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    William Maley

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

    What could the next-generation Mazda2 look like? Well if the Hazumi concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show this week is any indication, it looks like it will follow in the footsteps of the Mazda3 and 6.
    The Hazumi concept follows Mazda's Kodo design language with the five-point grille and slender headlights up front. The side profile has a similar shape to the Mazda3 hatchback. Around back is an upright tailgate, triangular taillights, and a spoiler mounted on the roof.
    Inside, the Hazumi is very concept-y with uniquely styled dashboard that intended to give the impression of a bridge when paired with the door trim. Black and white leather trim line the interior, while a red leather is used on the seats. A version of the Mazda3's heads-up display is used, along with Mazda's Connect infotainment system.
    The Hazumi's powertrain is a turbocharged 1.5L Skyactiv-D four-cylinder that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine also includes a stop-start system.
    Source: Mazda
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    MAZDA HAZUMI Geneva International Motor Show Press Kit
    A glimpse at Mazda’s ideal next-generation subcompact vehicle.

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

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

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

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

    William Maley

    Jaguar Teases Their Upcoming Compact Luxury Sedan

    Jaguar has finally teased their new compact luxury sedan that will take on the German stronghold in the class. Named the XE, the sedan will utilize a new "aluminum intensive" chassis that was previewed in the C-X17 Crossover Concept from last year. The new XE will also come with a family of turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder gas and diesel engines called Ingenium. The company says the new engines will deliver excellent performance and low emissions.
    The new XE will officially debut at the Paris Motor Show later this year. Sales will start in Europe in 2015, with the U.S. following a year later.
    Source: Jaguar
    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
    JAGUAR XE CONFIRMED AS NAME FOR COMPACT SPORTS SEDAN WITH All-NEW ‘INGENIUM’ ENGINE FAMILY AND ADVANCED ALUMINUM CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY
    The Jaguar XE will be an all-new compact premium sports sedan that will arrive in the United States in 2016
    This sedan will expand the Jaguar lineup to reach a new generation of automotive enthusiasts and luxury buyers
    The Jaguar XE will be an advanced, efficient and refined design featuring an aluminum intensive unibody
    This will be the first Jaguar product built on the company’s new advanced aluminum architecture
    The Jaguar XE will be the first vehicle powered by the new Ingenium high-output, fuel-efficient two-liter four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines delivering exceptional performance and low emissions
    The Ingenium family of engines will be built at a new Jaguar Land Rover Engine Manufacturing Facility in the United Kingdom

    (MAHWAH, N.J.) – March 4, 2014 – Today, Jaguar confirmed details of the brand’s all-new compact sport sedan, the Jaguar XE which will launch globally in 2015 and comes to the United States in 2016. The Jaguar XE will be the first product built on the new advanced aluminum architecture which was showcased in the C-X17 concept car in 2013. This aluminum intensive structure provides the benefits of lightness and strength for exceptional handling, performance, refinement and efficiency.
    Power will be provided by a variety of engines with a wide range of capacities and output, all delivering inspirational performance and offering the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies. The new Ingenium engine line will also offer a flexible engine architecture that can be configured to suit in-line and transverse installations and can be used in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.
    Speaking at the Geneva Auto Show, Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, confirmed: "We announced just a few weeks ago that our new Engine Manufacturing Center would produce a new family of premium, lightweight, low-friction, low emission four-cylinder gasoline and diesel units. The first of our Ingenium engine range will be used in our all-new compact Jaguar sports sedan. That car will be called the Jaguar XE, and it will be unveiled in production form later this year."
    Ian Callum, Director of Design, said: "The new Jaguar XE is every bit a modern Jaguar car; more compact in size but visually striking. Customers will expect a great deal from a compact Jaguar car - it must be practical but premium. We never forget we are designing a Jaguar car and that means it must be as exciting to look at and drive as it is brilliant to run and practical to own. We believe we've done just that with the Jaguar XE."
    "The all-new Jaguar XE compact sport sedan will bring Jaguar into the largest segment of the luxury car market with a dynamic new entry that will challenge the status quo of luxury car brands," said Jeff Curry, Brand Vice President of Jaguar North America. "Jaguar is charting an exciting new path with the recent launch of the Jaguar F-TYPE and the introduction of the Jaguar XE, which completes our sedan line-up. We offer a more exclusive, distinct choice in the luxury car marketplace combining progressive British design, a high performance character and advanced aluminum technology."
    The name of the Jaguar XE follows the brand's sedan progression, positioned alongside the XF and XJ sedans in the range.

    William Maley

    Jeep Tackles The Subcompact Marketplace With The Renegade

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

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

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

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

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

    William Maley

    Take Three On The TT

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

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

    William Maley

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

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

    William Maley

    BMW Adds More Confusion With the 4-Series Gran Coupe

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

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

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

    Inside the LaFerrari there is fixed drivers seat and a a 12.3-inch reconfigurable dashboard screen.
    Ferrari says they will build 499 LaFerraris and each one will cost cost €1.3 million (about $1.69 million).
    Source: Ferrari
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The LaFerrari unveiled at Geneva
    Maranello, 5th March 2013 – The wraps are finally off the LaFerrari. The Prancing Horse's eagerly-anticipated limited-series special, of which just 499 will be built, made its world debut today at the Geneva International Motor Show.
    "We chose to call this model LaFerrari," declared Ferrari's President, Luca di Montezemolo, "because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling and the sheer thrill of driving. Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range, and it represents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry. LaFerrari is the finest expression of our company's unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula 1."
    For Ferrari the development of a limited-series special like the LaFerrari represents an opportunity to experiment with all the technological solutions that will later filter down onto the production cars. Of particular significance in this context is the introduction of the hybrid system which, making full use of the Scuderia Ferrari's F1 KERS know-how, has resulted in a solution that exalts Ferrari's fundamental values – performance and driving thrills. The hybrid technology used, known as HY-KERS, represents the perfect combination of maximum performance and lower emissions. LaFerrari in fact emits just 330 g/km of CO2 but without resorting to electric-only drive which would not fit the mission of this model. The HY-KERS system is, however, designed so that in future applications a car can be driven using exclusively electric power for a few kilometres and, during development testing, a full-electric version of LaFerrari achieved just 220 g/km of C02 emissions on the combined cycle.
    The LaFerrari is equipped with dynamic controls that are integrated for the first time ever on a Ferrari road car with active aerodynamics and the HY-KERS system. Thanks to Ferrari's proprietary logic which govern all the systems, the car can achieve absolute levels of performance, aerodynamic efficiency and handling without any form of compromise in any area. A very advanced and uncompromising approach was also taken with the interior design which features an HMI inspired by F1 single-seaters.
    Architecture
    The LaFerrari's architecture posed the first challenge for the Prancing Horse team at the planning stage of the design. The aim was to achieve ideal weight distribution (59% at the rear) and a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. The result is that all of the masses are situated between the car's two axles and as close as possible to the floor to lower its centre of gravity (by 35 millimetres) and thereby guarantee dynamic handling and compact dimensions.
    The layout of the cabin made a significant contribution in this regard. The seat is fixed and tailored to the driver while both the pedal box and steering wheel are adjustable. The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed after consultation with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who played an active role throughout the entire development process.
    The LaFerrari's chassis features no less than four different types of carbon-fibre, all hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as the Formula 1 car. This helped optimise the design: various functions were integrated (e.g. seats and battery compartment) into the chassis to improve torsional rigidity (+27%) and beam stiffness (+22%) whilst cutting weight.
    Powertrain
    The LaFerrari is the first car in Ferrari history to be powered by the HY-KERS system. The ICE represents the pinnacle of engine development and research, with a 6262 cc V12 that punches out 800 CV and revs to a maximum of 9,250 rpm, a record for an engine of this displacement. It also features a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio and a high specific output equal to 128 CV per litre. The engine is coupled with a 120 Kw (163 CV) electric motor, giving it a combined power output of 963 CV.
    The high torque levels available at low revs from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimise the internal combustion engine's performance at higher revs, thus providing a constant supply of exceptional power throughout the rev range. Total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm. The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli – one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries – and a battery pack attached to the floor of the chassis consisting of cells that are assembled in the Scuderia Ferrari department where the KERS for the F138 is also made. The Scuderia's expertise allowed considerable savings in weight and size of the individual components and the batteries weigh just 60 kg while providing the highest energy density possible for this kind of application.
    The batteries are charged in different ways: under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter instance, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries.
    The electric motor is coupled with the F1 dual-clutch gearbox to the benefit of optimal weight distribution, but also to boosting energy efficiency as torque is instantly available to the wheels and, vice versa, from the wheels to the electric motor in recharging.
    Aerodynamics
    Active aerodynamics play an essential role, as they allow a complete adjustability of the car's configuration to attain LaFerrari's exceptional performance.
    The engineers' aim was to deliver the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car, with a coefficient of nearly 3, thanks to technical solutions honed with CFD analysis and fine-tuned in the F1 Wind Tunnel.
    To boost efficiency, the LaFerrari sports active aerodynamic devices front (diffusers and guide vane on the underbody) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler) which generate downforce when needed without compromising the car's overall drag coefficient. These devices deploy automatically on the basis of a number of different performance parameters which are monitored in real time by the car's dynamic vehicle controls, thus guaranteeing the ideal configuration on the basis of the driving conditions.
    Control systems
    One further innovative aspect of the LaFerrari is the integration of its active aerodynamics and hybrid system with the other dynamic control systems aboard. This means the car responds intelligently to driver inputs, making for a seamless blend of unprecedented performance and unparalleled driving emotions.
    Proprietary Ferrari algorithms deliver optimal integration of the electric motor and V12 for instantaneous response. In cornering, for instance, the HY-KERS keeps the V12's revs high to guarantee better acceleration on exit.
    The LaFerrari's Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system, and incorporates several new features, including new lightweight callipers designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition.
    The car's extreme performance potential called for a different tyre set-up, with 265/30 R 19 Pirelli P-Zeros on the front and 345/30 R 20s on the rear.
    All in all the car guarantees maximum driving thrills in every situation and performance levels are top level: 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in under 7 seconds, a lap time at Fiorano of under 1'20" – 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and over 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta. LaFerrari is thus the fastest road car in Maranello's long history.
    Styling The Ferrari design team led by Flavio Manzoni developed the LaFerrari's styling working in close synergy with the engineers to emphasise the exacting link between form and function. The result is an extreme, innovative design which retains close links to the marque's tradition. This is most evident in its side profile: the car has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches, a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.
    The LaFerrari's body has been given a sculptural treatment heavily influenced by its clearly F1-inspired aerodynamics and a tail section that exudes uncompromising sportiness.
    Inside there's a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. The signature bridge on which the F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape. The whole interior, in fact, has a fiercely track-inspired, pared-back allure.
    The Ferrari range
    Aside from the new limited-series special, the Ferrari stand also features the complete range which is the most wide-ranging and critically acclaimed in its entire history. The five models all share the same Ferrari DNA in terms of performance, driving pleasure and technology, yet each one has its own strongly unique identity, in line with the company's philosophy of "different Ferraris for different Ferraristi".
    Ferrari's 12-cylinder GT sports car prowess is represented at Geneva by the FF, the very first four-seater and four-wheel drive in Prancing Horse history. It will be sporting a Grigio Ingrid livery with an elegant glass roof and Iroko interior. The FF is also now seamlessly integrated with Apple technologies, thanks to direct access to the infotainment system via SIRI voice commands and the adoption of two iPad Minis as the entertainment system of choice for the rear seat passengers.
    Blistering performance and sublime driving pleasure even at low speeds are assured behind the wheel of the multi-award-winning F12berlinetta, which is powered by a mid-front V12. Unique handling characteristics, extreme aerodynamics and an innovative yet classic design are its signatures. The car on show at Geneva has a Grigio Silverstone livery and a Sella di Cavallo interior.
    Moving on to the 8-cylinders, the California 30, in sophisticated Nero Stellato with a Crema interior, is a convertible GT that uncompromisingly marries sportiness and versatility. The California's already-massive popularity with both press and public alike grew still further after its V8's output was upped by 30 hp to 490 hp, and 30 kg was slashed off its overall weight.
    The blistering 458 Italia is a sublime, thoroughbred sports car. It and its drop-top sibling, the 458 Spider, are equipped with the same extraordinary mid-rear-mounted V8 engine which was named International Engine of the Year in both 2011 and 2012. These two models continue Ferrari's glorious tradition with this particular layout. The coupé seen at Geneva sports an aggressive Bianco Avus livery and sleek black interior with carbon-fibre trim, while the Spider, which dominates the Tailor-Made extreme personalisation area, takes its inspiration from the legendary 1957 250 Testa Rossa that sold for a record 16 million dollars at auction at Pebble Beach in 2011. It has the same red and blue livery and a host of competition car details in its cabin, not least of which are suede-upholstered seats and Alutex trim.
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    HY-KERS system
    Total maximum power 963 CV
    Total maximum torque >900 Nm
    V12 maximum power* 800 CV @9000 rpm
    Maximum revs 9250 rpm
    V12 maximum torque 700 Nm @6750 rpm
    Electric motor output 120 Kw (163 CV)
    CO2 emissions** 330 g/km
    Performance
    Maximum speed over 350 km/h
    0-100 km/h <3 sec
    0-200 km/h <7 sec
    0 - 300 km/h 15 sec
    ICE
    Type 65-deg. V12
    Bore and stroke 94 x 752 mm
    Total displacement 6262 cc
    Compression ratio 13.5:1
    Specific power 128 CV/l
    Dimensions
    Length 4702 mm
    Width 1992 mm
    Height 1116 mm
    Wheelbase 2650 mm
    Weight distribution 41% fr, 59% r
    Gearbox
    7-speed DCT
    Suspensions
    Front double wishbones
    Rear multi-link
    Tyres(Pirelli P-Zero)
    Front 265/30 - 19
    Rear 345/30 - 20
    Carbon ceramic brakes (Brembo)
    Front 398 x 223 x 36 mm
    Rear 380 x 253 x 34 mm
    Electronic controls
    ESC stability control
    High performance ABS/EBD Sistema frenata anti bloccaggio prestazionale /electronic brake balance
    EF1-Trac F1 electronic traction control integrated with the hybrid system
    E-Diff 3 third generation electronic differential
    SCM-E Frs magnetorheological damping with twin solenoids (Al-Ni tube)
    Aerodynamics
    active
    * with dynamic ram effect
    **Undergoing homologation

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2013
    Spyker would like everyone to forget about the whole Saab mess from last year and focus on their showing at the Geneva Motor Show, the B6 Venator Concept.
    The B6 Venator Concept was designed by Spyker CEO Victor Muller and pays homage to Spyker's past as an automotive and airplane manufacturer. Such design cues include a V-Shaped mesh grille, wraparound canopy, LED taillights that mimic the burners of a jet engine, and nineteen-inch "Turbofan" wheels.
    Power comes from a transverse-mounted V6 producing 375 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic. While that may seem a bit low for a two-seat sports car, the B6 Venator Concept weighs around 3,100 pounds thanks to carbon-fiber panels and a aluminum chassis.
    Spyker says the B6 Venator will go into production next year for those living in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific markets. Those living in the U.S. will be able to pick one in late 2014.
    Source: Spyker
    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
    SPYKER UNVEILS NEW B6 VENATOR CONCEPT
    Geneva | March 05, 2013
    2013 marks the global resurgence of Spyker as a creator of meticulously built automobiles whose beauty is equaled by their unrivaled craftsmanship. The brand's revival is heralded by the introduction of the Spyker B6 Venator Concept, a unique alternative in the High Luxury Sports sector, at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show. The Spyker B6 Venator Concept is a compact, 2-door mid-engine sports car that will offer the discerning driver of the highest standards a new choice, delivering a rare combination of heritage, design, performance and exclusivity.
    Designed by Victor R. Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Spyker N.V., the Spyker B6 Venator Concept makes a defiantly contemporary statement whilst paying homage to its past, making it instantly recognizable as a Spyker. Highly detailed design, bespoke materials and aviation-inspired elements are a core part of the Spyker DNA. With the announcement of the Spyker B6 Venator Concept, the company once again proves its Latin axiom: "Nulla tenaci invia est via" – "For the tenacious no road is impassable." The name "Venator" is Latin as well, meaning "Hunter" – a nod back to Spyker's "Hunter" fighter aircraft of the early 20th century.
    Exterior highlights include:

    The trademark radiator grille's mesh is V-shaped, referencing Spyker models of the previous century. The 1903 Spyker logo harkens back to an era when Spyker built racers such as the amazing 60HP.
    The aerodynamically shaped glass aircraft canopy extends rearwards to minimize drag, optimizing performance.
    The 3D LED rear lights are akin to the iris-type after burners of a jet engine from a modern fighter aircraft.
    The brake light has been sculpted into the rear panel design to ensure smooth, flowing design lines.
    Elegantly aggressive 19" TurbofanTM wheels are shown in mirror polish finish.

    Interior highlights include:
    Interior surroundings crafted from the finest materials are unusually open and airy for a sports car, the light and glass akin to an aeroplane cockpit. The leather is sourced from the Litano range produced by the Royal Hulshof Dutch Tanneries in Lichtenvoorde. Hulshof uses only West European first choice bull hides and a special tanning process that produces the beautifully rich colour palette.
    The red cover on the ignition switch evokes the spirit of starting an aeroplane, as does the dashboard that lights up as part of the 'pre-flight check.' The dashboard is shown with a turned aluminium fascia, similar to those seen on Spykers of the 1920s.
    Pressing the engine start button brings to life a powerful V6 engine that delivers 375+ bhp.

    The trademark exposed gear change mechanism was inspired by early aircraft controls from Spyker's aviation heritage.
    The Spyker B6 Venator Concept will begin production in early 2014 for key markets including Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and India, followed by the US in autumn 2014.
    The Spyker B6 Venator Concept is being shown for the first time at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show alongside the Spyker C8 Aileron that was first introduced at the 2009 Geneva International Motor Show. The design of the Spyker C8 Aileron represented another significant step in the evolution of Spyker, shifting from propeller to turbine inspired design.
    The introduction of the Spyker B6 Venator Concept marks the beginning of a new era for the brand, one that will include a significant increase in production led by a management team that has never been stronger. Last year Spyker expanded its global leadership with the appointment of John Walton as Chief Commercial Officer. Together, Muller and Walton are leading a passionate team that is supremely dedicated to creating unique and beautiful high- performance sports luxury cars.
    Since the brand's rebirth in 2000, the company has lived its motto – "for the tenacious no road is impassable" – making bold moves to ensure that Spyker will continue to be a viable, no-compromise brand. The company was taken public in 2004 in order to fund product development and growth. After a few bleak years and newfound partnerships, the momentum is all in the right direction. The financial standing of Spyker N.V. is strong, thanks to the recent conversion of all shareholder debt into equity and a €10M share issue to Youngman. The result: in 2012, Spyker N.V. recorded a €125M profit, laying the foundation for brand's global resurgence that is signaled today by the introduction of the Spyker B6 Venator Concept.
    Victor R. Muller, Spyker's CEO said, "There is no denying that Spyker went through a very rough period in recent years. However, today we prove the truth of our motto since 1914, 'Nulla tenaci invia est via' – 'For the tenacious no road is impassable.' Our dealer body and prospective clients have been asking us to make a more affordable car for everyday use. The Spyker B6 Venator Concept is that car and more: it is the highlight of our hard work to create a viable future for our company. By offering an exquisite, hand-crafted, exclusive car at a more accessible price point of approximately $125,000 / $150,000, more of those discerning drivers who have aspired to own a Spyker will be able to achieve that dream. Spyker B6 Venator Concept represents our view of the future, the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our history."
    Body: All carbon fibre
    Chassis: All aluminium platform
    Engine mount position: rear-mid
    Engine orientation: transverse mounted V6
    Drivetrain type: RWD
    Transmission: 6-spd automatic
    Overall length: 4347 mm
    Wheelbase: 2500 mm
    Kerb weight: < 1400 kg

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

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

    Album: Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition
    5 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    05 March 2013
    World première: Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition

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

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

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

    Album: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
    13 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chevrolet Lifts Lid on 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible
    2013-03-05
    GENEVA – Chevrolet revealed the 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible today at the Geneva Motor Show, featuring an all-new, fully electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car’s key fob. The top can also be opened or closed on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h).
    “The convertible has been a part of the heart and soul of Corvette since the very beginning in 1953,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “With the all-new Corvette Stingray, we designed and developed the coupe and convertible simultaneously. As a result, the Corvette Stingray offers an open-top driving experience with no compromise in performance, technology or design.”
    The Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible arrive in global markets in late 2013, with left-hand-drive models to be offered in Europe, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Japan and Russia. Changes to Corvettes for export vary only in equipment required to accommodate a respective market’s regulations, such as lighting, headlamp washers and outside mirrors.
    “It's fitting to introduce the new Stingray convertible on the global stage at Geneva, because Corvette is the face of Chevrolet the world over,” said Susan Docherty, president and managing director of Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe. “It is an icon that has long been recognized and admired even in countries where it’s never officially been offered.”
    All of the performance technology and capabilities introduced on the Corvette Stingray coupe carry over to the convertible. The only structural changes are limited to accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts. Central to the Corvette Stingray’s driving experience is an all-new, more rigid aluminum frame structure, which is 57-percent stiffer and 99 pounds (45 kg) lighter than the current steel frame.
    All models are powered by the new LT1 6.2L V-8, with an estimated 450-hp (335 kW) and 450 lb-ft of torque (610 Nm). As no structural reinforcements are required for the convertible, both models share almost identical power-to-weight ratios.
    The LT1 combines several advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing to support an advanced combustion system designed to balance power and efficiency. The new Corvette Stingray is expected to improve upon the current model’s fuel economy of 13.6L/100km (EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 26 mpg).
    With the top up, the Corvette Stingray convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick, three-ply fabric top, along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, contributes to a quiet cabin and premium appearance.
    With the top down, the Corvette Stingray’s signature profile is further accentuated. Behind the seat backs, dual black accent panels enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray’s signature “waterfall” design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior.
    Additional highlights of the all-new Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible include:
    A sculpted exterior with advanced high-intensity discharge and light-emitting diode lighting and racing-proven aerodynamics that balance low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability
    An interior that offers genuine carbon fiber and aluminum trim, hand-wrapped leather materials, dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens, and two new seat choices – each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support
    Advanced driver technologies, including a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to fit the driver’s environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time
    Lightweight materials, including a carbon fiber hood on all models and a carbon fiber removable roof panel on coupes; composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame help shift weight rearward for an optimal 50/50 weight balance that supports a world-class power-to-weight ratio
    Track-capable Z51 Performance Package, including an electronic limited-slip differential; dry-sump oiling system; integral brake, differential and transmission cooling; as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability.

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

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2013
    File this under the ‘wagons the the U.S. will never see’; Honda showed off the new Civic Wagon Concept at the Geneva Motor Show today. The Civic Wagon Concept takes the European Civic hatchback and adds a bit of length and height. Other design cues include embellished front and rear fenders, rear door handles mounted in the window frame, and sloping roofline.
    Honda will show the production version of the Civic wagon later this year.
    Source: Honda
    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
    British Built Honda Civic Range Expanding with New Tourer and Type R Variants
    5 March 2013
    - Wraps Taken Off Honda Civic Tourer Concept
    - Civic Type R Nurburgring testing to begin in 2013
    Honda has taken the wraps off the Civic Tourer Concept at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. This Concept provides strong hints to the exterior design of the Civic Tourer production model which will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Honda has also confirmed that track testing of the new Civic Type R will start at the Nurburgring in 2013.
    Civic Tourer Concept Unveiled
    The Civic Tourer Concept shares many of the same features as the ninth generation Civic hatchback model which was launched in late 2011. It has a sophisticated, aerodynamic body that creates a clean, dynamic look.
    With a distinctive profile amongst its competitors, the Civic Tourer Concept has a low and wide stance giving it a sporty appearance which is complemented by a sleek cabin style also found on the Civic hatchback.
    The Civic Tourer Concept continues the same design direction as previous Honda Tourer derivatives such as the Accord Tourer and Civic Aero deck which sought to offer smooth design combined with practical and class leading cargo space.
    The production version of the Civic Tourer will be in dealerships in early 2014 and will be built alongside the hatchback model in Honda’s production facility in Swindon, Wiltshire.
    Nurburgring testing for new Civic Type R
    Last year, Honda confirmed the introduction of an all-new Civic Type R for Europe. With the application of technologies from Honda’s World Touring Car Championship Civic, development is progressing well and Honda has now announced that testing at the Nurburgring will begin in Europe during 2013. The Type R model will be built in Swindon alongside the rest of the Civic range.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2013
    Say hello to the new Volkswagen Golf Variant which made its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show today. The Golf Variant is much like the Golf in its design, just on a longer wheelbase (about 12.1 inches).
    The European market gets a range of gasoline or diesel engines that can be mated to either a manual or DSG dual-clutch transmission. Also new for the Golf Variant is up to five drive modes that drivers can choose. The modes are Eco, Sport, Normal, Individual, and Comfort.
    The new Golf Variant goes on sale in August for Europe. No word on if and when the U.S. will be getting it.
    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
    03.04.2013
    NEW VOLKSWAGEN GOLF VARIANT MAKES ITS DEBUT AT THE GENEVA AUTO SHOW
    Versatile station wagon is significantly roomier than predecessor, yet up to 232 pounds lighter
    TDI® BlueMotion model is the most fuel-efficient Volkswagen wagon ever, with an EC combined fuel consumption figure of 71.3 mpg
    Golf Variant goes on sale in Europe in August, 2013

    Wolfsburg/Geneva - Volkswagen will expand the Golf range even further at the 83rd Geneva Salon de l’Automobile with the debut of the new Golf Variant (wagon). Like the new Golf hatchback, the Variant is significantly lighter than its predecessor, to the tune of up to 232 pounds.
    For the first time, Volkswagen is also offering the Golf Variant as a stand-alone and extremely fuel-efficient TDI BlueMotion model in Europe. The 110-horsepower Variant is the most fuel-efficient Volkswagen wagon ever, with an EC combined fuel economy figure of 71.3 mpg (equivalent to 87 g/km CO2) when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.
    The all-wheel-drive Golf Variant 4Motion will also debut in Geneva. It will be available as a TDI Clean Diesel model with 105- and 150-hp engines. Volkswagen has a Golf Estate TGI BlueMotion with natural gas drive (CNG) in the pipeline, too.
    Roomier than ever. More than 1.8 million Golf Variants have been sold since this practical wagon was launched 20 years ago. The new Golf Variant is a sporty and elegant all-rounder that combines great gas mileage and excellent performance with premium quality and versatility. The versatility has been improved even further in the new model because the trunk volume with the seats in place has been expanded by 20 percent; with the rear seats folded, the load area is increased by nearly nine percent.
    The cargo area is now 41.5 inches long; with the rear seats folded, the length is 72.1 inches; and the load sill is just 24.8 inches high. Thus, the Golf Variant is up to the majority of hauling tasks. For the first time, the wagon features a roller blind with a two-step roll-up mechanism to cover the luggage compartment: when it’s not needed, the blind and the compartment’s net partition can be stowed under the cargo floor.
    In addition, the cargo floor is adjustable for height and can be locked in different positions. The split rear folding seat has also been completely redesigned and is more practical and easier to use, while there are now four bag hooks in the trunk area.
    Even more striking. The Golf Variant is 12.1 inches longer than the hatchback, at 179.6 inches overall. Up to the B-post, the Variant is the same as the hatchback, but is unique aft of that point. It retains the precise and timeless lines that mark out the new Golf, but it is obvious that the car was designed in parallel with the hatchback and not simply derived from it.
    That's why the silhouette of the new Golf Variant is particularly distinctive, although there is one common design theme at the back of the car: The designers succeeded in transferring the classic Golf C-pillar shape, which is like a drawn bow, to the D-pillar of the Variant. Visually, the “third” side window forms a part of the D-pillar.
    In contrast to the Golf hatchback, the so-called character line is picked up again behind the rear wheelarches and carried over completely to the rear of the vehicle, lending an even more muscular appearance. The precise window sill, the long side window, and the slightly rearward-sloping roof underscore this dynamic look. In addition, the new Golf’s revised proportions— short body overhangs and a wheelbase that is increased from 101.5 to 103.8 inches—further enhance the sportiness.
    Typically Golf. The new two-part taillights on the Golf Variant emphasize its family resemblance to the rest of the Golf range and reflect Volkswagen’s Brand DNA. The half of the taillight that's integrated in the trunk lid, however, is bigger than in the hatchback version and forms a longer parallel line with the graphic on the lower part of the trunk lid. In addition, a clear-cut difference between the Golf Variant and the “classic” Golf exists in the design of the middle part of the trunk lid and the bumpers: Whereas the license plate of the hatchback model is in the bumper, the designers of the Golf Estate decided to integrate it with the trunk lid.
    TDI BlueMotion goes its own way. In Germany, the Golf Variant will be available in the Trendline, Comfortline, and Highline equipment lines, but the TDI BlueMotion model will only be offered in Trendline and Comfortline trims. The TDI BlueMotion is not only different from the other models in the range from a technical standpoint, but also visually. From the front, the most fuel-efficient Variant can be distinguished by a partially closed radiator grille shutter, while flaps on the rear window rim identify it from the back. In addition, the model is equipped with an optimized underbody and wheelwell paneling, a 0.6-inch lower ride height, and super-low rolling resistance tires. There are also TDI BlueMotion badges on the front, back, and side of the body, as well as an optional “Clearwater Blue metallic” color.
    High tech, high safety. Like all new Golfs, the Variant is equipped with a Stop/Start system and battery regeneration mode. For the first time on a wagon, it also has the new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically slows down the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order to further reduce its residual kinetic energy. Standard features on the European model include:
    seven airbags
    electrically adjustable door mirrors
    outside temperature display
    chrome rings around the interior vents
    eco-HMI (fuel consumption-related information on the multi-function display / instruments)
    electronic stability control (ESC)
    height-adjustable driver’s seat
    power windows front and rear
    air conditioning
    steering column with height and length adjustment
    center console with storage compartment
    electronic parking brake with auto-hold function
    XDS differential lock
    tire pressure monitoring indicator
    asymmetrically split and folding rear seat backrests, with remote unlocking
    electro-mechanical power steering
    dust and pollen filter
    daytime running lights
    touchscreen with 5-inch TFT display
    central locking with wireless remote control

    Premium class features. As a new feature, the PreCrash preventive occupant protection system is available for the new Golf Variant. If this system detects a potential accident situation, the driver’s and front passenger’s seatbelts are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system. When an even more critical situation is on hand, such as severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap), along with the sunroof. When the windows and roof are nearly closed, the head and side airbags offer optimal energy absorption and are therefore at their most effective.
    Moreover, a broad range of high-tech systems is on offer for the Variant. They cover technologies like Front Assist that includes the City Emergency Braking function; Automatic Distance Control (ACC); Lane Assist; Driver Alert system; road sign recognition and the latest generation of Park Assist; Light Assist and Dynamic Light Assist. More new systems have been added, such as progressive steering; a newly developed ergonomic sport seat (ergoActive seat); a guard against using the wrong fuel in the diesels; and a new deluxe heated windshield. A driving profile selector is also a new feature: it has up to five modes—“Eco,” “Sport,” “Normal,” “Individual”, and “Comfort”. The last named is only available in in combination with the DCC adaptive chassis control that is available for the first time on the Golf Variant.
    Sophisticated infotainment. All Golf Variant models have touchscreen interfaces for their infotainment systems as standard. The new generation of systems is available with three different display sizes: 5 inches, 5.8 inches and 8 inches. Once you arrive at the mid-size screen, the displays have proximity sensors: as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display to input mode. The displays also have a function that lets users scroll through lists or browse CD covers in the media library with a swipe of the hand. Optional features include a high-end sound system by Dynaudio®.
    New engine families. Just like the new Golf hatchback, the Variant uses two newly developed engine families—the EA211 gasoline engines and the EA288 turbodiesels. All Variants are fitted with a Stop/Start system that reduces fuel consumption by up to four per cent and a battery regeneration mode that cuts CO2 emissions by around three percent.
    The new Golf Variants have either a five- or six-speed transmission, depending on the engine. Most of the TSI® and TDI engines may also be combined with a DSG® dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
    The EA211 turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engines produce 85, 105, 90, 122 and 140 hp. These engines are highly efficient: the 1.2-liter, 105-hp TSI BlueMotion Technology, for example, returns a combined figure of 46 mpg yet powers the car to a top speed of120 mph.
    The new EA288 TDI diesel engines are incredibly efficient. The three high-tech diesels make 105, 110, and 150 horsepower, and return between 71 mpg for the BlueMotion and 56.0 mpg for the torquey 150-hp version.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 4, 2013
    And the award for the craziest hypercar shown at Geneva goes to the Lamborghini Veneno Concept.
    The Veneno concept like what a twelve-year old would design (not saying that is a bad thing). There are a variety of vents and scoops, exposed carbon fiber panels, large rear wing, wedge shaped nose, asymmetrical wheel wells, and rear fender scoops. Its what you expect from a concept done by Lamborgini.
    There is a reason for the crazy design and that reason is aerodynamics. The front of the Veneno was designed to act as a large wing, thus providing more downforce. The front fenders are separated from the body to improve airflow and as an homage to sports racing prototypes.
    The Veneno is mostly made out of carbon fiber and CFRP to help keep weight down. The carbon monocoque and aluminum subframes come from the Aventador.
    Power comes from the Aventador’s 6.5L V12 engine producing 750 horsepower. That goes through Lamborghini’s seven-speed single-clutch gearbox. Top speed is 220 MPH.
    Lamborghini has built four Venenos. One of those is the test vehicle that was shown. The other three will each be finished in either green, red or white (the colors of the Italian flag. Before you ask, the three have been spoken for with a pricetag of $3.9 million.
    Source: Lamborghini
    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
    Lamborghini Veneno - a racing prototype and road-going super sports car as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Automobili Lamborghini
    In the year of its 50th anniversary Automobili Lamborghini is presenting an extremely exclusive model at the Geneva Motor Show 2013. Only three unique units of the Lamborghini Veneno will be built and sold. Its design is consistently focused on optimum aerodynamics and cornering stability, giving the Veneno the real dynamic experience of a racing prototype, yet it is fully homologated for the road. With a maximum output of 552 kW / 750 hp, the Veneno accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds and the top speed for this street-legal racing car stands at 355 km/h. It is priced at three million Euros plus tax – and all three units have already been sold to customers.
    The Lamborghini Veneno features a twelve-cylinder power unit with a displacement of 6.5 liters, an extremely fast-shifting 7-speed ISR transmission with 5 driving modes and permanent all-wheel drive, as well as a racing chassis with pushrod suspension and horizontal spring/damper units. Above all, however, the Veneno benefits from the very special expertise that Automobili Lamborghini possesses in the development and execution of carbon-fiber materials – the complete chassis is produced as a CFRP monocoque, as is the outer skin of this extreme sports car. The inside, too, features innovative, Lamborghini-patented materials such as Forged Composite and CarbonSkin.
    Fully in keeping with the tradition of the brand, the name of the Veneno originates from a legendary fighting bull.
    Veneno is the name of one of the strongest and most aggressive fighting bulls ever. He is also famous for being one of the fastest bulls in the history of bullfighting. His name became popular in 1914, when he fatally wounded the famous torero José Sánchez Rodríguez during the bullfight in the arena Sanlúcar de Barrameda's, Andalusia, Spain.
    The Design
    The Lamborghini Veneno brings the aerodynamic efficiency of a racing prototype to the road. Every detail of its form pursues a clear function – exceptional dynamics, optimum downforce with minimal drag and perfect cooling of the high-performance engine. Yet the Veneno is unmistakably a Lamborghini; it sticks firmly to the consistent design philosophy of all the super sports cars from Sant'Agata Bolognese. That includes the extreme proportions, as well as the powerfully arrow-shaped front end and the interplay between razor-sharp lines and precise surfaces.
    The entire front end of the Lamborghini Veneno has been laid out for perfect airflow and downforce. The front end works as a large aerodynamic wing. Large channels guide the air to the outlets in the front hood and in front of the windshield, as well as to the front wheels. Characteristic for Lamborghini is the Y shape of the angular headlamps that reach well into the fenders as well as the scissor doors.
    The division of the fenders from the car body is a reference to the world of sport prototypes and optimizes at the same time the aerodynamic flow. The side line of the Veneno is therefore dominated by enormous sills and the mighty wheel arches front and rear. Here, too, sophisticated aerodynamics ensure perfect airflow to the large openings for engine cooling and intake air.
    Just like the front end, the rear of the Veneno has also been optimized for underbody aerodynamics and high speed cornering stability. The smooth underbody transitions into a substantial diffuser framing the four sizable exhaust pipes divided by a splitter to increase the level of downforce peak. Large openings serve to ventilate the engine bay and manage the airflow to the rear wing, with the only sealed area at the rear being reserved for the license plate. The rear lights, including brake lights, indicator lights and fog lights, pick up the Y theme as well. The engine cover sports six wedge-shaped openings, with the focus here, too, on optimum dissipation of heat from the engine. The engine cover extends into a large central "shark" fin, which improves efficiency during braking and rear-end stability, by delivering additional downforce at high yaw angles and thus increasing the high-speed cornering performance.
    The adjustable rear wing's design is the product of Motorsport experience and extensive aerodynamic simulation to ensure the best performance of rear wing interaction with rear diffuser air flow.
    The exclusive alloy wheels measure 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear and are equipped with center mountings. Their design is also determined by aerodynamic functionality – a carbon-fiber ring around the wheel rim works like a turbine to deliver additional cooling air to the carbon-ceramic brake discs.
    The Veneno is painted in an all-new, grey metallic-look color with individual parts gleaming in the black of the visible carbon-fiber structure. The only car to display all three colors of the Italian flag as an accent is the car shown at Geneva, the unit which will remain property of Lamborghini. The three cars sold to customers each feature a single color of the Italian national flag, together a triology in green, white and red accents and thus representing each a unique piece.
    The Technology
    The Veneno is further proof of Automobili Lamborghini's unique competence in CFRP-based lightweight design. A monocoque made from carbon-fiber reinforced polymer forms the basis of the Veneno. It is largely similar to the Aventador monocoque – as are the aluminum sub-frames front and rear – although its form has been adapted to the new design. All exterior parts are made from CFRP. The Veneno meets all safety and registration requirements worldwide, and naturally also incorporates a full complement of safety systems from airbags through to the adapted ESP handling system.
    Carbon fiber dominates the interior of the Veneno, too. The carbon fiber monocoque becomes visible inside the car in the area of the central tunnel and the sills. The two lightweight bucket seats are made from Lamborghini's patented Forged Composite. The woven carbon-fiber CarbonSkin® is used to clad the entire cockpit, part of the seats and the headliner. This unique material is soaked in a very special kind of resin that stabilizes the fiber structure, while allowing the material to remain supple. Like a hi-tech fabric, this extremely fine-looking carbon-fiber matting fits perfectly to any form, and it reduces weight.
    The racing personality has been transferred also to the instrument panel. It has been completely redesigned and now, thanks to an aggressive graphics and to the introduction of some additional features like the G-meter, provides all necessary information to the driver for control of the car.
    The systematic, carbon-fiber, lightweight design of the Veneno is not only visible, it is also evident on the scales: With a dry weight of just 1,450 kilograms (3,190 pounds), the Veneno is even 125 kilos (275 pounds) lighter than the already extremely lean Aventador. The highly beneficial power-to-weight ratio of 1.93 kg/hp (4,25 lbs/hp) guarantees a performance that is nothing short of mind-blowing. Even the stunning acceleration figure of 2,8 seconds cannot adequately describe it. Despite an aerodynamic setup configured for extreme downforce, the Veneno possesses exceptionally low wind resistance which allows it to reach a top speed of 355 km/h (221 mph).
    The twelve-cylinder with a displacement of 6.5 liters is a thrilling combination of absolute high-revving frenzy and phenomenal pulling power. Its output has been raised to 552 kW / 750 hp, facilitated through enlarged intake paths, optimized thermodynamics, a slightly higher rated rpm and an exhaust system with even lower back pressure. The ISR manual gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive and pushrod suspension have all been specifically adjusted to meet the demands of the Veneno.
    The Lamborghini Veneno celebrates its first public appearance at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle on show is the number 0, the Lamborghini test vehicle. Its future has not been determined yet, but it will allow Lamborghini to continue its activity of testing and innovation, both on the road and on the race track. The trilogy made of three unique vehicles will be produced in the course of the year 2013 and handed over to their future owners.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 4, 2013
    Say hello to the current holder of the hardcore 911 title, the new 2014 911 GT3.
    The new GT3 gets a wrath of changes to make it a formidable track weapon. For starters, the GT3's rear is 1.7 inches wider than a normal 911 and uses a large, fixed wing to help improve aerodynamics. Power comes in the form a 3.8L flat-six producing 475 horsepower and revs up to 9,000 RPMs. Handling the shifting duties is a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, sorry no seven-speed manual option.
    Performance numbers are as followed:
    0-60 MPH: 3.3 Seconds
    Top Speed 195 MPH
    Lap time around the Nürburgring Nordschleife: Under 7:30 minutes

    Also in the 2014 GT3 is a new rear-wheel steering system that uses two electro-mechanical actuators to move the rear wheels in the opposite or same direction as the front wheels (dependent on how fast you're going).
    The new 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 arrives in the U.S. in late 2013 with a pricetag of $131,350 (includes $950 destination charge).
    Source: Porsche

    Album: 2014 Porsche 911 GT3
    6 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
    Porsche Debuts Fifth Generation of the 911 GT3
    World premiere at the Geneva Motor Show
    Atlanta. The new Porsche 911 GT3 premieres this week at the Geneva International Motor Show. The completely-redeveloped fifth generation of the 911 GT3 occupies the top position among Porsche sports cars with naturally-aspirated engines. With an impressive lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife of under 7:30 minutes, the 2014 911 GT3 benefits from a new engine, transmission, body and chassis. The car now sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds on its way to a top track speed of 195 mph. The 2014 911 GT3 will go on sale in the United States late in 2013 and will be priced from $130,400, not including a $950 destination charge.
    As a technical highlight, the 911 GT3 features the first active rear-wheel steering in a production Porsche, as well as optional full LED headlights. The new GT3 brings to everyday driving many of the properties of a sports car developed on the track, and preserves the highly emotional fun factor.
    The powertrain of the new 911 GT3 is composed of a 3.8-liter boxer engine yielding 475 hp (125 hp/liter) featuring a 9,000 rpm redline and a specially developed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) which drives the rear wheels. The six-cylinder engine is based on the same engine as the 911 Carrera S, although they share only a few common parts. All other components, particularly the crankshaft and valve gear, were specially adapted or designed for the GT3. For instance, Porsche designed titanium connecting rods and forged pistons for this engine.
    The Porsche dual-clutch transmission in this application has been specially developed for the 911 GT3: the characteristics are based directly on a sequential gearbox from racing, thereby providing further performance and dynamic advantages to the driver. Highlights include shorter gear ratios with closer spacing, even faster shifting, and shift paddles with shorter travel and increased tactile feedback, which now allow the driver to place the PDK in neutral simply by pulling on both paddles at the same time.
    For the first time, Porsche is employing active rear wheel steering to achieve even higher steering precision and improved lateral dynamics. Depending on the speed, the rear wheels steer in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels, improving stability and agility. Other new features that improve driving dynamics are an electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock and dynamic engine mounts. Contact with the road is made by new 20-inch, forged alloy wheels with center-locking hubs in place of conventional wheel bolts.
    The 2014 911 GT3 is based on the light yet stiff body of the current generation 911 Carrera, which employs a hybrid steel and aluminum construction; however, it comes with unique front and rear parts specific to the GT3. In addition, the 911 GT3 is 1.7 inches wider than a 911 Carrera S in the rear. Another distinctive feature is the large, fixed rear wing, which contributes to the exemplary aerodynamics.
    By combining low air resistance with even more power, the 2014 911 GT3 sets new performance standards. At full acceleration from standstill, the 60 mph mark is reached after just 3.3 seconds, and on the track 124 mph is reached in less than twelve seconds.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 4, 2013
    Take a Rolls-Royce Ghost, cut a good size chunk out of it, place a fastback roof on it, and give it two doors. What do you have? You have the new Rolls-Royce Wraith.
    The Wraith is Rolls-Royce's most dynamic vehicle ever built and has the specs to prove it. Under the hood is a V12 engine that produce over 600 horsepower. That power is routed to a eight-speed ZF transmission to the rear wheels.
    The Wraith's shape blends the Ghost's front end with a fastback rear. Other design cues to take note are 20-inch alloy wheels, recessed grille, and new front air dam.
    We'll have more information and pictures when Rolls-Royce unveils the Wraith later this week.
    UPDATE: Make that later tonight. Rolls-Royce has let loose more information and pictures of the Wraith and wow, its a stunner.
    While the Wraith is based on the Ghost, its actually rides on shorter platform and is about 0.9-inch wider rear track.
    Power is a V12 producing 624 horsepower and 590 pound-feet. 0-60 takes 4.6 seconds and reaches 155 MPH (electronically limited). Very impressive numbers once you take into account the Wraith tips the scales at 5,200 pounds.
    The Wraith's interior promises many luxuries such as a few cows worth of leather, and options like option of Canadel Panelling on the doors and other surfaces (specially treated wood veneer) and Starlight headliner which uses small fiber-optic lights in the roof upholstery to simulate a night sky.
    The Wraith also features a lot of tech, the most notable being the Satellite Aided Transmission system. The system uses GPS-based knowledge of the road to select the appropriate gear. Other tech goodies include a new rotary controller/touchpad infotainment interface, large, 0.25-inch display, and adaptive cruise control.
    The Rolls-Royce Wraith arrives this winter.
    Source: Rolls-Royce

    Album: Rolls-Royce Wraith
    10 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
    WORLD DEBUT FOR ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH AT GENEVA MOTOR SHOW

    Elegant fastback design hints at dynamic prowess of the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever: 624 bhp/465 kW, 800 Nm from 1,500 rpm : 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds (0-62 in 4.6)
    Debut of Satellite Aided Transmission. A technology that uses GPS mapping data to ensure the correct gear is always pre-selected for the road terrain ahead
    Voice activated connectivity augments effortlessness – the ‘on-board valet’
    Canadel Panelling sweeps through a sumptuous, contemporary and yacht-like interior cabin

    Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents the world debut of Wraith, the most powerful and dynamic Rolls-Royce in history. At its heart lie hallmark Rolls-Royce attributes of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship, but the new model from the world’s pinnacle super-luxury marque also presents a unique character defined by power, style and drama. With just a hint of the noir.
    “Today we launch the ultimate gentlemen’s gran turismo, a car that embodies the spirit of Charles Stewart Rolls,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, Wraith promises the sense of adventure and speed that drove our founding forefather. But of course, Wraith’s starting point is luxury, refinement and quality, traits that remain as important to Rolls-Royce customers today as they were more than a century ago.”
    Rolls-Royce Chairman and BMW Group board member Harald Krüger added the following: “The BMW Group today reconfirms its full commitment to the future of Rolls-Royce. Growth and a prosperous future lie ahead thanks to continued investment, careful brand stewardship and the launch of groundbreaking new models like Rolls-Royce Wraith, a magnificent addition to the product range.”
    In profile, Wraith’s sweeping fastback design gives the car its unique character. Bold lines, tension in the panels and a raked rear screen evoke the image of a world class athlete poised in the starting blocks. Further expression of dynamic intent can be seen in Wraith’s deeply recessed grille, wide rear track and dramatic two-tone presentation.
    Coach doors open to reveal a sumptuous interior complete with softest Phantom-grade leathers and expanses of wood called Canadel Panelling. Named after the famous cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design and engineering teams spent their winters, this contemporary and tactile finish sweeps through the interior, cosseting four occupants in a space bathed in light and warmth.
    The interior ambiance is complemented by Starlight Headliner, a Bespoke feature available beyond Phantom family cars for the first time. 1,340 fibre optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky.
    Performance delivers on the promise of Wraith’s styling. Power delivery is effortless, but dramatic, thanks to a V12 engine married to 8-speed automatic ZF transmission. 624 bhp / 465kW is available to the driver while the 0-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.4 seconds, compared with 563 bhp / 420kW and 0-60 in 4.7 seconds for Ghost.
    From 1,500 rpm 800 Nm of torque is available (780 Nm for Ghost), while a wide rear track, shorter wheelbase and lower roof height further contribute to the most powerful, involving driving experience of any Rolls-Royce in history. The car’s suspension has also been tuned to minimise body roll and discreetly amplify feedback when cornering; while steering weight is heavier at high speeds and lighter at low speeds adding to the spirited drive.
    However, Wraith is no GT bruiser. Agility improvements have been achieved with absolutely no compromise to the sensation of riding on a bed of air. Furthermore, the debut of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology takes the powertrain to a new level of effortless delivery, one that perfectly suits the Rolls-Royce brand.
    Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to see beyond what the driver sees; it anticipates his next move based on location and current driving style, then selects the most appropriate gear for the terrain ahead. Corners, motorway junctions and roundabouts are all anticipated in advance meaning Wraith is constantly poised to deliver on its promise of performance.
    A more polished, effortless driving experience and even better response brings a new, more dynamic dimension to the famous Rolls-Royce trait, waftability.
    For over a century a Rolls-Royce motor car has featured technologies designed to support occupants discreetly, delivering a peerless driving experience epitomised by the term ‘effortlessness’. In every Rolls-Royce these assist the driver when called upon, but are prepared to return without fuss to the background when no longer required.
    Advances in mechanical and electrical technology deliver systems like head-up display, adaptive headlights and Wraith’s keyless opening boot. But improvements in connectivity have taken the human-machine interface to a new level of sophistication, a suite of aids that could be likened to a contemporary on-board valet.
    Voice activation commands, for example, come with a one-touch call button located on the steering wheel. A destination no longer requires manual input from a navigation menu and route assistance begins immediately, on-screen and via audio guidance following a voice command such as “navigate to Piccadilly in London.”
    Additional improvements in communications come in the design and functionality of the elegant Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller. This allows navigation through on-screen functions using a touch pad that features pinch and pull functionality to echo smart phone usage. Letters can also be ‘drawn’ onto the pad by hand rather than by scrolling through a series of available characters on-screen.
    In Europe, Wraith will be priced at c. €245k. Confirmation and further pricing details in all markets will be revealed later in the year.
    First deliveries of Wraith will be made to customers in the final quarter of 2013.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 4, 2013
    Now for something completely different from Kia. Their showing at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show is the Provo Concept, an aggressively styled three-door hatchback.
    The Provo Concept’s design features such cues as aerodynamic bumpers and LED lighting on the front and back, large center lock wheels, rear air diffuser, and a unique two-tone paint job that covers the carbon fiber body panels. Inside the Provo Concept, Kia designers used a mixture of carbon fiber, leather, and aluminum for a unique look. Gauges are digital.
    Power comes from a 1.6L direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder producing 201 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. In the back, there is a 44 horsepower electric motor which gives the Provo all-wheel drive.
    Source: Kia

    Album: Kia Provo Concept
    13 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Kia looks to set the streets alight with radical provo concept at Geneva
    (SEOUL) March 04, 2013 – Looking every centimetre a road-legal racer, Kia’s new provo concept, unveiled at the 83rd Salon International De l’Auto in Geneva, mixes ultra-modern technology with a self-confident and agile look to deliver an exciting new B-segment car for enthusiasts.
    The sleek, low, yet muscular coupe-style hatchback mixes a petrol-fuelled turbo-charged engine with clever regenerative-electric motors to bring a smart-hybrid solution to this fun-focused concept that points to Kia Motors’ future B-segment expansion plans.
    This is a car designed for fun – pure and simple. Every curve, crease and line combines to bring provo to life with a single purpose – to delight and entrance its owner and to bring a smile to the driver's face. The car is meant to be cheeky and cheerful in its compactness and to hint at the fun awaiting on the open road.
    Created to deliver a new interpretation of the DNA from sporting coupes of the past with all the advantages of up-to-the-minute technology and materials, provo blends a clean, simple yet muscular exterior with a stunning interior treatment mixing high-tech and luxury materials that will set pulses racing whether on busy city streets or at the race-track.
    From its steep leading edge featuring an aero-style splitter, carbon-fibre panels and tiny LED cluster front lights, over the long bonnet and sculpted flanks, visor-look windscreen to the sharply cut-off rear treatment (also featuring an aerodynamic splitter with an adjustable vent system to direct airflow), the provo looks every inch a purposeful performer.
    Described by Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Kia’s European styling base in Frankfurt, as “an emotional and muscular car aimed at delivering pure fun and performance for today’s city-based enthusiast driver who longs for the curves of the open road,” the Kia provo isn’t just a styling exercise. It combines a 1.6-litre Turbo GDI engine producing 204 ps with smart-4WD-hybrid technology from an electric motor delivering an additional power surge to the rear wheels when required and also allowing low-speed electric-only motion. A seven-speed DCT transmission – Kia’s first – completes the impressive technical package.
    Guillaume went on: “This is entirely a car for European tastes and conditions. Designed purely at our Frankfurt studios the provo was conceived as a confident and single-minded statement of dynamism and energy to deliver a new sense of fun into the B-segment. The potent shaping displays a balanced and refined outline within a compact overall shape and the tiny front and rear overhangs enhance the balance within its proportions.”
    Clearly a car from Kia, the compact provo which is 3.88-metres long, 1.77-metres wide and 1.35-metres tall, introduces itself with a steep front nose and carbon fibre lower valance that immediately convey a sense of purpose.
    Hidden behind a single piece of glass is the latest take on the Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille treatment linking straight into the Schreyer-inspired headlamp units that are made up of more than 850 tiny LEDs. The programmable LEDs can be used to provide daytime running lights, full beam or even race-style configurations – as well as more humorous and decorative displays to add to provo’s sense of fun!
    This thin, sharp glass panel is echoed at the rear of provo’s body and separates a purposeful splitter-style lower valance from the long, flat bonnet panel sculpted with twin creases to hint at but not slavishly copy the muscle cars of old.
    A wrap-around front screen hides the A pillars and frameless doors, giving a visor-style appearance to the cabin glass with the clamshell-like roof floating above. This is divided at the rear by different colour sections rising up from the C-Pillars in an almost roll-over bar appearance.
    Colour is used on the provo to enhance the almost-masculine stance with sharp points echoed throughout the design. High-intensity blood-orange accents contrast with the grey-green ‘Storm Metal’ body colour to draw the eye to particular aspects of the structure and equipment, while carbon fibre surfaces interplay with traditional materials and high-gloss or anodised aluminium to strengthen the connection to the track cars that inspired provo.
    Planting provo firmly in touch with the road are distinctive 225/40 19-inch milled-alloy wheels with a traditional ‘cast’ look fixed by single centre nuts finished in anodised blood-orange. And with just a 2.53-metre wheelbase, exciting handling and road-holding is guaranteed.
    Backing up those performance credentials, provo utilises an ingenious Smart 4WD Hybrid power train. The four cylinder turbocharged 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine is tuned to deliver is 204 ps rapidly and progressively allowing provo to deliver an injection of speed and performance often absent from the more functional B-segment mainstream.
    But, this potent internal combustion engine also benefits from a regenerative-powered electric motor driving the rear wheels either automatically when required during cornering and in strong acceleration – giving a power boost of as much as 45 ps – or in a button-activated creep-mode at low speeds to avoid emissions in city traffic or when ‘stealth’ is required. The regenerative system captures its power during braking when in normal use.
    Moving inside, the Kia Europe Design team was able to let imaginations run free although in typical Kia fashion it delivers clear functionality with exuberant style – essential if provo is to go into production at some point in the future.
    Guillaume commented: “The interior is very, very black – as we believe it should be to allow drivers to focus on the experience. But we have also looked to make the functional aspects of the car fit the modern demands of today’s motorists.”
    Opening the two side doors – via flush-fitting push-up electronic handles that operate with a satisfying electric click – reveals that the polished aluminium panels featured in the external sculpted flanks extend to create a relatively high-level two-step sill into the car – cut-away at the leading edge to allow easier ingress and exit.
    The next surprise is the door construction itself – the doors are made from three individual panels – the outer panel, a carbon-fibre inner panel and a neoprene-covered inner section that also features the Storm Metal body colour. The inner door releases are reassuringly solid polished aluminium.
    The dashboard is made from a single expanse of carbon fibre, but does not extend down to the floor – deliberately – in order to keep the footwells clear and uncluttered except for polished aluminium footrests and pedals.
    Echoing the sculpted flanks of the provo, the dashboard has a business-like main binnacle containing large analogue dials on a digital display and a smaller central display of other minor gauges, but because the display is digital it can be programmed to offer a selection of functions. Set on the centre tunnel are two control hubs – the engine stop-start button and drive selector for the seven-speed DCT transmission and a Multi-Media Interface control.
    This latter control allows the driver to select a variety of screen displays – as well as controlling infotainment functions. In ‘normal’ mode the driver sees a speedometer, rev counter and sat-nav route instructions. In ‘cruise’ the display is centred on a large scale map, route instructions and a speedometer, while in ‘track’ mode the display features just a large rev counter, a track-map and a lap-timer. There is also a full ‘entertainment’ mode allowing visuals of music, radio and other information.
    The centre-mounted display provides appropriate gauges to the mode with a series of aluminium toggle switches set underneath – including an anodised blood-orange toggle for the hazard warning lights.
    Modern materials allow the front seat construction to be made from a single wave-like panel running from one door sill to the other – covered in quilted leather. The seat backrests are cleverly mounted on a rotating aluminium track so that instead of folding forward, they spin into the centre of the vehicle allowing easy access to the admittedly occasional-use rear seats.
    Guillaume commented: “The whole interior concept was designed around not having a big centre console, but instead using latest technology to provide excellent functionality in a clean, clear and attractive manner.
    “By using a DCT gearbox we were able to get rid of the floor-mounted gear-shift and use paddles behind the steering wheel, which has blood-orange stitching and a race style straight-ahead indicator, allowing us to use the floor space for other controls resulting in a much tidier environment. And because the seats are fixed we have full electric adjustment for the pedal box and steering column – further simplifying the interior and giving a perfect-fit for any driver.”
    Completing the moody cockpit feel are tiny red LEDs set in the multi-layered doors, in the air vents and also in roof to give a low-glow ambient illumination. The roof panel also incorporates aluminium window toggle controls.
    Whilst no specific production schedule for provo is on the calendar, the arrival later this summer of the new Kia pro_cee’d GT makes it clear that the company remains committed to delivering desirable, dynamic and stunningly attractive vehicles that will deliver affordable enjoyment to real, everyday motorists. The provo could be just such a car.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 4, 2013
    Want to know what vehicles will make their debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show? Cheers & Gears has your back.
    Concept Vehicles:
    Audi A3 E-Tron
    Honda Civic Tourer
    Kia Provo
    Land Rover Electric Defender Research Vehicle
    Opel Adam Rocks
    Spyker B6 Venator Concept
    Toyota FT-86 Open
    Production Vehicles:
    Alfa Romeo 4C, (2)
    Audi Q3 RS
    Audi S3
    Bentley Flying Spur
    Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
    Ferrari LaFerrari
    Lamborghini Veneno
    Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale
    McLaren P1, (2)
    Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
    2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507
    Porsche 911 GT3
    Qoros
    Rolls-Royce Wraith
    Volkswagen Golf GTD
    Volkswagen Golf Variant
    Volkswagen GTI
    Volkswagen XL1
    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.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 3, 2013
    Bentley has unveiled the new 2014 Flying Spur before its introduction at the Geneva Motor Show this week.
    We got a sneak peek at the Flying Spur thanks to a leak a couple weeks ago and the shots put out by Bentley match the leak shots.
    While the 2014 Flying Spur has a similar profile as the outgoing model, Bentley gave the new model some new design cues to make more aggressive. There is more upright face, arched fenders, new roofline, and a set of horizontal taillights.
    Inside the Flying Spur, Bentley has made sure this no shortage of luxury and technology appointments. You have the choice of either seating for five or four with a full-length center console. The Flying Spur also gets the Continental GT's interior layout with the dual brow instrument panel, three-spoke steering wheel, and the large touchscreen display.
    Under the Flying Spur's hood is a twin-turbocharged 6.0L W12 engine producing 616 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. All of that power goes through a eight-speed automatic to a rear-biased all-wheel drive system (40:60).
    0-60 MPH takes about 4.3 seconds and 100 mph comes in less than 10 seconds. Not bad for a sedan that tips the scales at 5,451 pounds. Top speed is 200 MPH. With all of that performance, Bentley says the new Flying Spur will return better fuel economy numbers of 12 MPG City and 20 MPG Highway.
    Source: Bentley

    Album: 2014 Bentley Flying Spur
    13 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    THE ALL-NEW BENTLEY FLYING SPUR
    - Ultimate high luxury sedan with unrivalled performance
    - New Flying Spur brings more comfort and refinement
    - Fastest, most powerful four-door Bentley model ever
    - Sleek and elegant new styling
    - Contemporary cabin design with traditional hand-crafted luxury
    - Lighter overall despite enhanced specification
    - Connectivity and infotainment with own Wi-Fi hotspot
    - Global debut at Geneva Motor Show 2013
    (Crewe, 20th February 2013) Bentley establishes a new luxury performance sedan benchmark with the launch of the new Flying Spur. With its unrivalled blend of effortless driveability, exquisite luxury and craftsmanship, sculpted design and state-of-the-art technology, the new Flying Spur takes the worldwide success of its iconic predecessor further. Bentley's most powerful four-door model ever makes its global debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show on 5th March.
    Bentley's styling team has developed an athletic design for the new Flying Spur that combines traditional Bentley styling cues with a sporting stance and contemporary details. Sharp feature lines complement muscular rear haunches, while LED day-time running lights, dipped headlights and taillights characterise the front and rear profiles. The interior designers have created a luxurious, spacious cabin that dresses advanced acoustic and electronic technologies in exquisite hand-crafted leather hides and wood veneers.
    Driver and passengers alike interface with the car and the outside world through touch-screen infotainment, mobile connectivity including Wi-Fi, a Rear Sear Entertainment suite and a new hand-held Touch Screen Remote which allows rear-cabin occupants to control an extensive range of features from the comfort of their seat. An eight-channel, eight-speaker audio system with Balanced Mode Radiators provide high quality sound clarity, with the 1100W Naim® for Bentley premium system available as an option.
    Powering the new Flying Spur is Bentley's renowned 6.0-litre, twin turbo W12 engine, coupled to a ZF eight-speed transmission. Developing 625 PS (616 bhp) and 800 Nm of torque, the new Flying Spur features more power than any other Bentley four-door in history. A 14 per cent improvement in the power-to-weight ratio over the outgoing model delivers a breath-taking 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top-speed of 200 mph (322 km/h). In the modern Bentley tradition, power is delivered to the road via all-wheel drive with a 40:60 rear-biased torque split for a sure-footed, engaging drive in all road and weather conditions.
    Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, comments "Bentley's new Flying Spur is the ultimate luxury performance sedan. Our engineers have worked tirelessly to ensure that the Flying Spur is the perfect combination of power, comfort, refinement and hand-crafted quality. Fitted with the very latest technology, the new Flying Spur is equipped both for business and relaxation whilst remaining a car to enjoy from behind the wheel."
    A SLEEK AND STRIKING EXTERIOR
    The styling of the new Flying Spur establishes a new design character for Bentley's performance sedan. An elegant direction is reflected by a lower, wider appearance with sharp lines and gently curvaceous surfaces. A lower roof line, deeply sculpted panels, precise feature lines and a muscular rear haunch give the Flying Spur a more aggressive stance and a powerfully dynamic profile.
    The front fenders feature a striking new wing vent complete with an elegant Bentley "B" motif. From here, an additional feature line forms a sharply defined edge running from the front wheel all the way to the rear bumper, underlining the shape's dynamic character.
    At the front of the car, a more upright chrome grille sits between the pairs of jewel-like LED headlamps. Emphasising the lower, wider stance, the outer lamps are the larger of the two. Beneath the front grille, the lower intake is now full width with no vertical divisions, but instead with a chromed horizontal accent that completes the dramatic face of the new Flying Spur.
    At the rear, a longer and lower boot lid lends a more swept appearance to the side profile. Horizontal single ellipse LED tail lamps combine with a new interpretation of the Bentley "Horse Shoe" feature line, now running the full width of the car and encapsulating a graceful concave section.
    Beneath the elegant skin of the new Flying Spur, a wide range of materials are applied in an intelligent and efficient manner. Designed to improve overall body stiffness and refinement whilst meeting stringent crash performance targets and pedestrian protection legislation, the new body structure includes reinforcement to the B-posts, sills and front crossmembers together with deformable components in the floorpan for optimal load transfer. A deployable bonnet that includes both new reinforcement panels and deformation elements helps to improve pedestrian impact performance.
    The bonnet and front fenders are constructed in aluminium, with the fenders shaped using the aerospace-industry superforming technique, employing compressed air to shape heated sheets of alloy in to the required form at over 500°C. Exceptionally clean lines with sharp radii and lighter-weight components are the result, giving the new Flying Spur an unmistakeably Bentley front end with extremely taut shut lines.
    The new door structures are completely redesigned with fewer individual parts for improved quality and refinement. An optimisation of the doors realised through efficient use of materials contributes to much improved door kinematics and feel. Meanwhile, further weight savings are achieved through the crafting of the bootlid in a polymer composite material that also integrates the main antennae for the car's electronic systems.
    The exterior design, manufacturing processes and carefully optimised materials selections combine to provide a bodyshell that is not only muscular and clean, with minimal shutlines, but also one that performs exceptionally well on the road. With a torsional stiffness of 36,500 Nm/degree, a 4% increase over the previous generation Flying Spur, the new bodyshell provides an extremely rigid platform for the chassis components and a stable foundation for NVH reduction. The sleek shape also has outstanding aerodynamic properties for a large sedan, with an overall drag coefficient of just 0.29 and ensuing benefits to emissions performance.
    Weight savings in the body structure and throughout the car mean that the new Flying Spur is 50 kg lighter than the first generation car, despite the additional refinement measures, enhanced technology specification and stronger structure.
    A CONTEMPORARY CABIN OF HAND-CRAFTED MATERIALS
    The sumptuous interior of the new Flying Spur includes 600 new parts, with only the sun visors, grab handles, armrests and some of the front console and controls carried over from the previous generation. Class-leading entertainment and information technologies are married with traditional hand-crafted materials and stunning contemporary design to create the ultimate high-luxury sedan cabin.
    Available in both four- and five-seat configurations, the new Flying Spur features redesigned front and rear seats trimmed in natural premium-quality leather. The new seats use a softer yet more durable hide unique to Bentley and available in twelve different colours.
    Careful use of different foam specifications and densities creates seats that are both supremely comfortable and supportive, with 14-way adjustment including memory and lumbar functions. Every occupant is offered seat heating as well as seat ventilation, while additional stowage sections are incorporated to the rear of the front seats.
    For the four-seat variant, the centre console sweeps from the front to the rear cabin and introduces an additional storage area together with a beautifully crafted stowage case, trimmed in veneer to match the car.
    The interior designers, together with the craftsmen and women of Bentley's renowned woodshop, have applied the finest wood veneers to finish the cabin of the new Flying Spur. Utilising almost ten square metres of sustainably sourced natural wood per car, the Flying Spur features book-matched and mirror-polished veneer to the fascia panels, consoles, waistrails and picnic tables. To enhance the "wrap-around" feel of the forward cabin, the veneer of the dashboard meets that of the doors in a perfectly aligned curve, giving the impression of an unbroken arc of wood around the interior. Crafted entirely by hand, cured for 72 hours and clear-lacquered to enhance the natural beauty of the wood, a range of seven sophisticated veneers are available (two as standard - burr walnut or dark fiddleback eucalyptus).
    To complete the luxurious and opulent nature of the cabin, the roof lining and pillars are also trimmed in natural leather. Layers of supple foam are applied to all tactile surfaces beneath the hide, harmonising the touch and feel of all areas of the cabin. Electrically-operated rear side blinds, fitted as standard, permit privacy for rear-seat passengers if desired. Customers may also specify an optional glass sunroof at no additional cost. Behind the central rear armrest, a nine litre bottle cooler can be specified to keep drinks perfectly chilled. The interior designers also focused on improving interior stowage around the cabin, whilst including new electronic technologies discretely applied throughout the interior.
    CONNECTION TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD
    Complementing the hand-crafted interior, the Flying Spur is equipped with carefully selected state-of-the-art technology, for both the driver and passengers. Central infotainment is controlled through a high resolution 8" touch-screen interface, complete with Bentley's advanced satellite navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity, while infotainment features can be controlled by voice activation.
    An eight-channel, eight-speaker audio system featuring Balanced Mode Radiator technology for optimum sound clarity and frequency range can play music from an on-board hard drive, CDs, DVDs, SD cards and via an iPod. The Naim® for Bentley Premium Audio System, featuring redesigned separate subwoofers for improved bass extension and 1100 Watts of power, is available as an option for those wishing for the ultimate in-car audio experience.
    Rear seat passengers have access to an extensive array of infotainment technology. A new Touch Screen Remote (TSR), deployed from a housing in the rear console at the touch of a button, allows passengers to control a variety of different systems. From climate controls and seat heating and ventilation through to the satellite navigation and multimedia systems, the TSR means passengers can interface with the car from the comfort of their seat.
    Customers wishing to work on the move may order the new Flying Spur with the new Multi-Media Specification. Central to this is the Bentley Connectivity Unit (BCU) which allows portable devices, laptops and tablet computers to connect to the internet through the car's own Wi-Fi hotspot with an active SIM and includes 64 GB of internal storage capacity. Two 10" LCD screens are installed to the backs of the front seats, while top-loading multimedia players sit in pockets fitted beneath, allowing the user to load and enjoy video, photo and music content from DVDs, SD cards, USB devices including iPods and iPads, and HDMI devices.
    Each rear passenger can view separate content, or stream media from the BCU. A USB charging port keeps batteries fresh, and wired headphone ports complete the connections, allowing music and internet radio to be played directly through the BCU. Bentley wireless headphones complete the specification for the ultimate in rear-seat infotainment.
    DESIGNED FOR EXCEPTIONAL COMFORT
    Achieving class-leading comfort and refinement was a priority during the development of the new Flying Spur and the acoustic isolation of the cabin from external noise inputs was a particular focus. Bentley's development and use of lightweight acoustic underfloor panels to minimise road noise continues, with aerodynamically optimised insulating sections applied to almost the entire underfloor of the car. Side glazing and both front and rear screens are made in acoustic glass, featuring a specially developed interlayer that reduces noise transmission. An improved sealing system around the side glazing now features two individual sealing points to reduce wind noise to a minimum regardless of road speed. The redesigned doors are also fitted with additional insulation to the outer skin, reducing noise diffusion in to the cabin. Enlarged rear mufflers reduce exhaust noise by 12 dB at 3000 rev/min for enhanced passenger comfort.
    The heating and ventilation system is improved with the addition of a new Thermostatic Expansion Valve which drastically decreases the time taken to cool the cabin. An optional Climate Boost function features an enhanced blower system for improved cooling of the rear cabin.
    With comfort paramount for the new Flying Spur, a new 19" tyre has been specifically developed, utilising a 12% relative increase in sidewall height combined with greater vertical compliance to improve impact isolation. During development, 12 different tyre constructions were tested and refined to find the optimum balance between refinement and handling performance.
    EIGHT GEARS, SIX LITRES AND FOUR DRIVEN WHEELS
    As Bentley's most powerful engine, the 6.0-litre, twin turbocharged, 48-valve W12 is the natural choice to power the fastest ever Bentley four-door. Now delivering 625 PS (616 bhp) at 6,000 rev/min and a staggering 800 Nm (580 lb ft) of torque from only 2000 rev/min, the W12 has recently undergone a complete engine management system upgrade to the latest Bosch ME17 interface. Improved torque management, turbocharger control, driveability and emissions performance all result from the adoption and optimisation of the new system, with a resulting improvement in low speed responsiveness.
    Coupled to the W12 is the very latest eight-speed, quick-shift automatic transmission from ZF. All Bentley models now feature this state-of-the-art gearbox. Delivering seamless and imperceptible shifts in under 200 milliseconds, the gearbox is not only designed to handle the mighty torque output of the W12 but also to ensure smooth and refined delivery of power to the wheels. An optimised set of gear ratios keep the engine in its most efficient operating range during light loads and cruise, contributing in an overall improvement in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of more than 13 per cent over the outgoing model. The new Flying Spur delivers a combined cycle fuel economy of 19.2 mpg (14.7 litres/100 km), and CO2 emissions of 343 g/km – impressive figures for a 12-cylinder ultra-luxury, high performance sedan.
    The transmission feeds power to all four wheels via Bentley's renowned all-wheel drive system. With a standard torque split of 60 per cent to the rear wheels and 40 per cent to the front, but the ability to vary this division up to 85 per cent to the rear axle or 65 per cent to the front depending on available traction, the Flying Spur's drivetrain ensures optimal grip regardless of prevailing road or weather conditions. The assurance provided by such a sure-footed set-up means that the spirited driver can deploy all of the car's available power and torque in a controlled and dependable manner, in virtually any circumstances.
    A REFINED RIDE WITH DYNAMIC DELIVERY
    With outstanding ride comfort of vital importance, the independent computer-controlled air suspension of the new Flying Spur is redesigned to maximise impact absorption and isolation. Compared to the outgoing model, suspension spring rates are softened front and rear by 10 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, for improved ride comfort in the normal operating region. The rate of stiffness increase during harder cornering has been increased for improved control of heave, pitch and roll. Anti-roll bars are softened by 13 per cent and 15 per cent to improve single wheel impact absorption. Suspension lever bushes all-round are softened by at least 25 per cent for reduced road surface-induced noise and vibration.
    Working with the new springs, a damper hydraulic specification has been developed to maximise ride comfort. Working with a revised damper electronic control (CDC) strategy, this enables exceptional low speed ride performance while damping force increases significantly with speed, providing the optimum balance between body control and stability at all speeds. A four-position suspension control, with a widened range of settings, allows drivers to choose the level of damping to suit their preference.
    The power steering system provides a comfort-orientated balance whilst maintaining optimum steering feel and precision throughout the speed range. A new specification of steering gear, together with a new calibration of the speed-sensitive system that regulates hydraulic fluid flow, provides variable assistance depending on vehicle speed. The new system delivers both high levels of isolation from surface deformations whilst ensuring driver confidence through the combination of accurate steering precision and a measured increase in steering effort when cornering.
    As the new Flying Spur approaches its 200 mph (322 km/h) top speed, the ride height is automatically lowered via the air suspension system in order to compensate for aerodynamic forces. This helps not only to improve vehicle stability by optimising aerodynamic balance along the car, but also reduces drag, with benefits both to top speed and CO2 output. The new car has a two-stage lowering strategy, firstly lowering by 5 mm at the front and 10 mm at the rear at 121 mph (195 km/h) and then by a further 8 mm and 13 mm respectively at 149 mph (240 km/h).
    The multiple-mode Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is recalibrated to work in combination with the new chassis specification. The system is calibrated to ensure that the enthusiastic driver is not hindered by stability interventions and, where appropriate through the selection of the ESC Dynamic Mode, the driver can further explore the handling limits of the vehicle whilst still maintaining appropriate levels of stability control.
    THE PERSONAL CHOICES
    As with the entire Bentley range, the new Flying Spur is built to individual customers' exacting specifications. A range of seventeen standard exterior paint colours includes Dark Cashmere, a sophisticated and contemporary addition to the Bentley palette. The extended paint range of over 100 colours is joined by Damson, a rich hue inspired by the extremely rare purple diamond, and one that is complemented by an optional matching hide colour.
    A new 19-inch Classic wheel is fitted exclusively to the new Flying Spur, either bright-painted or with a diamond turned finish. The new design consolidates a wider range of 20-inch five-spoke, 21-inch six-spoke and 21-inch ten-spoke wheels available as cost options.
    Customers wishing to extend the range of available options further can choose to include the Mulliner Driving Specification. This includes five additional hides, expanding the number of available shades to 17, and five further wood veneers. Bentley's traditional diamond quilting is incorporated to the seats and door panels, together with an indented leather headlining and embroidered Bentley wings to the headrests. Drilled alloy foot pedals, a knurled sports gear lever, jewel filler cap and 21" two-piece five-spoke alloy wheels in painted or polished finish complete the Mulliner suite of options.
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    New Flying Spur
    Engine
    Type 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12
    Max Power 616 bhp / 460 kW / 625 PS @6000 rev/min
    Max Torque 800 Nm / 590 lb.ft @ 2000 rev/min
    Transmission
    Type ZF 8-speed automatic with Quickshift, Block Shifting and wheel-mounted paddleshift
    Driveline Continuous all-wheel drive (40:60 rear bias)
    Ratios 1st : 4.71; 2nd: 3.14; 3rd: 2.1; 4th: 1.67; 5th: 1.29; 6th: 1.00; 7th: 0.839; 8th: 0.667
    Final Drive 2.85
    Brakes
    Front 405mm ventilated discs (optional 420mm Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
    Rear 335mm ventilated discs (optional 356mm, Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross drilled)
    Wheels and Tyres
    Wheels New 19" (2 finishes), opt 9.5J x 20", opt 9.5J x 21" (3 designs)
    Tyres 275/45 ZR19, 275/40 ZR20, 275/35 ZR21
    Steering
    Type Rack & pinion, power assisted, speed-sensitive ZF servotronic
    Turns lock-to-lock 2.8
    Turning circle 11.7 m / 38.4 feet
    Suspension
    Front Four link double wishbones, computer controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
    Rear Trapezoidal multi-link, computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension, with anti-roll bar
    Damping Continuous Damping Control
    Dimensions
    Wheelbase 3065 mm / 120.7 in
    Overall length 5295 mm / 208.5 in
    Width (across body) 1976 mm / 77.8 in
    Width (inc. mirrors) 2208 mm / 86.9 in
    Overall height 1488 mm / 58.6 in
    Fuel tank 90 litres / 20 UK gallons / 24 US gallons
    Boot volume 475 litres / 16.8 cu ft
    Kerb weight (EU) 2475 kg / 5451 lb
    Gross vehicle weight 2972 kg / 6546 lb
    Performance
    Top speed 200 mph / 322 km/h
    0-60 mph 4.3 secs
    0-100 mph 9.5 secs
    0-100 km/h 4.6 secs
    0-160 km/h 9.5 secs
    Fuel Consumption (EU cycle)*
    Urban 12.6 mpg (22.4 litres/100 km)
    Extra Urban 27.8 mpg (10.2 litres/100 km)
    Combined 19.2 mpg (14.7 litres/100 km)
    CO2 emissions 343 g /km
    Fuel Consumption (EPA cycle)**
    City (US mpg) 12
    Highway (US mpg) 20
    Combined (US mpg) 15
    Emissions Controls EU 5 and US LEV II
    * Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to Type Approval.
    ** Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to EPA certification.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 2, 2013
    Before its official debut next week at the Geneva Motor Show, Chevrolet released two photographs of the new 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible.
    The Corvette Stingray convertible sticks the same dramatic styling of the coupe, although it seems the Coupe's ventwork on the rear fenders don't make an appearance. Chevrolet is sticking with a fabric top with the Corvette Stingray convertible.
    Power is expected to be the 6.2L LT1 V8 producing 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.
    We'll have more information when the Geneva Motor Show kicks off next week.
    In the meantime, what do you think of the Stingray convertible?
    Source: GM

    Album: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
    2 images 0 comments 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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