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    William Maley

    After showing the Adam Rocks Concept last year, GM announces a production version.

    Last year at the Geneva Motor Show, General Motors rolled out the Opel/Vauxhall Adam Rocks concept. The concept took a standard Adam and made it bit more rugged with body cladding, raised suspension, and skid plates for the front and rear. The Rocks concept also featured a folding canvas roof that many of its competitors, namely the Fiat 500C and Citroën DS3 Cabrio. Well it appears the concept drew a lot positive attention because next month at Geneva, Opel/Vauxhall will show off a production Adam Rocks.
    The production version is almost a carbon copy of the concept with the body cladding, raised suspension, and the folding canvas roof which takes five seconds to open and close. There is also a choice of wheels ranging from seventeen to eighteen-inches.
    The Adam Rocks also introduces a new 1.0L turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces either 90 or 110 horsepower. This is paired to a six-speed manual. There will also be a range of four-cylinder gas engines.
    The Adam Rocks goes on sale at Opel/Vauxhall dealers this summer.
    Source: GM

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    ADAM ROCKS READY TO ROLL
    - Production-ready ADAM ROCKS debuts at the Geneva Motor Show
    - Urban mini-crossover features rugged, outdoor looks and electric folding canvas roof
    - First Vauxhall to get punchy new 115PS 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine
    Luton/Geneva– Rocking up to next month's Geneva Motor Show is Vauxhall's funky urban mini-crossover the ADAM ROCKS.
    The latest edition to Vauxhall's city chic ADAM range was previewed as a concept at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and after receiving a rapturous reception the production model is poised to make a show-stopping debut a year later.
    Rocking rugged design
    Compared with other members of the ADAM family, ROCKS is taller, wider and tougher in appearance, while also offering a full-length electric folding canvas roof.
    ADAM ROCKS' new crossover body style is supported by a chassis that is raised 15mm with a wider stance. Agile parkour athletes, who move from one place to another, negotiating urban obstacles in between, were the inspiration for this sporty crossover concept.
    Parts of the chassis system have been modified or re-tuned – including dampers, springs, the rear suspension geometry, and steering. The higher, wider looks are matched by a choice of 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels. These can be further personalised with new wheel clips in "Wild" design and different colours that are unique to ROCKS.
    Protective, anthracite-coloured cladding is wrapped tightly around the ADAM ROCKS, giving it a tough, muscular look. The front trapezoidal grille, with a chrome central brand bar, is embedded in the cladding, while contrasting, satin chrome 'boomerang' elements frame the front fog lamps/indicator housings and the reversing/fog lamps at the rear. An integrated rear roof spoiler and LED daytime running lights also come as standard. Silver skid plates front and rear and a bold chrome exhaust complete the exterior design.
    New exterior paint colours will be introduced with ADAM ROCKS, starting with the vibrant yellow Goldbusters.
    ROCKS combines its rugged individuality with open air fun. The electric folding canvas roof is operated via a button located in the front area of the headliner and folds back neatly on to the C-pillars in just five seconds. Creating a wide opening into the sky, this stylish system has no negative impact on body stiffness or on the car's functionality: the boot keeps the full opening of a hatchback and loading volume remains untouched.
    The entire roof module is acoustically tuned for noise insulation inside the cabin, and the robust, three-layer fabric has a neoprene centre for weatherproofing and durability. The folding canvas roof is available in a choice of three exterior colours – Black, Sweet Coffee or Light Oak – that combine with the different roof colours of the ROCKS.
    ROCKS' cabin reverberates with its own distinctive character. Two new, exclusive ROCKS interior trims have been designed. They include a main instrument cluster, seat and door panel colours and other trim elements – all unique to Vauxhall's urban chic newcomer. One trim is taken directly from the ADAM ROCKS concept car revealed last year: it has elegant-sporty Peanut-coloured fabric/Morrocana seats and door panels, leather steering wheel, gearshift and handbrake in the same colour, and a "Surf" décor trim. The other features a sophisticated Coffee Bean design – rich dark brown seats in a black cabin trimmed with bright blue stitching.
    New 1.0-litre engine packs triple punch
    ROCKS is the first model to feature Vauxhall's all-new 1.0-litre ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo three-cylinder engine. This high-tech pocket rocket raises the bar for three-cylinder engine refinement and packs up to 115PS, with impressive low-end torque of 166 Nm.
    Contributing to the overall efficiency of the all-aluminium engine with a single scroll turbocharger include direct injection, variable valve timing, a switchable water pump and an integrated exhaust manifold. Fuel-saving Start/Stop technology is an integral part of the system and offered as standard. The new 1.0 ECOTEC comes with a choice of two power outputs, 90PS and 115PS.
    Both versions of the new three-cylinder powerhouse are mated to an all-new six-speed manual gearbox with a compact package design. During its development, focus was on efficiency (thanks to reduced friction) and benchmark shifting: gear change is comfortable, precise and smooth.
    The new engine tops a powertrain portfolio including ADAM's three current four-cylinder naturally-aspirated units comprising a 1.2-litre engine with 70PS and a 1.4-litre available in two power outputs, 87PS and 100PS.
    Like its ADAM siblings, ROCKS is one of the best connected small cars around thanks to its state-of-the-art Intelilink infotainment system. Priced from just £275, it allows seamless integration of Android as well as Apple iOS smartphone functionalities into the car. It provides USB and Bluetooth connectivity, audio streaming, a seven-inch high-definition colour touch-screen and seven speakers. Clever apps including navigation BringGo, Stitcher and TuneIn can be downloaded.
    The integration of Apple iOS devices into the system enables Siri Eyes Free voice control. This makes it possible for drivers to have incoming text messages read aloud and to dictate messages while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel.
    "ADAM ROCKS combines the toughness of a crossover with the coolness of open air driving," said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall's Head of Carline Brand. "It's the perfect ADAM for active drivers wanting to stand out from the crowd."
    ADAM ROCKS pricing will be announced when it goes on sale in the summer. Production is due to start in Eisenach, Germany in August.

    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.

    William Maley

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

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

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

    William Maley

    GTI, GTD, and now GTE

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

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

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS THE PLUG-IN HYBRID GOLF GTE
    New plug-in hybrid marries sustainability and performance

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

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


    William Maley

    How to make the Panamera somewhat more practical 

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


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

    William Maley

    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

    Ford Brings The Focus Up To Date

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

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

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

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

    William Maley

    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

    What happens you mash up a production coupe with F1 tech

    Infiniti has a habit of teasing high-performance concepts and then not doing anything with them. This trend looks to continue with the Q60 Project Black S that will be debuting next week at the Geneva Motor Show. 
    The concept is the result of a collaboration between Infiniti and the Renault Sport Formula 1 team. Starting with an Infiniti Q60 Red Sport as a base, engineers from the two groups paired the twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with an F1-style KERS (kinetic energy recover system) motor generator. Infiniti says this setup boosts horsepower about 25 percent (around 500 horsepower).
    For the exterior, Infiniti fitted a new front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser made from carbon fiber. There is also a large rear wing and a set of twin titanium exhaust tips.
    "INFINITI is the premium car manufacturer within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and a technical partner to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, so it is natural that we come together to explore the possibility of bringing innovative high-performance hybrid technology to our customers. INFINITI has constantly led the way in making innovative new powertrain technology available, and we're extremely excited by the potential of Project Black S," said Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti in a statement.
    We'll have more details on this next week.
    Source: Car Magazine, Infiniti 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Introducing Project Black S – an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line
    Collaborative venture between INFINITI and the RenaultSport Formula One Team INFINITI investigating Formula One-inspired performance hybrid technology Project Black S explores the potential for an innovative new performance model line HONG KONG – Featuring Formula One-inspired technology, Project Black S is an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line. Developed in collaboration with the RenaultSport Formula One Team, Project Black S will be revealed for the first time globally at a special media event on the eve of the Geneva International Motor Show.
    A radical reinterpretation of the Q60 coupe, Project Black S features a stand-out, aerodynamic design, and hints at how a unique-for-the-road performance hybrid powertrain could significantly enhance the dynamics of an INFINITI production car.
    "INFINITI is the premium car manufacturer within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and a technical partner to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, so it is natural that we come together to explore the possibility of bringing innovative high-performance hybrid technology to our customers. INFINITI has constantly led the way in making innovative new powertrain technology available, and we're extremely excited by the potential of Project Black S."
    - Roland Krueger, President of INFINITI
    The performance hybrid powertrain being explored through Project Black S features an 'energy recovery system' (ERS) to harvest energy, deploying recovered electric power to boost power and torque. The result is instant, significant, lag-free acceleration. Inspired by the dual-hybrid system proven in Formula One, the technology does not yet exist in a current road car.
    The reveal of Project Black S in Geneva will help to gauge potential public interest in high-performance derivatives of INFINITI cars.

    William Maley

    Civic got back!

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

    Source: Honda
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


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

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

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

    William Maley

    A crossover for the urban environment

    Audi pulled the covers off the 2017 Q2 crossover today at the Geneva Motor Show. This new crossover is aimed at younger buyers living in urban areas and marks the beginning of an expansion for Audi's crossover lineup.
     
    The first thing that is evident is that Q2's design wasn't born from the enlarge/reduce function on the copy machine. It looks slightly different from Audi's other crossovers. This is due to Audi's design boss Marc Lichte and his plan to make models look slightly different from each other. Up front is a large grille with an egg crate design for the insert and angled headlights. Around the side, Audi's designers took large, chamfered cut on the top off the doors to make the Q2 standout. There is also a low roof that merges into the C-Pillar with a set of color offset blades.
     
    The interior is very reminiscent of the A3 sedan, meaning the layout is minimalist. Audi's MMI system comes standard and features the ability to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Optional will be Audi's 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit that provides a digital instrument cluster and is able to bring up navigation and other items. Cargo space measures out 14.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and 37.1 cubic feet with the seats down.
     
    There will be a range of six engines - three gas and three diesels - ranging from 110 to 190 horsepower. A six-speed manual or Audi's S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission will be available on all of the engines. Front-wheel drive will come standard on the lower powered models while quattro all-wheel drive will be standard on the higher performance models.
     
    On the safety front, the Q2 comes standard with automatic forward emergency braking. Optional is adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, and lane departure warning.
     
    Audi says the Q2 will go on sale in Europe this fall. It is unknown if the Q2 will make it to the states.
     
    Source: Audi
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Stage debut: the new Audi Q2
    Compact SUV has emotional, powerful design and high level of functionality Infotainment and assistance systems from the full-size class Engines from 85 kW (116 hp) to 140 kW (190 hp), quattro drive

    Audi is revealing the new Audi Q2* at the Geneva International Motor Show. The compact SUV is an urban-type vehicle for everyday driving and recreation, uniting a progressive design with a high level of functionality. Connectivity, infotainment and assistance systems are on level of full-size class.
     

    “In the Audi Q2 we have developed a distinctively geometric form language with model-specific design characteristics. The car exhibits an independent character within the Q family,” says Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte.
     
    Rugged look
    The result: a powerful SUV that shows a lot of vertices and edges. At the front, a strong image is created by the Singleframe grille in octagonal design that is positioned high as well as large air inlets. Especially eye-catching is the low roof that descends and merges into the C-pillars with color offset blades. This contrast accentuates the sportiness of the Audi Q2. The rear body terminates in a dynamic way with a long roof spoiler and a diffuser that has an underbody-protection look.
     
    In a side view, the high shoulder line is especially eye-catching as are the concave flanks in the door area. The latter emphasize the wheel housings and thereby the quattro character of the compact SUV. The vehicle measures 1.51 meters (5.0 ft) tall and 1.79 meters (5.9 ft) wide. The overhangs are short with a vehicle length of 4.19 meters (13.7 ft) and a wheelbase of 2.60 meters (8.5 ft).
     
    Technology from the full-size class
    Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the full-size class – including the Audi pre sense front that is standard. The system recognizes critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up: adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and parking and cross-traffic assist rear.
     
    Highly connected
    The Q2 is equipped with a standard MMI screen that is positioned high on the instrument panel. The infotainment system can be operated by a rotary/push-button control and two buttons on the center tunnel. When MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is ordered, the user also gets a touchpad on the central control element. In addition, the system can be conveniently controlled by natural language operation and the integrated MMI search. A Wi-Fi hotspot enables surfing and streaming with mobile end devices. Furthermore, customers can use MMI touch to query the online services of Audi connect. The flat rate data plan required for this is included thanks to the SIM card (embedded SIM) that is permanently installed in the car. It also permits roaming in most European countries. Cell phones with iOS and Android operating systems are integrated into the car via the Audi smartphone interface. The free Audi MMI connect app enables online media streaming and transfer of a calendar from a smartphone to the MMI. The app for iOS operating systems also has the myAudi destinations function. It makes it possible to send the data of a desired navigation destination from any app to the MMI navigation plus system. The system then uses it for navigation.
     
    Simply functional
    The Q2 fulfills fundamental expectations of an SUV with a high entry, good visibility and a large luggage compartment (405 to 1,050 liters (14.3 - 37.1 cu ft) of capacity). The highlight is that the driver’s seat position is sporty and low in relation to the steering wheel like in an Audi sedan. Optional practical solutions are available such as a power tailgate and a three-way split rear bench backrests with cargo through-loading.
     
    Individual customization
    The Audi Q2 is as individual as its drivers – inside and out. Many equipment packages, exterior colors and expressive colors for interior trim and seat upholstery allow plenty of creative space for personal configuration. One option is the LED lighting package, in which the interior is staged in a particularly attractive way with illuminated trim elements.
     
    Drivetrain and chassis
    The Q2 is launching with a selection of six different engines. Along with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder TFSI, two four-cylinder gasoline engines are being offered with 1.4 and 2.0 liters of displacement. In addition, three four-cylinder diesel engines are available with 1.6 and 2.0 liters of displacement. Their power output ranges from 85 kW (116 hp) to 140 kW (190 hp). As an alternative to the six-speed manual transmission, Audi also offers the S tronic dual clutch transmission with seven speeds for all engines. In the case of the top TDI and the 2.0 TFSI, a newly developed dual-clutch transmission is used, which has a new type of oil supply and reduced friction. Both engines may also be combined with a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system as standard equipment. Installed at the rear on the front-wheel drive versions is a semi-independent suspension, while the quattro models have a four-link suspension. Progressive steering is standard in all versions. It varies the steering gear ratio as a function of the steering input; the ratio is made more direct with large steering movements. Adaptive dampers are available as an option, as is the Audi drive select system with which drivers can set an individual characteristic for their Q2.
     
    Market launch
    The Audi Q2 launches on the European market in autumn 2016. Ordering begins mid-year for the compact SUV.

    William Maley

    Volkswagen does the seemingly unthinkable, create a stylish vehicle!

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


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

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

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

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

    William Maley

    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

    Fiat's 124 Spider Bulks Up (In Power)

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

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


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

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 9, 2013
    Opel and Vauxhall are trying to kill two birds with one stone with their showing at next month's Geneva Motor Show. The two have released some sketches of a new Adam concept called the Adam Rocks.
    The Adam Rocks concept is described as 'an urban mini-crossover'. Compared to the production Adam, the Rocks concept rides about 15 mm higher and has a wider stance. The sketches show the concept will wear front and rear skid plates, body cladding on the wheel arches and bumpers, and a central mounted exhaust. The Adam Rocks concept also features retractable fabric roof.
    “As a symbol for fashion-led, active drivers wanting to stand out from the crowd, ADAM ROCKS is just one possible answer to the question of how new development paths for the absolutely unique car can be forged – and others will follow,” said Malcolm Ward, Opel/Vauxhall Lead Design Director.
    Source: Opel

    Album: Opel Adam Rocks Concept Sketches
    3 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Opel ADAM ROCKS Concept: Freedom in its most individual form
    ADAM ROCKS in Geneva – a new crossover open air concept
    New ROCKS Concept raises ADAM to the next level of individualization
    First urban mini-crossover has fierce design and muscular proportions
    Open air freedom thanks to fabric roof
    World Premiere at Geneva Motor Show (March 7-17, 2013)

    Geneva/Rüsselsheim. Offering 61,000 exterior variations and nearly 82,000 for the interior, as well as a state-of-the-art IntelliLink infotainment system, the lifestyle Opel ADAM is the true champion of individualization – and the best connected small car around. But that is not enough for Opel. At the Geneva Motor Show, Opel will show that it explores ways of further enhancing ADAM’s individualization and reveal an urban mini-crossover study called ADAM ROCKS. With its new 3-door body style, its 3.70 meters in length, muscular proportions, fierce design and open-air capability, ADAM ROCKS also is a proposal for opening a new segment of the market.
    Showcasing how ADAM’s unique personalization program can get another twist, the ROCKS Concept has been created for those seeking personal freedom ‘off the beaten track’ beyond the urban landscape. Inspired by Parkour urban athletes, it is higher and wider on its wheels, tougher and more compact in appearance. The ADAM ROCKS’ special feeling of personal freedom is further emphasized by its cabrio looks and fabric roof that offers a free view of the sky above. The fabric extends across the entire width and length of the roof, right back to the C-pillars.
    “With even bolder design than any other ADAM, the ROCKS is an impressive demonstration of how much more potential for individualization our new small lifestyle car still offers after its market launch. It combines the toughness of a crossover with the coolness of open air driving,” says Malcolm Ward, Opel/Vauxhall Lead Design Director. Describing the rationale behind Opel’s newest concept car, he explains: “As a symbol for fashion-led, active drivers wanting to stand out from the crowd, ADAM ROCKS is just one possible answer to the question of how new development paths for the absolutely unique car can be forged – and others will follow.”
    ADAM’s new concept will rock at Geneva Motor Show on the Opel stand, Hall 2.

    William Maley

    MINI's Growth Sput Carries On With The Clubman Concept

    Continuing MINI's growth spurt is the Clubman Concept which will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
    The Clubman Concept features dimensions of 166 inches long, 72 inches wide, and 57 inches tall. Compared to the current Clubman, the concept is 10.2 inches longer and 6.7 inches wider. This bigger size allows MINI designers to add two rear doors. Other design cues to take note of are the rear doors that are split and the horizontal taillights. Inside, the Clubman concept has a unique dashboard design. Its oval shaped and looks like it floating thanks to backlighting.
    One item that MINI is keeping quiet is what will power the Clubman Concept.
    Source: MINI

    Press Release is on Page 2
    MINI TO UNVEIL CLUBMAN CONCEPT AT GENEVA AUTO SHOW
    26.02.2014
    MINI Clubman Concept is a new class in terms of space, function and supreme elegance
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – February 25, 2014... At the 2014 Geneva Auto Show MINI presents the MINI Clubman Concept, showcasing a new brand philosophy for a higher class of automobile. 26 centimeters longer and just under 17 centimeters wider than the current MINI Clubman, the Concept comes over as sophisticated, cool and elegant. The iconic design is supplemented by high-quality details, plenty of space for functional features and selected materials. Refinement of the hallmark MINI styling ensures instant recognition, both on the exterior and the interior. The extensive color and material concept redefines contemporary elegance and high-end quality in this segment.

    Four doors and five seats offer plenty of utility space, thereby supporting an active lifestyle.
    Classic MINI design features such as the hexagonal radiator grille, Side Scuttles, the Black Band, short overhangs and elliptical front and rear headlights ensure high recognition value from every angle.
    Length: 4223 mm, width: 1844 mm (not incl. mirror), height: 1450 mm.
    Integrated aerodynamics as an essential part of the exterior design.
    The interior design interprets typical MINI shapes and colors, presenting an effortless and elegant combination of high-end quality and functionality.
    An elaborate color and material concept in the interior with exclusive materials and unexpected details.
    The Center Instrument with newly conceived user interface creates an event-controlled interaction space with touch operation.

    A new class for the future of MINI
    "The MINI Clubman Concept shows how the MINI Clubman could be taken a step further: more interior space, a greater sense of high-end quality and yet still clever, bold and distinctive. In short: more car, more MINI," says Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design, explaining the approach to this model. For over 50 years now, MINI has stood for maximum use of minimum space. 26 centimeters longer and just under 17 centimeters wider than the current MINI Clubman, the MINI Clubman Concept applies this aspiration to a new class of automobile.
    As Head of MINI Design Anders Warming explains: "With the MINI Clubman Concept we are presenting a car with space, flair and style in a segment where the focus is mainly on function and utility. With clever ideas, emotional design and a cool blend of colors and materials, it offers an overall experience which remains unique in this segment to date."
    Supreme, dynamic, elegant – the exterior design
    Even with larger exterior dimensions, the MINI Clubman Concept is instantly recognizable as a typical MINI. With the characteristic agility of the MINI proportions, the prolonged roof line clearly reflects the car's extensive utility space. It also gives the silhouette a distinctive elegance, underscored by generous surfaces. The powerful, warm Berry Red color shows surfaces and shapes to optimum effect. The roof in the color "Blade" - a metallic grey - creates an elegant contrast with the warm red of the corpus.
    Classic MINI design icons such as the hexagonal radiator grille, Side Scuttles, Black Band and the typical lights are designed in precise, high-end style. The modern, reduced interpretation of these features gives the MINI Clubman Concept a more sophisticated, charismatic look. The themes of aerodynamics and air ducting are clearly highlighted in the exterior design. All openings and outlets are integrated in the geometry and elegantly shaped. Clearly defined wheel arches and the roof spoiler accentuate the car's dynamic appearance, underscoring the overall impression of sporty flair.
    Typical MINI in every detail - the front section
    Seen from the front, the circular headlamps, hexagonal radiator grille and roof with add-on look clearly identify the MINI Clubman Concept as belonging to the MINI family. The radiator grille is strikingly elaborated and incorporates the bumper in the front section. The bumper is finished in Black Chrome, adding a touch of exclusive style to this functional element. Elaborate details such as the three-dimensional structure of the chrome ribs inside the front grille further enhance the front section. The high quality standards of the MINI Clubman Concept even extend to the surface modelling. Fine edges add precision and presence to the generous surfaces.
    In the lower area of the front-end design there is a continuous air inlet which highlights the breadth of the MINI Clubman Concept, thereby emphasizing its solid standing on the road. Meanwhile a finely wrought chrome rib appears to hover inside the air inlet, giving this sporty detail a touch of exclusive appeal. In the outer section of the front apron there are so-called AirCurtains - an aerodynamic feature that gives the wheel arches an aerodynamically optimized closure. These dynamically surround the lower part of the front section like two brackets.
    Plenty of space for characteristic dynamism - the side
    Reduced to the essentials, the side view instantly conveys the qualities of the MINI Clubman Concept: a long wheelbase, flatly positioned windows and short overhangs reflect characteristic MINI agility. At the same time, the long roof line and the typical two-box design clearly emphasize the car's high level of functionality and its generous utility space. Meanwhile the four doors reflect the extended exterior dimensions and increased functionality. Generous surface expanses elongate the side, while at the same time subtle surface modelling and precise lines make the silhouette appear flat and dynamic. Three chrome elements give the side section a sense of exclusivity with modern understatement. At the front, the Side Scuttle incorporates the filigree mirror base and turn indicator in an elongated element whose shape is echoed by the two electrical door openers. Integrated flush with the surface, these draw a line back to the rear which is taken up by the rear door handles. Above this, the surrounding shoulder line in chrome offsets the corpus of the car from the greenhouse and roof in hallmark MINI style. This so-called Waistline Finisher embraces the entire passenger cell, reinforcing the exterior graphics so typical of the brand. The 19" light alloy rims in bicolor Black Chrome and Chrome finish are the highlight of the side view. A clear cup formation gives the elaborate multi-spoke design a highly dynamic touch. In between, glossy accents are added by non-cupped polished surfaces.
    Aerodynamic details for optimum air ducting
    The MINI Clubman Concept is the first MINI to be fitted with a so-called AirBreather at the side. The AirBreather echoes the design theme of the AirCurtains in the front apron, cutting dynamically into the surrounding Black Band. The elaborate double roof spoiler at the rear is shown to best advantage from the top view. The third brake light is integrated in between the two wings of the roof spoilers in Formula 1 style. There are also two longitudinal sections of plexiglass which run across the entire length of the roof like rally stripes. In conjunction with the roof spoiler, this means that the distinctive dynamic air typical of MINI is applied to the MINI Clubman Concept from a bird's-eye perspective, too.
    Typical MINI Clubman: split doors for increased loading convenience - the rear
    The MINI Clubman Concept is broad and athletic in the rear view. The familiar MINI cascading - a staggering of multiple layers - gives the automobile a very solid standing and a muscular wheel orientation when seen from the rear. The most striking rear elements are the characteristic split doors. The typical continuous door frame is no longer made of sheet metal. The door graphic itself provides the frame surrounding the entire rear section like a discreet bracket. This newly elaborated design gives the whole rear a reduced, modern appearance. The horizontally positioned rear lights have a highly detailed finish. Their shape underscores the car's broad standing and the dynamic orientation of the rear section. Selected chrome accents such as the "Clubman" inscription, the MINI emblem on the left-hand door and the door handles are specific details which emphasize the high-quality aspiration of the MINI Clubman Concept.
    As in the front section, the aerodynamically optimized bumper finishes off the rear to the road. A functional detail in the rear apron is the Smart Opening function: a sensor underneath the bumper allows the tailgate to be opened using your foot if you do not have a free hand.
    Exclusivity and function interpreted in contemporary style - the interior design
    Along with the exterior, the interior of the MINI Clubman Concept has also grown to larger dimensions. With four doors and five fully-fledged seats, the MINI Clubman Concept offers plenty of space for the pursuit of an active lifestyle.
    The new dimensions are brought to life by means of generous surfaces and more sophisticated spatial effect. The underlying design theme in the interior is the characteristic ellipse. Precise and contoured in its shaping, it comes over as more sophisticated while clearly displaying its origins. Around the ellipses, the interaction between several levels and surfaces adds lightness and a three-dimensional feel to the interior.
    The unusual materials are especially worthy of mention: nubuck leather in a light Sky Blue, patent leather in rich Berry Red and black soft nappa leather ensure an exclusive interior atmosphere which is highly expressive. In between, elements in patinized silver add high-end accentuations. The patina gives them the character of familiar, fondly used items. Decorative strips in blue limed ash grain convey cool, modern elegance. The two highly expressive fabrics Tweed Grey and Black Twill set an attractive counterpoint to the classic value attributes of wood, leather, silver, thereby creating the familiar MINI interior experience. Small details such as the buttons with Union Jack embossment on the seats and central console, contrast stitching, piping or red accentuation surfaces in the sun blinds which only appear when these are folded down all add a touch of surprise to the mature character of the MINI Clubman Concept.
    High-end sophistication and presence - the instrument panel
    The interior element of the MINI Clubman Concept with the most powerful presence is the leather-covered instrument panel. With a surround in blue limed ash grain and a white porcelain finish, the black upper section of the instrument panel has a hovering appearance. Indirect rear lighting of the gap reinforces this impression and gives the area in front of the driver and front passenger an extremely high-end ambience. The linear air vents have patinized, silver-plated surrounds. Between the air vents there is an area in Black Chrome which can be back-lit if required that provides additional information for the driver and front passenger. The suggested "Faded Diamonds" rhombus pattern gives the Black Chrome surface a particularly high-quality structure. The lower section of the instrument panel is finished in Berry Red patent leather, providing an extrovert yet sophisticated contrast to the more discreet design of the upper half.
    Multi-layered and light - the door design
    The newly interpreted ellipse in the side runs dynamically across the two doors to create a visual link between front and rear. The armrests in blue Nubuck leather appear to hover in the doors, while behind them there are practical storage compartments. The decorative surfaces in the doors have indirect backlighting to underscore the inviting, contemporary ambience. The side mirrors and roof liner recede discreetly into the background due to use of high-quality fabric Tweed Grey in salt-and-pepper look, while the quality weave of the fabric Black Twill with classic black-and-white contrast on the floor and mats makes for an elegant finish.
    The concept of spatial function in the rear is rounded off with clever storage facilities in the split doors as well as a double load floor. The pouches in the doors are elaborately fitted with Nubuck leather in Silk White. They are placed within convenient reach and help make optimum use of space in the luggage compartment. The double load floor provides additional storage capacity.
    Intelligent controls
    The display area in the center console (160mm x 150mm) adapts according to the content selected or the situation on the road. Three "intelligent" toggles are assigned the relevant content according to selected content or driving functions. Above and beyond this, the three toggles can also be freely programmed and assigned particular functions according preference. The haptic quality of the toggles means that the various functions can be operated during travel without looking. Here the MINI Clubman Concept has taken classic operating elements that have been a part of MINI for 55 years and consistently advanced them.

    William Maley

    Volvo readies the second act of the XC60

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


    Volvo Cars reveals new XC60

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

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

    William Maley

    What you need to know about Maserati's first SUV

    A couple weeks back, Maserati revealed the Levante SUV after pictures were leaked. At the time, Maserati only gave out some small details about their new SUV. But this week at the Geneva Motor Show, Maserati has revealed all of the details on the Levante.
     
    The Levante uses the same platform that underpins both the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans. It also features the same engine lineup as both sedans.
    3.0L Twin-Turbo V6: 350 or 430 Horsepower 3.0L Turbodiesel V6: 275 Horsepower

    All engines are hooked up to an eight-speed automatic and the Q4 all-wheel drive system. Stop/Start is standard on all of the engines. 0-60 mph times ranges from 5.2 seconds for the 430 horsepower 3.0L Twin Turbo V6 to 6.9 seconds for the diesel.
     
    The Levante's interior mimics the one found in the Ghibli and Quattroporte. New for the Levante is a control knob that can be used with the infotainment system.
     
    In terms of safety, the Levante comes with forward collision warning, automatic brake assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and a surround view camera.
     
    Maserati says the Levante will go on sale in Europe this spring, with other markets following thereafter.
     
    Source: Maserati
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


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

    Maserati has chosen the 86th Geneva International Motor Show to introduce the first SUV in its hundred-year history: the Levante.
     
    As with many Maseratis from the past, the new car's name is inspired by a wind: the Levante is a warm Mediterranean wind that can change from a light breeze to an irresistible natural force in an instant, mirroring the character of the first Maserati SUV.
     
    The Levante is the ideal complement to the Maserati range. Combined with the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio, the range now covers the entirety of the global luxury automotive market.
     
    Design, Exclusivity and Performance are the key characteristics for describing this new Maserati. Distinctively Italian in style, with breathtaking and iconic Maserati design features.
     
    The interior has been created with the finest materials, most exquisite to the touch, from optional premium leather to Ermenegildo Zegna silk, made in Trivero by the Zegna wool mill with a patented process.
     
    The spaciousness of the interior, enhanced by the panoramic electric sunroof, is combined with coupé-sleek external lines and the best aerodynamic efficiency in its category with a Cx coefficient of just 0.31.
     
    The new Maserati SUV is based on the Quattroporte and Ghibli architecture, further evolved and refined to meet the expectations of this market segment, in which Maserati will compete for the first time.
     
    The technology applied to every Levante is designed to offer outstanding performance both on- and off-road. Sophisticated suspension - double-wishbone on the front axle and multi-link on the rear, combined with electronically controlled damping, four corner air-springs providing 5 dynamic ride levels (plus one additional park-position), play an essential role in the car's handling.
     
    Furthermore, with the lowest centre of gravity in its class, perfectly balanced weight distribution (50-50) between front and rear, high levels of dynamic torsional and flexional stiffness, and a mechanical self-locking rear differential as standard, when driven on-road, the Levante delivers all the performance and emotion typical of every Maserati.
     
    The height-adjustment of the body position particularly useful in off-road driving guarantees ride comfort at the top of the category; when set to the minimum ground clearance, it enables the car to perform at its sporty best.
     
    The Levante is fitted with a 3 litre V6 Twin-Turbo petrol engine with either 350hp or 430hp, and a 275hp 3 litre V6 Turbo Diesel. All engines are combined with the “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive system - which can transfer torque between the axles instantaneously when required - and an 8-speed automatic gearbox, with integrated Start&Stop System.
     
    In terms of performance, the Levante S (430hp) covers 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, has a top speed of 264 km/h, and provides combined NEDC-cycle consumption and emission figures of 10.9 l/100 km and 253g CO2/km respectively. The Levante (350hp) accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds and achieves a top speed of 251 km/h, with combined cycle consumption and emission figures of 10.7 l/100 km and 249g CO2/km respectively. The Diesel-powered Levante (275hp) covers 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, and has a top speed of 230 km/h, while its combined cycle consumption and emission figures are 7.2 l/100 km and 189g CO2/km respectively.
     
    The human-machine interface on board is based on an evolution of the Maserati Touch Control system, completely updated to offer even more functionality and convenience: the 8.4” high-resolution screen is capacitive, and can – in addition to the touch system - be operated using the new rotary control in the central tunnel.
     
    A wide range of sophisticated advanced driver assistance systems is available, including adaptive cruise control with automatic Start&Stop function, forward collision warning, automatic brake assist system and lane departure warning. Further options include blind spot alert, surround view camera and a powerlift tailgate.
     
    Two extended feature packs are available for the Levante, a Luxury-Package and a Sport-Pack; they each include a variety of distinctive stylistic and technical contents and enable customers to extensively personalise the exterior and interior of the Levante.
     
    The list of accessories, tailored to the vehicle's high quality and functionality standards, offers a wider array of options than ever before which includes cargo solutions, useful everyday items and a variety of roof carrier or trailer options.
     
    The Maserati Levante is built in a dedicated, completely refurbished and modernized area of the Mirafiori plant in Turin; the first cars have already come off the assembly line and the market launch is planned for this spring in Europe, to be followed by the rest of the world.
     
    The list price for the Swiss market, where the Levante has been launched, is 75.900 CHF.

    William Maley

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

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


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

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

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

    William Maley

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

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

    William Maley

    Volvo Completes Their Concept Trifecta!

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

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

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

    William Maley
    Subaru felt it was time to give the XV Crosstrek a makeover. The end result made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show as the XV (the U.S. version will be known as the Crosstrek).
    The big news for the XV/Crosstrek is Subaru's modular platform. First making its debut in the new Impreza, the new platform gives the XV a 70 percent increase in overall rigidity. Subaru says this helps give the XV improved driving dynamics and makes it much safer in the event of an accident. 
    Subaru has also made the XV a bit more capable when it comes to the rough stuff by adding hill descent control and X-Mode that optimizes the engine, all-wheel drive system, and brakes to improve traction on slipperier surfaces like mud and snow. This is on top of a ground clearance of 8.6-inches. 
    Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder with 154 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with Subaru's Lineartronic CVT. 
    There isn't a dramatic change to the XV's exterior aside from a revised front end that comes with a new grille and reshaped headlights. The interior is a different story as it features a revamped dashboard design with a 7 or 8-inch touchscreen, along with improved materials. 
    The XV will come with Subaru's EyeSight safety system - pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist - as standard. The Crosstrek in North America will get this an option.
    Subaru will begin sales of the XV in Europe later this year. We'll learn about when we get our hands on the Crosstrek next month at the New York Auto Show.
    Source: Subaru
    Press Release is on Page 2


    WORLD PREMIERE OF ALL-NEW SUBARU XV AT 2017 GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW 
    Mar 7, 2017
    Built on Subaru’s new Global Platform - which significantly enhances refinement, safety, ride comfort, and agility. A newly-developed 2.0-litre Direct Injection Boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive are standard on all models. Equipped with X-MODE which enhances off road ability of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, offering increased SUV capability. XV’s rugged and sporty styling is influenced by Subaru’s DYNAMIC x SOLID design philosophy. Standard EyeSight driver assist technology delivers outstanding preventative safety. Subaru has unveiled the all-new XV at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show. XV is a crossover which combines a compact body with SUV capability based on Subaru’s distinctive Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and rugged yet sporty design, offering versatility in both urban areas and the countryside.
    For the first re-design since launch in 2012, XV will be built on Subaru’s completely revamped Subaru Global Platform architecture, significantly enhancing the body and chassis rigidity and strength.
    The new Subaru XV also offers world-class collision safety and hazard avoidance performance, as well as more responsive handling and ride comfort while enhancing the Subaru XV’s unique design and off road capability. The model is the first strategic offering in Europe under the company’s Prominence 2020 mid-term management vision which delivers “enjoyment and peace of mind” for customers.
    Key Features of All-New Subaru XV
    XV’s unique design is filled with rugged and sporty character, incorporating the Subaru design philosophy DYNAMIC x SOLID. Functional enhancements have also been included with a high-quality interior and exterior finish.
    Exterior
    The Wide & Low stance provides a sporty impression and adds to the Subaru family look, from the hexagonal grille to the hawk-eye headlights. The design flows from the grille through to the rear, providing a united scheme. The grille design and matte black cladding on the bumper elude to XV’s rugged character and SUV functionality. The character line runs from front wheel arch to rear shoulder and rises energetically; adding dynamism to the side profile. The extended wheel arches suggest the intent and capability provided by Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and is finished off with matte black cladding. The Wide & Low stance applied to the front design carries over to the rear combination lights. The shoulder silhouette with black roof spoiler are juxtaposed against the rugged matte black cladding on the rear bumper, playing up to XV’s versatile character. The new model also combines the Subaru performance essentials of superior aerodynamics and visibility with advanced styling. Newly designed alloy wheels embody the Subaru XV’s sporty, casual, and rugged character. New exterior colours “Cool Grey Khaki” and “Sunshine Orange” have been added, which contrast with the matte black cladding adding to XV’s active and functional image. Interior
    The body-hugging seats have been revised for improved quality and feature grey trim to enhance XV’s character. In the centre of the instrument panel is an 8.0-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system, with smartphone connectivity. Detailed orange stitching on the instrument panel complements the cabin’s quality. In addition to enhanced interior design, signature Subaru attributes have been further strengthened; excellent all-round visibility, spacious cabin, and cargo room. Enhanced dynamic driving performance paired with off road capability
    All-new XV has been improved in several areas to achieve an enhanced dynamic feel. Steering and pedal feedback, vehicle response, noise and vibration have been refined to achieve a positive driver experience. XV’s impressive off road capability has also been enhanced with X-MODE.
    Body & Chassis
    The new platform dramatically increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis (70-100% increase over present models). Substantial improvements to the suspension system are incorporated, and help achieve a lower centre of gravity allowing precise steering control. Increased precision allows for superior straight line stability and cornering performance whilst maintaining 220mm ground clearance. Torsional rigidity has been improved by 70% over present models by optimising frame structure and joints. This distributes resonance and distortion throughout the body, reducing vibrations. Suspension mounts are more rigid, improving absorption without twisting the chassis and providing a smooth and comfortable drive. Body roll of the vehicle has been reduced by 50% compared to present models. The steering gear ratio has been modified from 14:1 to 13:1 compared to the previous model, offering superior drivability. Active Torque Vectoring enhances turning and steering performance. Electronic parking brake has been added for more convenience. All-Wheel Drive control
    In addition to Subaru’s unique Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, new XV is equipped with X-MODE. X-MODE is designed to increase drivability by optimising integrated control of the engine, All-Wheel Drive system and brakes to provide additional control when tyres slip and lose traction on a slippery road surface, including when descending hills. Engine
    80% of the parts on the FB series 2.0-litre Direct Injection Boxer engine have been revamped compared to previous naturally aspirated engines. The new engine is lighter, delivering more power and improved fuel economy. The improved Lineartronic greatly enhances ratio coverage and lightness to boost acceleration performance and fuel economy. As well as employing full auto-step shift control, the Subaru XV features a 7-speed manual mode function for a more engaging driving experience. Engine and transmission noise and vibration are greatly reduced, for a more dynamic experience. Safety
    Subaru’s safety performance has continuously been highly rated by third-party organizations. The new Subaru XV has adopted technologies to further enhance its safety including the new platform and the advanced preventative safety system, to ensure XV will achieve high safety ratings.
    Active safety
    The new platform achieves a centre of gravity that is 5 mm lower than present models. Together with the major improvements in rigidity and the evolution of the suspension system, this lower centre of gravity offers outstanding hazard avoidance capabilities on a level with a high-performance sports car. Passive safety
    Impact energy absorption is improved by 40% over present models by using a frame structure that absorbs more energy and high-tensile steel plates. Preventive safety
    EyeSight, Subaru’s innovative and highly acclaimed driver assist technology, delivers extremely reliable preventive safety and assists drivers through features such as Pre-Collision Braking Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist function. The new High Beam Assist employs a monocular camera, automatically switching from high to low beam as per road conditions. Steering Responsive Headlights move the beam right or left whilst cornering or at junctions to illuminate the direction of travel. The Subaru XV uses two headlight controls for the first time, dramatically improving night-time visibility and the recognition capabilities of EyeSight. The Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection has been fitted, offering blind spot detection, lane change assistance and reversing assistance to enhance all-round preventive safety.

    William Maley

    The Crossover Craze Continues At Volkswagen

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

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

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 12, 2013
    Its been a long two years since Alfa Romeo unveiled the 4C Concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, but now the time has come. A few weeks before this year's Geneva Motor Show, Alfa Romeo has pull back the curtain on the production 4C.
    The production 4C model, due out as a 2014 model, maintains the sharp looks from the concept. The 4C also keeps the mid-engine layout and carbon-fiber monocoque chassis.
    Power will come from Alfa Romeo's 1.75L turbocharged four-cylinder that is also used in the Giulietta. Alfa is keeping quiet on performance figures, only saying that the 4C has a weight-to-power ratio of less than 4 kg/hp (about 8.8 lbs/hp). All of the power will be sent through the company's "TCT automatic" dual-clutch transmission. No word on how many ratios, but its safe to assume six.
    The 4C will also come equipped with Alfa Romeo's DNA system which allows a driver to adjust certain aspects of the 4C. The settings include Dynamic, Natural, All Weather, and Race.
    We'll have more information when the 4C makes it debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
    Source: Alfa Romeo

    Album: Alfa Romeo 4C
    3 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The final version of the Alfa Romeo 4C makes its début at the 83rd International Motor Show in Geneva. This mid-engined rear-wheel drive coupé with two bucket seats represents the true essence of a sports car at the heart of Alfa Romeo's DNA: performance, Italian style and technical excellence, offering maximum driving satisfaction in total safety.
    Designed by Alfa Romeo engineers and produced in the Maserati plant in Modena, the new compact supercar will be available for purchase in 2013, marking the return of the Italian brand to the United States and inaugurating Alfa Romeo's global growth plan.
    The Alfa Romeo 4C derives directly from the concept which raised many eyebrows in wonder at the Geneva Show in 2011, so much so that it won three prestigious awards: the 'AutoBild Design Award' (2011, Germany), the 'Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes' (2012, Italy) and the 'Most Exciting Car of 2013' - 'What Car?' (2013, Great Britain).
    Acronym 4C
    The acronym '4C' draws its inspiration from the brand's glorious past, projecting the values of technology and emotions into the future. Indeed, it refers to Alfa Romeo's great sporting tradition: the acronyms 8C and 6C in the 1930s and 1940s distinguished cars - both racing and road - fitted with the powerful 'eight cylinders' and the innovative 'six cylinders', confirming in its design layout and construction the goal of achieving the power /weight ratio of an authentic supercar, less than 4 kg/HP, yet focusing not merely on the maximum power delivered, but on limiting the weight to guarantee maximum agility and top performance. To this end, the Alfa Romeo 4C uses technologies and materials derived from super sports cars (including the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione) - carbon fibre, aluminium, rear-wheel drive - and technologies from the latest standard models from Alfa Romeo, but updated to enhance the sports appeal of the new car even further. This is demonstrated by the new 1750 Turbo Petrol all-aluminium engine with direct injection, the sophisticated Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA selector with the unprecedented Race mode.
    Exterior style
    Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the 4C immediately brings to mind some of the traditional iconic models which have left a significant mark in the history of the Brand. Above all others, in terms of dimensional and layout similarities, one stands out in particular: the 33 Stradale, a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style which 'clothed' the engine and chassis appropriately with unmistakable Alfa Romeo treatments. The 4C has followed suit, and thus completes a journey which was embarked upon with the 8C Competizione, emphasising some particular concepts of the brand, such as compact size, dynamism and agility.
    Interior design
    The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction. Specifically, the carbon fibre in the interior immediately stands out, used to make the central cell, which has been left in full view to enhance the sense of uniqueness, of technology and light weight.
    Dimensions and aerodynamics
    The compact dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats truly unique amid its competitors: it is just under 4 metres long, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres. These dimensions serve both to emphasise the compact size of the car and to accentuate its agility. What's more, owing to the designers' excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, recording a negative Cz (downforce coefficient) which, as in racing cars, contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds.
    New 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol
    An evolution of the engine already in use in the Quadrifoglio Verde version of the Giulietta, the new 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol engine implements an innovative aluminium block and specific intake and exhaust systems which have been optimised to enhance the sports appeal of the car even further. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any turbo lag.
    Alfa TCT automatic transmission
    The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the innovative Alfa TCT automatic twin dry clutch transmission, which is a genuine benchmark in its segment due to its low weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can also be changed in sequential mode using the shift paddles located behind the steering wheel.
    The new Alfa DNA selector with Race mode
    The Alfa Romeo 4C also sees the début of the new Alfa DNA selector which not only features the three standard settings available until now - Dynamic, Natural and All Weather - but also a fourth mode: Race, designed to enhance the driving experience on a race track even further.
    Excellence made in Italy
    The very best technical and industrial expertise of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands were used to develop the final version of the 4C. Specifically, the teamwork between the two brands was aimed at the integration of the Alfa Romeo design department with the Maserati production plant. In short, this too is a distinguishing trait of Alfa Romeo, a brand with a century of history that continues to be one of the most famous and popular ambassadors of Italian products across the world.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 12, 2013
    Spyker could be heading to this year’s Geneva Motor Show with a new car. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf's Autovisie recently had the chance to speak with CEO Victor Muller who revealed this.
    "I say nothing, other than that it will surprise you,” Muller said.
    Details are scarce, but sources at Spyker say the new model is smaller and cheaper than the current C8 Aileron.
    Source: Autovisie
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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