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    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 1, 2013
    After someone leaked out the photos of the Toyota FT-86 Open Concept last night, Toyota has gone ahead and released the information about it before its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week.
    The FT-86 Open Concept is pretty much the current Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ with the roof cut off. The Open Concept shares almost the same sheet metal as the coupe. The roof is a multi-layer fabric top with a glass window that folds away behind the rear seats.Inside, the FT-86 Open Concept retains the 2+2 layout and gets a 'unique' color palate that includes white and blue leather, and yellow carpeting and stitching.
    Power will come the 2.0L flat-four engine producing 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, going through a six-speed automatic. The FT-86 Open Concept also shares with the coupe is the suspension.
    Toyota isn't saying whether the FT-86 Open Concept will make into production. But with lines like "inpointed numerous areas that will need further engineering evaluation to assess the impact of the cabriolet design on performance, vehicle rigidity, balance, weight and aerodynamics," in the release, there might be a chance it comes to fruition.
    Source: Toyota

    Album: Toyota FT-86 Open Concept
    10 images 0 comments Press Release is on Page 2
    WORLD DEBUT FOR TOYOTA FT-86 OPEN CONCEPT
    Toyota to unveil new FT-86 Open at Geneva motor show
    Concept created to gauge reaction to possible development of a cabriolet version of the GT86 sports coupe
    Soft-top design allows 2+2 seating format to be retained, with minimal impact on boot space
    Unique colour scheme created in Milan to reflect the city’s world-leading design status

    Toyota will present its new FT-86 Open concept for the first time at the Geneva motor show, a car created to test the water for the possible introduction of a convertible version of its globally acclaimed GT86 sports coupe.
    The concept has been designed to deliver the lively, highly engaging and accessible performance and dynamic abilities of the GT86 with the added appeal of top-down motoring.
    Its external dimensions match those of the coupe (length 4,240mm, width 1,750mm, height 1,270mm), with the fixed hard-top replaced by a multi-layered fabric roof with a glass rear screen. Inside it has the same 2+2 seating format, with the roof folding down behind the fixed rear seats, with minimal impact on the space available for luggage.
    The show car has a special pure bright white and navy blue colour scheme designed by Toyota Boshoku Milan Design (TBMD) to capture the spirit and atmosphere of Milan, one of the world’s leading centres for fashion and design. The bodywork is finished in white, contrasting with the blue of the roof. Inside, the perforated white leather upholstery is layered over a navy blue backing, with golden yellow accent stitching and carpets.
    The FT-86 Open uses the same platform and powertrain as the GT86. At its heart is the naturally aspirated, horizontally opposed 1,998cc four cylinder “boxer” engine. Equipped with Toyota’s D-4S direct injection technology, this compact unit is set low, helping lower the car’s overall centre of gravity, and is capable of producing 100bhp per litre. It drives the rear wheels through a short-throw, six-speed manual gear shift or a six-speed automatic – the latter with the world’s fastest paddle shift speed, just two tenths of a second.
    As with the production GT86, it features MacPherson strut front and double wishbone rear suspension to give a direct handling feel, instant response and a high level of control. The electric power steering has a quick 13.1:1 ratio that’s on a par with racing models, while large ventilated disc brakes fore and aft deliver excellent pedal feel for car control finesse.
    Toyota has pinpointed numerous areas that will need further engineering evaluation to assess the impact of the cabriolet design on performance, vehicle rigidity, balance, weight and aerodynamics. However, with features such as frameless doors, the GT86 was designed with the development of a cabriolet in mind, which means the impact on structural rigidity by converting to an open-top design should not be great. Efficient measures to preserve rigidity are being analysed, such as the use of door lock reinforcements.
    GT86 has a near-perfect 53:47 front-to-rear weight distribution, helping deliver ideal response to even subtle steering, throttle and brake inputs, and a low, 460mm centre of gravity. While introducing a fabric roof is likely to bring the centre of gravity even lower, further engineering analysis will be needed to match the balance of the coupe.
    GT86 tips the scales at only 1257kg, thanks to comprehensive weight-saving measures, giving the car a power-to-weight ratio of around 160bhp per tonne This is crucial to performance, given the car uses an engine with a relatively small capacity. Engineering the cabriolet to be “weight-neutral” relative to the coupe will be a key area of study should Toyota decided to progress with the project.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 1, 2013
    Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the Toyota FT-86 Open concept that will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show next week.
    The pictures obtained by FT86Club.com gives us an indication of what's in store for the convertible. The concept features a folding soft top, a two-tone leather interior, the somewhat useless backseat, and large wheel/tire package.
    We'll have more information within the next week or so.
    Source: FT86Club.com
    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 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 6, 2013
    I really do want to ask BMW what is in the water at their Munich headquarters since the company revealed the new 2014 3-Series Gran Turismo tonight. The 3-Series Gran Turismo is building on the 'success' of the 5-Series Gran Turismo.
    BMW says, "this third body variant of the current model family unites the sporty-dynamic genes of the Sedan with the practicality and versatility of the Touring – attributes that are complemented by a palpable boost in space and ride comfort."
    Design wise, the 3-Series Gran Turismo carries much of the 3-Series sedan. Its only when you walk to the back that you notice the umm, uniquely styled hatchback. Weirdly, the overall profile of the 3-Series Gran Turismo reminds more of a Honda Crosstour than a BMW product.
    Measurement wise, the 3-Series Gran Turismo is about 7.9 inches longer, 3.2 inches taller, and uses a 4.3-inch longer wheelbase than the existing 3-series wagon.
    The 3-Series Gran Turismo will come with two powertrains here in the U.S.
    328i - 2.0L turbo-four with 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque.
    335i - 3.0L turbocharged inline-six producing 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque.

    The 3-Series Gran Turismo arrives later this year.
    Source: BMW

    Album: 2014 BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo
    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
    Innovative vehicle concept comes to the 3 Series Line-up
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ
    The all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds an innovative new concept to the BMW 3 Series line-up.
    The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is, first and foremost, a driver's car which combines the dynamics that have earned the new 3 Series a spot on "Car and Driver's" 10Best list for 22nd consecutive years, with luxury seating for four and generous and flexible luggage capacity. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will arrive in the US, as both a 328i and a 335i, in the summer of 2013 as a 2014 model.
    Typical BMW proportions, four doors with frameless windows, coupe-like profile, sloping roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive exterior character of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. An active rear spoiler – the first on a BMW – adds to the aesthetic appeal and reduces lift at highway speeds. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is 7.9 inches (200mm) longer than the 3 Series Sports wagon, offers a 4.3 inch (110mm) longer wheelbase and stands 3.2 inches (81mm) taller. The clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the 3 Series Gran Turismo is immediately recognizable as a BMW 3 Series.
    Impressive long-distance comfort in a unique ambience.
    Generous interior dimensions allow passengers in every seat of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo to enjoy a feeling of space and freedom of movement. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position that is 2.3 inches (59 mm) higher than the sedans, which provides outstanding visibility and makes entry and exit significantly more comfortable. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers extra headroom. The increase in space will be especially appreciated by rear seat passengers, where a full 2.8 inches (70mm) of additional legroom over the Sedan and Sports Wagon is there to be enjoyed. The cocooning nature of the interior, complemented by its design forms, color scheme and materials, creates first class ambience which allows passengers to enjoy short trips and long journeys alike in relaxed comfort.
    Intelligent load area management.
    The luggage compartment also reflects the car's increased dimensions, its 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) of trunk space (based on European measure) outstripping that of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon by a full cubic foot (25 liters). The large load aperture and high-opening tailgate make access easier. Practical features – such as the 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat with folding head restraints and tilt-adjustable backrests, and the two-piece parcel shelf – underscore the functionality of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. The large load area can be utilized in many different ways, allowing intelligent space management. Practical features such as tie-down points, multifunction hooks and an underfloor storage compartment make it even more convenient to use, while the LED strips that illuminate the cargo area emphasize the premium quality of the 3 Series Gran Turismo.
    Design: Innovative, Emotional, Practical
    The first impression delivered by the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo invariably centers on the striking combination of dynamic and aesthetic appeal. Attractive proportions, four doors with frameless windows, the coupe-style, gently falling roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive character it has chiseled for itself within the BMW 3 Series ranks. Powerful lines and taut surfaces sketch out an athletic body which lends the car an actively forward-surging purpose, as well as suggesting a high degree of functionality. Indeed, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo sets new standards inside as well as out. A sense of roominess, a high seating position, generous levels of space and thoughtfully designed seal its status as unique in the premium mid-size segment.
    At 189.9 inches (4,824 mm) long, 58.6 inches (1,489 mm) tall, 72.0 inches (1,828 mm) wide and with a 115.0 inch (2,920-mm) wheelbase, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is notably larger than the Sedan and Sports Wagon variants of the 3 Series range. However, the designers' clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the Gran Turismo appears to cut a similarly low-slung and dynamic figure as its siblings. Its dimensions allow it to lay on impressive levels of space for passengers and their luggage, as a result of which, it passes the "long-distance comfort" test with flying colors. At 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) by European measure, its trunk capacity is up by about one cubic foot on the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, while an extra 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rear legroom place it between the BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series, i.e. firmly in luxury class territory.
    Front view: powerful dynamics.
    The eye-catching front end of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo makes no secret of its BMW 3 Series family ties, but also brings its own individual flavor into the mix. The broad, powerful BMW kidney grille and modified front apron underline the car's sporting character, while striking twin headlights with corona rings when xenon headlights are specified and LED accent lights form a visual unit with the slightly forward-slanting kidneys and reinforce the sense of both width and presence. The silhouette of the headlights is larger than on the Sedan. Large air intakes below the headlights emphasize the sporting character of the car, as do the aerodynamically motivated apertures for the Air Curtains. The hood, meanwhile, has smoother contours than the Sedan and Sports Wagon. The most prominent design cue remains the kidney grille, which draws the visual focus of the front end further towards the road and gives the car a lower-slung and sportier feel. Another identifying feature of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo are the "blades" set into the outer air intakes of the front apron.
    Side view: elegance with a coupe-style roofline.
    The link between the front and rear of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is particularly seamless. Hallmark BMW proportions and a coupe-style roofline sloping down towards the rear stretch the car's silhouette, while powerfully taut surfaces and rising lines lend the flanks their inherent dynamic verve. The smooth transition of the roofline into the rear creates extra interior space while showcasing the car's enviable functionality. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is the brand's first-ever model to sport an active rear spoiler. At lower speeds it retracts virtually out of sight, leaving barely a ripple in the coupe-style roofline. One feature that is most definitely visible from the side are the forward-surging kidney slats, which dart up into the hood, underlining the agile character of the Gran Turismo.
    The dominant theme of the car's flanks is the double swage line, made up of two character lines running alongside each other, which is central to the appearance of the latest BMW 3 Series. Viewed in tandem with the pronounced door sill line it strengthens the body's dynamic wedge shape. The high-set side window graphic, which rises slightly at the Hofmeister kink, lends aesthetic emphasis to the clear forward orientation of the exterior design. New aerodynamic aids appear on the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo in the form of the Air Breathers. Located just aft of the front wheels, they are designed to reduce drag around the wheel arches. The Air Breathers team up with the Air Curtains to underline the sporting character of the car's design and provide tangible evidence of the innovative aerodynamic solutions devised by BMW as part of its BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy.
    Rear view: a powerful tail end with compelling functionality.
    The rear of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is highlighted by horizontal surfaces and lines emphasizing muscular width and unshakable roadholding. The wraparound section below the spoiler has an extremely flat appearance and visually lowers the stance of the rear. The interplay between light and shadowed surfaces generates a dynamism even when the car is stationary.
    The extended rear lights, in customary BMW L-shaped design, stretch far into the sides of the car, add further presence to the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's powerful breadth and make the car appear lower to the road. Two integrated bars of LEDs allow a slim light design and ensure the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's distinctive appearance is maintained both day and night. The large tailgate showcases the versatility and functionality of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. It allows optimum access to the load area and, thanks to its wide, generously sized aperture, makes it easier to load and unload even bulky items.
    Interior: surprising spaciousness, generous freedom of movement.
    The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds 7.9 inches (200 mm) to the length of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon and has a 4.3 inch (110-mm) longer wheelbase. The new model also stands 3.2 inch (81 mm) taller. These generous dimensions create a luxurious feeling of space for the passengers and ensure unbeatable freedom of movement in every seat. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position raised by 2.3 inches (59 mm), which allows an outstanding view out and makes entry and exit significantly easier. The Gran Turismo also raises headroom another notch.
    Space-loving elegance with first-class character.
    Rear passengers enjoy a particularly impressive increase in space. Indeed, the Gran Turismo offers a full 2.8 inches (70 mm) of extra legroom in the rear, providing a freedom of movement normally only found in luxury-class cars. Thanks to the car's longer wheelbase – and a reduced overlap with the rear wheel arches as a result – the full breadth of the rear seat bench can be used without restriction and three adults can be seated in comfort. This feeling of space is complemented by the design forms, color scheme and materials employed in the interior. The flowing lines of the door panels link the front and rear compartments into a single stylistic unit, while the interplay of the flat roofline and frameless windows with the cocooning character of the interior creates a spacious first class ambience in the rear compartment, and thus the ideal environment for relaxed touring.
    Maximum long-distance comfort.
    An array of storage compartments and other practical details helps lay on a suitably sumptuous level of long-distance comfort. A pair of cup holders are integrated into the center console, but can be swapped for an oddments tray if desired. And large door pockets front and rear can accommodate up to one liter drink bottles (750ml in the rear). The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo can be adapted to meet changing requirements. To this end, the rear seat backrests are fitted with folding head restraints and can be split 40:20:40 as standard, allowing the load area to be increased in stages from 18.4 cu.ft. up to 56.5 cu.ft. (520–1,600 liters). Folding down only the central segment creates a large through-loading aperture that enables four people to bring several pairs of skis or snowboards on board with them. Folding down all the backrests, meanwhile, creates a slightly rising, almost level and flush-fitting load compartment floor.
    Load area: large, practical and versatile.
    The perceived value and functionality of the generously sized load area in the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo impress in equal measure. The gaping 44.0 x 24.3 inches (1,120 x 618 mm) load aperture and high-opening electric tailgate make it easier to load bulky items. Another practical feature is the cargo function for the rear seat backrests. The tilt angle of the backrests can be adjusted through 15 stages and 19 degrees and even brought into a vertical position if required. This allows the space available in the load compartment to be adapted to changing requirements, a process aided by the smooth panel surfaces of the load area's side walls. Another example of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's practical qualities is the two-piece parcel shelf. The larger segment opens with the tailgate, facilitating access to the load area. The second segment remains on its railing, allowing smaller items to be left in place even when the tailgate is opened. When not in use the sections can be easily removed and stored away neatly under the load compartment floor. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is fitted with a standard electrically-operated tailgate, but the options list also includes the Smart Opener (part of the Comfort Access option), which allows the boot lid to be opened hands-free with a movement of the foot under the rear bumper.
    Four tie-downs points in the load compartment floor and a multifunction hook in the left-hand side panel are on hand for securing loads, while a multifunction storage tray under the load compartment floor and a deep compartment in the left-hand side panel swallow up all kinds of small items. Also located here is a 12-volt power socket to plug in a cooler or charge electrically-powered devices. The storage package, which is standard in the US, ups the comfort rating another notch when it comes to transporting both people and loads. In addition to an array of interior features, it also comprises handy extras for the load compartment. These include a remote release function for the rear seat backrests, a gas pressure spring for the load compartment floor, a sliding retaining net on the right-hand side panel, an additional strap for holding loads in place and a variable attachment system using two rails integrated into the load compartment floor.
    Typical BMW 3 Series: functional elegance in the cockpit as well. The cockpit of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo fits the same template as the new 3 Series Sedan and new 3 Series Sports Wagon. In customary fashion, the driver-focused layout ensures optimum access to all driving functions. Crystal clear circular instruments with a black-panel display and a freestanding iDrive monitor in contemporary flatscreen design underline the sense of functional elegance. The iDrive Controller – within easy reach on the center console – and the optionally fore-and-aft sliding/folding armrest between the front seats underscore the cabin's usability and comfort. Three equipment lines, each with their own individual character and M Sport.
    High-quality material combinations coupled with class-leading levels of workmanship reinforce the premium ambience on board the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. A large number of color and upholstery variants offer scope for a multitude of combinations. Customers can also choose from three additional equipment plus M Sport, all of which add individual touches to the car's looks inside and out. Indeed, even the ignition key shares the color-coding of the equipment line specified.
    Sport Line: The Sport Line adds extra depth to the dynamic repertoire of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo with a selection of eye-catching exterior features in high-gloss black. Nine molded black kidney grille slats in a chrome-colored surround lend the front end a particularly sporty and alert look, and the forward-slanting angle of the BMW kidneys gains further visual impact. The black air intakes and likewise gleaming black Air Breathers, meanwhile, draw the eye to the car's aerodynamics features. Optional 18-inch or 19-inch light-alloy wheels – depending on the model – in double-spoke design provide an additional dose of sportiness, while exterior mirrors and a "wraparound" window strip, B-pillars in matching paint finish and a trim strip at rear apron height add further flourishes. Inside the car, the contrast between black and red accents adds a sporty and exclusive allure that is heightened by the accent strips in the doors (also part of the Luxury and Modern Lines as well as M Sport). The standard sports seats can be specified with a choice of upholstery and colors.
    Luxury Line: Discreet high-gloss chrome touches lend the exterior of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. 11 intricate kidney grille slats with chrome-colored fronts and matt black sides, two chrome blades in the front apron air intakes and chrome Air Breathers all furnish classy touches. Within the gleaming chrome window surround the black B-pillar provides a particular highlight, and special 18 and 19-inch light-alloy wheels in a multi-spoke design accentuate the elegance of the Luxury Line. The Gran Turismo Luxury Line can be identified from the rear by a stylish, high-gloss chrome strip above the rear apron and a chrome exhaust tailpipe embellisher. The interior also stands out with various chrome elements, such as the surround for the audio and air conditioning system. High-gloss wood strips and seats with distinctive stitching highlight the exclusivity of the Luxury Line.
    Modern Line: High-quality chrome exterior trim elements define the cool aesthetic of the Modern Line, while the BMW kidney grille with 11 slats, the Air Breathers and the double trim strips for the air intakes continue the theme. 18 or 19-inch turbine-style light-alloy wheels lend a fresh angle to the exterior design of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, while the light-colored dashboard coupled with a steering wheel in dark oyster create a very special ambience in the cockpit. Leather upholstery in oyster or black, and a choice of three trim surfaces with accent strips in pearl-effect chrome, ensure an appealing interplay between materials.
    M Sport: Optional M Sport line gives the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo a shot of adrenaline that spreads beyond its exterior and interior design. As well as the all-new aerodynamic package, including numerous body components (front apron with large air intake, rear bumper with diffuser, side skirts), and the BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim, the optional exterior color Estoril Blue metallic ensures an unmistakably sporty appearance and unbeatable road presence– an effect underpinned by 18 or 19-inch light-alloy wheels in hallmark M design. Inside the car, features such as M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver's footrest shape the sporty yet elegance ambience. The driver and front passenger can settle into sports seats. Technical features of this package include lowered M Sport suspension and enhanced aerodynamics. Exterior colors and wheels: The spectrum of colors available for the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo takes its cues from the BMW 3 Series Sedan and ranges from elegant and classic to modern and expressive. Customers can choose from a total of 12 paint finishes, irrespective of the equipment line specified, including intense color shades, an array of metallic options and a broad spread of classic tones. The Kalahari Beige metallic, Midnight Blue metallic and Sparkling Brown metallic shades are reserved exclusively for the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.
    BMW 328i Gran Turismo: 4-cylinder gasoline engine with TwinPower Turbo technology sets the benchmark for dynamics and efficiency.
    The state-of-the-art, lively 2.0-litre engine marks a return to the 3 Series roots – it was with lightweight, high-performance 4-cylinder engines in a similar vein that the BMW 3 Series made its debut back in 1975. The significant upgrade in power and efficiency is chiefly down to the use of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, which combines High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing along with twin-scroll turbocharging. On the new-generation 4-cylinder engine, this world-exclusive technology package from BMW again provides a very efficient way to extract more power from the engine, rather than taking the route of a much larger displacement and, in the process, adding to the weight and therefore to fuel consumption. This explains why the more dynamic performance and driving enjoyment does not come at the expense of higher fuel consumption and emissions.
    The new BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder's displacement of 1,997 cc delivers maximum power of 180 kW/ 240 hp at 5,000 rpm while, thanks to twin-scroll turbocharging, the maximum torque of 255 lb-ft is developed at just 1,250 rpm and remains constant up to 4,800 rpm. These statistics translate to commensurately dynamic performance. The engine responds instantly when the driver demands more throttle, and the vigorous and almost linear power delivery from only slightly above idle, which continues all the way into the higher rpm range, is duly impressive.
    BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in the new 4-cylinder engine. This new engine is the most powerful in a new generation of 4-cylinder engines designed in accordance with the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy, which aims to combine increased driving enjoyment with reduced fuel consumption and emissions. In technical terms, this new 4-cylinder engine is modeled on the current multi-award-winning 6-cylinder inline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology (N55), which is the benchmark in its class for dynamic power delivery and impressive efficiency. This world-exclusive technology combines High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing with twin-scroll turbocharging.
    These features give the new BMW 328i the sort of power which with a naturally aspirated engine would require more cylinders and larger displacement. At the same time, with its all-aluminum crankcase, this engine is lighter and more compact than a 6-cylinder engine of equivalent power. This has obvious benefits for driving dynamics: the reduced load on the front axle gives this BMW sports sedan greater agility and further improved steering and cornering characteristics.
    Twin-scroll turbocharging.
    The new 4-cylinder engines also feature twin-scroll turbocharging. This means that the exhaust stream from cylinders 1 and 4, and the exhaust stream from cylinders 2 and 3, follow separate spiral-shaped paths to the turbine wheel. This reduces exhaust back-pressure at low engine rpm, allowing the energy of the exhaust gas pulses to be utilized as efficiently as possible. The result is instant throttle response and fast-revving performance which BMW drivers can instantly translate into driving pleasure.
    Valvetronic, Double-Vanos and High Precision Direct Injection.
    The combination of a high power output and a simultaneous reduction in emissions is achieved by Valvetronic variable valve timing and Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing. The latest generation of the Valvetronic system features a faster-acting, optimized stepper motor with integrated sensor. Seamlessly variable control of intake valve lift dispenses with the need for a throttle butterfly. Instead, the air mass is controlled inside the engine, resulting in faster response. At the same time, pumping losses have been reduced to a minimum.
    The excellent efficiency is also down to the High Precision Direct Injection system. Centrally positioned between the valves, solenoid injectors precisely control the supply of fuel. The fuel is injected very close to the spark plug, with a maximum injection pressure of 200 bar (2900 psi), resulting in clean and homogeneous combustion. The cooling effect of the directly injected fuel also results in a higher compression ratio than on port injection engines, bringing further efficiency improvements.
    Exceptional performance assisted by innovative design features.
    The exceptional performance of the new engine is also due to various innovative features of the core engine. For example, twin balancer shafts positioned at different heights result in optimized vibration absorption, while a centrifugal pendulum absorber integrated in the dual-mass flywheel brings a noticeable reduction in irregular running at low engine rpm. The driver can therefore make full use of the strong low-end torque without sacrificing smoothness. These factors all help to explain why the new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine achieves refinement, noise and vibration of a kind that was previously confined to BMW 6-cylinder engines.
    BMW 335i Gran Turismo: Inline 6-cylinder engine with beefy power delivery, strong torque and superb refinement.
    Fans of large 6-cylinder engines have a treat in store too. The inline 6-cylinder engine (N55) in the BMW 335i Gran Turismo will impress performance-minded drivers with its effortless power, exceptionally fast-revving temperament and outstanding refinement. The N55 has been setting standards from the start, as the pioneer of a new generation of engines in which BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with High Precision Direct Injection and Valvetronic variable valve timing plus a twin scroll turbo made its debut.
    Thanks to intensive fine-tuning of the engine, BMW's engineers have now further reduced the fuel consumption and emissions of the predecessor, while at the same time maintaining its high performance. With a maximum power rating of 225 kW/ 300 hp at 5,800 rpm, the 3.0-liter 6-cylinder unit reflects the sporty personality of the BMW 3 Series and helps deliver brilliant performance. And the high peak torque of 300 lb-ft, on stream between 1,200 and 5,000 rpm, ensures that the power is effortlessly and instantly delivered. Innovative 8-speed automatic transmission: efficient power transmission and optimal ratios.
    The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is equipped with a high-performance 8-speed automatic transmission. The additional ratios allow this state-of-the-art transmission to combine unprecedented standards of comfortable shifting, sporty performance and efficiency. With all this going for it, the automatic transmission is fully in keeping with the overall sporty temperament of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.
    In terms of size and weight, this 8-speed unit is comparable with the 6-speed automatic transmission used in the past. A range of innovative technical features and exceptionally high internal efficiency allow this higher-performance unit, too, to combine powerful acceleration, strong mid-range sprinting and further reduced fuel consumption. For performance-minded drivers this transmission also has lots to offer, particularly since the driver can choose to play a more active role by changing gear manually, thereby releasing even more of this sporty sedan's potential.
    With its optimized control technology, the 8-speed transmission boasts extremely fast shift and reaction times and direct downshift capability. The electronic transmission controller can also alter the shift characteristics as required, to cater either for a sportier or for a more relaxed, fuel-saving driving style. Despite a larger overall spread, eight ratios mean that the spacing between them is smaller, so that the optimal ratio is available in virtually all situations. The close ratios deliver turbine-like power combined with smooth and fuel-efficient low-rpm operation. Altogether, then, as well as providing dynamic acceleration and smooth shifting, the new 8-speed automatic also allows drivers to maintain a very economical driving style. This all helps to explain why, when fitted with the 8-speed automatic transmission, the new BMW 3 Series even lower fuel consumption than models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission.
    A sports version of the new 8-speed automatic transmission is available for cars equipped with the Sport Line and M Sport. This unit offers even sportier shift characteristics (e.g. faster shift times), and the option of changing gear manually using the paddle shifts on the steering wheel. Alternatively, it is also possible to use the electronic Quickshift selector lever on the center console. The Normal and Sport modes are chosen using the Driving Dynamics Control switch. This allows the sports automatic to deliver both dynamic driving enjoyment and top-level comfort.
    Sophisticated suspension technology: hallmark BMW 3 Series handling, impressive directional stability and increased long-distance comfort.
    Driving dynamics have always been one of the stand-out qualities of the BMW 3 Series range. Playing a key role is carefully honed suspension technology that features a large number of light-alloy components and perfectly complements the winning formula of a longitudinally mounted engine, rear-wheel drive, finely-balanced axle load distribution (50:50) and a torsionally stiff lightweight body. With the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo the engineers have succeeded in achieving both outstanding handling properties and a high degree of agility and precision. The overall character of the suspension has been shifted slightly towards directional stability and long-distance comfort. All of which points to the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's focus on enhanced long-distance comfort combined with distinctly sporting dynamics.
    Double-pivot front suspension with spring struts and anti-roll bar.
    The front suspension of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is familiar from the 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon. The wheel suspension combines maximum stiffness with minimum weight, while aluminum torque struts, wishbones and swivel bearings make for a significant reduction in unsprung masses. In addition, the double-joint axle has been set up to optimum effect, thanks to the absence of torque steer. Another beneficiary of this is the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's electromechanical steering system, which is low in weight and helps reduce fuel consumption.
    Five-link rear suspension majors in driving dynamics and comfort.
    The rear suspension of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo makes an important contribution to the new model's driving dynamics and ride comfort. Its space-saving five-link design features precisely calculated elastokinematics, which makes for long spring travel as well as precise wheel location in all situations. Moreover, the rear axle ensures excellent noise and vibration damping. The upshot is that the new Gran Turismo impresses with time-honored BMW 3 Series driving and handling characteristics and goes a noticeable extra yard in terms of directional stability and long-distance touring comfort.
    High-performance lightweight braking system. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo relies for its stopping power on lightweight floating-caliper brakes with large inner-vented discs, and the front brake calipers are made from aluminum. As well as the low unsprung masses, this high-performance system also makes its mark with outstanding heat tolerance, superior wet braking performance, easy operation and excellent feel. A brake pad wear indicator and a brake drying function are standard on all models. The driver enjoys the safety net of various state-of-the-art electronic aids integrated into the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. This incorporates the following functions: the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), along with the Start-Off Assistant and an electronic limited slip function for the rear differential, which can be activated using the "DSC Off" button. Dynamic options: M Sport suspension, adaptive suspension and variable sports steering.
    The 0.4 inch (10-mm) lower M Sport suspension is included as part of M Sport as well as the Sport Line. It works with a firmer spring/damper set-up and stiffer anti-roll bars, and brings with it 18 or 19-inch light-alloy wheels. Alternatively, customers may like to specify lowered adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, which adjusts the damper mapping to the road surface and driving situation. The driver can also use the Driving Experience Control switch to vary the basic suspension tuning between more comfortable or sportier settings according to individual preference.
    Variable Sports Steering with Servotronic is available as an option, providing different steering gear ratios depending on the angle of the steering wheel. It means that less steering effort is required for parking and turning maneuvers. Also, handling is sharpened, for example when instantaneous evasive action is required.
    Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode: extra-sporty, more relaxed or more frugal driving modes – at the touch of a button. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers drivers the ability to vary the overall character of the vehicle to suit the driving situation or their personal preferences. As well as sportier or more comfortable drive settings, they can also opt for extra fuel efficiency. The different modes are selected via the Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode, which is standard on all models. Using a button on the center console, the driver can choose between ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes.
    Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and suspension components. A button allows the driver to change the DSC settings or switch them off altogether. BMW EfficientDynamics: More power, less fuel consumption. Alongside its high functionality and sporty dynamics, outstanding fuel economy is another contributing factor in the driving pleasure afforded by the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. This is down to the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy, the results of which are incorporated in virtually every area of the new model. In addition to petrol and diesel engines with optimized fuel economy, its highly efficient transmissions, intelligent lightweight design, optimized aerodynamics and further efficiency-promoting measures ensure the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is a winner not only in terms of its impressive performance, but also its enviable fuel consumption and emissions figures. Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, ECO PRO Route. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo features BMW's Auto Start-Stop function.
    Another standard feature is Brake Energy Regeneration, which ensures that – as far as possible – power for the vehicle's electrical system is generated during braking and coasting. ECO PRO mode plays a particularly effective role in helping the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo driver to maintain an efficient and economical driving style. As well as tweaking the accelerator's responses and engine management system, ECO PRO mode also reaps the rewards of intelligent energy and climate management. The system gives the driver tips and ideas – tailored to the driving situation at hand – on how to reduce fuel consumption even further through adjustments to his or her responses at the wheel. The ECO PRO Route function joins forces with the navigation system to monitor the driver's personal driving style, the traffic situation and the profile of the road ahead in order to propose the most fuel-saving route. Average fuel consumption can be cut by up to 20 percent in ECO PRO mode, with a corresponding boost to the car's range on a tank of fuel.
    On-demand operation of ancillary components saves energy. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's ancillary components also play a role in the car's intelligent energy management. Examples include the on-demand coolant pump, the map-controlled oil pump and the electromechanical steering system, which only consumes electric power when steering assistance is actually required. The special air conditioning compressor works on the same principle. As soon as the driver switches the air conditioning off, the belt drive to the compressor is disconnected to minimize power drain. Aerodynamic fine-tuning in the wind tunnel Evidence of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's aerodynamic fine-tuning in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel comes courtesy of a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29. The lower air resistance not only contributes to a drop in fuel consumption, it also has benefits in terms of noise reduction. The design of the car's underside is a major factor in minimizing lift forces. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo has an aerodynamically optimized underbody with extended smooth-surfaced panels at the sides, under the engine compartment shield and at the front part of the exhaust tunnel, resulting in unprecedented standards of sealing. Air Curtains and Air Breathers.
    The now familiar Air Curtains in the front apron of many BMW cars are designed to reduce turbulence – and therefore drag – around the front wheels. The aerodynamically designed wheel arches, and the air deflectors in front of them, likewise help to whittle down fuel consumption. A totally new feature on the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, however, are the Air Breathers – air ducts rearwards of the front wheel arches, which reach back as far as the outlet apertures in the side of the body and double up as a new visible design element. The Air Breathers divert part of the airflow into the wheel arches, thereby reducing air resistance. They work particularly effectively in combination with the Air Curtains. BMW premier: active rear spoiler reduces lift.
    The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is the brand's first car to be fitted with an active rear spoiler, which extends automatically once the car reaches 110 km/h (68 mph) to ensure it retains the traditional BMW dynamic capability at higher speeds. Once extended, the spoiler reduces lift on the rear axle by more than 35 percent, allowing the Gran Turismo to replicate the aerodynamic qualities of the BMW 3 Series Sedan. If the car's speed slows below 70 km/h (43 mph), the spoiler automatically retracts, melting back into the car's trailing edge almost invisibly. If required, the rear spoiler can be extended and retracted manually.
    BMW ConnectedDrive: class-leading safety, convenience and infotainment
    For many years now, BMW ConnectedDrive has been synonymous with innovation and forward-looking concepts in the field of automotive connectivity. The plethora of standard and optional driver assistance systems and mobility services on offer ensures that the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo continues the tradition of setting the pace for safety, convenience and infotainment. To make sure that the various functions available perform their task to optimum effect, BMW ConnectedDrive manages the information exchange between passengers, vehicle and the outside world in a particularly intelligent and targeted way. High-res projection in color: Head-Up Display.
    Highlights in the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo include the latest-generation multicolor Head-Up Display, which projects key information onto the windscreen in sharp resolution to appear directly in the driver's field of view. Not only is the current speed displayed, but the speed limit is also flashed up for the driver's benefit, along with navigation instructions and various warning messages. Using sensors and camera: Blind Spot and Lane Departure Warning systems.
    Among available the convenience and safety-enhancing assistance systems are Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning including Collision Warning with braking function. These systems employ radar sensors and camera monitoring to alert drivers to potential collision risks when changing lanes or if they veer out of the lane unintentionally, and also issue a warning when driving too close to the vehicle ahead.
    Intelligent use of advanced light technology: anti-dazzle High-Beam Assistant and Adaptive Headlights.
    Safety when driving in the dark is given a further boost by the optional High-Beam Assistant, which automatically switches the high beam on and off as the situation requires. If the optional Adaptive Xenon headlights are specified, anti-dazzle High-Beam Assistant, allowing the high beam to be left switched on even when there is oncoming traffic can also be specified. Superb overview not just when parking: Surround View, Side View, Top View and BMW Parking Assistant.
    In addition to the rear view camera and Park Distance Control, customers are also able to opt for the Surround View function with Side View and Top View, which provides a bird's-eye view of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo and the area around it, enabling the driver to carry out precise maneuvers in tight spaces. If the car is moving at under 20 km/h (12 mph), the Side View function can additionally be activated to allow the driver to keep an eye on cross traffic. Convenience is further enhanced by the BMW Parking Assistant system, which is able to maneuver the car into parking spaces parallel to the direction of travel. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake pedal while the BMW Parking Assistant takes care of the steering. A system of many talents: Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function.
    ACC Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and Speed Limit Info including No Passing Info display further adds to the functionality of the convenience and safety options. Not only does ACC Stop & Go make it possible to cruise along highways and country roads with the greatest of ease while maintaining the desired distance to vehicles ahead, it also regulates the speed in heavy traffic, even braking to a stop if necessary before pulling away again automatically. This has the effect of making life easier for the driver in slow-moving traffic and congestion as well. If the worst comes to the worst: BMW Assist eCall with enhanced Automatic Collision Notification with automatic vehicle location. In the event of an accident in the new BMW 3 Series, the enhanced Automatic Collision Notification system from BMW ConnectedDrive allows the emergency services to receive detailed information on the type of collision and the likelihood trauma level injuries before arriving at the scene of the accident. That allows first responders to prepare the appropriate medical care in advance for those involved in the crash. The precise location of the car and vehicle type are specified, and all the data gathered by sensors in the car is forwarded. The information provides indications as to the nature and severity of the collision, while the deployment of the car's restraint systems gives the emergency services an idea of the number of injured people and allows frontal, rear, side or multiple collisions to be identified and differentiated. This is possible thanks to an advanced algorithm developed in partnership with the William Lehmann Trauma Center in Miami, Florida that used transmitted vehicle data to estimate the likelihood of severe injuries as a result of a crash. As well as automatic activation, the system also allows the driver or front passenger to trigger the Emergency Call manually and to be connected with the BMW call center without delay. The all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will arrive in US showrooms in late 2013 as a 2014 model.Innovative vehicle concept comes to the 3 Series Line-up
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ
    The all-new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds an innovative new concept to the BMW 3 Series line-up.
    The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is, first and foremost, a driver's car which combines the dynamics that have earned the new 3 Series a spot on "Car and Driver's" 10Best list for 22nd consecutive years, with luxury seating for four and generous and flexible luggage capacity. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will arrive in the US, as both a 328i and a 335i, in the summer of 2013 as a 2014 model.
    Typical BMW proportions, four doors with frameless windows, coupe-like profile, sloping roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive exterior character of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. An active rear spoiler – the first on a BMW – adds to the aesthetic appeal and reduces lift at highway speeds. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is 7.9 inches (200mm) longer than the 3 Series Sports wagon, offers a 4.3 inch (110mm) longer wheelbase and stands 3.2 inches (81mm) taller. The clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the 3 Series Gran Turismo is immediately recognizable as a BMW 3 Series.
    Impressive long-distance comfort in a unique ambience.
    Generous interior dimensions allow passengers in every seat of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo to enjoy a feeling of space and freedom of movement. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position that is 2.3 inches (59 mm) higher than the sedans, which provides outstanding visibility and makes entry and exit significantly more comfortable. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers extra headroom. The increase in space will be especially appreciated by rear seat passengers, where a full 2.8 inches (70mm) of additional legroom over the Sedan and Sports Wagon is there to be enjoyed. The cocooning nature of the interior, complemented by its design forms, color scheme and materials, creates first class ambience which allows passengers to enjoy short trips and long journeys alike in relaxed comfort.
    Intelligent load area management.
    The luggage compartment also reflects the car's increased dimensions, its 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) of trunk space (based on European measure) outstripping that of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon by a full cubic foot (25 liters). The large load aperture and high-opening tailgate make access easier. Practical features – such as the 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat with folding head restraints and tilt-adjustable backrests, and the two-piece parcel shelf – underscore the functionality of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. The large load area can be utilized in many different ways, allowing intelligent space management. Practical features such as tie-down points, multifunction hooks and an underfloor storage compartment make it even more convenient to use, while the LED strips that illuminate the cargo area emphasize the premium quality of the 3 Series Gran Turismo.
    Design: Innovative, Emotional, Practical
    The first impression delivered by the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo invariably centers on the striking combination of dynamic and aesthetic appeal. Attractive proportions, four doors with frameless windows, the coupe-style, gently falling roofline and large tailgate define the distinctive character it has chiseled for itself within the BMW 3 Series ranks. Powerful lines and taut surfaces sketch out an athletic body which lends the car an actively forward-surging purpose, as well as suggesting a high degree of functionality. Indeed, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo sets new standards inside as well as out. A sense of roominess, a high seating position, generous levels of space and thoughtfully designed seal its status as unique in the premium mid-size segment.
    At 189.9 inches (4,824 mm) long, 58.6 inches (1,489 mm) tall, 72.0 inches (1,828 mm) wide and with a 115.0 inch (2,920-mm) wheelbase, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is notably larger than the Sedan and Sports Wagon variants of the 3 Series range. However, the designers' clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines ensures that the Gran Turismo appears to cut a similarly low-slung and dynamic figure as its siblings. Its dimensions allow it to lay on impressive levels of space for passengers and their luggage, as a result of which, it passes the "long-distance comfort" test with flying colors. At 18.3 cu.ft. (520 liters) by European measure, its trunk capacity is up by about one cubic foot on the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, while an extra 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rear legroom place it between the BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series, i.e. firmly in luxury class territory.
    Front view: powerful dynamics.
    The eye-catching front end of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo makes no secret of its BMW 3 Series family ties, but also brings its own individual flavor into the mix. The broad, powerful BMW kidney grille and modified front apron underline the car's sporting character, while striking twin headlights with corona rings when xenon headlights are specified and LED accent lights form a visual unit with the slightly forward-slanting kidneys and reinforce the sense of both width and presence. The silhouette of the headlights is larger than on the Sedan. Large air intakes below the headlights emphasize the sporting character of the car, as do the aerodynamically motivated apertures for the Air Curtains. The hood, meanwhile, has smoother contours than the Sedan and Sports Wagon. The most prominent design cue remains the kidney grille, which draws the visual focus of the front end further towards the road and gives the car a lower-slung and sportier feel. Another identifying feature of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo are the "blades" set into the outer air intakes of the front apron.
    Side view: elegance with a coupe-style roofline.
    The link between the front and rear of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is particularly seamless. Hallmark BMW proportions and a coupe-style roofline sloping down towards the rear stretch the car's silhouette, while powerfully taut surfaces and rising lines lend the flanks their inherent dynamic verve. The smooth transition of the roofline into the rear creates extra interior space while showcasing the car's enviable functionality. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is the brand's first-ever model to sport an active rear spoiler. At lower speeds it retracts virtually out of sight, leaving barely a ripple in the coupe-style roofline. One feature that is most definitely visible from the side are the forward-surging kidney slats, which dart up into the hood, underlining the agile character of the Gran Turismo.
    The dominant theme of the car's flanks is the double swage line, made up of two character lines running alongside each other, which is central to the appearance of the latest BMW 3 Series. Viewed in tandem with the pronounced door sill line it strengthens the body's dynamic wedge shape. The high-set side window graphic, which rises slightly at the Hofmeister kink, lends aesthetic emphasis to the clear forward orientation of the exterior design. New aerodynamic aids appear on the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo in the form of the Air Breathers. Located just aft of the front wheels, they are designed to reduce drag around the wheel arches. The Air Breathers team up with the Air Curtains to underline the sporting character of the car's design and provide tangible evidence of the innovative aerodynamic solutions devised by BMW as part of its BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy.
    Rear view: a powerful tail end with compelling functionality.
    The rear of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is highlighted by horizontal surfaces and lines emphasizing muscular width and unshakable roadholding. The wraparound section below the spoiler has an extremely flat appearance and visually lowers the stance of the rear. The interplay between light and shadowed surfaces generates a dynamism even when the car is stationary.
    The extended rear lights, in customary BMW L-shaped design, stretch far into the sides of the car, add further presence to the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's powerful breadth and make the car appear lower to the road. Two integrated bars of LEDs allow a slim light design and ensure the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's distinctive appearance is maintained both day and night. The large tailgate showcases the versatility and functionality of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. It allows optimum access to the load area and, thanks to its wide, generously sized aperture, makes it easier to load and unload even bulky items.
    Interior: surprising spaciousness, generous freedom of movement.
    The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo adds 7.9 inches (200 mm) to the length of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon and has a 4.3 inch (110-mm) longer wheelbase. The new model also stands 3.2 inch (81 mm) taller. These generous dimensions create a luxurious feeling of space for the passengers and ensure unbeatable freedom of movement in every seat. The front and rear passengers all benefit from a seating position raised by 2.3 inches (59 mm), which allows an outstanding view out and makes entry and exit significantly easier. The Gran Turismo also raises headroom another notch.
    Space-loving elegance with first-class character.
    Rear passengers enjoy a particularly impressive increase in space. Indeed, the Gran Turismo offers a full 2.8 inches (70 mm) of extra legroom in the rear, providing a freedom of movement normally only found in luxury-class cars. Thanks to the car's longer wheelbase – and a reduced overlap with the rear wheel arches as a result – the full breadth of the rear seat bench can be used without restriction and three adults can be seated in comfort. This feeling of space is complemented by the design forms, color scheme and materials employed in the interior. The flowing lines of the door panels link the front and rear compartments into a single stylistic unit, while the interplay of the flat roofline and frameless windows with the cocooning character of the interior creates a spacious first class ambience in the rear compartment, and thus the ideal environment for relaxed touring.
    Maximum long-distance comfort.
    An array of storage compartments and other practical details helps lay on a suitably sumptuous level of long-distance comfort. A pair of cup holders are integrated into the center console, but can be swapped for an oddments tray if desired. And large door pockets front and rear can accommodate up to one liter drink bottles (750ml in the rear). The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo can be adapted to meet changing requirements. To this end, the rear seat backrests are fitted with folding head restraints and can be split 40:20:40 as standard, allowing the load area to be increased in stages from 18.4 cu.ft. up to 56.5 cu.ft. (520–1,600 liters). Folding down only the central segment creates a large through-loading aperture that enables four people to bring several pairs of skis or snowboards on board with them. Folding down all the backrests, meanwhile, creates a slightly rising, almost level and flush-fitting load compartment floor.
    Load area: large, practical and versatile.
    The perceived value and functionality of the generously sized load area in the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo impress in equal measure. The gaping 44.0 x 24.3 inches (1,120 x 618 mm) load aperture and high-opening electric tailgate make it easier to load bulky items. Another practical feature is the cargo function for the rear seat backrests. The tilt angle of the backrests can be adjusted through 15 stages and 19 degrees and even brought into a vertical position if required. This allows the space available in the load compartment to be adapted to changing requirements, a process aided by the smooth panel surfaces of the load area's side walls. Another example of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo's practical qualities is the two-piece parcel shelf. The larger segment opens with the tailgate, facilitating access to the load area. The second segment remains on its railing, allowing smaller items to be left in place even when the tailgate is opened. When not in use the sections can be easily removed and stored away neatly under the load compartment floor. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is fitted with a standard electrically-operated tailgate, but the options list also includes the Smart Opener (part of the Comfort Access option), which allows the boot lid to be opened hands-free with a movement of the foot under the rear bumper.
    Four tie-downs points in the load compartment floor and a multifunction hook in the left-hand side panel are on hand for securing loads, while a multifunction storage tray under the load compartment floor and a deep compartment in the left-hand side panel swallow up all kinds of small items. Also located here is a 12-volt power socket to plug in a cooler or charge electrically-powered devices. The storage package, which is standard in the US, ups the comfort rating another notch when it comes to transporting both people and loads. In addition to an array of interior features, it also comprises handy extras for the load compartment. These include a remote release function for the rear seat backrests, a gas pressure spring for the load compartment floor, a sliding retaining net on the right-hand side panel, an additional strap for holding loads in place and a variable attachment system using two rails integrated into the load compartment floor.
    Typical BMW 3 Series: functional elegance in the cockpit as well. The cockpit of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo fits the same template as the new 3 Series Sedan and new 3 Series Sports Wagon. In customary fashion, the driver-focused layout ensures optimum access to all driving functions. Crystal clear circular instruments with a black-panel display and a freestanding iDrive monitor in contemporary flatscreen design underline the sense of functional elegance. The iDrive Controller – within easy reach on the center console – and the optionally fore-and-aft sliding/folding armrest between the front seats underscore the cabin's usability and comfort. Three equipment lines, each with their own individual character and M Sport.
    High-quality material combinations coupled with class-leading levels of workmanship reinforce the premium ambience on board the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. A large number of color and upholstery variants offer scope for a multitude of combinations. Customers can also choose from three additional equipment plus M Sport, all of which add individual touches to the car's looks inside and out. Indeed, even the ignition key shares the color-coding of the equipment line specified.
    Sport Line: The Sport Line adds extra depth to the dynamic repertoire of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo with a selection of eye-catching exterior features in high-gloss black. Nine molded black kidney grille slats in a chrome-colored surround lend the front end a particularly sporty and alert look, and the forward-slanting angle of the BMW kidneys gains further visual impact. The black air intakes and likewise gleaming black Air Breathers, meanwhile, draw the eye to the car's aerodynamics features. Optional 18-inch or 19-inch light-alloy wheels – depending on the model – in double-spoke design provide an additional dose of sportiness, while exterior mirrors and a "wraparound" window strip, B-pillars in matching paint finish and a trim strip at rear apron height add further flourishes. Inside the car, the contrast between black and red accents adds a sporty and exclusive allure that is heightened by the accent strips in the doors (also part of the Luxury and Modern Lines as well as M Sport). The standard sports seats can be specified with a choice of upholstery and colors.
    Luxury Line: Discreet high-gloss chrome touches lend the exterior of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. 11 intricate kidney grille slats with chrome-colored fronts and matt black sides, two chrome blades in the front apron air intakes and chrome Air Breathers all furnish classy touches. Within the gleaming chrome window surround the black B-pillar provides a particular highlight, and special 18 and 19-inch light-alloy wheels in a multi-spoke design accentuate the elegance of the Luxury Line. The Gran Turismo Luxury Line can be identified from the rear by a stylish, high-gloss chrome strip above the rear apron and a chrome exhaust tailpipe embellisher. The interior also stands out with various chrome elements, such as the surround for the audio and air conditioning system. High-gloss wood strips and seats with distinctive stitching highlight the exclusivity of the Luxury Line.
    Modern Line: High-quality chrome exterior trim elements define the cool aesthetic of the Modern Line, while the BMW kidney grille with 11 slats, the Air Breathers and the double trim strips for the air intakes continue the theme. 18 or 19-inch turbine-style light-alloy wheels lend a fresh angle to the exterior design of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, while the light-colored dashboard coupled with a steering wheel in dark oyster create a very special ambience in the cockpit. Leather upholstery in oyster or black, and a choice of three trim surfaces with accent strips in pearl-effect chrome, ensure an appealing interplay between materials.
    M Sport: Optional M Sport line gives the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo a shot of adrenaline that spreads beyond its exterior and interior design. As well as the all-new aerodynamic package, including numerous body components (front apron with large air intake, rear bumper with diffuser, side skirts), and the BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim, the optional exterior color Estoril Blue metallic ensures an unmistakably sporty appearance and unbeatable road presence– an effect underpinned by 18 or 19-inch light-alloy wheels in hallmark M design. Inside the car, features such as M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver's footrest shape the sporty yet elegance ambience. The driver and front passenger can settle into sports seats. Technical features of this package include lowered M Sport suspension and enhanced aerodynamics. Exterior colors and wheels: The spectrum of colors available for the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo takes its cues from the BMW 3 Series Sedan and ranges from elegant and classic to modern and expressive. Customers can choose from a to

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 3, 2013
    If you wanted a more powerful C63 AMG, but think the Black Series version is a bit unlivable, Mercedes-Benz might have the vehicle for you.
    To be introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the 2014 C63 AMG 507 Edition provides performance and styling upgrades to the C63 AMG lineup. That's right, you can get the 507 Edition the sedan, coupe, or if you live outside of North America, a wagon.
    Starting with the engine, Mercedes-Benz was able to squeeze out more power from the 6.2L V8 by adding forged pistons, new connecting rods, a lighter crankshaft, and a remapped engine controller. Horsepower is now at 507 (up from 451) and torque is at 450 pound-feet (up from 443). All of that power goes through AMG’s seven-speed transmission.
    Other performance upgrades include a braking system with six-piston calipers up front and four-piston clampers in the back. There is also a set of nineteen-inch, lightweight alloy wheels.
    Visual changes for the C63 AMG 507 Edition include a vented hood from the Black Series, AMG stripes on the rocker panels, and black accents on the grille, rear spoiler, and mirrors. Inside, there is a Alcantara wrapped steering wheel, red accents in the gauge cluster, piano black accents throughout the cabin, and "Edition 507" badge.
    The C63 AMG 507 Edition arrives at Mercedes-Benz dealers in the summer.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    Album: 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507
    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
    Mercedes-Benz Introduces An Even More Aggressive C63 AMG
    MONTVALE, NJ – The C63 AMG models are becoming even more aggressive with the addition of a newly developed "Edition 507". The output of the AMG 6.3 liter V8 engine has been increased by 56 hp, bringing the output to 507 hp with 450 lb.-ft. of torque. The model year 2014 C63 AMG "Edition 507" uses much of the same technology as the SLS AMG: the eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine features forged pistons, connecting rods and a lightweight crankshaft as seen on the super sports car. An AMG high-performance compound constuction braking system with red brake calipers is fitted as standard. The C63 AMG "Edition 507" will be available in the Summer of 2013 and is designed to appeal to ambitious drivers who take pleasure in best-in-class technology as well as exclusive design and sporty handling.
    The C63 AMG "Edition 507" coupe and sedan produces 507 hp and accelerates from 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. This new model outperforms the existing 451 hp C63 model by three-tenths of a second, and the variants with the AMG Development Package which produce 481 hp by two-tenths of a second. In addition to an increase in top speed to 174 mph, the "Edition 507" also includes a voucher for a driver training session at the AMG Driving Academy.
    According to Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "The C 63 AMG with the classic AMG 6.3-litre high-revving V8 naturally aspirated engine is one of the most popular AMG high-performance cars in the world. With the new C 63 AMG "Edition 507", we are offering our loyal customers an attractive model variant which boasts even higher performance and at the same time is visually exciting."
    Preliminary Technical Data:
    C63 AMG C63 AMG
    "Edition 507" "Edition 507"
    Sedan Coupe
    Displacement 6208 cc 6208 cc
    Power output 507 hp at 6800 rpm 507 hp at 6800 rpm
    Max. torque 450 lb.-ft at 5200 rpm 450 lb.-ft at 5200 rpm
    Acceleration
    0-60 mph 4.1 s 4.1 s
    Top speed 174 mph 174 mph
    C63 AMG "Edition 507" featuring technology from the SLS AMG
    The increase in power output to 507 hp at 6800 rpm comes courtesy of the modified inner workings of the AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine. The forged pistons adopted from the SLS AMG, together with new connecting rods and a lightweight crankshaft, translate into a weight saving of 6.6 lbs. The reduction of rotational mass inertia improves the agility of the eight-cylinder M156 naturally aspirated engine. The maximum torque has also increased by 7 lb.-ft., jumping from 443 lb.-ft. to 450 lb.-ft. at 5200 rpm. The titanium grey-painted variable intake manifold is a characteristic feature of the uprated V8 engine. A new engine control system rounds off the series of implemented powertrain measures.
    The exterior of the C63 AMG "Edition 507" is characterized by exclusive new design features. Most notable of the features is the hood – it originates from the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series. Two openings in the distinctive aluminium hood help with expelling engine heat. Newly designed AMG light-alloy forged wheels with 235/35 R 19 front tires and 255/30 R 19 rear tires are another exclusive feature of the "Edition 507". The AMG light-alloy wheels are produced using lightweight forging technology and are available in two variants: titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, or matte black with highsheen rim flanges. An AMG sports stripe applique in matte graphite grey have been located above the rocker panels and are yet another new feature of the exterior.
    The spoiler lip on the trunk lid, the exterior mirror housings as well as the surrounds on the radiator grille and daytime running lights are all finished in high-gloss black. Available as an option for the C63 AMG "Edition 507" is an exclusive designo magno platinum matte finish paint.
    AMG high-performance braking system featuring compound technology
    As standard, the C63 AMG "Edition 507" comes with an even more powerful AMG high-performance braking system featuring compound construction technology. The front axle makes use of compound brake discs measuring 14.2 in. x 1.4 in. The advantages of the compound design include higher fatigue strength and lower warping characteristics. In addition, compound construction discs are lighter in weight and the reduced unsprung masses improve the response of the spring/damping elements.
    With compound construction, the brake discs are connected to an aluminium bowl via eight cast bracket arms. The brake discs are ventilated and perforated all around and are decelerated by means of 6-piston aluminium fixed calipers on the front axle and 4-piston fixed calipers on the rear axle. The brake callipers are painted red as standard fitment.
    "Edition 507" interior: even more dynamic and exclusive
    The sporty yet functional interior of the C63 AMG is even more dynamic and exclusive in the case of the "Edition 507". Three different equipment and options are available to choose from: porcelain designo leather/DINAMICA, black designo leather/DINAMICA and black designo leather. In the case of the designo leather/DINAMICA upholstery, light-colored contrast stitching makes for an attractive highlight. The AMG Performance steering wheel in Alcantara® with light-colored contrasting stitching has a 12-o'clock marking. The gear selector lever of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission is finished in DINAMICA and features an AMG badge. The steering wheel and gear selector lever gaiter also have light-colored contrast stitching.
    In the AMG instrument cluster, red applications to the dials serve to visually differentiate this variant from the other C63 AMG models. The trim is done in high-gloss black piano lacquer and the "Edition 507" badge on the trim on the front passenger side round off the high-quality, exclusive interior.
    Optional extras include:
    - AMG illuminated door rocker panels
    - AMG rear axle locking differential
    - AMG 5-spoke light-alloy forged wheels, painted in titanium grey and with a high-sheen finish, with tires in sizes 235/40 R 18 (front) and 255/35 R 18 (rear)
    - AMG Performance Media
    - AMG carbon-fiber/high gloss black piano lacquer-look trim
    - Exterior designo magno platinum matte finish paint; four other exterior paint colors will be available from the existing C63 AMG palette.
    The C63 AMG "Edition 507" will be celebrating its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, which will be opening its doors on March 5, 2013. The model's sales and market launch in the U.S. is planned for the Summer of 2013. Pricing will be announced closer to the market launch.
    The C63 AMG "Editon 507" coupe and sedan replace the existing AMG Development Package for MY2014, and will be sold in the U.S. in addition to the existing C63 AMG coupe and sedan with 451 hp.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 31, 2013
    While Chicago is just a week away, Automakers are already gearing up for the Geneva Motor Show in March. Case in point, Toyota has released a teaser image of a convertible GT 86 concept.
    Officially named the FT-86 Open concept, Toyota says the concept, "previews a possible future development of the award-winning GT 86 sports coupe."
    More interesting is that Toyota says they will, "gauge public reaction to the idea, at the same time as it carries out engineering tests on a prototype."
    Source: Toyota

    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
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 6, 2012
    Lexus decided that the Geneva Motor Show was the best place to unveil the refreshed RX crossover.
    As we saw in pictures leaked back in February, the RX gains the "spindle grille" as seen on the GS and a strip of LED lights running around the headlights. The back end gets some new design tweaks.
    Inside, the RX is pretty much the same except for a redesigned steering wheel. The RX also gets an updated version of the Remote Touch interface that should make the infotainment system more intuitive.
    Engines are a carryover from the previous model. The RX350 sticks with the 3.5L V6 producing 270 HP and a six-speed automatic. The RX450h combines the 3.5L V6 and an electric motor for a total of 295 hp.
    To inject more sport into the RX, Lexus will offer the RX350 with the F-Sport package. The F-Sport package brings forth new body cladding, wheels, paddle shifters, and a lateral damping system which Lexus says improves steering response, agility, and ride comfort while reducing vibration and twist.
    As for the RX450h, there will be a sport driving mode which changes the setting for the modifies the throttle, power-steering, stability, and traction-control systems.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    2013 RX Luxury Utility Vehicle Unveiled at Geneva Motor Show
    GENEVA – March 6, 2012 – Featuring the new bolder, signature Lexus spindle grille and upgraded interior, the new 2013 RX will continue to be the most popular choice in the luxury crossover segment it created over 10 years ago.
    The 2013 RX gets a fresh sportier look at the front with a new bumper, complemented with new headlamp design, LED daytime running lights and distinctive fog lamp bezels. The power back door and USB iPod/mp3 control are now standard. Tail lamps and the rear license plate surround get updated looks.
    The luxurious and spacious RX receives numerous interior enhancements. The steering wheel has been redesigned for a more comfortable and relaxing grip. A metallic accent enhances the look of the glove box. The center console has been redesigned for versatility and easy accessibility. In addition to ECO mode, the RX 450h features a Sport mode with revised steering effort, throttle mapping and transmission-shifting priorities to fully exploit the capabilities of the powertrain. In Sport mode, the meter light changes to red.
    The cabin of the 2013 RX also gets new Ebony Bird’s-Eye Maple wood trim and available Saddle Leather interior. To complement the available interior leather trim, a rich detailed contrast stitching is used on the seats, center console and door-mounted armrests. Four new exterior colors are available for the RX: Silver Lining Metallic, Claret Mica, Deep Sea Mica Fire Agate Pearl and, replacing Tungsten Pearl, Matador Red Mica and Cerulean Blue Metallic.
    Engine/Transmission/Drivetrain/Performance
    The Lexus RX 350 teams a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a six-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) for an output of 270 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) is used to control both intake and exhaust camshafts independently, optimizing engine performance at many speeds and loads.
    The RX 350’s six-speed automatic transmission yields quick shifting response with help from miniature high-flow linear solenoids that control transmission fluid line-pressure. The torque converter uses a low-speed lockup damper to enable lock-up from second to sixth gear to help improve the fuel economy.
    The Multi-Mode Sequential Shift Automatic Transmission allows the driver to shift manually when desired by first moving the gated shift lever to the “S” slot and then pushing it forward ("+") to up shift and backward ("-") to downshift. An Intelligent Shift Control sets shift patterns based on the vehicle speed and throttle position and estimates road conditions and driver input to automatically control the shift pattern.
    The RX 350 AWD model features an electronically controlled Active Torque Control AWD system. Active Torque Control AWD uses an electronically controlled coupling ahead of the rear differential to vary torque distribution anywhere from 100:0 to 50:50 front to rear, depending on driving dynamics and road conditions. When accelerating, or starting off on a low-grip surface, torque is quickly provided to all four wheels. At steady speeds, torque is sent only to the front wheels, enhancing fuel efficiency.
    The RX 450h’s Lexus Hybrid Drive features a 3.5-liter V6 Atkinson-cycle engine, electric motors, a small and light power-control unit and other fuel-saving innovations. It offers V8-like performance, 295 total system horsepower and combined fuel economy similar to an average four-cylinder mid-size sedan. The Front Wheel Drive (FWD) model delivers EPA-estimated 32 mpg city and 28 mpg highway (30 mpg combined) fuel economy ratings, while the All-Wheel Drive (AWD) model earned EPA ratings of 30 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, 29 mpg combined.
    As a full hybrid, the RX 450h can operate in electric-only or gas-engine-only modes as well as a mode that combines both. Extended electric-mode operation during low-speed or stop-and-go driving conditions helps reduce fuel consumption. Under certain circumstances, a driver-selectable EV mode can allow the vehicle to be driven short distances using only the electric motors. The RX 450h achieves Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) certification in California (Tier 2-Bin 3 in other states).
    A compact 288V DC Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack fits neatly under the rear seat. A boost converter efficiently raises voltage to 650V DC, and an inverter converts this to 650V AC for the front-mounted 123-kW electric motor-generator. The boost converter and inverter are enclosed in the power-control unit, which also houses the condenser.
    The RX 450h FWD model’s hybrid powertrain employs two motor-generators: MG1, the engine-driven generator, is a starter and can charge the battery pack or power other electric motors as needed; MG2 is the front-drive motor. Power from the gas engine and MG2 is distributed to the drive wheels via a planetary gear-type continuously variable transmission. MG1 controls the output speed of the transaxle through the planetary gear set, without clutches or a viscous coupling. MG2 delivers torque over a wide range for better response and smooth performance. When the RX 450h is coasting or braking, the electric motors function as generators, capturing energy that would normally be lost as heat through the brakes and transforming it into electricity to recharge the batteries.
    All-Wheel Drive
    The RX 450h AWD uses a separate rear electric motor-generator to provide power to the rear wheels when road conditions or throttle response dictates. When accelerating, or starting off on a low-grip surface, torque is quickly provided to all four wheels. At steady speeds, torque is sent only to the front wheels, enhancing fuel efficiency. For handling agility and control, the AWD system increases rear-wheel torque when the vehicle’s front tires start to lose traction and decreases rear-wheel torque when the vehicle’s rear tires start to lose traction. A SNOW mode slows accelerator-pedal response to help reduce the possibility of wheel spin.
    Chassis/Body/Suspension/ Brakes/Tires
    Lexus engineers provided the RX with an engaging driving experience, and a quiet and smooth ride. A key factor in the RX models’ handling agility is the uniquely designed double-wishbone rear suspension. Another key benefit of the rear suspension is that the packaging yields greater cargo area room. The front suspension geometry was optimized with a thick stabilizer bar. Inversely wound front coil springs compress in opposite directions, preventing the negative effects of suspension compression on steering.
    The standard electric power steering system contributes to agility and better steering feel while eliminating the parasitic losses of a hydraulic steering pump. Eliminating hydraulic oil also provides an environmental benefit and reduces maintenance. When driving conditions require minimal steering input, energy consumption is reduced, improving fuel economy by nearly three percent. Steering assist is automatically adjusted in response to vehicle speed, with greater assist at low speeds and greater feel at higher speeds.
    Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) handling technology is standard on the RX 450h. VDIM anticipates loss of vehicle control and governs all of the vehicle’s dynamic handling systems – the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) – with the electronic throttle control system. The system employs them collectively and seamlessly to help make corrections while allowing higher dynamic capability.
    The RX stops with the help of two-piston front caliper brakes. Brake feel is enhanced by optimizing pads, pedal ratio and booster output characteristics.
    The system’s enhanced VSC function adds steering assist torque to help aid handling on a split-friction surface. The VDIM system also provides a limited slip differential effect. The TRAC and VSC functions can also be turned off, for example, when the driver needs to free the vehicle from mud or snow.
    Standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, which were designed to appear as if carved from a single block, have 235/60R18 tires. Two optional 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/55R19 tires are available.
    Safety/Security
    The RX features Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), which uses brake pressure to help prevent the vehicle from moving backward when starting out on an incline. This system does not wait to detect rollback, however. It can be controlled by the driver and works in both forward and reverse. While the vehicle is stopped and the brake pedal is depressed, pushing it further activates the feature. Brake pressure is then maintained for approximately two seconds after the brake pedal is released and the driver switches to the accelerator pedal.
    The optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and help maintain a pre-set following distance from a vehicle traveling directly ahead. The radar sensor can detect certain obstacles in front of the car, and a PCS computer with vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw-rate inputs helps to determine whether a collision is imminent. In such a situation, PCS preemptively retracts front seat belts and pre-initializes BA so that increased braking will be applied the instant the driver depresses the pedal.
    A high-strength cabin design and comprehensive Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS) are designed to help provide a high level of crash-energy management. Approximately 42 percent of the entire structure uses high tensile strength sheet steel. The new structure was engineered to help provide collision compatibility with vehicles of varying heights and weights.
    RX models are equipped with a segment-leading 10 standard airbags, including side curtain airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, rear side airbags (for the outboard seating positions) and knee airbags for the driver and the front passenger. A roll sensor signals the side curtain airbags to inflate if a predetermined threshold of vehicle tip-up is detected.
    The front-passenger airbag is a dual stage, twin-chamber design that, when deployed, helps provide optimal protection. Active front headrests help to reduce the severity of a whiplash injury in the event of certain types of lower speed rear collisions.
    The RX also features standard Smart Stop Technology as an additional measure of consumer confidence. The braking system enhancement will automatically reduce engine power when the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions.
    Luxury/Comfort/Convenience
    Lexus luxury begins with how the customer first interacts with his or her vehicle. All RX models are equipped with the SmartAccess keyless entry with push-button start. As the driver approaches the vehicle, interior and exterior courtesy lamps illuminate. Opening the door, the instrument panel lighting gradually fades in. When the engine is started, the instrument gauge needles and markings illuminate, followed by the multi-information display. After the driver exits the vehicle, the lights fade out at different intervals.
    All RX models are equipped with a power tilt and telescopic steering column. To ease entry and exit, the seat automatically slides up to two inches rearward and the steering wheel tilts upward and slides forward when the engine is switched off. Upon pushing the “ON” switch, the seat and steering wheel return to their last position automatically.
    The standard 10-way power front seats are shaped to accommodate arm movement when operating the available Remote Touch, while also holding the occupants in place. Both the driver and passenger seats also feature power lumbar adjustment.
    The shape and texture of the armrests and switches offer an ideal combination of tactile feel and functionality. The leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel features integrated audio controls and a unique cross-section that is designed to provide a more natural grip than a conventional round-section wheel. An optional leather and wood-trimmed wheel is available for added luxury.
    Three seat materials include standard fabric, optional leather-trim or even softer semi-aniline leather. In addition to Light Gray, Black, and Saddle Tan, Parchment is available as an interior color for vehicles equipped with optional leather trim. Standard wood trim choices include Ebony Bird’s Eye Maple or Espresso Bird’s-eye Maple.
    The quiet climate-control system offers quick cooling and warming. A high-efficiency compressor detects refrigerant flow in order to optimize engine control and fuel economy. An available smog sensor is designed to detect harmful particles (CO, HC, NOx) in other vehicles’ exhaust emissions and automatically switch between fresh air and recirculation modes.
    The RX can accommodate a variety of music sources, providing auxiliary and USB inputs, Bluetooth® Audio wireless connectivity and a standard integrated SiriusXM Satellite Radio receiver (complimentary 90-day trial subscription included). Standard voice recognition and Bluetooth® technology allow phone calls to be made and received once paired with a compatible smartphone. When an iPod® is attached via the USB port, information such as artist name, track and album can be displayed on the available navigation or headunit, while the iPod can be controlled through the audio system. The large center console storage box easily accommodates a variety of electronic devices while keeping wires out of sight.
    The RX continues the tradition of offering the Lexus Premium Audio system as standard equipment, in this case a powerful nine-speaker system with a six-disc changer. Creative placement and angling of the speakers perfectly cross-channel sound to the occupant on the opposite side of the vehicle to transform the cabin into a clear, crisp acoustic environment.
    Luxury Options
    A Sport Appearance Package (not available on RX 350 AWD) is new for 2013 and offers an unique front bumper, halogen headlamps and 19-inch wheels with superchrome finish.
    The RX offers several additional luxurious amenities. A ventilation function for the front seats helps improve comfort on hot and humid days. A 12-speaker audio system featuring a DVD/CD player and HD radio with iTunes tagging comes with the optional Navigation Package and includes two-rear-door tweeters and a compact, L-shaped subwoofer in the rear-luggage compartment.
    The optional 15-speaker Mark Levinson® Surround Sound system allows listeners to enjoy 330 watts at 0.1 percent THD through 7.1-channel surround sound. The Mark Levinson system, a Lexus exclusive, features a center channel coaxial speaker, metal-cone midrange speakers, tweeters and a 100-watt amplified subwoofer. A 2.5-inch speaker built into each D-pillar provides the right and left surround-sound channels. The diffusion of sound provides each occupant the same level of audio quality.
    The available Hard Disc Drive (HDD) navigation system eliminates the need for DVD map discs and offers a unique voice recognition system, which accepts casual-language inputs on certain functions. The System includes Lexus Enform® with Safety Connect® (includes complimentary one-year trial subscription), Voice Command casual-language voice recognition and Bluetooth phonebook download. The system is controlled by a new, second generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) that is more intuitive in its design and use. The Remote Touch allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with a controller conveniently located within easy reach on the center console. Remote Touch also reduces eye movement and helps users operate functions with reduced effort and distraction.
    The Lexus Enform® with Safety Connect® now comes with the next-generation Lexus Enform® Application Suite, the system that leverages the customers’ mobile phone technology to provide a new level of connectivity and information management. Users can conduct local searches through Bing, or utilize voice-enabled apps to make restaurant reservations through OpenTable, get movie tickets via MovieTickets.com or tap into internet radio, including Pandora® or iHeartRadio.
    Users will also appreciate the ability to check-in on Facebook places, and search for various business reviews including restaurants on Yelp. SiriusXM data services offer information on stocks, traffic, weather, sports and fuel prices. Enform® is supported on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. SiriusXM services offer complimentary a one year trial subscriptions and require separate audio and data subscriptions.
    An optional rear-seat entertainment system includes two high-definition seven-inch screens, one on each of the front seatbacks. Each screen can display video from separate sources. A remote control allows independent control of each screen. Rear-seat occupants can also choose to listen to audio through the wireless headphones instead of the vehicle speakers.
    The available back-up camera helps provide the driver with a wider range of visibility while in reverse. The back-up camera displays images on the central control screen.
    Exterior Design
    The Lexus RX models blend a dynamic version of L-finesse design to create a sleek profile that is accentuated by broad “shoulders” for an athletic yet elegant presence. Bright finish side-window moldings follow a subtly concaved line across the A– and C– pillars, extending at the front and rear ends.
    The new distinctive and contemporary front of the RX is highlighted with Lexus’ signature spindle grille. The upper edge of the grille is set lower than the upper edge of the headlamp assembly to establish a more aggressive look. The LED daytime running lights reflect the “L” design motif, as do the combination rear lamps. Fog lamps are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia.
    Pronounced front fenders flow into the doors, and integrated rear fender flares neatly sweep around to pull together the taut rear corners of the vehicle. The lower body emphasizes the standard 18-inch wheels. Passenger doors extend below the entry sill, helping keep out dirt and moisture. A distinctive feature of the door handles is that the surface subtly twists outward from the front to the rear to give a comfortable grip. The side mirrors feature integrated LED turn signal lamps.
    The rear spoiler’s primary function is to help lower the vehicle’s Coefficient of drag (Cd), but it also conceals the rear wiper and houses the AM/FM radio antenna and high-mount stop lamp.
    Interior Design
    Based on Lexus L-finesse philosophy, the dramatically designed interior clearly creates two distinct zones – the “display zone” to provide information, and the “operation zone” for interaction with controls. The shoulder of the door trim comfortably envelops the occupants, the clear line of the trim beginning inside the cabin and tapering outward toward the exterior. The design imbues a feeling of a continuous line encircling the occupants and defining the controls and displays. Neatly sculpted metallic surfaces, especially on the asymmetrical center stack, showcase a bold contrast of shadow and light.
    A high contrast white Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) is used for the multi-information display located next to the speedometer. Vibrant white characters are sharply displayed on a high-contrast black background for ease of use and a luxurious appearance.
    In addition to an Eco Driving indicator light, RX models feature an Eco driving indicator zone that displays current fuel economy and alerts the driver when they are achieving low fuel efficiency.
    To help reduce driver distraction and wasted movement, Lexus engineers strategically placed several features close to the driver including the multi-information switch, the Remote Touch console-mounted navigation controller and the optional Heads-Up Display. The available navigation and Lexus Display Audio screen and standard LCD audio/HVAC display are placed at a higher, more distant position, providing a more natural visual angle. A multi-information switch on the steering wheel allows the driver to access numerous function settings without taking hands off the steering wheel, and reduces the number of individual switches, contributing to a cleaner instrument panel. Vehicle settings can be customized, including personal door-lock preferences, interior/exterior light adjustments, driver’s seat easy exit, and window-closure settings.
    High-intensity LEDs, on the available Heads UP p Display, project high-contrast white figures onto the windshield, which are easier to read – and easier on the eyes. The HUD offers displays for speed, navigation, and audio. A wedge-shaped windshield interlayer for the HUD projection area eliminates the printed grid pattern seen on some other vehicles equipped with HUDs.
    Warranty
    All new Lexus vehicles come with a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles. Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 months/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of mileage.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 6, 2012
    Before we get started, I want to clear up a couple of items: Yes, it’s a real car. Yes, you could buy this one of a kind Lamborghini, but you can’t since it has been sold for a cool 2.1 million Euros (about $2.8 million).
    The Aventador J follows a pretty simple recipe, remove excess weight to go fast. That includes the climate control, navigation, roof, and windshield. Lamborghini says this is to make the Aventador J feel like a two-seat sport bike.
    Continuing the weight loss, Lamborghini uses more Carbon fiber through out the Aventador J - the bumpers, front air scoop with winglets, and a huge rear diffuser in the back.
    Power remains the same the regular Aventador: a 6.5L twelve-cylinder motor producing 700 HP and going to all four wheels. Top speed is around 186 MPH.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Lamborghini Aventador J:
    Worldwide premiere at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show
    Radically open, extremely powerful

    At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Automobili Lamborghini is presenting the most uncompromising open super sports car of its entire history. The Lamborghini Aventador J is a force of nature on wheels – supremely powerful and supremely open. The Aventador J offers its pilot and co-pilot an utterly indescribable experience of power and dynamics. At the same
    time, the 515 kW / 700 hp two-seater is a first class technology showcase, combining innovative solutions and brand new materials. Demonstrating Automobili Lamborghini's enormous expertise in carbon fiber technology.
    The Lamborghini Aventador J is a radically open automobile – exterior and interior meld into each other. The designers and engineers in Sant'Agata Bolognese have not only dispensed entirely with the roof, but also with the front windshield. This requires that drivers of the Aventador J must have the right equipment for driving at top speeds higher than 300 Km/h.
    This kind of driving at the limit is a highly exclusive experience – the Lamborghini Aventador J is fully functional for road use. It is an absolute one-off: as a one-of-a-kind piece of art.
    "With the Lamborghini Aventador J, we have molded our brand DNA into its most definitive form to-date. This automobile is as extreme and as uncompromising as only a Lamborghini can be," says Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. "The new
    Lamborghini Aventador J is the most radical open supersports car of Lamborghini's history. Its name comes from our tradition and combines an unconventional design with technology innovation. Nowadays we are confronted with several regulations that we face in the spirit of challenge. The Aventador J is the proof that, despite the rules, Lamborghini will
    always make people dream, even in the future."
    Continuation of a glorious tradition
    With the Aventador J, technically based on the Aventador, Automobili Lamborghini is carrying on its glorious brand tradition. The 1970 Jota, for instance, was the stuff of legends – a Lamborghini Miura with improved performance and virtually redesigned every detail. It remained a one-off; although some owners subsequently had their Miuras modified to look like
    the Jota.
    The letter J is derived from the sporting rules of the FIA world motorsport organization. Its "Appendix J" defines the technical specification of race cars in the various classes.
    The Aventador: Extremely open, overwhelming power
    The Lamborghini Aventador J is a super sports car of positively dramatic single-mindedness and openness. It combines the overwhelming performance of the Lamborghini Aventador with the most intense experience of power and dynamics imaginable in an automobile.
    The technical basis for the Aventador J is the Aventador LP 700-4, Lamborghini's new twelve-cylinder model. Presented in 2011, the Aventador has been acclaimed by customers and journalists alike. The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4's technology package is unique – its structure is based on an innovative monocoque made from carbon fiber reinforced polymers
    that combines systematic lightweight design with optimum stiffness and safety. The new twelve-cylinder with a displacement of 6.5 liters and 515 kW / 700 hp combines the best in high-revving thrills with mighty pulling power. Its super-fast ISR transmission, permanent all-wheel drive and pushrod suspension combine this potent power with the utmost handling
    precision.
    Systematic lightweight design – considerable weight reduction
    Naturally, the Aventador J benefits enormously from this unique technology package. Yet the Aventador J has a significantly different interpretation to the Aventador coupé. In this open version, the monocoque has a largely new design, including the two safety bars behind the seats. The absence of a roof, of the large windshield, of the air conditioning system and of the navigation system obviously takes it to an even lower weight. With a dry weight of 1575 kilograms, the series production Aventador LP 700-4 is already extremely light for its performance class thanks to its carbon fiber construction.
    Carbonskin, a brand new carbon fiber material
    The unique expertise of Automobili Lamborghini in the field of carbon fiber reinforced polymers is evident not only in the hi-tech monocoque, but also in the research into further innovative solutions. Unlike traditional seats, in the Aventador J seats are made of Forged COMPOSITE®, with inserts of flexible carbon fiber fabrics: a result of an innovative Lamborghini patent.
    The specialists at Lamborghini have developed an even more amazing version of carbon fiber material for the Aventador J. In its first automotive application, this carbon fiber fabric called "Carbonskin" is made of woven carbon fibers soaked with a very special epoxy resin that stabilizes the fiber structure and keeps the material soft. Like a hi-tech fabric, the carbon fiber
    mats fit perfectly to every shape. In the Aventador J, the complete cockpit and parts of the seats are clad in this material and shimmer in matt carbon fiber black. It's conceivable that in future there will be many potential applications for this freshly patented and extremely fine-looking material, even very high-end clothing.
    The Design: uncompromisingly Lamborghini
    An extreme Aventador obviously needs an equally single-minded design, which goes without saying at the Centro Stile Lamborghini. Every single model from Sant'Agata Bolognese bears the unique design of the brand. Clear, precise surfaces, as well as sharp, often broken lines are among the unmistakable styling tools. They consistently emphasize the power and enormous presence of these Italian super sports cars. Not one line is ever accidental – the defining principle is always 'form follows function'.
    This function is very clearly defined for the Aventador J – explosive dynamics, extreme driving fun, a unique experience. Every kilometer with the Aventador J is extreme fun: something plainly evident from the very first glance.
    Rear view mirror like a periscope
    Virtually every part of the outer chassis was redesigned for the Aventador J, yet it shows the spirit of Lamborghini in its most concentrated form. The car's dimensions are extreme: the overall length is 4890 mm, the overall width (excluding mirrors) is 2030 mm while the height is 1110 mm.
    The highest points are marked by the rear view mirror, which is perched on an arm like a periscope, and by the two safety bars behind the seats. In place of the classic front windshield there are two small wind deflectors. The occupants of the Aventador J are confronted by the element of the wind in much the same way as a superbike rider – therefore the right
    clothing is prerequisite for every trip.
    Front scoop with winglets
    The front of the Aventador J is somewhat narrower than that of the Aventador. The front end is dominated by a highly distinctive carbon fiber air scoop, with central fixing braces and upward tilting winglets on the outer edges. Viewed from the side, the front end of the Aventador J looks
    like a Formula 1 racing car.
    Red with chrome effect, wheels with CFRP fan
    The black of the carbon fiber parts is visibly evident throughout the car – the significantly wider sill elements and the mighty rear diffuser form a perfect contrast to the rich red body paintwork. The special red color was developed specifically for this Aventador - a highly intensive red with a slight chrome effect.
    The wheels, of course, were also developed specifically for this car, with 20-inch rims at the front and 21-inch at the rear. The five-spoke aluminum wheels have a central lock system and an additional carbon fiber insert that functions like a small fan for optimum brake ventilation.
    Naturally, the doors on the Aventador J also open upward. They are considerably thinner than on the Aventador and are fitted with a tiny, fixed side window. The muscular flanks around the rear wheels are hallmark Lamborghini and make it immediately apparent where this particular bull keeps his power.
    Rear end purely for aerodynamics and ventilation
    Because of its ample dimensions, the eye is drawn inexorably to the rear end. It consists in principle of just three elements – the carbon-fiber rear diffuser, the four huge tail pipes and the rear lights with their typical 5 Lamborghini light signature in the form of a Y. The remaining surface area is for heat dissipation and is enclosed only by a black metal mesh. The rear
    end is crowned by an enormous fixed spoiler mounted on the bodyshell by two arms. 'Form follows function' to the nth degree. The spoiler is supported by two pillars connected by the diffuser: clearly inspired by racing.
    Special bumpers
    In comparison with the Aventador LP 700-4, the exclusive Aventador J has special front and rear bumpers. Both bumpers have been supplemented with carbon fiber fins that act as flow deviators. Their purpose is to achieve a significant increase in the vehicle's downforce at both the front and the rear.
    The outside comes inside
    The Aventador J's exterior and interior forms flow seamlessly into each other. This super sports car turns its inside outward and is as open as it can possibly be. Conversely, the exterior 'flows' through the interior – a red stripe runs from the front hood, between the two wind deflectors, over the dashboard, down the console to the center tunnel and back up between the seat backs, before leaving the interior and heading for the engine cover panel.
    Interior is minimalist and single-minded
    This band of color connects the front and the rear of the car, creates a visual separation between the driver and passenger space and is interrupted only by a small control panel housing the starter button and the switches for lights and transmission. The Aventador J is equipped neither with a navigation nor car audio system, nor does it have the associated
    screen or air conditioning controls – these would simply detract from its one and only raison d'être as an extreme driving experience. What remains, of course, are two programmable TFT displays behind the steering wheel.
    The engine cover also brings the inside to the outside. To be more precise,
    it is not so much a cover but more a framework. This part has a new geometry (X shape) and is made of carbon fiber. Two large openings lay bare both cylinder banks of the mighty V12 power unit with its 6.5 liters of displacement – a truly stunning sight for every
    automobile aficionado.
    A unique work of art licensed for the road
    However, at the end of the Geneva Motor Show, this sight will be the preserve of just one – the future owner of the Lamborghini Aventador J. There is only one of them, no prototypes and no others for the Lamborghini Museum. The buyer can look forward to a truly unique, street-legal work of art. He will possess the most extreme expression of Lamborghini DNA in existence and a real masterpiece of high technology. But the many other fans of the super sports cars from Sant'Agata Bolognese can rest assured - the Aventador success story has only just begun.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    Once upon a time, the only luxury SUV you could get your hands on was the Range Rover. Now, it seems every luxury automaker aside from a few, offer an SUV.
    Now, Bentley is showing their new SUV. Called the EXP 9 F (No, that isn't the license plate on the car), this concept previews what could be the third vehicle in Bentley's lineup.
    Design is well... um.. unique. The front end borrows many cues from the Continental and Mulsanne. The side borrowed the doors off a Range Rover and the back end seems to be a blend of Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7.
    Inside the EXP 9 F is what you would expect of a car from Crewe. The wood trim lining the doors and dash comes from a whole forest. Everything else is either trimmed in leather, chrome, and aluminum. The EXP 9 F also comes with a full picnic set, wedged in the back.
    Along with the old world luxury, Bentley has fitted a lot tech into this concept. The front gets a TFT gauge-cluster screen, touch-sensitive center-stack controls, and motorized widescreen infotainment display. Back seat passengers get power-reclining seats, power footrests, and a cooled compartment. Plus, the EXP 9 F has internet connectivity.
    Power comes from a 6.0L W-12 and goes through an eight-speed automatic. Bentley says the engine is producing somewhere around 600 HP. However, a hybrid powertrain and Bentley's new 4.0L twin-turbo V8 could also fit in the vehicle.
    Bentley says a decision on whether to build the EXP 9 F will depend on reaction from their customers. Our guess, expect to see a Bentley SUV sometime in the next few years.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    BENTLEY REVEALS EXP 9 F – A PINNACLE LUXURY PERFORMANCE SUV DESIGN CONCEPT


    EXP 9 F all-wheel drive luxury Sport Utility Vehicle concept revealed at Geneva Motor Show
    Potential for third Bentley model-line alongside Mulsanne and Continental ranges
    Bold reinterpretation of Bentley design cues in a spacious, versatile and high performance SUV
    A fusion of contemporary, crafted luxury, advanced in-car technology, commanding driving position and all-terrain capability
    6.0 litre, twin turbocharged W12 engine and 8 speed transmission

    (Geneva, 5 March 2012) Bentley is offering a vision of the future with a dramatic new Sport Utility Vehicle concept, EXP 9 F, at the Geneva International Salon d’Auto. The Company’s designers and engineers have created a compelling new take on the Grand Touring Bentley - a vehicle that feels equally at home at an opera gala performance, on the sand dunes and the overtaking lane of the autobahn.
    Unmistakably a Bentley – yet a Bentley like none before it – the EXP 9 F could herald a third Bentley model-line alongside the bespoke Mulsanne and the high performance Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur.
    Today a global luxury brand with a network of 160 dealers from Shanghai to Beverly Hills, Bentley has an increasingly diverse customer base spanning every continent. For many customers, a dramatically styled, Bentley all-wheel drive SUV which combines a spacious, versatile cabin and commanding driving position, with Bentley’s hallmark power, performance, advanced technology and hand crafted luxury, would be a natural choice both on and off-road.
    “We are very excited by the potential of a high performance, ultra-luxury Bentley SUV. We know that many Bentley customers already own SUVs, admiring their style, luxury, performance and versatility. With EXP 9 F, Bentley is making a clear statement of intent that we have both the expertise and desire to meet and exceed their expectations.” Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors.
    BOLD, DYNAMIC, SPORTY DESIGN
    Key Bentley styling cues re-interpreted for EXP 9 F with innovative detailing
    Sculptured flowing surfaces emphasise power, muscularity and robustness

    From a designer’s perspective, EXP 9 F was a dream project, the chance to create a completely new type of Bentley. From the very beginning, the design team had a clear vision for the new Bentley SUV, as Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design, explains:
    “EXP 9 F had to represent the absolute pinnacle of the sport utility sector, setting a new benchmark for this type of vehicle. The style had to reflect Bentley’s sporting character despite its radically different package and purpose together with sculptured, flowing surfaces in keeping with the Bentley tradition.”
    A new class of Bentley allowed the styling team to adopt a more progressive design approach. The exterior is a bold, dynamic statement, combining clean, muscular surfaces with signature character lines, while retaining the qualities of luxury and power – a pure Bentley.
    Key Bentley cues such as the matrix grille, round lamps and the strong power-line and haunch along each flank are reinterpreted for EXP 9 F. The ‘hewn from solid’ design language and innovative detailing, emphasise the robust character of this high-luxury SUV.
    The designers were inspired not only by the more functional nature of EXP 9 F but by the ‘visible engineering’ of the famous Blower Bentleys. For example, the day-time running lamp apertures also act as the charge cooler air intakes for the twin-turbo W12 engine, each with a dramatic, mesh-covered turbine fan design and ‘rifled’ inner surface finish.
    The turbine theme continues with the stunning 23-inch alloy wheels, the design of which complements the sculptured coachwork. The multiple spokes are reminiscent of the shape of turbine fan blades while the centrally mounted wheel nut is a visual reference both to Bentley’s Le Mans racers of the 1920s with centre-lock spinner and to the single nut found on the modern-day Speed 8’s high-tech racing alloys.
    At the rear, the swooping lines of the tailgate avoid utilitarian overtones in favour of a distinctly sporting profile, while the ultra-wide, two-part split tailgate offers a high level of versatility when grand touring. The bold design language of EXP 9 F is complemented by twin exhaust tailpipes with ‘rifled’ inner surfaces, their elliptical shapes echoing those of the rear light clusters.
    The rear lights are inspired by the forms and details of fighter jet engines, uniquely designed so that they glow from within, spreading their light outwards.
    INTERIOR – A FUSION OF LUXURY WITH UTILITY
    Light, airy, contemporary cabin design with exquisite British ‘sporting’ luxury craft detailing
    Contemporary use of touchscreen and tailored interface technologies
    Fresh interpretation of traditional handcrafted materials with highly durable surfaces
    High degree of practicality including versatile rear cabin layout and full-width, two-piece tailgate

    Bentley is renowned for its fusion of extremes – technology and craftsmanship, luxury and performance – and the interior of EXP 9 F expresses the resolution of apparent opposites in its use of materials, techniques and technology, as Dirk van Braeckel explains:
    “The challenge for the interior design team was to create a cabin which provides a blend of luxury and utility. The result is a light and airy environment with a commanding view of the road and a versatile layout which showcases Bentley’s craft and design language in an innovative and contemporary way.”
    Traditional handcrafted elements such as wood, leather and polished metals such as aluminium, bronze and gunmetal are used to create a sense of British luxury, yet the way they are used sets a fresh and contemporary interior ambience. Soft-touch leather contrasts with highly durable surfaces with the concept car design experimenting with the use of saddle leather for the seat backs, top roll and loadspace – while analogue bezels and dials are paired with TFT ‘virtual’ instrumentation.
    Even the luxurious silk wool floormats are reversible – with one side finished in durable, ribbed saddle leather for use when the driver and passengers are dressed for the great outdoors.
    The upright dashboard design features a full-width, one-piece wood veneer with a subtly negative surface and instruments with a configurable display. Traditional Bentley ‘bulls eye’ vents have a ‘rifled’ gunmetal inner surface for a more contemporary and functional appearance. The centre console is a blend of functionality and supreme ergonomics with dynamic, architectural layers which help to create a central spine to the cabin. The frame of the console is also a structural component with integrated, sculpted grab handles.
    The flowing roof design with a panoramic glass panel is inspired by the roll cages of rally cars, expressing both strength and lightness.
    Rear seat passengers can chose between business mode, with generous legroom complete with fold-down keyboard and full internet connectivity via an iPad or tablet or a more reclined position with powered footrest, drinks table and an infotainment screen for movies. When the rear seats are not in use, they can be powered forward to create a larger loadspace for sports equipment or luggage.
    The EXP 9 F seating is 4+1, with a rear armrest lifting to reveal a cooled compartment for champagne and glasses. Seats feature a diamond-quilted ‘shoulder line’ in soft-touch leather, echoing the traditional appearance of a British field sport jacket.
    At the rear, the lower section of the two-piece tailgate may be used as a viewing bench or picnic table. Bespoke picnic hampers are stowed neatly to either side of the loadspace when not in use, but are located on rails for easy access. An awning extends over the tailgate to protect those seated there; two umbrellas fit either side of the rear luggage area for when the rain clouds sweep in.
    COMMANDING DRIVING POSITION AND CONTROL ARCHITECTURE
    Inspired blend of traditional analogue and TFT touchscreen technology
    Bespoke interface engineering – tailored to the individual with driver-selectable instrumentation modes

    As befits a Bentley, the EXP 9 F design concept features a near-infinite choice of driver information and entertainment options. However the design and electrical engineering teams sought to avoid creating a cluttered or confusing driver and passenger environment, presenting only the information that each user needs, when they need it.
    As a result, EXP 9 F places key driver information such as 3D navigation in a central TFT panel directly in the driver’s line of sight, where it is flanked by two analogue reverse-read dials. Meanwhile controls that are shared between driver and front seat passenger, such as cabin temperature, air vents and entertainment are presented in the central touchscreen and console. The TFT screen deploys from the full-width metal trim to provide a fully integrated extension to the glass surface of the centre console
    Three different driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Off-Road – are selectable according to the road environment and type of journey. Thus the driver information TFT panel would be able to switch between satellite navigation on the motorway to a ‘sump cam’ when negotiating a bumpy track.
    BENTLEY POWER AND PERFORMANCE
    Although the EXP 9 F concept is based around the Bentley 6.0 litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine with an 8-speed transmission, both the company’s recently-launched 4.0 litre, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could meet the performance requirements of a pinnacle luxury SUV.
    Whilst EXP 9 F is primarily intended to investigate new design territory – and all drivetrain options remain under consideration – any Bentley SUV would offer the thunderous performance the marque is renowned for. The W12 6.0 litre powertrain, for example, could develop 600bhp and 800 Nm of torque with key performance indicators like the top speed and 0-60mph sprint time all setting new benchmarks for the SUV sector.
    EVALUATION, REFINEMENT AND FUTURE PLANNING
    When the first generation Continental GT was unveiled in 2003 it represented the renaissance of Bentley as a global luxury icon, subsequent launches such as Mulsanne, Continental Flying Spur saloon and the new Continental GT have seen the Bentley brand growing from strength to strength.
    EXP 9 F represents the chance to take Bentley values of design, craftsmanship and engineering excellence into what would be – literally – new terrain for the brand. Bentley’s experience with the all-wheel drive Continental range makes the concept of a Bentley SUV a natural progression for the company.
    Customer and public reaction will be analysed following the unveiling of EXP 9 F at Geneva 2012, with the aim of refining the concept further. Above all, Bentley will be listening carefully to the reaction of customers and potential customers throughout the world, prior to making any definitive commitment to production.
    “A Bentley Grand Tourer doesn’t necessarily have to be a coupé, a convertible or a saloon – it could equally well be an SUV. What’s important is that it should be true to Bentley’s brand values and in line with the desires and needs of our customers.” – Alasdair Stewart, Member of the Board, Sales and Marketing.

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