsible for deceleration of the 20-inch wheels (optional for the V10).
    In the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, the driver has the choice of four modes (comfort, auto, dynamic and individual) to control the way in which important technical components operate. As standard, the system takes into account the engine characteristics, steering, S tronic transmission and quattro drive system as well as optional extras such as Audi magnetic ride, the exhaust flaps and dynamic steering. On top of that, there is also the new performance mode (available as an option for the V10 and standard for the V10 plus). The driver activates it by pressing a separate button on the steering wheel. He or she can select between the programs dry, wet and snow using a rotary wheel. These programs support dynamic handling on dry, wet and snow-covered surfaces. In performance mode, Audi drive select also makes use of the ESC stabilization control function.
    New Audi Space Frame with high proportions of aluminum and CFRP
    The R8 V10 plus has a dry weight of 1,454 kilograms (3,205.5 lb). The key factor behind the consistent lightweight design is the body shell with multimaterial Audi Space Frame (ASF): It weighs only 200 kilograms (440.9 lb). The resulting unladen weight of 1,555 kilograms (3,428.2 lb) leads to a superior power-to-weight ratio of 3.46 kg/kW (2.55 kg/hp).
    The ASF body shell features a completely new multimaterial lightweight construction concept. Components made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) form the B‑pillars, the central tunnel and the rear wall. The front section of the vehicle, the roof arch and the rear section form a framework made from cast aluminum nodes and aluminum profiles which, in some cases, employ new alloys. As always with the ASF, each component is precisely designed for its location and purpose. Accordingly, the engineers have now integrated some components into the body shell due to their function. Leaving aside its components, the body shell is now around 15 percent lighter than its predecessor. At the same time, torsional rigidity is roughly 40 percent better. Particularly with regard to rigidity, the body of the new Audi R8 is a benchmark. The resulting lightweight construction is unparalleled among the competition.
    The multimaterial Audi Space Frame in the new Audi R8 is extremely light and rigid, whilst also being acoustically comfortable and offering a high level of safety. The outer skin is made entirely of aluminum, but as an optional extra (or as standard for the V10 plus), Audi also offers attachment parts made from clear-coated carbon fiber, for example the front splitter, the diffuser or the side blades. A long, rising diffuser in the underbody produces downforce on the rear axle at higher speeds.
    Design: flat, wide, muscular
    A cockpit positioned very far forward, a long, flowing back and a relatively short wheelbase – the exterior design makes the technical concept of the mid-engine, high-performance Audi R8 sports car clear upon first sight. At 4.42 meters long (14.5 ft), 1.24 meters high (4.1 ft) and with a wheelbase measuring 2.65 meters (8.7 ft), its dimensions have only slightly changed in comparison to the previous model. Its width now measures 1.94 meters (6.4 ft) and has thus grown by about four centimeters (1.6 in). The car’s proportions convey more of a race car character, with characteristic design ideas from the previous model now more pronounced.
    The four rings sit proudly on the hood, the Singleframe radiator grille with honeycomb design is wide and flat. Modeled plastic surfaces allow it to merge into the flat headlights – facets of the vehicle which highlight tension, provide an impression of depth and add an air of logic to the design. The grid-type signature of the daytime running lights with vertical elements replicates the structure of the air inlets and emphasizes the width of the car. The entire appearance of the Audi R8 conveys a feeling of lightness and technical precision. LED headlights are standard. Available upon request, Audi can also supply the laser spot which doubles the range of the high beam to 600 meters (1,968.5 ft) as well as the dynamic turn signals at the front. The dynamic turn signals are standard at the rear. The rear lighting signature also combines two vertical elements with a horizontal line. This gives the Audi R8 an even more powerful appearance.
    As part of the new laser high beams, one laser module per headlight generates a cone of light with twice the range of the all-LED headlamp. Each module comprises four high-power laser diodes. With a diameter of just 300 micrometers, these generate a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometers. A phosphor converter transforms it into white light suitable for roadway use with a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin – ideal conditions for the human eye that enable the driver to recognize contrast more easily and help to prevent fatigue. The laser spot is active from a speed of 60 km/h (37.3 mph) to supplement the LED high beam of the R8 and, thanks to its long range, greatly enhances the driver’s field of vision as well as safety. An intelligent camera-based sensor system detects other road users and actively adjusts the light pattern to exclude them.
    On the sides of the high-performance sports car, characteristically curved contours are drawn over the wheels. The shoulder line, shaped like a powerful muscle, connects the wheels with one another while at the same time dividing the side blade in two to leave an upper and a lower half. This new design solution makes the car appear even longer and more dynamic.
    At the rear, as well, the lights and the air inlets visually connect to one another. The two tailpipes of the exhaust system have a trapezoidal design and the rear window offers a clear view of the illuminated engine compartment. The R8 is equipped with an electrically extending spoiler, the R8 V10 plus with a fixed wing made from CFRP.
    Just like in a race car: the interior and the controls
    Behind the steering wheel of the new Audi R8, the driver feels like a race car driver. All functions are driver-oriented and allow easy operation even when the critical limits are reached – and all without the driver having to take his or her hands off the steering wheel. The newly designed sport seats with integrated headrest provide excellent lateral support. Even more radical seating for a sports car comes in the form of the newly developed R8 bucket seats. These make a clear statement confirming the relationship between lightweight construction and comfort (optional in the V10 and standard in the V10 plus).
    The start-stop button and the Audi drive select button are located on several satellites on the new multifunction plus steering wheel. The Performance steering wheel in the Audi R8 V10 plus features two more satellites. One button is for performance mode together with a rotary wheel for selecting the dry, wet and snow programs as well as a button for controlling the sports exhaust system.
    The Audi virtual cockpit is set in a free-standing housing and presents all the information on its 12.3-inch display with elaborately computed, fascinating graphics. The driver can toggle between different display modes and also adjust the digital instrument cluster to his needs in individual mode. In performance mode, the driver is presented with information on the driving programs, acceleration, deceleration and lateral forces as well as power and torque. The Audi virtual cockpit also displays a shift light which informs the driver that the engine speed limit has been reached. The driver operates the Audi virtual cockpit using the multifunction plus steering wheel. The driver’s hands remain on the steering wheel and he or she can concentrate on the road. Alternatively, operation can take place via the touch wheel or the buttons in the center console.
    In the design of the interior too, the taut geometric lines emphasize the aesthetic lightweight construction of the brand. Its characteristic element is the monoposto, a large arc in the area around the driver’s seat. The MMI monitor of the previous model is no longer available. Instead, the three central control elements of the air conditioning system have taken its place. The three-dimensional design of the air outlet vents bring to mind the air inlets of a race car. The dashboard appears to float weightlessly. The wide console of the central tunnel accommodates the standard MMI terminal as well as the newly designed flat selector lever of the S tronic transmission.
    When it comes to upholstery, customers can choose between Alcantara/pearl Nappa leather and fine Nappa leather. Also available are trim elements in clear coated carbon fiber, two leather packages and a new diamond stitching pattern.
    Customization
    There are numerous customization possibilities for customers of the new Audi R8 – for both the exterior and the interior. The colors for the body have been newly mixed and can be freely combined with the colors of the side blades – a blade made from glossy carbon is a particular highlight of the range. Ten standard exterior colors are available, for the R8 V10 plus there is an additional matt paint finish available, Camouflage Green.
    Among the five equipment colors available for the interior, two color ranges can be found, whereby the interior is always characterized by a sporty feel. Additionally, there are numerous options to further customize both the interior and the exterior, for example with headlining in Alcantara with dynamic diamond stitching pattern. The Audi exclusive program makes it possible for you to turn the new R8 into a one-of-a-kind model.
    Completely connected: infotainment
    In the new Audi R8, the Audi virtual cockpit replaces the analog instruments and the MMI monitor. The driver can switch the all-digital display between two different view modes. These bring either the virtual dial instruments or the large navigation map into focus.
    The Audi R8 makes use of the latest technology in terms of infotainment. MMI navigation plus is installed as standard; the MMI touch touch wheel is the central control element. In the background, the second generation of the modular infotainment platform sets about its work – just like the Audi virtual cockpit, it integrates a super-fast T30 chip from Audi’s cooperation partner, NVIDIA.
    MMI navigation plus is complemented by the Audi connect module. The passenger can connect a smartphone or tablet via the system’s integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. Tailored online services from Audi connect are displayed on the Audi virtual cockpit. The internet connection uses the fast LTE (Long Term Evolution) network. Optional components such as the fine-tuned sound system from Bang & Olufsen with a system performance of 500 watts or the Audi phone box for convenient cell phone integration round off the infotainment program.
    New factory for quattro GmbH: production at the “Böllinger Höfe” site
    The new Audi R8 is produced at the new “Böllinger Höfe” quattro GmbH production site, close to the Neckarsulm plant. The production area covering 30,000 m2 (322,917.3 sq ft) comprises a body shop and assembly facilities. The entire production facility is highly flexible, while technical and ergonomic innovations such as the CFRP body shell construction and driverless transport systems ensure top quality.
    As was the case for the previous model, production follows an elaborate manufacturing process. In cycle times of about 30 minutes and with up to 400 highly qualified employees, the R8 is created in highly precise craftsmanship. Following completion, each R8 is subjected to a strict quality acceptance process on the internal plant test track and an approximately one-hour test drive on public roads. With the new R8 manufacturing site, quattro GmbH – the high-performance subsidiary of AUDI AG – is further enhancing its small-series expertise, thus creating the opportunity to realize ever more exciting derivatives of the R8.
    Electrified: Audi R8 e-tron
    The second generation of the Audi R8 forms the basis for two more models. Audi has made major engineering developments in its high-performance electric sports car, the R8 e-tron. The latest evolution of the vehicle takes up the multimaterial Audi Space Frame from the new series-production model.
    The supporting structure was enhanced by a CFRP rear-section module comprising the luggage compartment. The walls of the CFRP luggage compartment well are corrugated. This way, in the event of a rear-end collision, more energy can be absorbed despite the reduced material weight.
    Thanks to targeted modifications to the outer shell and on the wheels, the Audi R8 e‑tron achieves an aerodynamic drag coefficient (cd) value of 0.28. In terms of performance and range, the car enters entirely new dimensions.
    The large T-shaped battery is structurally integrated into the center tunnel and behind the occupant cell – optimally positioned in the car. It supports the dynamics of the R8 e-tron with its low center of gravity. Audi produces the high-voltage battery itself, for the first time based on a newly developed lithium-ion technology which was specially conceived for a purely electric vehicle drive. In comparison to the first technology platform, the battery capacity has grown from 49 kWh to approximately 92 kWh. This progress was possible without changing the package.
    The R8 e-tron achieves an electric range of 450 kilometers (279.6 mi) instead of a previous 215 kilometers (133.6 mi) with an energy density that has been increased from 84 Wh/kg to 154 Wh/kg and some other modifications to the car. The electrically powered high-performance sports car has the Combined Charging System (CCS) on board, which allows charging with direct and alternating current. Using this system, it is possible to fully charge the battery in significantly less than two hours.
    The power is now twice 170 kW and the maximum torque twice 460 Nm (339.3 lb-ft). The R8 e-tron 2.0 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds on its way to an electronically restricted top speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph) or 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Intelligent energy management and an electromechanical brake system enable high energy recuperation rates. Targeted torque vectoring – needs-based distribution of power transmission between the rear wheels – ensures maximum stability and dynamism.
    Audi uses the electrical high-performance sports car primarily as a mobile high-tech laboratory. Accordingly, the findings from the R8 e-tron help in creating a vehicle with a sedan character. Upon customer request, the R8 e-tron will be available for order in 2015 as an electrically powered sports car in supreme hand-built quality.
    New race car: the Audi R8 LMS
    Alongside the new R8 series-production model, the second-generation R8 LMS race car is also making its debut, with colleagues from motorsport and series production working in close harmony as part of its development. Both the series-production model of the R8 and the R8 LMS have seen clear increases in power and performance compared with the predecessor. Both cars have around 50 percent of the same parts.
    The body shell of the rear-wheel-drive GT3 sports car is based on a selectively reinforced multimaterial ASF. Engineers have supplemented this feature with a safety cage. Its outer shell consists mainly of carbon fiber reinforced plastics. The vehicle’s type approval weight is 1,225 kilograms (2,700.7 lb). The V10 engine is virtually identical to the series-production engine and produces around 430 kW (approximately 585 hp), depending on the applicable regulations and the restrictor required.
    Sales of the new R8 LMS to customer teams worldwide will start with the 2016 season. This year, the new race car will be put through its paces by the works team at international long-distance and sprint races, as well as being available to customers as part of the Audi driving experience.

    William Maley

    Mazda's Hazumi Concept Gives A Sneak Peek Into The Next 2

    What could the next-generation Mazda2 look like? Well if the Hazumi concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show this week is any indication, it looks like it will follow in the footsteps of the Mazda3 and 6.
    The Hazumi concept follows Mazda's Kodo design language with the five-point grille and slender headlights up front. The side profile has a similar shape to the Mazda3 hatchback. Around back is an upright tailgate, triangular taillights, and a spoiler mounted on the roof.
    Inside, the Hazumi is very concept-y with uniquely styled dashboard that intended to give the impression of a bridge when paired with the door trim. Black and white leather trim line the interior, while a red leather is used on the seats. A version of the Mazda3's heads-up display is used, along with Mazda's Connect infotainment system.
    The Hazumi's powertrain is a turbocharged 1.5L Skyactiv-D four-cylinder that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine also includes a stop-start system.
    Source: Mazda
    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
    MAZDA HAZUMI Geneva International Motor Show Press Kit
    A glimpse at Mazda’s ideal next-generation subcompact vehicle.

    Mar 4, 2014
    Mazda is focusing on four key areas with its new generation models; KODO—Soul of Motion design language, SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, Mazda Proactive Safety, and a new car connectivity system called Mazda Connect*. The MAZDA HAZUMI unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show brings together all four of these elements and foreshadows Mazda upcoming next-generation subcompact car.
    One look at Mazda’s new generation models such as the Mazda CX-5, Mazda6 and Mazda3 will confirm that KODO design is defined by a dynamic, living expression of motion. In the Mazda HAZUMI the essence of KODO has been captured in a compact body without losing an ounce of impact. A newly developed 1.5-liter SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine promises outstanding fuel economy without compromising on linear and powerful driving performance. In addition to enhancing safety fundamentals such as driving position and field of vision, HAZUMI adopts Mazda’s cutting-edge i-ACTIVSENSE safety features. Meanwhile Mazda Connect offers drivers the fun and convenience of smartphone connectivity in a format that is safe and appropriate for in-vehicle use.
    Refusing to bow to the conventions of the subcompact class and refusing to compromise in any of the four key areas of Mazda’s vehicle engineering, the Mazda HAZUMI indicates the ideal form of Mazda’s next-generation subcompact car.
    The concept’s name is a good fit both for the look of the car and its target market. HAZUMI is a Japanese word meaning to ‘bound or spring up’ and was chosen to convey an image of a small but vigorous animal, bursting with energy and bounding into life. It also describes potential B-segment buyers; young, dynamic, vibrant and ambitious.
    The HAZUMI is yet another example of the vast potential of KODO design and of how well it adapts to different vehicles of different sizes. Says HAZUMI chief designer Ryo Yanagisawa, “Whereas with longer models such as the SHINARI we use long and free lines of motion stretching from front to back to express KODO, with HAZUMI we’ve created a form which suggests explosive motion. It’s like an animal poised to pounce; every muscle is held tense as it gathers energy for the chase. Despite being small, the KODO gives the car a presence that can’t be ignored, and a shape that has driving pleasure written all over it.”
    *The name Mazda Connect is used in Japan, US, Canada and Mexico. The system is referred to as MZD Connect in other markets
    KODO—Soul of Motion
    Dynamic motion concentrated in a compact body
    Exterior design

    KODO design seeks to capture the fleeting tension, beauty and power of living creatures in motion. By packing the powerful and dynamic movements of KODO into a compact five-door hatchback, Mazda has given the HAZUMI distinctive exterior styling and an athletic physique made for the road. This is KODO in its most highly concentrated form yet.
    Drawing the compact cabin as far to the rear as possible places the center of gravity near the rear wheels and creates a wedge shaped body starting from the low and pronounced nose and rising toward the rear to impart a strong sense of forward motion. The sharp, chiseled silhouette is a clear departure from the mainstream of subcompact design where one-motion form design is the prevailing trend. The short overhangs and powerful fenders which bulge over imposing large sized wheels underline the car’s strong and athletic stance.
    But it is not all about looks. As with all their new-generation products Mazda has put a big focus on aerodynamics, optimizing the airflow over the upper body and creating a turbulence-rectifying under-floor structure. Tuned specifically for the compact size of the car, these elements deliver superb aerodynamic performance.
    Front
    The headlamps and grille are positioned as low as possible giving the front face a sharp look reminiscent of a cheetah on the prowl. Yet the car somehow manages to be cute at the same time, ensuring onlookers will soon feel a sense of affection. The LED guiding rings add depth and solidity to the headlamps evoking the strong-willed eyes of an untamed animal. Another KODO trademark, the aluminum signature underscores the grille before cutting through the headlamps and imparts a deeply sculptured facial expression.
    Side
    With its short overhangs and pillars which look ready to pierce the center of the front and rear tires, the HAZUMI displays the athletic silhouette of a sports car when viewed from the side. A long line starts from the bonnet, peaks over the front wheel and runs all the way to the rear, while an overlapping line peaks over the rear wheel emulating a rhythm of flexing muscles and adding to the strong sense of forward motion. The surface texture of the body side is rich with tension, flattering the car’s big-boned physique.
    Rear
    The firmly planted rear tires support the high hipline and together with the steeply inclined back-window create a strong sense of forward motion. The distinctive oblong rear combination lamps impart a sense of speed while possessing a piercing vitality similar to the headlamps.
    Wheel
    The aluminum wheels feature a dynamic design expressing a powerful force radiating from the center of each wheel. The contrast between the radiant sheen produced by the aluminum milling process, and the dark metallic paint, give a taut, 3-dimensional feel.
    Interior Design

    The interior of the HAZUMI imparts the same dynamic sense of speed as preceding concept models such as the SHINARI, MINAGI, and TAKERI, and maintains superb functionality as an interface between car and driver. The high-quality feel of the interior exceeds the standards of the segment, but also gives a light and youthful impression that befits a subcompact model.
    Cabin Layout
    Speed is at the essence of the interior shapes, which spread out from the meter hood to the door trim and center console. The effect, similar to the exterior, is a dynamic sense of forward motion.The passenger space begins immediately next to the meter hood and with an instrument panel shaped like the wing of an airplane, creates a comfortable feeling of openness. The center console is suspended like a bridge, enhancing the feeling of space and creating more room in the foot wells.
    The meter cluster is designed around the driver’s center axis. It features a single, centrally-positioned meter with displays spreading like wings on either side.
    The layout of the center display, Active Driving Display, and commander control, is based on Mazda’s unique human machine interface (HMI) concept called the Heads-Up Cockpit. It is designed to help the driver to deal with large amounts of information while keeping their eyes on the road ahead and maintaining a safe and stable body position.
    Craftsmanship
    In every area, the high quality forms have a sculptured appearance amplified by reflections of light and shadow and the material for each was crafted to optimize its appearance. Key components of the interior such as controls and displays use a layered combination of hard chiseled metal and deep acrylic material. This produces a light and playful impression befitting a subcompact car, while maintaining a high quality atmosphere.
    Color
    The interior is designed with black leather as the base, with white leather used in certain places such as the instrument panel. A Crimson-colored material with a nubuck feel is used on the seats. This modern color-coordination, which is both bold and charming, makes the interior look youthful and refined at the same time.
    SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY optimized for a subcompact
    Introducing the newly developed small displacement clean diesel SKYACTIV-D 1.5
    The MAZDA HAZUMI offers the full suite of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY optimally tuned for a subcompact car. It offers the agile driving you expect from a subcompact car, while the linear driving performance provides a sense of security.
    The SKYACITV-D 1.5-liter Clean Diesel Engine

    The MAZDA HAZUMI also represents the world premiere of the SKYACTIV-D 1.5. This compact and lightweight clean diesel engine is designed for combustion efficiency, just like the bigger SKYACTIV-D 2.2. It offers ample torque and dynamic performance which is linear right up to the top of the revolution range, and excellent CO2 emission performance—below 90 g/km with the Mazda HAZUMI. It will also fulfill stringent Euro 6 requirements without aftertreatment systems such as NOx trap catalysts or selective catalytic reduction.
    i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies
    The model features i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies based on Mazda Proactive Safety. This is Mazda’s safety philosophy which aims to maximize the range of conditions in which the driver can drive safely and minimize the risks that lead to accidents. These technologies will help drivers enjoy the MAZDA HAZUMI safely and with peace of mind.
    New-generation car connectivity system, ‘Mazda Connect’
    Young people crave stimulating experiences and want to share them with their friends as soon as possible. Mazda address the needs of these young drivers—or anyone for that matter who want to stay connected at all times—with Mazda Connect, a new connectivity system introduced with the all-new Mazda3. In combination with the Heads-Up Cockpit it is designed to allow drivers to access the fun and convenience of their smartphones in a safe and easy-to-use format while behind the wheel.

    William Maley

    Land Rover announces it will build a drop-top version of its Range Rover Evoque SUV.

    It's official. Land Rover announced today that it will be sending the Range Rover Evoque Convertible into production next year.
    Along with the announcement, Land Rover released pictures and video of a camouflaged prototype driving in the 26-mile network of Crossrail tunnels currently being built in London. Why drive it in tunnels? According to the company, it allow them to drive the vehicle with the top down in complete privacy.
    "The tunnels are still under construction, so we had a unique opportunity to explore the vehicle's all-terrain ability in uncharted territory," said Murray Dietsch, Director of Land Rover Programs.
    More details about the convertible will be announced later this year.
    Source: Land Rover


    Press Release is on Page 2
    Range Rover Evoque Convertible Production Confirmed at 2015 Geneva Motor Show
    Land Rover officially confirms new Range Rover Evoque Convertible at 2015 Geneva Motor Show
    Range Rover Evoque Convertible to go on sale in 2016
    Tested at Europe's largest construction project, a network of Crossrail tunnels
    First prototype demonstrates Land Rover capability in underground surroundings

    (MAHWAH, NJ) - March 2, 2015 - Land Rover has confirmed production of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, on sale in 2016, by releasing a unique underground testing film.
    One hundred and thirty-one feet below the streets of London, UK, the first prototype of the new Range Rover Evoque Convertible was granted exclusive access to the 26-mile (42km) network of Crossrail tunnels for a unique development test. Engineers were allowed the opportunity to drive the disguised Evoque Convertible with its roof lowered in complete privacy.
    The short film begins with the highly-capable convertible being lowered into the tunnel network by crane, before negotiating a range of obstacles through the 20 foot (6.2 meter) diameter tunnel.
    Murray Dietsch, Director of Land Rover Programs said, "The tunnels are still under construction, so we had a unique opportunity to explore the vehicle's all-terrain ability in unchartered territory."
    Land Rover will announce further details about its exclusive new premium compact SUV Convertible later this year. It will be built alongside the Range Rover Evoque five-door and coupe at the Halewood Land Rover plant in the UK.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    At this week's Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen will unveil two vehicles. One being a concept and the other being a production model.
    Let's start with the concept; Volkswagen is showing off a refreshed version of their Cross Coupe concept shown back at the Toyko Motor Show. Aside from a new paint job (two-tone red and silver exterior paint instead of silver), it features a new powertrain.



    Gone is the gas engine used in Cross Coupe's plug-in hybrid system. In its place is a TDI engine which will increase horsepower from 261 to 302 and increase fuel economy to 131 MPG (US).
    And For The Second Vehicle, See Page 2

    Volkswagen's second showing will be a production version of the GTI Cabriolet. Shown last June at the Wörthersee gathering in Austria, the Golf GTI Cabriolet is pretty much a Golf Cabriolet fitted with all of the GTI goodies; 2.0L turbo four, six-speed gearbox (manual or DSG), VW’s XDS electronic limited slip differential, 17-inch alloy wheels, and all the visual cues.


    Volkswagen says the GTI Cabriolet can do 0-60 MPH in 7.3 seconds (0.4 slower than the regular GTI) and can drop the top in 9.5 seconds at speeds up to 18 MPH.
    If you're wondering when you can buy one, the answer is probably no.

    Press Release is on Page 3

    VOLKSWAGEN LIFTS THE LID ON NEW GOLF GTI CABRIOLET

    The most powerful production Golf Cabriolet ever is set to be unveiled next week at the Geneva Motor Show.
    Pictured here for the first time, the Golf GTI Cabriolet packs in all the performance and practicality of the GTI hatchback, and adds the pleasures of open-air motoring for four, thanks to an electrically powered fabric roof which can be folded away in just 9.5 seconds, even while travelling at speeds of up to 18 mph.
    Visually, the Golf GTI Cabriolet has all the classic GTI design cues. The radiator grille has a honeycomb structure with red edging and the GTI badge, while the front bumper incorporates a deep honeycomb air dam and distinctive vertical fog lights. Side sill extensions help give the GTI a wide, well-planted stance, while a bespoke rear diffuser is framed by a chrome tailpipe on either side. Smoked LED tail lights complete the look. As on the GTI hatchback, standard wheels are 17-inch 'Monza' alloys.
    Under the insulated fully automatic roof are four individual seats covered in the classic tartan 'Jacara' cloth upholstery; 'Vienna' leather upholstery is optional. The bespoke GTI multifunction steering wheel is wrapped in leather, as are the handbrake and gear lever gaiter, all finished with contrasting red stitching. The pedals have brushed stainless steel caps, while there are black 'Edge' decorative inlays on the doors and facia. The hood lining and roof pillar trims are all finished in black.
    Under the bonnet is the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the GTI hatchback, mated to either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox and producing 210 PS. The benchmark zero to 62 mph sprint is covered in 7.3 seconds with either transmission (versus 6.9 seconds for the hatch), while top speed is 147 mph (146 mph for the DSG).
    Maximum torque of 206 lbs ft (280 Nm) is available from just 1,700 rpm to 5,300 rpm, at which point maximum horsepower is achieved. This broad torque band helps to make the GTI an excellent cruiser – even at low revs in a high gear, the reserves of torque make the GTI's performance easy to tap in to. A standard EDS electronic differential lock and XDS transverse differential lock help to ensure that the power is easily transferred to the road.
    Safety is every bit as much a priority as performance. As with all Golf Cabriolet models, the GTI comes with automatically deploying rollover protection, front and side head/thorax airbags and a driver's knee airbag as standard, all of which helped it to achieve a five-star (96 per cent) rating for adult occupancy in Euro NCAP crash tests.
    The Golf GTI Cabriolet goes on sale in the UK in the second half of the year. Prices and further specification details will be announced closer to the on-sale date. For more details on this and the rest of Volkswagen's award-winning range of cars, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.

    William Maley

    Civic got back!

    Honda hasn't sold a Civic hatchback in U.S. since the 2001 to 2005 Si. Since then, Honda has only been giving us coupes and sedans. Europe meanwhile has been getting the Civic hatchback and it has grown into a sleek model that has many of us very jealous. But that will be changing with the next Civic hatchback. Honda has announced it would be coming to U.S. and we got our first peek into what it will look like at the Geneva Motor Show.
     
    The Civic Hatchback prototype follows along the same lines as the Civic concept from last year's New York auto show with a sporty appearance - blacked-out trim pieces, center mounted exhaust, and large wheels. But the basic shape lines up very closely with the current Civic sedan and coupe with a similar front and rear styling.
     
    Compared to the current Civic Hatchback, the Prototype is about 1.2 inches wider, 5.1 inches longer, and about a half-inch lower.
     
    No details were given on powertrains, but we wouldn't be surprised if the hatchback comes with the 2.0L four-cylinder and turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engines for the U.S.
     
    Honda will be building the Civic Hatchback at their Great Britain plant and export them to the U.S. later this year.

    Source: Honda
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    CIVIC HATCHBACK PROTOTYPE REDEFINES HONDA’S CORE MODEL FOR EUROPE
    Prototype of the next-generation Civic hatchback makes its global premiere at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show Assertive stance and distinctive new design establishes 10th generation as the sportiest Civic everLow, wide proportions and long wheelbase promise engaging driving dynamics while maximising interior space New Civic hatchback will be available in Europe early in 2017 and will be built at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM)

    The next-generation Civic hatchback makes its global debut in prototype form at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The design of the prototype heralds a significant step-change from previous versions of Honda’s core European model, focusing on provocative design and rewarding driving dynamics.
     

    The all-new Civic hatchback will be 30 mm wider, 20 mm lower and 130 mm longer than the current generation. New larger and wider wheels and tyres give a feeling of an assured stance, while the long wheelbase, short overhangs and sleek cabin area further add to the dynamic feel of the exterior.
     
    At the front of the car, a short overhang with large air intakes presents a sharp and aggressive interpretation of Honda’s family face. LED headlights and daytime running lights flow from beneath the boldly sculpted bonnet into accentuated wheel arches.
     
    The sleek and swept-back body lines continue along the side of the car with a swage line that incorporates front and rear door handles before culminating in the distinctive C-shaped LED rear lights. A second, lower character line extends from behind the front wheels up through the doors and meets the rear wheel arches, emphasising the car’s dynamic forward-leaning stance. At the rear, the bumper incorporates angular creases and vents, designed to echo the aggressively styled nature of the rest of the car.
     
    Daisuke Tsutamori, Project Leader for the 10th generation Civic provided an insight into how the distinctive design was conceived and realised: “We knew that we needed to create a striking and stand-out exterior design that challenged conventional European compact styling while staying true to the original Civic’s core values; a marriage of distinctive and sporty design, rewarding driving dynamics and versatile practicality.”
     
    Designed and developed for the European market, the 10th generation Civic is scheduled for a European launch early in 2017. The five-door hatchback variant will be produced by Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM), and will be exported to global markets including the United States.

    William Maley

    Honda Readies The Civic For Europe (and U.S.)

    And the hatchback makes for three. Next month at the Geneva Motor Show, Honda will introduce a concept version of the 10th Generation Civic Hatchback.
     
    The teaser photo Honda released matches up perfectly with the Civic Coupe shown at the LA Auto Show. The C-shaped taillights and a similarly styled lid lead us to this conclusion. Don't expect the center mounted exhaust to come into production.
     
    Honda says the production model will begin production in Europe in early 2017 with sales beginning sometime after. The U.S. will also be getting the Civic, though a timeframe hasn't been given at the moment.
     
    Source: Honda
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype Set For Worldwide Debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show
    Global premiere of Civic Hatchback Prototype redefines Honda’s core European model Clarity Fuel Cell to make European debut European customer deliveries of NSX to start in 2016 New Jazz concept turns on the style

    Honda is set to unveil the next step in the renewal of its European car range at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, including the global premiere of the Civic Hatchback Prototype.
     

    Civic Hatchback Prototype
    The Civic Hatchback Prototype receives its global premiere at Geneva Motor Show, previewing the exterior design of the all-new hatchback model, scheduled for a European launch in early 2017. Produced at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM), the car will be exported to global markets, including the US.
     
    Clarity Fuel Cell
    The Clarity Fuel Cell will make its European debut at Geneva, following its global unveil at Tokyo motor show in October last year. Clarity Fuel Cell is the world’s first production fuel cell saloon to house the entire fuel cell powertrain under the bonnet. With a range of up-to 435 miles (700 km)*, the Clarity Fuel Cell achieves best-in-class range while its unique packaging allows an interior design to offer seating for five, a first for a fuel cell saloon.
     
    NSX
    Following the announcement of the start of customer sales in the US at Detroit motor show, Honda confirms the first European customer deliveries for the Honda NSX will begin in 2016. The NSX features classic low and wide proportions married to modern and alluring surfacing, an aggressive front design, and rear lights that pay homage to the original NSX. The new hybrid supercar has an all-new mid-mounted DOHC V6 engine with twin turbochargers mated to a specially-developed nine-speed DCT.
     
    Jazz ‘Keenlight’ Concept
    Honda will also demonstrate a new design concept model of the popular Jazz. The new Keenlight concept seeks to highlight the potential for customising Jazz, using sleek design elements, special decals and a unique colour named ‘Keenlight’.
     
    CRF1000L Africa Twin
    Inheriting the “go anywhere” spirit of its celebrated predecessors, the all-new CRF1000L Africa Twin packs an innovative and powerful parallel twin-cylinder engine into a lightweight, agile chassis ready for true adventure both on and off road, whether crossing continents or commuting.

    William Maley

    Return of the 'Boxy' Wagon

    Is there anything that better describes Volvo than a wagon? The Swedish automaker has a long history of building wagons and a number of them have gone on to become icons for the brand. Volvo hopes the new V90, introduced at an event Stockholm today continues that trend.
     
    As we saw in leaked photos last month, the V90 looks nearly identical to the recently-introduced S90 from the front to the b-pillar. Where it splits off from the S90 is towards the back with a longer roofline, sharply styled tailgate, and longer taillights. The interior is the same as you'll find in the S90 with an understated design and seating for five. Volvo hasn't released details on the V90's cargo capacity, but we would expect it to be quite large.
     
    Under the hood, the V90 will match the S90's engine lineup. That will mean a T5 (turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder) engine with 250 horsepower, a T6 (turbo and supercharged 2.0L four-cylinder) engine with 316 horsepower, and the T8 plug-in hybrid with 410 horsepower. Europe will get a selection of diesel engines as well.
     
    “In many people’s minds we are known as the definitive estate [wagon] brand. While the Volvo brand today stands for more than estates, we are proud to carry forward this rich heritage with the V90,” Volvo president Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement.
     
    Volvo will be showing off the V90 next month at the Geneva Motor Show where we hope to learn when the wagon will arrive.
     

     

     

    Source: Volvo
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Volvo Cars reveals stylish and versatile new V90 estate
    The eagerly-awaited Volvo V90 was revealed today in Stockholm, Sweden. The stylish and versatile V90 is the latest in the premium car maker’s top-of-the-line 90 series sitting alongside the award winning XC90 SUV and the recently-launched S90 premium sedan.
    Building on Volvo Cars’ indisputable heritage in the estate segment, that began over 60 years ago with the Volvo Duett, the new V90 takes the premium estate a clear step forward in terms of aesthetics, materials and finish, while living up to the ultimately practical nature of any true estate
    “We have a very strong position in the estate segment,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “In many people’s minds we are known as the definitive estate brand. While the Volvo brand today stands for more than estates, we are proud to carry forward this rich heritage with the V90.”
    The new V90 is the third car unveiled in Volvo’s top-of-the-line 90 series, all of which are built on the company’s specially-designed and fully modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which has opened up a range of new opportunities in terms of how Volvos can be designed, built and equipped.
     
    “The modern premium estate is all about the intriguing combination of a luxurious experience with the functional origins of the estates silhouette. The sophisticated ambience of our new Volvo Interiors is combined with a great cargo space, providing the right kind of functionality – whether through connectivity or cargo and storage solutions,” said Thomas Ingenlath senior vice president for design at Volvo Cars.
     
    The new V90 delivers cutting-edge Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology, the most advanced standard safety package on the market, with large animal detection and run-off road mitigation, and class-leading connectivity including smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay.
     
    Volvo Cars has also worked tirelessly on driving dynamics in the new model delivering a totally new and refined driving experience characterised by a sense of engaging control and predictability.
     
    “We have a very strong offer in the V90. Our PowerPulse technology is designed to deliver a distinct performance boost to our diesel engine, while the T8 Twin Engine petrol plug-in hybrid will deliver around 410 hp and a pure electric range of around 50 km,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2013
    Last month, Alfa Romeo pulled the covers off the production 4C before its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show. While we learned a bit about the design, chassis, and what would be powering it, Alfa Romeo was keeping quiet on performance figures.
    Until today where Alfa Romeo officially debuted the 4C at Geneva. The 4C's 1.75L turbocharged four-cylinder produces 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Top speed is 155 MPH and can reach 62 MPH in 4.5 seconds.
    Alfa also announced that annual 4C production would total 3,500 vehicles for the global market.
    1,500 for Europe
    1,200 for North America
    800 for the rest of the world

    Pricing for the 4C will begin at 60,000 Euros (about $78,190).
    To help celebrate the introduction of the the 4C, Alfa Romeo will introduce a special Launch Edition 4C which brings forth exclusive characteristics and accents, such as carbon fiber trim, the choice between Carrara White or Alfa Red paint, and exclusive event in Italy, which includes an advanced driving session with instructors.
    The 4C arrives in North America in late 2013.
    Source: Alfa Romeo

    Album: Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition
    5 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
    05 March 2013
    World première: Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition

    The exclusive 'Launch Edition' will make its début at the Geneva Motor Show. It will be produced as a numbered limited edition: 400 in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, 500 in North America and 100 in the rest of the world.
    Dedicated to the host of fans throughout the world, the limited edition of the new Alfa Romeo compact supercar is distinguished by exclusive characteristics such as carbon fibre trim and the 'Carrara White' body colour.
    The 4C 'Launch Edition' can be ordered straight away at a price which is almost the same throughout Europe, 60,000 euros including VAT (net of other local taxes).
    A unique privilege exclusively for 4C 'Launch Edition' buyers: the chance to take part in an exclusive event in Italy which also includes an Advanced Driving session with Professional Driver-Instructors.
    New all-aluminium engine: direct-injection 240HP 1750 Turbo Petrol.
    Top speed of more than 250km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
    Alfa TCT twin clutch transmission with shift paddles at steering wheel and new Alfa DNA selector with additional 'Race' mode.

    The global launch of the Alfa Romeo 4C marks the return of the brand to the world of lightweight sports coupés, an extraordinary event, awaited ever more eagerly by the host of fans throughout the world. The exclusive 'Launch Edition' was created just for them, a numbered limited edition of 400 in Europe with exclusive characteristics developed specifically for this unique version.
    It makes its début today, at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, where orders officially opened for the 'Launch Edition' of the new 4C compact supercar at a price of 60,000 euros in most European markets (price including VAT net of other local taxes). What's more, all buyers can take part in an exclusive event which will include an advanced driving course, to learn how to make the most of its potential in complete safety.
    The new Launch Edition can 'clothe' its body with two liveries - Carrara White or Alfa Red - and is marked out by the distinctive badge, inlaid beneath the paintwork. The line of the special car is enhanced by the carbon aerodynamic kit (including spoiler and door mirror covers), the rear aluminium diffuser with dark finishing, Bi-LED headlights with dark surround and 18" (front) and 19" (rear) alloy wheels with burnishing treatment.
    To accentuate the sports look still further, there are front air intakes, brake calipers in a specific colour, racing exhaust system with BMC air cleaner and suspension kit with specific calibration for shock absorbers and rear anti-roll bar.
    The interior has the same sports feel, with highlights provided by the leather/fabric sports seats with parts in Alcantara, as well as the distinctive, numbered carbon badge. In the case of the red livery, the Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition has red stitching on the steering wheel trim, handbrake, mats, handles and sports seats.
    Of course, the Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition offers all the winning characteristics of the model that represents the essential sportiness embedded in the 'Alfa Romeo DNA': Italian style, performance and technical excellence, for maximum driving pleasure in complete safety.
    Designed by Alfa Romeo and produced in the Maserati plant in Modena, the new mid-engined rear-wheel drive coupé with two bucket seats will be become available for purchase in 2013 and will mark the return of the Italian brand to the United States, inaugurating Alfa Romeo's global growth plan.
    The Alfa Romeo 4C derives directly from the concept which raised many eyebrows in admiration at the Geneva Show in 2011, so much so that it won three prestigious awards: the 'AutoBild Design Award' (2011, Germany), the 'Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes' (2012, Italy) and the 'Most Exciting Car of 2013' - 'What Car?' (2013, Great Britain).
    Acronym 4C
    The acronym '4C' draws its inspiration from the brand's glorious past, projecting the values of technology and emotions into the future. Indeed, it refers to Alfa Romeo's great sporting tradition: the acronyms 8C and 6C in the 1930s and 1940s distinguished cars - both racing and non - fitted with the powerful 'eight cylinders' and the innovative 'six cylinders', confirming in its design layout and construction the goal of achieving the weight/power ratio of an authentic supercar, less than 4 kg/HP, yet focusing not merely on the maximum power delivered, but on limiting the weight to guarantee maximum agility and top performance. To this end, the Alfa Romeo 4C uses state-of-the-art technologies and materials derived from super sports cars (including the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione) - carbon fibre, aluminium, rear-wheel drive - and technologies from the latest standard models from Alfa Romeo, but updated to enhance the sports appeal of the new car even further. This is demonstrated by the new 1750 Turbo Petrol all-aluminium engine with direct injection, the sophisticated "Alfa TCT" twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA selector with the brand-new Race mode.
    Exterior style
    Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the 4C immediately brings to mind some of the traditional iconic models which have left a significant mark in the history of the Brand. Above all others, in terms of dimensional and layout similarities, one stands out in particular: the 33 Stradale, a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style which "clothed" the engine and chassis appropriately with unmistakable Alfa Romeo treatments.
    The 4C has followed suit, and thus completes a journey which was embarked upon with the 8C Competizione, emphasising some particular concepts of the brand, such as compact size, dynamism and agility.
    The development of the 4C's exterior was characterised from the start by the need to enhance the style of the car and the technical characteristics both from a dynamic and aerodynamic point of view. For this reason, all the style solutions adopted have been optimised in accordance with the ultimate goal of the car: performance.
    The rear volume, sinuous and enveloping, simultaneously encloses and embraces the beating heart of the car: the mechanics and the engine, visible through the rear window.
    All this, thanks to the development of marked musculature above the wheels, lends strength and power to the rear end.
    The rear musculature supports its structure on round rear light clusters and on the side air intakes necessary to cool the intercooler and the air intake for engine aspiration.
    From this energy-charged rear volume and the two side air intakes spring the two long muscles which lend speed and dynamism to the side, generating the necessary volume at the front end to house the headlights and, on the central part, the two robust ribs running along the bonnet, tracing the unmistakable "V" and coming to their natural conclusion around the shield.
    This, together with the two side intakes, forms the famous "Trefoil", a substantial facet of Alfa Romeo's profile.
    Interior design
    The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction.
    Specifically, the carbon fibre of the central cell immediately stands out in the interior, left in full view to enhance the sense of low weight, technology and uniqueness of the car.
    The dashboard and door panels have an "asphalt " treatment to recall the vocation of the Alfa Romeo 4C, conceived to convey maximum driving sensation from the road.
    The seats ensure dedicated sports posture, favouring the driver's contact with the road without, however, compromising the comfort required for everyday use of the car.
    The dashboard, simple and designed to make using functions simple too, reaches its zenith in the concept of extreme driver-orientation, thanks to digital instruments and gear shift controls located on the appropriately shaped steering wheel.
    The cockpit, which powerfully suggests the world of motorcycle racing and race cars, brings together all information necessary to drive and control the car.
    The information, which is rendered captivating through powerful, high-impact graphics, allows the driver to keep everything under control without distractions from controls that would be superfluous on this type of car.
    The pedal unit and footboards for driver and passenger are all made of aluminium and embellish the lower part under the dashboard, highlighting sports character down to the smallest detail.
    Dimensions and aerodynamics
    The compact dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats truly unique among its competitors: 399 cm long, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of 238 cm. These dimensions serve both to emphasise the car's "supercar proportions" and to accentuate its agility. What's more, owing to the designers' excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, guaranteeing a negative Cz which, as in racing cars, contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds thanks to the aerodynamic downforce.
    New direct-injection 240 HP 1750 Turbo Petrol engine
    The engine is the beating "heart" of an Alfa Romeo. In this case, it's the new direct-injection 240 HP 4-cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol, which was designed with a precise objective: to ensure exceptional performance without sacrificing driving fluidity and use in any circumstances, from the racetrack to the city streets. The Alfa Romeo 4C's new mid-engine, all-aluminium power unit adopts specific optimised intake and exhaust systems, to enhance both response at low speeds and extension, with the assistance of a crankshaft with eight counterweights. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct petrol injection, dual (intake and exhaust) continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that eliminates turbo lag. Torque delivery is generous, with a peak of 350 Nm, 80% of which is available at only 1700 rpm.
    Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission
    The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission, which is a genuine benchmark in the category due to its limited weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can be changed in sequential mode using the "shift paddles" located behind the steering wheel. Compared to the version already adopted on the Giulietta and MiTo models, the TCT on the Alfa Romeo 4C implements next-generation software and features the new 'Launch Control' function that optimises all car systems to provide the utmost acceleration possible. What's more, to ensure the best performance in accordance with the road conditions and driving style, the Alfa TCT adopts optimised operating logic, interacting with the Alfa DNA selector, the braking system, the engine management system and the vehicle stability control system. For example, in automatic mode, the shifting logic differs according to the Alfa DNA setting.
    The new Alfa DNA selector with 'Race' mode
    A specific evolution of the Alfa DNA selector has been developed for Alfa Romeo 4C, which not only features the three standard settings available on other models in the range - Dynamic, Natural and All Weather - but also a fourth mode: 'Race', designed to enhance the driving experience on a racetrack even further. It only takes a long press of the selector in Dynamic position to activate it: in this mode, the Alfa DNA deactivates the stability control and anti-slip systems, leaving the driver in full, exciting control. Finally, the full-digital instrument panel with TFT display changes configuration - showing only information relevant to the chosen mode - and colour in line with the Alfa DNA setting: yellow for Race, red for Dynamic, grey for Natural and blue for All Weather.
    Solid but lightweight structure
    A stiff, strong but light structure is an essential pre-requisite for a high-performance sports car. The same principle inspired the creation of the Alfa Romeo 4C. A state-of-the-art combination of hi-tech materials of extraordinary stiffness and strength, together with a very low specific weight, was selected to achieve this result. In particular, the chassis is a monocoque made entirely of carbon fibre with 'pre-preg' technology derived from Formula 1 and adopted only by the most advanced supercars, which weighs only 65 kilograms, inside which a space is formed for the driver and passenger. The front and rear structures of the chassis and the roof reinforcements are made entirely of aluminium.
    Additionally, the car's bodywork is made entirely of low-density, high-strength composite material. Benefits of using this material include lighter weight (it is 20% lighter than steel) and resistance to corrosion. Dimensional stability is comparable to steel and better than aluminium.
    Finally, the seats have a mixed carbon fibre and fibreglass structure which guarantees high resistance to stresses and a particularly low weight at the same time.
    The final result is a significant reduction in overall weight (the dry weight is just 895 kg) combined with the best possible torsional stiffness and strength characteristics, as well as the optimisation of the car's centre of gravity, which gives the advantage of increased agility and drivability on the most challenging roads.
    Suspension
    The Alfa Romeo 4C has an extremely sophisticated suspension layout - 'superimposed wishbones' at the front, development of MacPherson at the rear - to ensure maximum agility and road holding. This solution, along with the rear-wheel drive and the extraordinary weight to power ratio, ensures Alfa Romeo driving pleasure, enhanced even further by the weight distribution (40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear axle). What's more, for those wanting the maximum in terms of handling, a complete suspension kit will be available with a specific calibration of the shock absorbers and rear anti-roll bar.
    Braking system, wheels and steering
    To ensure decisive braking even under the most intensive conditions, the braking system has four self-ventilating perforated discs, with Brembo four-piston aluminium calipers on the front axle. In addition, to "stick" the car firmly onto the road surface, tyres with a different diameter and width depending on whether they are fitted at the front or rear have been fitted (two variants possible, either 17"-18" or 18"-19") which were developed especially to guarantee excellent performance (a kit of tyres with a softer mix is also provided for optimised grip). In line with the car's setup, the steering system of the 4C does not feature power steering, to save weight but above all to secure a superlative driving feel. An appropriate steering wheel load is maintained thanks to the low overall weight of the car.
    Real supercar performance
    The implemented state-of-the-art technical and technological solutions drive the Alfa Romeo 4C to reach real supercar performance with a unique driving feel. This is demonstrated by a top speed in excess of 250 km/h, only 4.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h, 1.1 of side acceleration on corners and 1.25 g of maximum braking deceleration.
    Excellence made in Italy
    The very best technical and industrial expertise of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands was used to develop the Alfa Romeo 4C. Specifically, the teamwork between the two brands was aimed at the integration of the Alfa Romeo design department with the Maserati production plant. This was boosted by the technical and technological contribution of other Italian companies, international leaders in the sector of high-performance sports car components. In short, this too is a distinguishing trait of Alfa Romeo, a brand with a century of history that continues to be one of the most famous and popular ambassadors of Italian products across the world.

    William Maley

    GTI, GTD, and now GTE

    First there was GTI. Then came GTD. Now, Volkswagen has revealed the brand new GTE that will debut next next month at the Geneva Motor Show.
    The GTE follows in the footsteps of the GTD with offering hot hatch performance and improved fuel economy. The difference is how the GTE performs the feat. Under the skin is a plug-in hybrid system comprised of 1.4L turbo four (producing 148 horsepower) and a electric motor (producing 101 horsepower) that make a combined 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed DSG gearbox that has been built with hybrid vehicles in mind. A 8.8 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery finishes off the powertrain.
    Performance figures are as followed:
    0 - 62 MPH: 7.6 Seconds
    Top Speed: 81 MPH on Electric Power, 135 MPH when Gas Engine is on
    Range on Electric Power: 31 Miles
    Driving Range: 584 Miles
    Combined Fuel Economy: 157 MPG on European Cycle
    Recharge Time: 3.5 Hours from a conventional home outlet, 2.5 Hours at a public charging station

    As for styling, the GTE incorporates elements of the GTI and e-Golf. However, the GTE has blue accents in places where the GTI would have red accents. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels come as standard, while seventeen and eighteen-inch wheels are optional.
    Volkswagen hasn't announced a release date or if the GTE will come to the U.S. in their release. Our best guess as to the GTE's fate of coming to the U.S. is that it will not.
    Source: Volkswagen

    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
    VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS THE PLUG-IN HYBRID GOLF GTE
    New plug-in hybrid marries sustainability and performance

    Golf GTE can be driven up to 31 miles in all-electric mode; the total theoretical driving range is 584 miles
    European Driving Cycle combined fuel economy of 157 mpg
    System has 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque
    GTE is the third GT in the Golf model series, following GTI and GTD
    Golf GTE has a top speed of 135 mph and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.6 seconds

    Wolfsburg / Geneva, March 2014 — Volkswagen is the first automaker worldwide to offer a model line with a full range of conventional and alternative powertrains. The new Golf GTE plug-in hybrid, which will be presented at the Geneva International Motor Show (March 4 to 16, 2014) is the fifth powertrain to be offered in the Golf, adding to gasoline, diesel, CNG and full electric versions. The Golf GTE has an NEDC hybrid combined fuel economy rating of 157 mpg (equivalent to 35 g of CO2) and has an all-electric range of 31 miles along with an overall range of 584 miles.
    GTI, GTD, GTE. The Golf GTE name is in line with the GTI and GTD abbreviations—two sporty icons of the Golf range. The first GTI in 1976 invented the term “hot hatch” and is currently the most successful compact sports car in the world. The “I” in the name stands for electronic fuel injection while the “D” in GTD, introduced for the first time in 1982, stands for diesel fuel injection. The latest versions of these two best-selling Golf sports cars were introduced in 2013. Now Volkswagen has transferred its sporty compact car philosophy to a third model—the Golf GTE.
    The new Golf GTE has two engines: a 1.4-liter 148 horsepower turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine and a 101 hp electric motor. These combine to provide the stated system power of 201 hp. If the electric motor is the sole source for propulsive power, the Golf GTE is capable of speeds of up to 81 mph. When the full power of the system is harnessed, the GTE sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and achieves a top speed of 135 mph on the autobahn and race courses. Of more significance is the superior pulling power of the Golf GTE thanks to its alliance of a gasoline engine and electric motor that produces a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft. This torque sets this first “GTE” apart from other plug-in hybrid models.
    Despite its power and torque, the Golf GTE remains one of the world's most efficient cars. If you mainly run short distances, you can drive in emissions-free all-electric mode for days, weeks, and months. The battery takes about three and a half hours to charge fully from a conventional wall outlet.
    If the battery is charged using a wallbox or a public charging station, the charging time is shortened to approximately two and a half hours. Thanks to the control options on the Golf GTE, the driver can also ensure on longer trips that only the electric motor is used in an urban area.
    The automobile revolution has a name – MQB. The variety of products in the Golf lineup— TSI (including GTI), TDI® (including GTD), TGI (powered by CNG), e-Golf, and Golf GTE—is made possible by the modular transverse matrix, abbreviated to MQB. This modular technology platform, initially introduced with the current Golf in 2012, is synonymous with an automotive revolution because Volkswagen engineers have created the prerequisites for a high-volume model, such as the Golf, to accept all drive types. This explains why Golf models with gasoline, diesel, natural gas, electric and hybrid drives can be manufactured from bumper to bumper at Volkswagen factories. As soon as developments make it possible, the first Golf with a hydrogen fuel cell will become part of the range.
    Golf GTE plug-in hybrid systemAs mentioned, the new Golf GTE is driven by a 148-hp TSI turbocharged and direct-injection gasoline engine and a 101-hp electric motor. The electric motor is supplied with power from a high-voltage 8.8 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that is charged from a socket behind the VW logo in the radiator grille. The battery weighs 265 pounds, or about eight percent of the GTE’s 3360-pound curb weight. The GTE has a six-speed DSG® automatic transmission that was developed specifically for hybrid vehicles.
    Volkswagen integrated the electric motor in the transmission housing. Additional hybrid drive components also include the power electronics (which converts the battery's direct current to alternating current for the electric motor) and a charger. An electro-mechanical brake servo and an electric air-conditioning compressor safeguard optimal and energy-efficient operation of the brakes and air conditioning, especially for the GTE’s “e-mode”.
    The Golf GTE can be driven in various intuitively named modes. For instance, the driver can push a button to intentionally switch to the “e-mode” which makes the Golf GTE a zero-emissions vehicle. The driver can also use the button to switch to “GTE mode”, which activates the sporty side of this new Golf.
    Design and features
    The Golf GTE contains a pioneering, environmentally friendly, and sporty plug-in hybrid system. All of this is combined with a suspension that offers equally sporty handling and high levels of comfort.
    Exterior. Volkswagen Head Designer Klaus Bischoff's crew created a look that merges GTI insignia with those of the e-Golf, creating an unmistakable identity. Klaus Bischoff explains the differences: “The presence of the electric drive is visually expressed by the prominent C-signature of the daytime running lights on the Golf GTE. Meanwhile, all other front design elements bridge to the GTI.”
    In those places where red dominates on the GTI, blue is used in the GTE. Bischoff continues: “A radiator crossbar running into the headlights provides further sporty accents within the context of Volkswagen electric mobility.” Like the e-Golf, the four-door Golf GTE will launch with LED dual headlights as standard. The turn signals, parking light, and smoked numberplate lighting also use LED technology. Side skirts and a roof-edge spoiler provide further parallels with the GTI and GTD. Meanwhile, the aerodynamic 16-inch (standard), 17-inch, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels were designed especially for the GTE.
    Interior. Like the exterior, the sporty interior of the Golf GTE reveals a clear relationship to its other two GT series counterparts. However, just as on the exterior, the interior’s red accents have also turned to blue. Klaus Bischoff says: “Volkswagen's e-mobility color of blue creates attractive contrasts in the car’s seating, decorative seams, and material design. Moreover, the blue ambience lighting builds a visual bridge to the world of e-mobility.” The light blue decorative seams on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, on the edges of the floormats, on the seats, and on the shifter grip are perfectly matched with the exterior features of the Golf GTE.
    Golf GTE-specific instruments and displays
    Touchscreen. All Golf cars are equipped with a touchscreen. In the case of the Golf GTE the high-resolution 6.5-inch “Composition Media” radio system is standard. The “Discover Pro” radio-navigation system is available as an option. Both units are equipped with many additional functions on the GTE. These include a “driving range monitor", an “energy flow display”, “zero emission statistics”, “e-manager”, and—with the optional navigation system—the “360° driving range”. Additionally, all Golf GTE owners can download the “Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote” app to their smartphone free-of-charge and use it to control functions and access information.
    Driving range monitor: shows the current electric driving range of the GTE as well as the additional driving range potential from deactivating any auxiliary features that consume electricity.
    Energy flow display: shows the power flow when accelerating (blue arrows) and when braking or regenerating (green arrows) as animated graphics.
    e-manager: can program up to three departure and charging times; the Golf GTE ensures the set temperature and battery charge status at a defined time. Parallel to this, heating or cooling of the interior can be activated using standard air-conditioning while charging. Air conditioning therefore does not hinder the battery charging process, thereby extending the electric range.
    360° range: the current radius in “e-mode” is shown by the 360° range in the local map. The inner area shows the range for an outward and return trip, the outer area the range for a one-way drive. Charging stations can be displayed and incorporated in the route as intermediate stopovers.
    Car-Net e-Remote. Using the “Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote” app it is also possible to make several of these settings and requests for information via a smartphone or the Car-Net website. In detail, the app can program the departure time, air conditioning, charging the battery, accessing vehicle data, and the vehicle's status.
    Power meter. The power meter supplements the tachometer on the left-hand side of the instrument cluster; it displays how much system power is currently being used or the intensity of battery regeneration. The speedometer remains on the right-hand side. The color display which is located between the power meter and the speedometer (multifunction display “Plus”) also permanently shows the electrical driving range and the current operating mode.


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