Jump to content
  • Geneva Auto Show

    Sign in to follow this  
    William Maley

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

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

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


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

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

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

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

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

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

    William Maley

    The return of the small four-seat cabriolet to Mercedes-Benz

    It has been quite awhile since Mercedes-Benz has offered a compact four-seater convertible after the CLK was discontinued in 2009. But Mercedes is making a comeback into this class with the new C-Class Cabriolet.
     
    There isn't any real surprises in terms of the design. It looks like the C-Class Coupe minus the roof. The cabrio top is based on the one found on the S-Class Cabriolet and comes in four colors (black, dark brown, dark blue, and dark red). The top can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds and speeds up to 31 mph.
     
    The interior features leather that can reflect heat, Mercedes' AirScarf that blows hot air around the neck to make it more comfortable when the top is down; and a clever climate control system that directs air to the steering wheel when the top is down.
     
    There will be two models on offer. They include,
    Mercedes-Benz C300: Turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder, 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque Mercedes-AMG C43: Biturbo 3.0L V6, 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque

    Both engines come with a nine-speed automatic. The C300 comes with rear-wheel drive standard and 4Matic all-wheel drive is optional. The C43 gets all-wheel drive standard.
     
    Mercedes says the C300 will be available at dealers later this summer. The C43 will follow in the fall.
     
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    The new C-Class Cabriolet
    Unlimited opening times

    February 29, 2016 - Stuttgart
     

    Mercedes-Benz is launching into the open-air season with the first cabriolet based on the C-Class, thereby rounding off its range of cabriolets with a classic fabric soft top. The new cabriolet's design interprets modern luxury with a youthful touch. Featuring plenty of high-quality details, its distinctive character is most apparent when the top is down. The cabriolet comes standard with AIRSCARF neck-level heating and optionally available AIRCAP automatic draft stop system for exceptional comfort during open-top driving 365 days a year. Efficient, powerful engines and a suspension designed for dynamics (with optional AIRMATIC air suspension on the C300) ensure sportily agile handling. The new 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission is standard for all engine variants. Also on board: proven assistance systems and state-of-the-art infotainment. The new C-Class Cabriolet launches in late summer 2016.
     
    "Our new C-Class Cabriolet is the entry into the world of premium cabriolets from Mercedes-Benz. Sporty and youthful in character and styling, it offers unadulterated open-air driving pleasure all year round," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
     
    Sporty and youthful
    As the new entry-level model into the cabriolet world of Mercedes-Benz, the C300 Cabriolet, available in both rear-wheel-drive and 4MATIC drivetrains, is a consistent embodiment of the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy: sensual purity as the definition of contemporary luxury. It exhibits an independence of character with a visibly sporty expression and youthfully fresh appeal.
     
    With its top up, the profile of the new two-door cabriolet resembles that of the
    C-Class Coupe with virtually identical basic dimensions: with a striking front end featuring a diamond radiator grill, standard LED headlamps, long hood and high beltline. Its tightly stretched soft top with glass window transitions harmoniously into the distinctly styled rear end, which has a highly sporty look with its wide shoulders and flat LED tail lights.
     
    At the sides, an elongated dropping line extending over the rear wheel arch lends an emphasis typical of Mercedes-Benz design. Thanks to its 0.6-inch lower suspension as standard compared with the sedan, the vehicle already gives a sporty impression with its standard 18-inch standard tires, underlining the sporty character of the Cabriolet.
     
    AMG version with distinct looks
    The same dropping line is taken up by the new Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet which has an even sportier look with its distinct AMG design and specific light-alloy wheels. It thus underscores the progressive nature and performance of the brand.
     
    Exterior and interior from the same mold
    With the roof open, the meticulously coordinated harmony between exterior and interior design becomes apparent. High-grade details include chrome trim on the A-pillar and windscreen as well as a beltline molding, which extends as far as the soft-top compartment, which it borders with a broad chrome trim.
     
    Premium-class fabric soft top
    The fully automatic multi-layer fabric acoustic soft top comes standard in black and is additionally available in dark brown, dark blue and dark red. The multi-layer acoustic soft top noticeably improves speech intelligibility, including at high speeds, and provides better insulation from disruptive ambient noise. The acoustic soft top thus offers optimal climate comfort and quiet-running characteristics.
     
    Based on the S-Class Cabriolet, the soft top also meets high quality standards in terms of durability and function. It can be opened and closed in less than 20 seconds up to a speed of 31 mph. After opening, it folds down quietly and carefully and is stored in the soft-top compartment in the trunk. In terms of its shape and color, the cover of the soft-top compartment is an integral part of the interior and is made of the same material as the beltline.
     
    Interior – modernity and lifestyle
    The occupants enjoy an ambience that, while based on the interior of the C-Class sedan, offers a fresh interpretation with iconic cabriolet features. Especially high-grade materials and build quality give the interior a modern feel of sportiness. The equipment includes heat-reflecting leather in a total of five color shades (optional) as well as a curved switch in matte silver chrome in the center console for opening and closing the fully automatic cabriolet soft top. Based on the Coupe, the sport seats feature muscular side bolsters and organically integrated head restraints as well as standard AIRSCARF neck-level heating. Automatic belt extenders equipped as standard help the occupants with buckling up.
     
    The individual rear seats offer a through-loading feature and can be split 50:50 for everyday practicality and can be individually folded down.
     
    AMG with special details
    The interior of the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet reinforces the consistently dynamic bias of the performance brand with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a committed driving style, the multifunction sport steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching.
     
    Individual highlights
    The Cabriolet already comes as standard with a high equipment specification, which is augmented by a wide range of individualization options (some examples: 13 upholstery variants, seven trim variants, four soft-top colors, twelve paint finishes – including a matte finish, leather-covered instrument panel). The roof liner of the soft top is available in black, porcelain and crystal grey. Numerous trim elements in sporty aluminum, carbon fiber or silver fiber glass are complemented by authentic open-pore wood in shades of brown and black.
     
    The AMG-inspired “Sport Package” is available as an alternative to underline the dynamism of the Cabriolet. It differs by virtue of exterior features such as special bumpers and sills with AMG bodystyling, a diamond radiator grille with pins in chrome and 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels. In the interior, the Sport Package comes with sporty, exclusive highlights, including a multifunction sports steering wheel with flattened bottom section as well as AMG sports pedals. Mechanically, the Sport Package gains a sport suspension and larger machined front brakes with Mercedes-Benz branded calipers.
     
    At the market launch an Edition 1 C-Class Cabriolet will be available in limited supply on rear-wheel-drive and 4MATIC versions of the C300. With a host of perfectly coordinated equipment lines, it combines sportiness with lifestyle, thus perfectly fitting with the sporty-modern look of the new cabriolet.
     
    Summer is included
    Customers opting for a cabriolet like to drive with the top down as often as possible. As in the E- and S-Class Cabriolets, all occupants can enjoy maximum open-air comfort thanks to AIRCAP and AIRSCARF, which make the joys of open air driving pleasant even at low temperatures.
     
    Inconspicuously integrated into the roof frame, the optional electric AIRCAP system was specially developed for Mercedes-Benz cabriolets and is coupled to an electric wind blocker behind the rear seats, which reduces the interior turbulence for the rear passengers at the press of a button. AIRCAP is part of the Premium Package. In combination with standard AIRSCARF, these systems extend the open-top driving season to the entire year.
     
    Alternatively, there is also a standard manual folding wind blocker behind the front seats.
     
    Suspension: sportily agile and comfortable
    The suspension offers a high level of comfort with low road roar and tire vibration characteristics while ensuring agile driving dynamics – the basis for driving enjoyment. The suspension on the Cabriolet, which is 0.6-inches lower in comparison with the sedan, comes as standard with steel springs with a selective damping system. The sport suspension, included with the Sport Package on the C300 RWD and 4MATIC, has firmer springing and damping, including the Sport Direct-Steer system, making for even more agile handling.
     
    Equipped as standard with the AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive three-stage adjustable damping, the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet has all the right ingredients to deliver outstanding driving dynamics and exceptionally high comfort on long journeys. The front axle has been provided with stiffer steering knuckles, improved elastokinematics and increased negative camber. In combination with the likewise newly developed wishbone guide bearings, this design results in significantly more agile cornering plus more precise and direct suspension feedback from the road. The driver can select the automatic adjustable damping system's three suspension modes "Comfort," "Sport" and Sport Plus" using a button on the center console to fully customize the driving impression.
     
    Riding on air
    The C300 Cabriolet is optionally available with AIRMATIC air suspension, which is unique in the C-Class segment. Its electronically controlled, continuously adjustable damping on the front and rear axles ensures low road roar and tire vibration characteristics in every situation.
     
    DYNAMIC SELECT – standard on all C-Class Cabrios – allows the driver to choose their desired setting: sporty, comfortable or fuel-efficient. To this end, the driver can select one of five transmission modes using the DYNAMIC SELECT switch: "ECO," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport Plus" and "Individual." Selecting "Individual" allows the driver to customize the vehicle settings to suit their personal preferences.
     
    Dynamic: 4 and 6-cylinder engines and, for the first time, 4MATIC
    Powerful and efficient gasoline engines with ECO start/stop function and an extensive 4MATIC range make for sporty performance and driving pleasure all year round.
     
    The new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is standard on all engine variants.
     
    Light and safe bodyshell
    In a cabriolet, the lack of a roof often results in reduced body stiffness. This fact was taken into consideration by the designers in developing the C-Class sedan. This allowed them to adapt the bodyshell at the front end and on the floor to meet the particular needs of the Cabriolet. Consequently this model features an exemplary stiff design of the kind required for high driving dynamics.
     
    The Coupe's intelligent lightweight construction with a high proportion of aluminum was retained, including the fenders, hood and trunk lid.
     
    Safe semi-autonomous driving to reduce stress
    There are many safety and assistance systems based on the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive concept to choose from. ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, is included as standard. Further standard equipment includes COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. In addition to a visual proximity warning and an additional audible collision warning, it includes Adaptive Brake Assist, which can help prevent collisions by boosting the brake pressure to suit the situation. When a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 122 mph, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stationary vehicles or, in the best-case scenario, even avoiding a collision altogether. At speeds of up to 31 mph, the system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles and is thus able to help prevent rear-end collisions at up to 25 mph.
     
    The optionally available Driving Assistance package includes additional assistance systems that have been significantly extended in terms of their functions. As part of the Intelligent Drive concept, these merge data from various sensor technologies, such as radar sensors and stereo camera and thus make for significantly enhanced safety and comfort. These functions include DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection plus the Brake Assist BAS PLUS, which also offers situation-adaptive brake boosting if there is a risk of collision from crossing traffic. A further function of the Driving Assistance package is Active Lane Keeping Assist, which is capable of preventing unintentional lane departure by means of one-sided, lane-correcting application of the brakes. The system intervenes if the driver crosses a solid lane marking and can assist even in the case of discontinuous lane markings if there is a risk of collision with a vehicle in the adjacent lane.
     
    The multiplicity of assistance systems also includes a Parking Assist for semi-automated parking; a 360° camera for assistance during parking and maneuvering and Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, which allows continuous high beam by selectively blanking out other vehicles from the high-beam light cone.
     
    Safe protection
    In an accident, optimal protection is afforded by the high structural safety of the body as well as by the restraint systems, especially the comprehensive complement of airbags. These include:
    adaptive front airbags for driver and front passenger kneebags on both the driver and passenger side thorax/pelvis bags for driver and front passenger windowbags integrated in the top edges of the front door panels

    A roll-over protection system has been specifically designed for the Cabriolet. It consists of two cartridges that are fully retracted behind the rear seats and therefore invisible. If a roll-over is imminent, these cartridges are pyrotechnically fired out to provide a survival space together with the A-pillar.
     

    Sensitive climate control for open-air driving
    Specially developed for cabriolets, the climate control system responds to whether the vehicle is being driven with the roof up or down. With the roof closed, the system performs in the same way as in the Coupe. With the soft top down, the climate control system adapts by blowing warmer air onto the driver's hands on the steering wheel and deactivating the air recirculation function. The special adjustments for open-top driving make allowance for whether cooling or heating is required and respond sensitively to the transition zones in between.
     
    Vibrant infotainment experience
    Intuitive operation with animations and visual effects is offered by the infotainment system. Frontbass ensures a listening experience almost on a par with a concert hall – especially if equipped with the optional Burmester® sound system. The Frontbass system uses the space within the cross-member and side member in the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers.
     
    The navigation system, which supplies the driver with precise traffic information in real time, processes its contents interactively.
     
    The optionally available COMAND Online system provides not only a larger display of 8.4” and a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels, but offers hard-drive navigation, integral WiFi hotspot functionality and LINGUATRONIC voice control as well as many other features.
     
    Mercedes me connect: connected with the car
    Like other models, the new C-Class Cabriolet comes with an extensive range of free Standard Services and Remote Online Services as part of the mbrace connect. Standard Services include automatic emergency call, Accident Recovery as well as breakdown assistance and after-sales service. The Remote Online services make it possible at any time and from anywhere to access vehicle information such as the status of windows and doors, mileage, tire pressures and other diagnostic data.
     
    The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Cabriolet launches in late summer in both rear-wheel-drive and 4MATIC configurations. The 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet launches in the fall.

    William Maley

    Same Great Taste, Less Pain on Your Wallet

    Mercedes-Benz is taking aim at the Audi S5 and BMW 435i with the introduction of the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe.
     
    At first glance, you might be thinking this is a dyed in the wool AMG model. But you would be incorrect. This would have been part AMG Sport lineup which includes the C450 sedan and GLE450. But earlier this year, Mercedes announced that it would be shuttering the AMG Sport name and rename the models Mercedes-AMG C43 and GLE43.
     
    The C43 coupe shares the sedan's twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with 362 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system gets the power to the road. The all-wheel drive system is biased to the rear (31:69). Mercedes quotes a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph.
     
    Mercedes has equipped the C43 with some of the goodies found in the mad C63. They include the three-stage variable dampers and the three-stage stability control system. In terms of looks, the C43 isn't quite as bonkers as the C63. But it does have a more aggressive front end and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels.
     
    Mercedes will debut the C43 next month at the Geneva Motor Show. Sales begin in the fall.
     
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    New member of the C-Class Performance family
     
    Mercedes-AMG has added another model to its C-Class family: the new C43 Coupe. For a dynamic driving experience, the Affalterbach-based development teams have put together a scintillating engineering package: the 362 hp 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is combined with the new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that provides rapid gearshifts. Together with the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the model-specific chassis technology, this provides the optimum basis for high agility and exhilarating lateral dynamics. Thus the new C43 Coupe also fulfills the brand promise of 'Driving Performance' in every respect.
     
    Dynamic growth characterizes the corporate philosophy of Mercedes-AMG. A key component is the continual extension of the product range to include all-new models, which was previously not part of the portfolio. "The extension of the C- Class family to include the new C43 Coupe is another component in our growth strategy. It not only enriches the wide line-up of the C-Class family, but also starts the introduction of a whole series of new '43' models this year", says Mercedes-AMG GmbH chairman Tobias Moers. "The '43' models boast the characteristic AMG genes, which are also included in our GT and '63' vehicles, and thus consistently interpret our brand essence of 'Driving Performance' in their segment." Sports car technology and motor racing flair thus become more attainable and appeal to a broader customer base.
     
    The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine provides impressive performance with 362 hp and peak torque of 384 lb-ft, sprinting from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). The newly developed front axle, taut elastokinematics and the highly precise steering make a substantial contribution to the agile driving experience.
     
    The highlights
    3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine with modified engine control unit for increased boost and high-revving 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with double-declutching function when shifting down and exhilaratingly short response times in "Sport Plus" mode AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 31 to 69 percent (front axle to rear axle) AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive variable damping in three stages; mode can be selected via button, adopted from Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch for dynamic, individually-selectable driving experience with five drive modes and AMG-specific tuning Three-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP® Front axle with newly developed steering knuckles and load-bearing joints on the spring link. Elastokinematic adjustments to the links have been adopted from the Mercedes-AMG C63 Rear axle with elastokinematics tailored to higher driving dynamics Large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 14.2", and with a diameter of 12.6" at the rear AMG styling with distinctive front and rear apron as well as special tailpipes Diamond radiator grill with chrome-plated pins and louvers in high-gloss black 18" AMG light-alloy wheels in 5-spoke design, painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish AMG instrument cluster with checkered flag design with 180 mph scale and AMG main menu Multifunction sports steering wheel in leather with deep embossing in grip area, flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching Upholstery in MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber in black with sport seat upholstery layout and red topstitching

    AMG-specific: the 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine
    The C43's 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine has seen several technical advances including a modified boost pressure allowed AMG engineers to increase the engine's power output and torque as well as its dynamism and flexibility to AMG levels. With 362 hp and 384 lb-ft, the V6 engine sets new standards in its segment. The NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder liners is also used in the Formula One engines of the MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS team. Especially tough and wear- resistant, this coating reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminum insert in the engine cover.
     

    Short shift times, high efficiency: 9G-TRONIC
    The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the Mercedes-AMG C43. Thanks to the model-specific software application, AMG developers managed to substantially reduce the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The ability to downshift multiple gears at once allows for even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gearshifts in the "Eco" and "Comfort" modes.
     
    "Manual" mode can be enabled by pressing a button on the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can change gears using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches redline.
     
    AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with automatic variable damping
    The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe offers the optimum conditions for high driving dynamics and outstanding comfort on long journeys thanks to the standard-fit AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension. The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity.
     
    Negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics and the elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. All these measures improve agility and boost the dynamics. In addition, the driver benefits from reduced body roll, higher lateral acceleration, better traction and neutral handling at the limit.
     
    The driver can select the automatic adjustable damping system's three suspension modes "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus" by pressing a button on the center console to fully customize the driving impression.
     
    Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
    With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes "Eco," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport Plus" and "Individual," the driver can tailor the characteristics of the C43 Coupe to individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. These modes modify several key parameters, including the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering.
     
    The "Sport Plus" mode in particular delivers impressive hallmark AMG dynamics: partial cylinder suppression during full-throttle gear changes by means of a precisely defined delay in both ignition timing and fuel injection allows for faster and more audible gear changes. This is perfectly complemented by the double- declutching function when downshifting.
     
    In order to increase efficiency, the ECO start/stop function and the 'sailing' function reduce fuel consumption in "Eco" mode; when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level and driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.
     
    Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sport steering
    The speed-sensitive sport steering assists the agile cornering of the new C43 Coupe with its variable ratio. It stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The servo assistance can be varied with the "Comfort" or "Sport" settings. The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized in "Individual" mode.
     
    Muscular with an emphasis on width: the exterior design
    The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is sporty in appearance, making it instantly recognizable as a member of the AMG family. Characteristic features include distinctive AMG styling as well as specific light-alloy wheels, underscoring the brand's progressive nature and performance. The engine cover has a red aluminum insert that accentuates the strengths of the six-cylinder Biturbo engine.
     
    Exterior AMG styling includes the front apron with sporty distinctive air intakes, diamond meshes, silver chrome trim, as well as the rear apron with matte iridium silver diffuser insert. The diamond radiator grill features chrome-plated pins, louvers in high-gloss black and AMG lettering. A silver-chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to various cooling modules.
     
    Additional highlights include black exterior mirror housings, high-gloss black waistline trim strip and window frame, as well as the two chrome-plated tailpipes with center divider. Further striking features come courtesy of the new "BITURBO – 4MATIC" lettering on the front fenders and the "AMG" (left) and "C43" (right) lettering on the trunk lid.
     
    Customers can choose the optional “Night Package," which adds high-gloss black front apron trim, a high-gloss black diffuser-look insert at the rear and two black tailpipes with center divider.
     
    AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish round off the design visually. Size 225/45 R 18 tires on 7.5 x 18 light-alloy wheels are fitted at the front, while the rear axle comes with 245/40 R 18 tires on 8.5 x 18 wheels. 19" light-alloy wheels in various designs are optionally available for even greater individualization.
     
    Sporty interior looks with model-specific details
    The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a spirited driving style, the multifunction sport steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching.
     
    The driver finds a secure and comfortable seating position even at speed thanks to improved lateral support provided by sport seats. The MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber upholstery and the instrument panel trimmed with MB-Tex create a sporty ambience. The man-made leather is also used on the upper edges of the body, the armrests, the door center panels and the center console. Red contrasting topstitching, designo red safety belts and black floor mats with red edging add attractive highlights. The aluminum trim pieces with light-tone longitudinal grain embedded in the instrument panel and the doors provide effective contrasts.
     
    The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimized for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look and feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 4.5-inch multifunction color display, RACETIMER and 180 mph scale in checkered-flag design.

    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

    Maserati reveals the Levante's exterior

    Maserati was hoping to keep the Levante - their first SUV - under wraps before its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. But Dutch publication Autoweek published leaked images of the Levante earlier today. That caused the Italian automaker to reveal the Levante's exterior and spill some information on it.
     
    As we have reported previously, the Levante would not be using any of the design found the on Kubang concept. Instead, the Levante looks like a Ghibli or Quattroporte hatchback or wagon. Up front is the distinctive grille that Maserati has been using on their current lineup, along with narrow headlights and sculpted hood. The back end is very reminiscent of the Porsche Cayenne.
     
    Maserati describes the Levante's chassis as combining "the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride." We're doubting most owners of the Levante are planning to go off-road.
     
    Maserati has also revealed that the Levante will have an eight-speed automatic and Q4 all-wheel-drive system.
     
    We'll have more details on the Levante next month.
     
    Source: Maserati, Autoweek.nl
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Maserati Levante
    Maserati's first SUV receives its eagerly-awaited world unveiling at the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show

    Maserati reveals the exterior form of the Levante, the first SUV in the brand's more than one hundred year history: the new model completes the existing range of saloon and sports cars, extending the offering together with the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio models.
    The design of the Levante features clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character: the aggressive front introduces new, tapered headlights separated into two elements, with the upper headlight unit connected to the radiator grille. Maserati's design signature is clearly visible on the sides: the three iconic air vents on the front wings, the trapezoidal C-pillar with the “Saetta” logo and the large, frameless door windows. The rear is dominated by the very tapered back window and streamlined shape, both typical of a high-performance sports car.
    At a technical level, the Levante's chassis is designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride. The new SUV boasts a high level of content as standard, with all versions featuring: sophisticated electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, which can be set on several levels, “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmission specially calibrated for the brand's new SUV.
    When it comes to power units, the Levante is equipped with both petrol and diesel engines that are all Euro6-compliant.
    The Maserati Levante is built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin; the first cars have already come off the assembly line with the launch planned for this spring in Europe, to be followed by the rest of the world later this year.

    William Maley

    Lexus gives us some details on the hybrid LC

    Wait, didn't Lexus only tease the LC 500h a few days ago? Yes, they did. But today, the Japanese luxury brand has decided to spill the beans on the hybrid version of the LC before its official debut in Geneva next month.
     
    The big news about the LC 500h is the Lexus Multi-Stage Hybrid System. This new system is built specifically for performance vehicles. For the LC 500h, the system includes a 3.5L V6 (295 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque), an electric motor, a hybrid transmission, and a lithium-ion battery pack. Total output stands at 354 horsepower and Lexus claims a 0-60 MPH time of sub-five seconds.
     
    The hybrid transmission is an interesting piece to the Multi-Stage Hybrid System. It uses a four-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor that Lexus claims "much more direct connection between the accelerator pedal and vehicle acceleration." How does the hybrid transmission accomplish this? We're not fully sure and Lexus doesn't have a clear enough explanation in their press release. If Lexus provides an explanation in the near future, we'll update this piece.
     
    The LC 500h uses Lexus' new GA-L platform that uses a combination of high-strength steel and aluminium suspension components in an effort to reduce weight. Other weight saving tricks include aluminum hood and fenders; aluminum front suspension towers, carbon fiber door structures; and an optional carbon fiber roof.
     
    No mention of when we'll see the LC 500h at dealers.
     

     
    Source: Lexus
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


    World Premiere of the All-New Lexus LC 500h Features Next-Generation Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System and an All-New Platform
    Dynamic luxury - a more elegant, evocative, and fluid interpretation of Lexus L-finesse design philosophy Brand-new Multi Stage Hybrid System offers exhilarating performance and greater efficiency Ultra-rigid yet light body with multi-link suspension for precision handling

    GENEVA, Feb. 18, 2016 – First revealed by Akio Toyoda at the 2016 North America International Auto Show, the styling, performance and craftsmanship of the new Lexus LC 500 clearly position it as the flagship coupe of the Lexus lineup. Inspired by the acclaimed LF-LC concept that debuted in 2012, the LC represents a shift in Lexus’ engineering processes and design direction, and marks the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand.
     

    Following the world premiere of the V8-powered LC 500, Lexus introduces the All-New LC 500h which features the world’s first Multi Stage Hybrid System, the next generation of hybrid powertrains specifically designed for performance vehicles.
     
    Seduction & Technology Design
    Combining avant garde elegance with dynamic coupe proportions, the seductive form of the new LC 500h remains remarkably true to the key design elements, proportions and visual dynamism of the award-winning LF-LC concept car that inspired it.
     
    The LC 500h is enveloped by a glamorous exterior which represents a uniquely evocative, more fluid interpretation of Lexus' L-finesse design philosophy. With a long 2,870 mm (112.9 in) wheelbase, compact 920 mm (36.2 in) front and 970 mm (38.2 in) rear overhangs and a notably low bonnet line, the coupe's athletic profile is characterised by a sweeping roofline which tapers from the central position of the occupants, creating a uniquely human-centred silhouette.
     
    Front and rear wings that house wide, large diameter wheels flare away from the centre position of the occupants, whilst the door sides are pulled inwards to create a powerfully three-dimensional form—in plan view, a new spindle architecture shape which mirrors Lexus' signature spindle grille. To the front, the latest interpretation of that spindle grille motif features chrome trim and a radical new mesh design of varying visual tension. The LC 500h's unique lighting signature combines independent, arrowhead Daytime Running Lights (DRL) with a triple LED headlamp unit, the ultra-compact engineering of which has helped to maintain the coupe’s low bonnet line and short front overhang.
     
    To the rear, the sweeping cabin roofline tapers between broad, muscular rear wheel arches to reinforce the LC 500h's wide, stable stance. The rear lamp signature is equally unique, a sequence of increasingly strongly lit L-shaped LED lamps that creates an exceptional three-dimensional impression. The outstanding driving dynamics of the LC 500h are also reflected in subtle yet functional aerodynamic measures. Front and rear wheel arch venting improves high speed stability, and a rear diffuser and active rear spoiler further manage airflow during performance driving.
     
    The new LC 500h will be available with a choice of bespoke, 20" cast and 20" and 21" forged aluminium alloy wheels.
     
    Driving Pleasure & Comfort
    The all-new interior design of the LC 500h reflects the exterior design theme of dynamic luxury with a cabin that combines all the elegance, quality and sophistication of a Lexus premium coupe with high driving pleasure and comfort for passenger. Whilst the front passenger area is shaped to spread out towards the front, creating a comfortable and welcoming space, the driving position has been painstakingly created to invite spirited driving, and promote driver confidence through an intuitive control layout and ergonomic excellence.
     
    The driver's hip point has been engineered to be as close as possible to the coupe's centre of gravity, maximising feedback from the vehicle to the driver. And the holding performance of the seats has been enhanced through a renewed focus on the cross-section design. Particular attention has been paid to the design of a new steering wheel, which features a change in cross-sectional shape throughout the rim circumference to accommodate variations in grip and the twisting of the wrist during operation. And new, larger magnesium alloy paddle shifters have been shaped for easier reach and a more positive action.
     
    All information displays have been carefully arranged in order of importance by their proximity to the driver's sight line. The instrument binnacle itself houses a variation of the innovative driver's meter with moving centre ring from the LFA, and the centre console features a next-generation touch pad for the Remote Touch Interface (RTI).
     
    The 2017 Lexus multimedia package debuts with the LC, and features faster, more flexible software enabling future enhancements and an updated graphic user interface. Listeners will also be treated to an exceptional audio experience inside the cabin: in addition to the available audiophile-worthy Mark Levinson audio package, a new premium Pioneer audio system comes as standard equipment.
     
    Throughout the new interior, the quality and finish of upholstery, hand-stitched leather centre console and dash pad, and drape forming Alcantara door trim, reflect a level of Takumi craftsmanship and attention to detail for which Lexus is globally renowned.
     
    Multi Stage Hybrid System
    The Multi Stage Hybrid System was developed with opposing goals in mind: to create a hybrid with a more sporting and engaging driving experience by closely aligning engine speed with throttle inputs, and to achieve the best possible balance of power and fuel consumption.
     
    The new Multi Stage Hybrid System marries the elements of a traditional full hybrid powertrain -including a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine, a powerful electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack to a 4-speed automatic gearbox mounted at the rear of the hybrid transmission. The electric motor generates better acceleration feel than a conventional engine, and adding physical gears more closely aligns engine rpm with the driver’s inputs. The result is a much more direct connection between the accelerator pedal and vehicle acceleration, and 0-100 km/h times well into the sub-5 second range
     
    The Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System also features ‘M’ Mode—the first driver-initiated gear shifts offered on a Lexus full hybrid powertrain. ‘M’ Mode gives drivers the ability to initiate direct and responsive gear shifts for the most sporting and engaging drive yet from a Lexus hybrid. A new lightweight and compact electric motor and a lithium-ion battery offset the weight of the added automatic transmission, and so the Multi Stage Hybrid System weighs the same as the current hybrid powertrain—an amazing feat of engineering.
     
    All-New Platform
    Heralding a new generation of more engaging and responsive vehicles, the new LC 500h has been designed to offer customers a significantly sharper, more refined driving experience. It combines the superior ride quality befitting a flagship luxury sports coupe with an engaging, dynamic drive and a depth of character unlike that of any previous Lexus.
     
    The LC 500h is the first Lexus to benefit from the company's all-new, premium rear-wheel drive platform; part of a new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L). The underpinnings of this new coupe will become the blueprint for future front-engine/rear-wheel drive Lexus models.
     
    Platform design is fundamental to dynamic handling characteristics. At the outset, Lexus engineers focused on what they refer to as the LC 500h's “inertia specification”, placing most of the vehicle mass, including the engine and occupants, as low and centralised as possible within the chassis.
     
    The powertrain mass is located behind the front axle line creating a “front mid-ship” layout while very short front and rear overhangs push the large diameter tyres to the vehicle extremities. The wheels are shod with run-flat tyres that eliminate the weight and weight-distribution penalty of a full-size spare tyre, while driver hip and heel points have been substantially lowered.
     
    The centre of gravity has been further lowered by the introduction of numerous technical innovations which reduce the body weight of the LC 500h. These include aluminium front hood and fenders, aluminium door skins mounted on a carbon fibre structure, a carbon and glass composite boot lid, aluminium front suspension towers, ultra-compact LED headlamps, available forged alloy wheels and carbon fibre roof.
     
    The extensive use of strategically located high-tensile steel body structures reduces weight, improves weight-distribution and increases body rigidity, all of which promote consistent, predictable handling behaviour and sharper steering responses.
     
    Particular attention has been paid to the development of the LC 500h's multi-link front suspension system, adopted to allow for the vehicle's large diameter wheels while at the same time accommodating a very low bonnet line.
     
    The system features two upper and two lower control arms, with double ball joints on each arm. This arrangement optimises suspension geometry to facilitate precise control from driver inputs and road conditions, creating a more precise steering response.
     
    Optimising the sharpness in both steering and suspension movement, sprung weight has been reduced as much as possible through the extensive use of lightweight, forged aluminium componentry. And the system demonstrates exceptional rigidity under lateral g loading.
     
    In combination, these chassis and suspension development measures offer an entirely natural, non-taxing driving experience which combines sharp responses, exceptional handing balance and straight line stability with the ride comfort appropriate to a Lexus flagship coupe.
     
    Class-Leading Safety Standards
    The new LC 500h is fitted, as standard, with the Lexus Safety System +, a newly developed portfolio of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of traffic situations.
     
    Combining a camera and millimetre-wave radar for a high level of detection performance, the Lexus Safety System+ features a Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with a pedestrian detection function, which helps prevent or mitigate the severity of collisions, All-speed Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlamp technology.

    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

    For those who long for a more powerful V8 in the Flying Spur

    When picking a Bentley Flying Spur, an important question comes up: Do you go for the V8 or the W12 engine? Bentley is going to make that question a bit harder to answer as they have announced a new version of the Flying Spur called the V8 S which boasts slightly more power.

    Okay, we're being a bit tongue in cheek here. The V8 S is actually being positioned as a more of a driver's car and it begins under the hood. The twin-turbo 4.0L V8 has been reworked slightly to produce 521 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the standard V8, the V8 S is has 21 more horsepower and an additional 15 pound-feet. Despite the increase in performance, Bentley says the Flying Spur V8 S fuel economy isn't drastically affected.

    Other mechanical changes for the Flying Spur V8 S include a rear-biased all-wheel drive system (40:60 bias), unique transmission mapping, and suspension tweaks that promises a “more focused, precise driving experience.”

    The exterior gets a new black grille insert, twenty-inch open-spoke painted wheels, and a rear diffuser.

    Bentley will be showing off the Flying Spur V8 S next month at the Geneva Motor Show and deliveries begin sometime this summer.

    Source: Bentley

    Press Release is on Page 2



    Bentley Flying Spur V8 S: The Sporting Side of Luxury
    World’s most refined V8 performance sedan gets even more power and torque Outputs increase to 528 PS and 680 Nm; 0-100 km/h time just 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 306 km/h Revised suspension offers improved body control and handling without sacrificing comfort Black radiator grille, rear diffuser and new grille insert give V8 S a dramatic and purposeful appearance Unique exterior colours and interior trim options New Flying Spur V8 S makes debut at Geneva International Motor Show, 1 to 13 March
    (Crewe, 17 February 2016) Bentley Motors is today announcing the introduction of a new model to its range – the Flying Spur V8 S.



    Taking its place between the Flying Spur V8 and family flagship W12, the V8 S is tuned for power and performance, with increased engine output and revised suspension offering a more focused, precise driving experience.

    The Flying Spur V8 S features a number of sporting styling cues which hint at its new and improved sporting capabilities. A black radiator grille and rear diffuser along with a unique grille insert give the new model a dramatic and purposeful appearance to match its enhanced performance.

    Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said: “The Flying Spur remains unrivalled in its ability to combine class-leading comfort with remarkable dynamic ability. It’s the perfect choice for the customer who wants ultimate refinement as well as an exhilarating, spirited drive.”

    The Bentley Flying Spur V8 S will make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show between 1 and 13 March 2016. First customer deliveries begin in the summer.

    More Power, Sharper Handling, Same Class-Leading Comfort
    Tuned for power, Bentley’s renowned 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 S engine develops an additional 21 PS, delivering 528 PS (521 bhp / 388 kW) compared to its V8 sibling’s 507 PS (500 bhp / 373 kW). A mighty 680 Nm (502 lb.ft) is on offer from 1,700 rpm. This powers the Flying Spur V8 S to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds (0-60 mph in 4.6seconds), shaving 0.3 seconds from the V8’s already athletic sprint time. Top speed is 306 km/h (190 mph).

    The increased performance is achieved without detriment to the V8 engine’s impressive fuel economy and CO2 emissions, or its ability to cover more than 837 km (520 miles) between fill-ups. The new Flying Spur V8 S returns a combined cycle fuel economy of 10.9 L/100km (25.9 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 254 g/km.

    This combination of power, performance and economy is the result of an array of advanced technologies employed in the design of the Bentley V8 engine. Variable displacement, in which four of the eight cylinders shut down when cruising, reduces fuel consumption without any loss of refinement. When more power is required, the engine switches back automatically and seamlessly to the full eight cylinders.

    The high-technology V8 engine also features high pressure direct injection, low friction bearings, advanced thermal management, energy recuperation via the electrical charging system and innovative turbocharger packaging for greater efficiency.

    Revisions made to both the engine and transmission calibrations have sharpened throttle response and made the Flying Spur V8 S’s power accessible lower down the rev range. In ‘S’ mode, drivers will find a sharper-still throttle response and additional engine braking from the transmission. Eighth gear is locked out when ‘S’ mode is engaged and the knurled paddle shifters are harmonized with the car’s new, sportier side.

    In modern Bentley tradition, power is delivered to the road via an all-wheel-drive system with a 40:60 rear-biased torque split for a sure-footed, engaging drive in all road and weather conditions.

    Complementing these power upgrades, a new responsive suspension tuning for the Flying Spur V8 S improves handling and body control, while the aluminium double-wishbone front and trapezoidal multi-link rear self-levelling air suspension with continuous damping control ensure that the Flying Spur’s legendary refinement is maintained.

    Careful recalibration of the Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system helps improve handling performance and ensures minimal degradation in ride comfort.

    The Electronic Stability Control is also optimised for the Flying Spur V8 S. The retuned system allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds with engine torque reinstated more quickly after a system intervention. This provides the spirited driver more opportunity to exploit the full potential of the uprated chassis and increased power. Optional carbon ceramic brakes are available with red or black painted calipers.

    However, despite these performance-focussed chassis revisions, the Flying Spur V8 S retains its luxurious, limousine-smooth ride and legendary ability to transport passengers in unrivalled comfort.

    Sporting Styling Cues Signal Performance Intent
    The Flying Spur V8 S receives dark and sporting exterior highlights. Bentley’s iconic matrix grille is black as standard and together with a Beluga gloss rear diffuser give the Flying Spur V8 S a dramatic on-road presence.

    The V8 S is clearly defined with a new and exclusive front grille treatment; a combination of black grille with a body-coloured insert. V8 S badging on the rear haunch, V8 S treadplates and 20” open-spoke painted wheels further reveal the model’s identity, mirroring those of its Continental GT V8 S stablemate.

    For those wishing to display an even more extreme look, the Flying Spur V8 S can be specified with an array of aggressive, dark styling elements. Dark-tint lights (front and rear), black gloss exterior mirror covers and a unique Mulliner Driving Specification 21” black and bright machined six-spoke wheel can all be specified to menacing effect.

    Inside the cabin, changes are perfectly matched to the sporting exterior. Piano-black wood veneers and a three-spoke sports steering wheel are standard, while a knurled gear lever and gear shift paddles add tactility to the driving experience. A colour split unique to the V8 S features stunning two-tone seats with a contrasting roof centre bow. V8 S headrest stitching is also offered.

    Customer Choice Extended for Flying Spur in 2016
    To make the Flying Spur even more attractive to customers, Bentley has added an array of exceptional optional features.

    A semi-aniline hide option is now available in W12 and V8 S models. The highest quality hide available in the automotive industry, it gives the cabin an even more comfortable, luxurious and natural feel.

    Contemporary new straight-fluting on the leather seats adds visual impact, while the Mulliner Driving Specification gains a small-diamond quilting pattern reminiscent of a tailored British jacket.

    Flying Spur – Exquisite, Powerful and Individual
    With its unrivalled blend of effortless driveability, exquisite craftsmanship and onboard technology, the Flying Spur rightly lays claim to being the world’s finest luxury sedan.

    Bentley’s design team has developed an athletic vehicle that combines traditional Bentley styling cues with a sporting stance. Sharp feature lines complement muscular rear haunches, while LED daytime running lights, subtle brightware elements and a choice of stylish alloy wheels afford the Flying Spur a modern, contemporary feel.

    On the inside, Bentley has created a luxurious, spacious cabin that encases advanced acoustic and electronic technologies in exquisite hand-crafted leather hides and wood veneers.

    The Flying Spur comes complete with a suite of onboard technology to make it an ideal place for work or relaxation on the move. An innovative Touch Screen Remote, deployed from the veneered rear centre console at the touch of a button, allows control of the car’s climate and infotainment systems from the comfort of the rear seat, while the optional Multimedia Specification brings an extensive Rear Seat Entertainment system.

    The Flying Spur is available with a WiFi hotspot for connectivity while travelling – confirming the Flying Spur as the ultimate car for work and relaxation.

    William Maley

    Something Wicked Comes This Way From Jaguar

    Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicles Operation (SVO) division apparently had more in store for the F-Type. Last night, Jaguar pulled the curtain back on the F-Type SVR coupe and convertible.
     
    The SVR story begins under the hood where a supercharged 5.0L V8 has been retuned to produce 575 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive transmits all of that power to the road. Jaguar quotes a 0-60 MPH time of 3.5 seconds. Top speed stands at 200 MPH for the Coupe and 195 MPH for the Convertible.
     
    SVO also put the F-Type SVR on a diet. The standard model is about 55 pounds lighter the F-Type R thanks to lightweight items such as a titanium exhaust system and lightweight twenty-inch forged alloy wheels. Add the optional Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brake system and carbon fiber roof to the SVR, and the weight loss climbs to 110 pounds.
     
    The chassis has been worked on with new dampers and anti-roll bars, stiffer rear knuckles, new calibrations for the traction and stability control systems, and wider tires. The body features a new front bumper with larger vents to improve cooling, and a new underfloor tray and rear spoiler to improve aerodynamics.
     
    Inside, the F-Type SVR gets new seats with increased bolstering, suedecloth covering for the dash, and a 770-watt Meridian surround sound system.
     
    Jaguar will officially debut the F-Type SVR next month at the Geneva Motor Show and will arrive in U.S. showrooms this summer. Prices start at $126,945 for the coupe and $129,795 for the convertible (includes a $995 destination charge.
     
    Source: Jaguar
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Jaguar Introduces Ultra-High Performance F-TYPE SVR Ahead of Geneva Debut
    Acceleration from 0-60mph takes just 3.5 seconds2 With a top speed of 200mph2 for the Coupe, the F-TYPE SVR is the fastest series production vehicle to be produced by Jaguar Cars Supercharged 5.0-liter V8 develops 575HP and 516-lb.ft. of torque Developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations to be lighter, quicker, faster and more powerful than the F-TYPE R while remaining tractable and useable day-to-day The F-TYPE SVR is the first Jaguar to wear the SVR badge Optional Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brake system delivers exceptional fade resistance and a 46-lb (21kg) reduction in unsprung mass Whole vehicle weight saving of 55-lbs (25kg) compared to the 17MY F-TYPE R, and up to 110-lbs (50kg) with options including the CCM brake system, carbon fiber roof panel and carbon fiber pack Enhanced aerodynamics package of front bumper and splitter, flat underfloor, rear venturi and carbon fiber active rear spoiler reduce lift and drag Inconel Titanium exhaust system delivers an even more purposeful, harder-edged sound - and a 35-lbs (16kg) weight saving Bespoke calibrations for the Quickshift transmission and the Electric Power-Assisted Steering, Adaptive Dynamics, Torque Vectoring, Dynamic Stability Control and All-Wheel Drive systems Upgraded chassis featuring new dampers and anti-roll bars, wider tires, lightweight 20-inch forged wheels and new, stiffer rear knuckles Unique SVR seats with Lozenge Quilt pattern, suedecloth-covered instrument binnacle and center console, SVR steering wheel and anodized aluminum paddle shifters Customers may specify and order their F-TYPE SVR now, ahead of the global auto show debut at the Geneva Motor Show, March 1 Deliveries of the F-TYPE SVR will begin from Summer 2016 Priced from $125,950 for the Coupe and $128,800 for the Convertible3

    (MAHWAH, N.J.) - February 16, 2016 - Jaguar today digitally revealed the F-TYPE SVR, an even more extreme version of the already popular sports car and its first to wear the high-performance SVR badge, ahead of its auto show debut in Geneva on March 1. Developed to exploit the lightweight aluminum sports car's full potential while retaining its inherent tractability and day-to-day usability, the Jaguar F-TYPE SVR will sprint to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds2 and, in coupe trim, joins an elite club of cars capable of accelerating to 200 mph1,2.
     

    By exploiting the fundamental capability engineered in to the F-TYPE from day one, the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division developed the brand's lightest, quickest, most powerful F-TYPE and its fastest and most powerful series production road car ever with functional enhancements to the chassis, driveline and aerodynamics.
     
    The F-TYPE R is already widely recognized in the sports car segment and represented the starting point for development of the more extreme F-TYPE SVR. Everything which contributes to the vehicle's performance and handling dynamics has been meticulously re-evaluated, re-engineered and optimized by SVO, adding an even higher performance version of the F-TYPE to 2017 model year line up.
     
    POWERTRAIN, DRIVELINE AND CHASSIS
    The F-TYPE SVR features the latest evolution of the Jaguar Land Rover 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine, delivering the ultimate in performance and driver reward. Changes to the engine's calibration - adopted from the F-TYPE Project 7 - deliver power and torque ratings of 575HP and 516-lb.ft. of torque.
     
    Enlarged air intakes in the front bumper, together with revised charge air coolers and redesigned hood vents, deliver corresponding improvements in cooling system performance and powertrain efficiency.
     
    A new lightweight Inconel titanium exhaust system has been fitted as standard which withstands higher peak temperatures, reduces backpressure and eliminates 35-lbs (16kg) of mass from the vehicle. In addition to titanium's inherent lightness over stainless steel, the exhaust system in the SVR features a unique split muffler design -- opposed to a single box in the F-TYPE R - which further reduces weight and facilitates the design of the rear under-tray for enhanced aerodynamic performance.
     
    Compared to the stainless steel system on the F-TYPE R, Inconel's increased thermal resistance meant that wall thickness could be reduced to just two-tenths of an inch or 0.6mm. This technology was adopted by the C-X75 concept supercar and was developed by Jaguar as a road car technology through that program.
     
    The new exhaust system also delivers an even more distinctive, purposeful, harder-edged exhaust note, especially once the active valves in the rear silencers open - this happens at lower engine speeds to enhance the vehicle' performance character even further. For additional lightweighting, the valves themselves are also made from titanium. The four round tailpipes are distinguished by discreet SVR branding.
     
    To make the most of the increased engine output, the eight-speed ZF® Quickshift transmission has been recalibrated to reduce shift times and increase torque availability during launch. Together with the extra grip delivered by the wider, 265- and 305-section front and rear tires (10mm wider than the F-TYPE R), and optimization of the torque on-demand all-wheel drive system's Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) control technology, the F-TYPE SVR is able to deliver outstanding launch behavior and immediacy of response, with sprints to 60 mph from a standing start in just 3.5 seconds2.
     
    The changes to IDD and additional refinements to the rear electronic active differential (EAD) ensure optimum torque distribution between the front and rear axles and across the rear axle. Combined with a unique calibration for the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system4, this enhances traction and dynamics4 - on various surfaces and weather conditions - while preserving the vehicle's rear-wheel drive character and handling balance.
     
    Selecting Dynamic mode will enable the enthusiast driver to fully explore the capability of the
    F-TYPE SVR, especially with the DSC system set to TracDSC or switched off completely. Under these conditions, IDD will use the most extreme calibrations for the AWD system and for the EAD to fully exploit the available grip4.
     
    The enhancements made to the powertrain and driveline are matched by the modifications made to the chassis and suspension. The aluminum double-wishbone front and rear suspension equipped on the F-TYPE, as well as its standard electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system4 gave the SVO team the best possible starting point for developing the vehicle dynamics of the F-TYPE SVR.
     
    While engineers have worked to enhance the dynamic capability of the F-TYPE SVR, delivering the ultimate in chassis agility, precision, control and response, the SVO division was able to preserve the ride quality and inherent duality of character the F-TYPE is well known for; ensuring day-to-day usability and comfort have not been compromised.
     
    Immediate benefits in terms of handling were found in large part to a significant weight savings in the F-TYPE SVR. With no optional equipment, the SVR weighs in 55-lbs (25kg) lighter than the AWD F-TYPE R, and as much as 110-lbs (50kg) lighter with options such as the Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brake system and carbon fiber roof fitted. Optimized aerodynamics produce further gains in high speed drivability, a standard active rear spoiler delivers reductions in lift whether in the raised or lowered position.
     
    These fundamental improvements are matched by a raft of other hardware and software changes designed to extract the full potential from every part of the chassis. The valves inside the continuously-variable dampers have been revised and the control software - the heart of the Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics system4 - has been recalibrated. The overall effect is that both low speed comfort and high speed control are improved.
     
    The rear knuckle is also completely new. Now an intricate, weight-optimized aluminum die casting, the design of the part enables a 37 percent increase in camber stiffness and a 41 percent increase in toe stiffness, which translates into greater control of the tire contact patch and an even more connected steering feel.
     
    While the rear anti-roll bar has been thickened, the front anti-roll bar diameter has been reduced slightly. Together with the revised damper control software, a unique tune for the Torque Vectoring system which is designed to enable more precise control of the braking applied to the inner wheels, the changes mitigate understeer - even at high corner entry speeds.
     
    Fitted as standard with the Super Performance braking system featuring large, 380mm and 376mm front and rear steel brake discs, the F-TYPE SVR can be specified with the Jaguar Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) braking system. Featuring even larger 398mm and 380mm discs and six- and four-piston monobloc calipers, the CCM system delivers exceptional braking performance with outstanding fade resistance, while the brake prefill system ensures consistent pedal feel, stop after stop.
     
    Wider, specially-developed Pirelli P Zero 265/35/ZR20 and 305/30/ZR20 tires provide exceptional levels of grip with no detriment to ride quality or refinement compared to narrower tires. The range of 20x9J and 20x11J forged aluminum wheels deliver weight savings of up to 30.4-lbs (13.8kg) per vehicle, while an open spoke design improves brake cooling. Exclusive to the F-TYPE SVR, Coriolis wheels come standard in Satin Technical Grey and are optional in Gloss Black, and - for models fitted with the CCM braking system - Maelstrom wheels are available with a Satin Black polished finish.
     
    AERODYNAMICS
    Tasked with solving the often conflicting requirements of reducing drag and reducing lift, the SVO team designed a full suite of features which work together to improve dynamics, stability, performance and efficiency.
     
    To cut drag, the front bumper was extended outward to mask as much of the wheels as possible. This helps the airflow to remain attached to the sides of the car, reducing drag.
     
    The front valance and front undertray also contribute to drag reduction, but do much more to improve engine cooling as well. The louver design of the new hood vents uses the flow of air over the hood to help extract more hot air from the engine compartment, managing engine temperatures under load.
     
    Apertures in the wheelarch liners help the high pressure air to escape through the fender vents, smoothing airflow and helping to reduce front-end lift.
     
    An under-floor tray beneath the rear suspension accelerates the airflow, reducing pressure and therefore reducing lift. Aerodynamics are further enhanced by the rear venturi. Integrating this feature was only possible because of the design of the lightweight Inconel titanium exhaust system; using two individual rear silencers instead of a single transverse silencer enabled the venturi to be neatly packaged between them.
     
    The single most effective device developed for the F-TYPE SVR is its deployable rear spoiler; the highly optimized design is both more effective and more aerodynamically-efficient in both raised and lowered positions.
     
    With the car in normal mode, the spoiler deploys once vehicle speed reaches 60mph and 70mph for the Convertible and Coupe respectively2. The spoiler will also deploy automatically whenever the driver selects Dynamic mode. In this raised position, the spoiler, together with the other aerodynamic enhancements, enable a reduction in the drag and lift coefficients of the F-TYPE SVR by 2.5 percent and 15 percent respectively compared to the F-TYPE R with its spoiler deployed. When the spoiler on the F-TYPE SVR is in the lowered position, the corresponding improvements are 7.5 percent and 45 percent.
     
    Exterior design options to complement the carbon fiber active rear spoiler include a carbon fiber roof panel on the coupe and a carbon fiber pack comprising the front chin spoiler, hood louvers, side vents, rear venturi blade, door mirror caps, as well as roll hoops for the convertible model.
     
    INTERIOR
    A bespoke interior features exquisite detailing and the latest Jaguar infotainment system which support wearable technology make the F-TYPE SVR even more desirable.
     
    The cabin gains cosseting 14-way SVR performance seats finished in Jet leather with a distinctive Lozenge Quilt pattern, contrast stitching and micro-piping and headrests embossed with the SVR logo. Customers also have the option of Siena Tan or Red leather upholstery.
     
    The SVR Jet leather and optional Jet leather and suedecloth steering wheels feature black painted spoke outers and contrast stitching in a range of four colors. The unique anodized aluminum shift paddles are larger than those in other F-TYPE models to make changing gear even more instinctive.
     
    The driver-focused theme of the 'one-plus-one' layout is enhanced with a suedecloth covering for the instrument cluster and center console, reminiscent of the F-TYPE concept CX-16.
     
    The 770W Meridian surround sound audio system, touch-screen navigation and infotainment6 with SiriusXM® Satellite Radio8 & HD Radio™ remain standard.
     
    As well as the familiar Jaguar InControl® Apps™ smartphone connectivity5 and Jaguar InControl® Protect™ emergency and breakdown call system, the F-TYPE SVR also offers the latest Jaguar InControl® Remote™ functionality, which - for the ultimate in convenience - now supports wearable technology.
     
    Partnering the InControl Remote app for iOS smartphones, is a companion app developed for the Apple Watch. Using this device, drivers can lock and unlock the doors, check key information such as fuel level or mileage, and locate the car on a map. InControl Remote even enables the driver to start the engine and set the climate control system temperature to pre-condition the cabin before the start of a journey. Nothing could be simpler.
     
    BEST-IN-CLASS COVERAGE
    From the 2016 model year forward, all Jaguar models sold in the U.S. will feature Jaguar EliteCare, a new 5-year/60,000 mile ownership package7 that includes:
    5-Year/60,000 Mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty 5-Year/60,000 Mile Complimentary Scheduled Maintenance 5-Year/60,000 Mile 24/7 Roadside Assistance 5-Year/Unlimited Mile Jaguar InControl®Remote & Protect™

    Customers may specify and order their F-TYPE SVR now, ahead of the vehicle's global auto show debut at the Geneva Motor Show, by visiting JaguarUSA.com or a local Jaguar Retailer. Customer deliveries of the F-TYPE SVR will begin from Summer 2016, priced from $125,950 for the Coupe and $128,800 for the Convertible3

    William Maley

    Lexus readies a hybrid version of the LC500 coupe

    We really shouldn't be surprised by this news, but we were. Lexus announced today they will be showing hybrid version of the recently revealed LC 500 at next month's Geneva Motor Show.
     
    The LC 500h will come with the company's next-generation hybrid powertrain, the Lexus Multi-Stage Hybrid System. Lexus is keeping quiet on the details for the new hybrid system, but rumors have the hybrid model using a V6 paired with an electric motor producing 470 horsepower or so.
     
    Expect slight changes such as discrete hybrid badging and a new instrument cluster.
     
    Source: Lexus
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Lexus at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show
    World Premiere of the LC 500h luxury coupe with next-generation Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System European Premiere of the LF-FC concept

    GENEVA, Feb. 15, 2016 -- Lexus will unveil the hybrid version of its all-new LC luxury coupe at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The LC 500h is equipped with Lexus’ next generation hybrid powertrain, the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, providing enhanced driving pleasure, more performance, and greater efficiency.
     
    The LC was first revealed at the 2016 North America International Auto Show. Its styling, performance and craftsmanship position the vehicle as Lexus’ flagship coupe. The LC also utilizes Lexus’ new architecture that promises enhanced dynamic capability.
     
    Inspired by the acclaimed LF-LC concept that debuted in 2012, the LC represents a shift in Lexus’ engineering processes and design ideologies, and marks the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand. Its outstanding visual appeal has been unanimously praised following the Detroit reveal, and recognized by professionals who granted LC EyesOn Design awards for Production Car and Best Designed Interior at the 2016 NAIAS.
     
    Lexus will also display the LF-FC concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. LF-FC is a visionary new vehicle that offers a peek into the design and technology direction of Lexus’ future flagship sedan. Initially revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the LF-FC is powered by a high output fuel cell system. It also features an advanced touchless human machine interface as well as automated driving technologies.

    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

    Subaru Finishes their Impreza Concept Hat Trick

    Subaru will complete its trifecta of Impreza concepts next month with the introduction of the XV Concept at the Geneva Motor Show.
     
    Despite the XV not using the Impreza name, it is essentially a reworked version of Subaru's compact with higher ground clearance, chunkier wheels, body cladding, and skid plates.
     
    Subaru has decided not to give us any details about the XV Concept aside from a teaser photo. But we can tell that the concept has a set of meaty wheels, skid plates, and a new grille.
     
    We'll have more details when the XV Concept is revealed on March 1st.
     
    Source: Subaru
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Subaru to Debut “Subaru XV Concept” at 2016 Geneva International Motor Show
     

    Tokyo, February 9, 2016 – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, today announced that the “Subaru XV Concept” will make its world debut at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show to be held in Switzerland (Press day: March 1 – 2 / Open to the public: March 3 – 13, 2016).
     
    The Subaru XV Concept will be unveiled at the press briefing scheduled for 11:15 AM (Central European Time) on March 1 at Subaru booth.

    William Maley

    The Ferrari FF gets updated and a new name

    The Ferrari FF was a bit of an odd duck for the brand. First introduced at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the FFmodel was a four-seater shooting brake with a 651 horsepower V12 and all-wheel drive. Five years after its debut, the Italian sports car builder is readying a refreshed version that will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. But it won't be called FF. It will be called the GTC4Lusso.
     
    At first, we thought someone had spilled some coffee on the keyboard when writing out the press release. But GTC4Lusso is the actual name of this vehicle. Ferrari says the name comes from the 330 GTC and the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso, two iconic models from the past.
     
    Compared to the FF, the GTC4Lusso is similar in profile. But the GTC4Lusso borrows a couple of design cues from the F12 Berlinetta such as the front end, deep scallops on the doors, and a large rear diffuser. As someone who liked the look of the FF, the GTC4Lusso looks a bit ungainly.
     
    The interior boasts a new dashboard with a new 10.25-inch touchscreen. A compact steering wheel is said to improve the feeling of the GTC4Lusso being sporty.
     
    Under the hood is the same 6.3L V12 engine that powered the FF. For the GTC4Lusso, power has been increased from 651 to 681 horsepower. Torque has slightly increased from 504 to 514 pound-feet. No mention of what sort of transmission the model will use. A new all-wheel drive system with four-wheel steer will keep the model going in any condition.
     
    Source: Ferrari
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    The Ferrari GTC4Lusso debuts at the Geneva Show
    Class-leading performance, versatility in all driving conditions, sublime elegance. A unique car, a whole new world.

    Maranello, 8 February 2016 – Ferrari announces the addition to its range of the Ferrari GTC4Lusso, the new four-seater which hails a major evolution of the sporting Grand Tourer concept by integrating rear-wheel steering with four-wheel drive for the first time.
     
    This is a car designed for clients wanting to experience the pleasure of driving a Ferrari anywhere, anytime, be it on short spins or long journeys, snowy mountain roads or city streets, alone or in the company of three lucky passengers. Drivers who demand exceptional power but refuse to compromise on in-car comfort, sporty elegance and impeccable detailing. In short, the GTC4Lusso brings unprecedented versatility to Ferrari driving, like the FF before it which won the Prancing Horse a new, younger client base that, significantly, also makes greater use of its cars, clocking up 30% higher mileage than average.
     
    The GTC4Lusso’s name references illustrious predecessors, such as the 330 GTC or its 2+2 sister model, the 330 GT – one of Enzo Ferrari’s favourites – and the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso, which represented a sublime combination of elegance and high performance. The number 4 alludes to the car’s four comfortable seats.
     
    Engine
    The GTC4Lusso’s 12-cylinder engine delivers smooth, consistent power, punching out a massive 690 cv at 8,000 rpm. Both its 2.6 kg/cv weight-to-power ratio and its 13.5:1 compression ratio set new records for the category. Maximum torque is 697 Nm at 5,750 rpm with 80% already available at just 1,750 rpm for superb responsiveness even at low revs. The soundtrack brilliantly reflects the car’s multifaceted personality: it is rich and powerful in performance driving and discreet yet harmonious in the city.
     
    Dynamics
    The Ferrari GTC4Lusso is an exceptionally versatile car in every kind of grip condition thanks to the Ferrari-patented 4RM Evo four-wheel drive system which is integrated with rear-wheel steering for the first time. The result is the newly-patented 4RM-S (four-wheel drive and steering) system which, based on yet another exclusive Prancing Horse patent, the latest evolution of the Slip Side Control (4.0) system, now incorporates the electronic differential (E-Diff) and the SCM-E dampers. All these sophisticated vehicle dynamics controls are seamlessly integrated by Ferrari’s proprietary software and enable the driver to effortlessly handle the GTC4Lusso’s extraordinary torque even on snow-covered, wet or low grip roads. The result is tremendous stability and a sensation of masterful control and security that translates into superior performance. The new-generation SCM-E damper control also contributes to improving performance on rough surfaces and, of course, to superior ride comfort.
     
    The GTC4Lusso’s high levels of performance are also due in part to new aerodynamic solutions, not least a new front grille with integrated air intakes to improve the efficiency of the radiating masses, the air vents on the wing that recall those of the 330 GTC, a roof-mounted rear spoiler and a new triple-fence diffuser. The combined effect of these features is a Cd value that is substantially lower than on the FF.
     
    Style
    Penned by Ferrari Design, the GTC4Lusso is a further refinement of the shooting brake coupé, reinterpreting the concept with an extremely streamlined, tapered shape that gives it an almost fastback-like silhouette.
    Its sporty soul is underscored by the forms and styling of the rear where the curve of the roof has been lowered whilst retaining enough volume to guarantee exceptional space and comfort for all four occupants, as well as an ample luggage compartment. Ferrari’s signature twin rear lights adorn the tail. These not only emphasise the car’s muscular shoulders and broaden it horizontally, but work visually with the tail pipes to lend a sense of imposing power to the rear.
     
    Dynamically chiselled crease lines create a diapason theme along the car’s flanks, breaking up the optical mass, accentuating the muscular wheelarch and imparting a sculpted athleticism.
     
    Interior
    Meticulous attention to design and carefully executed detailing has produced a cabin that is a flawless triumph of sporty luxury. Its Dual Cockpit architecture is another first, designed to enhance the shared driving experience for both driver and passenger, with the latter having their own generous optional display with a plethora of functions.
     
    That innovative architecture aside, the cabin’s most striking feature is the beautiful craftsmanship of the materials which have been painstakingly selected and combined to enrich the atmosphere on board. Generous wraparound seats guarantee all four occupants exceptional comfort and room, creating the same ambience as a luxurious living space.
     
    The GTC4Lusso also debuts the new Infotainment platform featuring a 10.25” HD screen with capacitive touch technology. The new steering wheel is more compact thanks to a smaller air bag and the integrated controls are more ergonomic than ever, making for an even sportier driving experience.
     
    The official world premiere of the GTC4Lusso will be at the Geneva International Motor Show in March, but exclusive images can be seen from today on www.ferrari.com.
     
    Ferrari GTC4Lusso brief technical specification
     
    Engine
    Type V12 – 65°
    Overall displacement 6262 cc
    Max. power output* 507 kW (690 cv) at 8,000 rpm
    Max. torque* 697 Nm at 5,750 rpm
     
    Dimensions and weight
    Length 4,922 mm
    Width 1,980 mm
    Height 1,383 mm
    Dry weight** 1,790 kg
    Weight distribution 47-53% front/rear
     
    Performance
    Maximum speed 335 km/h
    0-100 km/h 3.4 sec
     
    * With 98 RON petrol
    **With optional lightweight contents

    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

    What Opel and Vauxhall see in a futuristic sports car

    Please do not adjust your monitors. What you are looking at is the Opel (or Vauxhall) GT Concept that will make its debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show. This is GM Europe's idea of what a futuristic sports car would look like.
     
    Styling of this coupe is very striking. The classic coupe design is there with a long front and short rear. The profile is very smooth with the absence of door handles and side-view mirrors, along with seamless transition between the metal and door glass. One interesting touch on the GT Concept is a red accent strip running along the roofline to the fender. Not only does this add an interesting visual, it also hides a touchpad to open the doors.
     
    Power will come from a turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder producing 143 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed sequential gearbox and rear-wheel drive get the power to the road. It might not win any drag races, but Opel says the GT Concept can hit 60 MPH in under eight seconds and reach a top speed of 137 MPH.
     
    Source: Opel
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    The Opel GT Concept: This is How Sportscars Will Look in Future
    First appearance: World premiere at the 86th Geneva Motor Show Emotional concept: Breathtaking and puristic design Successful ancestors: Following the tradition of the Opel GT and the Monza Concept True sportscar: front mid-engine, sequential gearbox, rear-wheel drive

    Rüsselsheim. The Opel GT Concept will celebrate its world premiere at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show (March 3 to 13, 2016). This trendsetting sportscar expresses the continuous innovative strength of Opel – breathtaking in its shape, reduced to the bare essentials, pure passion. The thoroughbred athlete with a front mid-engine and rear-wheel drive is a direct descendant of the Opel GT and the Monza Concept and takes Opel’s sculptural design philosophy to the next level. The sportscar is avant-garde yet puristic, renounces everything that disturbs the pure form. The GT Concept has no door handles or exterior door mirrors.
     

    “We are taking the next step towards even more emotion and driving pleasure with the Opel GT Concept. The GT Concept shows what Opel stands for now. We are confident, ambitious, innovative and we want win over more customers with every new car,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann who is already looking forward to the world premiere in Geneva.
     
    In the best tradition: GT Concept continues philosophy of Opel Experimental GT
    The Opel GT Concept will follow in the footsteps of the famous Opel Experimental GT at the Geneva Motor Show. In 1965, only one year after the foundation of the first design studio run by a European car manufacturer, Opel presented this sleek and expressive coupé with the reliable technology of the Kadett B at the Frankfurt Motor Show. However, it was not just innovative because it was the first concept car ever presented by a European manufacturer. The GT already shone with innovations such as retracting headlamps and displayed a slim form along with perfect proportions without unnecessary decoration. The uncompromising concept by Erhard Schnell mainly wanted to be one thing – a design statement. The reactions from the public were so overwhelming that the series production Opel GT was at dealerships only three years later. The rest is history – a success story, an automotive icon.
     
    The GT Concept once again showcases Opel’s pioneering spirit. A dynamic driving machine something that is already symbolized by the red signature line that splits the vehicle body horizontally and proportions it. The distinctive red front tires – mounted on rims with a cheeky roller skates design – are reminiscent of the Opel motorbike Motoclub 500 that was also avant-garde at its time and was the proud owner of two red tires in 1928. Apart from that, the GT Concept does not have many links to the past. The long bonnet, the absence of a trunk lid, the central dual exhaust and of course, the name all refer to the original GT. Apart from that the Opel GT Concept is independent with no sign of retro-design.
     
    "We created the GT Concept to capture the bold, emotional spirit of the Opel brand. It is dramatic, sculptural and full of innovations, which is our great tradition that we intend to continue. Back in 1965, Opel developed the Experimental GT, a thoroughly modern vehicle that also boasted a pure sculptural shape. It’s certainly difficult to reinvent an icon but just as the Experimental GT was avant-garde back then, so too is this GT Concept today – absolutely pure, minimalistic, yet bold and uncompromising. This coupé impressively demonstrates the continuous development of our Design philosophy – ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German precision’,” said Mark Adams, Vice President, Design Europe.
     
    A key innovation of the Opel GT Concept are the large doors with the integrated side windows that show a seamless transition from glass to painted surfaces. Both the driver and the front passenger gain access to the unexpectedly spacious interior after pressing the touchpad for the electric doors that is integrated in the red signature line of the roof. Even tall drivers have enough room inside. The doors immerse considerably into the front wheel arches when opened. This space-saving and patented mounting allows a large opening angle – particularly in relatively tight parking spaces. The compact athlete is therefore optimized especially for urban areas. Two cameras mounted behind the wheel arches ensure a safe overview while driving in the city. They transmit their images to two monitors on the left and right-hand side of the cockpit – the days of exterior door mirrors and blind spots are therefore over. The windshield flows into a glass panorama roof enabling the occupants to enjoy a driving experience similar to that offered by a targa with a removable roof.
     
    Real sportscar: Front mid-engine, turbocharged and rear-wheel drive
    The stretched hood reveals the powertrain concept of the GT Concept: Just like the first Opel GT and US sportscar icon Corvette also made by GM it has a front mid-engine. The vehicle’s center of gravity is therefore low and central – ideal for sporty handling and excellent cornering dynamics. The Opel GT Concept has a powerful 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine based on the ultra-modern all-aluminum engine used in ADAM, Corsa and Astra. The extremely efficient direct injection gasoline unit develops 107 kW/145 hp and maximum torque of 205 Nm in its sporty trim (consumption values for the Opel GT Concept are not available yet). The turbo power is sent towards the rear axle with mechanical differential lock via a sequential six-speed transmission that is operated by shift paddles on the steering wheel. Thus, the Opel GT Concept possess traditional rear-wheel drive especially appreciated by sportscar purists. The performance of the two-seater with a total weight below 1,000 kilograms also matches this. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in less than eight seconds and has a top speed of 215 km/h.
     
    A further highlight of the Opel GT Concept are the main headlamps with integrated indicators. Thanks to ultra-modern projection technology, these shine very three-dimensionally. The next generation adaptive full LED light is obviously the perfect match for this technology. The Opel IntelliLux LED® matrix light, which allows glare-free high beam driving, already made its debut in the new Astra in 2015 and won the SAFETYBEST Award. The Opel GT Concept sees the introduction of the next stage of development of the intelligent light system. The design of the lights is rounded off by the three-dimensional design of the tail lamps that make the new GT distinctive at night.

    William Maley

    Another GTE Concept from Volkswagen, This Time In A Four-Door Coupe Guise

    Volkswagen comes to Geneva with a concept that not only slips in between the Passat and Phaeton, but one that gives a sneak peek into a future design language.
    The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is larger than the current CC in every dimension except in height. The front end has a new grille design and headlights with LEDs. Around back is styling similar to the Audi A7 with a liftback and low stance. Inside is seating for four passengers, along with large display screens for front and rear seat passengers.
    Power comes from plug-in hybrid powertrain that pairs a turbocharged 3.0L V6 and two electric motors to produce a total output of 374 horsepower. Volkswagen says the powertrain can hit 60 MPH in 5 seconds and return 118 MPG on the European cycle.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2
    SPORT COUPÉ CONCEPT GTE MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT THE GENEVA AUTO SHOW
    Four-door coupé marks beginning of a new design era at Volkswagen

    Wolfsburg/Geneva, March 2015 —Volkswagen will debut the Sport Coupé Concept GTE at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, heralding a new and progressive Volkswagen design language. “Evolution and revolution come together in the Sport Coupé Concept GTE. This concept is based on Volkswagen design DNA, which has been visibly sharpened even more. It shows how the highest-volume brand of our Group is shaping the immediate future,” says Walter de Silva, Head of Design of Volkswagen AG.
    Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Development, elaborates: “This breathtakingly dynamic coupé is unlike any other to appear in this class. The design of the Sport Coupé Concept GTE is an impressive alternative to the classic sedans of the B and C segments—it has the style of a sport coupé that is enriched by the functionality of a large hatchback and the interior space of a sedan.” Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen Brand, adds: “The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is another milestone of expressive design. With this concept car, Volkswagen is not only showing a new model’s design, but also initial glimpses of a new design era.”
    The interior of the Sport Coupé Concept GTE is as innovative as its exterior. It features extremely clean design, matchless ergonomics and new interactive interfaces between human and machine—including the use of the driver's bio-metric data and a new Active Info Display that has a 3D appearance. The upshot is an avant-garde interior ambiance that is in complete harmony with its expressive exterior design.
    Under the skin, the car is also very innovative. The GTE designation promises a plug-in hybrid drive system and that’s what this concept delivers. Volkswagen’s regular GTE models can be driven approximately 32 miles in all-electric mode and yet they can cover very long distances with confidence. GTE versions are conceivable in all vehicle classes, as demonstrated with the Cross Coupe GTE SUV concept vehicle that was shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    The Sport Coupé Concept GTE adds a new facet to its GTE philosophy. The 374-horsepower (279 kW) GTE fastback delivers the long-distance properties of a Gran Turismo while simultaneously enabling zero-emission driving, thanks to its two electric motors and externally chargeable battery. The concept car has a top speed of 155 mph and has an impressive EC average combined fuel consumption of 118 mpg.
    Volkswagen differentiates between the B, C and D segments in the mid-size and premium classes. The latest Passat, for example, is setting standards in the high-volume section of the B segment; the Volkswagen CC is positioned in the upper B segment; and the Phaeton, as a premium sedan, is in the D segment. The Sport Coupé Concept is breaking out of its current segment and into the C segment. Klaus Bischoff: “Internally, the Sport Coupé Concept GTE is a car that we position above today's Volkswagen CC. We are enriching this segment with a premium design which is as exclusive as it is dynamic, and which casts the term avant-garde in a new light.”
    Exterior design.
    The concept car is underpinned again by Volkswagen’s modular transverse matrix (MQB), which allows for great packaging and proportions. The most important dimension for the design of a car is the ratio of the exterior length to the wheelbase. The concept car is 191.7 inches long with an incredibly long wheelbase of 118.9 inches, creating an interior that is 73.7 inches long, as well as short body overhangs: 35.8 inches at the front and 44.1 inches at the back. Its low height (55.4 inches), impressive width (73.4 inches) and large 21-inch wheels give the car a spectacular stance. Yet, because of the MQB packaging, the Sport Coupé Concept GTE also offers excellent front and rear headroom and a 17.0 cubic foot trunk.
    Front end. The radiator grille, headlights and VW badge merge into a completely new interpretation of the Volkswagen front end. The designers specifically emphasized three-dimensionality. Towards its outer edges, the radiator grille borders the LED dual headlights that are framed by an aluminum radiator grille crosspiece, whose ends take an upward turn, like the winglets of a modern jet airplane. This shape is repeated on the exterior and in the interior, running as a common thread throughout the vehicle's design.
    The uppermost radiator grille crosspiece frames the inner LED modules (high beams and Daytime Running Lights); the second crosspiece wraps around the outer LED modules (low beams and DRLs). The winglets also function as DRLs thanks to integrated bands of LEDs and as turn signals by alternating the LED color at the top ends of the bands. The Sport Coupé Concept GTE‘s DRL signature is completed by the C-shaped LEDs arranged around the lower air intakes (an identifying characteristic of electric and plug-in hybrid mo­dels from Volkswagen).
    Beneath the two upper radiator grille crosspieces, there are four additional bars. Each trim piece is narrower than the one above it, and together they form a wide "V" that is framed by body-colored area of the bumper.
    Silhouette. The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is a coupé with four doors and a hatchback. This approach led to a design that emphasises long, extended lines, a low overall height and an athletic body form. The car's silhouette is uncompromised: the roofline assumes the shape of a flattened curve extending from the A-pillar—set far back for a long hood—to the rear body. The extremely low-set C-pillar, which develops seamlessly from the roofline, dominates the back end of the car. Air vents in the front fenders and hood have chrome elements that mimic the stylistic theme of the winglets around the headlights.
    The precision of the car’s design is illustrated by two elements of the car's silhouette. First, the lower window line, which looks as though it were carved into the body, is continued as a sharp edge into the front fenders. Second, the character line that runs below the window sill is the most important line on the vehicle. At the rear, it is designed as what is known as an undercut. Here, the character line is drawn slightly outward to emphasize the strong shoulder section and generate a light-refracting edge. This undercut reduces gradually as it runs towards the front of the car, where the character line extends into the front wheelarch.
    Rear section. The roofline, including the C-pillars, transitions directly into the vertical surface of the rear section, just like a classical sports car’s. The rear spoiler visually lengthens the car; laterally, the spoiler’s lower edge is continued above the taillights and directly into the character line. The roof section has a lot of tumblehome from front to rear, creating space for a muscular shoulder section, which in turn transitions into the powerfully flared wheelarches.
    Like the headlights, the LED taillights are designed to have a 3D appearance, with a light signature that apes the winglets at the front. On each side of the vehicle, the basic lighting unit consists of two glossy black elements, in which the brake light, turn signal, and rear light LEDs have been integrated. At night, the black background surfaces are not visible, which makes the illuminated LED elements appear to hover, creating an unmistakable light signature.
    Interior design
    The new interfaces in the Sport Coupé Concept GTE are appealing to the eye as well as being a high-tech tour de force. The instrument cluster is a prototype of a newly conceptualised Active Info Display with 3D graphics. The display has a 12.3-inch diagonal and was designed in such a way that the virtual space blends into the real border of the instrument cluster, via a patented ambient light effect, thus creating a free-form surface. In its basic configuration, the digital display depicts two round instruments; a power meter on the left and a speedometer on the right with a field between them for all sorts of information. The new free-form surface makes the round instruments appear to hover in virtual space. The graphics of the displays change according to the driving mode (E-mode or GTE mode).
    The central infotainment system’s touchscreen has a 10.1 inch diagonal; the area alongside this screen also features touch-sensitive slider controls for the HVAC. The rear seating area has a 12.3-inch touchscreen that serves as the media control module and is integrated between the individual seats. It can be used to operate functions that include the media library, telephone and navigation. Rear passengers can also control the two 10.1-inch screens embedded in the backrests of the front seats via this media control unit. In addition, the slider controls integrated alongside the 12.3-inch display can be used to operate the automatic climate control system, for a four-zone system.
    For the first time, Volkswagen is interfacing the car's electronics directly with the driver. Based on the driver's biometric data, the Sport Coupé Concept GTE determines, via a smartwatch or armband for measuring the driver's vital functions, whether to select a route that includes an exciting country road or a gentle route instead.
    Monitoring of biometric data begins as soon as the driver inputs the destination by voice or on the touchscreen—but only if the driver wants the data stored in the device to be used as input for the navigation system. Time and distance are secondary factors here. In this navigation mode, which is individually tailored to the driver, the sole purpose is to experience maximum driving enjoyment.
    The navigation system recommends routes that are displayed in lists or via Cover Flow; in this case, apps such as Instagram are used to show additional information and images of the individual routes. The driver can view the selected route in the infotainment system before heading out. Simultaneously, the driver gets detailed information on the type of route and on the traffic, weather and road conditions along the route.
    To get the most precise real-time information, the system evaluates car-to-car data from other vehicles that are already driving the same route ahead of the Sport Coupé Concept GTE. At the same time, the system compares route conditions to the vehicle’s status, such as remaining battery charge.
    Ambience. One unique feature inside the car is the way the line from the dash panel and door shoulders appears to wrap around the four passengers like a cocoon. The dash panel, designed with horizontal elements and leather-trimmed at the top, uniformly transitions into the front door trim panels and then into the rear doors. The dash panel itself is designed to be straightforward, clean and minimalistic. In the upper area, three slender and elegant aluminum slots function as vents, with a slender piano-black accent and another aluminum vent beneath them that spans the entire width of the dash panel.
    The center console rises towards the dash panel where it meets the infotainment system, just like a sports car. Here too, elegant gloss-black and thin aluminum surrounds are dominant styling elements. Forming a contrast to this, beneath the "hovering" design of the console, there’s a layer that looks like natural wood. The same material is found on the door panels and on the steering wheel. Among the practical details are cupholders that can warm or cool the drinks placed in them. The 6-speed DSG has shift-by-wire logic and stays in a central position, like a joystick. The R, N and D selections are activated by a flick of the wrist, while P is set by pushing a separate button that is integrated in the shift lever.
    Drive system
    The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is powered by a plug-in hybrid drive system that is both economical and sporty. The concept car uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre TSI V6 direct-injection engine that produces 295 horsepower (220 kW) and maximum torque of 369 pound feet. The electrical components consist of a lithium-ion battery that’s housed in the center tunnel and two electric motors. The 54-hp (40 kW0 front motor is integrated in the 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and the rear electric motor develops 114 hp (85 kW). The total available system power is 374 hp (279 kW).
    If necessary, the system’s power can be distributed to all four wheels thanks to the rear electric motor and an "electric driveshaft". In the sporty GTE mode, the 155 mph coupé accelerates from zero to 62 mph in just 5.0 seconds. Despite this dynamic performance, the concept car has an EC combined fuel consumption of 118 mpg. In addition, the Sport Coupé Concept GTE can be driven all-electrically, with zero emissions, for a distance of at least 32 miles. The total driving range on one tank of gasoline is more than 745 miles.
    Hybrid. The concept car starts in Hybrid Mode by default. The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is then a classical full hybrid that charges the battery via regenerative braking and automatically uses the V6 engine and/or the electric motor depending on the drive situation. In this mode, the battery state of charge is kept constant; the driver can actively influence this by using the battery hold function.
    Coasting: As soon as the driver takes his or her foot off the accelerator and the battery is sufficiently charged, the gasoline engine and electric motors are shut down and disengaged from the drivetrain.
    Recuperation Mode: If the driver removes his or her foot from the accelerator or brakes when the battery is not sufficiently charged, both electric motors work as generators and feed the energy generated during braking to the lithium-ion battery. In this case, too, the V6 engine is shut down and disengaged.
    Driving with the V6 engine: When the gasoline engine alone is powering the vehicle, the concept car is purely front-wheel drive to achieve excellent fuel economy.

    "E-Mode". In E-mode, which the driver activates by button push, only the 114-hp electric motor at the rear axle provides propulsive power. In all-electric driving, the V6 TSI is decoupled from the drivetrain by disengaging the clutch, and it is shut off. As soon as the six-cylinder engine needs to be used again—due to the battery's charge state or other parameters—it is coupled to the drivetrain again within fractions of a second without any jolts. The lithium-ion battery, which has a capacity of 10.7 kWh, is responsible for supplying energy to the electric motors.
    GTE. The driver uses the GTE button to switch to the most dynamic side of the vehicle. This makes the throttle, transmission and steering characteristics even sportier. In addition, the V6 engine and the electric motors work together to deliver the full system output and the maximum system torque.
    Battery Charge/Battery Hold. The dual-mode Battery Hold (energy content of the battery stays constant) and Battery Charge (battery is charged whilst driving) is activated via a sub-menu in the infotainment system. It serves to hold the vehicle in E-Mode, for example, when the driver knows they are about to enter an urban area.
    “Electric driveshaft” all-wheel-drive system. All four wheels are powered as soon as the system detects it is needed. In this case (and when the battery charge is low), the front electric motor is employed exclusively as a generator that is driven by the gasoline engine in order to provide the power for its counterpart at the rear axle. As the power to drive the rear axle flows electronically, the all-wheel-drive system is referred to as an “electric driveshaft”. Since the V6 engine drives the rear electric motor via the front motor, all-wheel drive is available even when the battery has a low state of charge and the car is running as a plug-in-hybrid.

    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

    Infiniti ads another subcompact luxury crossover to the fray

    Infiniti is the latest automaker wanting to join the luxury subcompact crossover craze with the reveal of the QX30 Concept at the Geneva International Motor Show.
    The QX30 Concept takes the overall design of the Q30 Concept and gives a bit of off-road flavor. Ride height has been increased to 7.1 inches and rides on a set of 21-inch wheels. The front end now sports larger air vents underneath the grille and new skid plate around back.
    "The QX30 Concept looks as capable as it is meant to be. The artistic touches we put in lift the crossover to another level from being just another utility vehicle," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director.
    Powering the concept is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder paired with a seven-speed automatic.
    Infiniti says the QX30 will be heading into producing next year, with a wide range of powerplants.
    Source: Infiniti

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Stylish and Capable: Infiniti QX30 Concept debuts in Geneva
    Infiniti's precursor to a premium compact crossover
    Sharp design, rugged looks and command sitting make QX30 Concept the ideal urban explorer
    Hints at a full range of powertrains to suit every need

    Hong Kong/Geneva – Infiniti has revealed the stylish and highly capable QX30 Concept, the design vision that will inspire a new premium compact crossover.
    Making its debut at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, the QX30 Concept cements Infiniti's ambitions to expand into the global premium compact segment, which is forecast for significant growth with the entry of younger affluent customers.
    Combining the sleek lines of the coupe with the command sitting and all-wheel drive of a crossover, the QX30 Concept is just as adept at navigating high street as it is exploring weekend getaways.
    "The Infiniti QX30 Concept foreshadows an entry in the premium compact segment that provides a new alternative to customers in this segment," said Roland Krueger, Infiniti President and CEO. "The vehicle embodies our conviction to give customers the freedom to go wherever they want, whenever they want – in a way that expresses their individualized character."
    Expansion into growing segment
    By the end of this decade, Gen X and Gen Y will represent about 80 percent of buyers in the premium compact segment. Research among this new generation of buyers shows an increasing rejection of traditional notions toward premium cars.
    Their idea of a premium car has less to do with size or power but more to do with distinctive design and outstanding execution.
    With its sharp looks and original features, the QX30 Concept was designed by an international team to appeal to these global customers who are less likely to follow tradition. The concept's compact footprint matches their search for a product that suits their urban lifestyle. The elevated stance of the crossover also provides a higher visual perspective in city traffic and in parking maneuvers.
    Infiniti first signaled its intentions to enter the premium compact segment when it revealed the Q30 Concept in Frankfurt in 2013. The introduction of the QX30 Concept is another building block in Infiniti's aggressive strategy to grow in key global markets, particularly China and Europe while expanding its offering in established markets such as the United States.
    Earmarked for production
    The QX30 Concept is the latest in a series of concept vehicles for which Infiniti has announced a definite and clear intent for production.
    The Q30 will be built in the U.K. this year while a sports coupe based on the Q60 Concept revealed in Detroit earlier this year will go into production next year. The QX30 Concept-inspired crossover will also be launched next year. Infiniti continues to broaden its lineup to cover the spectrum from smaller premium vehicles, namely the Q30, to full-size crossovers such as the QX70. In fact, Infiniti has drawn on its heritage of creating successful high-performance crossovers namely the QX50 and QX70 to craft the QX30 Concept.
    Art in utility
    To complement the higher stance of the QX30 Concept, Infiniti designers have added visual cues, which instantly identify the concept as a crossover.
    The body looks wider and thicker, thanks to the 21-inch wheels, large tires, and increased blackout around the wheel opening. The unique wheel design mixes three-dimensional milled aluminum and matte rubber material for an unconventional juxtaposition.
    The satin chrome front bumper is low with big side openings, giving off an air of rugged protection. The sense of stylish fortification is reinforced by the hardy kick plates under the doors and the tough-looking but sculpted skid plate in the rear.
    Even the roof racks have gone beyond their functional use. Extending toward the center line, they artistically "obstruct" the rear passenger's view through the glass roof, resulting in an inimitable perspective of the outside.
    Inside, the bold and dark environment harmonizes with the outdoors appeal of the exterior. All four seats have been streamlined for a suspended look, evoking a feeling of honed athleticism.
    The U-shaped seat frame is partially wrapped with a layer of premium Connolly saddle leather offset by blue stitching. The contrast between the exposed and covered parts of the frame lends a three-dimensional quality to the interior.
    "The QX30 Concept looks as capable as it is meant to be," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. "The artistic touches we put in lift the crossover to another level from being just another utility vehicle."
    Wide range of powertrains
    The QX30 Concept previews a family of vehicles which are designed to be matched with a wide range of powertrains, both gasoline and diesel. The array of powerplants is expected to cater to a variety of lifestyle aspirations around the world, depending on whether customers prefer a sportier or a more efficient drive.
    The QX30 Concept also hints at Infiniti's renowned sporting driving dynamics, and drivers can expect a nifty throttle response, especially useful when negotiating urban traffic.
    With big wheels and thick tires, the QX30 Concept not only looks rock-solid but also feels it, greatly helping to increase driver confidence both on-road and off.
    Human-centric connection
    The warm and inviting interior of the QX30 Concept beckons and engages the vehicle's occupants emotionally. The slimmed-down seats now become facilitators of the shared space, instead of barriers between the driver and the passengers. And the crossover becomes a safe place for occupants to connect with one another.
    Reflecting the value that customers place on connectivity, the QX30 Concept gives a glimpse into the level of technology available, features not typically found in compact cars. For example, Infiniti InTouch™ keeps the driver connected to his digital world when on the move.
    "The QX30 Concept seeks to enrich the segment," said Krueger. "The car promises effortless elegance whether it's dealing with bad weather, poor road conditions or urban traffic."

    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

    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

    The sequel of the Audi Prologue concept comes to Geneva

    Audi is following up its Prologue concept shown at the LA Auto Show last November with another Prologue - the Prologue Avant concept.
    The purpose of the Prologue concepts is to give a preview of what Audi has in store with their future designs. The first concept was a preview into the future of sedans and coupes. This new concept which will debut at Geneva gives a peek into their hatchbacks and Avants.
    The exterior design features pieces of the first Prologue concept with the large grill and massive air vents in the front, along with a similar taillight treatment for the hatch. Compared to the Prologue concept, the Avant is slightly larger with measurements of 16.8 feet long, 6.5 feet wide, and rides on a 10-foot wheelbase. Inside, Audi's designers went with a dark theme thanks to use of black and brown for the dash and seats. There is also three touchscreens that control a variety of different functions in the vehicle.
    Power comes from a hybrid system which pairs a 3.0L TDI V6 with an electric motor to produce 455 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Audi claims a 0-62 MPH time of 5.2 seconds and a all-electric range of 33.6 miles.
    “With our show car for Geneva, we now translate the design language of the Audi prologue into a new, dynamic and stretched form. We are merging it with a concept of high variability. The Audi prologue Avant is progressive, emotion-filled and versatile, it reflects Audi’s technological competence and quality claim perfectly,” said Audi product development boss Ulrich Hackenberg.
    Source: Audi

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Sporty and elegant, versatile and connected – the Audi prologue Avant show car
    New interpretation of the Avant philosophy
    Groundbreaking infotainment architecture and entertainment concept
    High-performance hybrid drive with 455 hp and 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) of torque

    A design with dynamic elegance and the latest high end technologies: The Audi prologue Avant show car with its stretched roof which the brand is presenting at the Geneva Motor Show gives a look into the future – with the new and emotion filled design language that Audi has initiated with its study in the coupé, the prologue.
    A glance into the future
    In November 2014 at the Los Angeles Motorshow, Audi presented the Audi prologue concept car, giving a look to the brand’s future design language. Only four months later, the premium manufacturer is showing a variant of its visionary concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The Audi prologue Avant combines dynamics, form and function in a perfect synthesis. With a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft) and a width of 1.97 meters (6.5 ft), the five-door car with its pioneering body concept positions itself clearly in the luxury class. At the same time, it offers unmistakeable sportiness and variability. Technology is becoming an experience, both outside and inside: The driver and up to three passengers can enjoy a luxurious interior and are digitally connected thanks to a state‑of‑the‑art infotainment architecture and connect technology.
    Architecture and operation are united
    The luxurious interior is kept in dark shades. Here as well, the show car offers a new experience: The straight‑lined architecture forms one whole with its display and control concept. The consistent front of the dashboard is composed of three touch displays. Moreover, the driver and up to three passengers can establish a digital communication via two OLED‑displays made from organic LEDs. The extremely slim, detachable OLED displays in the rear – a spin-off of the Audi tablet from the new Audi Q7* – provide passengers with on-demand information and entertainment.
    Technology close to series production
    The Audi prologue Avant uses technology which is close to series production. It is equipped with the plug‑in hybrid drive from the Audi Q7 e‑tron quattro which achieves even higher performance in the show car. 335 kW (455 hp) of system power output by the 3.0 TDI engine and the electric motor in combination make the car sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. The purely electric range is 54 kilometers (33.6 mi). The chassis is equipped with adaptive air suspension and the dynamic all‑wheel‑drive steering system – thus combining comfort, sportiness, handling and stability on a new performance level.
    A glance into the future: the Audi prologue Avant
    Progressive elegance, high variability and high-end technology with a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft): The large five-door car with its stretched roof continues with the design language that Audi has initiated with its coupé study, the prologue, giving a look into the future.
    “With our show car for Geneva, we now translate the design language of the Audi prologue into a new, dynamic and stretched form. We are merging it with a concept of high variability”, says Board Member for Technical Development, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. “The Audi prologue Avant is progressive, emotion-filled and versatile, it reflects Audi’s technological competence and quality claim perfectly.”
    The brand with the four rings stands for sportiness, lightweight construction and the permanent all-wheel-drive quattro. The Audi prologue Avant brings progressive technology into a new form. The large five-door car with its stretched roof and extremely flat D-pillars combines power and flowing elegance. Its design reflects the Audi quattro genes.
    In the interior, as well, the show car captivates the driver with innovative solutions – the architecture forms a new whole with its display and control concept. The driver and the passengers are digitally connected with one another. The continuous front of the dashboard consists of three touch displays, a major part of control and communication between the driver and the co-driver as well as passengers in the rear is realized by two OLED‑displays (Organic Light Emitting Diodes).
    The Audi prologue Avant uses the plug-in hybrid drive of the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro at a higher development level. The 3.0 TDI engine and the electric motor together output 335 kW (455 hp) of system performance and 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) of system torque. With this performance, the show car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. The dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system with which the rear wheels can be inclined by up to five degrees provides good handling and high drive stability.
    Audi prologue Avant: the concept
    “With the Audi prologue, the prototype meter of our new design language, we have clearly pointed the way in esthetics. Now we are going one step further by presenting a concept which combines esthetics, dynamics and function in a fascinating way” – this is how Marc Lichte describes the character of the Audi prologue Avant. “The progressive body design expresses our technological competence and reveals the values which render our brand unique: sportiness, high-quality, progressiveness.”
    At a glance, the new show car can be recognized to be an Audi – with its athletic build, taut surfaces and sharp edges. The Audi prologue Avant picks up on the tradition of the extraordinary design and space concepts, for example, of the proto Avant from 1982, and re-interprets this design. With a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft), a wheelbase of 3.04 meters (10.0 ft), a width of 1.97 meters (6.5 ft) and a height of 1.4 meters (4.6 ft), the Audi prologue Avant is a little larger than the two-door coupé Audi prologue. Four individual seats, four doors and a large tailgate round off the concept.
    Wide and flat: the front
    The Singleframe grille organically integrated into the car body dominates the show car’s low front. It is positioned lower and is designed much wider than in current production models. Its cross ribs made from brushed aluminum present a new variant of the e-tron look, providing a closed visual appearance. Towards the sides, they are slightly bent and forked.
    The headlamps underline the character of the show car – light-weight, dynamic and elegant. Shaped like wide, flat wedges, the headlamps are located with their tips above the Singleframe. They present the high-resolution Matrix Laser technology – the latest light innovation by Audi opens up new opportunities in design and technology. The light is decomposed into a high number of tiny pixels, resulting in virtually unlimited distribution possibilities.
    The upper and side edges of the characteristic air inlets are accentuated using additional light guides which in combination with daytime driving light give the Audi prologue Avant a new light signature.
    Strong flow: the side view
    A long front-section and a roof dome falling down early and continuing towards the rear above extremely flat D-pillars – the side view of the show car conveys an athletic effect. Its proportions are balanced off, emphasizing the front and the rear wheel alike – and give an indication of the Audi quattro genes.
    The wide, folded-out shoulders above the four wheels are inspired by the “blisters” of the Audi proto quattro dating back to the eighties. However, they were not just added on top with separate contours but have been smoothly integrated into the architecture. The shoulders swing smoothly over the wheels. The front shoulder carries on the edge of the engine hood, thus making it appear even longer. The long rear door emphasizes the luxury class character of the show car.
    The wheel houses are strongly vaulting out and carry wide wheel mirrors, thus visually reducing the metal volume of the flanks. They surround the mighty 22-inch wheels carrying size 285/30 tires. Their five arms with the edged, sharp-angled spokes present a further development of today’s rotor design.
    In each and every detail, the 5.11 meter (16.8 ft) long Audi prologue Avant embodies the progressive beauty of Audi technology. The dark blue paintcoat in fusion blue underlines the elegance of the show car in a subtle way. The outside rear-view mirrors are small sculptures made from aluminum, the window channel strips unostentatiously integrate the sensor surfaces towards the door opening. As soon as the driver touches the illuminated surfaces, electric motors will open the handle-less doors.
    A frame made from polished and matt aluminum surrounds the side windows. The rear fenders of the show car accommodate the charge socket for electric charging on the left side, the fuel filler flap for diesel fuel on the right side. By the press of a button in the interior, the cover flaps will open electrically, retracting into the body.
    Dynamic: the rear
    The flowing rear moving in strongly on the side is one of the most attractive views of the show car. The flatly arranged D-pillars sweep elegantly into the rear body shoulder which forms the edge of the luggage compartment lid and surrounds the entire rear section. The rear section itself is leaning forward in the direction of travel like a yacht – pushing off the car before it even starts moving.
    The rear lamp strip runs across the full width of the car, thus combining the LED rear lamps. They consist of 3D glass which has a sculptural effect. At their bottom end, the rear light draws a wavy contour. Deep inside the lamps lies the brake light – when it becomes active, it appears to approach the viewer. The different design levels and the change between two-dimensional and three-dimensional effects give the rear lamps an entirely new dynamic.
    As a logical continuation of the side sills, a sporty apron completes the rear section towards the bottom. On either side it integrates flat horizontally split openings with a wedge-shaped cut. The exhaust gas of the TDI engine comes out through the upper ones, the bottom ones with their struts are evocative of the Singleframe grille – this solution symbolizes the e-tron concept of the show car: combustion engine and electric motor in one car.
    Elegant experience: the interior
    The spacious interior of the Audi prologue Avant has the character of a luxurious lounge. Sinewy taut, calmly flowing lines and slender geometric bodies convey a feeling of expanse, lightness and tranquility. The long center console with its pass-through also appears to hover, as do the slender front seats, whose rails are mounted on the tunnel and side sills.
    The instrument panel stretches horizontally from one side to the other, thus creating a wide impression in the interior. It lowers itself towards the driver and the co-driver on two levels. The upper level, like a roof, lies over the Audi virtual cockpit future and the wide air vents. It forms part of the wrap‑around encompassing the interior and luggage compartment like a horizon.
    Both rear passengers can enjoy individual seats with a spacious ambience.
    All of the interior details demonstrate Audi’s high-quality design and uncompromising claim. A perforated trim panel covers the air vent; it moves down as soon as the air conditioning is set higher. The newly designed flat shift‑by‑wire selector lever for the eight-speed tiptronic is smoothly integrated in the center console.
    Three-part display: the instrument panel
    The elegant design architecture of the Audi prologue Avant show car blends in with a game-changing, new display and control concept enabling digital interaction between the driver and his passengers. Across its full width, the front of the dashboard is designed as a display surface which integrates three touch displays. Massive aluminum frames surround the two driver-faced displays left and right of the steering wheel. The left one serves to control the assist functions, the right one is for multimedia management.
    The front passenger faces a widescreen display that is integrated into the full surface of the instrument panel; it is used to configure entertainment features individually and conveniently. With a wiping movement, the front passenger can send media content such as music playlists to the right driver display or navigation data to the Audi virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel.
    On the console of the center tunnel, there is another display for text entry, air conditioning and infotainment designed for the driver. It consists primarily of an extremely thin, bendable OLED film (OLED: organic light emitting diodes), and it displays extremely sharp images that are rich in contrast. When inactive, the OLED display is in a flat retracted position; as soon as the vehicle is started, it moves up at an angle. The curved display ensures a constant ergonomic distance to the driver’s hand, his wrist calmly resting on the eight‑speed tiptronic selector lever.
    Within the driver’s field of view lies the Audi virtual cockpit future. High-resolution displays and three mirrors generate a virtual visual stage with three levels. In the navigation view, for instance, the first level presents information that is important for driving; levels two and three generate the depth effect in the cockpit. Thanks to this staggered approach, information is structured better and is easier to grasp. According to driving style, content and colors will change in the Audi virtual cockpit future – when driving tempers unleash, for instance, the display changes to sport mode.
    Comfort and entertainment in the rear provided by OLED technology
    The rear passengers in the Audi prologue Avant use a flexible OLED display integrated in the center console which due to its bendable structure adapts its angle to the rear seat backrests’ angle of inclination. Using this display, settings such as seat adjustment, climate control, audio/video and ambient values can be controlled in the back of the car. Moreover, passengers can exchange data with the driver. When inactive, the OLED display lies flat in the center console. As soon as rear passengers get into the car, it moves up at an angle. As with the OLED display in the front of the car, the curved display in the rear also ensures a constant and ergonomically ideal distance to the passenger’s hand.
    When the audio system is active, a sound spoiler moves out of the rear wheelhouse panelings, homogenously distributing music in the interior in high-end quality.
    Another infotainment feature are the two Audi tablets – a further development of the Audi tablet in the new Audi Q7. These are mounted to the backrests of the front seats – also with OLED technology, and highly slender and slightly curved. The tablets can be unclipped and then be operated outside of the car.
    From the moment of getting into the Audi prologue Avant, the driver and the passengers can experience first-class comfort. The “butler” – an innovative, intelligent software program – identifies them based on their smartphones and adjusts the seats and climate control system according to their preferences. The system also makes suggestions for music and route planning based on the owner’s preferences. Cell phones can be placed in the two Easy Slot systems integrated in the center tunnel console. There they are linked up with the vehicle infotainment system and inductively charged.
    Authentic: materials and colors
    Colors and materials in the Audi prologue Avant emphasize the impression of comfort and sporty elegance. The upper instrument panel is colored in lifestyle blue, the bottom instrument panel, the seats and the carpet are designed in elegant sarder brown color.
    In the interior, aluminum trim elements add powerful visual highlights. The spokes of the steering wheel, the frames of the driver displays, the door inserts and the mountings and switches of the seats are made from that material. On the wrap-around, the doors and the center tunnel console, they create a contrast with the panels out of open-pore, dark ash wood veneer.
    Various surfaces such as the seats, dashboard and center tunnel console are upholstered with the very natural Unikat leather. A generously dimensioned strip of Alcantara leather leads the eyes from the door inserts over the armrests back and into the luggage compartment. Artfully designed perforations in the seat center line are evocative of the Singleframe grille bars.
    Very close to series production: the technology
    The plug-in hybrid drive of the Audi prologue Avant is almost identical to the powertrain in the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro which will be launched in summer 2015. The 3.0 TDI engine installed in the Audi prologue Avant outputs a maximum of 260 kW (353 hp), a powerful electric motor integrated in the eight-speed tiptronic contributes up to 100 kW. System output is 335 kW (455 hp), while system torque is 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft). The eight‑speed tiptronic directs engine power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive ensuring superior drive characteristics in any situation.
    The show car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). The Audi prologue Avant consumes an average of only 1.6 liters per 100 kilometers (147.0 US mpg) according to the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrid vehicles – corresponding to 43 grams of carbon emissions per kilometer. The lithium-ion battery pack in the rear storing 14.1 kWh of energy gives the car a range of 54 kilometers (33.6 mi) in pure electric drive mode.
    With its AWC (Audi wireless charging) technology which Audi is developing for series production, the battery can also be charged inductively. AWC technology provides energy from a floor plate which is connected to the power grid and which can be embedded on or into the asphalt. This plate integrates a primary coil and an inverter (AC/AC converter). When active, this coil induces a magnetic field of alternating current. On the basis of state-of-the-art technology, Audi uses 3.6 kW of power as provided by a wall socket with a maximum of 16 amps of charging current.
    Comfort and sport combined: the chassis
    The chassis of the Audi prologue Avant is also packed with high-end series production technology. The adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension system with controlled damping – offers a wide spread between smooth power transmission and tight handling. Front and rear axles are lightweight five‑arm wishbone constructions. The 20-inch brake disks are made from carbon fiber ceramics.
    The dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system resolves the classic conflict between dynamic handling and stability. The system combines a dynamic transmission steering system on the front axle with an additional steering system for the rear wheels where an electric motor actuates two tie rods.
    When the driver steers at low to moderate speeds, the rear wheels turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This gives the responsiveness of the car a further boost and reduces its turning circle. At higher speeds, the Audi prologue Avant handles swerving very calmly and with superior reliability: in such a manoeuvre, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels.

    William Maley

    The iconic Pullman makes a return to Mercedes

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

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

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

    William Maley

    Kia's concept for Geneva is a wagon.

    When we brought you the teaser shot of Kia's showing for the Geneva Motor Show next month, we thought it was a sedan. But there is more to this concept as Kia has revealed the whole vehicle today. Meet the Sportspace concept.
    The Sportspace concept was done at Kia's European design studio in Frankfurt and was designed as a grand tourer "without sacrificing the performance, sustainability and economy that Kia is known for." The overall shape fits in with current Kia models with such details as the narrow tiger-nose grille, simple surfaces, and nice proportions.
    "We set out to design a car that is a totally new breed of grand tourer – one for active people who need reasonable cargo space on the weekend, but don't want to compromise moving around in style, comfort and with an element of sportiness," explains Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe.
    Source: Kia

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Kia SPORTSPACE concept to be unveiled at Geneva
    (SEOUL) February 17, 2015 – Kia Motors Europe will unveil an innovative new concept, the Kia SPORTSPACE, at the 85th Salon International de l'Automobile in Geneva on 3 March 2015.
    Created for long distance driving, the SPORTSPACE has been designed for fast and efficient travel with maximum comfort and minimal stress, in the best grand touring tradition of the weekend getaway.
    Designed at Kia's Frankfurt design studio, under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe, the SPORTSPACE features a unique and captivating body shape. The car is born out of a commitment to provide stylish and exciting transportation for four which is also spacious and functional, without sacrificing the performance, sustainability and economy that Kia is known for.
    Recognisably a Kia due to its signature 'tiger nose' grille, finely judged proportions and simple, clean surfaces, SPORTSPACE has a bold, dynamic shape with real road presence. At the same time, it offers a high level of interior comfort and substantial practical load space.
    "We set out to design a car that is a totally new breed of grand tourer – one for active people who need reasonable cargo space on the weekend, but don't want to compromise moving around in style, comfort and with an element of sportiness," explains Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe.

    William Maley

    Kia has a new midsize concept for Geneva. A possible preview for the next Optima?

    Kia has released a teaser shot of a D-segment (midsize) sedan concept that will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The company isn't revealing much about the concept, but did say "with confident, powerful lines which sweep elegantly from Kia's hallmark 'tiger-nose' grille towards the rear of the vehicle, Kia's new concept car embodies modern design and refined, understated energy."
    Now some believe that this is a preview of the next-generation of the Optima midsize sedan. We'll find out if it is and have more information and pictures when the concept is shown on March 3rd.
    Source: Kia
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Elegant energy – Kia to show new concept car at Geneva
    Kia Motors Europe will exhibit a stylish new concept car at the 85th Salon International de l'Automobile in Geneva on 3 March 2015.
    This new D-segment model is the 11th concept car created by Kia's European design studio in Frankfurt, Germany. With confident, powerful lines which sweep elegantly from Kia's hallmark 'tiger-nose' grille towards the rear of the vehicle, Kia's new concept car embodies modern design and refined, understated energy.
    The concept has been created as a spacious and versatile accessory to an active lifestyle, as a purposeful, energetic design study for the style-conscious, and as a sanctuary from the stresses of the modern world.

    William Maley

    Infiniti Previews A Compact Luxury Crossover for Geneva

    Infiniti is readying to join the mess that is the compact premium crossover segment.
    Next month at the Geneva Motor Show, the Japanese luxury automaker will reveal the QX30 concept. In a press release, Infiniti says the QX30 is for those who seeking an "urban week and get-away weekend" lifestyle.
    Judging from the teaser show released by Infiniti, the QX30 concept looks be a high-riding version of the Q30 concept shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. We can make out a set of trapezoidal tailpipes, small liftgate, and slim taillights.
    Now its been reported that the Q30 and QX30 will use Mercedes-Benz's MFA architecture - the one that underpins the Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA-Class models.
    We'll have more information and pictures when the QX30 debuts next month.
    Source: Infiniti
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Infiniti gears up for premiere of QX30 Concept in Geneva
    Hong Kong – Infiniti will take the covers off the QX30 Concept at the Geneva International Motor Show next month.
    The QX30 Concept is the Infiniti design vision that will inspire a new premium compact crossover targeted at a new generation of premium customers.
    Set to be revealed at Infiniti's press conference scheduled for 12:30 p.m. local time on March 3 in Geneva, the QX30 Concept aims to reignite the premium compact segment with a distinctive approach to design that looks beyond the practicality and conformity expected of the segment.
    The potential customers for such a concept are searching for a product to suit their "urban week and get-away weekend" lifestyle, and the QX30's compact footprint matches that. Combining the sleek lines of a coupe with the rugged looks and commanding seating position of a crossover, the QX30 Concept foreshadows an urban explorer which is equally at home in the city as it is on the open road.

    Sign in to follow this  


About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...