By William Maley
When Mini held a trial period for the Mini E back in 2009 and 2010, there was the thought that Mini was close to launching an electric vehicle. But that did not happen as what was learned from this would be used for the BMW i3.
At long last, Mini will be launching an electric vehicle in near future. Before that, the automaker will be previewing the model as a concept at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.
The electric concept looks like a somewhat futuristic version of the current Cooper hardtop model with a streamlined front, handles integrated into the doors, odd looking wheels, and the taillights forming the Union Jack using LEDs. There is no information about the electric powertrain. Hopefully, we learn more when it debuts next month.
Press Release is on Page 2
MINI presents pure-electric design study at the IAA: the MINI Electric Concept, complete with iconic design and urban driving fun.
Munich, Germany, August 29, 2017. MINI is using the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt am Main to showcase its take on future personal mobility in the city – in the form of the MINI Electric Concept. Designed for use in urban areas, this concept car offers a window into how pure-electric day-to-day mobility might look in the years ahead. And the
MINI Electric Concept also brings the iconic design, city-dwelling heritage and customary go-kart feeling of the MINI brand into the electric mobility age. MINI will present an all-electric series-production model in 2019.
“The systematic electrification of the brand and product portfolio is a mainstay of the BMW Group’s NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy. The MINI Electric Concept offers a thrilling preview of the all-electric production vehicle. MINI and electrification make a perfect match,” remarks Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Urban mobility is ingrained into the MINI brand’s DNA; the city is its natural habitat. Indeed, this environment and the specific demands it places on a car provided the canvas from which the MINI design team brought the MINI Electric Concept to life. The responsive drive system, sublimely judged suspension tuning and use of aerodynamic add-ons produce driving dynamics very much in the MINI mould and a fine operating range. It all comes together to make the MINI Electric Concept a highly attractive, zero-emission solution to the current challenges facing personal mobility in our cities and their surroundings.
“With its characteristic go-kart feeling and powerful electric motor, the MINI Electric Concept is great fun to drive while also being completely suitable for everyday use – and producing zero emissions to boot. That’s how we at MINI envisage electric mobility in tomorrow’s world,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad.
MINI – blazing a trail for electric mobility at the BMW Group.
It has been nearly ten years since MINI took a significant, pioneering step with the MINI E – and laid the foundations at the BMW Group for the development of electric mobility solutions to production readiness. The MINI E unveiled in 2008 was the first all-electric car from the BMW Group to be driven by private users in everyday traffic conditions – as part of an extensive field trial. Over 600 MINI E cars entered service worldwide for the purpose of the field studies. All of them helped to gain vital insights into the use of pure-electric vehicles, and this knowledge was subsequently incorporated into the development of the BMW i3. The MINI E also offered driving fun in spades, thanks to outstanding acceleration and handling.
The British premium brand’s first series-production model with a plug-in hybrid drive system was presented in spring 2017 in the shape of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. The new model variant enables electric and therefore locally emission-free mobility for the first time. The all-electric MINI Electric Concept represents a seamless continuation of this bloodline. In the future, all electrified products from the MINI brand will be grouped together under the “MINI Electric” banner.
Unmistakably MINI – the design.
“The MINI Electric Concept is a quintessential MINI – compact, agile, simply the ideal companion for everyday driving. At the same time, it conveys a whole new take on the concept of sportiness,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “Indeed, aerodynamics and lightweight design aren’t just important in the world of motor sport; they are also essential factors for maximising electric range. The car’s surfaces have a sense of precision and contemporary clarity about them that lends added impact to the car’s efficient character. Plus, striking accents and vivid contrasts give the exterior that distinctive MINI twist.”
A front end brimming with character.
A hexagonal radiator grille and circular headlights make the MINI Electric Concept instantly recognisable when viewed from the front. Even from the outside, it is obvious that this car has an electric heart. Identifying features include the vividly contrasting silver and yellow colour scheme reminiscent of the earlier MINI E, as well as the distinctive E badge. Besides this, the radiator grille and headlights have been reinterpreted to reflect the emission-free drive technology under the bonnet. As the electric drive unit requires very little cooling air, the radiator grille is closed for superior aerodynamics. A Striking Yellow accent bar in the grille – with an E badge in the same colour – produces a powerful contrasting effect, which is echoed by the styling of the daytime running lights in the all-LED headlight assemblies.
The highly expressive add-on parts in the front apron highlight the dynamic character of the MINI Electric Concept, at the same time as increasing its range with their aerodynamic benefits. The front apron’s simulated “air intakes” are also sealed, yet they still include dark louvres that look like cooling fins and inject some added technical flair. The crisp lines of elements such as the LED headlights and fibreglass structures contrast with the expanse of clear surfaces, and lend the front as a whole a very sophisticated look.
Compact and agile – the flanks.
The contrasting blend of colours, smooth surfaces and precisely contoured details continues into the MINI Electric Concept’s flanks. Clearly moulded fibreglass add-on parts along the lower edge serve to intensify the car’s snappy proportions. The car’s silhouette is composed of taut, clean-cut surfaces, producing a minimalist impression that exudes efficiency. The elements below the surfaces help to convey a feeling of restrained power and understated athleticism. The paint finish in Reflection Silver – a matt liquid metal colour shade – showcases the surfacing to exceptional effect and thereby focuses the spotlight on the model’s lightweight and sophisticated character.
Material and colour highlights take a light-hearted approach to softening the technical appearance of the car’s flanks, as well other areas of the car. A large yet discreet “E” badge above the front wheel provides another tell-tale sign of the power source. The interplay between matt and high-gloss surfaces within a family of colours results in a progressive look with a puristic and classy feel. Further “MINI E” badges are integrated into the radiator grille and exterior mirror caps. Colour gradients in the accent shade Striking Yellow, incorporated into both the roof and side skirts, add further flourishes. The colour of the roof flows from matt white to high-gloss yellow, while the yellow of the side skirts gains in transparency as it rises, appearing to merge into the body colour. These colour gradients accentuate the concept car’s lightness and modernity.
Innovative 3D printing.
The design of the dark-coloured 19-inch wheels adds another visual highlight, picking up on the idea of the radiator grille’s accent bar and reinterpreting it in asymmetrical form. The aerodynamic inlays – made using a 3D printing process – echo the fibreglass structure of the air deflectors and inject the wheels with great aesthetic appeal. The recessed louvred surfaces in the simulated air intakes were also produced using a 3D printing method. These two elements emphasise the light and modern character of the MINI Electric Concept, while at the same time illustrating the opportunities offered by 3D printing in terms of producing functional design elements for vehicle styling and customisation
Clarity and dynamism – the rear end.
The rear of the concept car also marks it out as a thoroughbred MINI. Its wide stance on the road is striking in a sporty way, without lapsing into excessive flamboyance. The upper section is dominated by clear surfaces, but the rear takes on a far more dynamic aspect as it cascades down. This familiar approach from MINI, where the car’s volume steadily increases from the top down, makes the shoulders appear broad and athletic. The rear light assemblies constitute yet another standout visual feature and provide a clear pointer to the car’s British roots. Framed within the classic MINI outline, they each form one half of the Union Jack as an LED dot matrix. The rear apron features aerodynamic elements similar to those at the front, including air deflectors and a fibreglass diffuser. These reinforce the car’s efficient dynamism on both a visual and functional level. There is also a yellow accent strip that provides a striking colour contrast when the car is viewed from the rear, while simultaneously announcing the presence of an electric drive system. This is further underlined by the absence of exhaust pipes and the dark louvred surfaces in the simulated air outlets.
Cutting-edge, pure and dynamic (in an efficient way), the MINI Electric Concept encapsulates MINI’s near-term vision of an all-electric car designed for urban mobility in a changing world.
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By William Maley
BMW's i3 has been primarily focused on efficiency. But 2018 sees the German automaker introduce a performance-oriented version.
Making its debut next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the 2018 BMW i3s comes with a slightly boosted electric motor (184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, up from 170 and 184 respectively). BMW's engineers have also modified the motor controls and tapered roller bearings to improve performance at the top end. The end result is an improved 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds (7.2 seconds for the standard i3) and a top speed of 100 mph.
Other performance tweaks include a lowered suspension, widened track, revised tuning for the springs and anti-roll bars, and a tweaked stability control system.
Aside from new model, the i3 has some other changes in store for 2018. Design tweaks include the A-pillar being finished in a gloss black, restyled bumpers, and LED headlights. The optional 33.2 kWh battery pack introduced last year will now become standard on all 2018 models.
No word on pricing, but expect the 2018 i3 to launch late this year.
Press Release is on Page 2
The New BMW i3 and First Ever BMW i3s
Enhanced exterior design giving the BMW i3 a wider and sportier look. First-ever BMW i3s featuring a sportier chassis, wider track and higher performance output. Featuring state-of the-art connectivity with the latest iDrive 6 interface. Now featuring standard Full LED headlights. New color offerings now include Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic. Exclusive new cloth-leather trim combination ‘Giga Brown Natural Leather & Carum Spice Grey Cloth’ now available. Woodcliff Lake, NJ –August 28, 2017… BMW is pleased to announce the latest BMW i3 including the first ever BMW i3s, as part of the BMW i portfolio which entails the most awarded models in the automotive history. The BMW i3 is the bestselling compact battery-electric vehicle in the premium compact segment worldwide since it was launched in 2014. The design of the new BMW i3 and the exclusive first-ever BMW i3s has been altered to enhance the sporty, urban built yet elegant design of the model. Featuring a wider track, wheel arch molding and design lines that are vastly horizontal, the 2018 BMW i3 models have morphed into a versatile, urban, innovative efficiency mobility vehicle. For the first time, BMW also offers a more powerful and sportier version of the BMW i3 - the BMW i3s, which can also be equipped with a Range Extender.
The 2018 BMW i3 and BMW i3s will celebrate their world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September 2017 with pricing being announced closer to market launch.
Electric Driving: A new era of mobility.
The BMW i3 leads the way to a new era of mobility. It is recognized worldwide as a symbol of technology, sustainability and intelligent connectivity in the urban traffic environment, which is why it has become the best-selling electric car worldwide in the premium compact segment. The recipe for success of the BMW i3 has been enhanced thanks to refreshing styling accents, cutting-edge equipment features and new digital services, but also to the addition of a new model variant – the first ever BMW i3s. Keeping with tradition, the 2018 BMW i3 models will also be available with a Range Extender. By offering premium-quality, all-electric driving experience, meaning zero emissions and performance, in combination with the latest available connected technology, both model variants represent the future of urban mobility.
The BMW i3 has been the top-selling premium electric car in its class since 2014 worldwide. It is not just the visionary electric vehicles and inspirational design that help to make BMW i so popular, but also its innovative mobility solutions and the revolutionary new form of premium character, with sustainability as a key defining element. The BMW i brand has established itself as a pioneer for forward-thinking mobility by offering such products while also adopting an all-embracing approach that takes into account the complete lifecycle, from raw material production, through the manufacture and operation of the vehicles to their later recycling.
Emission free mobility and performance.
The BMW eDrive technology enables drivers to enjoy emission-free mobility with instantaneous power delivery, efficient use of energy and an optimized range for everyday practicality that even extends beyond the demands of purely urban travel. The BMW i3 and the more powerful BMW i3s draw their energy from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery developed by the BMW Group with a cell capacity of 94-ampere hours (Ah).
BMW driving dynamics with instantaneous torque.
The agile handling characteristics of the BMW i3 have been optimized with the improved Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. This comprehensively revised, faster responding Traction Control system guarantees confident handling under all driving conditions. Traction in less than ideal driving conditions has also been noticeably improved. Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) mode now boosts agility at higher speeds and during sporty cornering, even allowing mild and safely controllable drifts when grip levels are reduced.
The synchronous electric motor powering the new BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 170 hp. Its peak torque of 184 lb-ft is available instantly from standstill, in typical electric motor fashion. This means that stepping on the accelerator pedal immediately unleashes a thrilling burst of speed. The motor smoothly delivers the kind of performance that drivers expect from a BMW via a single-speed automatic transmission, with continuous power delivery that builds up the car’s speed. The new BMW i3 accelerates from 0 – 60 mph in 7.2 seconds1 with an electronic top speed of 93 mph.
The first ever BMW i3s: a thoroughly dynamic performer.
The first of its kind and more powerful BMW i3s incorporates a number of design elements all of its own that highlight its particularly dynamic character. Both the front and rear aprons are notable for their model-specific, powerfully shaped contours. At the front, the bumper inlay and its U-shaped surroundings are in black finish. The front fascia’s side sections are bordered on their lower edge by accent strips in BMW i Blue or Frozen Grey that emphasize the width of the car, complementing the front fascia. The accent in the closed BMW kidney grille is also painted in high-gloss black to give the grille a more prominent appearance. The rear apron of the first-ever BMW i3s is likewise composed of individually styled contours, while the black surround frames an extra-wide, body-colored inlay. On the first-ever BMW i3s, the roofline accent also sports the same high-gloss black finish as the A-pillars.
Underneath all of the design elements, the first-ever BMW i3s features a sports suspension that includes a 10-millimeter drop in height. Visually broader high-gloss black wheel arch moldings’ emphasize an increase of 40 millimeters track width compared to the BMW i3 providing a stable stance and sportier looks. The BMW i3s comes standard with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in bicolor double-spoke design, which are ½-inch wider than the previously available. Customers can also specify these wheels in Jet Back finish as a no-cost option. Overall, the first ever BMW i3s is the most powerful BMW i3 to date with clearly reflected key design elements that highlight its sporty character.
New high-performance motor and SPORT mode for BMW i3s. (1 Preliminary figures.)
The first ever BMW i3s provides an even sportier interpretation of silent mobility with zero emissions and features a high output 184 hp1 electric motor that generates peak torque of 199 lb-ft1. Its updated drive system includes modified motor control and specific taper roller bearings, which have been utilized to optimize power delivery and the performance curve at higher rpm. At the limits of the motor speed range, the power and torque of the enhanced drive system represent an improvement of up to 40 percent over the BMW i3. The driving dynamics and enhanced e-Driving abilities are significant especially at higher engine speeds when higher performance and higher torque is more noticeable.
The first-ever BMW i3s features a sports suspension with specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Drivers can now also select SPORT mode using the Driving Dynamics Control switch. This initiates more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics to accentuate the car’s sporting edge. Just 6.8 seconds1 is enough to see the BMW i3s burst past 60 mph on its way to a top speed of 100 mph1.
A two-cylinder range extender gasoline engine is available as an option for all BMW i3 models. The engine drives a generator that produces power as required to feed electricity to the high-voltage battery, which becomes available whenever necessary. This extends the car’s overall range in everyday use by 87 miles1, increasing it from around 97 miles1 to a maximum of 180 miles (Preliminary figures.).
Design accents: A sporty yet elegant look.
The unmistakable, avant-garde exterior styling of BMW i3 has already picked up the iF Gold award for product design and the World Car Design of the Year award along with other accolades, and it has now been enhanced by a number of design touches that clearly convey the sporty and stirring driving experience on offer.
The trademark BMW i Black Belt, running from the trunk over the roof to the car’s rear end is now complemented by A-pillars and rooflines that also sport a black finish. In contrast to the BMW i Black belt, two new exterior paint colors Melbourne Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic compliment the vehicle design. Besides these two new additions, customers can also choose from the non-metallic shades Capparis White and Fluid Black as well as Protonic Blue metallic and Mineral Grey metallic. A matte-chrome roofline accent on the BMW i3, as part of the black A-pillar and roof layer, add a touch of elegance. This design element also improves height perception, adding to the models stance as it widens towards the rear.
The restyling of the front and rear aprons places particular emphasis on the car’s width. The redesigned front contour highlights a wider stance with athletic characteristic. A chrome-design trim strip running across the full width of the rear and the positioning of the model and eDrive badges on the outer edges of the tailgate serves to reinforce this impression.
The new BMW i3 and the first-ever BMW i3s come equipped with Full-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for low and high beams, as well as the daytime running lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology and are integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips. This means that LEDs are now used for all lighting functions at the front of the vehicle too, as was already the case with the glass-covered rear light assemblies.
The new design elements highlight the enhanced character to emphasize a strong presence and sportiness. The BMW i3’s strong character is enhanced by the U-shaped feature line in matte black in the bumper. The horizontal LED indicators emphasize width even more. The rear shows off, the powerfully molded contours and the contrast in color between the black surround and the body-colored inlay.
Interior: great sense of roominess, sustainable materials.
Like the exterior design, the interior styling of the new BMW i3 and first ever BMW i3s is rooted in the LifeDrive vehicle architecture. The carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell has a wonderfully spacious feel about it and is dominated by a sense of lightness. The design principle of the two four-seater models means there is no need for either fixed B-pillars or a transmission tunnel. Doors that open in opposite directions allow the occupants to get in and out with the greatest of ease.
The Mega, Giga and Tera World equipment lines are available for the new BMW i3 and first ever BMW i3s as alternatives to the standard Deka version. The optional Giga World includes a new trim for the seat surfaces in Giga Brown Natural Leather & Carum Spice Grey Wool Cloth which combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material. The BMW i3 and BMW i3s apply the concept of sustainability throughout, as other materials used are recycled plastics, renewable raw materials, natural fibers and open-pored, unbleached eucalyptus wood. Over 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources. The available seat belts in BMW i Blue for the first ever BMW i3s only, provide a splash of color in the interior. Typical BMW i Brand lettering are also visible on the front floor mats.
Technology and Driver Assistance Systems.
The driver assistance systems available for the new BMW i3 and first-ever BMW i3s ease the driver’s workload and provide support in various traffic situations, as well as helping with longitudinal and lateral vehicle control. The Technology and Driving Assistance Package offers Active Driving Assistant and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go while Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information and ConnectedDrive Services are also contained within the upgraded Navigation System included in this package. When equipped with the Technology and Driving Assistance Package, Apple CarPlay can be enabled. Park Distance Control is a standalone option as well as the Parking Assistance. Once the system has been activated and a suitable parking space has been found, at the press of a button Parking Assistant takes control of acceleration, braking, gear selection and steering. Driving Assistance systems also contained within the Technology and Driving Assistance package include Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation and Speed Limit Info.
The latest BMW iDrive 6 interface, ConnectedDrive with navigation features and On-Street Parking Information specially developed for electric mobility.
Both the new BMW i3 and first-ever BMW i3s come with the latest version of iDrive, which provides an intuitive interface for controlling numerous vehicle, infotainment, communications and navigation functions, specifically designed for BMW i. In vehicles equipped with the Navigation system Professional, the Control Display features a 10.25-inch screen with an increased resolution of 1,440 × 540 pixels. The main menu is presented in the form of live tiles containing dynamic content. The voice recognition system has also been optimized with cloud-based off-board processing of speech. With Natural Language Understanding available with the Navigation system Professional, spoken instructions can now be executed more quickly and naturally, i.e. when searching for an address or Point of Interest, or for searching music and phone numbers or dictating e-mails and SMS messages. Natural phrases such as “find coffee shops nearby” or “take me home” make for an effortless experience. When equipped with Apple CarPlay, additional smartphone apps can be seamlessly integrated within the vehicle’s operating system.
The enhanced BMW i ConnectedDrive offering ensures intelligent connectivity through services specially tailored to electric mobility. The On-Street Parking Information search service, now available for the first time in the BMW i3, can also be used alongside the Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (ARTTI) system with the optional Navigation system Professional. On-Street Parking Information helps drivers locate available parking spaces in many major US cities. It uses historical and real-time data to determine the likelihood of finding vacant parking spots in a given area and displays the information on Navigation Map. Specifically designed for BMW i, public charging stations and information about their availability can also be displayed on the navigation system’s map. When route guidance is activated, data about the route is also used to calculate the range shown in the instrument cluster as accurately as possible. Standard on the i3, the range map provides a visual representation of the current operating radius. With Navigation Professional, the dynamic range map draws a boundary representing the maximum range the vehicle could travel on its current charge status. It is also possible to display the different ranges achievable in each of the Driving Dynamic Control modes. BMW i-specific navigation features also include intermodal route guidance. This helps users to quickly and efficiently reach their destination by factoring in local public transport timetables and connections. Regular, automatic updates of the navigation data are now also provided “over the air” in the BMW i3, using a mobile network connection.
A package of new services were introduced in early fall under the BMW Connected+ umbrella which enable a highly personalized digital experience. All of the digital services related to BMW Connected and BMW Connected+ will be available in the BMW i3 and BMW i3s. These span intelligent route planning, including stops at charging stations or gasoline stations in the case of the range extender (Send my Routes to Car), sharing of the car’s current location via SMS and live link (Share Live Trip Status). Also part of the Connected portfolio features personalized display of relevant in-car information (BMW Onboard), seamless transfer of route instructions to the customer’s smartphone or smartwatch once the car is parked (Navigate Door-to-Door) and direct syncing of contacts and addresses to the navigation system (My Destinations).
BMW Digital Charging Service enables convenient and intelligent charging.
Planned for release in the first-half of 2018 is the BMW Digital Charging Service. BMW ConnectedDrive and the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal will turn charging into an easy to use digital experience. As a result, the BMW i3 and BMW i3s are integrated perfectly into the customer’s smart ecosystem. The service’s ease of use – from a smartphone via BMW Connected or from PCs and tablets via the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal – also facilitates fully transparent, sustainable use of renewable energy. With the introduction of its unique BMW Digital Charging Service, BMW becomes the world’s first carmaker to integrate electric mobility with its customers’ digital worlds.
360° ELECTRIC: new charging cable, BMW i Charging Station.
360° ELECTRIC is a range of products and services that help make electric mobility a convenient, everyday experience. The functionality of the standard charging cable supplied with the first ever BMW i3s has been optimized and includes a temperature sensor. Charging at home is extremely user-friendly thanks to the BMW i Charging Station which can supply 7.2 kW of power to charge the high-voltage battery. This allows enough energy for an electric range of around 90 miles to be transferred in three hours – about five times quicker than with the standard Level 1 120 V charging cable. Drivers with a registered ChargeNow card have unrestricted access to the world’s largest network of public charging stations.
BMW Original Accessory: BMW TurboCord™ EV Charger.
Now available as a BMW Original Accessory the BMW TurboCord™ Electric Vehicle Charger can be purchased at certified BMW Centers for $499 MSRP. This premium charging solution provides BMW i and BMW iPerformance drivers with the ultimate charging experience – flexible dual-voltage (120 V / 240 V) capability and nearly three-times faster charging – all in the smallest, lightest UL-listed portable charger available. The BMW TurboCord™ EV Charger components have been specifically engineered by BMW to meet BMW Group standards and requirements, featuring a convenient 20 ft charging cord, and provides two chargers in one. Level 1 charging is readily available when plugged into any 120 V outlet and it also allows customers to charge up-to at 3.6 kW, nearly three-times faster than the standard occasional use cable (OUC) when used with a 240 V outlet (NEMA 6-20). Also integrated are such state-of-the-art safety features as unit and plug temperature monitoring, automatic shut-off and a rugged, waterproof, submersible enclosure (NEMA 6P) that enables users to safely and reliably charge indoor and outdoor.
Sustainability meets personal mobility.
BMW i is shaping the future of sustainable personal mobility. Its integrated concept focuses on responsible use of resources and incorporates material selection and innovative mobility services alongside emission-free driving. The BMW i3 is just as serious about the fun of driving, turning even a trip around town into an electrifying experience. The inspirational design of the BMW i3 expresses a new style, while the instantaneous power from the drive system provides an inspiring showcase for the dawn of a new era in mobility.
This car’s architecture was designed from the ground up with electric mobility in mind. Combining the latest technological innovations with an evolutionary development of the car’s design and the expansion of the model range has provided additional impetus for BMW’s now familiar take on premium electric mobility. The character profiles of the new BMW i3 and first-ever BMW i3s are focused more than ever on driving experience, which gives them all the ingredients required to strengthen their leading position in e-mobility and the BMW i success story.
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By William Maley
Whether Porsche purists want to admit it or not, the Cayenne is an important model. For a time, it was Porsche's best selling model - the Macan holds that title now. The model also generates a fair amount of profit for the company. With new and redesigned competitors arriving, Porsche decided it was time to introduce a new Cayenne.
The new Cayenne is somewhat boring to look at, especially when compared to the last-generation model. The front and sides mimic the Macan, while the back is inspired by the upcoming Panamera Sport Turismo. It might become a bit more exciting when other models such as Turbo are launched down the road. Overall size grows by three inches to 194. The wheelbase remains the same 114 inches as the last-generation model.
The Panamera's influence can fully be seen inside as the Cayenne features a 12.3-inch display in the center stack and touch controls around the console. A pair of 7-inch displays flank the center tachometer to provide key details such as trip info and navigation.
For the timebeing, the Cayenne will only be offered with two turbocharged engines. The base model gets a 3.0L turbo V6 with 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. S variants get a 2.9L twin-turbo V6 with 440 hp and 406 lb-ft. Both come paired with a eight-speed automatic.
Performance figures are as followed,
Cayenne: 5.6 seconds (0-60 mph), 14.2 seconds (quarter-mile), 152 mph (top speed)* Cayenne S: 4.6 seconds (0-60 mph), 13.2 seconds (quarter-mile), 164 mph (top speed)* *Figures are with the optional sport chrono package
Porsche says this is most agile Cayenne yet, thanks to Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control electronic roll stabilization system (with a 48-volt electrical system), three-chamber air suspension, and rear-wheel steering.
Surprisingly, Porsche was able to drop 143 pounds from the new Cayenne. This is due to extensive use of aluminum and a lithium-ion polymer starter battery (which saves about 22 pounds).
The 2019 Cayenne arrives at Porsche dealers next summer with prices of $66,750 (Cayenne) and $83,950 (Cayenne S). Both prices include destination.
Press Release is on Page 2
Third Generation Porsche Cayenne Models Make Global Debut in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen
New engines, new chassis, innovative control concept, and increased connectivity Atlanta, Georgia. Today Porsche unveiled the new 2019 Cayenne. The all-new Cayenne builds on the formula that started in 2003 while pushing performance boundaries even further through new technologies that significantly improve on-road performance and comfort. The new Cayenne is more athletic both in appearance and driving performance due to new styling cues and engineering developments. In line with the its modern exterior, the interior carries many of the same design cues and new technologies that made their debut on the 2017 Porsche Panamera.
Among the many changes, optional rear-axle steering creates a virtual reduction of the wheelbase at low speeds and a virtual lengthening at high speeds for improved agility and stability. Available Porsche Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB) offer even greater stopping power and reduced brake wear. Every new generation Cayenne model will come with a turbocharged powertrain and all-wheel drive that complement the new lighter weight platform.
Performance: New Powertrains and Standard Equipment
Porsche will offer two models at launch: the Cayenne and Cayenne S. Both are powered by turbocharged six-cylinder engines. The Cayenne uses a 3.0-liter single-turbo V6 making 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds (or 5.6 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package). The new Cayenne is also capable of running the quarter-mile in 14.4 seconds or 14.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono package, and it is able to reach a top track speed of 152 mph. The Cayenne S uses a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 440 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. It is able to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.9 seconds (or 4.6 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package) and continue on toward a top track speed of 164 mph. The Cayenne S quarter mile times drop to 13.3 seconds (or 13.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono package) .
A newly-developed eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission is standard across the Cayenne line. It offers improved comfort and quicker response times in its lower gear range for improved performance both on- and off-road. Meanwhile, an intentionally long eighth gear allows for relaxed cruising. The long gear is designed to complement the performance-minded lower ratios with the option for comfortable highway cruising. Driver-selectable transmission programming further enhances how the Cayenne handles on varied terrain. The default setting is the on-road program. Four other modes activate the conditioning for mild off-road terrain: Mud, Gravel, Sand, or Rocks. The drive mode, chassis settings, and differential locks can be selected to adapt to the relevant scenario. Fully variable Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive is standard on all Cayenne models. The system offers excellent performance characteristics while also providing extensive traction on rough ground.
Chassis: Fundamental Improvements Start With Structure
The third-generation Cayenne has a newly-developed lighter weight chassis that contributes to an overall weight savings of up to 143 lbs versus the previous generation, even with extensively increased standard equipment. Following the Porsche 911 and Panamera models, the new body of the Cayenne also uses an intelligent combination of alloy and steel. The exterior is made almost entirely of aluminum as are the floorpan assembly, front section, and virtually all the chassis components. One particular technical highlight is the innovative lithium-ion polymer starter battery, which alone accounts for a weight saving of 22 lbs.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Cayenne incorporates major technological and mechanical developments which greatly enhance performance. This starts with the chassis and progresses to a separated link design for the front axle, a multilink rear axle, and – for the first time with the Cayenne – staggered front and rear tire sizes ranging in diameter from 19 to 21 inches that help to improve on-road driving dynamics. The choice to use a staggered tire setup in this generation underscores the fact that the Porsche Cayenne is designed to be the sports car within its segment.
Enhancing both agility at lower speeds and handling at high speeds, rear-axle steering is available as an option. This technology reduces the turning radius at low speeds for easier maneuverability by turning the rear wheels out of phase with the front axle. At higher speeds, the rear wheels turn in phase with the front axle to provide a virtual lengthening of the wheelbase to improve roadholding and directional control.
Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) offers familiar variable damping settings found in other Porsche cars. It will be standard equipment on the Cayenne S and an option on the Cayenne. In addition to PASM, a new three-chamber air suspension is also optionally available which furthers the range of comfort- and performance-oriented settings. The new system increases air volume versus the previous system and offers a finer degree of specific calibration through the addition of a third air chamber. Finally, available Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) adds stabilizer bars that are now controlled via a 48-volt electrical system for greatly improved responsiveness versus hydraulic management.
When equipped, all of those systems generate data that are analyzed centrally, in real time, by Porsche 4D Chassis Control. This technology debuted with the second-generation Panamera. The system works to make virtually instantaneous adjustments, optimizing handling even further. With the exception of the active PASM damper system, all other chassis systems are new developments.
Dynamic design language: wider appearance and larger wheels
The new Cayenne retains a strong visual connection to its predecessors. At the same time, it adopts new design elements that hint at how this generation builds upon its predecessors. New horizontal light edges create a wider, more athletic appearance as do enlarged air intakes in the front fascia. The wheelbase remains unchanged at 114 inches, while overall length increases slightly to 194 inches and width (with side mirrors folded) is 78 inches. Cargo area volume with the rear seats raised increases by almost 15 percent over the previous generation to 27.19 cubic feet. When closed, the rear fascia features a new three-dimensional LED light design that features the Porsche logo spanning the width of the vehicle through a narrow strip of lights.
Broadly speaking, LEDs are a main feature of the new Cayenne and are standard on all models. Customers may also choose to upgrade from the standard headlights to either the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PLDS) or LED Matrix Beam headlights, which also include PDLS.
World premiere: Porsche Surface Coated Brake with tungsten-carbide layer
Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) technology is the latest example of Porsche assuming a pioneering role in developing high performance brakes. This world-first is available as an option for all Cayenne models and consists of a cast-iron disc with a tungsten-carbide coating. The finish increases friction values while reducing wear and brake dust. The brakes – which are exclusive to Porsche – will take on a visually impressive glossy appearance complimented by white painted calipers. The PSCB system is only available in combination with 20-inch and 21-inch wheels. The Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB) remain the top system available.
New Sport Chrono Package with PSM Sport
The new Cayenne utilizes the redeveloped Sport Chrono Package which reflects the design first employed in the 918 Spyder. The Mode button on the steering wheel is one clear indicator of this approach. As well as the Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus driving modes, the driver can select an individually configurable mode. Pressing the Sport Response button in the center activates the most performance-oriented engine and transmission mapping for 20 seconds. The Sport Chrono Package also includes a separate PSM Sport mode, in which the driver can utilize a wider range of the new Cayenne’s driving dynamics.
Digital evolution: Porsche Advanced Cockpit and new PCM
The newest version of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) makes its way into the new Cayenne, ushering into the model line a new level of connectivity. At the heart of the new display and control concept from Porsche is the 12.3-inch full-HD touchscreen, launched last year with the new Panamera.
A range of digital functions can be operated intuitively through touch and also voice controls. The standard Porsche Connect Plus allows subscribers to have access to services including online navigation with real-time traffic information. The analog controls on the new center console are focused on the main functions of the vehicle. Other buttons are integrated into the smartphone-like, glass-look touch surface, which gives acoustic and haptic feedback when operated. In typical Porsche style, the driver has a central analog tachometer to view. This is flanked by two 7-inch full-HD displays showing relevant driving data that can be selected and changed using the multi-function steering wheel. Cayenne customers may specify a variety of available assistance systems as well that include Night Vision Assist, which uses a thermal imaging camera to detect pedestrians and animals before they are visible to the naked eye. Lane Change Assist, Lane Keep Assist including traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assist, ParkAssist including Surround View, and Porsche InnoDrive including adaptive cruise control are also available.
PCM also offers the ability for a great degree of customization by saving preferred settings and menu layouts including up to six individual profiles. In addition to a large number of interior settings, a profile is used to store specifications for lights, driving programs, and assistance systems. Depending on the equipment, each driver can also apply his or her own settings to the new sound systems from Bose® and Burmester®.
A new Off-road Precision App, specially developed for the Porsche Cayenne, is now also available as part of Connect Plus. It allows rough-terrain drives to be documented in detail, helping the driver to improve her or his own skills using video recordings.
Pricing and U.S. market availability
The 2019 Cayenne and Cayenne S models are available to order with a base MSRP of $65,700 and $82,900 respectively, excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fees. They will reach U.S. dealers midway through 2018.
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By William Maley
It has been 15 years since Bentley unveiled the Continental GT. Since that time, the British automaker has been making tweaks and changes to keep it in the spotlight. But there comes a point where you need to start anew. Last night, Bentley pulled the sheets off the second-generation Continental GT.
The EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept is very evident as an inspiration for the redesigned Continental GT's design. A blunt nose features a large, rectangular mesh grille. The side profile comes with flared wheel arches for the front fenders and sculpted rear haunches. Around back are a set of taillights shaped like ellipses. Bentley has changed up the proportions of the Continental GT via a longer wheelbase and the front wheels pushed 5.3-inches forward.
You would expect Bentley to roll out the red carpet when it comes to the Continental GT's interior and they do. A sea of leather, metal, and wood finishes gives off an air of ultimate luxury. Bentley took Porsche's idea of putting the climate control and other functions around the transmission selector. But the piece de resistance of the GT is with the 12.3-inch infotainment screen. When you enter the vehicle, the screen is hidden by a piece of wood veneer. Press the start button and the screen rotates forward. But that's not all. You can rotate the screen to a third side with three analog dials—a temperature gauge, compass, and chronometer.
Under the hood lies an upgraded 6.0L W12 engine with 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and AWD. Despite a curb weight of 4,947 pounds (which is about 170 pounds less than the outgoing GT), Bentley says the new Continental GT can hit 60 mph in a mind-jarring 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 207 mph.
Underneath the skin, the Continental GT uses the modular MSB architecture that first debuted on the Porsche Panamera. There is also the Bentley Dynamic Ride system that uses a 48-volt electrical system to control electronic actuators on the anti-roll bars to reduce body roll when cornering. A three-chamber air suspension system can provide either a smooth or sporting ride.
Pricing hasn't been announced, but expect to see the Continental GT arrive at dealers sometime next year.
Press Release is on Page 2
THE ALL-NEW BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT – THE DEFINITION OF LUXURY GRAND TOURING
Third generation of the peerless Continental GT: the definitive luxury Grand Tourer A statement of true luxury: bold, sculptured exterior design Innovative luxurious interior offers unrivalled Grand Touring refinement Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain Seamless integration of handcrafted, natural materials and cutting-edge technology Revolutionary Bentley Rotating Display and digital instrument panel Enhanced version of renowned 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine delivers 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds); top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph) Dual-clutch, eight-speed transmission for faster, more efficient performance (Crewe, 29 August 2017) Bentley Motors is today announcing full details of its new Continental GT, the definitive Grand Tourer.
Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain, the new third-generation Bentley Continental GT combines spirited, focused performance with handcrafted luxury and cutting-edge technology, to create the finest Grand Tourer ever produced.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said: “Bentley has been at the forefront of luxury Grand Touring for nearly one hundred years. The new, third-generation Continental GT is the pinnacle of our design and engineering achievements and marks the next step in Bentley’s journey.
“We are the world leader in luxury mobility and our products and services define new luxury in the automotive world. The new Continental GT encapsulates our desire to innovate as well as celebrate our heritage and take the Bentley ownership experience to the next, unparalleled level.”
At the heart of the new Continental GT sits an all-new, enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine, mated, for the first time, to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission, for faster, more efficient gear changes.
A new, technically advanced, adaptive chassis uses Bentley’s intelligent 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to ensure a responsive ride and exceptional handling and refinement in all road conditions. The new system controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement as well as making the car feel effortlessly precise.
The muscular exterior design, created using revolutionary technology, results in a lightweight, yet stiff, body. The engine is positioned further back to improve weight distribution, resulting in driver-focused, dynamic performance.
Offering four seats and improved luggage capacity for genuine real-world usability, the new Bentley Continental GT’s luxurious cabin is packed with exquisite details such as a new ‘diamond in diamond’ leather design. In addition, significant work has gone into harmonising the extensive portfolio of 15 colours across hides and carpets.
The new Continental GT also showcases major evolutions in Bentley’s unique application of technology. An advanced, fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display for the driver are among the suite of innovations. The latter features an impressive 12.3” touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves the veneer to reveal the touchscreen as well as three elegant analogue dials.
The interior design of the Continental GT is tailored specifically to the modern luxury customer, with unrivalled attention to detail that creates an effortless ownership experience. The cabin seamlessly integrates cutting-edge onboard technology with the finest handcrafted natural materials. The result is an exquisite, harmonised, connected and luxurious space.
The new Continental GT will make its global debut at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show between 12 and 24 September, 2017.
The Evolution of Bentley’s Famous Design DNA
The exterior design of the new Continental GT is based on a bold new vision that is unmistakably Bentley. The all-new body and materials save more than
80 kg over the previous Continental W12 body.
While the Continental GT retains the classic elegance that made its forebear so popular, the form of the new car is more sculptural and sharply defined and takes much of its inspiration from the critically acclaimed EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car.
To allow for such a bold reimagining of the Continental GT, the aluminium skin has been crafted using Super Formed technology – a precision technique working with aluminium heated to 500°C which has previously been used on Bentley fenders. This method allows designers to invoke more complex, sharply defined body lines and a deeper, sculpted haunch muscle.
The Continental GT is the first production car ever to have an entire body side made from the Super Formed process.
The Continental GT’s profile is longer and lower due in part to the positioning of the front wheels 135 mm further forward, which in turn allows the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered. However, the key signature lines of the original Continental still dominate, with the ‘power line’ travelling from the headlights to the muscular rear haunch.
The rear of the car is a radical styling departure, with the taillights now shaped into ellipses, reflecting the silhouette of the exhaust tail pipes below them.
The lighting on the Continental GT uses the latest LED Matrix technology, but it is the design of the head lamps that truly sets them apart. Inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses, the internal surfaces are transparent with sharply defined edges that catch the light like a diamond.
The result is similar to that of an illuminated gem – an effect which is magnified when the optional welcome sequence gradually illuminates the headlights as you approach the car. The taillights also feature the cut-crystal effect, highlighting the three-dimensional depth of the optics.
The new Continental GT has 21” wheels as standard, with two styles available, reflecting in turn the model’s elegant and sporting characters. A 22” lightweight, forged wheel is also offered, alongside a hand-finished option, which allows for a twisted polished finish.
In another example of Bentley’s exacting attention to detail, and the unique way in which Bentley design often serves a dual engineering purpose, the elliptical exhausts have a complex perforated sleeve which adds visual detail but also reduces the exhaust temperature.
The new Continental GT customer has a class-leading portfolio of 17 exterior paint colours to choose from – carefully selected to complement the character and lines of the car. In addition, a limited extended range of colours will be offered at launch, as well as the option of full bespoke colour-matching for Bentley customers.
The Finest Handcrafted Cabin: A World of Hidden Delights
The interior of the new Continental GT showcases Bentley’s unrivalled expertise in the authentic use of materials, from the highest-quality natural leathers, to rare, sustainably sourced veneers – including Koa, Bentley’s newest veneer – and hand-polished chrome details. For the first time, unique dual-veneer options are offered. Over 10 square metres of wood are used in each Continental GT, and it takes nine hours to create and fit the wooden inlays by hand.
The exquisitely styled dashboard of the new Continental GT is sculpted by long, flowing wings that mirror the shape of the Bentley badge. A floating leather top flows seamlessly to the doors.
The centre console is finished to match the lower fascia, but can be specified in a new technical finish that is inspired by the delicate mechanical surfacing inside the finest automatic Swiss watches, known as Côtes de Genève. This surface – a first in the automotive world – is machined onto 0.6 mm-thick aluminium and is created by machining from side to side to create a linear pattern. Each row is 5 mm wide and machined at an angle to give a truly three-dimensional finish, with each pass of the machine making a minute step of 0.5 mm.
New types of luxurious haptic finishes adorn the interior of the Continental GT for greater sensory, as well as visual, enjoyment. In some areas, pillow knurling replaces the traditional mechanical knurling, for a softer, more refined feel on switches and controls, while diamond knurling adds a luxurious touch using a detailed three-dimensional faceted surface.
The new knurling design is available on the iconic Bullseye vents, bezels and other primary control rotaries, and not only gives a finely faceted visual impact but provides a precise technical feel when operating the controls.
Another hidden delight is the addition of bronze inserts between surfaces on the primary controls, which adds a level of fine detailing never seen before.
The 20-way adjustable seats in the new Continental GT set new industry standards in comfort and refinement. Smooth centre panels allow maximum efficiency for the cooling, heating and massage functions, while the bolsters retain the signature Bentley quilting.
A new, unique quilt is also available: called a ‘diamond in diamond’ quilt, the effect is of a floating quilted surface in a sea of leather, which is extraordinarily soft to touch. The new interior pattern features both stitching and embroidery. The inner diamonds are embroidered, using a specially-designed machine that balances high speed with quality. Eighteen months were spent developing the embroidery, individually optimising and programming the exact alignment of each one of the 712 stitches that make up each diamond shape – an unrivalled attention to detail.
A choice of three audio systems is offered in the new Continental GT. The standard system features 10 speakers and 650 Watts, while a Bang & Olufsen 1,500 W, 16-speaker system with illuminated speaker grilles is aimed at lifestyle-oriented customers. The new Bang & Olufsen installation benefits from the first automotive application of the BeoSonic system – a new way for tone setting with a simple, intuitive one-touch user interface.
A Naim 2,200 W, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight sound modes is offered for the true audiophile.
In order to ensure optimal audio enjoyment, laminated acoustic glass is used for the windscreen and side windows, resulting in a nine-decibel reduction in exterior noise ingress versus the outgoing model.
Behind the wheel, the technological advancements in the new Continental GT are striking. The driver-orientated instrument panel is now fully digital and configurable by the driver. While the main dials appear to be real, they are in fact digital graphics designed to look three-dimensional. This display can show information from across the infotainment system including satellite-navigation information.
The Continental GT features the innovative and industry-first Bentley Rotating Display. At first glance there appears to be no screen in the centre of the dashboard. Instead, the veneer flows uninterrupted across the dashboard, while a thin chrome bezel behind the steering wheel surrounds a digital instrument display.
When the engine start button is pressed, however, the veneer in the middle of the dashboard glides silently forward and rotates to reveal Bentley’s largest-ever touchscreen, a 12.3” retina-quality digital MMI display, elegantly designed by Bentley with a customer-configurable home screen with three windows able to display the driver’s preferred functions, for example, navigation, media and telephone.
The user interface is designed to be akin to a modern mobile phone and menus are structured to be instantly intuitive.
The third side on the Bentley Rotating Display reveals three elegant analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and chronometer. Such an innovative use of traditional elements underscores Bentley’s unique commitment to the past and the future, and offers customers the choice of digital or analogue display or clean, calm cabin.
The new Continental benefits from features designed to keep both driver and passengers connected at all times. Apple CarPlay, the smartest and quickest way to integrate the functionality of Apple devices in a car is connected via a USB port.
Customer journeys are streamlined with features designed to improve navigation. Google point of interest search makes finding unusual destinations simple, while real time traffic information keeps the driver informed of current length or changes in congestion. In emergency situations, Private eCall provides instant access to emergency services for ultimate peace of mind when travelling.
Sublime Power: The Beating Heart of Bentley
The new Continental GT is offered at launch with an enhanced version of Bentley’s peerless 6.0-litre, W12 TSI engine that sets a new benchmark in performance.
Designed, developed and handbuilt in Crewe, the W12 TSI engine is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. The unique ‘W’ configuration means that the engine is 24 per cent shorter than an equivalent V12, benefitting weight distribution and maximising usable cabin space.
The new powertrain uses the very latest engine management technology, with 300 million software calculations per second. It produces 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) of torque, and accelerates the new Continental GT to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds), and on to a top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph).
A dedicated Sport Launch mode delivers maximum acceleration through careful clutch pressure sensing and pre-loading when a race-style start is required by the driver.
The W12 TSI combines high-pressure direct fuel injection with low-pressure injection. The combination of these two systems maximises refinement, lowers particulate emissions and optimises power and torque delivery. At 278 g/km CO2 (a 16 per cent improvement over the previous Continental GT), the engine also meets Phase 2 of Euro 6 and US ULEV 125 (LEV3) emissions targets.
The new engine utilises Start-Stop technology and, in Bentley’s advanced application, coasting is also made possible. The engine rests not only when the vehicle is stationary but also at near-to-stop speeds.
Bentley’s Variable Displacement system shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency.
Significantly, a new dual-mass flywheel replaces the torque converter, to dampen out the oscillations of the driveline and provide a fittingly smooth power delivery for luxury touring.
The dual-clutch eight-speed transmission provides smooth acceleration, and impressively quick gearshifts, both hallmarks of the Continental GT’s dynamic character, as well as improved combined fuel economy (23.2 mpg or 12.2 L/100 km versus the previous model’s 19.9 mpg or 14.2 L/100 km).
Shift times are variable and depend on the selected driving mode. In Sport mode, shifts are seemingly instantaneous to deliver uninterrupted torque delivery and maximum acceleration performance. In Comfort mode, shifts are deliberately relaxed to allow for a seamless and imperceptible gear change.
Maximum speed is reached in sixth gear, with the seventh and eighth gears acting as overdrive gears for relaxed cruising.
A new Active All-Wheel-Drive System replaces the traditional 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels respectively, instead varying the front-to-rear torque split dependent upon the driving situation. The vehicle will use rear-wheel drive as much as possible during normal driving for optimum efficiency and dynamic performance.
Based on the conditions and the driver’s behaviour, the system will send drive to the front axle as required. This reduces the understeer effect from fixed all-wheel drive, as well as increasing driver engagement for those who revel in the dynamic attributes of the Continental GT.
Unrivalled Grand Touring Ride and Handling
The third generation of Continental GT features Bentley Dynamic Ride, an advanced 48-volt roll control system for unrivalled car control. The system controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle and so improves handling and ride comfort, as well as making the car feel lighter and more precise.
This system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre-to-road contact to deliver class-leading ride comfort and exceptional handling.
While conventional anti-roll bars present a compromise between body control and ride comfort, Bentley’s active system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Continental GT to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The use of a 48-volt system results in silent, instantaneous responses and sufficient power on hand to deal with all road surfaces.
Through Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Control different modes can be selected: Comfort mode, Bentley mode or Sport mode; the suspension, engine, gearbox and other chassis systems will modify to match the selected drive mode. Alternatively, the driver can personalise his or her own dynamic settings.
The air suspension on the new Continental GT is revised and uses three-chamber air springs which give the car 60 per cent more air volume in the softest setting than the previous model. This allowed Bentley’s engineers more scope for tuning the suspension to improve the ride comfort and dynamic character of the car. The system offers the scope to vary from sporting spring stiffness to luxury limousine refinement depending upon which mode the driver has selected.
Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) is also featured on the Continental GT. The new system improves feedback to the driver, while providing isolation from unwanted road disturbances. The steering system features a variable rack ratio, allowing increased response with higher steering angles to aid manoeuverability whilst maintaining excellent stability at high speeds. The introduction of EPAS also allows the Continental GT to be offered with a wide range of Driver Assistance features including Active Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Park Assist.
Another key feature is the latest-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which constantly adjusts the damper forces to optimise comfort. The system continually measures the velocity and distance between the wheels and the body at each corner and also adjusts the air volume in the springs if necessary to ensure the optimum balance of comfort and handling. Both front and rear axles are of a lightweight aluminium construction, with multilink design at the front and rear.
The brakes, as always on the Continental GT, are bigger on the front axle, with a 15 mm increase in size to 420 mm to match the increased performance.
The exhaust tail pipes have also been revised, and now have an adaptive valve for greater tuning potential.
Bentley Personalisation Options and Mulliner Bespoke
The all-new Continental GT redefines personalisation and bespoke luxury. Paint, leather, veneer and lifestyle options are virtually unlimited and tailored to the individual.
The standard palette alone comprises 17 exterior paint colours, with up to 70 hues available in the extended range. There are also 15 luxurious carpet options, eight different handcrafted veneers (with a further four dual-veneer options) and 15 choices of interior trim hide, which means that customers are able to specify their own choice of luxury finish.
Two technology option packs are offered at launch: City Specification for urban journeys and the Touring Specification for long-distance driving, both curated to optimise the customer experience. City Specification includes hands-free boot opening, pedestrian warning, traffic-sign recognition and city braking systems as well as a top-view camera. The Touring Specification pack, meanwhile, offers adaptive cruise control with traffic-jam assist, active lane assist, a heads-up display, night vision with an infrared camera, and pre-sense braking.
The Mulliner Driving Specification adds a more sporting look to the car with 22” lightweight forged alloy wheels, unique ‘diamond in diamond’ quilting, embroidered Bentley emblems, additional veneer options, a jewelled-finish fuel filler, sports pedals and indented leather headliner. Customers can also choose personalised stitching in the front and rear of the car and personalised treadplates.
As with all Bentleys, the Continental GT can also be handed over to the highly skilled and dedicated craftspeople at Mulliner, Bentley’s personal commissioning division, who will respond to bespoke customer requirements.
Extreme Conditions: Global Testing for the Perfect Grand Tourer
Bentley’s highly skilled engineers have put the new Continental GT through the extraordinary rigours of extreme hot and cold weather testing – as well as durability tests – around the globe to ensure the new Grand Tourer triumphs in all driving conditions, covering nearly one million kilometres.
A demanding and thorough development drive programme put the new Continental GT through cold-climate testing in polar areas, hot-weather testing in America and durability testing on the grueling roads in South Africa; as well as tests in the Middle East, China and Europe.
A team of expert Bentley development engineers led the testing in Sweden for serious sub-zero driving on frozen lakes and in snow. In America, testing also took place in the below sea-level ‘oven’ of Death Valley with temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius for a trial covering thousands of kilometres.
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Wheels for the week: 2020 Toyota Corolla XLE. We'll be taking this one on a trip to Virginia and testing out how close to the 37mpg highway rating we'll get. It's equipped with Toyota Safety Sense which means I'll have radar cruise control for the trip (Yay!). The shocking part is the price: $28,084 for a Corolla that doesn't even have the biggest engine. But it's got heated seats, so that will keep Albert Maisto happy.· 0 replies