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    William Maley

    Return of a legend

    16 years. That is how long since the Toyota Supra has been out of production. But since that time, various rumors, speculation, and spy photos have hinted that Supra was going to make a comeback. Today at the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota introduced the world to the GR Supra Racing Concept.
    The GR in the concept's name is short for Gazoo Racing, the team behind Toyota's racing efforts in Le Mans and the World Rally Championship. The Supra itself has a long racing history, competing in the likes of IMSA, Le Mans. and Japan GT (now known as Super GT) - the latter is where the Supra claimed 4 championships. 
    Toyota isn't providing many details on the GR Supra Racing Concept. It is clear that the design is heavily based on the FT-1 Concept from 2014. The overall dimensions for the concept are 180 inches long, 80.6 inches wide, 48.4 inches tall, and rides on a wheelbase of 97.2 inches. Many of the body panels are made out of composite materials to keep the concept light. The interior is all business with a racing seat, quick-release steering wheel, and roll cage.
    One interesting detail on the GR Supra Racing Concept is the suspension being comprised of production parts - we don't know what vehicle they come from. Toyota is keeping quiet about what engine is under the hood. We do know that the next-generation BMW Z4 will be sharing its platform with the Supra, so it would be safe to assume that a BMW engine could be used.
    We have no idea at the moment as to when Toyota will reveal the production version. But those who play Gran Turismo Sport on the Playstation 4 will have the chance to drive the concept in-game starting next month.
    Source: Toyota
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The Legend Returns: Toyota Unveils GR Supra Racing Concept
    Modern racing concept signals Toyota’s commitment to bring back its most iconic sportscar. GENEVA (March 6, 2018) –The GR Supra Racing Concept makes its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, reviving the name and spirit of the most celebrated model in Toyota’s illustrious sportscar heritage and demonstrating Toyota’s commitment to bringing the Supra back to the market. It also shows the future potential for a car that can deliver high performance both on road and track.
    Toyota Supra Heritage
    The GR Supra Racing Concept revives the great heritage of one of Toyota’s most famous sports cars. The Supra name evokes power, performance and handling that defined a succession of world-class cars for a quarter of a century. As a thoroughbred sports car, the Toyota Supra built a reputation both as a formidable performer on the road and as an all-conquering machine on the racetrack, dominating Japan’s top-level GT racing series and earning legions of fans.
    The Toyota Supra still enjoys an iconic status among sports car aficionados, 16 years on from the end of production. Its enduring popularity has been helped by its success as a popular model in the Gran Turismo® driving simulator video game series, which is only playable on PlayStation consoles, and as a starring car in the first film in The Fast and the Furious global action movie series.
    The Supra badge first appeared in 1978 on a larger and more powerful version of the second-generation Celica before becoming established as a successful model in its own right.
    Known as the A40, the original Supra was followed by three further generations: the A60 in 1981, A70 in 1986 and A80 in 1993.
    The front engine/rear-wheel drive GT sportscar remained in production until 2002, and in its final generation it was Toyota’s most powerful production model.
    The Supra’s reputation was greatly enhanced by its success in motorsport. Most notably, the fourth-generation Supra, introduced in 1993, became the dominant force in the All-Japan GT racing – today’s Super GT series – winning the GT500 class four times.
    The Toyota Supra also competed in American IMSA sportscar racing in the 1980s and twice appeared at Le Mans in the 1990s.
    GR Supra Racing Concept
    A compact, two-door car, the GR Supra Racing Concept has a pure front-engine/rear-wheel drive configuration and makes use of advanced lightweight materials in its construction.
    Created by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, the concept perfectly expresses the “fun to drive” quality that is intrinsic to Toyota’s commitment to making ever-better cars. The large “90” race number on its doors is a historical reference to Supra’s codename and a big visual clue to the fact that this concept heralds Supra’s return in a fifth generation.
    Its development is true to the belief of Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of the car company, that participation in motorsport provides the challenges of performance and durability that can directly help develop better cars, while at the same time generating interest and excitement among motoring fans.
    This ethos has been fully embraced by both Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda and by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, with the pursuit of success at the highest levels of international motorsport, including the World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours race. Taking part in these and other racing series around the world provides technical learnings that can be transferred from the race track or rally stage to development of not just new generations of Toyota’s sports-focused GR models, but also to its wider range of vehicles, driven by tens of millions of people around the world.
    The GR Supra Racing Concept is to be featured in a new update of the Gran Turismo Sport® video game, developed by Polyphony Digital Inc., and scheduled for release in April 2018.
    Design, Chassis and Equipment Features
    The racing concept has a dramatic bodywork design that includes a large rear wing. It makes extensive use of strong but lightweight composite material for elements such as the wide front and rear bumpers, front splitter and rear diffuser, side skirts, door mirror housings and the rear wing. The hood is crafted from the same material and features louvred air inlets. The windscreen and side windows are made of plastic.
    The concept’s chassis features lowered front and rear suspension using original equipment (OE) components. BBS racing wheels with center-nut attachment are fitted with Michelin racing tires. The braking system uses Brembo Racing callipers and discs and there is a racing exhaust.
    The cabin is entirely competition-focused and is fitted with a racing dashboard and OMP driver’s seat and safety harness. OMP has also supplied the quick-release steering wheel, mounted on a racing column and equipped with a paddle shift system. The doors are lined with carbon fiber panels and the dashboard includes a racing display.
    Competition safety requirements are met by a full roll cage and fire extinguishers, and the fuel and brake lines, pedal box, battery and wiring looms are all designed to competition standard.
    Dimensions Length 4,574mm Width 2,048mm Height 1,230mm Wheelbase 2,470mm

    William Maley

    Porsche's version of a Subaru Outback

    This is a bit of a surprise. Porsche rolled out a new Mission E concept called the Mission E Cross Turismo. While Porsche describes this as a crossover, we would say its a lifted wagon like an Audi Allroad.
    Design is a mashup of the Mission E in the front and Panamera Sport Turismo for the rest. Various bits of body cladding line the lower part of the concept. A set of five-spoke wheels finished in blue are wrapped in chunky 275/40R-20 tires. The interior features a number of touchscreens that control various functions of the vehicle, along with seating for up to four people. One clever trick is a camera in the interior rearview mirror that tracks driver’s and the front passenger’s eyes, and will display pertinent information from the main infotainment screen in the direction that either person is looking.
    Electric motors mounted on each axle provide 590 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Porsche says the Mission E Cross Turismo can reach 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 155. No mention of range, but Porsche says the concept can get an 80 percent charge in 15 minutes when using the 800-Volt charging system.
    Source: Porsche
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo Debuts
    Concept study of the first Porsche "Cross-Utility Vehicle" celebrates its world premiere Atlanta, Georgia. The presentation of the Mission E Cross Turismo from Porsche at the Geneva Motor Show is a concept study of an electrically-powered “Cross-Utility Vehicle.” Designed for individuals with an active lifestyle, the demand-controlled all-wheel drive easily handles varied weather conditions for practical year-round use. The interior offers plenty of cargo space while an exterior mounting system offers a solution for larger items like surfboards or bicycles.
    The four-seater features an emotional design with striking off-road elements as well as a new display and control concept with touchscreens and eye tracking. The concept vehicle, which is 194.8 inches long, uses 800-volt fast-charging and can also be charged via induction or a charging dock and integrates seamlessly with a Porsche home energy management system. The road-ready Mission E Cross Turismo is a continuation of the Mission E study that Porsche presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in 2015. 
    The design: Unmistakable Porsche DNA
    With a low hood between powerfully curved fenders, the front of the Mission E Cross Turismo has ties to the Porsche 911. The vertical air intakes at the front, known as “air curtains,” provide one of the striking design features. Matrix Design LED headlights represent another style highlight. The typical Porsche four-point daytime running lights have been developed into narrow, three-dimensional glass elements. Embedded in four floating fenders, these lights also feature the new four-point turn signal. Off-road design elements include rugged wheel arches and door sills, a striking front spoiler and rear fascia, and a ground clearance indicative of the ability to travel on and off paved roads.
    The flyline is marked by a sporty roofline that tapers towards the rear, echoing the Panamera Sport Turismo. The dynamic design of the side windows is typical of Porsche style. The broad fenders and three-dimensional sidewalls with air outlets behind the front wheels reinforce the sporty crossover character of the 78.3-inch-wide concept vehicle. Distinctive side skirts with an off-road look and 20-inch wheels with 275/40 R 20 tires are among the vehicle's other defining features.
    With its exclusive Light Grey Metallic paint, the study is also immediately recognizable as a Porsche from the back. In addition to the flow-through roof spoiler, the vehicle also features a full-length light strip. The Porsche lettering illuminated in white is embedded in a three-dimensional cover with a circuit path graphic. The “E” in the “Porsche” lettering pulsates when the vehicle is charging, and the circuit paths illuminate, giving customers a tangible sense of the energy flow. The large panoramic glass roof extending from the windshield to the tailgate delivers a generous feeling of spaciousness.
    The versatility: Equipped for all mobility needs 
    The Mission E Cross Turismo gives an insight into how a series-production Turismo variant with cross-utility attributes suitable in equal measure for traveling, everyday life, and adventure could look. The 55.9-inch-tall four-seat concept is designed to be versatile. For example, a hatch is integrated into the backrests of the two individual seats in the rear to make loading long objects like skis easier. The backrests themselves can also fold. In the luggage compartment, there is a rail system with adjustable and removable belts to stow objects quickly and securely.
    The interior: Visible lightweight structures
    The interior features a new interpretation of classic Porsche elements for the digital age. For example, the instrument panel emphasizes the width of the vehicle with a wing-shaped top and bottom section. The dashboard has a clear horizontal arrangement with a wide display for the driver and front passenger. The free-standing instrument cluster is curved and angled towards the driver and consists of three circular display fields, digitally displayed on TFT screens. The center console between the front seats rises in the direction of the dashboard. The design elements in the interior also include visible lightweight structures, such as the dashboard and the sporty seats reminiscent of bucket-type racing seats, which feature illuminated Porsche lettering. The door panels have 3D elements with a structured surface. Anodized trim pieces in Nordic Blue around the air vents and the window switches provide a contrast to the black Aniline leather and Light Grey two-tone interior. Ambient cabin lighting further compliments all of the design elements.
    The powertrain: Sporty e-performance in excess of 600 hp 
    Two synchronous electric motors with a system output of over 600 hp (440 kW) accelerate the Mission E Cross Turismo to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 3.5 seconds and to 200 kmh (124 mph) in under twelve seconds. This performance is in addition to a continuous power level that allows for multiple launches in succession without losing performance, which is unprecedented among electric vehicles. Demand-controlled all-wheel drive with Porsche Torque Vectoring, which automatically distributes torque to the individual wheels, transfers the power to the road.
    The chassis: Adaptive air suspension for comfort and agility
    All-wheel steering contributes to the exemplary agility and stability of the Mission E Cross Turismo, while the adaptive air suspension allows an increased clearance of up to 1.86 inches (50 mm). Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is another feature available on board. This system provides active roll stabilization and prevents lateral inclination of the vehicle when cornering. It also helps reduce lateral instability over bumpy terrain.
    The display and control concept: A unique user experience
    A highlight of the Mission E Cross Turismo is a new display and control concept. Intuitive operation and information such as the head-up display optimally positioned in the driver’s field of vision enhance the driving experience. And thanks to the new connectivity solutions, the vehicle can also be perfectly integrated into a digital lifestyle. The result is a unique user experience. There are many important display and control options.
    Driver display with eye tracking: The instrument cluster is comprised of virtual fields. These are assigned to the categories of Porsche Connect, Performance, Drive, Energy, and Sport Chrono. Using a camera in the interior mirror, the eye-tracking system can recognize where the driver is looking. The displays that the driver is interested in are then moved to the foreground, while the others are reduced into the background accordingly as a result of looking away from them. The displays are operated using smart-touch controls on the steering wheel.
    Passenger display: This screen extends over the entire width of the passenger side. The passenger can operate various apps via eye tracking and touch technology, allowing access to functions like media, navigation, climate control, and contacts. 
    Touch control: a field in the center console features detailed information menus.
    Small touchscreens: These screens are situated in the multifunctional window panels (for seat adjustment and seat comfort functions) as well as in the finless air vents on the right and left of the dashboard. By swiping left and right on these touchscreens, the ventilation strength can be adjusted.
    The “smart cabin” approach simplifies operation. The vehicle settings, interior climate, and ambient lighting are all automatically adjusted to the wishes of the occupants and the respective driving situation.
    The driver can also access a variety of information and adjust settings away from the vehicle: Customization options from the air-conditioning system to navigation can be set in advance via a tablet, smartphone, or smartwatch.
    The “DestinationsApp:” A personal travel assistant
    Porsche Connect already offers more than 20 digital services and apps. In the Mission E Cross Turismo, Porsche is adding another called the “DestinationsApp,” which demonstrates additional benefits the digital platform could offer in the near future. Using this app, a weekend trip can be planned quickly and easily in just a few steps on a smartphone. The app suggests travel destinations, enables reservations to be made quickly and effortlessly, and handles route planning. The driver can even tailor the chassis of the Mission E Cross Turismo to the selected route via the “DestinationsApp,” as well as choosing the most suitable music, climate control, and ambient lighting for the journey.
    Charging: Fast and effortless
    The 800-volt architecture in the vehicle ensures that the lithium-ion battery is charged for an NEDC range of approximately 250 miles (400 kilometers) in around 15 minutes. The concept vehicle allows flexible charging both on the move and at home, and is compatible with the fast-charging network that is being established on European roads as part of the IONITY joint venture. At home or the workplace, the Mission E Cross Turismo can be charged via induction technology, and at home with a charging dock that can work in conjunction with the Porsche home energy management system. The latter option can be combined with the home’s own photovoltaic system to recharge using solar energy.
    Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo Technical Information
    Propulsion
    Two permanently excited synchronous motors
    Electric Motor Output
    600 hp / 440 kW
    Drive Type
    Demand-Controlled All-Wheel Drive
    Acceleration (0-100 kmh)
    3.5 seconds
    Acceleration (0-200 kmh)
    < 12 seconds
    Length
    194.8 inches
    Width
    78.3 inches
    Vehicle Height
    55.9 inches
    Wheel size
    20 inch
    Tire size
    274/40 R20
     

    William Maley

    Bold and Polarizing

    A week out before the start of the Geneva Motor show, Lexus has decided to pull the curtain back on their showing, the new UX crossover.
    The UX will sit underneath the NX in the Lexus family, becoming the new entry-level model. The UX's exterior might be Lexus' most polarizing design to date. Up front sits a massive spindle grille, raked front headlights, and deep cuts into the bumper. The side profile shows off squared-off wheel wells and sculpting along the side. Lexus dropped a short video which gives us a sneak peek into the UX's interior, looking somewhat similar to the LC with a wide infotainment screen and a small row of buttons for the climate control.
    We'll have more details on the UX when it debuts on March 6th.
    Source: Leuxs
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Revealed: First Official Image and Video of the UX, the First Urban Crossover from Lexus

    February 27, 2018: The eagerly anticipated Lexus UX urban compact crossover has broken cover with the release of the first official image and video clip ahead of its world debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show on March 6th.
    These first visuals reveal the UX’s bold and stylish design that blends expressive bodywork with a compact size. Its crossover credentials are signaled by its muscular haunches and high beltline, yet underneath the skin there’s an all-new platform that gives the UX exceptional body rigidity and a low center of gravity for exceptional handling. 
    The look inside the cabin combines a highly focused driver’s cockpit with a wide and inviting passenger space. With its brave design and intuitive technology features, the UX will serve as a gateway model for Lexus in a dynamic and growing part of the market.
    The Lexus Press Conference will be hosted by the new Head of Lexus Europe, Pascal Ruch, and will take place on March 6th at 10AM on the Lexus stand at the Palexpo in Geneva.

    William Maley

    Two variants on offer

    When Hyundai unveiled the Kona subcompact crossover last year, they said an electric variant would be following. Today, the Korean automaker has unveiled the Kona EV before its official debut next week at the Geneva Motor Show.
    Styling for the large part is the same as the regular Kona. The only real difference is up front where the grille is closed off and features a little door hiding the charging point. Other design changes include a two-tone roof and 17-inch alloy wheels. For the interior, Hyundai has added a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and a push-button gear selector. 
    Hyundai will be offering two versions of the Kona EV. The standard model uses a 133 horsepower electric motor and 39.2-kWh battery pack that will give a max range of 186 miles on the new Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). A Long-range version packs 201 horsepower from its electric motor and 64-kWh battery pack. Max range is said to be 292 miles on the WLTP cycle.
    Recharging is said to take around 6 hours and 10 minutes for the standard model and 9 hours and 40 minutes for the long-range model. Hyundai doesn't say if this is when the model is plugged into a 240V charger or not. When plugged into a 100-kW DC fast charger, it will take 54 minutes for both models to get an 80 percent charge.
    No word on Hyundai is planning to launch the Kona EV in Europe. We expect Hyundai to make some announcement on the Kona EV for the U.S. at the New York Auto Show later in the month.
    Source: Hyundai
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Highlights of All-New Hyundai Kona Electric
    With the launch of the All-New Kona Electric, Hyundai Motor is offering the first fully-electric subcompact SUV on the European market. The All-New Kona Electric is a car of no compromise, combining Hyundai’s progressive SUV style and a zero-emission electric powertrain. The new model in Hyundai’s eco line-up is available with two different powertrain versions, offering an outstanding range of up to 470 kilometres. The first fully-electric subcompact SUV features a unique exterior design with closed grille and a dedicated centre console in the interior for intuitive operation of the shift-by-wire module. The All-New Kona Electric carries the same expressive design and 'go-anywhere' attitude of the regular Kona. Thanks to its roominess, the All-New Kona Electric is a versatile car, making it suitable for everyday use. The new seven-inch supervision cluster provides relevant driving information, additionally the combiner head-up display projects it directly to the driver’s line of sight. The All-New Kona Electric offers a wide range of active Hyundai SmartSense safety features. 27 February 2018 - With the All-New Kona Electric, Hyundai Motor is offering the first fully-electric subcompact SUV on the European market combining the two hottest automotive trends - eco-mobility and SUV style.
    "Hyundai Motor is already leading in future mobility solutions. By launching our All-New Kona Electric, we are pushing our ambitious eco car strategy forward. It's a car of no compromise - combining an SUV body type with electric-mobility. It represents Hyundai's progressive character. With Hyundai Motor, the future is now!"
    Andreas-Christoph Hofmann
    Vice President Marketing and Product at Hyundai Motor Europe
    Established SUV brand with a progressive mind set
    The All-New Kona Electric is the latest addition to the successful family reinforcing the company’s leadership in the eco-car segment. It merges the strengths of SUV with the power of electric powertrains. Hyundai is the first automotive brand in Europe to make a fully-electric subcompact SUV available to everyone. By already offering the broadest range of powertrains, Hyundai is at the forefront of eco-mobility. The company marketed the first mass-produced fuel-cell vehicle, the ix35 Fuel Cell, and recently introduced its successor, the All-New NEXO. Additionally, the IONIQ is the first car available with three different electric powertrains in one body type. Winning several prestigious accolades from media and industry organisations, the IONIQ is one of the most awarded eco-cars in Europe. The success story of Hyundai’s SUV range began 17 years ago with the launch of the Santa Fe. Since 2001 Hyundai has sold more than 1.5 million units of Santa Fe, Grand Santa Fe, Tucson and All-New Kona in Europe. They all carry the dynamic, progressive style of Hyundai and make it an established brand in this still-growing segment.
    A car of no compromise
    The All-New Kona Electric enables customers to combine the two fastest growing automotive trends – electrification and SUV style. It carries the same expressive design and 'go-anywhere' attitude of the regular Kona. The fully-electric version reflects the individual lifestyle of modern customers who, benefit from great fun-to-drive and the low environmental impact of a fully-electric car. The completely new platform of the Kona enables a space-saving integration of the battery packs without compromising the roominess.
    The power of All-New Kona Electric: You define it.
    The All-New Kona Electric features two different powertrain versions, offering customers one of the most powerful electric motors. The long-range battery version provides driving range of up to 470 kilometres*, delivering a maximum output of 204 PS (150 kW). With a battery capacity of 39,2 kWh, the basic version drives up to 300km* on a single charge with the motor delivering 135PS (99 kW). With 395 Nm of immediate torque and an acceleration of 7.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, the All-New Kona Electric provides a real fun-to-drive experience.
    Progressive design
    The All-New Kona Electric adopts the expressive-looking and powerful front from the regular Kona. The key design differentiator is the closed grille which gives a clean and stylish appearance, while also enhancing aerodynamics. Another characteristic element of the front design is the Composite Light enhancing the visual impact, with the LED Daytime Running Lights positioned on top of the LED headlights. The Kona Electric’s two-tone roof and the choice of seven distinctive exterior colours underline the personal style of its driver.
    Electric drive feeling
    A special feature of the All-New Kona Electric is the shift-by-wire operation module which enables an intuitive operation of the electric powertrain. The adjustable regenerative braking system allows the driver to adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking by using the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel. The system recuperates additional energy when possible. Drivers also benefit from the large seven-inch supervision cluster, which displays key information about the car’s driving performance and, in addition, the combiner head-up display shows relevant driving information directly to the driver’s line of sight.
    Connected and caring
    The All-New Kona Electric offers a wide range of connectivity features, such as the infotainment system which integrates navigation, media and connectivity features, e.g. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Wireless Charging. The new eco-model in Hyundai’s line-up is equipped with the company’s latest active safety and driving assistance technologies, called SmartSense: Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Collision Warning including Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Intelligent Speed Limit Warning and Lane Following Assist.

    William Maley

    Pista, Not Pasta

    Ferrari was hoping to keep their Geneva debut under wraps, but a leak yesterday spoiled those plans. Today, Ferrari has revealed 488 Pista, their latest track day special.
    The Pista (Italian for track) is described by the prancing horse as a model that benefits from the knowledge that was learned in the FIA's World Endurance Championship (this includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans). Most of this knowledge is applied in the aerodynamics of the 488 Pista. This includes reshaped front diffusers, an F1-inspired S-Duct, and a larger rear spoiler. This allows the 488 Pista to produce 20 percent more downforce than the 488 GTB.
    Ferrari has also updated their Side-Slip Angle Control system that enhances driving pleasure. The system is comprised of an electronic differential, F1-Trac stability control, magnetorheological suspension, and Ferrari's Dynamic Enhancer system the varies the pressure of brake calipers. 
    In its lightest guise, Ferrari claims the 488 Pista is about 200 pounds lighter than the standard 488. This includes a number of "optional lightweight features" (which the company is keeping quiet as to what those features are), along with stripping out the interior and increasing the amount of carbon fiber.
    Power for the Pista is a reworked version of the 3.9L twin-turbo V8 engine. Output is rated at 720 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque, making this the most powerful V8 engine Ferrari has used in a street-legal car. Performance figures are impressive,
    0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds 0-124 mph in 7.6 seconds Top speed of 211 mph No word on a release timeframe or price.
    Source: Ferrari
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Introducing the new Ferrari 488 Pista
    Geneva unveiling for exhilarating, high-performance new Special Series Maranello, 21 February 2018 – The Ferrari 488 Pista, which will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, is the successor to Ferrari’s V8-engined special series – the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale – which have received critical acclaim for their performance and undiluted handling.
    The Ferrari 488 Pista marks a significant step forward from the previous special series in terms of both sporty dynamics and for the level of technological carry-over from racing. The name is, in fact, a direct homage to Ferrari’s unparalleled heritage in motor sports.
    The car’s development evolved directly from the company’s involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship – in which it has won five Manufacturers’ titles in the GTE class in the six years since the series’ inception – and its 25 years’ experience in running the Ferrari Challenge one-make series.
    The Ferrari 488 Pista’s extensive weight saving solutions, along with engine, vehicle dynamics and aerodynamic developments, all derive from Ferrari’s racing cars: the 488 GTE and the 488 Challenge. The result is a car with an uncompromising mission: to offer impeccable track-like performance on and off the road, even when in the hands of non-professional drivers.
    LIGHTER AND MORE POWERFUL
    The new model weighs an impressive 90 kg less (1280 kg dry) than the 488 GTB. This fact, combined with the largest ever increase in engine power for a special series car (+50 cv), sets a new benchmark for Ferrari’s V8 sports cars. Its engine is the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history and is an extreme evolution of the turbo unit that won the overall International Engine of the Year award titles in both 2016 and 2017.
    It punches out 720 cv with the highest specific output of in its class (185 cv/l) and is now lighter too, thanks to solutions adopted from the 488 Challenge. As a result it has a top speed of 340 km/h and sprints from 0-100 km/h in 2.85” and 0 -200 km/h in 7.6”.
    The engine sound is unique and unmistakably Ferrari, as such a special car warrants. Both the sound quality and the intensity are higher than the 488 GTB in all gears and at all engine speeds in proportion with the progressive increase in power.
    BOOSTED DOWNFORCE
    The Ferrari 488 Pista makes full use of Ferrari’s motor-sports experience for maximum aerodynamic performance even on the road. Among the racing solutions adopted is the front F1-inspired S-Duct and the design of the front diffusers which feature a ramp angle that was optimised for the 488 GTE to create strong suction for increased downforce. Additionally, the rear blown spoiler is higher and longer and the shape has been optimised. The final result of all these interventions is an impressive 20% increase in downforce compared to the 488 GTB.
    EXHILARATING DRIVING PLEASURE
    The vehicle dynamics were designed to enhance driving pleasure and make the car’s full potential available to all drivers, professional or otherwise. The objective was to make the car’s performance on the limit easier to reach and control.

    This was achieved by synergies between the development of the mechanical set-up and the electronic dynamic controls integrated into version 6 of the Side-Slip Angle Control system. SSC 6.0 incorporates all the following systems: E-Diff3, F1-Trac, the magnetorheological suspension (SCM) and, for the first time ever, the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer. The FDE features a world-first: it uses Ferrari software to adjust the brake pressure at the callipers.
    A POWERFUL, EFFICIENT DESIGN
    The design of the Ferrari 488 Pista is focussed on functional aerodynamic concepts while the cockpit is pared back in keeping with its very sporty vocation. Ferrari Design used innovative elements, such as the aerodynamic S-Duct at the front, as an opportunity to visually shorten the car’s nose, creating an original floating wing effect.
    The racing livery colour scheme is an integral part of the design of the car and the way it dives into the S-Duct underscores the berlinetta’s compact yet imposing forms. Contrasting edging on the aerodynamic elements on the bumpers and flanks add structure to the design.
    The concept of the front is echoed in the dolphin-tail rear spoiler which appears suspended to provide an impression lightness and efficiency, while the rear volumes add a sense of power to the tail.
    Ferrari 488 Pista
    Short technical specifications
    ENGINE
    Type V8 – 90° twin turbo
    Overall displacement 3902 cm3
    Max. power output * 530 kW (720 cv) at 8000 rpm
    Max. torque * 770 Nm at 3000 rpm in 7th gear
    DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS
    Length 4605 mm
    Width 1975 mm
    Height 1206 mm
    Dry weight ** 1280 kg
    PERFORMANCE
    0-100 km/h 2.85 s
    0 -200 km/h 7.6 s
    Max. Speed > 340 km/h
    FUEL CONSUMPTION AND C02 EMISSIONS
    Under homologation
    * With 98 octane petrol
    **With optional lightweight features

    William Maley

    Only 999 models will be built

    Range Rover is bringing back a two-door variant for a limited production run. The 2019 Range Rover SV Coupe which made its debut today at the Geneva Motor Show is the latest project to come from Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations.
    On the surface, it may seem that the SV Coupe shares a number body panels with the standard Range Rover. But the hood and lower tailgate are the only panels that are shared. Every other body panel is specific to the SV Coupe. The front end features a special two-piece grille. Designers blacked out the roof pillars on the rear to give the effect of a floating roof. Wheels range in size from 21 to 23-inches.
    Move inside and it is quite clear where most of the money has been spent. The SV Coupe has seating for four people in widened and deepened seats. Buyers can choose from eight interior colors (four single-tone and four two-tone). The leather upholstery comes from a single 113-year-old tannery and is stitched in a diamond pattern. Front seats get 20-way power adjustments, while back seats get 10-way adjustments. The dash is the same as you'll find in the regular Range Rover with two 10-inch touchscreens handling most functions.
    Power comes from a supercharged 5.0L V8 with 557 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic a full-time four-wheel-drive system. 0-60 is said to only take five seconds and it can reach a top speed of 165 mph. Land Rover hasn't sacrificed off-road capability for the SV Coupe. It features the company's signature Terrain Response 2 control system, two-speed transfer case, and a locking rear differential.
    Land Rover will only be building 999 SV Coupes at the SVO Technical Center in the UK with each one costing $295,995 (includes a $995 destination charge) with deliveries beginning towards the end of the year. But there is one option that only SV Coupe will get. Land Rover will be offering buyers a five-year Care Package that covers scheduled service and maintenance for the period. This includes replacements for the brake discs, pads, and windshield wipers.
    Source: Land Rover
    Press Release is on Page 2


    LUXURY FIRST: RANGE ROVER SV COUPE DEBUTS AT GENEVA MOTOR SHOW
    Land Rover has created the world’s first full-size luxury SUV Coupe – a limited-edition two-door Range Rover Beautifully curated interiors set new standards for materials and craftsmanship, with extensive personalization options for SV Coupe clients 557hp and 516lb. ft. 5.0-liter supercharged V8 powertrain makes the SV Coupe the fastest-ever full-size Range Rover, with 0-60mph in just 5.0 seconds (0-100kmh in 5.3 seconds) and 165mph (265kmh) top speed (1) The SV Coupe will be hand-assembled at the SVO Technical Center in Warwickshire, UK with no more than 999 examples available worldwide. Priced from $295,000 in the U.S. (2) Prospective Range Rover SV Coupe clients can register their interest now on www.LandRoverUSA.com (MAHWAH, N.J.) – March 6, 2018 – Nearly 50 years ago, Land Rover created the luxury SUV segment with the introduction of the Range Rover. Now it’s defining a new genre with the world’s first full-size luxury SUV Coupe: the limited-edition, two-door, Range Rover SV Coupe.
    Created by Land Rover Design and Special Vehicle Operations, the SV Coupe is an exemplar of Range Rover design, craftsmanship and capability. It features a seductive body wrapped around the next generation of cabin luxury – with the peerless capability on a variety of terrains and in a variety weather conditions synonymous with the Range Rover family of vehicles. No more than 999 will be hand-crafted by SVO for clients worldwide.
    “The Range Rover SV Coupe is a celebration of the Range Rover bloodline,” said Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover. “With a dramatic two-door silhouette, this breath-taking four-seat Coupe alludes to its unique heritage while being thoroughly modern and contemporary. Beautifully realized and superbly engineered, the Range Rover SV Coupe delivers the most distinguished, luxurious and exclusive Range Rover ever built.”
    Beautiful proportions with a powerful stance give the Range Rover SV Coupe unrivalled on-road presence. The signature floating roof, continuous waistline and tapering tail are instantly recognizable Range Rover DNA, yet are expressed in a unique way for this exclusive addition to the Range Rover family. 
    The purity of line of the Range Rover SV Coupe is perfectly complemented by its elegant power-close doors with frameless glass. In combination with the panoramic roof, light floods into the cabin, accentuating the relaxed, sophisticated and contemporary ambience.
    Carefully curated body color combinations, including a new Contour Graphic available in four duo-tone colorways, are offset by unique side vent and grille designs. This is also the first Range Rover with a 23-inch wheel option.
    Enhanced luxury and exquisite craftsmanship extend inside as well. Semi-aniline leather front seats, featuring a gradated diamond quilt design unique to the SV Coupe, elevate the premium interior to a new level of luxury accommodation comparable to private jets and yachts.
    Each SV Coupe will be hand-assembled by the experts at the SVO Technical Center in the UK – a first for Range Rover.
    “The introduction of the new SV Coupe brings a new level of individual expression to the Range Rover portfolio and builds on the success of Special Vehicle Operations’ existing bespoke Range Rover program,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director. “Feedback from SV clients who have already seen the vehicle in confidential commissioning sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.”
    SV Coupe clients can choose from four front-to-rear contrast interior colorways, or a range of single-tone interior colors. Both are complemented by a choice of three elegant wood veneers. A first for Range Rover is the Nautica veneer, which carefully balances heritage craftsmanship with new technology, fusing walnut and sycamore together.
    An all-new optional exterior paint finish named Liquesence joins the suite of available paint options, bringing a liquid metal finish to the Range Rover for the first time. Other optional SV paint finishes include tri-coat, tinted clear coat, pearlescent, ChromaFlairTM and satin matte.
    For customers looking for a truly curated experience, seven design packs will be available featuring exterior paint, bespoke badges, and interior materials specially selected by the Jaguar Land Rover Design team. From a ‘Modernist’ theme, which features an Ethereal Silver exterior paint with a Liquesence finish and Rose Gold, Chrome Knurled badges, to a ‘Heritage’ theme, which features a Modern Luxury Green exterior paint and Vintage Tan front seats with Ebony rear seats, the SV Coupe adds a unique level of customization to the Range Rover line-up.
    The SV Coupe is also the fastest-ever full-size Range Rover, with a top speed of 165mph1.  Powered by an exhilarating 557hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8 powertrain – the most powerful engine currently offered on the full-size Range Rover – means the SV Coupe can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 5.0 seconds1,3.
    “As you’d expect from Range Rover, the engineering integrity in the SV Coupe is more than skin deep. This is a meticulously honed vehicle that’s designed for SV clients who love driving,” said Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director.
    The suspension is tuned to provide a more driver-focused edge than the standard Range Rover, with a ride height lowered by 0.31in (8mm), but will remain composed and comfortable at all times. The SV Coupe loses none of the legendary Range Rover all-terrain capability, with almost three feet (900mm) of maximum wading depth4 – and a maximum towing capacity of 7,716 lbs3.
    Range Rover SV Coupe sales are anticipated to start from the fourth quarter of 2018, priced from $295,000 in the US2.
    RANGE ROVER SV COUPE: IN DETAIL
    COMPELLING BODY DESIGN
    With the exception of the hood and lower tailgate, all of the aluminum exterior panels, including the front and rear bumpers of the two-door SV Coupe are new. A new two-part grille features Brunel Metallic rear mesh overlaid with Bright Chrome front mesh and a Satin Indus Silver metal surround, while Bright Chrome/Black Knurled Range Rover hood and tailgate script are handcrafted in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter in the U.K.
    Noble Chrome metal side vents with Brunel Metallic mesh and Satin Indus Silver metal surrounds complement frameless doors with Power Close functionality and Bright Chrome embellished body color door handles.
    SUBLIME PAINTWORK
    Eight exterior paint colors are available, in gloss or satin finish, four offered for the first time on Range Rover: Constellation, Parallax, Liquesence and Obsidian; and four from the SV Premium Palette: Ethereal, Flux, Valloire, and Desire. The Liquesence option brings liquid metal finish to Range Rover for the first time. SV Coupe clients can also specify one-of-four exclusive duo-tone gloss Contour Graphic options: Valloire/Flux, Valloire/Ethereal, Parallax/Ethereal, Obsidian/Desire.
    Sixteen additional optional SV Premium Palette colors include a range of finishes including tri-coat, tinted clear coat, pearlescent, ChromaFlairTM and satin matte finishes.
    “Accentuating Range Rover SV Coupe’s proportions, and available as a unique feature for the first time, the new Contour Graphic is created by applying a contrasting paint to the flanks of the vehicle,” said McGovern. “Starting at the side vent, it flows rearwards and around to the opposite vent, and offers customers the opportunity to further personalize their specification.”
    SUMPTUOUS INTERIOR
    Stunning to the eye, sumptuous to the touch, the interior of the SV Coupe is a light, contemporary, space where attention to detail has been paramount. Four curated duo-tone interior colorways, contrasting light to dark, front to rear, include Orchid/Eclipse, Orchid/Vintage Tan, Brogue/Ebony and Cirrus/Lunar, while four single-tone interior colorways are also available: Ebony, Lunar, Eclipse and Vintage Tan.
    The heated and cooled 20-way electrically adjustable front and 10-way electrically adjustable rear seats, wrapped in specially selected semi-aniline leather from a single tannery established in 1905, feature a unique gradated diamond quilt design. Concurrent with the latest Range Rover line, the SV Coupe has wider, deeper redesigned seats for world-class comfort.
    Nautica veneer – a first for Range Rover – combines heritage craftsmanship with a patented new form-following process to fuse walnut and sycamore woods together, creating three elegant wood veneer options for the steering wheel rim, door casings, center console, instrument panel and load space floor: Nautica, Natural Black Ash and Santos Palisander.
    The Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro™ Duo infotainment includes a 10-inch display, 10-inch control panel and 12-inch Interactive Driver Display, while a 10-inch full-color Head-Up Display shows turn information including street names, slope and wheel information, cruise control, RPM and gear information5. The 1700w, 23-speaker, Meridian™ 3D Signature Sound System with dual-channel subwoofer features Trifield 3D technology for optimum sound quality.
    POWERFUL PERFORMANCE
    The Range Rover SV Coupe features the brand’s most powerful 5.0-liter supercharged V8 powertrain producing 557hp and 516lb. ft.  of torque, mated to an eight-speed ZF® automatic transmission with rotary drive selector and paddle-shifters that deliver a 0-60mph time of 5.0 seconds (0-100kmh in 5.3 seconds) and 165mph (265kmh) top speed1,3.
    Permanent four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer box and Active Locking Rear Differential  provides exceptional capability on a variety of surfaces, terrains and weather conditions, assisted by Land Rover Terrain Response® 2 technology which includes Dynamic, Eco, Comfort, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl drive modes4.
    REWARDING DYNAMICS
    The standard ride height of the SV Coupe is 0.31in. (8mm) lower than that of the standard Range Rover, delivering enhanced dynamic performance and aesthetics. Featuring air suspension as standard, the ride height automatically lowers by an additional 0.60in. (15mm) at cruising speeds of 65mph1 or above to enhance stability and aerodynamics.
    Additional air suspension height settings3 include:
    Access Height (-1.96in. or -50mm, max below normal ride height) Off-Road 1 Ride Height (+1.57in. or +40mm, max above normal ride height, up to 50mph) Off-Road 2 Ride Height (+2.95in. or +75mm, max above normal ride height, up to 31mph) 1.2-1.6in. (30-40mm) automatic increase if obstacle detected Manually selectable 1.2-1.6in (30-40mm) increase Four alloy wheel options from 21-inch to 23-inch include two new forged wheels: a 22-inch dark grey polished five split-spoke design with polished finish, and a first for Range Rover, a 23-inch, two-tone silver polished six split-spoke design with 275/40 R23 all-terrain tires.
    EXTRA CARE
    Unique to the Range Rover SV Coupe is an optional five-year Care Package. An extension of the existing Land Rover warranty this care package offers customers service and maintenance repairs for five years, covering scheduled service procedures as well as wiper blade, brake discs and brake pad replacements.
    RANGE ROVER SV COUPE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS7
    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
     
    Engine capacity (cc)
    4999.7
    Cylinders
    V8 Supercharged Gasoline
    Power
    557hp (565PS)
    Torque
    516 lb. ft. (700Nm)
    Transmission
    8-speed automatic, Permanent All-Wheel Drive, two-speed transfer box
    CHASSIS
     
    Front and Rear Suspension
    Front: independent, SLA with twin lower links with air springs / Adaptive Damping / Dynamic Response
    Rear: independent, Integral link with air springs/ Adaptive Damping / Dynamic Response
    Tires
    275/45 R21, 275/40 R22 or 275/40 R23
    Steering
    Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) rack and pinion
    DIMENSIONS
     
    Length
    197.4in. (5,013mm)
    Width including mirrors /
    mirrors folded
    87.4in. (2,220mm) /
    81.6in. (2,073mm)
    Height with antenna
    70.6in. (1,794mm)
    Approach angle at Off Road Height (deg)
    31
    Breakover angle at Off Road Height (deg)
    26.5
    Departure angle at Off Road Height (deg)
    25
    Ground clearance
    10.4in. (263mm)
    Towing capability
    (Maximum Permissible Weight)
    7,716lbs (3,500kg)
    Using tow hitch receiver, with Advanced Tow Assist
    PERFORMANCE & ECONOMY
     
    0-60mph (sec)
    5.0
    0-100km/h (sec)
    5.3
    Top speed
    165mph / 265kmh
     

    William Maley

    Turbo? We don't need no stinkin turbo!

    Geneva is one of the few auto shows where sports cars are the major attractions. Case in point is Porsche which will be using Geneva to debut the facelifted 2019 911 GT3 RS.
    The GT3 RS is one of the last 911 models that hasn't gone turbocharging. Instead, it's 4.0L flat-six remains naturally aspirated. Porsche has bumped horsepower by 20 and torque by 8, giving the 911 GT3 RS figures of 520 and 346 respectively. 0-60 mph takes only 3 seconds - a tenth quicker than the previous RS. Drive goes to the rear-wheels via a seven-speed PDK transmission. Those who want a manual will need to step down to the standard GT3.
    The chassis features a retuned rear-axle steering system, new helper springs for the front to help keep the GT3 RS planted, and a set of active dampers. Cast iron brakes are standard, but a set of carbon-ceramic brakes are optional for those who plan to take it to track. New forged wheels measuring 20-inches up front and 21-inches for the back are wrapped in wide tires. A set of magnesium wheels that drop 25 pounds will set you back $13,000.
    Porsche has also put the RS on a bit of a diet with a magnesium roof, polyurethane front and rear ends, titanium exhaust system, and carbon fiber trunk lid. An optional Weissach Package drops weight further with carbon fiber front and rear sway bars, roof, and coupling rods.
    The 2019 911 GT3 arrives at Porsche dealers this fall with a base price of $188,550, including a $1,050 destination charge.
    Source: Porsche
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Born from racing: the new 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
    Atlanta. The Porsche motorsport department is presenting Weissach’s latest treat at the Geneva Motor Show: the 2019 911 GT3 RS with a race-bred chassis and a high-revving four-liter, naturally aspirated engine producing 520 horsepower and 346 lb.-ft. of torque. Based on the 911 GT3, the RS has been refined even further, combining the most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever fitted to a road-legal 911 with a suspension that features recalibrated rear axle steering tuned for maximum dynamics and precision. The new 911 GT3 RS accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds quicker than the current 911 GT3 with PDK and 0.1 seconds quicker than the previous 911 GT3 RS. Top track speed of the 2019 911 GT3 RS is 193 mph. Following the launch of the 2018 911 GT3 and the 2018 911 GT2 RS, the new 911 GT3 RS represents the third road-legal GT model to be unveiled within a year.
    Race-inspired aerodynamics and lightweight construction
    Aerodynamics and lightweight construction have determined the design of the wide, weight-optimized body with its classic fixed rear wing. Like on the 2018 911 GT3, the front and rear fascia are made of lightweight polyurethane. Additionally, the front trunk lid and fenders on the 911 GT3 RS are made of carbon fiber and the roof consists of magnesium. Like on the 2018 911 GT2 RS, NACA ducts in the front trunk lid optimize brake cooling without increasing drag. The front fascia features a spoiler lip that is larger than on the previous model, increasing downforce in conjunction with the larger side skirts. At the rear, the large wing mounted on the carbon fiber deck lid works in combination with a rear underbody diffuser. The result: The 2019 911 GT3 RS produces more than twice as much downforce as the regular 911 GT3 at 124 mph. The race-inspired appearance continues in the interior: Full Bucket Seats with carbon fiber reinforced backrests provide a high degree of lateral support to suit the vehicle’s exceptional level of lateral grip. Lightweight glass for the rear window and rear side windows, lightweight door panels with door opening loops, reduced sound insulation, and the omission of rear seats emphasize the consistency of the material choices and the dedication to saving weight. The Alcantara steering wheel measuring 360 mm in diameter features a yellow 12 o’clock center marker.
    The most powerful naturally aspirated engine in a road-legal 911 ever
    The four-liter, naturally aspirated flat-six engine from Porsche in the new 911 GT3 RS pushes the sports car to new limits: It delivers 20 horsepower more than the engine in the 2016 911 GT3 RS and the current 911 GT3. Plasma coated cylinder liners, a central oil supply through the crankshaft with larger bearing diameters, larger connecting rod bearings and the rigid valve train with shims to provide valve clearance compensation all carry over from the 2018 911 GT3. Capable of up to 9,000 rpm like the regular 911 GT3, the thoroughbred engine takes in ram air through openings in the rear quarter panels, and it is closely related to the unit used in current Porsche 911 race cars. The unmistakable flat-six sound escapes the exhaust tips, which are made of titanium like the muffler itself. The engine is mated to a specifically tuned seven-speed PDK, which features performance-oriented gearing with the top track speed being reached in seventh gear, like all GT tuned PDK transmissions.
    Race-bred chassis 
    Technology derived from motorsport ensures that the chassis offers exceptional driving dynamics. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), active engine mounts, rear axle steering, and the fully variable electronic locking rear differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV+) are standard. Ball joints on all suspension links provide even greater precision than conventional bearings with rubber bushings. Furthermore, the new 911 GT3 RS features new helper springs at the front axle, in addition to the rear. As is customary for a Porsche GT model, the ride height, toe, camber, caster and sway bar settings of the suspension can be adjusted to suit individual driver preferences. Forged lightweight wheels measuring 9.5 x 20 inches in diameter with newly developed 265/35 ultra-high performance (UHP) tires enhance agility and steering precision, while 12.5 x 21 inch wheels with 325/30 UHP tires mounted at the rear deliver excellent traction. Overall, the wider tires offer a significantly larger contact patch than those of the regular 911 GT3. Large cross-drilled grey cast iron rotors measuring 380 mm front and rear are standard, while the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake system with 410 mm rotors at the front and 390 mm rotors at the rear can be ordered as an option. The ceramic rotors weigh around 50 percent less than the cast-iron variants.
    Optional Weissach package and magnesium wheels for extra weight savings
    For particularly spirited drivers, the Porsche motorsport department has created an optional Weissach package to reduce the weight of the car even further. With this package, the front and rear sway bars and coupling rods, vehicle roof, steering wheel trim, and shift paddles on the steering wheel are all made of carbon fiber, reducing the weight by roughly 13 pounds. Optional forged magnesium wheels, weighing around 25 pounds less than the standard wheels, are available as well in conjunction with the Weissach package. When equipped with these options, the weight of the 911 GT3 RS drops to 3,153 pounds.
    Pricing and availability
    The new 2019 911 GT3 RS is available to order now and is expected to reach U.S. dealers in fall 2018. The MSRP is $187,500, not including available options or the $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee. The Weissach Package is available for $18,000. The magnesium wheels can be ordered for an additional $13,000 in conjunction with the Weissach Package and will be available at a later date.

    William Maley

    More Power, More Standard Equipment

    Mercedes-Benz is hoping the updates that it is making for the 2019 C-Class will keep it towards the top of the midsize class. 
    Exterior changes are subtitle with updated bumpers, LED lighting, new 17-inch wheels for the base model, and adding two new paint colors. The interior doesn't seen any major changes in terms of design, but features. Push-button start, 7.0-inch infotainment system, sunroof, and automatic emergency braking become standard on all C-Classes.
    The C300's turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder gets a 14 horsepower boost to 255. Torque remains 273 pound-feet. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the rear or all four wheels via Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system. 
    The biggest news for the 2019 C-Class is that it will get the semi-autonomous features from the E-Class. The Intelligent Drive suite includes Active Driving Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Steering Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Lane Changing Assist that allows the vehicle to travel semi-autonomously in certain situations.
    Mercedes will debut the 2019 C-Class at the Geneva Motor Show next month, with sales beginning late this year in the U.S.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class Offers Improved Performance & Safety Innovations Feb 13, 2018 – Stuttgart/Geneva: The Mercedes-Benz C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz's top-selling model in its fourth year on sale with worldwide sales topping 415,000 in 2017. The newly updated C-Class Sedan celebrates its world premiere with increased power and extended driver assistance systems. Among the highlights are a new, more powerful, and efficient engine that increases output by 14 horsepower and the extended suite of Intelligent Drive features shared with the Mercedes- Benz E-Class. The facelifted 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan will celebrate its World Premiere at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.
    The newly refreshed C-Class combines emotion with intelligence. The vehicle's appearance is defined in particular by its redesigned front and the new design of the LED headlamps and taillamps, now standard.
    The front and rear bumpers have been redesigned and the vehicle equipped with AMG-Line features a diamond radiator grille as standard. These new designs render the vehicle's exterior even more expressive and lend an even more dynamic character. The front bumper features a chrome-plated trim as part of the standard vehicle. In conjunction with the AMG Line Exterior the vehicle sports an AMG front bumper with a new geometry and at the rear the insert in in the diffuser comes in a new design. The rear bumper on the Sedan has a new lower section; geometry, trim and tailpipe trim vary according to the selected equipment.
    The design of the headlamps and taillamps is defined by clear-lined contours. Exquisitely crafted details add highlights and underscore the modern character. The C-Class is now equipped with LED headlamps and taillamps as standard. An LED Intelligent Light System with High Performance headlamps and ULTRA WIDE high beam is optionally available.
    The paint color spectrum has been enhanced with the addition of Mojave Silver Metallic and Emerald Green Metallic. Additionally, the standard 17" twin 5-spoke wheel is new as well.
    Interior design: exquisite fine-tuning
    The sporty interior exudes class, featuring flowing forms in a new interpretation of modern luxury.
    The center console is characterized by an elegant flowing trim, now available in Natural Grain Walnut Wood or Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood. The 3D real wood veneer in the center console combines a hand-crafted character with a modern feel. Magma Grey/Black upholstery is newly available for the interior, as is Saddle Brown and Silk Beige/Black for the AMG-Line Interior.
    The KEYLESS START function is standard and the start/stop button comes in a new turbine-look design. The vehicle key also features a new design.
    The display concept: fully digital instrument display available as an option
    The C-Class adopts the display concept of the current S-Class, with an optional fully digital instrument display offering the three different display styles "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive."
    The screen options at a glance:
    Instrument cluster: The basic model features a classic two-tube instrument cluster. Between the tubes there is a 5.5-inch color display (resolution: 383 x 600 pixels). The display style here is "Classic."
    The fully digital instrument display is optionally available. The screen has a 12.3- inch diagonal and offers high resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. The cutting-edge screen design offers the three very different display styles: "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive." The styles can be switched quickly according to personal tastes or to suit the selected interior. Alongside certain menu items such as trip data or consumption figures, the driver can now additionally view the navigation display data or the ECO display in the instrument cluster. The latter supports the driver in adopting a fuel-efficient driving style.
    Central display: The multimedia screen above the center console is also available in two sizes. The C 300 and C 300 4MATIC Sedans are standard-equipped with a 7- inch display screen. Newly available is the optional 10.25-inch COMAND® display screen.
    As with the instrument cluster, a choice of three display styles is also available here. The state-of-the-art mode of presentation enables the displayed information to be grasped intuitively. For example, clear and informative graphics accompany the text information under the "Vehicle" menu item.
    The C-Class Sedan is also enhanced with a new multifunction leather steering wheel with Touch Control Buttons that respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. They enable the driver to control the functions of the instrument cluster and of the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The driver can also now operate DISTRONIC and cruise control directly from the steering wheel.
    The infotainment system can additionally be operated via the touchpad with controller (new: haptic feedback) in the center console or by means of voice control. Vehicle functions such as the seating heating can now also be operated by voice control. The optional head-up display is now adjustable throughout an even larger range.
    Intelligent Drive: state-of-the-art active safety
    The updated C-Class features the latest driver assistance systems available in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, offering the driver cooperative support and providing for a higher standard of active safety than its predecessor. The C-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this, it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation; improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 1,640 feet ahead. The vehicle's surroundings are scanned by radar across a distance of up to 820 feet to the front, 130 feet to the sides, and 260 feet to the rear, while with the camera a range of up to 1,640 feet is possible to the front, including 295 feet in 3D. The C-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC (as part of the Driver Assistance package) is able to support the driver in numerous situations on the basis of map information and predictively adjust the speed, for example when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Other new developments include the intuitive Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist as functions of Active Steering Assist.
    The redesigned C-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, this can help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slow-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead. This function operates even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists or prevents collisions altogether.
    The multimedia systems: customized information and music offerings
    The C-Class comes as standard with a multimedia system featuring two USB ports, an SD card reader, Bluetooth connection and media interface.
    The latest-generation COMAND® Online system (optional) boasts fast 3D hard-disc navigation with topographic map display, photo-realistic 3D buildings, and 3D map rotations. Comprehensive information is displayed on the navigation map. For example, in addition to real-time traffic density information, it can include Car-to-X Communication warning messages, the weather, filling stations including current fuel prices, and free parking spaces.
    With the Concierge service (available as a subscription service), MercedesMe Connect customers have a host of individual services at their disposal: from making restaurant reservations and obtaining tips about tourist routes, to gathering information on cultural or sporting events and sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle.
    Mobile devices corresponding to the Qi standard can be charged conveniently while on the move with the optional NFC wireless charging system. The charging surface in the quick storage tray at the front of the center console is also suitable for large smartphones.
    The C-Class Sedan is equipped with a FrontBass® 5-speaker Audio System as standard and with the Burmester® Premium Sound System available as an option.
    More powerful, more efficient engine
    The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will also benefit from a new 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo engine that produces 255 hp (vs. 241 previously) and 273 lb-ft of torque, an increase in 14 hp. The Sedan is also equipped with a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission that affords a dynamic driving experience.
    The C-Class Sedan is produced at four plants on four continents, including the lead plant in Bremen (Germany), East London (South Africa), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Beijing (China). The facelifted 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan will celebrate its World Premiere at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.

    William Maley

    Packing up to 630 horsepower

    Just a year after Mercedes-Benz revealed the AMG GT concept, the German automaker unveiled the GT 4-Door coupe at the Geneva Motor Show.
    We're sure Mercedes' design department will be insulted when the GT 4-Door is described as a Porsche Panamera wearing a Mercedes-Benz cloak. But the overall silhouette matches up very well with Panamera, which might explain why Mercedes did not provide a straight-on side shot of the vehicle. Cues from GT coupe are here on the sedan with a large vertical slat grille and aggressive bumper for the front, and a sloping rear tailgate.
    The interior is a mix of Mercedes' current sedans and GT. The top part of the dash features large dual screens for the instrument cluster and round vents. The center console mimics the one found in the GT coupe, albeit slightly wider in the sedan. Mercedes will offer seating configurations for four to five people in European markets. U.S. models will only get seating for four.
    Three engine options will be available for the GT 4-Door,
    AMG GT 53: 3.0L turbocharged inline-six paired with a mild-hybrid system - 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque AMG GT 63: 4.0L twin-turbo V8 - 577 horsepower and 533 pound-feet of torque AMG GT 63S: 4.0L twin-turbo V8 - 630 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque All models come with a rear-biased 4Matic all-wheel drive system and a nine-speed automatic. Performance figures for the three engines are,
    AMG GT 53: 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, Top speed of 174 mph AMG GT 63: 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds, Top speed of 193 mph AMG GT 63S: 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds, Top speed of 195 mph 53 models use adjustable dampers with steel coil springs, while 63 models get AMG’s multi-chamber air suspension. 63 models also come with a electronic locking rear-differential and rear-wheel steering.
    Mercedes says the GT 4-Door arrives early next year with the 63 variants. The 53 arrives sometime mid-year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2
    A new addition to the family: New Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe
    Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe: Performance meets design Mar 6, 2018 – Affalterbach: More space, more power, more goosebumps – the new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe delivers driving experiences in new dimensions and extends the AMG model family. The new Coupe is the first four-door sports car from Affalterbach and draws directly on the legendary SLS and AMG GT models of success. As another vehicle developed autonomously by Mercedes-AMG, it combines unique design, high comfort and outstanding sports car engineering with an athletic, four-door fastback layout. This means that it offers more space and even greater versatility. It thus offers more space and more potential uses. The systematic expansion of the AMG GT family with the 4-Door Coupe opens up the sports car segment to those looking for a vehicle for day-to-day use, but who are unwilling to go without the unparalleled performance of Mercedes-AMG.
    Longitudinal and lateral dynamics at the highest level and a striking silhouette with classical proportions immediately put the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe in the portfolio of its two-door brother at first glance. The expressive design with a low hood, dominant front and muscular body language emphasizes the sporty genes of the four-door coupe, which sets new standards as the latest model in the AMG family. The new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe combines high everyday comfort with diverse individualization options and the latest sports car engineering.
    "The new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe blends the impressive racetrack dynamism of our two-door sports car with maximum suitability for everyday use. It has a unique way of embodying our brand core, "Driving Performance" and with its systematic configuration it will attract new customers for Mercedes-AMG," commented Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
    The new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe delivers special driving experiences on all levels, and with a top speed of up to 195 mph it ensures superior performance in any situation. Powerful, up-to-date in-line 6-cylinder and V8 engines with outputs ranging from 429 hp to 630 hp allow completely new driving experiences and combine impressive performance with modern efficiency.
    The interior of the first four-door AMG GT model is characterized by elegant coolness and also by ultra-modern features: innovative controls can be intuitively operated and configured as required. The blend of high individualization and sports car technology, placing yet more focus on the requirements of discerning customers, is also clear from the wealth of equipment packages and individual options. Moreover, the latest addition to the family from Affalterbach also lives up to the Mercedes-AMG brand pledge with regard to its high driving dynamics and sets the benchmark in its segment on the racetrack too.
    Clear at first sight: AMG GT family membership
    Clearly recognizable as a member of the AMG GT family, the new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe follows the design philosophy of Sensual Purity. It takes the striking proportions with convex surfaces and a muscular body and develops them to exciting effect for a four-door variant of an AMG GT Coupe.
    The front view with a long hood and two powerdomes leaves no doubt that this is the most recent addition to the AMG GT family. The AMG 4-Door Coupe follows the design tradition of the successful AMG GT models: the powerful body exudes sportiness and motivation. Sensuous shapes with convex surfaces lend the four-door GT a timeless elegance, while a flowing silhouette with lowered greenhouse points to its sporting credentials. As in the AMG GT R, radiator shutters, known as the Airpanel, in front of the center cooling air inlet improves the car's aerodynamic efficiency. Slim MULTIBEAM LED headlamps, AMG-specific grille, "Shark Nose" and front bumper with its enhanced Jet Wing (with a flowing A-Wing on the six-cylinder model) also lend the most recent model from Affalterbach the hallmark presence of the AMG GT family.
    Frameless side windows and a windscreen inclined far to the rear, features of the classic coupe architecture, are also cited. Even with the additional seats in the rear, the characteristic lines of the AMG GT models are not compromised. The tailored upper contours and broad shoulders point to the athletic, sporty orientation of the car, which is additionally emphasized by very pronounced rear wheel arches.
    The rear view of the new AMG 4-Door Coupe picks up on familiar features of the AMG GT design idiom: extremely slim LED taillamps define the hallmark trunk line, the rear spoiler, extendable in several stages, not only underscores the family affiliation; it is also an important element of the active aerodynamics.
    The two eight-cylinder models can be identified by the three horizontal louvers in the side front air intakes, the Jet Wing with its trim element finished in  Silver Shadow paint, the distinctive diffuser on the tail end and the dual exhaust system with trapezoidal tailpipe trims. The six-cylinder variant, meanwhile, has one louver in each of the air inlet grilles, round twin tailpipe trims and a less pronounced rear diffuser.
    "The new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is the ultimate four-door sports car and the ideal ambassador for Performance Luxury," said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer, Daimler AG. "It embodies a symbiosis of emotion and intelligence with breathtaking proportions and a puristic, surface-oriented design with sensuous shapes. It is both hot and cool at the same time."
    Visual emphasis on demand: the exterior packages
    The new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe offers an extensive portfolio of exterior equipment packages, which can be used to add different highlights in terms of design. The Night Package comprises high-gloss black trim, while, for example, the Chrome Package emphasizes the luxurious character of the car with trim and an insert in high-gloss chrome. Two Carbon-Fiber Packages offer different versions of carbon-fiber trim, while the optional Aerodynamics Package gives the car an even sportier look and is a new feature in this segment. It includes additional functional features in high-gloss black, the Jet-Wing in Silver Shadow in the front bumper and the fixed rear spoiler and naturally reduces   lift at higher speeds.
    Top sporting performance: V8 biturbo engines with up to 630 hp
    The exciting AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine is already used in numerous AMG models. Its output has been increased even further for the new Mercedes- AMG GT 63 S and ensures superior performance on a par with a sports car. It delivers 630 hp and a maximum torque of 627 lb-ft, which is available over a wide engine speed range from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. The top engine of the new four-door AMG GT delivers outstanding performance in every engine speed range. Acceleration from zero to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds (estimated) is proof positive of this, as is the maximum speed of 195 mph.
    In the Mercedes-AMG GT 63, the V8 engine delivers 577 hp and 553 lb-ft of maximum torque. A sprint from zero to 60 mph takes just 3.3 seconds (estimated), with a top speed of 193 mph.
    The AMG 4.0-liter V8 engine works with proven biturbocharging, where the two exhaust-gas turbochargers are arranged not on the exterior, but between the cylinder banks. The advantages of the "hot inner V" are in the compact engine design and the immediate response of the exhaust-gas turbochargers.
    In the AMG GT 63 S variant, the eight-cylinder engine has active engine mounts. They solve the conflicting goals of achieving as soft a connection as possible to the powertrain for high comfort and as rigid a connection as  possible for optimum driving dynamics by steplessly and quickly adapting  their rigidity to the respective driving conditions. As an option, the AMG GT 63 can be equipped with active engine mounts as part of the Dynamic Plus Package.
    Direct response: two twin-scroll exhaust-gas turbochargers
    Two twin-scroll exhaust-gas turbochargers combined with another innovative technology ensure even more output and better response. For the first time, Mercedes-AMG is combining the advantages of twin-scroll technology in the V8 engine with turbine wheels mounted in anti-friction bearings. Through the mounting in anti-friction bearings, friction is reduced to an absolute minimum inside the exhaust-gas turbocharger. The twin-scroll technology also ensures that the exhaust gas flow is optimally utilized. Put together, these technologies both improved the immediate response of the four-liter, eight-cylinder engine from AMG, which was already the benchmark. Through the optimized cylinder charge, output and maximum torque was raised further. Spray-guided direct  fuel injection with piezo injectors, all-aluminum crankcase, four-valve-per- cylinder design with camshaft adjustment, an air-water intercooler, alternator management, ECO start/stop function and gliding mode have all been retained.
    Improved efficiency: intelligent AMG Cylinder Management
    For maximum efficiency, Mercedes-AMG has also equipped the V8 engines with the AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system. In the partial-load range, cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated, which crucially reduces the fuel consumption.
    When the driver has selected the "Comfort" drive program, the cylinder deactivation system is available in the wide engine speed range from 1,000 to 3,250 rpm. A special display on the instrument cluster states whether the cylinder deactivation system is in use and whether the engine is presently operating in the four- or eight-cylinder mode. The transition between these two operating states is immediate, fast and torque-neutral, so the occupants do not have to sacrifice any comfort.
    Powerful and versatile: six-cylinder engine with innovative hybrid function
    Alongside the two V8 engines the new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is also available as the Mercedes-AMG GT 53 with the innovative AMG AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter Inline-6 turbo engine with EQ boost. The 429 hp 3.0-liter unit is characterized by high performance, supported by an electric "EQ Boost" which offers an output of up to 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The EQ Boost starter-alternator combines a starter motor and alternator in a powerful electric motor and is positioned between the engine and transmission. This intelligent combination, along with efficient charging with the additional electric charge-air compressor (eZV) and exhaust air turbocharger helps ensure hallmark AMG performance and driving dynamics but also cuts consumption and emissions. The four-door AMG GT 53 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds (estimated), and achieves a top speed of 174 mph.
    More energy for yet more innovations: new 48-volt on-board power supply
    The EQ Boost starter-alternator in the new AMG GT 53 also generates the power for the 48 V on-board electrical system. This in turn uses a DC/DC converter to supply the conventional 12 V network for the lights, cockpit, infotainment displays and control units. Through the 48 V battery, the battery capacity of the entire car is increased, which means that more electrical energy can be made available for new functions. The 48 V on-board electrical system thus also paves the way for the progressive expansion of infotainment and assistance systems.
    Emotional gearshifting experience: AMG SPEEDSHIFT transmissions
    The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission is specially tuned to the requirements of the eight-cylinder variants of the new four-door AMG GT. A wet clutch is used, which reduces weight and inertia and optimizes response. Extensively tailored software enables extremely short shift times, fast multiple downshifts and delivers an especially  emotional gearshifting  experience thanks to the double-declutching function. There is also a RACE START function, ensuring optimum acceleration.
    The inline six-cylinder engine is coupled with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9- speed transmission. In conjunction with the torque converter, this transmission is tuned to the special requirements of this engine. On the other hand, the extremely fast and emotional gearshifting characteristic of an AMG model is also possible depending on the drive program.
    High driving dynamics of the AMG GT
    With its sophisticated design, the bodyshell of the Mercedes-AMG 4-Door Coupe plays an equally crucial role in the ingenious control strategy of the all- wheel drive system. It is only in the optimum interplay together with the active aerodynamics, the rear axle steering (on V8 models) and the ESP® that the sophisticated suspension tuning unleashes its full potential. Through complex networking of all the systems and components, developers in Affalterbach   were able to develop the car to the extremely high level of driving dynamics expected of it as a member of the AMG GT-family.
    Structure made in Affalterbach: the rigid AMG bodyshell
    One aim during development of the new four-door AMG GT was to anchor the genes of a sports car in the bodyshell. In order to do this, analysis and simulation methods from racing were used in order to reinforce the structure where necessary for maximum performance. The very rigid front section prevents unwanted distortions about the longitudinal and transverse axle, which ensures precise steering and better feedback for the driver.
    In the area of the center and tail end of the vehicle, new reinforcement concepts were used in conjunction with state-of-the-art CRP plastics. This, together with further individual measures plus close networking with Chassis Development right from the outset, ensured that the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe was given an optimum basis for high lateral dynamics potential.
    Dynamism made in Affalterbach: AMG chassis engineering
    The outstanding agility and racetrack-ready driving dynamics of the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe are also down to the special AMG suspension. On the six- cylinder model, a suspension with steel springs and adjustable damping is used. The suspension on the eight-cylinder variants is based on the fully load- bearing multi chamber air suspension, AMG RIDE CONTROL+. A rigid integral carrier supports the front axle, engine, transmission and steering gear.
    In conjunction with the wide track width and configuration for large tire dimensions, wheel location and spring elements, which are independent of one another, facilitate high lateral acceleration, while the low unsprung masses promote the agile driving feel yet further.
    The rear axle differential also has a new specially reinforced mount to improve the NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) characteristics. As on the AMG GT R, an anti-roll bar made of tubular material reduces the overall weight of the rear axle.
    Intelligent all-wheel drive: AMG Performance 4MATIC+
    All AMG GT 4-Door Coupe models are equipped with the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. An electro-mechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque split is continuously computed according to the driving conditions and driver's input. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and vice versa is seamless, as the intelligent control is integrated into the overall vehicle system architecture. Alongside traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.
    It is still possible to drift thanks to fully variable torque distribution and Drift Mode. On the AMG GT 63 S, Drift Mode comes as standard; on AMG GT 63, Drift Mode is optionally available. Drift Mode is not available on the US-spec AMG GT 53. Drift Mode can be activated in the "RACE" drive program using the shift paddles, provided that ESP® is deactivated and the transmission is in manual mode. When activating the Drift Mode the four-door sports car thus turns into a model with purely rear-wheel drive.
    Optimum traction: rear-axle limited-slip differential
    To improve traction and sportiness, the AMG GT 63 S has an electronically controlled locking differential at the rear axle as standard. The slip is thus suppressed at the inner wheel on bends, ensuring optimum grip. The driver is therefore able to accelerate out of corners earlier and with more power thanks to improved traction. The vehicle remains more stable when braking from high speeds, while the limited-slip differential also improves traction when accelerating from rest. The electronic locking differential is equipped as standard on the AMG GT 63 and AMG GT 63 S (n/a on AMG GT 53).
    Enhanced agility and precision: active rear-wheel steering
    The AMG GT 4-Door Coupe responds even more sensitively to steering commands thanks to the active rear axle steering which is standard on the V8 models (n/a on AMG GT 53). The system facilitates an even better combination of agility and stability and thus reinforces the dynamism and the handling safety of the new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe.
    Up to a speed of 62 mph, the rear wheels point in the opposite direction to the front wheels via two electric actuator motors. As a result, the car turns into corners with significantly higher agility. Under everyday driving conditions, the driver also benefits from a small turning circle.
    At speeds higher than 62 mph, the system turns the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels, which noticeably improves driving stability. At the same time, the lateral force on the rear  wheels builds up considerably   faster on changes of direction, thus improving the response to the steering. The driver can also rely on extreme rear-axle grip and high stability when changing direction quickly, without the usual tendency for the rear end to break loose.
    Direct and immediate: AMG speed-sensitive sports steering
    The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio and impresses with its precise feedback thanks to the AMG-specific rack-and- pinion steering configuration. Power assistance also varies between the three stages "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport+." The corresponding characteristic is automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized as required in "Individual" mode.
    Good control and fade-resistant: AMG high-performance braking systems
    In line with the high output values and their associated performance, the AMG GT 63 and 63 S models have a large-dimensioned brake system consisting of compound discs with 6-piston fixed calipers at the front and single-piston floating brake calipers at the rear. The GT 63 S variant is characterized by yellow brake calipers, while the GT 63 variant sports red brake calipers.
    The AMG GT 53 model is also equipped with internally ventilated and perforated compound brake discs with silver painted 6-piston front brake calipers.
    As an option, a high-performance ceramic brake system with bronze-colored 6-piston fixed calipers at the front and single-piston floating brake calipers at the rear can be ordered on the AMG GT 63 and AMG GT 63 S models, saving weight compared with the compound discs and thus reducing the unsprung masses. Further advantages are their high stability and reliability under high stress. The brake system also wins points with a high service life and immediate response – ensuring fast lap times.
    Design and lightness: new AMG wheels
    To make a grand entrance – both visually and technically –AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is available in several attractive wheel/tire combinations. The customer can choose from a multitude of aerodynamically optimized wheels between 19 and 21 inches. Alongside their visual design, the developers in Affalterbach placed great emphasis on reducing unsprung mass. Several light-alloy wheels are produced using high-quality forging technology, which set the benchmark yet again with their extremely low weight.
    The AMG GT 53 and GT 63 variants of the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe sport standard-specification 10-spoke disc wheels painted vanadium silver in the size 9.5" x 19" with 255/45 R 19 tires at the front, plus 11.0" x 19" with 285/40 R 19 tires at the rear.
    The AMG GT 63 S wears light-alloy wheels with five twin spokes painted tantalite grey with a high-sheen finish, in the dimension 9.5" x 20" with   265/40 R 20 tires at the front, plus 11.0" x 20" wheels and 295/35 R 20 tires at the rear.
    Fluid science: active aerodynamics
    A significant contribution towards high driving dynamics and handling safety  is made by active aerodynamics, which has been tuned to the special requirements of the four-door coupe in extensive simulations,  wind  tunnel tests and on-road testing. The main components are the active air control  system "AIRPANEL" in the front bumper and the compact, multi-stage retractable and extending rear spoiler. The intelligent interaction of the active aerodynamics features ensures the optimum combination of power output and low wind resistance. The system is also oriented towards the respective driving style and the drive program selected.
    On the AIRPANEL familiar from the AMG GT R there are vertical louvers located in the lower section of the front bumper. These electronically controlled louvers are opened and closed in a flash via an electric motor in order to steer the air flow and thus ensure both aeroperformance and provide the necessary engine cooling requirements.
    The multi-stage rear spoiler works according to a similar principle, by adopting the position required for the operating conditions. During fast driving on straight stretches the rear spoiler automatically moves to a flatter position in order to reduce wind resistance and thus increase the maximum speed. If the system detects lateral dynamics the spoiler  moves  to a  steeper position in order to increase power delivery at the rear axle and thus ensure handling that  is dynamic and safe in equal measure.
    Added downforce: the optional Aerodynamics package
    As an exclusive in its market segment, V8 variants of the new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe can also be equipped with an optional Aerodynamics Package. It contains additional aero-flics and an enlarged front splitter, which further optimizes the air flow and downforce level at the front axle. The same applies to the modified diffuser in conjunction with the fixed rear spoiler, which is also available in carbon fiber if desired. The three-dimensional wing profile can be manually adjusted in order to adapt the car to the conditions of different race circuits. The Aero Package increases the negative lift force at the rear axle, but wind resistance remains unchanged.
    Yet more differentiation in driving experiences: AMG DYNAMICS
    Depending on the engine there are up to six drive programs to choose from in the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe: "Slippery," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+," "RACE" and "Individual." These levels are selectable via the DYNAMIC SELECT paddle in the center console and stored with the new drive program attribute AMG DYNAMICS, which can be adjusted to match the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe's handling characteristics to different demands and driving conditions.
    Behind the umbrella term "AMG DYNAMICS" are the agility functions "Basic," "Advanced," "Pro" and "Master," which are automatically selected by the respective drive program. Parameters relevant to driving, such as the response of the engine, suspension, the control strategy of the all-wheel drive system  and the control thresholds of the completely redeveloped ESP® are intelligently adapted according to the drive program.
    The spectrum ranges from extremely safety-oriented to highly dynamic. The "Master" mode stored in the drive program "RACE" ensures optimum agility and brings out the high driving dynamics potential of the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe to optimum effect - for example through higher yaw rates and a faster response from the accelerator pedal, gearshift system, rear axle steering, electronically controlled rear axle locking differential or brake force distribution on the all-wheel drive system.
    Irrespective of the drive programs, as before the driver can use the display buttons in the center console to directly select manual transmission mode, their preferred suspension setting and also the exhaust system flap.
    Gran Turismo with ultra-modern operation: the new AMG interior
    The interior presents a symbiosis of performance and exclusivity and  integrates an ultra-modern, new type of operating system into the atmosphere of a Gran Turismo. The sculptural instrument panel forms an interesting contrast here to the large trim element with its flowing style, which merges into the driver's door in a wrap-around effect. Illuminated turbine-look air vents refine the high-quality impression and underline the sporty appearance. The eye-catching feature in all AMG GT interiors is the center console, with its stylized V8 design, putting the spotlight on the brand's performance claim as well as optimally fulfilling functional requirements.
    Two high-resolution displays, each measuring 12.3 inches, dominate the Widescreen Cockpit, which is standard on all AMG GT 4-Door Coupe variants in the US market. Three different styles are available for selection for these all- digital displays: "Classic," "Sport" and the completely new "Supersport." Depending on the driving style or interior equipment, the different styles can  be set at any time via the instrument cluster or the central display.
    Via the left-hand Touch Control Button on the steering wheel, preferred information can be projected onto the left- or right-hand side of the instrument – for example, the classic speedometer and tachometer, information on navigation or assistance systems through to detailed engine data. Especially sporty drivers can also fade in a g-force display or the current output and torque values.
    In the "Supersport" view, there is also extensive additional AMG-specific information, such as a prominent prompt to change up a gear in manual transmission mode, reminiscent of motorsport.
    The central display represents the interface to all further content and information, such as navigation, radio, media, telephone and vehicle data. The large full-screen map view ensures optimum legibility in all driving situations. There are also extra performance-oriented functions, such as visualization of the all-wheel drive system’s power delivery.
    The new AMG Performance Steering Wheel
    The new AMG Performance Steering Wheel blends ideal ergonomics with maximum functionality. Various functions are combined in groups on the sporty-style wheel with a high-quality touch and feel, and can be precisely and intuitively controlled via Touch Control Buttons in the steering wheel. The driver is able to control the entire infotainment system using finger swipes without having to take their hands off the steering wheel.
    As an option, the AMG Performance Steering Wheel can be equipped with several innovative features such as a round controller with an integral display beneath the right-hand steering-wheel spoke, plus two vertically positioned color display buttons beneath the left-hand steering-wheel spoke.
    The AMG drive programs can be actuated directly via the steering-wheel controller. The selected drive program is shown on the color display directly integrated within in the steering-wheel-mounted controller.
    With the two freely configurable display buttons and the additional switches, further AMG functions can be controlled even more easily, as they are directly accessible on the steering wheel. This means that the driver can concentrate fully on dynamic driving without having to take their hands off the wheel. Each function required can be depicted on the other TFT display, and its switch is tapped by the driver to set the respective function. The driver's two preferred AMG functions can be defined in this way and the settings changed with just one tap of the finger.
    Display buttons and capacitive switches: the innovative center console
    Inspired by the two-door Mercedes-AMG GT, the center console of the new 4-door model represents a further special feature: color display buttons, integrated into the distinctive and tailor-made trim element. The integral display can adjust the transmission, suspension, ESP®, exhaust system, start/stop function and rear spoiler position. These display buttons use colored and intuitive symbols to show various functions and are easy to operate with just a small tap of the finger.
    Display push-button switches are supplemented by two capacitive switches for the drive programs and volume control.
    Another new feature from AMG are the capacitive switches directly in front of the stylized center-console V. The reversing camera, navigation, radio, media, telephone and vehicle settings can be operated via this proximity switch. If the occupant’s finger moves within a minimal distance from the panel the appropriate symbol lights up directly in the head unit and preselects the menu item. The function in question is then activated by pressing. The driver does not have to remove their eyes from the road, as the appropriate menu item is shown simultaneously in the multifunction display of the Widescreen Cockpit, representing an added bonus for handling safety.
    Four seats with room to spare
    When it comes to the seats, Mercedes-AMG proves that comfort and exclusivity need not conflict with a performance-oriented vehicle configuration. The driver's and front passenger seat can be configured in different scenarios. The selection ranges from a sporty, comfortable seat with elegant diamond quilting to an extremely contoured performance seat with an integral head restraint.
    The four-door AMG GT also offers different seating configurations to meet different demands for the rear, too. Available rear seat configurations for the US market are two carbon-fiber-backed seats (non-folding) and a split folding Executive Rear Seat (40/20/40 split). With the Executive Rear Seat Package, rear passengers can control a number of features via a touchpad screen integrated into the console between the seats. The features range from calling up dynamic data via the AMG menu to controlling the ambient lighting or the climate control and seat heating.
    A large trunk capacity is made even more impressive when the AMG GT 4- Door Coupe is equipped with the Executive Rear Seat Package, which allows the rear seats to be folded. The wide load compartment opening makes it easier to load and unload luggage and other items. Equipped as standard, the large boot lid can be opened and closed with the HAND-FREE ACCESS feature via a movement with the foot beneath the bumper.
    Always in touch with Connectivity and Intelligent Drive
    For high comfort in everyday use, the new four-door sports car from Affalterbach boasts all the connectivity and Intelligent Drive functions and options of the Mercedes-AMG S-Class. This includes the ability to support the driver with routine daily tasks such as driving in a traffic jam.
    The vehicle as a virtual race engineer: AMG TRACK PACE
    With AMG TRACK PACE, drivers can capture and analyze in detail over 80 vehicle-specific data as well as laptimes on the racetrack. AMG TRACK PACE is an additional function of the COMAND infotainment system and is part of the standard equipment for the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe.
    Data collected on lateral and longitudinal acceleration, the accelerator and  brake pedal position or steering angle can help to continuously improve individual Driving Performance. All the values are shown on the COMAND display, and on request also in real time on the telemetry screen. Thanks to the different colors and acoustic feedback used, faster or slower laps can be spotted out of the corner of the driver's eye without any need to look away from the track. Even the drift angle of the car is calculated and displayed.
    As well as recording drives on circuits, AMG TRACK PACE can also be used to register acceleration such as the sprint from standstill to 60 mph or over a quarter of a mile, even 60-0 mph deceleration time.
    Sporty fragrance: fuel for the senses
    The interior of the new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe has another world premiere in store. For the first time an AMG car has its own fragrance. It is an appealing, sporty scent to match the spirit of the performance brand.
    The new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe can also be fitted with the ENERGIZING comfort control for improved driver-fitness safety. This system networks different vehicle functions such as the air conditioning system, seat control, massage functions, steering wheel heating and ambient lighting, in order to relax or refresh the driver and passengers in a targeted manner with predefined programs.
    World premiere and market launch
    The new AMG GT 4-Door Coupe celebrates its world premiere on March 6th, 2018 at the Geneva International Motor Show. Sales release of the first four-door AMG GT is in early 2019 for the AMG GT 63 and 63 S and in mid-2019 for the AMG GT 53.
    Technical data at a glance: Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe
     
    Mercedes-AMG GT 63
    Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S
    Engine
    Handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo
    Handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo
    Displacement
    3,982 cc
    3,982 cc
    Output
    577 hp @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
    630 hp @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
    Peak torque
    553 lb-ft @ 2,350-5,000 rpm
    627 lb-ft @ 2,500-4,500 rpm
     
    Drive system
    AMG Performance 4MATIC+
    permanent all-wheel drive with fully variable torque split
    AMG Performance 4MATIC+
    permanent all-wheel drive with variable torque split and drift mode
    Transmission
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G
    Acceleration 0-60 mph
    3.3 s (est.)
    3.1 s (est.)
    Top speed
    193 mph
    195 mph
     
     
    Mercedes-AMG GT 53
     
    Engine
    AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter Inline-6 turbo with EQ boost
    Displacement
    2,999 cc
    Output
    429 hp @ 6,100 rpm
    Peak torque
    384 lb-ft @ 1,800-5,800 rpm
    EQ Boost max hp
    21 hp
    EQ Boost max torque
    184 lb-ft
     
    Drive system
    AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all- wheel drive with fully variable
    torque distribution
    Transmission
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G
    Acceleration 0-60 mph
    4.4 s (est.)
    Top speed
    174 mph

    William Maley

    Who doesn't want 577 horsepower box on wheels?

    Last month's Detroit Auto Show saw Mercedes-Benz unveil the all-new 2019 G-Class. A number of folks were excited as this was the first full-redesign since the model was introduced back in 1979. But there were a number of people wondering if and when an AMG version would arrive. The G-Class is unique in Mercedes-Benz's lineup as half of the models sold are the AMG variant. Good news, Mercedes has revealed the 2019 G63 that will be debuting next month at the Geneva Motor Show.
    Under the G63's hood is a variant of the 4.0L BiTurbo V8 that is found in a number of Mercedes and AMG models. In this guise, the V8 produces 577 horsepower and 621 pound-feet of torque (available between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm). This is paired with a nine-speed automatic and a 40/60 split four-wheel drive system with three locking differentials. 0-60 mph takes 4.4 seconds (about a second faster than the current G63) and top speed stands at 137 mph. Opt for the Driver's package and top speed rises to 149 mph.
    The suspension has been given the once-over by AMG with new adaptive dampers and coil springs on all wheels. The steering system features a variable ratio and speed-sensitive rack.
    Outside, the G63 comes with AMG's Panamericana grille design, wider fenders, red brake calipers, and optional 22-inch wheels. A flat-bottom steering wheel and Nappa leather upholstery are key changes for the interior.
    Mercedes-Benz is keeping quiet on the price, but we're expecting to be above the $150,000 mark. The 2019 G63 arrives in the U.S. at the end of this year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The new 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63
    New appearance of the high-performance G-Class Feb 13, 2018 – Affalterbach: The new 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 has undergone the greatest change in its history - while remaining true to its well-proven virtues. The G63 underpins its unique position among performance off-road vehicles with a powerful drive system, an AMG-developed suspension, AMG-specific transmission modes and a new interior with optimal widescreen cockpit. The basis for the hallmark AMG Driving Performance both on and off road is provided by the 577 hp handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, rear- biased all-wheel drive (40:60) with three differential locks, extremely fast- shifting 9-speed automatic transmission, double wishbone independent front suspension and adaptive adjustable damping. The reinterpretation of the unmistakable design creates strong highlights with the AMG-specific radiator grille, flared wheel arches, striking side pipes on the exhaust system and wheels up to 22-inches in diameter.
    "The new AMG G63 brings driving performance to the segment of unadulterated off-road vehicles in unexpected form. It was important for us to tie in with the original character on account of the cult status the G63 enjoys with our customers and fans. The vehicle has nevertheless reached a completely new dimension in terms of technology with the handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine as well as in combination with the off-road characteristics, the agility and the vehicle dynamics achieved," explains Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "This applies to the entire G-Class model series. Mercedes-AMG is responsible for their suspension and chassis development as well as V8 competence."
    Proven to be powerful: the handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine
    The handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine now also replaces the previous 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine in the G63. It generates 577 hp in this model, and delivers a maximum torque of 627 lb-ft. This is available across a wide rev range between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm, and provides a sense of effortless superiority. The G63 completes a sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds (est.), 0.9 seconds faster than the previous model. This dynamic performance is maintained up to the limited maximum speed of 137 mph, or 149 mph with the AMG Driver's package.
    The two turbochargers are not positioned on the outside of the cylinder banks, but inside the cylinder "V." Advantages: a compact engine design, spontaneous response of the turbochargers and low exhaust emissions thanks to optimal airflow to the near-engine catalysts. The eight-cylinder delivers its power with muscular torque in all engine speed ranges, combined with maximum efficiency for low fuel consumption and emission figures.
    Two twin scroll turbochargers are used for optimal response. The housing is divided into two parallel flow channels. Combined with two separate exhaust ducts in the exhaust manifold, this makes it possible to control the exhaust gases on the turbine wheel separately. The exhaust gas from the first and fourth cylinders of the cylinder bank is fed into one duct, that from the second and third cylinders to the other duct. The aim is to prevent the individual cylinders from having mutually adverse effects on the gas cycle. This reduces the exhaust gas back pressure and improves gas exchange. The results are increased output by virtue of improved cylinder charging with fresh mixture, more torque at low revs and very fast response times.
    Other engine features include modified pistons, optimized intercooling and extensive software upgrades. Spray-guided direct gasoline injection with piezo injectors, an all-aluminum crankcase, four-valve per cylinder design with camshaft adjustment, air-water intercooling, alternator management, ECO start/stop function and gliding mode have all been retained.
    AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system
    For more efficiency, Mercedes-AMG has equipped the V8 engine in the G63 with the AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system. In the partial-load range, cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated, which significantly lowers the fuel consumption.
    When the driver has selected the "Comfort" transmission driving mode, the cylinder deactivation system is available in the wide engine speed range from 1,000 to 3,250 rpm. The AMG main menu on the instrument cluster informs the driver whether the cylinder deactivation system is in use and whether the engine is presently operating in the partial or full-load range. The transition from four to eight-cylinder operation is fast and imperceptible, so that the passengers do not experience any loss of comfort whatsoever.
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission with shorter shift times
    The AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission is used in the G63. This has a model-specific software application to achieve very short shift times. The multiple downshift function allows more spontaneous bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined engine manipulation makes for even faster gear changes.
    The wide ratio spread allows a choice of a very sporty or a very comfortable and efficient driving experience. In all transmission modes the G63 moves off in first gear so as to ensure a dynamic sprint from a standstill whenever required. The DIRECT SELECT lever has been repositioned as a steering column stalk.
    "Manual" mode can be selected using a separate switch. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
    Enhanced agility and traction: AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive
    The standard-specification AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear split of 40 to 60 percent. This configuration ensures greater agility on the road and improved traction during acceleration. In the preceding model the distribution was a neutral 50:50.
    The off-road reduction gear has been developed further for operation on difficult terrain and helps to ensure that the G63 is able to master even more demanding off-road stretches. The reduction ratio of the transfer case is now 2.93 : 1, considerably higher than in the preceding model (2.1 : 1). This assists moving off on extreme uphill gradients in particular, as the torque at the drive wheels is significantly increased.
    The off-road reduction gear can be engaged via the LOW RANGE switch at speeds of up to 25 mph. The gear ratio of the transfer case is then changed from 1.00 in HIGH RANGE to 2.93. It is possible to switch from LOW RANGE to HIGH RANGE at speeds of up to 44 mph.
    The new, intelligent multiplate clutch behaves like an automatically controlled locking differential. It ensures that the new G63 remains maneuverable for longer when off-road. The advantage is that the driver has more scope before having to engage the differential locks manually.
    When the driver operates the switch for the center differential lock, the multiplate clutch switches to a 100% locking effect. The locks at the front and rear axle differentials are differential locks with a dog clutch and a 100% locking effect. All the locks can be engaged individually while on the move in LOW RANGE: firstly center, then rear axle and finally front axle differential.
    The differential locks now respond to the switches even more rapidly, as they are electromechanically actuated and fully networked. An LED and the central driver's display indicate which lock is currently active.
    With adaptive adjustable damping: AMG-developed suspension
    The new G63 performs even better when off-road, and on the road it is more dynamic and comfortable than its predecessor. The agile driving impression is substantially due to the suspension system, which has been completely redesigned by Mercedes-AMG and features coil springs all-round. For the first time the front axle has an independent, double wishbone suspension; a rigid axle with a five-link suspension is used at the rear.
    The components of the double-wishbone front suspension are directly mounted to the ladder-type frame without a subframe. The attachment points of the lower wishbone are positioned as far up as possible. This arrangement ensures good drivability both on and off the road. A strut tower brace, known as a suspension bridge, now connects the front strut towers, which increases the torsional rigidity of the ladder-type frame.
    At the rear, the new axle is guided with four longitudinal control arms on each side and a Panhard rod. This makes normal driving on the road even more comfortable. When off-road, the rear spring compression of 3.2 inches and rebound of 5.6 inches plus the ground clearance of 9.5 inches to the rear axle gear help to ensure a safe ride even in extreme situations. To reduce body roll, the G63 has additional transverse stabilizers at the front and rear axles.
    The AMG suspension with adaptive adjustable damping is standard equipment. This fully automatic, electronically controlled system adjusts the damping at each wheel to the current requirements. This improves driving safety and ride comfort. The damping is adjusted individually for each wheel, and depends on the driving style, the road surface and the selected suspension setting. The ideal operating point can be selected at all times on the basis of extensive information relating to acceleration or vehicle speed, for example.
    Via a switch on the center console, the driver can choose between three different sets of damping characteristics, namely "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport+," and thus individually influence the driving experience from very comfortable to taut and sporty.
    Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
    The electromechanical speed-sensitive steering installed in the G63 for the first time has a variable ratio to ensure precise and authentic feedback. The steering servo assistance is reduced at high speeds and continuously increases at low speeds. This means that comparatively little steering force is required at low speeds and that the best possible control over the vehicle is maintained at high speeds. Steering power assistance is available in a choice of two modes - "Comfort" or "Sport." The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode, or can be personalized in "Individual" mode. In "Sport" the driver receives more direct feedback about the driving status.
    Characteristics at the touch of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
    For the first time in the history of the Mercedes-AMG G-Class, the driving characteristics can be individualized at the touch of a finger with five on-road and three off-road driving modes.
    With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT on-road modes "Slippery," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+" and "Individual," the characteristics range from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. Key parameters such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering are modified in the process. Independently of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. If required, the stages of the adaptive adjustable suspension can be selected as well.
    Three off-road modes - "Sand," "Trail," and "Rock" - are available when driving off the beaten track. These are accessed using the switch in the center console for activation of the central differential lock, and can then be selected with the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT rocker switch. "Trail" allows maximum performance on soft, muddy or slippery surfaces. "Sand" modifies the parameters for sporty dynamics and the best possible grip and steerability on sandy stretches or desert sand dunes. "Rock" is the mode for extremely demanding, rocky terrain with severe axle articulation and frequent lifting of one or more wheels.
    All the driving modes, both On Road and Off Road, are visualized in the instrument cluster and in the central media display. Deselection of all the locks returns the setting to the on-road driving modes.
    Bodyshell: made for the toughest jobs
    The basis for the enormous off-road capabilities of the G63 is provided by a torsionally rigid ladder-type frame of high-strength steel and a mounted body of composite construction. This design is considerably more robust and suitable for off-road operations than a unibody construction. As the lowest point of this construction, the frame ensures a low center of gravity and protects the major assemblies, fuel tank and exhaust system during ground contact when driving over obstacles.
    Another development aim was to reduce the weight of the body. Using a digital prototype, the developers simulated the operating life of individual components and assemblies to determine where lighter materials could be used without compromising durability, operating life and quality.
    The result is a new material mix: the bodyshell consists of various grades of steel. The fenders, hood and doors are made of aluminum. To be able to retain the door hinges and handles typical of the G-Class, the developers modified these to suit the new aluminum design. The A and B-pillars are made of high- strength steel in view of their load-bearing function.
    Thanks to this intelligent design, it was possible to increase the torsional rigidity of the frame, body shell and body mounts by around 55 percent, from 6537 to 10,162 Nm/deg. This provides the ideal basis for maximum handling precision. Comfort has also benefited: vibrations and noise in the interior have been considerably reduced.
    The roof is no longer spot-welded, but instead connected to the body structure by laser welding - resulting in better surface quality and higher body strength. The flange width was retained, but optimized for the new welding method. For the first time, all the fixed windows are adhesive bonded to the body. This not only increases the torsional rigidity of the body, but also makes the window frames more resistant to corrosion.
    Off-road capability was the main focus during further development of the doors. The side and rear doors have a protective foil cladding on the inside, so that no water can enter when fording watercourses. The surfaces of the frame, vehicle floor and body are specially treated to withstand even the most severe influences – whether water, snow, salt or sand.
    Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design
    Unmistakable design features give the new AMG G63 its unique appearance: the boxy silhouette, the proud hood, external door hinges, round headlamps, mounted direction indicators, robust door handles, muscular protective strips with inserts in high-gloss black with a silver AMG emblem, the exposed spare wheel on the rear door with a stainless steel cover and three-dimensional Mercedes star.
    The front section of the G63 is characterized by the AMG-specific radiator grille and the AMG bumper with large side air inlets and trim in matt iridium silver. The headlamps, indicators and tail lights are in LED High Performance technology as standard. This lighting consumes less energy and has a particularly long service life.
    MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are optionally available. These each use 84 individually controlled high-performance LED modules to illuminate the road surface automatically with an extremely bright and precisely directed beam of light, without dazzling other road users. That is because this individual control allows the light distribution of the left and right headlamps to be adapted separately, quickly and dynamically to suit the changing situation on the road. This improves safety for all road users.
    With the enhanced fog light function, the MULTIBEAM LED technology also allows the headlamp on the driver's side to illuminate that side more actively, while masking any rise in the light beam. As a result, the outer half of the road surface is more brightly illuminated and back-glare from the light reflected from the fog is reduced.
    New light functions for enhanced safety
    Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus also benefits from the performance of MULTIBEAM LED technology: thanks to a larger number of pixels, the dark areas in the light distribution are more precise and dynamic than ever before in partial main-beam mode, and the main beam can be used for longer than before. Once switched on, the system always makes the best possible headlamp range available.
    Mercedes-AMG G63 with further distinctive features
    Exclusive exterior characteristics of the G63 include the flared front and rear wheel arches, which create space for the larger, wider wheels, running boards as standard, distinctive trim elements on the front and rear bumpers and metallic paintwork as standard. Other distinguishing features include the "V8 BITURBO" lettering on the front fenders and the Mercedes-AMG G63 model badge on the rear door. Red brake calipers, perforated brake discs and available 22-inch wheels round off the exterior design.
    The G63 looks particularly striking with the optional AMG Night package. In this case the headlamps, tail lights, indicator lenses, rear window and rear side windows are dark-tinted. The Obsidian Black paint finish on the exterior mirror housings, the spare wheel ring and the trim in the front and rear bumpers, together with the black-painted underride guard, emphasizes the confident appearance which is rounded off by matte-black 21 or 22-inch wheels.
    Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design
    The new G63 has been given a completely newly designed, modern interior that echoes specific exterior features. The shape of the round headlamps is reflected in the side air vents, and in the shape of the indicators in the tweeters on the dashboard. Hallmarks of the G63 also include the grab handle in front of the front passenger and chrome-highlighted switches for the three differential locks.
    The completely redesigned dashboard has analogue tubes as dial instruments as standard. Optionally the fully digital Widescreen Cockpit with virtual instruments directly in the driver's field of vision and a central display above the center console can be ordered. The two 12.3-inch displays visually blend into a single unit beneath a shared glass cover. The driver is able to choose from three different views – "Classic," "Sporty" and "Progressive" – and access the required information individually.
    The new dimensional concept in the interior benefits all the occupants. The increase in length (+4 inches), width (+4.8 inches) and height
    (+1.6 inches) provides the basis for a significantly more airy and spacious impression than in the previous model. The most important interior dimensions at a glance:
    Description Difference Legroom in the front +1.5 in Legroom in the rear +5.9 in Shoulder room in front +1.5 in Shoulder room in rear +1.1 in Elbow room in front +2.7 in Elbow room in rear mm +2.2 in The rear seats can be folded down in a ratio of 40, 60 or 100 percent. The seats in the G-Class are equipped as standard with numerous convenience functions and are ergonomically designed, thus providing enhanced seating comfort and lateral support. Features include the Memory function for the driver's seat, seat heating front and rear, as well as luxury head restraints in the front.
    This ride comfort can optionally be boosted still further with the Active Multicontour Seat package. In addition to the special multicontour seats, this encompasses such features as various massage functions, climate-controlled seats, and fast seat heating. This variant also offers electrically adjustable lumbar supports for the driver and front passenger. The side sections of the seat cushions and backrests of the active multicontour seats include integrated air chambers that fill or empty continuously depending on the driving dynamics, thus providing better support for the seating positions of driver and front passenger and offering more lateral support during cornering.
    New AMG Performance steering wheel as standard
    Extremely sporty design, a grippy shape with a heavily contoured rim and intuitive operation are the key attributes of the new AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather, which is standard equipment. It has a flattened lower section and is perforated in the grip area. The steering wheel shift paddles are galvanized.
    Using the integrated touch control buttons, the functions of the instrument cluster (left) and multimedia system (right) can be intuitively controlled by horizontal and vertical swiping movements of a finger. As in the S-Class, the settings for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and cruise control are made in the left control panels. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the multimedia system.
    Typical AMG V8 exhaust note
    The dual-flow exhaust system features side pipes below the rear doors. The twin tailpipes in high-gloss chrome emit the typical AMG V8 sound. The standard exhaust flap can be adjusted in two stages using the switch in the center console or depending on the selected driving mode, to make the exhaust note more sporty or discreet.
    Exclusive "Edition 1" special model at market launch
    On market launch the new Mercedes-AMG G63 will also be available as an exclusive "Edition 1" special model: the combination of equipment details turns the special model into the flagship of the range. Painted in designo Night Black Magno with contrasting matte Graphite Grey sports stripes along the vehicle sides and finished with exterior mirror housings have a decorative red stripe, the Edition 1 boasts a distinctive look. The AMG Night package with features in high-gloss black reinforces the muscular impression. The matte black 22-inch forged wheels in a cross-spoke design have red-painted rim flanges.
    The red highlights continue in the interior: They can be found on numerous interior features, for example as red contrasting topstitching on the dashboard support, center console, door panels and rear seats. The front sport seats in Black/Red Pepper nappa leather also show this striking color. The sport seats feature a dynamic diamond pattern with red contrasting topstitching as standard. The carbon-fiber trim has highlights in Red Pepper, and the Performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfiber with a flattened lower section is embellished with red contrasting topstitching and a red 12 o'clock marking.
    The new, 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6, 2018, with a pricing announcement and US market launch to take place by the end of 2018.
    Technical data at a glance
      2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 Engine Handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo Displacement 3,982 cc Output 577 hp at 6,000 rpm Peak Torque 627 lb-ft. at 2,500-3,500 rpm Drive System AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 40:60 Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G Weight TBA Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.4 s (est.) Top speed 137 mph
    149 mph (Driver’s package)  

    William Maley

    A little more horsepower doesn't hurt

    A few weeks ago, Mercedes-Benz announced a mid-cycle refresh for the base C-Class sedan, but not for the AMG variants. It seemed Mercedes was holding back somewhat as they announced today a refreshed version of the C43 will debut this week at the Geneva Motor Show.
    Being an AMG model, let's begin with performance. The twin-turbo 3.0L V6 comes with larger turbos that boost horsepower to 385 - up 23 from last year's model. Torque remains at 384 pound-feet. A nine-speed automatic transmission routes power to all four-wheels via Mercedes-AMG’s rear-biased 4Matic AWD system. No improvement in the C43's performance figures - the run to 60 mph still takes 4.6 seconds.
    Like the standard C-Class, the C43's exterior sees some minor changes with new bumpers, lighting, and 18-inch wheels. A set of 19-inch wheels are optional. The interior comes with a new steering wheel featuring touch control buttons, and a larger 10.25-inch screen for the COMAND infotainment system.
    No word on pricing, but the 2019 C43 arrives at Mercedes-Benz's dealers later this year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The new 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
    Enhanced performance and a design update for the bestseller Mar 5, 2018 – Affalterbach: With four body variants globally (three available in the US market), three output levels and two drive types, the C-Class is the most versatile and most successful model series from Mercedes-AMG. Extensive measures now make the entry-level 2019 C43 Sedan even more attractive. The AMG radiator grille in a twin-louver design, powerfully sculpted front bumper and the new rear bumper with round twin tailpipe trim elements visibly enhance the new C43 Sedan and give it an even more distinct positioning. The interior benefits from an optional fully digital cockpit with unmistakable AMG displays and the new-generation of AMG steering wheels. The AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo now delivers 385 hp. Together with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission and rear-biased AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the engine combines agile driving dynamics with comfort on long journeys.
    "As the most successful model series for Mercedes-AMG, the C-Class family in all its facets has made a major contribution to our corporate success. One major component in this success story was the implementation of the 43-series of models, which have thrilled our customers worldwide since the market launch in 2015. The high demand and positive feedback have encouraged us to sharpen up not only the appearance of the facelift, but also its performance, efficiency and sportiness in true AMG style," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
    For this the AMG development engineers have increased the output of the 3.0-liter V6 engine by 23 hp to 385 hp. The peak torque of 384 lb-ft is available from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. This package guarantees impressive performance figures: the new C43 Sedan accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds (est.). The top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.
    Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design
    The exterior of the C43 Sedan is considerably more expressive, even more strongly identifying the new model as a member of the family. New distinguishing features include the AMG radiator grille with twin louver in matt iridium silver and the powerfully sculpted front bumper with additional flics. The side air curtains in the front bumper help with optimum guidance of the front airstream. The attachment on the cross fins plus the trim element on the front splitter are finished in silver chrome.
    The rear view also conveys a sporty impression with two round twin tailpipe trim elements in high-gloss chrome. The rear bumper with side air curtain and the significantly more expressive diffuser improve air flow characteristics at the rear. The spoiler lip on the trunk lid is painted in the vehicle color.
    The optional AMG Night Package creates highlights which are even sportier: a more expressive front splitter, the standard-fit spoiler lip, broader side skirt inserts and flics in the rear bumper are finished in high-gloss black.
    Enhanced for aerodynamic efficiency: new AMG wheels
    When viewed from the side, eye-catching features include the sporty side skirts plus new, aerodynamically optimized AMG light-alloy wheels. Their specifically designed outer aero rings and spoke geometry which has been optimized in the wind tunnel help to improve air flow around the wheels and thus increase aerodynamic efficiency. As part of this the developers aimed for the optimum combination of aerodynamics, weight and brake cooling, together with maximum performance and reduced fuel consumption.
    There is a choice of three aerodynamically optimized rim designs for the C43 Sedan: the standard specification includes the AMG wheel with five twin spokes painted in tremolite grey with a high-sheen finish, in size 7.5" x 18" with 225/45 R 18 tires at the front, and 8.5" x 18" with 245/40 R 18 tires at the rear. As an option there is another aerodynamic design with five twin spokes, painted with accents in tantalite grey or high- gloss black with a high-sheen finish, in size 7.5" x 19" with 225/40 R 19 tires at the front, and 8.5" x 19" with 255/35 R 19 tires at the rear.
    Sporty look with model-specific details: interior design
    The interior reinforces the dynamic caliber of the new C43 Sedan with numerous individual details. Sporty materials such as leather, DINAMICA microfiber and aluminum in a high-quality finish continue the theme of the expressive exterior in the interior.
    The optional AMG Performance Seats provide optimum lateral support when adopting a dynamic driving style thanks to the special design of the seat side bolsters of the seat cushion and backrest. The AMG Performance Seats with integrated head restraints emphasize the sporty character of the cockpit. For the first time in the C43 Sedan, the AMG Performance Seats can not only be heated, but is now ventilated in three levels in conjunction with leather upholstery.
    The upholstery in MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber in black with red topstitching equally underscores the dynamic driving character of the C43 Sedan. Matching the seat design, the door center panels and dashboard are finished in MB-Tex with red topstitching. Aluminum sports pedals with black studs, trim elements in Natural Grain Black Ash Wood and Brushed Aluminum, the black roof liner and the red seat belts create further sporty highlights.
    Comprehensive individualization options
    As an option there is a comprehensive choice of individualization options. New features include trim elements in Natural Grain Walnut Wood & Aluminum and Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood. On top of these there is the familiar Dark Brown Linden Wood trim and AMG trim in Carbon Fiber / Aluminum and AMG Silver Fiber Glass. In terms of upholstery, as an option there is leather in black, black with red topstitching, cranberry red / black and also as a new highlight saddle brown / black.
    A fine combination available from the designo range comes with diamond quilting in saddle brown / black and platinum white pearl / black, which can likewise be combined with the AMG Performance Seats.
    Interior with innovative display concept and operating system
    Whether with touchpad and Controller, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel or via voice entry, the operating system of the C43 Sedan is just as versatile as it is flexible. All options are aimed at enabling the control tasks to be carried out as conveniently, quickly and appropriately to the situation as possible in this sporty environment.
    Just as flexible is the display of the optional, fully digital instrument cluster with 12.3-inch screen diagonal, which brings the vehicle functions directly to life with the three AMG-specific display styles of "Classic," "Sport" or "Supersport."
    A host of additional AMG information
    Via the specific AMG menu, the driver is able to call up a host of additional information to make the driving experience even sportier:
    Warm-up: engine and transmission oil temperature plus charge pressure as Boost display Setup: current status of systems such as the drive system, suspension, exhaust system, ESP® and transmission G-Force: display of current g-forces in a coordinate system and ability to save maximum values Race Timer: manual stopwatch for lap times and color display of fastest and slowest laps, plus average speed and distance Engine Data: engine torque / rated output in a bar chart plus charge pressure as Boost display In addition, there is a digital display of the current speed and the currently engaged gear. The manual transmission mode is marked with a yellow "M."
    The visualizations in the central media display likewise enable further vehicle functions to be experienced even better, for example, with animated presentation of the driving assistance, vehicle and communication systems. Standard fitment on the new C43 Sedan is a 10.25-inch media display with a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels.
    New generation of AMG steering wheels
    Extremely sporty design, a grippy shape with a heavily contoured rim and intuitive operation are the key attributes of the new AMG steering wheel in nappa leather, which comes as standard equipment. It has a flattened bottom section and is perforated in the grip area. The galvanized steering wheel gearshift paddles support a sporty driving style with manual gear shifting. As an option it is also available in nappa leather / DINAMICA microfiber and in nappa leather with trim in black piano lacquer.
    The built-in Touch Control buttons are a new feature. These can be used to control the functions of the instrument cluster (left) and the multimedia system (right) by means of horizontal and vertical swiping movements of the finger. As in the S-Class, the settings for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and cruise control are made in the left control panels. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the multimedia system.
    Well-proven and powerful: the AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine
    The AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine boasts a high power output combined with low fuel consumption and emissions. The high power output is in part courtesy of separate, larger turbochargers (max. charge pressure 16 psi). Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are especially spontaneous in their response. The AMG power unit can be identified by the engine cover with red aluminum insert and AMG lettering.
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission with shorter shift times
    The C43 Sedan makes use of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission, which the Mercedes-AMG developers have tuned specifically for  a dynamic driving experience. This has a model-specific software application to achieve very short shift times.
    The multiple downshift function allows more spontaneous bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in "Sport" and "Sport+" drive programs makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gear shifts in the other modes. In all modes moving off occurs in first gear in order to always guarantee a dynamic driving experience.
    "Manual" mode can be selected using a separate button in the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected drive program, and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
    Characteristics at the touch of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
    With the proven DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+" and "Individual," the characteristics of the C43 Sedan can be customized at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The suspension set-ups can also be selected specifically on demand.
    The fifth mode "Slippery" is new, and is identified by means of the snowflake symbol. The moderate and even power delivery is specially programmed for slippery or snow-covered road conditions.
    Rear-biased and agile: AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive
    The standard-specification AMG Performance 4MATIC four-wheel drive features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear axle split of 31 to 69 percent. This configuration provides for enhanced driving dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road as well as improved traction when accelerating. The single-stage transfer case of the four-wheel drive system is flange-mounted to the transmission as a separate system.
    This configuration makes it easier to modify the torque split for each particular model, allowing even more individual characteristics for the respective model series. Its compact design means that it does not entail any space restrictions for passengers or luggage.
    With adaptive adjustable damping: AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension
    With its adjustable, electronically controlled damping system, the AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension of the C43 Sedan provides both sporty driving dynamics and brand-typical comfort on long journeys. The basis for this is formed by the 4-link front axle and independent multilink rear suspension. The AMG-specific kinematics and elastokinematics with newly developed components result in very high camber stability when cornering at speed. The axial brake connection on the front axle supports the agile and precise handling.
    The adaptive adjustable damping comes as standard. This fully automatic, electronically controlled system adjusts the damping at each wheel to the current requirements. This improves driving safety and ride comfort. The damping is adjusted individually for each wheel, and depends on the driving style, the road surface and the selected suspension setting. The ideal operating point can be selected at all times on the basis of a broad scope of information relating to acceleration or vehicle speed, for example. Via a switch on the center console, the driver can select between three different sets of damper characteristics, namely "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport+," and thus individually influence the driving experience — from highly comfortable to sportily taut.
    Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
    The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio. It impresses with its precise, authentic feedback. The steering servo assistance is reduced at high speeds and continuously increases at lower speeds. This means that comparatively little steering force is required at low speeds, and that the best possible control over the vehicle is maintained at high speeds. The steering servo assistance depends on the selected suspension setting. In "Sport" mode, more feedback is conveyed about the driving conditions.
    Data logger for use on the race track: AMG TRACK PACE
    As the virtual race engineer for recording data when driving on closed-off race tracks, AMG TRACK PACE provides a significantly extended and even more precise scope of functions. TRACK PACE can be ordered as an option for the COMAND Online infotainment system.
    When this function is activated, a wealth of vehicle-specific data (e.g. speed, acceleration) are recorded ten times per second while driving. On top of this there are displays of lap and sector times and also the respective difference for a reference time. Because specific display elements light up in green or red, the driver is able to see at a glance, without reading numbers, whether he/she is currently faster or slower than the best time.
    After fast laps on the racetrack, driving skills can be analyzed and improved on the basis of the data. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-60 mph, ¼ mile, 60-0 mph) can be measured and saved. Thanks to a new developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, TRACK PACE even detects when the circuit is departed from or shortened. Alongside GPS data, the sensors available in the vehicle  (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speeds) are used. The points of data are displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the head-up display. Known race tracks, for example the Nürburgring, are already stored.
    Furthermore, it is also possible to record your own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and updated online. A suitable iPhone app can also be connected via WiFi. Customers can use it to share their experiences and data from the race track with other AMG drivers via Facebook, YouTube or the AMG Private Lounge.
    The 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan will make its debut at the Geneva International Motorshow before arriving in US dealerships by the end of the year.
    Technical data at a glance
     
    Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
    Engine
    AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo
    Displacement
    2,996 cc
    Output
    385 hp at 6,100 rpm
    Peak torque
    384 lb-ft at 2,500-5,000 rpm
    Drive system
    AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution (31 / 69)
    Transmission
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT® TCT 9-speed transmission
    Acceleration 0-60 mph
    4.6 s (est.)
    Top speed
    130 mph (electronically limited)

    William Maley

    Still quite polarizing

    Lexus' crossover lineup has a new family member in the form of the UX. We've already given some details on the exterior last week, but now we have details on the rest of the vehicle.
    The UX is the first Lexus model that is underpinned by Toyota's GA-C (Global Architecture-Compact). This platform, which also underpins the Toyota C-HR, promises to have lowest center of gravity in the class.
    The UX 200 uses a new 2.0L Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine that is said to improve thermal efficiency by 40 percent. This in turn means better fuel economy. Horsepower is rated at 168. A new Direct Shift CVT uses an additional gearset to make acceleration feel more linear and quicker. The UX 250h takes the 2.0L four-cylinder and pairs with two electric motors for a total output of 176 horsepower. The 250h will be the only UX model to come with AWD.
    One interesting feature exclusive to the UX 250h is Predictive Efficient Drive. This system is said to analyze various data points to boost regenerative braking functionality where a driver has been known to stop frequently to increase regeneration charge for the batteries.
    An F-Sport package will be available and include a number of visual tweaks, revised springs and anti-roll bars, and optional adaptive dampers.
    The interior features a minimalistic and simple dash design with two rows of buttons on the center stack. Quilted leather upholstery will be available as an option, along with a trim pattern inspired by a type of Japanese paper called washi.
    The 2019 Lexus UX arrives in the U.S. sometime this fall.
    Source: Lexus
    Press Release is on Page 2


    All-New Lexus UX Crossover Makes Its World Debut in Geneva
    The first-ever Lexus compact luxury crossover Bold “Urban Explorer” design First Lexus built on the new GA–C global platform UX 200 features all-new 2.0-liter engine coupled with Direct Shift Continuously Variable Transmission UX 250h combines new gas engine with 4th generation hybrid system GENEVA, March 6, 2018 – Following recent launches of its stunning new LC flagship coupe, LS flagship sedan and three-row RX luxury utility vehicle, Lexus is opening a new gateway into the brand with the UX, its first-ever compact luxury crossover. Making its world debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the UX introduces a bold new design, ultra-efficient new powertrains and innovative luxury features.
     
    “The first-ever Lexus UX is designed for the modern urban explorer seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving,” said Chika Kako, executive vice president of Lexus International and chief engineer of the UX. “We designed the UX to appeal to buyers in their 30s who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what is also relevant to their lifestyles.”
     
    The UX is the first Lexus to use the brand’s GA-C (Global Architecture – Compact) platform. The super-rigid structure and low center of gravity help the UX deliver exemplary handling agility and ride comfort, along with a distinctive driving personality.
     
    The 2019 Lexus UX will be available in two versions: the UX 200 introduces a new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine coupled with a new Direct-Shift continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the UX 250h pairs the same 2.0-liter gas engine with a new fourth generation hybrid drive system. New technology that networks with navigation allows the UX 250h to proactively optimize hybrid operation by learning, and adapting to the driver’s routes and driving habits.

    William Maley

    Jaguar to Tesla: You've been put on notice

    Various luxury automakers have taken Tesla as a serious threat and are working on models to take on the start-up. The first automaker out of the gate is Jaguar which premiered the production version in Graz, Austria today. This is quick turnaround considering we only saw the concept at the 2016 LA Auto Show.
    Let's talk about the I-Pace's heart. Jaguar has installed two electric motors (one on each axle) producing 294 kilowatts (394 horsepower) and 512 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 mph is said to take 4.5 seconds. A 90-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is estimated to provide a range of 240 miles between charges. 
    Plugged into a 100kW DC fast charger, the I-Pace can go from empty to an 80 percent charge. When plugged into a 230V/32A AC wall box, the I-Pace takes about 10 hours to get an 80 percent charge - "ideal for overnight charging" Jaguar notes in their press release.
    Like other PHEV and EVs, the I-Pace offers different brake-regeneration settings. The strongest one allows one-pedal driving.
    The I-Pace's structure is very different from other Jaguar models as the lithium-ion battery pack plays an integral role. Jaguar claims the I-Pace is its torsionally stiffest production model yet - mostly due to the battery pack. The low and central placement of the battery pack in the vehicle also gives 50:50 weight distribution. 
    Design-wise, there isn't much difference between the production model and concept. The overall length and wheelbase is similar to the F-Pace, but the interior is much more spacious as there is no gas engine up front. Designers were able to push the base of the windshield forward to maximize space.
    The interior is very much Jaguar with a modern design and various upholstery choices including a wool blend with recycled technical suede cloth. Jaguar's Touch Pro Duo infotainment system provides two touchscreens that control various vehicle functions including audio, navigation, and climate control.
    When the I-Pace launches in the second-half of this year, it will be available in S, SE, and HSE trims. A First Edition model offering numerous luxury appointments will be available during the first-year of production.
    Customers can begin placing orders at their local Jaguar dealer beginning today. As for pricing, Jaguar will be announcing that next week when the I-Pace rolls out on the floor of the Geneva Motor Show.
    Source: Jaguar
    Press Release is on Page 2


    JAGUAR CHARGES AHEAD WITH ALL-NEW ELECTRIC I-PACE
    Clean, smart and offering a wealth of driver assistance features, the Jaguar I-PACE delivers sports car performance, artificial intelligence (AI) enabled technologies and five-seat SUV practicality.
    Jaguar unveils all-electric I-PACE in live global webcast from the vehicle’s manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria Designed from the outset as a premium electric vehicle (EV), the mid-size Jaguar I-PACE SUV offers a bold aerodynamic design and interior space comparable to a larger vehicle Electrifying all-wheel drive performance from twin Jaguar-designed electric motors delivers 0-60mph acceleration in 4.5 seconds (1) 90kWh lithium-ion battery delivers an estimated 240 mile all-electric range (2); EV navigation provides range-optimized routing options Unique aluminum-intensive EV architecture delivers a rigid body structure and 50:50 weight distribution Public fast charging from 0-80 percent achievable in 40 minutes using a 100kW DC charger (3) ‘Smart Settings’ use artificial intelligence algorithms to learn driving habits and tailor the I-PACE to individual driver preferences Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) wireless updates available to ensure customers have access to the latest vehicle software Customer peace of mind from 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranty (4) and Best-in-Class Jaguar EliteCare ownership package (5) U.S. customer deliveries to begin during the second half of 2018 Since the debut of the Jaguar I-PACE Concept, U.S. customers have been registering their interest to purchase the new Jaguar I-PACE at www.jaguarusa.com As of today, Jaguar retailers can begin placing customer orders for the new I-PACE U.S. Pricing to be announced in conjunction with the vehicle’s public debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6 at 8:00AM EST (MAHWAH, N.J.) – March 1, 2018 – Today, the Jaguar I-PACE, the first all-electric production vehicle from the Jaguar brand, has been unveiled to the world in a live webcast. Clean, smart and offering a wealth of driver assistance features, the Jaguar I-PACE delivers sports car performance, artificial intelligence (AI) enabled technologies and five-seat SUV practicality.
    British comedian and actor, Jack Whitehall, self-proclaimed EV enthusiast and TV presenter Jonny Smith and American tech guru iJustine, hosted a special live show as the first I-PACE rolled off the production line in at the Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria, where the car will be built.
    Designed and engineered in the UK, the I-PACE will be built in Graz, Austria, as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr. It joins the growing family of Jaguar SUVs, alongside the all-new E-PACE and multiple award-winning F-PACE.
    “We set out with a clean sheet approach to harness new battery electric technology with an architecture engineered from the outset to optimize EV performance, aerodynamics and interior space. The result is the I-PACE – a true Jaguar and a truly driver-focused EV,” said Ian Hoban, Jaguar Vehicle Line Director.
    ELECTRIC
    With a 432 pouch cell, 90kWh, lithium-ion battery pack, the I-PACE delivers an estimated range of 240 miles2. Owners will be able to achieve a 0-80 percent battery charge in around 40 minutes using publicly available 100kW DC rapid charging facilities3. Home charging with a 230V/32A AC wall box (7kW) will achieve the same state of charge (0-80 percent) in just over ten hours – ideal for overnight charging3.
    A suite of smart range-optimizing technologies includes a battery pre-conditioning system which allows the vehicle to warm or cool its battery, and cabin, to an optimal temperature while plugged in to power. By allowing the vehicle to do this while still connected to power, the system reduces the need for the vehicle to tap into its driving range to reach optimal operating temperature.
    PERFORMANCE
    Two Jaguar-designed concentric electric motors – which feature driveshafts passing through the motors themselves for compactness – are placed at each axle, producing exceptional performance and all-wheel drive, multi-surface traction.
    The high torque density and high-energy efficiency characteristics of the motors combine to deliver sports car performance, launching the I-PACE from a standing start to 60mph in 4.5 seconds1. This instantaneous performance is matched with exceptional ride comfort and engaging driving dynamics Jaguar customers have come to expect.
    The aluminum architecture uses advanced riveting and bonding technology to deliver a light, stiff body structure. Together with the structural battery pack, it has a torsional rigidity of 36kNm/degree – the highest of any current Jaguar vehicle.
    The battery is placed centrally between the two axles, and as low as possible with a seal between the housing and the underfloor. This location enables a 50:50 weight distribution and a low center of gravity. Together with the advanced double wishbone front and an Integral Link rear suspension with standard Active Air Suspension and optional configurable Adaptive Dynamics, this packaging delivers agile handling and outstanding ride comfort.
    DESIGN
    The Jaguar I-PACE is designed and engineered to take full advantage of its smart electric powertrain, maximizing the potential of packaging benefits EVs inherently bring.
    Its sleek, coupe-like silhouette was influenced by the Jaguar C-X75 supercar concept; drawing inspiration for its short, low hood, aero-enhanced roof design and curved rear window from the concept. This cab-forward design contrasts with its squared-off rear, helping reduce the coefficient of drag to just 0.29Cd. To optimize the balance between cooling and aerodynamics, the I-PACE relies on Active Vanes in the grille which open when cooling is required and close when not needed; redirecting air through the integral hood scoop, further smoothing airflow around the vehicle.
    Inside, customers will experience a spacious cabin highlighted by the Jaguar brand's exquisite attention to detail and sophisticated materials – including the option of a premium textile Kvadrat interior.
    Although classed as a mid-sized SUV by its physical footprint, the cab forward design and packaging of the EV powertrain mean the I-PACE offers interior space comparable to a larger vehicle. The I-PACE affords a rear legroom space of 35.0-in (890mm) and a useful 0.43- cu. ft. (12.3-liter) central storage compartment in a space that would ordinarily by occupied by a transmission tunnel in a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Also in the rear, tablet and laptop storage can be found beneath the seats; while the rear luggage compartment behind those seats offers a 25.3 cu. ft. capacity, a generous 51.0 cu. ft. is available with the second row seats folded flat.
    CONNECTED-CAR TECHNOLOGY
    The Jaguar I-PACE introduces the Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro Duo™ infotainment system to Jaguar. First debuting on the Range Rover Velar and later on the 2018 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, Touch Pro Duo relies on a pair of innovative touchscreens which work in conjunction with capacitive sensors and tactile physical controls, to make the new system intuitive to use6.
    A new EV navigation system built into Touch Pro Duo calculates personalized range and charging status to assist with driver confidence. To gather this data, the Touch Pro Duo system analyzes the topography of the selected route to the destination and aggregates that information with insights from previous journeys, including individual driving styles.
    The advanced system uses ‘Smart Settings’ technology – driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms – to identify individual driver preferences, and then tailors the vehicle’s driving and interior settings accordingly.
    The I-PACE will also launch an Amazon Alexa Skill linked to the Jaguar InControl Remote App. Owners will be able to ask an Alexa-enabled device for information such as “Is my car locked?,” “What is the charging level?,” and “Do I have enough range to get to work?” among other things.
    To ensure customers always have access to the latest infotainment, telematics and battery energy control software, the I-PACE will also be the first Jaguar to provide Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates.
    In the U.S. the I-PACE will be available in the second half of 2018 as a 2019 model year vehicle, in S, SE and HSE derivatives as well as a one-year-only, First Edition model derived from a very well equipped HSE trim.

    William Maley

    A sufficient range of 31 miles

    It seems we have been talking about Bentley's first plug-in hybrid for a number of years. But on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, Bentley finally revealed the 2019 Bentayga plug-in hybrid.
    Instead of using a turbo V8 or W12, the plug-in utilizes a turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine paired with an electric motor. Bentley isn't revealing power figures or how big the battery is. but they do reveal the Bentayga can travel up to 31 miles on a full charge (based on the European testing cycle). There will be three driving modes specific to the hybrid - EV Drive, Hybrid, and Hold.
    When it comes to recharging the Bentayga plug-in hybrid, Bentley says it will take 2.5 hours when plugged into a charger or 7.5 hours when plugged into a socket.
    There are small differences between the plug-in hybrid and the gas variants. The charging port mirrors the location of fuel filler door on the other side. There are also copper-colored badges on the doors and tailgate.
    The order books for the Bentayga plug-in hybrid open up in select markets later this year.
    Source: Bentley
    Press Release is on Page 2


    SERENITY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY: THE PIONEERING BENTLEY BENTAYGA HYBRID
    World’s first luxury hybrid Serene driving experience utilises future-focussed technology Bentley’s first step towards electrification Advanced electric motor combines with new V6 petrol engine Battery recharged in 2.5 hrs (Crewe, 5 March 2018) Bentley is today announcing full details of the world’s first luxury hybrid model. The Bentayga Hybrid represents Bentley’s first step towards full electrification, combining the serenity of silent motoring with exquisite comfort and effortless performance.
    Offering the best of both worlds, the new plug-in hybrid model combines an advanced electric motor with a powerful and efficient new-generation V6 petrol engine. The hybrid version of the world’s most luxurious SUV will be the company’s most efficient model ever with CO2 emissions of 75 g/km (NEDC).
    The Bentayga Hybrid feels and rides like a true Bentley, providing the refinement, effortless performance and exquisitely tranquil cabin environment for which the luxury British brand is famed. It represents the future of luxury mobility; an oasis of calm and tranquillity in the city and beyond.
    Adrian Hallmark, new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bentley Motors, said: “The Bentayga Hybrid is our first step on the road to electrification, combining traditional Bentley values with the very latest technologies. It gives customers the best of both worlds – engaging, effortless performance on the open road and silent, emission-free driving in the city, which will become increasingly important with the ever-changing regulations around the world.
    “Following Bentley tradition, the Bentayga Hybrid pioneers a new automotive sector – the luxury hybrid – and sets Bentley on the path towards a sustainable electrified future.”
    Bentayga Hybrid is not yet available to order. It will become available to order in selected markets from the second half of 2018.
    Intelligent, Experience-Enhancing Technology
    At the heart of the Bentayga Hybrid are two power sources – a highly efficient electric motor and a new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. The E Motor acts as both an electric motor and a generator to offer a seamless driving experience and guaranteeing maximum electric-only range.
    The Hybrid adds a new dimension to the existing range of luxury Bentayga models. It features all the flexibility associated with the W12, V8 Diesel and V8 derivatives, with the same sure-footed permanent four-wheel drive and four on-road modes – Sport, Bentley, Comfort and Custom.
    The Automatic Start-Stop switch is replaced with a control for the three E Modes – EV Drive, Hybrid Mode and Hold Mode. These will enable the driver to manage battery usage during a journey.
    The Bentayga Hybrid requires new and different information to be relayed to the driver. As a result, a revised infotainment screen and Driver’s Information Panel with E Motion information have been designed to provide details on performance, consumption and energy source.
    The traditional tachometer that displays engine speed is replaced with a dial showing when the car is operating in pure EV Drive, or engine speed if the combustion engine is operating. A battery status dial replaces the coolant temperature gauge.
    The infotainment screen can display energy flow in each of the three E Modes, showing whether the vehicle is being powered by energy supplied by the battery, or the combustion engine – or whether energy is flowing back to the battery in order to charge it.
    To maximise efficiency, the vehicle uses satellite navigation information to calculate the best usage of electric motor and engine for every journey. Inputting a destination into the navigation system will command the car to automatically engage the correct E Mode for each part of the journey, constantly calculating the most efficient use of battery charge and storing electrical energy for sections of the journey where it is most useful – such as when arriving in the city. The system will reduce on-board charge to zero just as the vehicle reaches its destination, maximising overall efficiency.
    A number of Hybrid-specific functions will also be introduced to the latest Connected Car ‘MyBentley3’ services, including My Battery Charge, My Cabin Comfort, and My Car Status, operated via a smartphone app.
    Bentley has prioritised the charging experience to ensure that owning a Bentayga Hybrid is as easy as owning a conventional car. Controllable remotely from a Smartphone, or in-person via the on-board charging point, the charging status and programming will be visible on the MMI drivers’ screen and on the user’s smartphone via an app.
    Other unique features include E-Charging, where the app will list nearby or relevant charging stations (based on your search criteria), and give you the option to set them as destinations on the car navigation system; and My Cabin Comfort which allows you to set the car to heat (or cool) itself so that the cabin is at the optimum temperature when the door is opened.
    The Bentayga Hybrid’s Vehicle Charge Point is located on the opposite side to the normal fuel filler. From here, the car can be connected to either a domestic power supply, or a public charger point. The rear luggage compartment will hold two bespoke bags containing the necessary cables to connect the car to either.
    With an impressive electric range of over 31 miles (50 km) in the NEDC cycle, a full charge of the battery from a domestic household socket will take 7.5 hours. However, customers with an industrial connection installed at home can reduce the charge time to just 2.5 hours.
    Timeless Bentley by Starck Power Dock
    Bentley has collaborated with renowned designer, Philippe Starck, to create a concept for a highly desirable recharging unit for Bentayga Hybrid customers – the Power Dock.
    The statement piece showcases the exquisite attention to detail you would expect from both Bentley and Starck, using sustainable and elegant materials. The stylish surround is formed from pressed eco-linen with bio-sourced thermosetting resin, while the domed frontage is fashioned using a hot-pressure aluminium casting.
    The minimal and elegant Power Dock is designed to keep charging cables neat and safe at home. Furthermore, it brings a luxurious touch to the act of hybrid recharging, acting as a functional piece of art that will enhance any home.
    Starck’s elegant creation – with its tactile surfaces and inviting aesthetic – will encourage Bentayga Hybrid customers to plug-in whenever they are at home, thus ensuring each journey begins with the maximum electric-only range.
    Innovative Features and Advanced Technologies
    A suite of driver assistance systems and infotainment features, designed to enhance safety, comfort and convenience make the Bentayga Hybrid an innovative and advanced SUV.
    Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Traffic Assist enable the driver to maintain a time gap to the vehicle in front. Predictive ACC uses the navigation data, sensors and cameras to predict upcoming corners, city boundaries and speed-limit changes and can then modify the vehicle speed accordingly, improving both comfort and fuel economy.
    In urban environments, there are a number of driver aids available on the Bentayga Hybrid. These systems – such as Traffic Sign Recognition, which detects a wide variety of traffic signs and displays information to the driver; Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, which uses radar technology to detect crossing traffic when reversing out of a parking space; and Top View, a system which uses four cameras to display an overall picture of the vehicle’s surroundings – combine to enhance everyday usability.
    Park Assist is also available – a system that detects suitable parking spaces (both parallel and perpendicular) before autonomous steering takes over to support parking manoeuvres, even in narrow and tricky spaces.
    Other innovative systems available include Electronic Night Vision, which uses infra-red technology to identify potential obstacles ahead, and a Head-Up Display, which reduces driver distraction and increases safety.
    The Bentayga’s 8” touch screen infotainment system boasts class-leading navigation technology, a 60GB hard drive, and a choice of up to 30 languages.
    Rear seat passengers benefit from the Bentley Entertainment Tablet – a removable 10.2” Android device with 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth for effortless, high-speed on-board connectivity.
    Customers can choose between three different sound systems for the Bentayga Hybrid: Bentley Standard Audio, Bentley Signature Audio and Naim for Bentley Premium Audio. The latter is the most powerful system in the segment, with 1,950 watts, a network of 18 speakers and super-tweeters for unrivalled recreation of the highest audio frequencies.
    Sculptural Form, Sharp Lines and Elegant Execution
    The Bentayga Hybrid’s wheel arches, fenders and bonnet deliver a balance between sportiness and SUV presence.
    The ultra-sharp Bentley power line and muscular rear haunch display a taut tension in side profile, as part of the largest single-piece aluminium pressing in the automotive world. Trademark Bentley features such as the large matrix grille and B-shaped wing vents afford the Bentayga a modern, dynamic elegance.
    At the rear, within the segmented tail lights, a ‘B’-shaped illumination graphic is incorporated that affords the Bentayga an instantly recognisable and striking night-time signature.
    Bentley’s most efficient model ever will be identifiable thanks to a number of elegant exterior styling cues. Copper-coloured ‘Hybrid’ badging on the lower front doors and tailgate – and a copper finish to the wheel centres and Bentley badges – highlight the electric performance potential of the Bentayga’s new powertrain. Additionally, the insert on the tread plates will also read ‘Hybrid’.
    The World’s Finest Cabin, Handcrafted at the Home of Bentley
    Step inside the Bentayga Hybrid and you find the finest automotive interior in the world, with handcrafted wood and leather throughout – engineered with precision to deliver absolute perfection.
    The attention to detail in metal, wood and leather is the epitome of modern British luxury, and is only achievable thanks to the exceptional skill of the workforce in Crewe.
    The Bentayga’s cockpit sets new standards for both luxury and precision, with meticulous tolerances between the exquisite veneered woods and metal elements. The dashboard takes the iconic Bentley ‘wing’ design as its inspiration, with the beautifully finished surfaces flowing gracefully from door to door over the top of the instrument binnacles, down under the centre console and back up around the passenger side fascia and foot well.
    The hand-selected veneers form pure and elegant surfaces throughout the cabin, and each of the 15 pieces are shaped by Bentley’s artisans from a choice of seven different veneers, and finished with trademark Bentley attention to detail.
    Highly polished, handcrafted metal elements adorn the dashboard, centre console and doors. Trademark Bentley knurling on the drive mode selector, gear knob, iconic bulls-eye vents and organ pulls adds sophistication and tactile refinement.
    Sumptuous front seats, individually handcrafted in Crewe and featuring 22-way adjustment including adjustable cushion and backrest bolsters, provide superb support and comfort for all conditions. This cosseted feeling is further enhanced with a six-programme massage system, seat heating and ventilation.
    Whether selected in four- or five-seat configuration, all of the leather seats in the Bentayga are available with contrast stitching and a quilted diamond design applied to the ‘shoulders’ and bolsters, echoing the design of a finely tailored British hunting jacket.
    Bentley specialists individually select only the finest bull hides, all of which are sourced from cool European climates, naturally tanned and never over-printed. Customers have the choice of 15 colours, in three duo-tone and one single mono-tone colour split.
    The four-seat configuration makes the ultimate statement in design, comfort and luxury.  The two individual rear seats adjust in 18 different ways and include massage and ventilation functions as well as footrests. The veneered rear console hides additional functionality such as cup holders, generous storage areas and USB charging sockets. 
    The opulent feeling is completed by the fixed back, dividing the interior cabin from the boot.  Also trimmed in the signature diamond quilting and including a ski-hatch, it creates an enclosed rear cabin space that sets new standards in the SUV sector.
    The full-length panoramic sunroof with acoustic interlayers allows ample natural sunlight to highlight the surfaces and detailing.

    William Maley

    It's chock full of it

    While SUVs and crossovers are dominating the headlines, automakers are continuing to update or introduce new sedans. Case in point is the 2019 Audi A6 which made its debut yesterday.
    The A6's design borrows a lot of from the recently redesigned A7 and A8. Up front resides a wider grille, large bumper vents, slimmer headlights, and sculpting on the hood. The side profile mostly mimics the A7 with a lower roofline and distinctive character line. Around back is the same trunk lid design and taillight setup as seen on the A8. Overall dimensions have increased very slightly - 0.3 inches longer, 0.5 inches wider, and 0.1 inch taller.
    Inside, the A6 mimics the A7 and A8 with a 12.3-inch screen with Audi's Virtual Cockpit system in the instrument cluster and the option of a 10.1-inch touchscreen featuring the latest version of Audi's MMI system. A smaller 8.6-inch touchscreen sits below and handles climate and convenience features. One feature that will be available on the European-market A6 will be the ability to use an Android smartphone to start the vehicle - no key required.
    Audi has only revealed two engine options for the A6. A 3.0L turbocharged gas V6 packs 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. There will also be a 3.0L TDI V6 featuring 286 hp and 457 pound-feet of torque. The gas engine uses a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the diesel makes do with an eight-speed automatic. quattro all-wheel drive comes standard on the two engines, but we expect front-wheel drive to become available as more engines are revealed. All powertrains will feature a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to help improve fuel economy.
    For ride and handling, Audi will be offering four different suspension setups - standard steel springs, sport suspension, one with adaptive dampers, and air suspension. Optional features include a variable steering ratio system and four-wheel steering. 
    Numerous safety systems will be on offer for the new A6, including adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, parking assist, and Parking Pilot and Garage Pilot that allows the A6 to autonomously pull in or out of parking space.
    The 2019 Audi A6 goes on sale in Europe this summer. We expect Audi to provide details on the North American A6 possibly at New York later in March, with sales to begin towards the end of the year.
    Source: Audi
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Upgrade in the business class: the new Audi A6 Sedan
    Digitalization: futuristic operating concept and extensive networking Comfort and convenience: wide range of driver assistance systems for even greater safety Sportiness: dynamic all-wheel steering for enhanced agility and outstanding ride comfort Design: sporty, elegant exterior and progressive interior with five trim lines With the new A6, Audi is presenting the eighth generation of its successful full-size Sedan and brings numerous innovations to the segment. Whether in terms of digitalization, comfort or sportiness – the elegantly sculptured Audi A6 is the multitalent in the luxury class. The all-digital MMI touch response system provides intuitive operation. The extensive connectivity and assistance solutions demonstrate networked intelligence. The interior systematically adopts digitalization and is groundbreaking in its segment. The suspension combines smooth ride comfort and high stability with enhanced sportiness. All engines have a mild-hybrid system as standard equipment for convenience and efficiency.
    MMI touch response operating system – customizable and intuitive
    The MMI touch response system of the new Audi A6 sets new standards in terms of intuitive operation and personalization. With extensive intelligent personalization options, the car is tailored to the driver: The all-digital operating system allows central vehicle functions to be placed in the required position in the MMI screen using drag-and-drop – similar to the user experience with smartphone apps. Shortcuts and favorites buttons form the ideal basis for individual preferences and superb ease-of-use.
    Ideal for frequent drivers and fleet customers: Up to seven drivers can store their preferred settings in individual user profiles and set up to 400 parameters. Thanks to its logical and flat menu structure, the system provides fast access to vehicle functions. The configurable favorites buttons help tailor the system to the user’s preferences. As an option, the lighting and multifunction buttons can be fitted with touch response technology.
    The natural-language control turns the new Audi A6 into an intelligent dialog partner and travel companion: It processes questions and commands in two ways, with onboard stored data and also – in conjunction with MMI navigation plus – with the detailed knowledge from the cloud.
    The MMI touch response operating system with haptic and acoustic feedback provides rapid, intuitive operation: Users hear and feel a click as confirmation as soon as their finger triggers a function.
    The driver manages the infotainment on the top display, which has a 10.1-inch screen diagonal if MMI navigation plus has been specified. The bottom 8.6-inch display, located in the console in the center tunnel, is used for the climate control and for the convenience functions and text input; the driver’s wrist can sit on the selector lever of the automatic transmission. In addition, the head-up display projects important information onto the windshield. MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display.
    MMI navigation plus and Audi connect – more convenience in the business class
    The new Audi A6 offers an extensive range of connectivity solutions for superb safety, convenience and personalization. The standard specification includes MMI navigation, with MMI navigation plus – a media hub with a new design – available as an option. The top-of-the-line data transfer module uses the new LTE Advanced standard.
    MMI navigation plus also offers a host of new navigation features. These include a self-learning function based on the driven routes, which generates intelligent search suggestions. Route guidance is provided online on the servers run by service provider HERE; these servers factor in the traffic situation in the entire region. If the flow of data is interrupted, the navigation switches to the online route guidance that runs in parallel. Six free six-monthly updates are available as standard for the navigation map.
    MMI navigation plus is even more compelling with the optional add-on modules, including two sound systems. The top-of-the-line version, the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, also delivers fascinating 3D sound to the rear thanks to its height information. Telephony is also taken to a new level in relation to operation as well as the sound and connection quality thanks to the Audi phone box.
    Audi connect online services also provide the car-to-X services traffic sign and hazard information. They use the swarm intelligence from the Audi fleet and network the Audi A6 with its environment. Shortly after the market launch, the on-street parking service will be added, which makes looking for a parking space easier. Using the myAudi app, owners of the new A6 can access the brand’s digital services via a smartphone.
    As an option, the Audi connect key replaces the conventional vehicle key. It makes using the business sedan even more convenient, and allows an Android smartphone to unlock, lock the car and start the engine. Near Field Communication transfers data to the car. The owner can pass the access data onto five people or smartphones.
    Driver assistance systems
    Even more comfort, poise and safety on long and short journeys – the new A6 with new and refined driver assistance systems sets new standards in the luxury class. These include the parking pilot and the garage pilot, which are set to extend the range of equipment during the course of the year: They autonomously maneuver the Sedan into and out of a parking space or garage. The driver can get out of the car before activating and monitoring the process using the myAudi app on their smartphone. To do so, the driver must continuously hold down the relevant function key.
    The parking pilot and the garage pilot form part of the Park assist package, one of three packages. The City assist package includes features such as the new crossing assist. The Tour assist package comes with the adaptive cruise assist, which supplements the adaptive cruise control by means of gentle steering intervention to keep the vehicle in lane, and the efficiency assist, which promotes an economical driving style.
    Behind the extensive assist systems lies a high-tech module from Audi: the central driver assistance controller (zFAS). It calculates continuously a detailed model of the environment from a fusion of sensor data. Depending on equipment, the sensor set includes up to five radar sensors, five cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors as well as a laser scanner – another major innovation.
    Mild-hybrid technology – all engines electrified
    All engines in the new A6 come with Audi’s new mild-hybrid technology. Here a belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery. The Audi A6 can coast between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 and 99.4 mph).
    The start-stop function kicks in up to 22 km/h (13.7 mph). The engine is restarted from standstill predictively as soon as the vehicle in front of the Audi A6 starts moving. During deceleration, the BAS recovers up to 12 kW of energy. In real-world driving, the MHEV technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters per 100 kilometers.
    Body and dimensions – more legroom in the business class
    The body of the new Audi A6 also adds to the relaxed atmosphere onboard. One factor is the advanced aerodynamics: With a minimum drag coefficient of 0.24 (with an engine to be released subsequently) and thanks to sophisticated aeroacoustics, the Sedan remains pleasantly quiet, even at high speed. 

    A second factor is the high body rigidity – it forms the basis for the top quality feel and the sporty handling. Audi uses an intelligent mixed construction of steel and aluminum in the body shell. Components such as the front suspension strut dome are made of aluminum, as are the doors, hood/trunk lids and fenders.
    The interior of the new Audi A6 is even larger than on the outgoing model. With regard to legroom in the rear, it beats the outgoing model and the core competitors. The headroom and shoulder room in the front and rear are also superior to the outgoing model. The luggage compartment offers more loading width – two golf bags can be accommodated horizontally. The capacity remains unchanged at 530 liters (18.7 cu ft). The trunk lid can be opened electrically with a kicking motion.
    The all-new seats underline the character of the Audi A6 as a poised long-distance sedan. With their numerous adjustment functions, the customized contour seats, front, optionally available with ventilation and massage, provide superb comfort. A good interior climate is likewise ensured: The optional air quality package improves the air with two subtle fragrances, an ionizer and an effective pollutant filter. With its large glass sections, the optional panoramic glass sunroof floods the interior with light. Additional convenience features include the windshield wipers with integrated washer jets and the optional heated windshield.
    The suspension – as agile as a sports car, as maneuverable as a compact model
    The new Audi A6 is noticeably sportier than the outgoing model – thanks especially to innovative solutions for the suspension. The already sporty ratio of the standard progressive steering becomes even more direct as the steering angle increases; a new damping concept also conveys intensive, finally differentiated feedback from the road. The new Audi A6 is maneuverable in town, agile on country roads, and poised and comfortable on the highway.
    The dynamic all-wheel steering is a key component in this agility and maneuverability. It combines direct, sporty steering response with unshakable stability, resolving this classic conflict of aims. Depending on the speed, the steering ratio varies between 9.5:1 and 16.5:1. This is thanks to a strain wave gearing at the front. At the rear axle, a spindle drive turns the wheels as much as 5 degrees. At low speed, the wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels, thus enhancing the agility of the A6 and reducing its turning circle by up to 1.1 meters (3.6 ft) to 11.1 meters (36.4 ft). All of which makes maneuvering easy despite the almost five meter (16.4 ft) exterior length of the large Sedan. At high speed the wheels turn in the same direction, thus optimizing stability when traveling in a straight line or changing lanes. Thus the A6 not only offers the driver smooth straight-line stability at high speed. Passengers also enjoy more comfort since the steering movements seem much softer on the rear seats.
    The redesigned wheel suspension is also made out of lightweight aluminum in many areas. Despite the larger wheels, measuring up to 21 inches and tire sizes of up to 255/35, than on the outgoing model, the Audi A6 has improved ride and noise comfort. Brakes with fixed calipers made from aluminum are fitted to the front axle. Audi provides a choice of four variants for the suspension setup: the conventional steel spring suspension, the sport suspension, the suspension with damper control, and the adaptive air suspension, also with controlled damping.
    Drivetrain
    As part of the launch in the European markets, Audi offers the new A6 with two powerful, smooth engines – one diesel and one gasoline unit. The gasoline unit (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.1 – 6.7 (33.1 – 35.1 mpg)*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 161 – 151 (259.1 – 243.0 g/mi)*) is a 3.0 TFSI. The V6 turbocharged engine accelerates the business sedan from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds with 250 kW (340 hp) and 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque; the electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph) is a mere technicality. The 3.0 TDI with 210 kW (286 hp) produces similar performance (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.8 – 5.5 (40.6 – 42.8 mpg)*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 150 – 142 (241.4 – 228.5 g/mi)*), it delivers 620 Nm (457.3 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft. While the 3.0 TDI is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic, the 3.0 TFSI is coupled as standard with a seven-speed S tronic. The two engines are equipped as standard with the quattro all-wheel drive, whose design varies depending on the specific setup. In conjunction with the tiptronic it comes with the self-locking center differential; in tandem with the S tronic the setup features even more efficient ultra technology, which always activates the rear-wheel drive instantly whenever needed. All gearshifts are automatic.
    In conjunction with the tiptronic transmission the optional sport differential lends the A6 even more dynamic handling by actively distributing the power between the rear wheels. Like the dynamic all-wheel steering, the controlled damping and the adaptive air suspension, it is integrated into the control function of the electronic chassis platform. These systems are closely networked for innovative precision. The driver can select various driving profiles via the Audi drive select system – the wide spread from comfort through sportiness is even more pronounced than in the outgoing model.
    The exterior design – technical and elegant
    Like the A8 and A7 Sportback models, the A6 is the expressive ambassador of the new Audi design language. With taut surfaces, sharp edges and striking lines, the business sedan unmistakably conveys its character: sporty elegance, high tech and sophistication.
    The exterior stands out with its balanced proportions – long hood, long wheelbase and short overhangs. The A6 is 4,939 millimeters (16.2 ft) long, i.e. 7 millimeters (0.3 in) longer than its predecessor. The width has been increased by 12 millimeters (0.5 in) to 1,886 millimeters (6.2 ft) while the height at 1,457 millimeters (4.8 ft) is now 2 millimeters (0.1 in) more than on the outgoing model. The wide, low-slung Singleframe grille, the flat headlights and the powerfully contoured air inlets exude sportiness.
    In the side view, three striking lines reduce the car’s visual height. The powerfully taut contours, which are drawn over the wheels, are testimony to Audi’s quattro genes. The taut roof line, which tapers into flat C-pillars, characterizes the silhouette. The short trunk lid ends in a curved separating edge for optimized aerodynamics. A striking chrome strip accentuates the three-dimensional sculpture of the rear and connects the rear lights.
    The paint range for the new A6 offers a choice of 14 colors, seven of which are new. In addition to the basic version, customers have a choice of the two sport and design exterior trim lines as well as the S line exterior package. They differ in many details, for instance with the Singleframe or the side air inlets. All lines and all colors use the play of light and shade on the outer skin, thus accentuating the sculptured impression.
    The lighting design – technology brought to life
    The lighting design emphasizes the technical character of the A6. Audi supplies the headlights in three different versions. With the top-of-the-line version, the HD Matrix LED headlights, five horizontal lines form the daytime running light signature; they emphasize the width of the front. Above them are the dipped beam modules that look like pupils. Optionally, the lighting signature of the tail lights is made up of a single horizontal line and nine vertical segments for each unit; the brake light fills the areas in between. The dynamic indicator is included with the top-of-the-line equipment. When unlocking and locking the doors, a pulsing coming and leaving home function brings to life the combination of design and technology that is the hallmark of Audi.
    Audi offers two different lighting packages for the interior: the ambient lighting package and the contour ambient lighting package. Both subtly animate the space, the volume and the materials. The ambient lighting makes the dashboard and center console appear to float. The contour lighting reproduces the clear lines of the interior architecture and can be set to 30 different colors.
    The interior – futuristic design
    The interior of the new A6 features a black-panel design – a cool look which expresses the technical competence and digital character of the business sedan. This creates a relaxed lounge atmosphere in a design language that comes across as reduced and matter-of-fact. The sleek instrument panel and the calm, continuous horizontal body line create an airy sense of spaciousness.
    The center console in the new Audi A6 is directed at the driver; the top MMI touch response display is also tilted slightly to the left. With its black-panel look, it almost disappears into an aluminum clip when switched off. The display is activated when opening a door; its graphical user interface appears reduced, matching the interior design.
    Colors and materials – a range of equipment for all tastes
    The wide range of colors and materials available for the new A6 deck out the interior design with very different characteristics, from elegant through sporty, from technical through futuristic. Five versions are available: basic, sport, design, design selection and S line sport package (with 19-inch wheels and sport suspension). Each variant is associated with different color concepts. The choice and use of materials – from the open-pore wood trim through the leather upholstery on the instrument panel – attest to the uncompromisingly high quality of the new Sedan. Audi offers the S line exterior package as an option for all equipment lines.
    The new Audi A6 is due to roll off the assembly line at the Neckarsulm site and will launch on the German market in June 2018. The basic price as the Audi A6 Sedan 50 TDI quattro (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.8 – 5.5 (40.6 – 42.8 mpg)*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 150 – 142 (241.4 – 228.5 g/mi)*) is 58,050 euros. 

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    At this week's Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen will unveil two vehicles. One being a concept and the other being a production model.
    Let's start with the concept; Volkswagen is showing off a refreshed version of their Cross Coupe concept shown back at the Toyko Motor Show. Aside from a new paint job (two-tone red and silver exterior paint instead of silver), it features a new powertrain.



    Gone is the gas engine used in Cross Coupe's plug-in hybrid system. In its place is a TDI engine which will increase horsepower from 261 to 302 and increase fuel economy to 131 MPG (US).
    And For The Second Vehicle, See Page 2

    Volkswagen's second showing will be a production version of the GTI Cabriolet. Shown last June at the Wörthersee gathering in Austria, the Golf GTI Cabriolet is pretty much a Golf Cabriolet fitted with all of the GTI goodies; 2.0L turbo four, six-speed gearbox (manual or DSG), VW’s XDS electronic limited slip differential, 17-inch alloy wheels, and all the visual cues.


    Volkswagen says the GTI Cabriolet can do 0-60 MPH in 7.3 seconds (0.4 slower than the regular GTI) and can drop the top in 9.5 seconds at speeds up to 18 MPH.
    If you're wondering when you can buy one, the answer is probably no.

    Press Release is on Page 3

    VOLKSWAGEN LIFTS THE LID ON NEW GOLF GTI CABRIOLET

    The most powerful production Golf Cabriolet ever is set to be unveiled next week at the Geneva Motor Show.
    Pictured here for the first time, the Golf GTI Cabriolet packs in all the performance and practicality of the GTI hatchback, and adds the pleasures of open-air motoring for four, thanks to an electrically powered fabric roof which can be folded away in just 9.5 seconds, even while travelling at speeds of up to 18 mph.
    Visually, the Golf GTI Cabriolet has all the classic GTI design cues. The radiator grille has a honeycomb structure with red edging and the GTI badge, while the front bumper incorporates a deep honeycomb air dam and distinctive vertical fog lights. Side sill extensions help give the GTI a wide, well-planted stance, while a bespoke rear diffuser is framed by a chrome tailpipe on either side. Smoked LED tail lights complete the look. As on the GTI hatchback, standard wheels are 17-inch 'Monza' alloys.
    Under the insulated fully automatic roof are four individual seats covered in the classic tartan 'Jacara' cloth upholstery; 'Vienna' leather upholstery is optional. The bespoke GTI multifunction steering wheel is wrapped in leather, as are the handbrake and gear lever gaiter, all finished with contrasting red stitching. The pedals have brushed stainless steel caps, while there are black 'Edge' decorative inlays on the doors and facia. The hood lining and roof pillar trims are all finished in black.
    Under the bonnet is the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the GTI hatchback, mated to either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox and producing 210 PS. The benchmark zero to 62 mph sprint is covered in 7.3 seconds with either transmission (versus 6.9 seconds for the hatch), while top speed is 147 mph (146 mph for the DSG).
    Maximum torque of 206 lbs ft (280 Nm) is available from just 1,700 rpm to 5,300 rpm, at which point maximum horsepower is achieved. This broad torque band helps to make the GTI an excellent cruiser – even at low revs in a high gear, the reserves of torque make the GTI's performance easy to tap in to. A standard EDS electronic differential lock and XDS transverse differential lock help to ensure that the power is easily transferred to the road.
    Safety is every bit as much a priority as performance. As with all Golf Cabriolet models, the GTI comes with automatically deploying rollover protection, front and side head/thorax airbags and a driver's knee airbag as standard, all of which helped it to achieve a five-star (96 per cent) rating for adult occupancy in Euro NCAP crash tests.
    The Golf GTI Cabriolet goes on sale in the UK in the second half of the year. Prices and further specification details will be announced closer to the on-sale date. For more details on this and the rest of Volkswagen's award-winning range of cars, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.

    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.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 29, 2012
    At next week’s Geneva Motor Show, Mini will unveil their most powerful vehicle, the Countryman John Cooper Works.
    Power comes from a tuned version of Mini’s 1.6L inline-four producing 211 HP and 207 lb-ft of torque (221 lb-ft on overboost). The power goes through either a six-speed manual or automatic and Mini’s All4 all-wheel drive system to propel the Countryman JCW from 0 to 62 MPH in 7.1 seconds.
    The Countryman JCW also gets some tweaks in the suspension with stiffer spring and damper settings, stronger anti-roll bars and a 0.4-inch lower ride height. A bigger brake package lies behind a set of lightweight 18 or 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
    Aside from all the of performance bits, the Countryman JCW also gets a number of visual tweaks. The Countryman JCW comes with reworked aero and is available with a “chili” red roof and mirror caps, among other exclusive paint colors.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Extreme driving fun on any terrain:



    The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.


    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – February 28, 2012… MINI The MINI family is constantly expanding, and new additions have also been made to the range of John Cooper Works models available to customers. For the first time, MINI racing-inspired thrills can be experienced in combination with all-wheel drive. The global introduction of the MINI John Cooper Works will get under way in autumn 2012.
    The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, will be fitted as standard with the all-wheel-drive system known as ALL4, and powered by a newly developed four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 211 hp. This new combination assures the driver of extreme driving fun on any terrain. The John Cooper Works Countryman is also the first John Cooper Works model available for order with a six-speed automatic gearbox as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual.
    With powertrain and chassis technology developed calling on the brand’s vast motor sport expertise built into the first MINI with five doors and four/five seats, MINI will deliver its John Cooper Works presence in another new segment… complete with all of the customary handling characteristics and sporty appearance the brand is known for.
    The Countryman, MINI’s first five-seater, already shares the racing genes which define the character of every MINI, and now the John Cooper Works polishes these inherent talents to really shine. The new engine brings another hike in output, transferred onto the road with impressive style by the MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system. The John Cooper Works suspension ensures every change in direction is imbued with addictive agility. The MINI John Cooper Works sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 7.1 seconds. While U.S. fuel economy figures are not yet available, average fuel consumption of 7.2 liters per 100 kilometers / 39.2 mpg imp in the EU test cycle represents an outstanding return when you consider the performance on offer (automatic transmission: 8.0 liters/100 km and 35.3 mpg imp).
    Note: performance and fuel consumption figures are provisional.
    The distinctive style of the sixth John Cooper Works model in the MINI line-up is also expressed through the car’s design, including the exclusive selection of paint finishes, light-alloy wheels and interior materials available for order. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is equipped as standard with an aerodynamic kit, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system with chrome tailpipes and door sills bearing the John Cooper Works logo. The color Chili Red can be specified as a contrasting paint finish for the roof and exterior mirrors. And Chili Red flourishes for the interior, such as in the exclusive design of the sports seats, also add a distinctive flavor to the sports car ambience carried over from the other John Cooper Works models.
    The most powerful member of a new generation: the engine in the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.
    The motor sport roots of John Cooper Works are reflected in a constant thirst for new performance benchmarks. This ambition has inspired even more power from the new four-cylinder engine in the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, as well as ensuring further gains in efficiency. The latest generation of the twin-scroll turbocharged engines benefit from both direct injection and a variable valve control system based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology. This throttle-free load control development significantly improves both the engine’s responsiveness and its efficiency. Reinforced pistons and intake valves, and further optimization of the cooling, air supply and exhaust gas discharge system, enable further increases in output and torque. Added to which, the 1.6-liter engine’s turbocharger is given a particularly large intercooler.
    The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman’s engine reaches its maximum output of 211 hp at 6,000 rpm and generates peak torque of 207 lb-ft between 2,000 and 5,600 rpm. The Overboost function briefly pushes this figure up to 221 lb-ft between 2,100 and 5,200 rpm. The sports exhaust system – its slanting tailpipe embellishers providing an extra dose of the hallmark John Cooper Works design – gives this outstanding power delivery the one-of-a-kind soundtrack it deserves.
    All-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox are both offered for a John Cooper Works model for the first time in this vehicle. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is the first model to send the extreme output from its motor sport-inspired engine through all four wheels.
    The new car’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive system uses an electromagnetic center differential to distribute drive seamlessly between the front and rear axles. This ensures the engine’s power always finds its way to where it can be converted most effectively into forward motion. In normal driving conditions, the MINI’s intelligent ALL4 system directs all of the engine’s power to the front tires, and up to 50 percent of its power can be diverted automatically to the rear wheels when driving conditions require it. This provides a traction-led expression of the handling talents for which MINI is famed, ensuring maximum directional stability and dynamic performance whatever the weather and road conditions. Together, the engine’s imposing power and the added John Cooper Works technology employ to harness it lay on a full-blooded brand of driving fun.
    The market launch of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is complemented by another MINI powertrain premiere, the introduction of an optional six-speed automatic gearbox for John Cooper Works customers as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual. Detailed tweaks have been made to both the gearboxes themselves and the clutch for the manual variant to take into account the extra engine power, and ensure outstanding performance and efficiency. The manual and automatic versions of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 7.1 and 7.5 seconds respectively on the way to a top speed of 127 mph.
    Sporting flair, John Cooper Works style: chassis, aerodynamics, design and interior.
    Chassis technology including a front axle with MacPherson struts, central-arm rear axle, Electric Power Steering and a model-specific, exceptionally high-performance braking system is also in keeping with the sporty character of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman. The standard sports suspension includes particularly stiff spring and damper settings, strengthened anti-roll bars and a 10-millimeter drop in ride height. The standard-fitted DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) includes DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode.
    Pressing the likewise standard Sport Button tweaks the engine responses, the character of its soundtrack and adjusts the power assistance provided by the steering.
    18-inch Twin Spoke light-alloy wheels with polished spoke fronts and black rim wells are fitted as standard. 19-inch light-alloy wheels – also designed exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman – can be ordered as an option.
    The muscular front and rear aprons and bespoke side skirts of the standard specification aerodynamic kit ensure visual impact and optimized airflow. Customers can choose from seven colors for the exterior paintwork. A contrasting paint finish can be specified for the roof and exterior mirror caps – in the Chili Red shade exclusive to John Cooper Works models, as well as Light White and Jet Black. Also available as an option are Sport Stripes in the same colors. The John Cooper Works logo on the radiator grille, tailgate and door sill strips and near the side indicators highlight the car’s identity even more clearly.
    The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman also comes with additional sporting touches as standard. Sports seats in Diagonal Track Carbon Black cloth trim with red contrast stitching have been designed specifically for the new model; while options such as the similarly exclusive sports seats with Lounge Leather trim in Carbon Black Championship Red can also be ordered. The trim strips around the cockpit, door panels and center console come in Piano Black as standard. The optional Chili Red trim elements, meanwhile, are exclusive to the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman and include red flourishes for the cockpit and doors, and red stripes for the black trim elements on the center console. Added to this are the sports steering wheel with red contrast stitching and John Cooper Works logo, the dark speedometer and rev counter dials, anthracite-colored roof liner, gearshift lever with red shift pattern lettering, red contrast stitching for the gearshift lever gaiter and floor mats with red stitching add further depth to the sports car ambience.

    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
    Ford has been teasing us with a hotter version of Fiesta for the past year. They have shown a concept Fiesta ST in a three-door at Frankfurt and a five-door at LA. Now, Ford will be unveiling the production version of the Fiesta ST at the Geneva Motor Show.
    Outside, the production model matches the concept; aggressive treatments for the front and rear, large wheels, and a rear spoiler. Step inside and you're greeted with some nicely bolstered Recaro seats.
    Under the hood lies a 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder good for 178 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. Ford says that can send the Fiesta up to 60 MPH in less than seven seconds and onward to a top speed of 137 MPH.
    Europe will get their hands on the Fiesta ST later this year. As for the U.S., Ford says they're open to bringing the Fiesta ST here, albeit in a five-door guise.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Production-Ready Fiesta ST Debuts at 2012 Geneva Motor Show


    Dynamic new Fiesta ST unveiled as a production-ready model at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and confirmed for introduction in Europe in 2013
    New Fiesta ST is powered by a 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine that delivers 180PS – 20 per cent more power than the previous model – accelerates 0-100km/h in less than seven seconds and can reach a top-speed of 220km/h-plus
    Class-leading driving dynamics delivered by enhanced Torque Vectoring Control system, specially-tuned chassis and three Electronic Stability Control settings – all tested extensively at Germany’s world-famous Nürburgring Nordschleife
    Ford remains open to the idea of introducing the high-performance small car to North America for the first time, following a positive response to the five-door Fiesta ST concept at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

    GENEVA, Switzerland, March 5, 2012 – Ford Motor Company is unveiling the new production-ready Fiesta ST at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in advance of the performance hatchback’s launch in Europe in 2013.
    Customers have clamoured for a new Fiesta ST since the last model disappeared from European showrooms in 2008. The all-new model will take Fiesta ST performance to a new level. The numbers tell the story: 180PS 1.6-litre EcoBoost, 240Nm of torque, 0-100km/h in under seven seconds, and top speed of more than 220km/h. At the same time, the EcoBoost technology delivers a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with the previous Fiesta ST.
    Developed by Ford’s Team RS, the new Fiesta ST delivers significant ride-and-handling improvements through the introduction of a specially tuned chassis that sits 15mm lower than the standard Fiesta; Ford’s enhanced Torque Vectoring Control system; and three Electronic Stability Control modes. The technologies were put to the test over 5000 kilometers of driving on Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife.
    “We believe Ford customers will be blown away by the new Fiesta ST, and not only by the exhilarating performance but by the styling and specification, too. This dynamic new hot-hatch is undoubtedly our best Fiesta ST to date,” said Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles.
    The high-contrast interior features unprecedented levels of equipment and specification to suit the sporting driver, with standard Recaro sports seats appearing in a Fiesta ST for the first time. It also will be equipped with MyKey, which allows owners to limit performance and ensure activation of safety features for when less-experienced drivers use the vehicle; and SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated in-car connectivity system. A new bold and dynamic exterior design drives home the high performance message and features the latest Ford design signatures including a large trapezoidal grille.
    The new Fiesta ST was engineered using Ford’s global Performance Car DNA and developed by Ford Team RS, the European arm of the company’s Global Performance Vehicles group.
    The experience of the engineering team in working with Ford’s motorsport partners to develop the Fiesta RS WRC, Fiesta Rallycross and Racing Fiesta vehicles, also proved invaluable for developing the new Fiesta ST.
    With production of the new Fiesta ST confirmed for Europe, Ford also remains open to the idea of introducing the high-performance small car to other regions, including North America for the first time following a highly positive response to the five-door Fiesta ST concept that made its North American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
    “We’re delighted to be bringing a new generation Fiesta ST to our European enthusiasts in 2013 and we’ll have more to say about our plans for other markets in the near future,” said Capito. “With the Fiesta ST joining the new Focus ST, we will again be able to deliver a choice of affordable small performance cars that are designed to deliver a unique blend of stand-out styling and dynamic on-road performance with true practicality for everyday use.”

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 29, 2012
    Ferrari has unveiled their most powerful vehicle, the F12 Berlinetta before its official showing at next week's Geneva Motor Show.
    Succeeding the current 599, the F12 Berlinetta comes with a brand new 6.3L V-12 engine, producing 740 HP and 509 lb-ft of torque. That gives the F12 Berlinetta figures of 0-60 MPH in 3.1 seconds, a top speed of 211 MPH, and a lap time of 1:23 around the Fiorano circuit.
    Despite the massive performance increase, Ferrari says the new 6.3L V12 engine will be 30% more fuel efficient than the outgoing 6.0-liter V12 in the 599.
    The F12 Berlinetta's aluminum chassis is 154 lbs lighter and 20% stiffer than the outgoing 599. The chassis is also shorter which allowed Ferrari to lower the engine, dashboard and seats further in the chassis. In addition, Ferrari engineers created a new layout for the rear suspension and gearbox. Those changes give the F12 Berlinetta a 46/54 weight distribution.
    Design of the F12 Berlinetta was done by the Ferrari Styling Center and Pininfarina. The front end is aggressive and pulls some cues from the 458 Italia and FF. The back end has a personality of its own with a air diffuser that is split up into three sections. The design gives the F12 Berlinetta a drag co-efficient of 0.299 and improved downforce.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Announcing the F12berlinetta: the fastest Ferrari ever built



    The first in a new generation of V12 cars unveiled exclusively on www.ferrari.com


    Maranello, 29th February 2012 – Today's on-line unveiling of the F12berlinetta ushers in a new generation of Ferrari 12-cylinders in the form of a car that delivers unprecedented performance from an exceptional new engine, combined with innovative design that redefines classic themes along with extreme aerodynamics.
    Revealed to the world for the first time on Ferrari.com in preparation for its official debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, the F12berlinetta, finished in an attractive new Rosso Berlinetta three-layer colour, represents the very cutting-edge of mid-front-engined sports cars.
    This is, in fact, the most powerful and high-performance Ferrari road car ever launched thanks to the incredibly efficient engine – in terms of mechanical, combustion and fluid-dynamics efficiency – which, together with advanced vehicle architecture, aerodynamics, components and electronic controls, guarantee unsurpassed driving involvement whatever the road or track.
    Ferrari's traditional transaxle layout has been revolutionised to match the more extreme performance of the car. The wheelbase has been shortened and the engine, dashboard and seats have been lowered in the chassis, while the new layout of the rear suspension and gearbox enabled Ferrari's engineers to make the rear volume of the car smaller. The overall result is a very compact car with a lower centre of gravity that is further back in the chassis, and a level of aerodynamic efficiency that sets new standards.
    Scaglietti, renowned for its expertise in aluminium materials and construction, designed an all-new spaceframe chassis and bodyshell using 12 different kinds of alloys, some of which have been used here for the first time in the automotive sector, and employing new assembly and joining techniques. This has resulted in a 20 per cent increase in structural rigidity while reducing weight to just 1525 kg (70 kg less than the previous V12 coupé) with an ideal distribution between the axles (54 per cent over the rear).
    The F12berlinetta's 6262cc 65° V12 engine delivers unprecedented performance and revs for a naturally-aspirated 12-cylinder. Its maximum power output is 740 CV which translates to a specific output of 118 CV/l. Torque reaches a peak of 690 Nm, 80 per cent of which is already available at just 2,500 rpm, and which provides an unrelenting surge of acceleration all the way to the 8,700 rpm limit. The engine is mated to the F1 dual-clutch transmission, which has closer gear ratios developed specifically for this car's performance. The F12berlinetta boasts a weight-to-power ratio of just 2.1 kg/CV .
    Fuel consumption has been reduced by 30%, with CO2 emissions of just 350 g/km – figures which put the F12berlinetta at the top of the high-performance league. These results have been obtained by extensive research and development which focused on efficiencies of the whole vehicle: engine, aerodynamics, tyres and weights.
    Similarly excellent results have been obtained with the car's aerodynamic development, thanks to the integration of the design process with extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and lengthy testing in the wind tunnel. Downforce has been boosted by 76 per cent (123 kg at 200 km/h) while drag has been significantly reduced (the Cd is just 0.299). These results come courtesy of two new solutions. The first of these is the Aero Bridge which uses the bonnet to generate downforce by channelling air away from the upper part of the car to its flanks where it interacts with the wake from the wheel wells to decrease drag. The second is Active Brake Cooling, a system that opens guide vanes to the brake cooling ducts only at high operating temperatures, again reducing drag.
    The F12berlinetta's impressive technical specifications are completed by Ferrari's latest generation carbon-ceramic brakes (CCM3) and the evolution of the magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM-E). As is now traditional with all Ferraris, its control systems (E-Diff, ESP Premium, F1-Trac, and high-performance ABS) are all fully integrated.
    The result is that the new Prancing Horse 12-cylinder accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and from 0 to 200 km/h in 8.5 seconds. It also completes a lap of the Fiorano circuit in 1'23", faster than any other Ferrari road car. Benchmark performance and maximum driving involvement are guaranteed by immediate turn-in, with smaller steering wheel angles, and increased cornering speed. Stopping distances have also been drastically reduced.
    The design of the F12berlinetta is a result of the collaboration between the Ferrari Styling Centre and Pininfarina and is a perfect balance of uncompromising aerodynamics with harmonious proportions interpreting the typical elements of Ferrari's front-engined V12 cars in an original and innovative way. A coupé with sleek, aggressive lines whose compact exterior dimensions conceal exceptional in-car space and comfort. The all-new Frau leather interior highlights the balance of advanced technology and sophisticated, handcrafted detailing. In the middle of the light and lean dashboard, there are new carbon fibre and aluminium air vents clearly inspired by the aeronautic field.
    The cabin has been optimised to ensure maximum usability of the interior space with additional luggage capacity behind the seats, which can also be easily reached thanks to the large aperture offered by the tail-gate. With the cockpit designed around the driver, typical of all Ferraris, the Human Machine Interface approach is emphasised, grouping all the major commands within immediate reach to guarantee maximum ergonomics for the most involving driving experience.
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    Engine
    Type 65-degree V12
    Total displacement 6262 cc
    Maximum power output 740 CV at 8500 rpm
    Maximum torque 690 Nm at 6000 rpm
    Dimensions and weight
    Length 4618 mm
    Width 1942 mm
    Height 1273 mm
    Dry weight* 1525 kg
    Weight distribution 46% front, 58% rear
    Weight-power ratio 2,1 kg/CV
    Performance
    Maximum speed over 340 km/h
    0-100 km/h 3.1 seconds

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    Only being introduced back in January, Mercedes-Benz is already showing a AMG version of the SL roadster. The SL 63 AMG gets AMG's M571 twin-turbo V8 engine producing 537 HP and 590 lb-ft. Want a bit more power? AMG will offer a performance
    package that increases horsepower to 564 hp and torque to 664 lb-ft.
    That power sits in a vehicle that is 125 Kilograms (about 276 lbs) lighter than the outgoing model.That's due in part to a aluminum bodyshell and the trunk made out of carbon fiber and plastic
    That combination of weight-loss and power propels the SL 63 AMG to 62 MPH in 4.2 seconds.
    An AMG performance tuned suspension, Mercedes-Benz's Active Body Control, three-state ESP (see SLS AMG), and a optional rear axle differential lock take care of the SL 63's handling.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    The new Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG
    Enhanced performance, reduced weight and lower consumption

    Affalterbach – The stage is set for the new Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG.
    The new version of the high-performance Roadster impresses on several counts: systematic lightweight construction, a boost in output and driving dynamics, and 30 percent lower fuel consumption and emissions. Thanks to an all-aluminium bodyshell, similar to that of the SLS AMG super sports car, the vehicle weight has been reduced by 125 kilograms. With a kerb weight of 1845 kilograms and an output of 395 kW (537 hp) or 415 kW (564 hp), the new model has the perfect recipe for unparalleled dynamism and a superior driving experience. A further boost in performance comes courtesy of a winning combination: enhanced AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control (ABC), new AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, the AMG high-performance compound brake system and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission.
    An enticing mix of stylish design, extensive standard equipment and a high safety level.
    Ola Källenius, CEO at Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "The new SL 63 AMG is yet another masterpiece from Mercedes-AMG. Be it driving dynamics, lightweight construction or efficiency – the SL 63 AMG represents a giant leap forward. Following on from the SLS AMG Roadster and the SLK 55 AMG, it now makes our unrivalled roadster family practically complete."
    Superior performance and high efficiency: the SL 63 AMG is available with a choice of two power outputs for the first time. The AMG 5.5-litre V8 'biturbo' (twin-turbocharged) engine delivers 395 kW (537 hp) and 800 Nm of torque.
    If the AMG Performance package is specified, these figures rise to 415 kW (564 hp) and 900 Nm – more power than any other competitor in this segment. The result is high-calibre performance, as underlined by the acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 or 4.2 seconds, and to 200 km/h in 12.9 or 12.6 seconds respectively. Top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited), although this rises to 300 km/h (likewise electronically limited) with the AMG Performance package on board. NEDC combined consumption comes in at 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres for both power outputs – a full 4.2 litres or 30 percent lower than for the outgoing model.
    The eight-cylinder powerplant with the abbreviation M 157 features a combination of innovative high-tech components for high power output, and it delivers exemplary, low fuel consumption. In addition to spray-guided direct petrol injection, the engine boasts an all-aluminium crankcase, twin turbochargers, four valves per cylinder with camshaft adjustment, air/water intercooling, alternator management and an ECO start/stop function. The weight-optimised AMG sports exhaust system with two chromed twin tailpipes produces a distinctive engine sound.
    The key data at a glance:
    Displacement: 5461 cc
    Bore x stroke: 98.0 x 90.5 mm
    Compression ratio: 10.0 : 1
    Output: 395 kW (537 hp) at 5500 rpm [415 kW (564 hp) at 5500 rpm*]
    Max. torque: 800 Nm at 2000-4500 rpm [900 Nm at 2250-3750 rpm*]
    Engine weight (dry): 204 kg
    Vehicle weight acc. to EC: 1845 kg
    Fuel consumption, NEDC combined: 9.9 l/100 km
    CO2 emissions: 231 g/km
    Efficiency class: F
    Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 4.3 s [4.2 s*]
    Top speed: 250 km/h**
    *With AMG Performance package
    **Electronically limited
    Intelligent lightweight construction with aluminium bodyshell and carbon fibre
    Intelligent lightweight construction is one of the major factors behind the low fuel consumption figures. The SL 63 AMG is based on a lightweight all-aluminium bodyshell similar to that of the SLS AMG super sports car. Compared to the outgoing model, this design not only delivers a significant weight saving of around 110 kilograms, it also greatly enhances rigidity, safety and comfort. Intelligent lightweight construction also means that the components have been optimised in line with their specific purpose. Various types of processing are used for the aluminium components, for instance, which are produced as permanent mould castings or vacuum die castings before being processed into extruded sections or used as sheet aluminium with varying wall thicknesses. The result is high rigidity, high safety and improved vibration characteristics. For the cover behind the tank, the designers use even lighter magnesium material in some cases. High-strength steel tubes are integrated into the A-pillars for safety reasons.
    The boot lid helps to further trim the weight. For the first time on a volume-produced model, the inner support is made from lightweight carbon-fibre composite. The extremely rigid carbon-fibre component is bonded to the plastic outer shell, resulting in a weight saving of five kilograms compared to a conventional boot lid – an innovative solution destined initially for the SL 63 AMG. This raft of innovative lightweight-design measures means that, at an EC kerb weight of 1845 kilograms, the new SL 63 AMG is 125 kilograms lighter than the model it replaces.
    AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control
    The lightweight-design measures are not just limited to the body of the SL 63 AMG, however, as the steering knuckles and spring links on the 4-link front suspension and almost all of the multi-link independent rear suspension components are made of aluminium. The reduction in unsprung masses enhances both agility and the response of the spring and damper components.
    Mercedes-AMG is remaining faithful to the ABC active spring and damper system: the new SL 63 AMG is equipped with an enhanced version of the AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control as standard. During the design, development and testing phases, the focus was firmly on driving dynamics and performance. Exceptionally sporty characteristics with reduced roll angles and firm body damping ("Sport") or more comfort-oriented settings for a high level of comfort on long journeys ("Comfort") can be selected at the push of a button.
    To enable greater agility and faster cornering speeds, the SL 63 AMG has more negative camber all round and fully revised elastokinematics.
    Equipped with the new, electro-mechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, the flagship AMG model impresses with its fleet-footed, agile cornering and exceptional feedback at the critical limits. The steering has a constant and more direct ratio, and variable power assistance which adjusts in line with the suspension settings. Further standard equipment includes 3 stage ESP®, a speciality exclusive to AMG with "SPORT Handling" mode for particularly keen drivers, while options available from the AMG Performance Studio include an AMG rear axle differential lock and AMG performance suspension.
    Individuality: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission
    Power transmission can likewise be adapted to specific requirements, as the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission has four modes to select from: "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual). In "C" mode, the ECO start/stop function is active at all times and switches off the eight-cylinder engine when the vehicle is at a standstill. Plus the transmission characteristics are tangibly soft, with smooth and early gear changes. Second gear is generally used as the starting gear in this mode.
    The engine and transmission are far more agile in "S", "S+" and "M" mode; in addition, the stop/start function is deactivated. Partial suppression of the cylinders proves perfect for a committed driving style: briefly and precisely interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts than before. A welcome side effect of this is the emotive sound impression. An automatic double-declutching function for downshifting and the RACE START function are also included as standard with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission.
    Newly developed AMG high-performance compound brake system
    Maximum performance is also a top priority when it comes to braking: the newly developed AMG high-performance compound brake system features 390 x 36 mm compound discs with six-piston fixed callipers at the front and 360 x 26 mm integral discs with single-piston floating callipers at the rear.
    An electric parking brake is fitted as standard, while options available from the AMG Performance Studio include red-painted callipers to denote the AMG Performance package and the even more high-performance, weight-optimised AMG ceramic high-performance compound brake system as seen on the SLS AMG.
    The SL 63 AMG leaves the factory fitted with five-twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, shod with 255/35 R 19 front and 285/30 R 19 rear tyres. Multi-spoke AMG forged wheels from the AMG Performance Studio with 255/35 R 19 front and 285/30 R 20 rear tyres – also available in matt black including a rim flange with a high-sheen finish – help to reduce the unsprung masses.
    Design: stylish, superior, dynamic
    SLS AMG Roadster, SLK 55 AMG and SL 63 AMG – as the latest addition to the AMG Roadster family, the flagship V8 model displays the hallmark styling elements of a superior high-performance car from Affalterbach: the dynamically distinctive AMG bodystyling comprises the front apron with large air dams, AMG-specific LED daytime running lamps and a lower cross strut in silver chrome. Among the particularly eye-catching features are the new AMG radiator grille with a double louvre in silver chrome, the side sill panels and the "V8 BITURBO" logos on the vent grilles with fins in silver chrome. At the rear, the AMG spoiler lip, the two chromed twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system and the diffuser-style rear apron with body-coloured insert draw the design to a fitting conclusion.
    Vario-roof: MAGIC SKY CONTROL as an option
    The sixth-generation SL retains the space-saving, electrohydraulically retractable vario-roof, enabling the SL to be transformed into a roadster or a coupé, as the mood takes the driver and depending on the weather, in under 20 seconds. In contrast to the outgoing model, there are three versions to choose from for the new SL: painted roof, glass roof or the unique panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. Its transparency can be switched to light or dark at the push of a button.
    Interior: a feast for all the senses
    The SL 63 AMG interior is likewise inspired by the SLS AMG and offers a feast for all the senses: the four air vents styled like jet engines, the E-SELECT lever and the AMG DRIVE UNIT are all reminiscent of the super sports car. Standard equipment includes AMG sports seats in single-tone or two-tone nappa leather with a unique V8 seat upholstery layout and AMG badges in the seat backrests, a multicontour function and seat heating as well as AMG carbon-fibre trim, AMG illuminated door sill panels, ambient lighting and an IWC-design analogue clock. One of the stand-out details on the AMG performance steering wheel is the AMG logo in the lower metal insert. The sportily designed AMG instrument cluster provides a wealth of information and includes a TFT colour monitor, AMG start-up display, AMG main menu and RACETIMER. Outstanding material quality and high-calibre workmanship underline the attention to detail paid by the Mercedes and AMG experts.
    Further standard equipment for the SL 63 AMG at a glance (selection):
    • ATTENTION ASSIST
    • COMAND Online with 6-disc DVD changer
    • Anti-theft alarm system
    • Frontbass
    • Remote-unlocking boot lid incl. power closing for boot lid
    • Intelligent Light System ILS
    • MAGIC VISION CONTROL adaptive windscreen cleaning system
    • NECK-PRO head restraints
    • PRE-SAFE® system
    • Automatic, pop-up roll-over bars for driver and front passenger
    • Draught-stop
    In keeping with tradition, the SL 63 AMG has an extensive range of optional extras (selection):
    • AIRSCARF neck-level heating
    • Active Parking Assist incl. PARKTRONIC
    • Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system
    • Driving Assistance package Plus (DISTRONIC PLUS incl. BAS PLUS, PRE SAFE® brake, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist)
    • harman/kardon® Logic 7® surround sound system
    • KEYLESS-GO Convenience package (incl. remote-closing boot lid and HANDS-FREE ACCESS system)
    • Exclusive nappa leather
    • Climatised seats
    • Electric draught-stop
    Even more individuality is possible with optional extras from the AMG Performance Studio:
    • AMG Performance package (increase in maximum power of 20 kW (27 hp) and maximum torque of 100 Nm; AMG engine cover in genuine carbon fibre, AMG rear axle differential lock, AMG spoiler lip in genuine carbon fibre, red-painted callipers, AMG performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA)
    • AMG forged light-alloy wheels
    • AMG forged light-alloy wheels, painted matt black, rim flange with a high-sheen finish
    • AMG performance suspension
    • AMG ceramic high-performance compound brake system
    • AMG Exterior Carbon package (cross strut in front apron, exterior mirror housings and spoiler lip in genuine carbon fibre)
    • AMG Performance Media with telemetry function (available from September 2012)
    • AMG performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA
    The designo range for the SL 63 AMG, available ex factory, offers a wealth of tailor-made individualisation options to cater for practically any requirement. As well as being able to choose between designo magno cashmere white and designo magno alanite grey matt paintwork or designo mocha black and designo graphite metallic paintwork, customers can also opt for an expressive designo zircon red paint finish. There is a range of designo leather or Exclusive designo leather appointments in eight attractive colours to match these paint finishes.
    All rounded off perfectly by a choice of designo trim, headlining and seat-belt options.
    "Edition 1" with attractive appointments combination To mark the launch of the new SL 63 AMG, AMG is also offering the special "Edition 1" model. The "Edition 1" is opulently appointed and includes the following as standard:
    • AIRSCARF neck-level heating
    • AMG forged light-alloy wheels, painted matt black, rim flange with a high-sheen finish
    • AMG Performance package
    • designo Exclusive leather in classic red or deep white with contrasting topstitching
    • designo headliner in black leather
    • harman/kardon® Logic 7® surround sound system
    • MAGIC SKY CONTROL panoramic vario-roof
    Features exclusive to the "Edition 1" include special designo magno crystal silver paintwork and, if designo Exclusive leather in classic red is specified, contrasting red topstitching on the steering wheel, headliner and dashboard. A set of designo velour floor mats with edging in designo classic red leather round off this exceptional package of appointments.
    The world's safest roadster
    A crash-optimised aluminium structure, standard-fit PRE-SAFE® system and assistance systems on a par with those of the S-Class make the SL the world's safest roadster. The rigid aluminium bodyshell forms a robust occupant compartment as well as precisely defined deformation zones at the front and rear. If the vehicle rolls over, A-pillars made from a steel-aluminium material mix and two automatic roll-over bars help to protect the occupants.
    The restraint systems, including two-stage driver and passenger airbags, have been further enhanced. A headbag extensively covers the side head-impact area. An additional thorax airbag in the backrest can protect the upper body in the event of a side impact. Further new standard features for the SL include the Mercedes-Benz-developed NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints. An active bonnet and a front end with a large, yielding impact area help ensure pedestrian protection.
    A winning formula: the SL models made by AMG The powerful SL models from Affalterbach are among the most successful AMG models of all time: almost 5000 SL 63 AMG models with eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine were sold between 2008 and 2011. Over 21,500 of the SL 55 AMG models with V8 supercharged engine produced between 2001 and 2007 were sold, making it the best-selling AMG model so far. The total number of SL AMG models with eight-cylinder engine sold to date stands at over 26,500.
    The new Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG will be launched in May 2012.
    Prices at a glance (incl. 19% VAT):
    SL 63 AMG: €157,675
    SL 63 AMG "Edition 1": €189,269.50
    AMG Performance package: €14,280

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 5, 2012
    A day before its official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show, pictures of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class made their way onto the internet.
    The pictures show the new A-Class striking the same look as the A-Class concept shown at last year's New York Auto Show. The front end of the production A-Class is almost identical to the concept, with its large grill, headlights with LED running lights, and daring character lines.
    The back end is more sedate than the concept and features traditional squared off taillights with LED accents.
    The new A-Class rides on Mercedes-Benz's new MFA front-wheel drive platform, which underpins the new B-Class and is expected to underpin a new compact crossover, small CLS-like sedan, and a new Infiniti compact.
    Engines will be range of gas and diesel options for Europe.
    As for the U.S., we'll not see the A-Class. But, we will see a few models based on the same platform.

    Source: ForoCoches
    More Information on Page 2

    Only a few hours after the leak of some A-Class pictures, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new A-Class to everyone at a press event before the start of the Geneva Motor Show. We have some new information about engines and transmissions.
    The A-Class will have variety of gas and diesel options for the European market. Gas engines will include a 1.6L turbocharged unit producing 121 HP, a 154 HP version of the 1.6L engine, and a 2.0L turbo-four producing 208hp. Diesel options will include a 1.8L engine churning out 108 HP and 184 lb-ft, a 134 HP, 221 lb-ft of the 1.8L, and a 2.2L turbocharged four delivering 168 HP and 258 lb-ft.
    All engines are available with the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and come equipped with the ECO start/stop function standard.
    There is also talk of an AMG version that will use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine possibly delivering well over 300 HP and go to all four wheels.

    Press Release is on Page 3
    "All set for attack"


    Geneva/Stuttgart. The heartbeat of a new generation: at the centre of Mercedes-Benz's presence at the Geneva Motor Show (8 to 18 March 2012) will be the world premiere of the new A-Class. The company is opening up a whole new chapter in the compact segment: markedly emotive in design, with powerful engines ranging from 80 kW (109 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), and extremely efficient, with emissions from just 99g/CO2/km. At the same time the new model underlines that for Mercedes-Benz safety is not a question of price - the standard specification includes, amongst other things, the radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system.
    "A is for Attack: the A-Class is a clear statement of the new dynamism of the Mercedes-Benz brand", explains Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "It is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development, it's not often you get the chance to start with a clean sheet of paper. Our engineers and designers have made the very most of that opportunity."
    Design and dynamism are obvious characteristics of the new A-Class even at first glance, simply in the way it sits up to 18 centimetres closer to the road than its predecessor. The radical new design idiom that was so enthusiastically received upon its first appearance with the "Concept A-CLASS" has been rigorously applied for the series-production model. With their fresh interpretation of the classic two-box design, the Mercedes designers have created an emotive exterior with a pronounced sporty flair.
    "Applying the new dynamic style of Mercedes-Benz to the compact class was a challenge that we thoroughly enjoyed", explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. "The almost sculptural lines of the A-Class are very typical
    for Mercedes. The feature lines, particularly along the sides of the car, then give the A-Class structure and tautness."
    The objective when it came to the interior design was to complement the sporty look of the exterior. On top of this the car has a high-quality feel about it that is unique in this segment, achieved both through the design idiom as such and through the choice and combinations of the high-quality materials used. As seen in the Concept A-CLASS, there is an option allowing a smartphone to be fully integrated into the operating and display system. A special app makes it possible to use the full functionality of the iPhone®, and in due course also of other smartphones, in the car.
    All trim surfaces feature an electroplated finish in "silver chrome", giving them a genuine metallic surface with "cool touch" effect.
    "This is just one example of the way in which the quality of the A-Class's interior is not defined by classic trim elements but by consistent design and by the specific materials used", explains Hartmut Sinkwitz, Head of Interior Design. "The motto we used
    when designing the interior was 'pure sportiness, newly interpreted'."
    Particular visual highlights include, for example, the air vents, which stand out like "sparkling jewels" (Sinkwitz), so underlining the exceptional quality of the interior. The sporty character of the vehicle is further emphasised by the integral seats (optional extra) in the front. The rear seat is similarly sporty in appearance and can accommodate up to three passengers. As well as the basic specification, which can be individualised with a wide range of options, there is a choice of design and equipment lines that have been put together with the requirements of customers in mind: "Urban", "Style", and "AMG Sport".
    The world premiere of the new A-Class (length/width/height: 4292/1780/1433 millimetres) will take place at the Geneva Motor Show (8 to 18 March 2012). It will be making its way to European dealers in September 2012.
    Sporty exclusivity: the A-Class Sport offers a fresh definition of dynamism
    For the first time, the performance specialists from AMG were involved in the development of the compact class from a very early stage. The result is the most dynamic version of the new model series - the A-Class Sport 'engineered by AMG', in which the visual affinity to the Concept A-CLASS is at its most evident - particularly in terms of the new diamond grille. The A-Class Sport features exclusive 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a 5-spoke design with 235/40 R18 tyres all round and painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, together with red-painted brake callipers.
    These give an indication of the particularly dynamic driving qualities of the A 250 Sport and the A 220 CDI Sport, which are differentiated, amongst other factors, by a special AMG-developed front axle and a suspension that has been configured to match.
    Hints of red on the AMG front and rear aprons also serve to emphasise the expressive positioning of the new model. The contrast between black trim and additional accents in red continues in the interior: the contrasting decorative topstitching on the steering wheel and seats is in this same bright shade, as are the seat belts. The ambient lighting of the instruments and the highlight rings of the air vents are similarly red.
    Drive system: new petrol and diesel-powered engines
    A broad range of both petrol and diesel engines has something to suit every performance requirement, whilst also demonstrating the current state of the art in terms of efficiency: for the first time, a Mercedes-Benz will produce emissions of just 99 g of CO2 per kilometre.
    The bandwidth of the new generation of petrol engines with a displacement of 1.6 and 2.0 litres ranges from 90 kW (115 hp) in the A 180 and 115 kW (156 hp) in the A 200 through to 155 kW (211 hp) in the A 250. Common to all is the combination of direct injection and exhaust gas turbocharging, a more advanced combustion process and an extended stratification range for lean-burn operation that uses fast-acting injectors for the multiple injection of the fuel as well as on-demand multi-spark ignition. CAMTRONIC is an innovation that will be celebrating its world premiere in the 1.6-litre engine: adjusting the valve lift on the intake side restricts the amount of fresh mixture used in the partial load range, so reducing consumption.
    The diesel engines also offer an impressively high level of efficiency and environmental compatibility, thanks to sophisticated injection technology
    and turbocharging. The A 180 CDI offers an output of 80 kW (109 hp) and a maximum torque of up to 250 Nm, while the A 200 CDI has a maximum output of 100 kW (136 hp) and torque that rises to 300 Nm. The A 220 CDI has a displacement of 2.2 litres, an output of 125 kW (170 hp) and torque of 350 Nm, delivering absolutely exceptional performance in the A-Class.
    All engines in the new A-Class feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines can be combined either with the new six-speed manual transmission or, as an option, with the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission.
    Further highlights: suspension, aerodynamics, safety
    The dynamism promised by the design and drive system is realised by the suspension. A noticeably lower centre of gravity and a new 4-link rear axle provide the basis for this; and would also make the installation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive possible. Customers can choose between various suspension settings, among them the optional sports suspension with Direct-Steer system. The electromechanical steering in the A-Class has been completely redesigned, so that the electric motor for the power assistance now sits directly on the steering gear in the form of a compact and extremely precise Dual Pinion EPS.
    Its exceptional aerodynamic performance, with a new record Cd value of 0.26, puts the A-Class at the top of its class. This is further helped by the standard roof spoiler, which hides all the unsightly aerials on the A-Class. The A-Class is the only vehicle in its class to feature as standard a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist, which lowers the risk of rear-end collisions. The COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system gives a visual and acoustic warning to alert a possibly distracted driver to identified obstacles, and prepares Brake Assist for the most precise braking response possible. This is initiated as soon as the driver steps firmly on the brake pedal.
    The PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system is now available for the first time in the A-Class. This innovation, which was premiered in the S-Class in 2002, thus makes its very first appearance in the compact class. Core features of PRE-SAFE® are reversible belt tensioning, the closing of side
    windows and sliding sunroof in case of critical lateral dynamics and adjustment of the fully electric front passenger seat with memory functionto an ideal position for maximum effectiveness of the restraint systems. PRE-SAFE® is always activated in response to critical longitudinal and lateral dynamics and may also be triggered upon intervention by certain assistance functions.
    The democratisation of safety also encompasses an array of other assistance systems which have been adopted into the A-Class from the larger model series. These include:
    ATTENTION ASSIST (standard)
    Brake HOLD function (standard)
    Hill-Start Assist (standard)
    DISTRONIC PLUS
    Adaptive Highbeam Assist
    Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist
    Speed Limit Assist (speed limit sign recognition)
    Active Parking Assist
    LINGUATRONIC
    Reversing camera


    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

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