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    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

    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

    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

    Kia's concept for Geneva is a wagon.

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

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

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 15, 2013
    Honda is teasing a Civic wagon concept for the Geneva Motor Show in March. The wagon concept according to Honda strongly hints at the production model which is expected to arrive later this year.
    The sketch shows the wagon will utilize the European Civic hatchback’s hidden rear door handles creating a almost two-door shooting brake look. The roofline is sloping which helps with the shooting brake look.
    We’ll have more information on the Civic Wagon Concept when the Geneva Motor Show starts. Before you ask, the Civic wagon will not be coming to the U.S.
    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
    Civic Wagon Concept and the Next Generation NSX Concept Take Centre Stage at Honda's 2013 Geneva Motor Show Display
    6 February 2013
    Two new Honda Concept models will be making their European debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show showcasing an exciting future of new models and technology for the brand. The Civic Wagon concept will be lining up alongside the next generation NSX Concept and the CR-V featuring the new 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine to give a taste of what’s to come from Honda over the next couple of years.
    Civic Wagon concept model
    Honda will be taking the wraps off the Civic Wagon concept model which strongly hints at the design direction of the final production version.This new derivative will strengthen the Civic range and will be built at Honda’s manufacturing facility in Swindon.
    Evolution of Honda NSX Concept
    Also making its European debut is the new Honda NSX Concept which suggests a potential direction for the next-generation NSX’s interior design.
    The exterior design stays true to the original concept styling, maintaining its low and wide stance with the dynamic and alluring proportions that are highlighted by clean, modern and simple surfacing.
    CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC
    The CR-V is the next model in Honda’s European line up to benefit from the new Earth Dreams Technology engine series as it joins the Civic in offering the 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine. The CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC will be available in two-wheel drive only, with manual transmission to provide an exceptional balance of performance and economy.
    The 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine is the lightest engine in its class and will help the CR-V to deliver energetic performance, agile handling and low running costs for customers. The CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC will also be built at Honda’s manufacturing facility in Swindon and will be available from Autumn 2013.
    The Honda Press Conference will take place at 13:15hrs CET on Tuesday 5th March on the Honda stand (stand number 4250).

    William Maley

    The iconic Pullman makes a return to Mercedes

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

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

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

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 17, 2013
    For those who like hot hatches, you'll like the showings at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Both Audi and Mercedes-Benz will be showing off their new wares.
    First up is Audi with the new S3 Sportback. Using the new MQB based A3 as a start, Audi drops in a turbocharged 2.0L TFSI engine producing 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. All of that power goes to all four wheels via quattro. You do have the choice between six-speed manual or S-Tronic automatic. 0-60 MPH takes about five seconds for the automatic, and a half second slower for the manual.
    Being based on the MQB platform, the new S3 Sportback is about 154 pounds less than the outgoing model. Not bad.
    Other changes for the S3 include a sport-tuned suspension, larger front brakes, and eighteen-inch wheels.
    Meanwhile at Mercedes-Benz, they have unveiled the new A45 AMG. Starting with a basic A-Class, AMG worked its magic to make into a snarling beast. Outside changes include black accents to the chin spoiler, rocker panels and mirror caps, black wheels, and a set of rectangular exhaust outlets. Inside, there are numerous red accents throughout the cabin. There is also a set of sport seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel.
    Under the hood is a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four producing 360 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. That goes through a seven-speed AMG dual-clutch transmission down to all four wheels via Mervedes 4Matic AWD system. 0-60 MPH takes about 4.5 seconds. Other performance changes include retuned suspension and steering, and a new three-stage stability control system that is specific to this car.
    We'll we see either model in the states? Possibly, but in a different form. Audi has never sold S3 in the states and chances are that if Audi does give the nod to the S3, it would likely be in a sedan. As for the A45 AMG, chances again are somewhat slim. We'll likely be seeing the A-Class' partner in crime, the new CLA class in AMG form at the New York Auto Show later in march.
    Source: Audi, Mercedes-Benz

    Album: Audi S3 Sportback
    4 images 0 comments
    Album: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
    9 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 for the S3 is on Page 2, A45 AMG is on Page 3
    Ingolstadt, 2013-02-13
    The new Audi S3 Sportback
    - New 2.0 TFSI with 221 kW (300 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque, but just 6.9 liters per
    100 km (34.09 US mpg)
    - From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds
    - Five doors for even better functionality
    Audi S3 Sportback
    221 kW (300 hp). 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque. From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds. The new Audi S3 Sportback offers best-in-class performance. Its efficiency is also exemplary. The 2.0 TFSI averages just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg).
    The four-cylinder engine in the S3 Sportback has been overhauled. The only thing in common with its predecessor is a displacement of 1,984 cc. Its rated output of 221 kW (300 hp) is available at 5,500 rpm; maximum torque of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) is constantly available from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm.
    The high-performance four-cylinder engine responds immediately to the driver's wishes and boasts a sportily sonorous sound. When the Audi drive select system is in dynamic mode, the engine's power is also underscored acoustically. The 2.0 TFSI provides power and exemplary efficiency alike by relying on many new technologies, ranging from dual injection through the Audi valvelift system and an exhaust manifold integrated within the cylinder head to innovative thermal management.
    When equipped with the optional six-speed S tronic, the S3 Sportback sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in only 5.0 seconds. The six-speed manual transmission needs just five-tenths of a second more. Top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Launch Control delivers the engine's power to the road with defined tire slip. The 2.0 TFSI consumes just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg) on average when paired with the S tronic (7.0 liters [33.60 US mpg] with the manual transmission). This engine thus requires 1.5 liters per 100 km less compared to the previous S3 Sportback.
    The lower gears of both transmissions are tightly spaced for sporty performance while the tall sixth gear reduces fuel consumption. The dual-clutch transmission can be controlled via optional shift paddles on the steering wheel and offers the automatic modes D and S in addition to manual mode.
    Equipped with quattro permanent all-wheel drive and a redesigned multi-plate clutch, this new high-end vehicle in the model line can accelerate more quickly and safely when exiting a corner. It is dynamic and stable in all conditions, even rain or snow.
    The front axle is 52 millimeters (2.05 in) farther forward compared to the previous model. The 2.0 TFSI is more than five kilograms (11.02 lb) lighter than the previous engine and is tilted backward by 12 degrees.
    In addition to a sophisticated suspension and the S sport suspension, which lowers the body by 25 millimeters (0.98 in), the axle-load distribution (59% to 41%, front to rear) and new, progressive steering contribute significantly to sporty handling. The key to progressive steering is that steering movements determine the steering ratio. This results in stable and virtually neutral steering characteristics for outstanding precision during sporty driving and easier steering while parking.
    The new Audi S3 Sportback features 7.5 J x 18 wheels. The low rolling resistance of the 225/40-series tires helps reduce fuel consumption. The calipers of the large brakes, which measure 340 millimeters (13.39 in) in diameter up front, are painted black and bear S logos. They can optionally be red. The electromechanical parking brake governs the rear axle. Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) reflects latest-generation technology.
    The new S3 Sportback comes standard with Audi drive select. This system handles characteristics of the electronic gas pedal, shift points of the optional S tronic and the steering ratio for progressive steering.
    At the push of a button, the driver specifies whether these systems should operate in comfort, auto, dynamic or efficiency mode. An additional mode, individual, is available in models equipped with the MMI Radio or above. The optional Audi magnetic ride system, which situationally regulates the shock absorbers, is also controlled via Audi drive select.
    Lightweight construction also contributes significantly to the very dynamic performance of the Audi S3 Sportback. This five-door car has a curb weight of 1,445 kilograms (3,185.68 lb) – 70 kilograms (154.32 lb) less than the previous model. Most of this reduction in weight is on account of the body.
    The Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG: Driving Performance for the new generation
    Affalterbach – The A 45 AMG sees Mercedes-AMG embarking on a new era. For the first time in the company's history extending back over more than 45 years, Mercedes-Benz's performance brand is offering a fascinating high-performance vehicle in the compact class. The A 45 AMG is representative of the "AMG Performance 50" strategy for the future, which is to run up to the 50th birthday of Mercedes-AMG GmbH in 2017. With a maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world. The sensational power density of 133 kW (181 hp) outstrips even the most powerful super sports cars. At the same time, the engine also boasts supreme efficiency and complies with the EU6 emissions standard. The A 45 AMG also leads its segment in terms of fuel consumption, running on 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in NEDC combined mode. These credentials indicate that a further high-performing member of the BlueDIRECT family is now taking to the road. The performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive onboard the A 45 AMG sets new standards in the car's segment.
    The substance of the new Mercedes-Benz vehicle architecture for front- and
    all-wheel drive provides the perfect basis for the A 45 AMG and at least two other high-performance premium automobiles from Affalterbach.In designing and developing the A 45 AMG, the experts at AMG have drawn on the company's decades of experience in motorsport and the production of powerful, high-performance vehicles. As such, the A 45 AMG will inherit the corporate DNA and embody the AMG brand claim "Driving Performance" to perfection: a fascinatingly sporty driving experience combined with impressive craftsmanship and pronounced individuality.
    "The A 45 AMG will enable Mercedes-AMG to appeal to new customers and tap new markets," observes Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. We are adding an extremely attractive model with exceptional performance data to our range of unique high-performance automobiles."
    "With the new A 45 AMG we have well and truly achieved our aim of developing the most dynamic, powerful and efficient four-cylinder series production car," comments Tobias Moers, Head of Overall Vehicle Development and Board Member of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.With its impressive high-tech package and the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the A 45 AMG is a thoroughbred AMG through and through."
    Dynamic and individual vehicle for new target group
    Spanning the age range from 30 to mid-40, the target group is younger than the AMG clientele to date. In successful careers and with an independent frame of mind, these customers seek a dynamic and individual vehicle.They wish to lend expression to their style- and trend-oriented way of life with a car from a recognised high-performance brand. The A 45 AMG provides the predominantly urban target group with an agile high-performance vehicle. Mercedes-AMG accommodates their tech-savvy and individual outlook on life with an extremely broad selection of optional equipment and appointments, colours and materials.
    Typically AMG: the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world
    Two figures show that the A 45 AMG holds pole position in its displacement segment:the newly developed AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world. A maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque are unmatched by any other mass-produced turbocharged four-cylinder engine worldwide. The power density of 133 kW (181 hp) is also absolutely unrivalled. In this discipline, the new AMG high-performance turbo engine even outstrips the most powerful super sports cars.
    The high power and torque output and the combination with the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard lead to extremely dynamic performance: the A 45 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, while its top speed stands at 250 km/h (electronically limited). The specially developed AMG engine is also a model of efficiency – the A 45 AMG also leads its segment on this front, with fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in NEDC combined mode. This is accompanied by particularly low exhaust emissions: the A 45 AMG already complies with the EU6 emissions standard which is not scheduled to enter into force until 2015, combined with the limit for the particle count per kilometre of 6 x 1011 which will be mandatory from 2017.
    The key data at a glance:
    Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG
    Displacement
    1991 cc
    Bore x stroke
    83.0 x 92.0 mm
    Compression ratio
    8.6 : 1
    Output
    265 kW (360 hp) at 6000 rpm
    Max. torque
    450 Nm at 2250 - 5000 rpm
    Engine weight (dry)
    148 kg
    Maximum engine speed
    6700 rpm
    Power density
    133 kW (181 hp)
    Peak pressure
    up to 140 bar
    Maximum charge pressure
    1.8 bar
    Fuel consumption NEDC combined
    6.9 – 7.1 l/100 km
    CO2 emissions
    161-165 g/km
    Emissions standard
    EU6
    Acceleration 0-100 km/h
    4.6 s
    Top speed
    250 km/h*
    *electronically limited
    The basis for these impressive figures is provided by the high-tech package which has been put together by Mercedes-AMG. As a high-performance engine belonging to the BlueDIRECT family, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection via piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition improves fuel utilisation and increases thermodynamic efficiency substantially, leading to lower exhaust emissions. Other highlights include the gravity-die sandcast all-aluminium crankcase, weight-optimised crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimised piston rings, NANOSLIDE cylinder wall technology, air-water charge air cooling, generator management and ECO start/stop function.
    Twin-scroll turbocharger and AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap
    Mercedes-AMG addresses the essential challenges concerning the response of small-displacement turbo engines by means of a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum derestriction of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. The twin-scroll technology provides for a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure, making effective use of exhaust gas back pressure, exhaust gas temperature and exhaust gas impulse. This results in a swifter build-up of torque right from the lower rev range. As a positive side-effect, the twin-scroll technology also benefits fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. At a maximum charge pressure of 1.8 bar, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine also leads the field in this respect.
    The AMG sports exhaust system features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled exhaust flap. This technology, which is familiar from the SLK 55 AMG, reconciles the two apparently conflicting aims of tangible dynamism and hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys. The flap is continuously adjusted by map control according to the power called up by the driver, load status and engine speed. The two striking tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system emit a fascinating, full engine sound which is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration.
    An AMG Performance exhaust system with exhaust flap and featuring a dedicated tailpipe trim design is optionally available for the A 45 AMG. This provides for an even more emotional and striking engine sound when the throttle is open and during gear shifting. The double-declutching function during downshifting and the interruption of ignition and injection during upshifting under full load produce a particularly throaty sound with the AMG Performance exhaust system and create a level of emotionality which is otherwise the reserve of engines with more than 4 cylinders.
    High-performance cooling system with components from the SLS AMG
    The high driving dynamics of the A 45 AMG call for a highly effective cooling system. On the basis of the components belonging to the SLS AMG, a low-temperature circuit is additionally deployed for air-water charge air cooling of the four-cylinder turbo engine. The large cooler section at the front level of the cooling module is supplemented by an additional cooler in the wheel arch. Together with the charge air cooler which is connected in series, a high-performance electric pump ensures the required flow through the water coolers located behind the large intake ports. This provides for ideal cooling of the highly compressed charge air, thereby contributing towards optimum engine performance.
    Cooling of the transmission oil is integrated in the water cooling circuit for the engine. The water cooler positioned behind the front apron is supported by the heat exchanger which is fitted directly on the transmission and supplied with cooling water as required by means of an auxiliary pump.
    Engine production – a tradition of hand-built excellence
    Similarly to all eight- and twelve-cylinder engines, the new AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is also hand-built according to the traditional AMG philosophy of "one man, one engine". An exclusive assembly line has been set up for the new AMG engine at the Mercedes-Benz engine production plant in Kölleda – where all BlueDIRECT four-cylinder engines are built for the A- and B-Class models. A characteristic feature of the "one man, one engine" production process is the AMG engine plate bearing the signature of the responsible engine fitter. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine plate also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz's high-performance brand.
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
    Dual clutch transmission and all-wheel drive – the drive package onboard the new A 45 AMG is a demonstration of high-end engineering prowess.The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is directly flange-mounted on the transversely installed AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. Key software modules have been adopted from the SLS AMG super sports car with its inspirational power transmission concept. The dual clutch transmission of the A45 features seven gears, three driving programmes, a double-declutching function and RACE START for optimum acceleration. The strengths of the AMG DCT sports transmission include spontaneous gear shifting without any interruption in tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy, extremely smooth and easy gear shifting and a high level of efficiency. Reinforced gear wheels provide for maximum stability. Synchroniser rings with carbon-fibre friction linings improve durability while also optimising the response time during manual gear-changing – the ideal basis for ambitious laps on cordoned-off race tracks.
    "Momentary M mode" for even greater dynamism and driving enjoyment
    Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving enjoyment is so-called "Momentary M mode". In C and S mode, this enables the driver to activate manual mode ("M") without having to remove a hand from the steering wheel, by pressing the "up" or "down" shift paddle once. In Momentary M mode the driver experiences the dynamism and performance of gear-shifting in manual mode in all of the automatic driving programmes, with automatic up- and down-shifting into the bargain. This allows the driver to devote his full attention to the vehicle's impressive performance.
    The shift times in manual mode "M" and in Sport mode "S" are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car.Briefly and precisely interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts with a more emotional sound than ever. In "C" mode (Controlled Efficiency), tangibly soft transmission and engine characteristics support a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style. The ECO start/stop function is also active in "C" mode.
    Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive
    The new A 45 AMG comes with variable, performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard. In developing this all-wheel drive, the focus firmly was on performance and dynamism. The power flux to the rear powertrain is provided by a compact power take-off unit (PTU) which is fully integrated in the 7-speed sports transmission. It does not possess an oil circuit of its own. Instead, it is supplied with lubricant from the oil circuit of the sports transmission . This configuration gives rise to substantial weight advantages in comparison to rival systems which branch off power by means of an add-on component with its own oil circuit. Together with the friction-minimised tapered roller bearings, the PTU achieves an excellent level of efficiency. As an additional bonus, the system weight of the new AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive is up to 25 percent lighter than the all-wheel drive versions offered by the competition.
    A two-part propeller shaft transfers the power from the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine to the rear axle. In the interests of favourable weight distribution, an electrohydraulically controlled multi-disc clutch is integrated with the rear axle differential. The multi-disc clutch immediately detects slip at the front axle. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this takes place virtually without the driver noticing. To enable particularly fast response, the pump is always active and does not require to be started up each time it is needed, such as is customary with other systems. Power distribution is fully variable: in normal driving, the A 45 AMG uses front-wheel drive in the interests of optimum efficiency. When the driving dynamics so require, the variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive splits the torque between front and rear axle up to a ratio of 50 : 50 percent. The variables influencing the power distribution ratio are vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, speed difference between the individual wheels, selected gear and accelerator position.
    3-stage ESP® with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist
    An exclusive feature is the interaction of the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive with the 3-stage ESP® and the ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist. The three ESP® stages enable the driver to vary the dynamics of the A 45 AMG according to his individual wishes at the push of a button. The safety-oriented "ESP ON" mode supports the driver in maintaining neutral handling characteristics. The system initiates braking intervention on one or more wheels and reduces the engine torque on detecting that the operating conditions are becoming unstable.
    Briefly pressing the ESP® button activates "ESP SPORT Handling" mode. This dynamically oriented driving mode applies appropriate control strategies for later ESP® intervention and increased drive torque at the rear axle. This means more fun at the wheel for drivers who are keen to exploit the vehicle's dynamic potential. Pressing the ESP® button longer activates "ESP OFF". In this mode, the ESP® functions are not available. ESP OFF should only be used by experienced drivers on cordoned-off race tracks. When the driver steps on the brake pedal in the course of braking in "SPORT Handling" mode or "ESP OFF" mode, all the safety functions of the ESP® system are restored.
    ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist complements the ESP® system to perfection: during dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the inside wheel gives rise to a defined yaw moment around the vertical axis, resulting in precise cornering by the A 45 AMG and ensuring that the vehicle remains under control at all times. Curve Dynamic Assist is adapted according to the selected ESP® mode. In "ESP SPORT Handling" mode and "ESP OFF" mode it supports the driver's wish for increased agility and driving dynamics. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is an additional function of the Electronic Stability Program which noticeably improves not only agility, but also active driving safety in critical conditions.
    AMG sports suspension with independent front and rear axle
    Like every AMG high-performance automobile, the new A 45 AMG also incorporates sophisticated axle technology. For enhanced driving dynamics, the three-link front suspension is provided with stiffer steering knuckles and totally new elastokinematics. Newly developed, more rigid bearings are employed in the lower link plane. These provide for more agile cornering properties and more precise and direct feedback from the road surface. The more rigid bearings also lead to higher camber stiffness, enabling higher cornering speeds. In developing the complete front axle, great importance has been attached to attaining the best possible traction in highly dynamic driving.
    The four-link rear axle of the A 45 AMG is also a totally new development. In the course of optimising the elastokinematics, the strut bearings were duly adapted for maximum driving dynamics and control. The rear axle carrier is provided with more rigid bearings for increased driving stability; the subframe is rigidly connected to the body. The AMG sports suspension with specifically tuned spring/damper units and larger stabilisers provides for high lateral acceleration and a reduced rolling tendency in fast double bends. The A 45 AMG comes as standard with twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, fitted with 235/40 R 18 tyres.
    AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and AMG high-performance braking system
    The electromechanical Dual Pinion AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with AMG-specific, speed-dependent power assistance and a constant steering ratio (14.5 : 1) enables high steering precision and agility. The electric motor is installed in space-saving configuration on the steering gear. The AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated and perforated brake discs all round in size 350 x 32 millimetres at the front and 330 x 22 millimetres at the rear provides for spontaneous and reliable deceleration.
    Exterior design with sporty and muscular highlights
    Mercedes-AMG adds emphatically sporty and muscular highlights to the emotional exterior design of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class sporting the new dynamic style, sculptural character and feature lines on the sides. These refinements ensure that the A 45 AMG looks the part as a distinctive high-performance automobile – a genuine AMG through and through.
    The front view of the A 45 AMG is characterised by the AMG "twin blade" radiator grille and the cross strut in the AMG front apron, both painted in matt titanium grey. Striking black flics surround the large cooling air intakes at the sides. An interesting side view is guaranteed by the AMG light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design and the side sill panels with inserts in matt titanium grey. The "TURBO AMG" lettering on the wing is exclusive to the top model of the A-Class. The AMG rear apron with its highlighted air outlet openings at the sides features a diffusor insert and trim in matt titanium grey. Two square, chrome-plated tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap add an appropriately bold finishing touch.
    Dynamic and exclusive interior design and appointments
    Inside, too, the new A 45 AMG boasts a heady mix of hallmark Mercedes-AMG dynamism and exclusivity. The sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting topstitching, the multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and the AMG DRIVE UNIT set new standards in terms of both appearance and quality. The dashboard trim comes in carbon-fibre look – a perfect match for the five air vents in black/red, the red seat belts and the AMG door sill panels. The AMG instrument cluster presents information by means of a central colour display with the AMG main menu and the RACETIMER.
    Numerous individualisation options are available for the A 45 AMG (selection):
    -AMG Aerodynamics package: AMG rear aerofoil, additional flics in front apron, larger front splitter
    -AMG carbon-fibre exterior mirror housing
    -AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre package: front splitter, side sill panel inserts and trim on rear apron in genuine carbon fibre
    -AMG rear aerofoil
    -AMG Exclusive package
    -AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels in 8 x 19 fitted with 235/35 R 19 tyres, in two variants: painted in titanium grey with high-sheen finish or in matt black with high-sheen rim flange
    -AMG Night package: privacy glass, black anodised waistline trim strip, black tailpipe trims in chromed finish, radiator fins in silver chrome, high-gloss black painted finish for front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel inserts and rear apron trim
    -AMG Performance exhaust system incl. tailpipe trims in specific design
    -AMG Performance suspension with tauter spring/damper tuning
    -AMG Performance steering wheel and E-SELECT lever, electronic key with AMG emblem
    -AMG Performance seats
    -AMG wheel bolt covers in black with hub caps in central-locking look (for standard AMG light-alloy wheels only)
    -Red painted callipers
    Expressive and exclusive: the A 45 AMG "Edition 1"
    The A 45 AMG "Edition 1" stands apart both on a technical level and in terms of appearance.As is familiar from the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, the fully appointed "Edition 1" model variant boasts an expressive composition of exclusive exterior and interior details. The A 45 AMG "Edition 1" focuses on the car's affinity to motorsport: the exterior paint finish in cirrus white corresponds with the AMG sports stripes in matt graphite grey on the bonnet, roof and sides. The red highlights on the radiator grille, exterior mirrors and rear aerofoil leave a lasting impression. These highlights combine to perfection with the red painted brake callipers and the AMG multispoke light-alloy wheels painted in matt black with special AMG hub caps in central-locking look. The 8 x 19 light-alloy wheels are fitted all-round with tyres in size 235/35 R 19. Both the AMG Night package and the Aerodynamics package feature as standard for the "Edition 1", providing the perfect finishing touch to the model's motorsport-inspired character.
    Black and red dominate the interior of the A 45 AMG "Edition 1", too.Red contrasting stitching embellishes the AMG Performance seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, the top section of the dashboard in ARTICO man-made leather and the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre. Other visual highlights are the E-SELECT lever with embossed AMG emblem and the "Edition 1" badge on the AMG DRIVE UNIT.
    The world premiere of the A 45 AMG will take place at the Geneva Motor Show, whose doors open on 5 March 2013. The sales release date will be 8 April 2013; the market launch in Germany will begin this June.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 17, 2013
    The 2013 Geneva Motor Show is setting up to be a exciting show with a number of vehicles making their debut. One of the big surprises for Geneva will be the launch of a new car company. Chinese automaker Qoros will be introducing itself to the world by showing off a production-intent sedan as well as two "concepts" that appear to be production ready. Qoros was founded as a part of a joint venture between Chery Automobile and global holding company, Israel Corporation.
    Their production-intent sedan is called 3 sedan and unlike most Chinese cars of the past few years, this doesn't look like a blatant copy of another automaker. The design is mostly original and unique. Measuring at 181 inches long and 72.4 inches wide, the 3 sedan is slightly larger than a Ford Focus.
    Power comes from either a 1.6L four-cylinder producing 126 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque or a turbocharged version of the same engine putting out 156 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. There is a choice between a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed dual clutch transmission. A stop-start system is available.
    Coming down the pipeline will be two other engines; a 1.3-liter inline-three and a 1.6-liter inline-four, both turbocharged and direct-injected.
    Qoros concept showings will include a 3 Cross Hybrid Concept which previews a crossover model and a hybrid system that uses two electric motors; one mounted in the back and the other mounted between the engine and transmission. The other concept is the Estate Concept which previews a possible wagon version.
    Qoros will begin selling the 3 sedan in China starting in the second half of this year. Europe will follow thereafter.
    Source: Qoros

    Album: Qoros Showings At Geneva
    12 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 for the 3 Sedan is on Page 2, the Cross Hybrid and Estate Concept is on Page 3
    World premiere: the Qoros 3 Sedan
    Elegant design, class-leading interior space, generous specification, high safety standards
    At its global debut at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, new automotive brand, Qoros, gives a world premiere to its first series production car, the Qoros 3 Sedan.
    The elegant compact (C-segment) car will be launched in China in the second half of 2013, with first sales in Europe starting later in the year. The vehicle is entering a pre-production development phase after two summers and two winters of extensive testing at key locations around the world.
    The styling of the Qoros 3 Sedan draws heavily on contemporary German-influenced automotive design and introduces a distinctive brand identity. A unique, advanced eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, developed in-house by Qoros, will be fitted as standard across the Qoros 3 Sedan range.
    The compact Qoros 3 Sedan offers class-leading interior space for maximum passenger comfort. A primary objective from the earliest stages of the vehicle engineering programme was to achieve high scores in both Chinese and European crash assessments. Qoros employs modern safety technology and has put the Qoros 3 Sedan through a rigorous testing regime in helping it meet this objective.
    Two efficient four-cylinder 1.6-litre gasoline engines will be available at the launch of the Qoros 3 Sedan in China, both of which feature VVT (variable valve timing), and which will challenge for class-leadership in China in terms of performance and efficiency.
    The naturally-aspirated unit delivers an output of 93 kW (126 bhp) and 155 Nm maximum torque. The turbocharged version offers 115 kW (156 bhp) and 210 Nm maximum torque. Both engines are combined with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with an optional six-speed dual clutch transmission available for both. A stop-start system will also be available.
    "With the support of AVL, Qoros is also developing a new three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged engine and an all-new four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, both with GDI (gasoline direct injection). These engines will deliver highly competitive performance and efficiency," comments Klaus Schmidt, Executive Director of Vehicle Engineering, who was formerly a senior manager at BMW M-Power.
    Elegant design with class-leading interior space
    The styling of the Qoros 3 Sedan was undertaken from a clean sheet by the Qoros design teams in Munich and Shanghai under the direction of Executive Director of Design, Gert Volker Hildebrand. It establishes the design direction for the entire Qoros model family and draws on contemporary German-influenced automotive design to exhibit a timeless, desirable elegance.
    Driven by the theme 'Creating Future History', Gert Hildebrand's team set out to ensure that every model in the Qoros family is instantly recognisable as a Qoros. Key elements introduced with the Qoros 3 Sedan include an athletic, elegant profile, short overhangs, a coupé-like silhouette and a roof which flows smoothly into the strong rear quarters.
    The Qoros engineering team established from the earliest stages of the development programme that the compact platform's design should incorporate a long wheelbase and generous proportions. At 4,615 mm long, 1,839 mm wide and 1,445 mm high, the sedan's athletic, elegant styling also presents a solid, well-planted profile. It features horizontal styling themes along and across the body that highlight its length and width.
    The Qoros 3 Sedan has one of the longest wheelbases in the compact segment, at 2,690 mm. A striking contour edge running continuously from the headlamps to the door handles and on to the rear light clusters emphasises the seamless, cleanly sculptured bodysides. In conjunction with the striking accentuation strip in matt aluminium that runs above the side sill between the wheel arches, this contour edge visually stretches the silhouette even further.
    At the front, the contours of the bonnet form a dynamic curve, and the front section is designed to meet the highest standards of crash safety and pedestrian protection.
    The rear doors feature a 'hockey-stick' rear window line that extends into the C-pillar to allow easier access for occupants into the rear seats. Subtly flared wheel arches reflect the overall elegant styling theme without overtly interrupting the bodyside's lateral flow.
    Wheel sizes start at 16 inches, compared to the 15-inch entry-level wheel size for most compact segment cars, and the Qoros 3 Sedan can be specified with wheels up to 18 inches, highlighting the car's unusually wide track, once again conveying solidity. Several alloy wheel design and size combinations will be available at launch. The bespoke-designed triple-split eight-spoke alloy wheel, with gloss black inner and matt silver outer surfaces are highly distinctive and are destined to become a hallmark Qoros feature.
    Unmistakable "brand face"
    The Qoros 3 Sedan introduces a characteristic "brand face", refined in its proportions and surface finishes, that will become familiar on future models in the Qoros family.
    The top of the dual-section radiator grille is at the same height as the headlamp units and creates a striking contrast with the overall horizontal orientation of the car's face. The radiator grille forms an equal-sided trapezoid with a wide chrome bar as its upper edge and a second chrome bar at the bottom edge of the lower air intake. The grille itself has also been carefully designed with a mesh of matt black 'clouds' to hide the radiator fans behind – another neat styling finish.
    The Qoros logo – also developed under the direction of Gert Volker Hildebrand – proudly occupies a central point within the upper contour line of the radiator grille. The horizontally stretched Q incorporates the full 'Qoros' brand name in uppercase letters in a tactile three-dimensional chrome and gloss-black arrangement.
    The front and rear lamp clusters were another defining feature on which Gert Hildebrand's team paid painstaking attention to detail. The distinctive daytime running lights are horizontally positioned LED bars at the upper edge of the headlamp modules. The same applies to the three horizontal LED light bars in the wide rear lamp clusters that dominate the rear quarter flanks.
    Interior: class-leading space
    The Qoros 3 Sedan offers its five passengers remarkably generous interior space for a compact segment car, and is again dominated by a horizontally-oriented design theme that emphasises the length and width of the cabin. The elegance of the exterior continues inside. The steering wheel, which features a flat lower edge, sits in front of a 'floating' instrument panel and centre console that maximises the feeling of interior spaciousness.
    The combination of thin red LED light strips along each edge of the central console and discreet red LED lighting in the door handles create a warm, welcoming interior ambience. This, as well as the instrument cluster displays that illuminate immediately when any one of the car doors is opened, emphasises the feeling of passenger cabin quality.
    A high-resolution TFT display at the centre of the instrument cluster provides crucial information to the driver, including vehicle range and next-turn directions from the navigation system.
    The Qoros 3 Sedan boasts a luggage compartment of 450 litres. The 60:40 split rear seatbacks fold down individually to optimise cargo carrying flexibility and incorporate a ski-hatch allowing the car to accommodate long items.
    As well as a 2.8-litre glovebox (which will be air conditioned on top specification models), there are nine further storage compartments, including in the front centre console, front arm rest, as well as wide door pockets in all four doors, and rigid front seatback pockets for rear seat passengers. There are bottle holders in the front door pockets, two large cupholders in the front centre console, and two cupholders in the rear centre armrest.
    Advanced touchscreen infotainment system as standard across the range
    The Qoros 3 Sedan is fitted as standard with an innovative eight-inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment system that represents an automotive industry first and occupies a prominent position in the central console.
    The advanced software, technology and graphics were designed and developed in-house to safely manage information displays for minimal driver distraction and to optimise ease-of-use while on the move. The intelligent and powerful package was created specifically with the young, aspirational, 'always-connected' target Qoros customer firmly in mind.
    The innovative user-interface is based on the finger 'swipe' concept of modern smartphones and is unique in responding to multi-touch gestures. Replacing the array of switches and buttons that blights many modern car interiors, the capacitive touchscreen enables users to manage entertainment, navigation, 'Cloud' networking connectivity and vehicle settings with intuitive finger 'swipe' inputs (full functionality will be model dependent).
    The system's user-interface is highly intuitive and is designed to fully exploit touchscreen technology. For example, an incoming phone call can be answered with a simple swipe anywhere on the screen towards the driver, or can be rejected and forwarded to voicemail with a swipe away. Audio balance (right-left) and fade (front-rear) settings for the speakers are shown on the touchscreen as a single focus point on an overhead view of the vehicle and can be adapted by moving the point with a finger.
    Selected versions of the system allows drivers to book dealer service appointments, features an automatic emergency services alert in the event of an accident, and supports usage-based car insurance services. The state-of-the-art navigation system includes best-in-class traffic information and an advanced points-of-interest search. Integrated networking – enabled through 'Cloud' connectivity – enables drivers to share their driving experiences, points-of-interest, favourite trips and photos via social media channels.
    Mobile phones on the most popular operating systems (Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone) and external music players can be integrated via Bluetooth, USB and AUX-IN connections.
    Powerful engines with optional dual clutch transmission
    Two engines developed in collaboration with leading powertrain engineering specialist, AVL, will be available for the launch of the Qoros 3 Sedan in China. Both are four-cylinder 1.6-litre units featuring variable valve control technology to optimise performance and efficiency.
    The naturally-aspirated version delivers 93 kW (126 bhp) and 155 Nm maximum torque at 3,900 rpm. With this engine, the Qoros 3 Sedan accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 11.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified).
    With the turbocharged engine, which offers 115kW (156 bhp) and 210 Nm maximum torque at 2,500 rpm, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h is achieved in a brisk 9.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified).
    Both power units are combined with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. A six-speed dual clutch transmission is available as an option for both engines, offering the driver automated gear selection as well as a manual shift mode.
    Depending on model and market, the Qoros 3 Sedan will be fitted with an automatic start-stop system for increased efficiency, and manual models will also feature an optimal gearshift point display.
    Other engine families are under development with the support of AVL. These will include a three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with 97 kW (130 bhp), and a brand new four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with 136 kW (160 bhp), both featuring GDI (gasoline direct injection) and VVT (variable valve timing).
    These will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission available as an option, which will offer the driver automated gear selection as well as a manual shift mode.
    The 1.2-litre and all-new 1.6-litre powertrain units will meet the EU6 emissions standard which comes into effect in Europe in 2014, and will be highly competitive in the compact segment in terms of power, torque, fuel economy and emissions.
    Ride and handling developed to European standards
    The vehicle dynamics of the Qoros 3 Sedan have been tailored to European customer expectations. The sedan features McPherson struts at the front and twist-beam suspension at the rear to provide an ideal balance of responsive handling and a compliant ride. Rack-and-pinion steering with electronic power assistance delivers precise direction changes.
    Stopping power is provided by 320mm disc brakes at the front and 285mm disc brakes at the rear. Braking performance and stability is enhanced by anti-lock braking (ABS) and electronic stability control systems developed in conjunction with TRW specifically for the Qoros 3 Sedan.
    Qoros' first production model has undergone an extensive development and testing regime under the direction of Klaus Schmidt, Executive Director of Vehicle Engineering, formerly head of the technology and driving dynamics department at BMW's M-Sport division.
    "Our aim was to offer our customers a driving experience defined by predictable, clear responses to their inputs," says Schmidt. "Our all-new compact segment vehicle platform provides the ideal basis for excellent reactions and control during spirited driving, while also being comfortable and hassle-free in the city. We have achieved the right balance between ride comfort and performance in the Qoros 3 Sedan."
    Solid body structure and high safety standards
    The highly sophisticated safety technology of the Qoros 3 Sedan is engineered to achieve top scores in European and Chinese new-car independent crash tests. Its body architecture is based on the very latest insights in the field of accident safety and occupant protection. A precise arrangement of impact-bearing structures and generously-sized deformation zones ensure that the passenger cell is protected from the most diverse types of collision events.
    Furthermore, there is an extensive package of safety features for occupant protection, including:
    Highly effective load-limiting safety belts with dual pre-tensioners to ensure the effective restraint of front seat occupants
    Optimised seat structures, providing robust occupant restraint in frontal impact and good whiplash protection in the event of a rear impact
    Suite of front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags and roof-mounted curtain airbags which deploy to cover the front and rear window apertures
    Seat belt reminder functions for all seating positions
    Comprehensive equipment as standard
    The Qoros 3 Sedan meets the needs and expectations of modern motorists who demand generous features and infotainment, and who also prefer options to individually configure their vehicle.
    The Qoros 3 Sedan offers three specification levels.
    Six exterior paint finishes (solid Crystal White and solid Midnight Black, and metallic Macadamia Brown, Starlight Black, Diamond Silver and Shimmer Grey) and two interior colours (Lava Black and Sand Dune Beige) will be available for the Qoros 3 Sedan at launch in China. The interior upholstery can be specified in fabric, a fabric-leatherette combination, or in full leather.
    Depending on the specification level, the Qoros 3 Sedan features interior décor finishes in various high-grade materials, as well as 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels in various designs.
    Standard features on all versions of the Qoros 3 Sedan include the innovative touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning, remote control central locking, all-round electric windows, electric exterior mirrors, and a four-speaker, 100-watt audio system. These can be supplemented by options that include a rear view camera with parking distance control, xenon headlamps, cruise control, electrically adjustable front seats, an automatic anti-dazzle interior mirror, and an upgraded six-speaker audio system. An extensive accessories list offers further customisation options.
    All-new production facility for quality, efficiency and sustainability
    The Qoros 3 Sedan will be produced in an all-new manufacturing facility in Changshu. Construction of the facility – occupying 250,000 square metres adjacent to the company's headquarters – is nearly complete, and it will include a bodyshop, assembly line and paintshop.
    The factory – and its production processes – exceeds legal requirements in both China and Europe in terms of the recyclability of end-of-life vehicles, components and materials.
    The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept and Qoros 3 Estate Concept Versatile driving pleasure with innovative drive technology
    Following the launch of its first production model, the Qoros 3 Sedan, the brand plans to expand its model family with the launch of a new model every six-to-eight months.
    At the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, Qoros presents a five-door crossover – the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept – that features a compact hatchback body, enhanced traction properties and an advanced hybrid drive.
    This concept illustrates how the design themes introduced in the Qoros 3 Sedan may be applied to its future model range. It also offers a glimpse ahead to the brand's future technological developments with a pioneering hybrid drive that not only enhances efficiency but that also provides an exceptional all-wheel driving experience.
    The intelligent Qoros modular vehicle architecture is a key factor in ensuring that new models can be introduced quickly and efficiently, and the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept is based on the same vehicle platform as the Qoros 3 Sedan.
    With the same long wheelbase (2,690 mm) and wide track as the sedan, the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept exhibits generous proportions and a solid, planted road presence.
    Hallmark design features reinterpreted
    The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept showcases a mild evolution of the styling introduced on the production sedan. Elegant lines and balanced proportions reflect sporty aspirations. Short body overhangs and the coupé-like roof line flowing into the hatchback tailgate give the five-door model a touch of dynamic flair. Horizontally oriented lines highlight the width of the boldly shaped rear, which featuresa large tailgate.
    The front view of the concept is almost identical to the Qoros 3 Sedan, but the core elements of the Qoros 'face' are supplemented with bespoke accents. The lower air inlet at the bottom of the trapezoidal grille stretches further back, highlighting the concept's powerful front stature. Also distinctive are the rounded contours of the fog lamps, which are placed wide apart.
    The headlamp clusters, featuring LED bars at their top edge as daytime running lights, are the same as those on the Qoros 3 Sedan, stretching far into the flanks and into a striking contour edge which runs through the door handles and rises continuously to the rear. The rear light clusters – unique to this concept, feature horizontal LED light bars in a neat compact arrangement.
    Its raised ground clearance and specific design features that emphasise its robust, versatile characteristics hint at the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept's potential for excursions beyond the asphalt. It features underbody protection at the front and rear to protect against impacts, as well as uprated suspension and damper systems that ensure occupants remain comfortable even on rough terrain.
    A combination of hybrid drive and all-wheel system for increased driving pleasure and efficiency
    The development of advanced engineering innovations is a core strategic activity for the brand and the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept features an advanced hybrid drive system developed in partnership with leading electric drive systems specialist American Axle.
    A three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 97 kW (130 bhp) is installed transversely at the front to drive the front wheels.
    A 50 kW electric motor is housed between the luggage compartment floor and the rear axle, not only convenient for power transfer but also safely isolated from rear collision impacts. The motor is powered by a LG Chem lithium-ion battery with a maximum capacity of 1.9 kilowatt-hours.
    A second electric motor – the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) – is mounted between the petrol engine and the transmission. Its role, as well as to start the petrol engine more discreetly – with less noise and less vibration – than a traditional starter motor, is to charge the rear electric motor's dedicated battery so that the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can operate continuously in all-wheel drive mode. And, during the most demanding driving, the ISG delivers additional power to the front axle, allowing the concept to deliver surprisingly swift performance: zero to 100 km/h is achieved in less than 7.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified).
    Intelligent control software ensures seamless transition between petrol-engine front-wheel drive, electric motor rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive, depending on the most efficient mode to respond to the driver's inputs and the prevailing road conditions.
    The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can be driven in pure-electric mode at a speed of up to 120 km/h, and for a maximum range of approximately four kilometres (provisional target, not yet verified).
    The Qoros 3 Estate Concept: modern functionality in an elegant, athletic style
    The Qoros 3 Estate Concept, featuring extended interior space, intelligent and flexible functionality, and elegant design, show how the new brand's compact segment model range might be expanded with an estate variant in the future. Qoros' modular platform provides the ideal basis for fast and efficient expansion of the model family, and the compact estate is becoming increasingly popular among European motorists. Its elegance and bold stature echo the Qoros styling themes introduced by the Qoros 3 Sedan, while the intelligently designed interior provides an incredibly versatile and adaptable space that allows luggage capacity to be adapted to individual needs.
    An individual alternative to the classic sedan
    Sales of compact segment estate cars are growing thanks to their more flexible capabilities to meet the diverse transport needs of ever more adventurous family lifestyles in Europe. The versatile trunk space provides additional flexibility and volume for luggage or other cargo, or to pursue leisure activities which might involve transporting bulky sports equipment, for example.
    The practical advantages are married with the impressive driving dynamics and performance of the Qoros 3 Sedan, and the estate concept pleasingly adopts its timeless, elegant exterior design.
    Signature design with distinctive touches
    Based on the same platform as the Qoros 3 Sedan, the Qoros 3 Estate Concept is generously-proportioned for a compact segment estate. Appealing touches include the application of the horizontal design theme to highlight the long roof line flowing smoothly to the rear, and the large side windows that give the vehicle an elegant and elongated look.
    Like the sedan, the concept has the characteristic Qoros face, featuring the same large headlamps which reach from the distinctive radiator grille far into the flanks. The rear lamp clusters are also identical to those on the product Qoros 3 Sedan, creating a strong family resemblance between the two models. The three bold horizontal LED taillight bars neatly suit the powerful rear, where the large tailgate opening features a convenient low loading sill.
    Plenty of space and versatility in the interior
    The wide-ranging options provided by the folding rear seatbacks and the ski hatch, as well as the numerous storage compartments and accessory attachments, offer prospective customers a highly versatile and functional vehicle, both for everyday driving and long-distance travel. The Qoros 3 Estate Concept is conceived for young families and other modern customers whose vehicle choice is based on an active, varied lifestyle.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 19, 2013
    Say hello to the to the redesigned Bentley Continental Flying Spur. Pictures of the redesigned model surfaced today on the web, well ahead of its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
    The exterior design of the Continental Flying Spur borrows heavily from the Continental GT and GTC. The biggest change deals with the rear end as Bentley redesigned it to bring it more in line with the larger Mulsanne sedan.
    The Flying Spur's interior has been updated to keep it in line with the Continental GT and GTC, and features a new dash layout, steering wheel, and instrument panel.
    Power will come from 6.0L W12 engine which currently makes 552 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Also coming will be a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine.
    We'll have more info on the Flying Spur when it makes its official introduction at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
    Source: AutoWP.ru



    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
    February 20, 2013
    Audi has pulled back the curtain on the production RS Q3 before its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
    The RS Q3 stands out from other Q3s by number of small changes on the exterior. There is a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille, RS front bumper, a rear diffuser with a single oval tailpipe, roof spoiler, exclusive 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, and body accents. Inside the RS Q3 is a set of sport seats in black Alcantara and leather, a revised instrument cluster, a flat–bottom steering wheel, and a load of aluminum trim.
    Powering the RS Q3 is a turbocharged 2.5L five-cylinder engine producing 310 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 MPH takes only 5.5 seconds. All of that power goes through seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission to Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system.
    quattro engineers (Audi's performance arm) tweaked and lowered the suspension on the RS Q3. Other changes include larger brakes, selectable drive modes, and launch control.
    The RS Q3 arrives in Europe later this fall.
    Source: Audi

    Album: 2014 Audi RS Q3
    3 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    First RS model in the Q series: Audi RS Q3
    quattro GmbH chief van Meel: “The compact Audi RS Q3 creates a new class in the SUV segment.”
    Combines excellent power with outstanding everyday practicality
    2.5 TFSI with 228 kW (310 hp) and 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft), 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.5 s

    Audi is presenting the RS Q3 at the Geneva International Motor Show, the first RS model for the successful Q line-up. It combines outstanding everyday practicality with dynamic driving performance: It takes just 5.5 seconds to complete the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph), and its top speed is electronically governed to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). The 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo produces 228 kW (310 hp) and has an average fuel consumption of just 8.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (26.73 US mpg).
    “The RS Q3 transfers the performance philosophy of Audi to the compact SUV segment, thereby creating a new performance class,” says Franciscus van Meel, Managing Director of quattro GmbH. “In addition to the RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback, the RS Q3 is the fourth RS model that we are launching on the market in 2013. The RS family is growing to eight members – more than ever.” The RS Q3 combines typical RS properties such as high performance and driving pleasure with lifestyle qualities and high utility value. The Audi RS Q3 was developed by quattro GmbH which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AUDI AG.
    An award-winning high-performance engine, the 2.5 TFSI, is at work under the hood of the RS Q3. This five-cylinder engine has been named “International Engine of the Year” in its class for three consecutive years since 2010 by an international jury of automotive specialists. From 2,480 cc of engine displacement, the turbocharged direct-injection engine produces a maximum power of 228 kW (310 hp) at 5,200-6,700 rpm; its maximum torque of 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft) is available between 1,500 and 5,200 rpm. These two values signify that the RS Q3 is unrivaled in its competitive field. This five-cylinder is a special engine, beginning with its fundamental concept. It is familiar from the TT RS and RS 3 Sportback, and quattro GmbH modified it for use in the RS Q3.
    The 1-2-4-5-3 ignition sequence, supported by the geometry of the air induction and exhaust systems, generates a sporty engine sound that first made Audi popular back in the 1980s.
    Drivers can influence the flap control for the exhaust system and the accelerator characteristic by choosing one of the modes auto, comfort and dynamic using the standard Audi drive select system. In the dynamic mode, engine response is sharper and the engine sound more intensive.
    The 2.5 TFSI accelerates the Audi RS Q3 from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 5.5 seconds – the best performance value in this segment. The vehicle’s top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). In the RS Q3, the Audi five-cylinder engine is working together with a standard start-stop-system for the first time. Other efficiency measures such as a regulated oil pump, which only pumps lubricant when needed, contribute to the car’s low average fuel consumption of 8.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (26.73 US mpg) which equates to 206 grams CO2 per km (331.52 g/mile).
    A standard seven-speed S tronic transfers power to the drivetrain. It was designed in a compact three-shaft configuration, and its seventh gear has a long gear ratio to save on fuel. Drivers can choose between the D and S modes for automatic shifting of the dual clutch transmission, or they can shift manually – using the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever that sports a unique RS design. The Launch Control function controls acceleration from a standstill to attain optimal traction.
    The heart of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is the hydraulically operated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch located at the rear axle. It ensures proper distribution of torque between the front and rear axles.
    The Audi RS Q3 impresses with dynamic and stable handling without sacrificing comfort. The RS sports suspension lowers the body of the compact high-performance SUV by 25 mm (0.98 in). The battery is located in the luggage compartment to achieve better weight distribution. The independent rear wheel suspensions are controlled by four links.
    The electro-mechanical rack and pinion steering system operates very efficiently, conveying a stiff, precise steering feeling. An electro-mechanical parking brake and hill hold assist are also standard.
    In the RS Q3, the internally ventilated and perforated brake discs at the front wheels have a wave design with wave-shaped outer contours, which saves approx. one kilogram (2.20 lb) of weight at the front wheels. The discs have a diameter of 365 mm (14.37 in), and they are gripped by eight-piston calipers painted black with RS logos. The electronic stabilization control (ESC) has a sport mode, and it can also be deactivated entirely.
    The Audi RS Q3 comes on the German market with standard 19-inch alloy wheels. Three versions of 20-inch wheels are offered as well. One of these is the exclusive 5 dual-spoke V design, which is based on the Audi RS Q3 concept car that was shown at the 2012 Auto China motor show.
    In addition to its engine, the Audi RS Q3 also demonstrates its special status within the Q3 line-up with a number of visual highlights. RS-specific design details emphasize the confident look of the compact, high-performance SUV. They consist of body accents and roof rails in matt aluminum, special door sill plates and door trim strips, a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille, RS front bumper and quattro emblem in the front air intake. A large roof spoiler, rear bumper with distinctive diffuser insert, large elliptical tailpipe and an RS Q3 logo accentuate the rear. At a length of 4,410 mm (14.47 ft), the dynamic top model is 25 mm (0.98 in) longer than the Audi Q3. It weighs in at 1,730 kg (3814.00 lb).
    The Audi RS Q3 can also be customized by one of two optional styling packages – matt aluminum or black. Styling features include the flaps in the side air intakes, the trim on the diffuser and the fins on the roof spoiler. The Audi RS Q3 is available in eight exterior colors, including the exclusive Sepang Blue pearl effect.
    The sporty lines of the exterior are continued in the interior styling. The instrument cluster has gray gauges with white scales and red pointers. Contrasting stitching in rock gray trim the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with its flat bottom as well as the gear selector lever. The MMI and driver information system displays welcome the driver with the RS logo. Drivers can call up the boost pressure, oil temperature and a lap timer via the RS menu in the driver information system.
    Along with the pedals, a foot support also shines in aluminum look, and the standard inlays are in piano finish black. quattro GmbH offers aluminum race or carbon as alternatives here. Black headlining is standard, and lunar silver headlining is optional.
    Sport seats with embossed RS Q3 logos are also standard and are upholstered in black Alcantara/leather. Customers can also choose the optional Fine Nappa leather in black or lunar silver with contrasting stitching in rock gray or the design package with diamond stitching.
    The cargo area has a base capacity of 356 liters (12.57 cubic ft), which can be increased to 1,261 liters (44.53 cubic ft) by folding down the split rear seat backs. A practical reversible loadliner is standard. Those wishing to transport even more cargo can order the towing bracket that is offered for the RS Q3.
    Other standard features of the Audi RS Q3 include – in addition to the RS-specific driver information system – park assist plus, Audi sound system with ten loudspeakers, xenon plus headlights and LED tail lights. When they are not lit, the tail lights display a dark red tint.
    In the infotainment area, a modular component system offers a wide range of options; at the top there is the hard-drive based navigation system, MMI Navigation plus. The surround sound system from Bose drives 14 loudspeakers with up to 465 watts of output power, while the Bluetooth car phone online together with WLAN hotspot connects the compact high-performance SUV with the Internet and brings the online services of Audi connect into the vehicle. Highly advanced driver assistance systems round out the options program.
    In Germany, the base price is €54,600, and deliveries begin in fall 2013.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 20, 2013
    McLaren has revealed the engine specs for the successor to the F1 supercar, the P1.
    The P1 will use a updated version of the MP4-12C's twin-turbo 3.8L V8 producing 727 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. The 3.8L is mated to a electric motor developed in-house by McLaren Electronics that produces 176 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The electric motor can propel the P1 emissions free for up to 6 miles in a special E-mode. Total output stands at 903 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The P1's transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch box.
    The P1's powertrain will also boast two unique acronyms. There is IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) mode, which allows the P1's electric motor to get the vehicle moving while the turbochargers spool up, improving throttle response. Also there is DRS (Drag Reduction System) which changes the angle of the rear wing to reduce wind resistance, allowing the P1 to reach a higher top speed.
    We'll have more information on the P1 when it makes its offical debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
    Source: McLaren


    Album: McLaren P1 Powertrain
    4 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 McLAREN P1™ ADOPTS TWIN POWER TO DELIVER PHENOMENAL TORQUE, INSTANTLY
    Feb 20, 2013
    IPAS (Instant Power Assist System) and DRS (Drag Reduction System) offer instant boost of power and straight-line speed
    916PS (903 bhp) and 900Nm, with emissions of less than 200g/km
    Substantially revised 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine coupled to low-weight, highly efficient electric motor ensures instant torque for optimised throttle response
    Full E-mode offers in excess of 10km emission-free driving

    The McLaren P1™ will have the combined force of two highly-efficient powerplants, offering the optimum mix of superb throttle response, day-to-day drivability and top speed. A mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine and a highly effective electric motor give a combined output of 916PS (903 bhp) and a maximum torque figure of 900Nm, ensuring instantaneous throttle response through the rev range, more akin to a naturally aspirated engine. Emissions of less than 200g/km on the combined cycle are reduced to zero in full electric drive mode, while the Formula 1-derived DRS and IPAS technologies offer an increase in straight-line speed and an instant boost of power.
    The 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine in the McLaren P1™ is a new version of the familiar M838T unit, that has been significantly upgraded to optimise cooling and durability under the higher loads. The engine block has a unique casting to incorporate the electric motor. The petrol engine produces 737PS (727 bhp) at 7,500rpm, and 720Nm of torque from 4,000rpm. To optimise efficiency of the petrol engine, extensive testing and development work has always been carried out with McLaren Automotive technology partner Mobil 1 on lubrication and hydraulic fluids.
    The lightweight electric motor, developed by the McLaren Electronics arm of the Group, produces 179PS (176 bhp), and is unique to the McLaren P1™. The motor produces maximum torque of 260Nm instantly from a standstill, greatly increasing the throttle response of the McLaren P1™, and peak combined torque of 900Nm is delivered from just 4,000 rpm. In addition to this, the McLaren-developed ‘boost’ system, IPAS, provides up to 179PS instantly. The instant response of the electric motor provides a sharper throttle response more associated with a normally aspirated engine, and the significantly enhanced air-charging system enables the McLaren P1™ to have more top-end power – the perfect combination for high performance.
    The electric motor is mounted directly onto the engine, and all drive is channelled through the dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox to drive the rear wheels. Thus, the electric motor and 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine work seamlessly together, providing more than just added ultimate power and torque.
    A further benefit is that the e-motor can provide faster upshifts. This is achieved through the application of instant negative torque at the point of shift, making the engine revs drop as quickly and efficiently as possible to the required engine speed for the upshift.
    In addition to the obsessive weight-saving measures demonstrated throughout the McLaren P1™, so too is the optimisation of usable energy. When off-throttle the electric motor provides additional drag torque, recovering energy to the battery that would otherwise be lost to the brakes.
    E-mode
    The McLaren P1™can be driven in a variety of modes, powered by the engine and electric motor together, or solely by the electric motor. This ensures versatility and ease of transportation, allows use in low emission zones and residential driving is optimised with near-silent running.
    Maximum power comes when using both powerplants together, but even in E-mode the performance is strong. E-mode is the most economical mode available with zero tailpipe emissions. In E-mode, the McLaren P1™ can travel more than 10km with electric-only power – enough for most city journeys. When the battery is empty, the petrol engine will automatically start to maintain drive and charge the battery.
    IPAS and DRS optimise performance and throttle response
    The power available via the petrol engine and electric motor is further enhanced on the McLaren P1™ through two steering wheel-mounted buttons which activate the DRS (Drag Reduction System) and IPAS (Instant Power Assist System).
    The Drag Reduction System used on the McLaren P1™ is a technology similar to that employed on Formula 1 cars. Speed is increased by reducing the amount of drag on the rear wing and, where the MP4-28 has a moveable flap on the rear wing, the McLaren P1™ has a wing that reduces in angle to lower drag by 23%. The system immediately deactivates when the button is released, or if the driver touches the brake pedal.
    IPAS is designed to deliver power rapidly for high performance acceleration, and provides 179PS of instant additional power. In developing the IPAS technology for the McLaren P1™, power delivery was prioritised over energy storage. This is achieved through a groundbreaking, lightweight battery pack, which offers greater power density than any other automotive battery pack on sale today.
    Battery
    The high power density has been achieved through a combination of high power cells, low pack weight and an innovative cooling system. The battery weighs just 96kg, and is mounted onto the underbody of the high-strength Formula 1-grade carbon fibre MonoCage chassis, which seals the unit in the vehicle, thus avoiding the added weight of any unnecessary battery packaging.
    Due to the amount of power being supplied by the battery, complex cooling is required to guarantee cell performance and reliability. The coolant flow is balanced so each cell is cooled to the same temperature across the entire pack.
    In addition to the battery being charged via the engine, the McLaren P1™ is also equipped with a plug-in charger which can recharge the battery, from empty, in only two hours. The plug-in charger can be stored in the luggage compartment, although the customer may choose to store it off-board – in a garage or the pits – to save weight.
    Further details of the McLaren P1™ will be released in the coming weeks, before the production-ready car makes its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 21, 2013
    Almost six years ago, Volkswagen’s Chairman Ferdinand Piëch promised a production vehicle that would deliver fuel economy of 1.0 liter of fuel burned per 100 kilometers driven (about 235 MPG on the European cycle). Well Volkswagen has delivered a vehicle that can do better; returning 261 MPG on the European cycle or 0.9 liters per 100 kilometers. That vehicle is the new Volkswagen XL1.
    The XL1 is a very unique vehicle for many reasons besides the impressive fuel economy. For starters, the XL1's structure is a carbon fiber monocoque, with aluminum front and rear crash structures bolted to it. Body panels are made from carbon fiber and the windshield is only over 0.1 of an inch thick. This helps the XL1 get a very low curb weight of 1,753 lbs.
    The XL1's shape is very futuristic with angular LED headlights, scissor doors, inset rear wheels with covers, and no side mirrors (cameras mounted in the doors take the place). The shape is also very efficient, delivering 0.19 cd of drag.
    Power comes from two-cylinder turbodiesel engine producing 47 horsepower, an electric motor producing 27 horsepower, lithium-ion battery pack, and a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. The run to 60 MPH takes about 12.7 seconds and a top speed of 99 MPH.
    Inside the XL1 is seating for two and many of the features and comforts you expect in a modern car.
    We'll have more information on the XL1 such as how many Volkswagen plans to build and a price tag when the XL1 makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
    Source: Volkswagen

    Album: Volkswagen XL1
    7 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
    VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF XL1, THE WORLD’S MOST EFFICIENT PRODUCTION CAR
    Volkswagen to produce XL1 at its Osnabrück plant in Germany, using carbonfiber technology
    The XL1 is the most aerodynamic production car ever, with a Cd of 0.19
    261 mpg combined fuel consumption was a vision—now it’s a reality

    Wolfsburg, Germany - The XL1 from Volkswagen is the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, with a European combined fuel consumption rating of 261 mpg. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, this two-seat vehicle can also cover up to 32 miles as a zero-emissions vehicle in all-electric mode.
    The XL1 is an automotive standout that follows pure sports-car design principles: light weight (1953 pounds), exceptional aerodynamics (Cd 0.19), and a low center of gravity. This super-efficient Volkswagen thus has the ability to cruise down the road at a constant 62 mph while using just 8.3 horsepower. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover more than a kilometer.
    The XL1 emits just 21 g/km of CO2, thanks to its high-tech lightweight design, aerodynamic efficiency, and a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a 47-hp two-cylinder TDI® engine, a 27-hp electric motor, a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a lithium-ion battery. The 261 mpg fuel consumption figure is a record that has not been achieved by any other vehicle to date, showing that Volkswagen is redefining what is technically feasible in the automotive industry. The XL1 also has a top speed of 99 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds.
    Conceptually, the XL1 represents the third evolutionary stage of Volkswagen’s 1-liter car strategy. When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, currently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, formulated the visionary goal of putting into production a practical car that had combined fuel consumption of one liter per 100 km (235 mpg). In the two-seat XL1, this vision has become reality.
    Despite the tremendous efficiency of the XL1, the engineers and designers successfully came up with a body design which delivers more everyday utility than the two previous prototypes. In the L1, the 1-liter car that was shown in 2002 and 2009, the driver and passenger sat in a tandem arrangement for optimal aerodynamics; in the XL1, the two occupants sit slightly offset, side by side, almost like a conventional vehicle.
    The XL1 is 153.1 inches long, 65.6 in wide, and just 45.4 in tall. By comparison, a Volkswagen Polo is slightly longer (156.3 in) and wider (66.2 in), but is significantly taller (57.6 in). Even a purebred sports car like today’s Porsche Boxster is 5.1 inches taller. The XL1 will look spectacular going down the highway—a car of the future, built for today.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 21, 2013
    With Volkswagen readying the launch of the Mk.7 Golf, they are beginning to show a number of variations and concepts based on the new model. First up is the brand new 2014 Golf GTD that will be shown at the Geneva Motor show. Think of the Golf GTD as a GTI with a diesel engine.
    Power comes from turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0L inline-four engine with an output of 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque (an increase of 14 horsepower and 22 pound-feet over the current GTD). You have the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. While the GTD might not set any records in the accleration department (0-60 MPH takes about 7.5 seconds thanks a 3,036-pound curb weight), it does return some impressive fuel economy numbers (56 MPG combined on the European cycle).
    The GTD's exterior is much like the GTI's with a new front fascia and blacked-out, honeycomb grille. Other design cues include seventeen-inch sport wheels, rocker panel extensions, and smoked LED taillights. Inside the GTD, there are plaid seat inserts, flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, black headliner, stainless steel pedals, ambient cabin lighting.
    The GTD goes on sale in Europe in June. The big question of whether the GTD will make the Atlantic crossing is not known at the moment.
    Source: Volkswagen

    Album: 2014 Volkswagen GTD
    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
    NEW VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTD MAKES ITS WORLD DEBUT AT THE GENEVA SHOW
    Combined European Cycle fuel consumption of 56 mpg with manual transmission
    New EA288 four-cylinder TDI® engine makes 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque
    Manual version accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds

    Wolfsburg, Germany - Over the past three decades, fans of the Golf GTD have been excited by the car’s combination of fuel efficiency and sporty performance and looks. At this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, Volkswagen debuts the latest version of this fuel-sipping sporty compact, which features a 184-hp version of the new EA288 TDI turbocharged, direct-injection, four-cylinder diesel engine that already complies with the challenging EU-6 emissions standard.
    The first Golf GTD in 1982 revolutionized the sporty compact segment with its turbodiesel engine, sporty demeanor, and its GTI-style features. This year’s GTD is the most powerful ever and is based on the seventh-generation Golf.
    With184 horsepower and an impressive 280 pound-feet of torque that’s delivered from just 1750 rpm, the new Golf GTD combines the dual roles of highly efficient long-distance tourer and dynamic backroad performer. When equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, the GTD has an EC combined fuel economy figure of 56 mpg, some feat considering the car can also reach a top speed of 143 mph. This combined fuel consumption figure equates to CO2 emissions of just 109 g/km. With the optional six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, the combined fuel consumption is 50 mpg.
    Visually, the Golf GTD makes a statement through smoked LED taillights with LED licence-plate illumination; chrome dual tailpipes;17-inch GTD wheels with 225/45 tires; a lowered sport suspension; and body enhancements that include side skirts, a rear diffuser, and a large roof spoiler.
    The interior is also marked out by numerous distinctive GTD features, such as sport seats with a tartan pattern (“Clark”), black headliner, a sport steering wheel, stainless-steel pedals and foot rest, a GTD shifter grip, and a model-specific instrument cluster. Standard features include white ambience lighting, “Climatronic” automatic climate control, park assist, and Volkswagen’s latest touchscreen infotainment system.
    The GTD will be offered in three colors: “Tornado Red”, “Black”, and “Pure White”. The car goes on sale in Germany in June with a base price of 29,350 euros.
    Overview
    Market launch in Europe: June 2013
    Debut of first Golf GTD generation: 1982
    Engine: Four-cylinder TDI (turbocharged direct-injection diesel)
    Layout: Front transverse
    Displacement: 1968 cc
    Bore x stroke: 81.0 x 95.5 mm
    Compression ratio: 15.8:1
    Power: 184 hp (135 kW) at 3500-4000 rpm
    Torque: 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) at 1750 rpm
    Transmission/drive type: Manual six-speed;
    DSG six-speed dual-clutch automatic; front-wheel drive.
    EC combined fuel consumption/CO2 emissions (manual): 56 mpg; 109 g/km CO2
    Performance (manual): 0-62 mph in 7.5 sec; Max speed; 143 mph
    Unladen weight: 3036 pounds (base version)
    (* preliminary data)

    William Maley

    The sequel of the Audi Prologue concept comes to Geneva

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

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

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

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 21, 2013
    Audi isn't what you call a major player in the hybrid marketplace, but that could be changing with the showing of the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid.
    The A3 e-tron uses a 1.4L engine and a 75-kW electric motor proving a total output of 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, the A3 e-tron can reach 60 MPH in 7.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 138 mph. Even more impressive is the A3 e-tron can travel 31 miles on electric power alone and get 156.81 MPG on the U.S. cycle.
    Audi says the A3 e-tron gives the world a "realistic glimpse into the future of mobility," so its unknown if Audi will put this model into production. We'll likely find out when the A3 e-tron makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
    Source: Audi

    Album: Audi A3 e-tron
    4 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 Audi A3 e-tron
    Highly efficient plug-in hybrid with 150 kW (204 hp) system power and 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) system torque
    From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.6 seconds
    1.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (156.81 US mpg)

    Audi is working intently to electrify the drivetrain using plug-in hybrid technology. The brand with the four rings is showing the Audi A3 e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. With 150 kW (204 hp) of system power and 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of system torque, sporty performance is guaranteed.
    The Audi A3 e-tron is a true Audi. It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 222 km/h (137.94 mph). According to the ECE standard for plug-in hybrid automobiles, the five-door model consumes on average just 1.5 liters of fuel per 100 km, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 35 grams per km. In electric mode, the Audi A3 e-tron reaches a top speed of 130 km/h (80.78 mph) and has a maximum range of 50 km (31.07 miles).
    The combustion engine is a modified 1.4 TFSI producing 110 kW (150 hp). A clutch links the TFSI to an electric motor with an output of 75 kW. The disc-shaped electric motor is integrated into a newly designed six-speed e-S tronic, which transfers the power to the front wheels. The two powerplants complement one another. The electric motor delivers its peak torque from start to around 2000 rpm, and the TFSI's maximum pulling power is available in a range from 1,750 to 4,000 rpm.
    The Audi A3 e-tron can be driven with just the combustion engine, just the electric drive or in hybrid mode. Even in electric mode it offers powerful acceleration without the need to engage the TFSI. The driver can choose to have both powerplants active at the same time ("boosting"). When the driver lets up on the accelerator, they both deactivate temporarily ("gliding"). In this way motor braking torque is eliminated and efficiency increases.
    At the Geneva Motor Show, the Audi A3 e-tron will provide a realistic glimpse into the future of mobility as Audi is planning it. The electrification of the drivetrain, above all using plug-in technology, plays a deciding role in the strategy of the brand.

    William Maley

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

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

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

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

    William Maley

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

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


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

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

    William Maley

    Infiniti ads another subcompact luxury crossover to the fray

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

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

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

    William Maley

    Bentley Surprises All with the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept

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

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

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

    William Maley

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

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

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

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

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 26, 2013
    The slow drip of information from McLaren on the new P1 Supercar rolls on with the company releasing the performance figures and price tag.
    The P1's performance figures put it in a very special class where the likes of Bugatti and Koenigsegg live. The figures are as followed:
    0 - 100 KPH (62 MPH): less than three seconds
    0 - 200 KPH (124 MPH): less than seven seconds
    0 - 300 KPH (186 MPH): around seventeen seconds.
    Top speed of 218 MPH

    To help bring the P1 to a stop, McLaren fitted a new type of carbon ceramic disc that dissipates heat more effectively to give the vehicle better cooling and braking performance.
    McLaren says the P1 will come fully equipped for track and road-going uses.
    The pricetag for the new P1 will be $1.15 million. McLaren says there will only be 375 P1s built for the world.
    Source: McLaren

    Album: McLaren P1
    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
    McLaren Automotive announces performance figures for the McLaren P1™
    Instant Power Assist System (IPAS) provides astonishing acceleration: 0 to 300 km/h (186 mph) in less than 17 seconds, more than 35% faster than the legendary McLaren F1
    Top speed electronically limited to 350 km/h (218 mph)
    The production number has been limited to 375 units
    Base price in the US is $1,150,000
    Fully equipped as standard for road and track use
    Production model is almost unchanged from the original design study

    McLaren Automotive has announced the final numbers, images and information relating to the McLaren P1™ ahead of a global reveal in just a few days at the 83rd International Geneva Motor Show.
    The race-inspired Instant Power Assist System (IPAS) gives the McLaren P1™ astonishing performance. Zero to 100km/h (62 mph) will take less than 3 seconds, zero to 200 km/h (124 mph) in under 7 seconds, and zero to 300 km/h (186 mph) will be achieved in no more than 17 seconds. This is 11 seconds faster than the legendary McLaren F1 road car. Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h (218 mph).
    The McLaren P1™ has translated to production form with very little changed from the prototype shown at the Paris Auto Show. In fact just one change-the addition of LTR ducts ahead of each of the front wheels to further aid cooling and optimise downforce.
    McLaren has announced a global production number of just 375 units – a figure that will ensure the McLaren P1™ will remain a rarity.
    McLaren has also announced that the car will have a base price of $1,150,000 in the US and have a specification that fully equips the car for both road and track use. The company prides itself on designing performance cars that their owners can use regularly so the McLaren P1™ comes standard with a comprehensive specification list. The options list is limited to only bespoke content that a customer might wish to add through McLaren Special Operations, and fitted luggage.
    As already announced, the McLaren P1™ will have the combined force of two highly-efficient powerplants, offering the optimum mix of superb throttle response, day-to-day drivability and top speed. A mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine is substantially enhanced featuring, for example, larger turbochargers and a highly effective electric motor, to give a combined output of 916PS (903 bhp) and a maximum torque figure of 900Nm. This ensures instantaneous throttle response through the rev range, more akin to a naturally aspirated engine. Emissions of less than 200g/km on the EU combined cycle are reduced to zero in full electric drive mode, while the Formula 1-derived DRS and IPAS technologies offer an increase in straight-line speed and an instant boost of power.
    The tires fitted to the McLaren P1™ are specially developed P Zero Corsas, which have been developed with McLaren's technology partner, Pirelli. The team at Pirelli has been involved throughout the entire development program, and this has seen the tire testing phase integrated into the schedule, as a key performance component. The final compound and construction has been developed and optimised during testing, and the end result is a tire that is finely tuned specifically to the performance and handling characteristics.
    To rein in the power produced by the twin powerplants, the McLaren P1™ is designed to offer braking performance more associated with a GT3 or sports racing car. Developed by McLaren's Formula 1 partner Akebono, the system features a new type of carbon ceramic disc, which has previously seen service in space, but never before used on a road car. Stronger than conventional carbon ceramic, the material dissipates heat more effectively, giving the highly efficient braking system exceptional stopping and cooling capability. The system also boasts significantly reduced weight, and a bespoke ceramic layer coats both friction surfaces to give an attractive mirrored finish.
    The car can also be driven solely in electric mode. In city driving, with an average speed of 30 mph, this could mean up to a 20km range. More than enough for an owner to enter, for example, a city center Zero Emissions Zone, have dinner and return home.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 26, 2013
    Ahead of its offical debut at next week's Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen pulled back the curtain on the seventh-generation GTI.
    Based on the seventh-generation Golf, the new GTI an uprated version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder used in the sixth-generation GTI. Power figures stand at 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. You can get a performance pack which bumps horsepower to 230. A six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch will be your transmission choice. There will also be a stop-start system to save fuel and reduce emissions.
    Exterior design cues will include unique fascias, side skirts, rear diffuser, it includes 17-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, and chrome tail lamps.
    Inside, the iconic 'tartan' cloth is there along with a black headliner, a sport steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and other special touches.
    The 2014 GTI goes on sale in Europe in May.
    As for North America, Volkswagen is keeping quiet on what our version will come with and a date till a later time.
    Source:Volkswagen

    Album: 2014 Volkswagen GTI
    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
    VOLKSWAGEN DEBUTS NEW GTI AT THE GENEVA AUTO SHOW
    - Available with two levels of power for the first time: standard 220 horsepower or 230 hp with performance pack (European model)
    - Offers 18 per cent improvement in fuel economy compared to previous GTI
    - On sale in Europe starting in May, 2013
    Wolfsburg, 27th February 2013 – Following tradition, Volkswagen will introduce the latest version of the Golf GTI at the Geneva International Motor Show. For the first time, the iconic hot hatch is available at launch with two power levels: 220 horsepower; or 230 hp with the optional performance pack.
    The new GTI is powered by a turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine (TSI®) that makes 220 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque in standard form. Volkswagen is offering a factory- installed performance pack for the first time, which boosts power to 230 hp. Both versions are equipped with a Stop-Start system, fulfill the EU-6 emissions standard that takes effect in 2014, and attain the same excellent DIN gas mileage figure of 39.2 mpg-which equates to 139 g/km of CO2-when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. This means that the new GTI offers an 18 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to the previous model. With the optional six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 220- and 230-hp GTIs return 36.8 and 36.2 mpg respectively (equivalent to 148 and 150 g/km CO2).
    The sporty nature of the Golf GTI is reflected in its red-painted brake calipers, twin chrome tailpipes, and a lowered sport suspension. The exterior of the compact hatchback also scores with 17-inch "Brooklyn" GTI wheels and 225/45 tires, special side skirts, a rear diffuser, and smoked LED taillights with LED license-plate illumination.
    Visually, the interior is highlighted by sport seats with the "Clark" tartan pattern, a black headliner, and red ambient lighting. The car also offers classic GTI features such as a sport steering wheel, GTI shifter knob grip and instrument cluster, special trim inserts, and stainless- steel pedals and foot support.
    Standard features include the progressive steering system; "Climatronic" automatic climate control; park assist; Volkswagen's latest touchscreen infotainment system; and a winter pack that includes heatable front seats. Customers can choose from three body colors: "Tornado Red", "Black" and "Pure White". In Germany, the car goes on sale in May with prices starting at 28,350 euros.
    Overview:
    Market launch in Europe: May 2013.
    Debut of first-generation Golf GTI: 1976.
    Engine: Four-cylinder TSI (turbocharged direct-injection).
    Layout: front, transverse.
    Displacement: 1984 cc.
    Bore and stroke: 82.5 x 92.8 mm.
    Compression ratio: 9.8:1.
    Power: 220 hp (162 kW) @ 4500 rpm; Performance pack: 230 hp (169 kW).
    Torque: 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) @ 2500 rpm.
    Transmission/drive type: Manual six-speed; DSG six-speed dual-clutch; front-wheel drive. Fuel consumption/CO2 emissions (manual): 39.2 mpg; 139 g/km CO2.
    Performance (manual): 0-62 mph in 6.5 sec: Max speed; 153 mph (230 hp: 6.4 sec; 155 mph). Unladen weight: 2978 lb (base version)
    (*preliminary data)

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

    Album: Range Rover Nine-Speed Automatic
    2 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Land Rover To Demonstrate The World's First Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission
    Land Rover announces new ZF nine-speed automatic transmission for transverse applications
    Increasing the number of gear ratios to ninewill help reduce emissionsand improve efficiency
    Lower gear ratios enhance all-terrain and all-weather capability
    Adaptive shift system matches and remembers customer driving style for a tailored driving experience
    Land Rover is lead partner on this project with ZF, a world leader in transmission technology

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

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

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

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 28, 2013
    Besides the nine-speed Evoque that Land Rover will be showing at the Geneva Motor Show, Land Rover will also be showing be Electric Defender Research Vehicle.
    Based on the 110-Series Defender, Land Rover's Advanced Engineering Team dropped the diesel engine that powers the Defender and put in a 70kW electric motor and 330-volt lithium-ion battery pack. Total output stands at 94 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. All of that power goes through a single speed transmission and the Defender's existing four-wheel drive system.
    Range stands at 50 miles, but can travel up to eight hours without needed a charge when driven slowly off-road. Recharge times are ten hours when using a portable charger and four hours with a quick charger.
    Land Rover is very adamant that the Electric Defender is still a Defender. The Electric Defender still boasts the same capabilities as the normal Defender. Plus Land Rover put the Electric Defender through some grueling tests such as pulling a 13.4-ton road train up a 13% incline and driving through 31 inches of water.
    Land Rover says the Electric Defender will not be appearing in its lineup anytime soon. However, Land Rover has built seven Electric Defenders that will be used for testing as the company investigates electric propulsion.
    Source: Land Rover

    Album: Land Rover Electric Defender Research Vehicle
    9 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Land Rover Unveils New Electric Defender Research Vehicle

    Land Rover continues to champion innovation in engineering and develop sustainable automotive solutions
    Engineered to deliver zero emissions while retaining legendary all-terrain capability
    Innovative powertrain combines a 70kw electric motor with lithium-ion battery pack

    Land Rover is continuing to champion British innovation and cutting-edge automotive engineering by unveiling seven new Electric Defender models at the Geneva Motor Show. The research vehicle delivers zero emissions while retaining its tough, go-anywhere capability.
    "Investing in innovation has always been the lifeblood of our business and our engineering teams are working hard to develop innovative new technology to provide sustainable motoring solutions," said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director.
    The standard diesel engine and gearbox have been replaced by a 70kW (94bhp), 330Nm electric motor twinned with a 300-volt, lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 27kWh, giving a range of more than 50 miles. In typical, low speed off-road use it can last for up to eight hours before recharging. The battery can be fully charged by a 7kW fast charger in four hours, or a portable 3kW charger in 10 hours.
    The electric vehicles (EVs) retain the Defender's legendary four-wheel drive system and differential lock. Because the electric motor delivers maximum torque from the moment it starts, there's no need for gear shifting and the transmission comprises a single speed, 2.7:1 reduction gearbox combined with the existing Defender four-wheel drive system. A modified version of Land Rover's Terrain Response® System has also been incorporated.
    The vehicles were developed by Land Rover's Advanced Engineering Team following successful trials of the Defender-based electric vehicle, Leopard 1. The vehicles' capability has been tested in extreme and environmentally sensitive conditions, demonstrating capabilities not shared by conventional road-going EVs. Trials included pulling a 12-tonne 'road train' up a 13 percent gradient and wading to a depth of 800mm.
    In keeping with Land Rover's 'Tread Lightly' philosophy the smooth, low-speed capability of the electric drivetrain makes the Electric Defenders especially well suited to climbing obstacles without damaging the ground unnecessarily.
    The battery weighs 410kg and is mounted in the front of the Defender in place of the diesel engine. Kerb weight is 100kg more than a basic Defender 110 and ranges from 2055kg to 2162kg depending whether the body style is a pick-up, hard top or station wagon.
    All the major components in the electric powertrain - including the battery, inverter and motor - are air-cooled rather than liquid cooled, saving a considerable amount of weight and complexity and adding robustness. Regenerative braking has been optimised to such an extent that using Hill Descent Control, the motor can generate 30kW of electricity. Because the battery technology can be charged very quickly at a rate of up to twice its capacity of 54kW without reducing battery life, almost all of the regenerated energy can be recovered and stored. Up to 80 percent of the kinetic energy in the vehicle can be recovered in this way, depending on conditions.
    "This project is acting as a rolling laboratory for Land Rover to assess electric vehicles, even in the most arduous all-terrain conditions. It gives us a chance to evolve and test some of the technologies that may one day be introduced into future Land Rover models," said Antony Harper, Jaguar Land Rover Head of Research.
    Although there are no plans for the all-terrain Electric Defender to enter series production, the seven EVs will go into service in specialist applications later this year.

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