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    LA Auto Show: BMW i3 Concept Coupe



    November 28th, 2012

    Drew Dowdell

    Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com

    BMW's i-Series group of sustainable vehicles was joined by a new member today at the 2012 LA Auto Show as BMW gets closer to releasing the series to production. The i3 Coupe concept's body is made from carbon fiber for light weight and strength. Lower and wider than the original i3 concept, BMW is maintaining the emphasis on driving satisfaction known from the rest of the BMW lineup.

    The i3 Coupe concept is powered by a 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque electric motor fed via an array of lithium-ion batteries under the floor. By locating the batteries there, BMW was able to substantially lower the center of gravity on the car, further enhancing handling characteristics. The i3 can be operated in 3 modes for varying degrees of sport or efficiency and switching from the sportiest mode to the first Eco mode can boost range by up to 20 percent. Expected range for the i3 is 100 miles between charges.

    The full press release is available on page 2

    Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears


    The world premiere of the BMW i3 Concept Coupe sees the BMW Group unveil a particularly nimble and emotive version of its concept for sustainable premium-class motoring with zero local emissions. The study presented at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show has been brought out in parallel to the ongoing development process for getting the first ever all-electric model from the BMW i brand ready for series production, and demonstrates the potential for conceivably extending the model range. The state-of-the-art, clean-cut and open design showcased by the BMW i3 Concept Coupe represents a pioneering form of urban mobility that makes sustainability awareness an intrinsic part of the premium profile. Beyond this, the three-door model employs the design idiom that has been created especially for the BMW i cars to convey an undeniable sense of dynamism and driving pleasure.

    The carbon-fibre body’s visual impact is largely shaped by the gracefully flowing coupe roof line and the fresh interpretation of the BMW i “stream flow” design that can be seen in the side window styling, and gives an instant impression of lightness, transparency and streamlined aerodynamic qualities. On the inside, the sense of spaciousness typical of the BMW i brand is combined with an exclusive lounge-style ambience in the two individual rear seats. The BMW i3 Concept Coupe furthermore assumes the title of the world’s first fully networked electric vehicle. Thanks to the inclusion of innovative BMW ConnectedDrive functions that have been devised by BMW i for use in production vehicles, operation of the navigation system as well as the information transfer between the vehicle, the outside world and the driver’s smartphone has been geared towards the specific requirements of e-mobility.

    The BMW i3 Concept Coupe sharply focuses the spotlight on the dynamic performance that can be achieved with the purely electric version of the BMW eDrive technology. Like the BMW i3 Concept, the Coupe is also propelled by an electric motor developed by the BMW Group, which develops a maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp and peak torque of 250 Newton metres (184 lb-ft), and channels its instantaneous power delivery to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission. The electric motor draws its energy from the lithium-ion storage cells under the floor. Positioning the battery units here has the effect of lowering the centre of gravity considerably, which further adds to the vehicle’s sensationally agile handling.

    The LifeDrive concept for the BMW i vehicle architecture is instrumental in enabling a brand new vehicle character to be married so harmoniously with BMW eDrive, a technology that is already nearing production standard. The horizontally split construction consisting of two self-contained elements intrinsically focuses on the technical requirements of the electric drive train, and helps to produce a design concept, sense of spaciousness and driving experience that are unique to BMW i cars.

    The passenger cell forms the core of the Life module, which is built from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). BMW i is scaling new heights for automotive engineering by making such extensive use of this high-tech material. Because it is extremely light yet very strong too, CFRP opens up tremendous scope for design and therefore has all the right credentials for translating the inimitable and unmistakable BMW i design idiom into a wide array of variants. On the BMW i3 Concept Coupé, the drive system, chassis and energy storage unit, along with the structural and crash functions, are once again incorporated into the Drive module that is made chiefly of aluminium.

    Measuring 3,964 millimetres in length, 1,768 wide and 1,555 high, the BMW i3 Concept Coupe can be noted for its highly individual proportions. When compared directly to the BMW i3 Concept, the new study has a broader, lower-slung look that serves to highlight its agile nature at first glance. The wheelbase, on the other hand, is unchanged from that of the standard BMW i3 at 2,570 millimetres.

    Body design: LifeDrive architecture sporting new look and colour scheme.

    Transferring the design idiom developed specifically for BMW i cars to a coupe concept has resulted in a body whose styling smacks of fun at the wheel while still plainly signalling sustainable mobility. The BMW i3 Concept Coupe’s looks let the brand values of efficiency, lightness, safety and premium quality clearly shine through, along with the study’s distinctly dynamic bias. The exterior surfaces and colour scheme are structured in such a way as to visualise the basic construction defined by the LifeDrive architecture. The principle of overlapping levels known as “layering” serves to symbolise the harmonious interaction between the striking construction and design elements of the Life and Drive modules, as well as providing the basis for a transparency in the vehicle design that reinforces the concept’s sustainability. For instance, the structure of the carbon-fibre material employed in the Life module can be clearly seen in the entrance area and the roof pillars when the door is opened. It is here, as the two-dimensional CFRP laminate typically used for load-bearing elements comes into view, that the material’s composition becomes particularly apparent.

    The bodywork panels around the wheel arches, doors and rear sidewalls are painted in Solar Orange metallic, a warm shade bursting with energy that was created especially for the BMW i3 Concept Coupe. It forms an electrifying contrast with the high-gloss black finish on the bonnet, roof and boot lid, as well as with the body’s black lower edge.

    The front apron includes black embedded elements designed to create an air curtain effect that carefully directs the airflow in the vicinity of the wheel arches. The rear apron’s lower section incorporates a diffuser component to optimise flow conditions towards the rear of the vehicle’s underside. The licence plate holder features a narrow border in Solar Orange, while the U-shaped rear light clusters are integrated into the rear window, just as they are on the BMW i3 Concept. Contrasting touches of Frozen Grey matt for the BMW kidney grille and the sill lines along the sides are specific to this model and add to its visual appearance. The brand emblems in Stream Blue at the front and rear and on the wheel hubs are characteristic BMW i features.

    Innovative coupe lines spell pure driving pleasure.

    A steeply raked windscreen that extends a long way forward and a roof line that descends gently into the vehicle’s tail are the defining features of the BMW i3 Concept Coupe silhouette. The long doors with frameless windows also have a typical coupe feel to them. The specific way in which a CFRP passenger cell is constructed means there is no need for a B-pillar. Not only does this facilitate access to the rear seats, it gives extra impact to the dynamic flow of lines visible in the window styling.

    The BMW i3 Concept Coupe includes a fresh interpretation of the brand’s hallmark “stream flow” design for the side window contours between the doors and the C-pillars. As a result of the enclosed body concept around the doors and the rear sidewalls, the ratio between the body’s basic structure and the window area is clearly marked by the shoulder line. The latest version of the window outline tapers sharply towards the rear, once again putting clear emphasis on the vehicle’s excellent aerodynamic properties. The upper and lower edges are spaced particularly far apart on the BMW i3 Concept Coupe, producing an enlarged window area at the rear. This means that, in contrast to conventional coupes, passengers in the rear compartment are able to enjoy a remarkable sense of spaciousness and feel far more involved in the driving experience.

    The highly distinctive and dynamic view of the BMW i3 Concept Coupe in profile is completed by the gently rising swage line on a level with the door openers, as well as a striking character line that produces an intriguing interplay between light and shade just above the side sills. The exterior mirrors also sport a design that’s specific to this model, with black mirror bases and caps in Solar Orange metallic that pick up on the body’s overall colour scheme. 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design further intensify the car’s sporting aura. As is customary for BMW i models, they are shod with comparatively narrow, reduced rolling-resistance tyres measuring 155/60 R20 at the front and 175/55 R20 at the rear.

    All in all, the even more purist interpretation of the design idiom compared to the BMW i3 Concept, coupled with the more horizontal focus of the exterior’s styling, highlights the car’s enhanced aerodynamic properties. The BMW i3 Concept Coupe therefore epitomises the future of urban mobility, at the same time as instilling it with a distinct sense of sportiness and emotional appeal.

    Interior: inviting, spacious, clear-cut and inspiring.

    Individual styling and material selection ensure that the brand’s trademark principles of sustainability, lightness and transparency are applied to genuine effect in the interior design of BMW i models, too. The interior of the BMW i3 Concept Coupe illustrates how the cockpit design has evolved as it is readied for series production, while at the same time creating an individual ambience that fits in with the concept of a sporty three-door car. The layering structure employed for the exterior once again underpins the arrangement of the function elements and controls, while a mixture of leather, wood, wool and other renewable raw materials ensures that the car’s premium characteristics, including the new aspect of sustainability, can be both plainly seen and felt.

    The freestanding steering column’s two-part design with its light and graceful feel is further accentuated by the colour scheme. All supporting elements are finished in a light grey colour, whereas the steering wheel’s outer grip areas and all controls are coloured black. Besides the display that acts as the instrument cluster and the control stalks for the direction indicators and windscreen wipers, the steering column is also home to the electronic gearshift lever and the Start-Stop button.

    Above the steering column and behind the instrument cluster, there is a horizontally mounted wooden panel that spans the full width of the interior in a dynamic sweep. Sourced from certified sustainably managed European forests and treated using natural materials, the light eucalyptus wood adds a real touch of class, and is made all the more noticeable by the contrast with the black, three dimensionally shaped controls. The control panels on either side of the steering column are bordered by brushed aluminium accent strips. The sweeping design of the eucalyptus wood panel is echoed by the contour of the armrests in the doors, meaning that the driver and front passenger are encircled by a series of harmoniously styled surfaces.

    At the cockpit’s centre, the bottom of the dashboard terminates in a flat control panel that is angled slightly towards the driver and is used to operate the climate control and audio functions as well as housing the favourite buttons for the iDrive system. The iDrive Controller and direct menu control buttons are located on the centre console between the driver and front passenger on a level with the seat cushions. The BMW i3 Concept Coupe has also kept the area between the dashboard and seat cushions completely clear across the cockpit’s entire width. Its particular drive concept, furthermore, dispenses with the need for the transmission tunnel normally found on conventional vehicles, resulting in a completely open space connecting the left and right footwells. Not only does this create an impression of roominess, it can be of practical benefit, too, as it allows the driver to easily swap to the front passenger seat and get out on that side – a real boon, for example, when using city-centre parking spots so tight that the driver’s door cannot be opened.

    Sustainability blended with sophistication: surfaces made from renewable resources and naturally treated materials.

    The manually adjustable seats with integrated head restraints that were specially designed for the BMW i3 Concept Coupe are upholstered in a blend of warm-toned textured wool yarn and a cool-looking monofilament material. The elegant, sporty colour scheme’s light grey tones also reflect the sustainable character of the natural materials. The door support panels made from anthracite-coloured kenaf fibre are perfectly in keeping with this, and also blend harmoniously with the doors’ leather trim panels. The leather adorning the interior of the BMW i3 Concept Coupe is treated using natural products exclusively, with an extract from the leaves of the olive tree serving as the tanning agent.

    There are two individual seats in the rear of the BMW i3 Concept Coupe where passengers are able to savour a whole new form of motoring comfort in a lounge-style ambience. The seat backrests both curve outwards prominently to form a seamless connection with the rear panelling. Whereas the seating position engenders a feeling of security, the windows – which are exceptionally large for the rear of a coupe – make passengers there feel more part of the driving experience. After tilting the front seat backrests forwards, getting in and out of the rear is facilitated by leather-trimmed grab handles that double as belt feeders for the driver and front passenger.

    Display and control concept featuring the very latest display technology.

    The BMW i3 Concept Coupe comes with two top-class displays, which provide the interfaces for the exchange of information between vehicle and driver and for operating the infotainment and communications functions. Information that can help to make driving a more comfortable, efficient and safe experience is flashed up in the displays. The navigation system, meanwhile, is networked with the outside world via BMW i ConnectedDrive.

    Information is visualised in the form of three-dimensional, high-resolution graphics depicted in the reduced style typical of the BMW i brand. The task of the instrument cluster is assumed by a 6.5‑inch (16.5‑centimetre) screen positioned on the steering column, where all driving-related information appears in digital form. The second display in the centre of the dashboard is positioned at exactly the same height for perfect legibility. With a screen diagonal of 8.8 inches (22.4 centimetres), it enables detailed graphics to be reproduced, just like the central information display in BMW production cars. This screen is used, for instance, to display the functions of the navigation system including the BMW i ConnectedDrive services. The information provided by the functions familiar from BMW ConnectedDrive is likewise shown here. This central information display also serves to keep the driver and front passenger fully informed of the vehicle’s status and the drive system’s operating mode.

    The two displays have been designed to interact in such a way that the information shown is distributed between the two screens as the situation dictates. In the case of the BMW i3 Concept Coupe, their interaction is best illustrated by a typical urban mobility scenario. When the car is started, the instrument cluster springs to life first. It signals that the vehicle is ready to start with a welcome sequence whose animation spreads to the central information display. In the meantime, the system has already connected to the drive’s smartphone and is showing current calendar entries. Shortly afterwards the driver receives a text message with the agreed venue for his meeting. The address data are automatically used to generate a navigation destination, which then appears on the central information display. The driver learns that his destination is within the vehicle’s range and he is advised to recharge the car there. Shortly before arrival at the destination, various charging stations in the vicinity are displayed and the driver is offered the option of booking one of them. He confirms and books the nearest one. During the journey the driver can also find out about the restaurant he is heading for as well as listening to personal playlists. On arrival, the driver hooks the vehicle up to the charging station. The illustration of the different functions is rounded off by an animated charging graphic that appears on both displays when recharging the battery.

    COMFORT, ECO PRO and ECO PRO+: three driving modes for the ideal mix of driving pleasure and efficiency.

    The range covered by vehicles with an all-electric drive is very much dependent on driving style, just as fuel consumption is in conventionally powered cars. The BMW i3 Concept Coupe helps the driver to optimise efficiency by choosing an appropriate vehicle set-up. The Driving Experience Control switch on the centre console can be used to select the three driving modes, COMFORT, ECO PRO and ECO PRO+. The sportiness and comfort of the BMW i3 Concept Coupe can be best experienced in the standard COMFORT setting. ECO PRO mode places the focus more on economical energy management for an increased range and even cleaner performance. The accelerator mapping is modified, for example, so that the same pedal travel delivers less power. At the same time, the heating and air conditioning are switched into a more energy-efficient operating mode. Changing from COMFORT to ECO PRO mode can extend the vehicle’s range by as much as 20 per cent.

    Efficiency can be boosted yet further in ECO PRO+ mode, which is designed to do everything possible to maximise driving range. So, not only is the accelerator mapping modified, maximum speed is also limited to 90 km/h (56 mph). Comfort functions such as the heating and air conditioning are furthermore run at the minimum level required to prevent the windows from misting up, for instance. Electrical consumers like the seat heating, mirror heating and non-essential components of the daytime running lights are even switched off completely. As a result of all this, more miles can be added to the vehicle’s range.

    Total networking thanks to BMW i ConnectedDrive with specific functions.

    The BMW eDrive system fitted in the BMW i3 Concept Coupe is designed to allow the vehicle to cover a distance of around 160 kilometres (100 miles) on a full battery charge before it has to be plugged into a charging station again. This range comfortably allows it to be used for more than just urban mobility.

    Thanks to the BMW i ConnectedDrive services that were purpose-developed for electric mobility applications powered by BMW eDrive technology, the driver receives realistic estimates of his vehicle’s current range, which can be viewed even before setting off. The BMW i3 Concept Coupe therefore assumes the title of the world’s first fully networked electric vehicle.

    Precise, reliable, realistic: driving range display in the navigation system with BMW i ConnectedDrive services.

    The BMW i3 Concept Coupe is equipped with a navigation system featuring BMW i ConnectedDrive services. Both the navigation system and the BMW i ConnectedDrive services have been carefully tailored to the specific demands of electric mobility. Apart from the route guidance function, the system also offers drivers assistance with their mobility requirements that extends beyond just the journey planning. One of the key elements of the networked navigation unit is a dynamic range display, which delivers precise, reliable readings by factoring in all relevant variables.

    The battery’s charge status, driving style, activity of electric comfort functions and the selected driving mode are all taken into account for the calculation, along with the route’s topography and current traffic levels. The system is therefore able to make allowance for the extra energy used up for both an upcoming climb and stop/start traffic or traffic jams, and lowers its range calculation accordingly. Up-to-the-minute and detailed real-time traffic data is also added to the equation. The information is analysed and evaluated centrally by the BMW ConnectedDrive server that stays in permanent communication with the vehicle thanks to its built-in SIM card. The SIM card’s fixed installation ensures an optimum connection at all times throughout the vehicle’s life.

    The dynamic range display is visualised on the vehicle’s central information display not only as a figure but also as a peripheral contour within the navigation map. Taking the vehicle’s current location as a starting point, all points that can be reached with the available energy reserves are joined up to form a peripheral contour. Since the driver is able to actively influence the vehicle’s energy consumption and therefore its range by switching the driving mode, the graphical representation of the range calculation is always made available in two variants, allowing the driver to view the relevant current range regardless of whether the COMFORT, ECO PRO or ECO PRO+ mode is selected.

    When route guidance is activated, the driver is given a precise and true-to-reality indication of whether the destination is within range and how much energy he has to spare. The most efficient route is also shown as an alternative to the fastest. If necessary, the Range Assistant will even recommend changing to ECO PRO or ECO PRO+ mode in order to increase the range. This function clearly demonstrates the interaction between the tailored route guidance for electric vehicles from BMW i ConnectedDrive and the special energy management from Efficient Dynamics.

    If desired, the driver is able to call up a charging station near to his destination and reserve it with another push of a button. The system additionally notifies him of the charging time required before commencing the return journey or the onward journey to the next destination. The wealth of functions offered by the navigation system with BMW i ConnectedDrive services makes it possible to plan out journeys using electric power alone with supreme precision, reliability and convenience.

    Intelligent networking simplifies mobility planning: a smartphone app with eRemote function developed by BMW ConnectedDrive for BMW i.

    The mobility planning information provided is made available on the customer’s smartphone as well as in the vehicle courtesy of a smartphone app for the iOS and Android operating systems which was specially developed for BMW i. The app is a further development of the eRemote functions from BMW ConnectedDrive and offers the driver constant access to the vehicle data and relevant route planning information. Thanks to this intelligent networking, customers are able to check the vehicle’s status or plan out upcoming journeys in the BMW i3 Concept Coupe from the comfort of their office or even over breakfast.

    If the vehicle is plugged into a public charging station or the BMW i wallbox, the charging procedure can be controlled both remotely and via a timer function. The range display shown in the BMW i navigation system can also be viewed on the smartphone in exactly the same format as in the vehicle. The BMW i app can additionally be used to search for and select either a navigation destination or a free charging station and then import it to the vehicle’s system. Available charging stations are indicated in both the navigation unit and the BMW i app, which also show whether the stations are currently free.

    When the customer leaves the vehicle at the journey’s end, he can furthermore use the pedestrian navigation function built into the BMW i app to guide him to his final destination. For this, the navigation destination selected by the driver in the vehicle is automatically transferred to the BMW i app via the BMW ConnectedDrive server.

    The route planning function that was specially developed for BMW i and the specific requirements of urban centres also includes local public transport networks, allowing the available transport connections to be taken into account if required. This gives the driver the option of selecting an intermodal route in his BMW i car, whereupon he is first directed to a public car park by the navigation system. After leaving his vehicle, he now uses the BMW i app to guide him first to the correct bus or tram stop and then on to his destination while completing the final leg of the journey on foot.

    In addition to this, BMW i also offers pioneering mobility services that can be incorporated into the customer’s mobility planning. These include the premium car-sharing service DriveNow, which has been available in Germany since 2011 and, since September 2012, in San Francisco as well. It was here that the ParkNow facility was also introduced as a world first, enabling parking spaces to be booked via a smartphone app. ParkNow and other services are provided to the customer via BMW ConnectedDrive and made available to use in the navigation system.

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    Interesting concept, looks like a jelly bean, but if they get the handling right, should be a hit.

    I hope GM is working on doing a Volt version of a CUV like this. I think it would do well under Chevy, Buick and Caddy.

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    A BMW for the New Age. Breathtaking. Thank you so much, Mr. President.

    Perhaps you mean Frau Merkel? that is.. unless I missed a press release about BMW changing nationalities....

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    This is for America.

    Hopefully it will have some redeeming qualities.

    low weight, low center of gravity, max torque at ZERO rpm..... should be a hot little runabout.

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    max torque, min usefulness, as with all of these. hey at least it's a two-door and it has an...interesting design. i give it that. Thanks for posting all the news from L.A.

    Edited by ocnblu
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    Wow, 100 miles of range under ideal conditions. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, in the 1966 Electrovair video I posted a few months back. Talk about progress! :rolleyes:

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    This one is RWD, so the buyer can get a poor simulation of what driving a real BMW is like.

    Sounds like this one is for the eco kiddies.... BMW still has the serious stuff for drivers (M models) and the regular models for the stereotypical pricks.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    I like the premise here, but the styling is grossly detestible. If it came from Kia (which it does look like it could've come from Kia), I wouldn't think much of it. But BMW? Oh hell no.

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    Traditional electric whine. Interesting that they show it gowing over the sidewalk onto the street and you hear clunk clunk noise every time. Not something that says quality to me. weird.

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      Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director
      The combination of a low-slung roofline, elevated stance and crossover appearance creates a striking visual impact. The versatile stance endows the QX30 with a “go-anywhere” attitude, ready to take on all driving conditions – without compromising the high quality finish that buyers associate with premium rivals.
      The QX30 exterior is characterized by dramatic curves and turbulent, sculpted character lines that make an emotional statement, evolving them into new dynamic shapes for a more purposeful appearance. The double-arch grille with three-dimensional mesh draws a flowing, fluid link to the headlamps for a more organic shape.
      The lines of the QX30 flow up the double-wave hood, over the fenders, across the bodyline and into the strong shoulders of the car. The overall effect is designed to look stretched over bone and muscle, rather than the straight, “mechanical” lines seen on rival models. Infiniti’s signature C-pillar design forges a dynamic crescent shape that emphasises motion, even when stationary.
      The elevated dimensions make for a confident and relaxing drive, while ascribing to the car’s versatile character. An overall height of 60.2 inches (1,530mm) (with standard roof rails) helps improve forward visibility over its rivals, aided by a slim A-pillar design, while the elevated ride allows for a higher hip point, improving ease of ingress and egress.
      Other exterior details include newly designed front and rear bumpers and grained side sills for a rugged look, as well as bodywork finished with satin chrome-plated inserts for a premium and high quality metallic finish.
      Living in asymmetry and comfort with QX30
      “QX30’s asymmetric interior design results in an environment focused on the driver, yet encompassing passengers in such a way as to involve and cater for them, more so than the traditionally isolating designs found in the premium segment.”
      Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director
      The bold approach Infiniti has taken to design continues inside the QX30, which challenges traditional standards of symmetry with its expressive, modern and dynamic interior.
      The asymmetric surfaces feature wave shapes and dynamic lines that twist apart and flow away from the driver. These give an “in-motion” feel when natural light moves over the highly sculpted lines and contrasting materials in the cabin. This “dissymmetry” creates a more pleasant environment in which to spend time.
      The most premium materials and processes available have been selected by Infiniti designers in order to create a modern-looking and luxurious cabin. A custom-designed QX30 trim delivers a personalized, self-expressive interior design. The standard interior is finished in high quality black cloth, while optional black or beige Nappa leather delivers an even more premium finish.
      Refinement and comfort is also a core appeal of the QX30’s interior. Comfort is guaranteed thanks to an advanced seat design, which makes use of Infiniti’s advanced “spinal support” research. The seat backs have been carefully engineered to match the curvature of the spine, providing consistent spinal support by more equally distributing load across the seat to minimise pressure on back muscles. Meanwhile, a wider fitting shape and soft seat cushion also provides enhanced support. Internal testing carried out by Infiniti engineers showed that the QX30 seat provides greater levels of support and comfort than rivals, reducing driver fatigue on longer journeys.
      The QX30’s supreme interior quietness adds to cabin comfort, with some of the lowest noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels in the premium compact segment.
      The extensive application of sound-absorbent materials reduces the intrusion of wind, road and unwanted engine noise into the cabin. In addition, closed sections of the high-rigidity body structure protect the QX30 from any negative noise and vibration generated by broken or inconsistent road surfaces.
      The result is an incredibly quiet and refined platform, allowing Infiniti engineers to isolate and emphasise the more pleasant and enriching tones of the QX30’s engines under acceleration, without disturbing the calm of the cabin.
      A versatile attitude and drivetrain to deal with any challenge
      The QX30 is engineered to deliver a confidence-inspiring, dynamic driving experience, aided by intelligent all-wheel drive.
      Development of the QX30 started at the brand’s technical center in Japan, before moving to Europe for final validation and testing. In total, over 750 Infiniti engineers in Japan and Europe were involved in the development and testing of the QX30 in a wide variety of roads and environments.
      “Our holistic approach to engineering the QX30 has resulted in a car that delivers a precise, ‘in-command’ experience behind the wheel. The finely-tuned chassis and suspension, plus a number of assistive driver technologies, all work together to the benefit of the driver, providing a confident drive in all conditions and surroundings.”
      Grahame Cornforth, Infiniti Chief Vehicle Engineer
      The QX30’s chassis has been developed to offer a comfortable ride and confident handling in spite of its elevated ride height and ground clearance. Development teams responsible for QX30’s ride and handling worked hard to ensure the car’s dynamic characteristics met with buyers’ expectations of a vehicle that has been engineered to bridge the gap between compacts and crossovers. Its springs and rear anti-roll bar are stiffer, continuing the engineers’ efforts to ensure a flat ride. While the slightly firmer suspension helps to counteract the dynamic effects of a higher center of gravity, the modifications to the chassis enable QX30 to remain comfortable at all speeds and over a variety of road surfaces.
      The QX30 comes equipped with an intelligent all-wheel drive system. The drivetrain is able to send up to 50 percent of the engine’s power and torque to the rear axle to maintain traction on slippery surfaces and in inclement weather, enhancing a feeling of control and confidence when driving. For example, if sensors detect wheel slip, braking is applied to the slipping wheel, while torque is sent to the gripping wheel for additional stability. Combined with the elevated ground clearance, the QX30’s drivetrain is engineered to deal with all conditions.
      Another standard feature is the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission system. The dual-clutch intelligently pre-selects gears so the next shift is always ready to go, while manual mode lets the driver control gear changes when desired. Delivering seamless acceleration at any speed and in any gear, the application of torque is almost uninterrupted during gear changes, reducing lurching while in motion and between shifts.
      Depending on market, there will be a choice between responsive diesel and gasoline engines for QX30 buyers – with specific details available closer to launch.
      Intuitive technologies enhance an involving, safe driving experience
      The QX30 will be among the safest cars in its class owing to a range of active safety and hazard avoidance technologies that enhance the driving experience and provide maximum safety to all occupants. An Around View Monitor with moving object detection and Intelligent Parking Assist makes the QX30 the easiest car to park in its segment.
      A special metal plating method allows the radar waves of the Intelligent Cruise Control to pass through the Infiniti badge without disrupting the QX30’s striking appearance with unseemly radar units.
      Infiniti’s trademark InTouch infotainment system, first introduced on the pioneering Q50, has been evolved and upgraded for the QX30 for a highly intuitive finger touch and swipe control through a seven-inch touch-screen HMI (human machine interface). Infiniti Voice Recognition interacts with the InTouch infotainment system to control audio and navigation commands.
      The Infiniti QX30 premium active crossover will go on sale in selected markets in the middle of 2016.
      Please note: All product information contained in this press kit relates to global QX30 information, including technical specifications, powertrains and standard/optional equipment and features. Please contact your country’s Infiniti PR office for product details relevant to your market.
    • By William Maley
      This year's Los Angeles Auto Show proved to be much better than first expected. When the news hit back in October of some the vehicles that were to debut, the show's organizers listed the Buick LaCrosse and Nissan Sentra as the big stars. Oh dear, this year's show was going to be a snoozefest.
       
      But as we saw in the past week, the LA showed proved to be exciting. There were a number of surprises, along with vehicles that stole the show. Of course, there were the vehicles that maybe should have passed on LA Auto Show.
       
      It is that time to grade the vehicles and find out which ones are the top of the class and which ones need to head to detention.
       
      Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio: Incomplete
      Despite Alfa Romeo rolling out the Giulia Quadrifoglio again and providing some juicy information (505 Horsepower, 7:39 lap time on the Nürburgring, $70,000 starting price tag), I still don't believe this car actually exists. Blame Alfa Romeo's track record of pushing back dates. Also, we haven't seen what the lower trim models will look like. The only details are a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder with 276 horsepower and all-wheel drive.
       
      Buick LaCrosse: Incomplete
      This car would get a high grade with an impressive interior, updated 3.6L V6, and a number of new tech and safety features. But there is one thing that is giving me pause; the LaCrosse's exterior. We knew that elements of Avenir concept shown in Detroit would influence the next LaCrosse and they are there. But something is a bit off and I can't put my finger onto it. This is a vehicle that I need to see in person before handing out a final grade.
       
      2017 Fiat 124 Spider: C-
      While Fiat does deserve a lot of credit for making their Miata-based roadster look much different, it badly needs to go back to the drawing board. Yes, it looks like the 60's 124 Spider. But this modern interpretation is ungainly. Also, could Fiat have done a little bit more to the interior? The only item that is saving this from a lower grade? The turbocharged 1.6 from the 500 Abarth.
       
      2017 Ford Escape: C
      Oh Ford, what have you done to the Escape? I understand that you are trying to bring it in line with the Edge, but the new face looks very awkward. On the plus side, the troublesome 1.6L EcoBoost has been shown the door with the 1.5L EcoBoost taking its place.
       
      2017 GMC Canyon Denali: C+
      Having to wait till late 2016 for this model is kind of a disappointment. Also, I'm afraid to see what the pricetag on this luxury version will be. Hopefully, GMC has the luxury appointments that can justify the price.
       
      2016 Honda Civic Coupe: A
      I'm shocked that I like the new Civic Coupe a lot. The production model mostly stays true to the concept minus a couple of things (the large rear wing and center mounted exhaust). It is quite the sharp-looking compact. When was the last time you could say that about a Honda? S2000 maybe?
       
      2017 Hyundai Elantra: C
      I'm getting a bit worried about Hyundai's car designs. The Sonata was a snoozer compared to the last one and new Elantra... well looks like the current one. It seems like they are taking a little bit more risk with their crossovers and I want them to take some of that and put them into their cars once again. But I will say the upcoming Elantra Eco model has me very interested.
       
      2017 Infiniti QX30: B-
      Now I like the standard Q30 as it looks quite sharp. Somehow I don't like the QX30 as much despite it being the same model with just a few inches of added ground clearance. Also, how come I can get AWD on the QX30 and not the Q30?
       
      2017 Kia Sportage: A-
      Kia continues their trend of producing sharp looking vehicles with new Sportage. The interior looks to be a giant leap ahead of the previous model. Oddly, the Sportage doesn't have small-displacement turbo option like the Tucson. One hope I have the new Sportage: Improved ride characteristics.
       
      Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2: B+
      Rear drive Huracán? Uh, where do I sign up? But I'm wondering why it only produces 398 pound-feet of torque. I know most buy a Lamborghini buy it for looks, but a little bit more torque isn't a bad thing.
       
      2017 Lincoln MKZ: B-
      This was something completely out of left field. I don't think many knew that Lincoln was planning to show off anything besides the Continental (something we expect to see next year). There are some good parts to the 2017 model like the new front end which gives Lincoln a bit more of an identity. There's also this interesting feature of actual buttons for the center stack. (OK, that's a bit cold. But we're glad to see actual buttons again.) But then there are some questionable items. The big one being the 400 horsepower twin-turbo V6. Why? I mean it's awesome, but it also brings up concerns about what Lincoln sees itself as. It is a luxury brand trying to fill a space of what it means to be an American luxury car or is it trying to be like every other luxury car on sale? At least the MKZ was being talked about, something you couldn't say about Lincoln since the Continental concept.
       
      2017 Mazda CX-9: A+
      When I drove the current Mazda CX-9 last year, it was in dire need of a replacement as it was aging quite fast. The new CX-9 looks to be a real contender with sharp looks (bigger CX-5 isn't a bad thing), luxurious interior, and having the full suite of Skyactiv technologies. Doesn't hurt the engine is also turbocharged. Best in show? I think so.

      2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class: C
      I know that it's a refresh and appreciate Mercedes improving the SL's interior. But I wish they could have gone a little bit farther with the exterior aside from a new grille. This is a vehicle that deserves more.
       
      2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport/2017 Mirage: D+
      Mitsubishi, I know that you are in the process of a plan to get you back on stable ground and sales are on the rise. But you could have done so much more to these models. A new front end for the Outlander Sport? Four more horsepower and a tweaked front end for the Mirage? A little bit more money in these cars could have done so much to these.

      2016 Nissan Sentra: C-
      During the press conference of the Sentra, Nissan's senior vice president of sales and marketing Fred Diaz said this was the year of the sedan at the company. Oddly the only model we remember from 'year of the sedan' is the Maxima. While the Sentra did get some elements of the Maxima in the front end, the rest of design matches up with the current Sentra. Nissan's 'year of the truck' for next year will hopefully be more exciting.
       
      2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible: B
      This is one of those vehicles that make you wonder why? But I'll admit that it looks quite sharp. Who knows, this might have a better chance at succeeding than the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.
       
      Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept: A-
      Much like the hatchback counterpart we saw in Japan, the Impreza Sedan is quite the stunner. Now whether the production model looks like the concept remains to be seen. But considering Subaru's recent track record, this is something we're bit concerned about. At least the Impreza will be debuting a new modular platform that will underpin future Subaru models.
       
      Volkswagen America's CEO Apologizes Again: C+
      Volkswagen's apology tour continues with the CEO of the American branch, Michael Horn apologizing during Volkswagen's press conference. Look Volkswagen, we know that you are sorry about the whole diesel emission mess. But you don't need to keep apologizing at every event. It is getting to the point where if someone brings up a question not related to the scandal, you'll be saying sorry. Work on trying to get a fix out there.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Ford unveiled an update to their entry for the small crossover segment, the 2017 Ford Escape today ahead of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
       
      The Escape, one of the best selling vehicles in the segment last year trailing only the Honda CR-V in sales, now looks more like it's big brother the Ford Edge. Inside, the changes are subtle but significant with a reworked center stack and dash pad shape. The overall effect gives the interior are more upscale look.
       
      Under the hood are two new 4-cylinder Ecoboost engines for SE and higher trims while the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder carries over for the base S level trim. A 1.5 liter turbo 4-cylinder is standard on SE and Titanium while a new 2.0T Twin-Scroll is optional.
       
      The 1.5 Ecoboost has a preliminary rating of 180 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque and the 2.0 Ecoboost will boast 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. Both Ecoboost engines will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and feature automatic start/stop to help with city fuel economy. AWD is optional.
       
      The Escape already is known for some of its tech features like the hands free foot activated tailgate, blind spot monitoring, and automatic high-beam control. For 2017 the Escape adds optional Adaptive Cruise Control, Land Keep Assist, Driver Alert system to warn of driver fatigue, and enhanced park assist.
       
      Ford's Sync3 system debuted in the 2016 Ford Escape and carries over for 2017. It can now be paired with a Ford Sync app that allows you to lock and unlock , remote start/shut off, and check the maintenance on your Escape from an app on your phone.
       
      We will have additional pictures and a up close look at the Ford Escape after the Ford Press Conference tomorrow. In the meantime, you can follow all of our 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage on our dedicated LA Auto Show page.
       
      Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for up to date alerts from the show.
       

      Album: 2017 Ford Escape
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      Source and Photos: Ford Media
       
      Ford Press Release on Page 2
       



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    • By Drew Dowdell
      Ford unveiled an update to their entry for the small crossover segment, the 2017 Ford Escape today ahead of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
       
      The Escape, one of the best selling vehicles in the segment last year trailing only the Honda CR-V in sales, now looks more like it's big brother the Ford Edge. Inside, the changes are subtle but significant with a reworked center stack and dash pad shape. The overall effect gives the interior are more upscale look.
       
      Under the hood are two new 4-cylinder Ecoboost engines for SE and higher trims while the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder carries over for the base S level trim. A 1.5 liter turbo 4-cylinder is standard on SE and Titanium while a new 2.0T Twin-Scroll is optional.
       
      The 1.5 Ecoboost has a preliminary rating of 180 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque and the 2.0 Ecoboost will boast 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. Both Ecoboost engines will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and feature automatic start/stop to help with city fuel economy. AWD is optional.
       
      The Escape already is known for some of its tech features like the hands free foot activated tailgate, blind spot monitoring, and automatic high-beam control. For 2017 the Escape adds optional Adaptive Cruise Control, Land Keep Assist, Driver Alert system to warn of driver fatigue, and enhanced park assist.
       
      Ford's Sync3 system debuted in the 2016 Ford Escape and carries over for 2017. It can now be paired with a Ford Sync app that allows you to lock and unlock , remote start/shut off, and check the maintenance on your Escape from an app on your phone.
       
      We will have additional pictures and a up close look at the Ford Escape after the Ford Press Conference tomorrow. In the meantime, you can follow all of our 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage on our dedicated LA Auto Show page.
       
      Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for up to date alerts from the show.
       

       
      Source and Photos: Ford Media
       
      Ford Press Release on Page 2
       
       
      FORD LAUNCHING TECHNOLOGY-PACKED NEW ESCAPE; MORE CONNECTIVITY, INNOVATIVE FEATURES MAKE DRIVING SAFER, EASIER
      New Ford Escape gives SUV customers even more of what they want – additional innovative features to make their daily drive safer and easier, greater connectivity, two new EcoBoost® engines and technology that saves fuel in heavy traffic Escape is first Ford vehicle in the world with SYNC® Connect – customers can unlock and lock their doors, start engine, even locate vehicle through smartphone app Driver-assist technologies including enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping system, and adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support make driving easier and safer Environmentally friendly Auto Start-Stop standard with Escape’s two new EcoBoost engines – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll; technology shuts off engine in common stops so the vehicle uses no gas, improving fuel economy by 4 percent to 6 percent in stop-and-go traffic

      New Escape Tech Specs
      New Escape Fact Sheet
      New Escape Tech on Deck
       

      LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2015 – The popular Ford Escape SUV is newly engineered to make customers feel unstoppable – with even more driver-assist technologies to help enable safer and easier driving, new mobile connectivity that allows owners to interact with their vehicle from anywhere through a smartphone app, and two new efficient EcoBoost® engines.
      The new Escape is the first Ford vehicle in the world with available SYNC® Connect, allowing users to unlock doors, check fuel level and even locate where a vehicle is parked.
      To help drivers feel more confident behind the wheel, driver-assist technologies available for the new Escape include adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, a lane-keeping system and enhanced active park assist. That’s all packed in a vehicle that has been redesigned from the inside out, including a driver and front passenger area upgraded with more storage space and mobile device charge ports.
      “The compact SUV segment is the largest and most competitive in the United States, and the new Escape delivers even more of what our customers want – more technology they can really use to make their daily drive safer and easier,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas.
      SYNC Connect keeps drivers in touch with remote vehicle access
      Need to lock your new Escape from across town? There is an app for that.
      With SYNC Connect, owners can remotely start their vehicle and schedule future starts, as well as lock and unlock their Escape using their smartphones. The technology provides vehicle location, as well as key vehicle information such as tire pressures, battery and fuel levels.
      SYNC Connect, available with SYNC® 3 for the new Escape, comes with complimentary activation for five years. A user enables the system through a two-step authentication process designed to protect personal information. SYNC 3 features faster performance, conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.
      Driver-assist technologies SUV drivers want
      Other driver-assist features available help make the daily commute safer and easier for drivers of the new Ford Escape:
      ·Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support: Sensors detect when Escape is approaching a slow-moving vehicle, and adjust cruise control accordingly Enhanced active park assist: Provides steering assistance to park the vehicle in a parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spot, and pull out from tight parallel parking spots; driver controls brake, accelerator and shifter. Technology includes side park distance control Lane-keeping system: The system includes lane-keeping alert, which alerts drivers when they drift unintentionally from their lane, and lane-keeping aid, which provides steering assistance to guide an unintentionally drifting vehicle back into its lane Driver Alert System: Using data from the lane-keeping system, the Driver Alert System can detect signs of fatigued driving and provide a warning on the instrument cluster

      Already available driver-assist features for the new Escape include:
      Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert: BLIS® can alert drivers when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot in a neighboring lane. An indicator light provides a warning in the side mirror corresponding to the side on which the vehicle is approaching Hill-start assist: The feature holds the vehicle stationary on a hill long enough for the driver to transition from brake to gas pedal Auto high-beam control: System automatically switches from high to low beams, and vice versa, depending on ambient lighting Hands-free, foot-activated liftgate: Opens liftgate with the simple kick of a key fob-carrying customer’s foot beneath rear bumper – perfect for those whose hands are loaded with gear

      Two new EcoBoost engines with Auto Start-Stop
      Escape is the first Ford vehicle to make Auto Start-Stop standard with either of two EcoBoost engines new to the model – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll. The technology senses when the vehicle is sitting idle and shuts off the engine to conserve fuel, resulting in a 4 percent to 6 percent improvement in fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic. The engine restarts automatically – in less than half a second – when the driver releases the brake pedal.
      “Auto Start-Stop is the equivalent of turning off the lights when you leave a room, or turning off a water faucet when you’re done washing dishes,” said Milton Wong, Escape chief engineer. “It’s a high-tech approach to more efficient driving.”
      Escape SE and Titanium trim levels come standard with the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, while the powerful new twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost is optional. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line, with new paddle-shift technology available for Escape SE and Titanium.
      The twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque, along with greater efficiency and improved noise, vibration and harshness performance. New pistons provide a higher, more efficient compression ratio, and a newly designed, integrated exhaust manifold is optimized for the twin-scroll turbo system.
      The aluminum-block, twin-cam 1.5-liter EcoBoost with integrated exhaust manifold is projected to deliver horsepower and torque output comparable to the 1.6-liter – an expected 180 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque.
      Along with the new EcoBoost offerings, the 2.5-liter i-VCT four-cylinder engine carries over as standard equipment for the Escape S series.
      Three trim levels, with new Sport Appearance Package
      Escape customers can continue to select from S, SE and Titanium trim levels, as well as a new Sport Appearance Package available for SE and Titanium.
      Charcoal Black with subtle Deep Space black trim is available for Escape Titanium. Salerno leather seats feature a unique horizontal pattern. Titanium customers can also opt for Medium Stone seats to contrast with the black interior.
      Escape will be offered in three new colors – Canyon Ridge, White Gold and Lightning Blue. Six new wheel designs are also available.
      Built to lead in a growing segment
      Overall SUV sales continue to trend higher – both in North America and around the world. SUVs now account for about one third of the U.S. auto industry, a number Ford projects will grow to 40 percent by 2020. In the United States, SUV sales are expected to exceed 5 million units in 2015 for the first time ever.
      Small SUVs play an increasingly larger role, and Escape remains one of the most popular. Since its launch in 2000, more than 3 million units have been sold in the United States, including a record 306,212 Escape vehicles in North America in 2014. Ford expects Escape sales this year will exceed that figure.
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