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  1. Chevrolet has an interesting week. Tomorrow, the automaker will be revealing the next-generation Cruze. Then a day after, the 6th generation Camaro Convertible will be shown for the first time. Unfortunately for Chevrolet, someone posted the images of the new Camaro Convertible on Chevy's site. The company has pulled them down, but the folks at Camaro6.com got the images. Not surprisingly, the convertible looks much the same as the coupe. We'll have more details on the drop-top Camaro later this week. Source: Camaro6.com
  2. Volvo is in the midsts of overhauling their lineup with the 90 Series nearing completion, and attention being turned towards the 40 and 60 Series. As Car and Driver notes during the press introduction of the 40 Series concepts, a video was shown demonstrating the flexibility of the CMA platform. Various body styles such as convertible were shown. This got Car and Driver thinking, was Volvo considering adding more variants down the line on the CMA platform? Peter Mertens, Volvo’s head of research and development said CMA could sit underneath a coupe or convertible. But right now, Mertens said Volvo is focused on their core models for this and the SPA platform. At the moment, Volvo's overhaul will be running till 2020. After that, Mertens said there would be the possibility of adding “emotional products” such as a convertible, a coupe, or even a coupe/SUV thing (PLEASE NO VOLVO, NO! -WM). Source: Car and Driver
  3. Earlier this week, we reported that Chevrolet was planning to show off three vehicles for the New York Auto Show; one of those being a new variant of the Corvette. Many of us have been racking our brains trying to figure out what that new model is. Well thanks to someone leaking out photos earlier today, GM has revealed what the model is. Meet the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible whose task is to give vehicles such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet a run for their money. So what's different about the Z06 Convertible from the Coupe? The most obvious change is the loss of a hardtop and the introduction of a soft-top and folding mechanism. Now with most convertibles, they tend to weigh a bit more than the coupe thanks to added bracing, structural enhancements, and the top mechanism. The Corvette Z06 Convertible bucks that trend with it weighing the same as the coupe. The secret? Comes down to the ultra-stiff aluminum frame which means there doesn't have to be additional strengthening. "Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models. The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques – many of which were not available just five years ago," said Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the Corvette. The supercharged 6.2L V8 engine with 625 horsepower is there, as is the choice of either a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, Brembo Carbon-Ceramic brakes, and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The Corvette Z06 Convertible arrives early next year. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Drop-top Supercar: 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced one of the most capable drop-tops on the market: the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible. With at least 625 horsepower, and 635 pound-feet of torque, the Z06 is also the most powerful convertible ever produced by Chevrolet. "The Z06 Convertible is a world-class supercar in every sense," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development. "Only a handful of convertibles in the world bring more than 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Even fewer can match the advanced technologies, aerodynamic design, and visceral driving experience of the Z06 Convertible." This is the first Z06 Convertible offered from the factory since 1963 when the Z06 option package was introduced for endurance racing. Records show only 199 Corvette orders with a Z06 package that year, including one convertible. Recent technological advancements enable the building of a modern Z06 Convertible, said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter "Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models," Juechter said. "The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques – many of which were not available just five years ago." The aluminum structure is 20 percent stiffer than the previous, fixed-roof Z06. As there are no structural reinforcements needed for the Z06 Convertible, its curb weight is nearly identical to the Z06 Coupe. They also share the same chassis tuning, powertrain output, driver technologies and equipment options – including the Z07 Performance Package, which adds Brembo carbon-ceramic matrix brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and adjustable front- and rear-aerodynamic components. "The most impressive aspect of the Z06 Convertible may be its performance bandwidth," said Juechter. "Very few cars on the market can match its combination of extreme, supercar levels of performance; the flexibility for daily driving and long-distance commuting; and the 360-degree, open-air driving experience only true convertibles can offer." All-aluminum, high-tech foundation The Corvette Z06 Convertible represents the culmination of more than four years developing an all-new, all-aluminum structure for the seventh generation Corvette. That structure, built at General Motors' Bowling Green Assembly plant, was designed to the specifications of the Corvette Stingray, Corvette Z06 and the Corvette Racing C7.R. "We wanted a frame that was lighter than the steel frame of the previous Corvette, yet strong enough for both a 600-horsepower convertible and a 24-hour endurance racer," said Ed Moss, engineering group manager for Corvette structures. "That would not have been possible without improvements in computer-aided engineering software, which allowed us to model more than 17,000 frame iterations, with each iteration improving strength and stiffness, while reducing mass." The team used nearly 186,000 computational hours of modeling to develop the frame. It features main rails composed of five customized aluminum segments, including aluminum extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points. The gauge of each segment varies in thickness from 2mm to 11mm, tailored – along with the shape – to meet the strength and stiffness requirements for each frame section with minimal weight. These components are assembled using many advanced manufacturing processes, including:• 439 spot-welds using a GM-patented process that uses a unique electrode designed specifically for aluminum • 188 Flowdrill-machined fasteners installed by a high-speed drill that extrudes the frame material to create a strong, integral collar tapped for bolt-on fasteners• 113 feet of structural adhesives used in conjunction with welding and fasteners to increase overall frame stiffness • 37 feet of laser welds, which join frame sections via a precise beam of high energy that minimizes heat beyond the weld area for improved structural accuracy.The only structural differences between the Z06 Coupe and Convertible are provisions for mounting the power-folding top, and repositioned safety-belt mounts. High-performance aerodynamics Like the structure, only minor design changes distinguish the Z06 Coupe from the Convertible. The Z06 convertible features an electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car's key fob. The top can also open or clos on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). With the top up, the Z06 Convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick fabric top, offered in four colors along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, contributes to a quiet cabin and premium appearance. Behind the seat backs, dual accent panels – either Carbon Flash-painted or available with exposed carbon fiber – enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray's signature "waterfall" design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior. The power-operated tonneau cover necessitated moving the air intakes for the differential and transmission coolers from the rear quarter panels on the Z06 Coupe to the underbody of the Z06 Convertible. Otherwise, both models share the same, performance-driven aesthetic. "Practically every exterior panel serves a functional purpose to meet the performance goals of the Z06," said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, "The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability." Both Z06 models are fitted with Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package): P285/30ZR19 front, and 335/25ZR20 rear. The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which contribute to the design:• The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively • The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap. They collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors. Both Z06 coupe and convertible will be available with one of three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:• The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and rear spoiler • An available carbon-fiber aero package delivers aerodynamic downforce four times greater than the standard Z06. It adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce. The package is available in black or a visible carbon-fiber finish• The available Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler enabling customers to tailor the aerodynamics to their preference. Compared to the Corvette Stingray, the Corvette Z06 fenders are 2.2 inches (56 mm) wider at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. Those extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body. The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger's intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed. The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. A larger hood vent allows air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift. Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes. The Z06 benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering. Like the Stingray, the Z06 comes with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. A magnesium frame structure for both seats provides greater rigidity and strength compared with steel frames. Unprecedented attention to detail and build quality complements the Corvette Z06's performance. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, with every surface covered by premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede. The interior also features a flat-bottom steering wheel with a carbon fiber center spoke. The Z06 comes in five interior colors, including two that are unique to Z06 – blue and dark gray. Supercharged, efficient performance The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing. These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient. "The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette," said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. "It is one of the world's only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve." The supercharged LT4 comes with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance performance and efficiency. The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. A new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia. The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times. Smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency. "There's no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement," said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. "It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car." Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic. Track-proven technologiesThe 2015 Corvette Z06 Coupe and Convertible leverage the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities. "Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every 'g' of grip and every pound of downforce," said Juechter. "It's a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that's even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call." The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers, adjustable for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector, are standard on Z06. Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver's environment, including: • Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration• Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions • Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving• Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, balancing steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes. The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard. It features a hydraulically actuated clutch capable of infinitely varying clutch engagement. The system enhances all aspects of performance by constantly tailoring the clutch-pack engagement based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.
  4. Cadillac's Senior Vice President, Bob Ferguson said in a interview with Automotive News last week that the company is considering expanding the ATS lineup. "You've made the investment. You've built a brand within a brand. If you have a winner, you should exploit that and offer variations," said Ferguson. Models under the spotlight include a convertible and wagon. This would give the brand a better chance of competing with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The mention of a wagon and convertible signals a change of product plans at Cadillac. Previous reports had the ATS Convertible on hold and that the brand would likely not do a wagon due to the poor sales of the CTS SportsWagon. We'll be watching this closely. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 22, 2013 If you ever wanted to see a case of mixed messages in the automotive world, let us introduce you to the mess with Toyota and Subaru over the GT86 Convertible. Automotive News spoke with Subaru brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga and asked about GT86/BRZ Convertible. Yoshinaga dismissed the notion of convertible, citing the vehicles would need a redesign of the structure for that to happen. "We make the car, so if we don't make it, it can't happen. Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change." This kind of plays into a rumorpile story from last month where the GT86 Convertible project was canned for the time-being, possibly due to the model needing a lot reinforcing, thus adding weight and ruining the perfect weight balance. Yet, Toyota is still showing off GT86 Convertible concept and creating a number of variations to show off at auto shows. Also consider the comment made by Toyota Europe President Didier Leroy made back in March when the GT86 Open concept was introduced, "I know you are all wondering about facts and figures, and body rigidity. Well, we have the same worries and Tada [chief engineer of the GT 86] and his team are deep into analysis. But GT86 was designed from the start as a cabriolet… That probably tells you all you needed to know." Someone apparently didn't tell Subaru or the two automakers disagree on the convertible idea. "I understand well that Toyota is receiving strong requests from the American market for the car. But the biggest challenge is meeting our internal safety standards. There are big technical difficulties," said Yoshinaga. We'll keep you updated. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 13, 2013 Another auto show is just around the corner and automakers are beginning to show their wares. First up is BMW which has revealed the details of the 2014 4-Series Convertible before its world debut at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show. The 4-Series Convertible is mostly the same inside and out as the Coupe. The difference lies in the roof. Much like the 3-Series Convertible, the new 4-Series Convertible uses a three-piece folding hardtop roof. The roof can open or close in twenty seconds and up to 11 MPH. Optional is an a three-level neck warmer system to keep you toasty during those times you decide to drop the top on a cool day. As for powertrains, the 4-Series Convertible is available with a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four (428i) with 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque or a 3.0L turbocharged inline-six with 300 horsepower 300 pound-feet of torque. Both engines appear to come with an eight-speed automatic only. The 428i will have the option of BMW's XDrive all-wheel drive system. Pricing for the 4-Series Convertible starts at $48,750* for the 428i, and $54,900* for the 435i. (Note: prices don't include a $925 destination charge). The 4-Series Convertible goes on sale in the first-quarter of 2014. Source: BMW William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 The All-New BMW 4 Series Convertible The newest top-down Ultimate Driving Machine Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 12, 2013 6:00pm EDT/3:00pm PDT... The all-new BMW 4 Series Convertible represents the latest chapter in the modern history of BMW Convertibles which dates back to 1987 and the first BMW 3 Series Convertible. As with the new BMW 4 Series Coupe, the 4 Series Convertible embodies the very essence of dynamics and aesthetic appeal in the premium segment. The "4" in its title headlines this new product line for the Convertible and emphasizes not only its stand-out design, but also the fact that any way you look at it, the new 4 Series Convertible represents something more than its BMW 3 Series cousins – 3+1, if you will. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible will again feature a three-piece retractable hardtop with new features and functionality. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible will be offered in the US as both a 428i, featuring BMW's award-winning TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and as a 435i with the multi- award winning TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline six. Both will feature a standard 8-speed sport automatic transmission. The 428i Convertible will be offered with a choice of rear- wheel drive or with optional xDrive, BMW's intelligent all-wheel drive system, while the 435i Convertible will be available at launch with rear wheel drive. The 2014 BMW 428i Convertible will have a base MSRP of $49,675, and the 2014 BMW 435i Convertible will have a starting price of $55,825. Both prices include $925 destination and handling. The 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible will arrive in US showrooms in the first quarter of 2014. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible is visibly larger in width and wheelbase than the outgoing BMW 3 Series Convertible, and its stretched silhouette sits considerably lower to the road. This, together with its BMW-typical short overhangs, long hood and set-back passenger compartment with flowing roofline, give the BMW 4 Series Convertible a visual balance. The car's striking front end – with its characteristic BMW design features, such as the double-kidney grille, four round headlights and a large air intake in the front apron – is keen to display its family ties with the BMW 3 Series. New elements of the BMW 4 Series Convertible are the Air Breathers, which are positioned rearwards of the front wheel arches to reduce drag. The Convertible's muscular wheel arches and wide track give an aggressive stance, with its prominent horizontal lines. Improved roof design and construction. Extra comfort. More functionality. The design language of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible is reflected in the car's unmistakable and elegant silhouette with balanced proportions when the top is down, and in the coupe-like profile of the roofline – without a B-pillar – when the hardtop is up. The three- piece retractable hardtop is distinguished by advanced soundproofing with its "noise- absorbing" headliner, ensuring quietness and passenger comfort under all weather conditions – even in winter. The interior roof is fully lined and features integrated lights that add to the ambience expected of a premium sport coupe. When the top is down and stored in the trunk, the standard load and unload assistance function moves the folded roof and the trunklid upwards to provide ample storage space and easy access. Even large and bulky items, like luggage or golf clubs, can be conveniently stowed when the top is down. The sound-absorbing headliner also reduces wind noise by up to 2 dB in comparison to its predecessor. Individual equipment lines and exclusive details. The interior of the BMW Series 4 Convertible presents a stylish fusion of sporty allure, elegance and exclusivity. All of the controls are arranged ergonomically around the driver to provide optimum access to all functions. The doors are designed so that all the lines converge towards the rear, and bright color combinations featuring a two-tone effect for the door and side panels, in combination with the hardtop cover, contribute to the "boat deck" look. This wrap-around interior design provides a cabin that allows all passengers to share the open-sky driving experience. The design of the stand electrically adjustable seats is new and, again, includes integrated seatbelts. If desired, the standard seats and the optional sport seats with recessed head restraints can be equipped with neck warmers for the driver and front passenger for the first time, as part of the available Cold Weather Package. When the top is down, the temperature setting is automatically controlled in relation to the outdoor temperature and the speed of the vehicle. In addition to the standard model, two specially equipped lines and M Sport are available in the US. The Sport Line and Luxury Line versions can be selected to personalize the new convertible with special interior and exterior accents. The fine materials and meticulous craftsmanship underline the premium ambience of the BMW 4 Series Convertible. Sharp driving dynamics befitting The Ultimate Driving MachineTM The defining characteristics of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible are its driving dynamics and aesthetics. As always, BMW engineers have placed special focus on steering accuracy, precision, linear control response, and agility to fortify the new BMW 4 Series Convertible as the latest shape of The Ultimate Driving Machine. Sophisticated chassis technology, near- perfect 50:50 weight distribution, fine-tuning in the wind tunnel, and lightweight construction all contribute to meet that goal. The all-new BMW 4 Series Convertible has a longer wheelbase, wider track and lower ride height than the previous-generation BMW 3 Series Convertible. Its lower suspension brings down the car's center of gravity. As a result, the new BMW 4 Series Convertible is inherently one of the sportiest open cars on the road. BMW EfficientDynamics – A holistic philosophy. In addition to its sporty driving dynamics, the new BMW 4 Series Convertible offers outstanding fuel efficiency. This is a result of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy, which can be found in almost every aspect of the new model. The car's lightweight construction and aerodynamic features – headlined by the groundbreaking Air Curtains and Air Breathers – also help to maximize efficiency. At its core, the new BMW 4 Series Convertible has been engineered for performance excellence, while other features including Auto Start-Stop and on-demand operation of ancillary units help lower fuel consumption and emissions as well. Use of ECO PRO mode gives the potential to cut fuel use by as much as 20 percent. BMW ConnectedDrive. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible uses a combination of driver assistance systems and mobility services (available as standard or optional under the BMW ConnectedDrive banner) to increase safety, comfort and convenience of access to infotainment features. Among the optional highlights are a new generation of BMW Navigation System, which offers extra capability, sharper graphics and 3D elements for the map display, the full-color BMW Head-Up Display; Active Driving Assistant, which warns the driver of a potential collision with a pedestrian, the intelligent; LED High Beam Assistant and the latest iteration of BMW Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go. As far as infotainment is concerned, efficient interface technology enables the integration of smartphones and numerous Bluetooth office functions. The latter also offers the driver the option of a dictation function with full speech recognition. Each feature has been carefully integrated to minimize driver distraction while the vehicle is in motion. Design: Aesthetic appeal blends with individuality and sporty ability. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible represents the fifth generation in the heritage of modern BMW convertibles. Just like the BMW 4 Series Coupe, the new BMW 4 Series Convertible introduces new dimensions of aesthetic design and sportiness. At the same time, the new model reinforces the company's claim to years of market leadership when it comes to designing and building premium convertibles for the mid-size segment. More than ever before, it is the design language of the BMW 4 Series Convertible that accounts for its eye-catching and powerful presence on the road. The synergy of dynamic performance with maximum driving pleasure is another milestone in the story begun by the BMW 4 Series Coupe and now being continued with the launch of the BMW 4 Series Convertible. Athletic elegance, impeccable proportions. The proportions of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible differ significantly from those of the outgoing BMW 3 Series Convertible. Although only an inch (26 mm) has been added to the car's length (182.6 in / 4,638 mm), a 2-inch (50-mm) longer wheelbase (110.6 in / 2,810 mm) enhances the stretched Convertible's profile. These dimensions combined with the BMW 4 Series Convertible's characteristically short overhangs, long hood and set-back passenger compartment produce a visually balanced silhouette. The athletic appearance of the BMW 4 Series Convertible is particularly emphasized by its 1.7inch (43-mm) increase in the width (71.9 in / 1,825 mm). Notably, the rear wheel arches mark the car's broadest point, giving a more aggressive stance. As a result, 1.8-inch-(45-mm) wider front track (60.8 in / 1,545 mm) and full 3.1 inches (81 mm) of extra width at the rear axle (62.7 in / 1,593 mm) promise – even at a standstill –further improvements in sporty characteristics for which BMW is known. Eye-catching front end with prominently sporty contours. Signature BMW front-end design features, such as the double-kidney grille and four round headlights, undoubtedly identify the 4 Series Convertible as a BMW. It is unmistakably the 3 Series' sibling, although the differences are apparent. The optional eye-catching full-LED headlights, with their hexagonal design, and the slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille form a single unit and strengthen the athletic presence of the BMW 4 Series Convertible on the road. Below the headlight line, the BMW 4 Series Convertible features a large air intake in the front apron. On the far left and right-hand edges of the air intakes are the additional small vertical apertures for the Air Curtains. These vents improve the airflow around the outside of the front wheels and help cut fuel consumption at higher speeds. Flowing lines shape the elegantly sporty silhouette. Powerfully taut surfaces and precise, sweeping lines define the athletic outline of the BMW 4 Series Convertible. The sloping roofline stretches the car's overall appearance and elegantly accentuates the sporting profile of the flanks. The molding at the juncture of the three-piece folding hardtop and the body is an eye-catching touch. It is available in chrome, black or brushed aluminum, depending on the model variant. Additionally, the shallow, homogeneous side window graphic with the signature BMW Hofmeister kink at the trailing edge of the C-pillar generates dynamic visual tension. Below the windows, the double swage line inherited from the BMW 3 Series teams up with the striking door sill line to strengthen the body's dynamic wedge shape. The car exudes dynamic elegance when the top is down, and the smooth, flowing look of the silhouette is in no way compromised by radio antennas or the roll bars, which are intelligently hidden behind the rear head restraints. Located just rearwards of the BMW 4 Series Convertible's front wheels are Air Breathers designed to reduce drag around the wheel arches. Together, the Air Breathers and Air Curtains underline the sporting character of the car's design and provide tangible evidence of the innovative aerodynamic solutions devised by BMW as part of the company's EfficientDynamics development strategy. The sporting character of the BMW 4 Series Convertible extends into the powerful design of the rear. The prominent horizontal lines and broadly stretched L-shaped tail lights positioned at the outer edges of the rear draw extra attention to the muscular wheel arches and wide track. Three-piece retractable hardtop. Form and function. The BMW 4 Series Convertible offers outstanding everyday driving qualities and a dynamic design, with the top up or down. These seemingly contradictory qualities were already combined in the BMW 3 Series Convertible, the predecessor model that set standards for premium mid-size convertibles. The hardtop of the BMW 4 Series Convertible features a number of design improvements that reduce noise levels for a much quieter interior ambience. The sound-absorbing headliner also reduces wind noise by up to 2 dB in comparison to the predecessor model. All it takes is the push of a button to transform a dynamic coupe into an elegant, athletic convertible in a mere 20 seconds. The top can also be lowered when the vehicle is travelling at speeds of up to 18 km/h (approx. 11 mph). The vehicle's air resistance with the steel top up is Cd 0.28 – and it is just Cd 0.33 when the hardtop is retracted. The redesigned windblock is standard in the US. The available three-temperature neck warmers allow for comfortable open-air driving at high speeds and low temperatures. The windblock is now smaller, lighter and easier to use, plus it is more effective than previous variants. When it is not needed, the windblock can be stored behind the rear seat to save space, which is also a new feature. The BMW 4 Series Convertible also has plenty of space in the trunk, even when the retractable hardtop is lowered. The new convertible offers wider access to the luggage compartment, and an electro-hydraulic loading assistance system raises and positions the folded hardtop in the trunk as needed to ensure maximum utilization of the 7.8 cu. ft. (220 liters) of storage space available. The loading assistance feature makes sure that there is always ample access to the boot whether the top is up or down. Two storage compartments on the right and left of the main luggage area are also available for stowing small items when the retractable top is up. When the top is up, the luggage compartment has a volume of 13.0 cu. ft. (370 liters) – that is 0.7 cu. ft. (20 liters) more than available in the BMW 3 Series Convertible. All trunk volumes are based on ECE measures. Even bulky items can be transported with the BMW 4 Series Convertible. A flat and level storage area can be utilized when the backrest of the rear bench seat is folded down. The load-through feature, which is standard in the US, makes even more space available: Either a wide opening between the rear passenger compartment and the trunk, or a smaller opening, for skis for example, when four people are seated in the vehicle. Prominently flared wheel arches project signature sporty character. The sporty character of the BMW 4 Series Convertible extends into the design of the rear. The horizontal lines and stretched tail lights positioned at the outer edges of the rear draw attention to the flared wheel arches and wide track. The sloping rear window has a lowering effect on the car's tail and gives the body an even more aggressive look, and also shows off the car's shoulders. The L-shaped taillights of the BMW 4 Series Convertible flow into the car's overall design. They continue the path of the swage line from the flanks, creating a link to the rear end. Functional sportiness and elegance in the interior. The interior of the BMW 4 Series Convertible blends sporting intent and exclusivity to stylish effect. An approach known as layering – the clever utilization of space through the structuring of lines and surfaces into layers – provides a natural canvas for the hallmark BMW driver focus, but is careful not to exclude the front passenger from the action. All of the controls are arranged ergonomically around the driver to provide optimum access to all functions. A sports steering wheel, crystal-clear circular instruments in black panel look and the freestanding, flatscreen iDrive monitor, the iDrive Touch Controller – all within easy reach on the center console – underline the sense of functional elegance. The dynamic horizontal lines of the instrument panel extend into the optional two-tone door and side panel trim. This is enhanced by the retractable hardtop cover to create an exclusive "boat deck" look. The interior design wraps around the driver and front passenger in an unbroken sweep and lends the interior an engagingly dynamic feel while showcasing the typically long doors. The interplay of surfaces and lines in the car's side panels, plus the continuation of the accent strip, creates a visual connection between the front and rear of the interior. The completely new design of the electrically adjustable front seats in the new BMW 4 Series Convertible includes integrated retractable seat belts – a feature not available on any other vehicle in this class. If desired, the standard seats and the sport seats, included with the Sport Line and M Sport, can be equipped with neck warmers for the driver and front passenger as part of the Cold Weather Package in the US. The dynamic character of the 4 Series Convertible can also be seen in the rear compartment. The bench design is contoured to form two individual seats, with cup holders and a storage tray for small items between them. The rear head restraints are separated from the concealed roll bars and can be removed if desired. The roll bars are comprised of two massive steel elements hidden behind the rear seats – in critical situations, sensors trigger the system and the roll bars are extended in less than 200 ms. Sport and Luxury Lines as well as M Sport available for personalization. High-class material combinations, exclusive colors and opportunities for personalization define the premium feel inside the new BMW 4 Series Convertible. As well as the basic trim level, whose material and color concept accentuates the car's classic character; customers have a choice of two BMW Lines as well as the popular M Sport to add individual touches to the car's exterior and interior. The Sport Line and Luxury Line embody different takes on the car's character, adapting the design and color scheme for the kidney grille and air intakes, exterior mirror caps, Air Breathers, trim strips in the front and rear apron, door sill strips and range of wheel rims to set the car apart externally from the basic trim level. Sport Line: The Sport Line adds extra depth to the BMW 4 Series Convertible with a selection of exterior body features in high-gloss black. A sport suspension is included for rear-wheel drive models, setting an exciting tone for the driving experience. The standard high-gloss black B-pillars and black wrap-around window strip give the car an even sportier look, along with nine molded high-gloss black kidney grille slats in a chrome-colored surround. The three black air intakes in the front apron and the likewise black Air Breathers draw the eye to the car's aerodynamic features. 18-inch or optional 19-inch light-alloy wheels (435i only) in twin-spoke design provide a more performance-oriented look. From the rear, the BMW 4 Series Convertible with Sport Line can be identified by the black trim strip level with the rear apron and the black exhaust tips. Inside the car, black and red accents, such as the red trim rings in the inner circle of the instrument dials and red stitching on the sport steering wheel, provide a pronounced contrast. Sports seats are included. The available Coral Red interior includes Coral Red leather sport seats, red door panel trim and a red lower section for the instrument panel. Luxury Line: High-gloss chrome touches give the exterior of the BMW 4 Series Convertible a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. 11 kidney grille slats with chromed fronts and matte black sides, two high-gloss double bridges in the front apron's outer air intakes and chromed Air Breathers all offer elegant touches. The chrome window surround is another visual highlight, with special 18-inch or optional 19-inch light-alloy wheels (435i only) available. The BMW 4 Series Convertible Luxury Line is recognized from the rear by a high-gloss chrome strip in the rear apron and the chrome exhaust tips. The interior also stands out with various chrome elements, such as the surround for the audio and air conditioning system. High-gloss wood strips, leather seats with stitching and a choice of two upholstery variants in four colors highlight the possibilities in the Luxury Line. Exclusively available for the BMW 4 Series, Ash Grain anthracite fine wood trim surfaces and a Pearl Gloss Chrome metal inlay round off the Luxury Line features. M Sport: Customers wishing to endow their new BMW 4 Series Convertible with as much of the traditional Ultimate Driving Machine character as possible may opt for M Sport. It includes an M aerodynamic package including numerous body components (front apron with large air intakes, rear bumper with diffuser, side skirts) and high-gloss Shadow Line trim. The exterior paint shade Estoril Blue Metallic is available only with M Sport on the 4 Series Convertible. M Sport is further distinguished by 18-inch or optional 19-inch light-alloy wheels (435i only) in M design. Inside, features such as M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver's footrest complete the atmosphere. Technical features of this package include M Sport suspension (rear-wheel drive models only) and M Sport Brakes (also a stand-alone option on all 435i Convertibles and an optional upgrade on 428i Convertible when M Sport is chosen) which includes calipers painted in blue finish. Hallmark BMW set-up makes the difference. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible benefits from BMW's customary approach of splitting steering and drive forces between the front and rear axles, which is the ideal platform for balanced driving characteristics, directional stability and agile handling. It also has a 50:50 weight distribution, which sets it apart from its competitors. Taking into account its low center of gravity, unique chassis set-up and lightweight construction, the 4 Series Convertible is an exceptionally dynamic overall package which will satisfy every type of driver. A rigorous focus on sports performance. The chassis construction of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible is based on that of the new BMW 4 Series Coupe. However, the springs and damping, axle kinematics and elastokinematics have all been tailored precisely to the character of the new convertible. Indeed, the chassis engineers have managed to make further improvements to the agility and accuracy offered by the chassis, thanks to modification and fine-tuning of variables such as the camber angle, the track and the roll center. Last but not least, special body strengthening elements in the front section and the undercarriage of the car help to further enhance steering precision and feedback. Double-pivot strut-type front suspension with anti-roll bar. The front suspension of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible combines maximum stiffness with minimum weight. Aluminum torque struts, wishbones and swivel bearings bring a reduction in unsprung weight. At the same time, the engineers optimized the kinematics of the double-pivot suspension for agility and precision. Adjusting the position of the control arms in the swivel bearings from their arrangement on the latest BMW 3 Series Sedan gives the car a .7-inch (19-mm) lower roll center, which has a positive effect on driving performance. An additional strut between the front axle subframe and body sill creates a stiffer overall connection between the front wheels and the car's main structure, so the transverse forces generated on entry into corners are transferred to the car more directly. The BMW 4 Series Convertible responds more directly to the driver's steering commands and displays more sporty characteristics and greater agility. And that means it carves through corners with ease and precision. Five-link rear suspension enhances the car's engaging character. The rear axle of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible is a key component in its driving characteristics, but that does not mean comfort has been overlooked. This construction is based on the five-link concept, and its elastokinematics have been tuned specially for this sporting convertible. In addition, extra-wide mounts and supports on the wheel carriers for track and camber, slightly repositioned pivot points, stiff control arms and suspension subframes, and the use of thrust arms to connect the suspension with the body all provide an excellent basis for a sporty and dynamic overall set-up. The result is precise and assured wheel location, directional stability in any driving situation. Aerodynamic features around the rear suspension also contribute to driving precision. Servotronic steering standard, Variable Sport steering optional. A standard feature of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible is the Servotronic system which provides speed-sensitive power assistance. The system's precise programming results in sharper steering feel, feedback, precision, accuracy and immediate response. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible can also be equipped with Variable Sport steering as part of the optional Dynamic Handling Package. This provides a somewhat "quicker" on-center steering ratio which then varies depending on the amount of steering "lock" (angle) applied by the driver. The result is even more-lively steering during the "turn-in" phase of cornering, and excellent stability mid-corner and on corner exit. Powerful standard braking systems with lightweight construction. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible comes equipped with powerful swing-caliper or fixed- caliper brakes and large, inner-vented brake discs. The calipers on the front brakes are made of aluminum. As well as low unsprung weight, the brakes also stand out with their high heat tolerance, excellent wet braking performance, ease of use and excellent feel. A brake pad wear indicator and the Brake Drying function are standard on all models. Intelligent lightweight construction concept and aerodynamic fine-tuning. Dynamic performance and handling is significantly influenced by vehicle weight. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible's intelligent lightweight construction concept makes a major contribution to the car's dynamic qualities. The use of high- and ultra-high-strength multi- phase steels and tailored blanks, customized precision components for specific applications, maximizes the body's strength. The torsional rigidity has been increased by 40 percent compared with its predecessor. The top also plays a decisive role in a convertible, because the car does not have a roof serving as a permanent support element. The BMW 4 Series Convertible is up to 44 lbs. (20 kg) lighter than its predecessor, depending on the model, even though the new vehicle is larger and complies with more stringent safety standards. Aerodynamic qualities. When the hardtop is up, the new BMW 4 Series Convertible highlights its aerodynamic qualities with a Cd (drag coefficient) of 0.28 – which is the same figure as for the new BMW 4 Series Coupe. The convertible achieves a Cd of 0.33 when the top is down. This is possible due to the optimization of the front apron and the rear of the car. The BMW Air Curtains in the front apron generate a veil of air which reduces turbulence – and therefore drag – around the front wheels. The new Air Breathers positioned rearwards of the front wheel arches divert some of the air flowing through the wheel arches, thereby reducing air resistance. These innovations serve to optimize fuel efficiency and – at the same time – enhance the lift coefficient. Adaptive M Sport suspension, adaptive suspension and M Sport brakes. The M Sport suspension included is part of the Sport Line and M Sport. It works with a firmer spring/shock absorber set-up and stiffer anti-roll bars, and its kinematics/ elastokinematics (bushings and bearings) have also been tweaked to suit the new BMW 4 Series Convertible. The M Sport suspension also includes 18-inch or optional (435i only) 19-inch light-alloy wheels. Alternatively, customers can select a lowered (non-xDrive models) Adaptive suspension, included in the Dynamic Handling Package, which adjusts the electronic damper mapping to each road surface and driving situation. The driver can also use the Driving Experience Control switch to vary the basic suspension settings between comfort and sport, according to personal preference. For performance-minded customers, BMW offers the M Sport Brakes. The aluminum fixed calipers (four-piston at the front, two- piston at the rear) and large discs combine low weight with short stopping distances. Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode: extra-sporty or efficient driving modes at the touch of a button. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible also offers drivers the ability to change between sporty, eco or comfort settings, depending on mood or preference. Using the Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode on the center console, drivers can select between ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT or SPORT+ (most models). Each of these selections will activate different settings for the powertrain and suspension components. In SPORT mode, throttle response is improved and the steering becomes more direct. If the automatic transmission is fitted, the gearshift points are also altered for sportier driving. Depending on the car's specification, different settings can be selected for the powertrain and chassis components. In SPORT+ mode, the Dynamic Stability Control thresholds are raised and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is activated. The electronic limited-slip function for the rear differential can then provide better acceleration out of corners or sharp bends. Powerful engines maximize dynamic performance. Owning a Convertible reflects a driver's passion for elegant lines and top-down motoring, but it does not rule out performance driving and high-class dynamics. The state-of-the-art powertrain technology under the skin of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible ensures it delivers an engaging driving experience that satisfies even the most demanding expectations. Longitudinally front-mounted, inline engines powering the rear wheels continue BMW's tradition in creating a drive concept that delivers great driving pleasure. Both engines available for the new BMW 4 Series Convertible use BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, which combines sporty performance characteristics with improved efficiency. Available from launch are an inline six-cylinder engine for the BMW 435i Convertible and a four-cylinder unit for the BMW 428i Convertible. These award-winning engines not only supply the BMW 4 Series Convertible with outstanding acceleration and elasticity, they also keep the cars weight down to improve driving dynamics and lower fuel consumption. The elite athlete: award-winning inline six-cylinder engine. The new BMW 435i Convertible gives full value to performance-minded drivers thanks to a refined high-revving inline-six engine with instant power delivery and great fuel efficiency. Equipped with High Precision Direct Injection and Valvetronic fully variable valve control, the 3.0-liter engine with aluminum crankcase develops maximum output of 300 hp between 5,800 and 6,000 rpm. Peak torque of 300 lb-ft is generated at 1,200 rpm and remains on tap up to 5,000 rpm. The multi-award winning six-cylinder engine allows the new BMW 435i Convertible to accelerate from 0-60 in about five-and-a-half seconds, on the way to an electronically limited 250 km/h (155 mph) top speed, when equipped with performance tires. Low weight, high performance: the four-cylinder for the BMW 428i Convertible. Smooth power delivery, available torque, high revs and low weight define the 2.0-liter four- cylinder turbocharged engine. BMW's engine technology package – including High Precision Direct Injection, twin-scroll turbocharging, Double-VANOS variable camshaft control and Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology – offers high performance potential combined with low fuel consumption and emissions. The cutting-edge four-cylinder engine of the new BMW 428i Convertible generates maximum output of 240 hp at 5,000 – 6,500 rpm and peak torque of 255 lb-ft, which the driver can access between 1,250 and 4,800 rpm. This allows the 428i to sprint from 0 to 60 in about 6.2 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), when equipped with summer performance tires. The engine gives a smooth power delivery from the moment it spins above idle to the upper regions of its engine speed range along an almost linear curve. 8-speed Sport automatic transmission. The standard high-performance 8-speed Sport automatic transmission – with its extra gears, quick gear changes and delightful shift comfort – is perfectly matched to the character of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible. With only small changes in rpm between gear ratios, the ideal gear is on hand in virtually any situation out on the road. Many technical features and internal efficiencies ensure powerful acceleration and short bursts of speed are possible with no additional fuel consumption. The 8-speed automatic's intelligent control technology enables quick shift and reaction times and direct downshift capability. Drivers may also shift gears using paddles on the steering wheel. Drivers can choose between Normal and Sport transmission modes using the gear shift lever or the Driving Experience Control switch. BMW xDrive: intelligent all-wheel drive available on the 428i Convertible. As an alternative to rear-wheel drive, the 428i Convertible can also be specified with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. As well as sharing all the traditional virtues of all-wheel- drive systems – such as increased traction, safety and the optimum transfer of engine power to the road – BMW xDrive can also reduce oversteer or understeer that may occur in cornering situations. In the process, it enhances agility and precision, e.g. when turning into corners or when accelerating strongly out of them. Auto Start Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration, ECO PRO mode. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible comes with the Auto Start Stop function. Another standard feature is Brake Energy Regeneration, which ensures that – as far as possible – power for the vehicle's electrical system is generated during braking and coasting. ECO PRO mode is effective in helping the BMW 4 Series Convertible driver maintain an efficient and economical driving style. As well as tweaking the accelerator's responses and the engine management system, ECO PRO also benefits from intelligent energy and climate management. The system gives the driver tips and ideas – relevant to the driving situation at hand – on how to reduce fuel consumption even further through adjustments in personal driving style. Average fuel consumption can be cut by up to 20 percent in ECO PRO mode, with a corresponding boost to the car's range on a tank of fuel. On-demand operation of ancillary units saves energy. The new BMW 4 Series Convertible's ancillary components also play a role in the car's intelligent energy management. Examples include the on-demand coolant pump, the map- controlled oil pump and the Electric Power Steering system, which only consumes electricity when steering assistance is actually required. The special air conditioning compressor works on the same principle. As soon as the driver switches the air conditioning off, the belt drive to the compressor is disconnected to minimize power drain. Intelligent lightweight design reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The use of lightweight materials makes a significant contribution to efficiency and agility, and helps to give BMW cars their impressive dynamic capability. Weight savings can be found in every area of the development process. As well as the use of plastics and cutting- edge composite materials, the increased deployment of aluminum components in the engine and chassis construction has also reduced the weight of the corresponding assemblies. BMW Assist: Standard with 10 years of eCall with enhanced Automatic Collision Notification and BMW Teleservice. BMW Assist will be standard on the new 4 Series Convertible. It will include 10 years of eCall emergency calling and enhanced Automatic Collision Notification as well as BMW Teleservice. BMW Assist eCall includes enhanced Automatic Collision Notification, which includes the groundbreaking Urgency Algorithm, developed in cooperation with the William Lehman Injury Research Center in Miami. In addition to the vehicle's exact position and direction of travel, details of the vehicle model and all the data gathered by the sensors in the car are relayed to the call center as well. This information provides indications as to the nature and severity of the collision, while the deployment of the car's restraint systems gives an idea of the number of people injured and allows frontal, rear, side or even multiple collisions to be identified and differentiated. The Urgency Algorithm transmits the likelihood of severe injury. On the basis of all accident-related data, the call center decides which and how many emergency services are required at the accident site (e.g. doctor, paramedic, fire brigade, helicopter). The data also enables the first responders to alert the appropriate medical care for those involved in the accident before they have even arrived at the scene. The call center will also stay in contact with the vehicle's occupants until the emergency services arrive, speaking to them in their native language where possible. As well as automatic activation, the system also allows the driver or front passenger to trigger the emergency call manually in order to help other road users in distress by alerting the call center. TeleService tells the driver if and when maintenance is required. Fixed service intervals become a thing of the past, because the intelligent maintenance system, Condition Based Service, constantly monitors your vehicle's service needs. When necessary, the vehicle communicates service-relevant data to the nearest BMW Service Center by making an Automatic BMW TeleService Call. BMW iDrive: The BMW 4 Series Convertible gets the latest version BMW's groundbreaking user interface has undergone constant improvement and development since its inception in 2002. On the heels of its most recent update, BMW's iDrive will see significant enhancements for model year 2014. Not only will more models receive the latest iDrive 4.2, but the system gets enhancements that improve the user experience in the areas of navigation, Advanced Real Time Traffic Information, connectivity, entertainment, online access and voice commands. One example is the ability to engage automatic time setting. When active, the time will automatically be adjusted for Daylight Saving or Standard time as well as changes in time zone while traveling. BMW Navigation – Touchpad, Point-of-Interest voice search and enhanced route tailoring among highlights The latest BMW navigation system, which is optional on the new BMW 4 Series Convertible, has received many enhancements. Before setting out, the prescribed route can be tailored to avoid certain areas, for example, if the user anticipates heavy traffic or knows of construction on that route. The system will recalculate the route to avoid the selected area. Multiple areas to avoid can be selected for a given route and the size of coverage is fully adjustable. The online Google search function has been enhanced for customers who subscribe to BMW Online. Users can now search for points-of-interest (POI) via voice. Once the user has spoken their POI, the navigation system can then guide the driver to their desired destination. Advanced Real Time Traffic Information was significantly enhanced for iDrive 4.2 to provide a clearer view of traffic congestion using green, yellow and red indicators along the route to indicate the degree to which roads are clear or congested. The traffic incident view has been enhanced again to provide more precise indications in red of the specific location of stopped traffic. When equipped with the BMW navigation system, the new 4 Series Convertible will include the new iDrive controller with Touchpad. The touchpad is integrated into the top of the controller and does not require a separate location. Phone numbers, contact names and address can be written out directly on the touchpad. The user can seamlessly switch between the touchpad and the controller while information is being entered. The touchpad can also be used to zoom in and out on the interactive map. High-res projection in color: optional full-color Head-Up Display. One of the highlights of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible is the available full-color Head- Up Display. HUD projects key information onto the windshield to appear directly in the driver's field of view to minimize the time the driver has to look away from the road. Depending on the vehicle specification, not only is the current speed displayed, but speed limits and passing restrictions are also flashed up for the driver's benefit, along with navigation instructions and various warning messages. The variety of driver assistance systems available for the new BMW 4 Series Convertible brings the amount of information that can be shown in the Head-Up Display to a whole new level. The intensity of the projections adapts automatically to the light conditions and follows the illumination of the cockpit dials. The positioning of the projections on the windscreen can also be adjusted using the iDrive Controller. Active Driving Assistant warns the driver of a possible collision with pedestrians. A camera fitted to the rear-view mirror scans in front of the vehicle and uses image processing to detect any people or vehicles within its field of vision. When it recognizes a risk of collision with the vehicle in front, the system produces an audible warning and a visual signal appears in the instrument cluster or the optional Head-Up Display (if specified) to alert the driver. Should a collision be unavoidable, automatic moderate hazard braking is actuated. During urban journeys in sufficient light conditions, if the system detects a potential collision with a pedestrian, it warns the driver and, if necessary, triggers automatic hazard braking. In both cases – in addition to the warnings – the vehicle's brakes are automatically primed for emergency braking and the activation thresholds of the Brake Assist system are lowered. The Lane Departure Warning system is also a part of the Driving Assistant option. A system of many talents: Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. The latest development stage of the familiar Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function (ACC Stop & Go) uses a front-mounted camera on the rear-view mirror in addition to the full-range radar sensors to provide an enhanced interpretation of the traffic situation ahead. When driving in slow-moving traffic or traffic jams, the driver is able to safely move along with the flow of traffic and let the vehicle's automatic systems handle the tasks of stopping, pulling away again and approaching junctions where there are already vehicles waiting ahead. Combining radar and video data in this way improves detection of other vehicles and reduces the system's reaction time. If a vehicle ahead brakes very sharply in free-flowing traffic, requiring the driver to take action, he or she is prompted to do so by a two-stage warning. Active Cruise Control with automatic distance control is now available at speeds between 20 and 130 mph (30 km/h and 210 km/h). The intelligent cruise control function remains active at speeds above 130 mph (210 km/h). Using sensors and camera monitoring: Active Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning systems. Among the convenience and safety-enhancing assistance systems on offer are Active Blind Sport Detection and Lane Departure Warning, with the latter available as part of the Active Driving Assistant option. These systems use radar sensors and camera monitoring to alert drivers to potential collision risks when changing lanes or if they veer out of lane unintentionally. It also issues a warning when driving too close to the vehicle ahead. LED High Beam Assistant with intelligent control. The BMW 4 Series Convertible is available with the option of full-LED headlights, which provide a further safety boost when driving at night. The optional High Beam Assistant in conjunction with full-LED headlights ensures that the driver can enjoy optimal visibility at all times without having to switch manually between high and low beam. The High Beam Assistant adapts to the traffic situation by switching to low beam on one or both sides. Superb overview not just when parking: Surround View, Side View, Top View and Parking Assistant. In addition to the rear view camera and Park Distance Control, customers are also able to get the Surround View function with Side View and Top View, which provides a bird's-eye view of the BMW 4 Series Convertible and the area around it. It enables the driver to carry out precise maneuvers in tight spaces. If the car is moving at a speed under 12 mph (20 km/h), the Side View function can additionally be activated to allow the driver to keep an eye on cross-traffic. Another convenience system is the Parking Assistant system, which is able to maneuver the car into parking spaces parallel to the direction of travel. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake pedal while the Parking Assistant takes care of the steering. The new 4 Series Convertible is a technical tour-de-force which is, at its heart a true BMW. The 2014 428i Convertible and 435i Convertible will arrive in US showrooms in the first quarter of 2014.
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 6, 2013 The roller-coaster ride of the Toyota GT86 Convertible rumors appears to have crested. According to What Car?, Toyota has canned GT86 Convertible project for the timebeing. No apparent reason was given for the cancellation, but there is speculation that the added rigidity needed could have added too much weight for the coupe, ruining it's perfect weight balance. The report does say the project could be 'fast-tracked' if Toyota's management wants to restart the project once again. Source: What Car? William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 4, 2013 Here at the rumorpile, we've been reporting on a couple derivatives for the Scion FR-S for the past year or so. The first is a convertible FR-S which we got a preview of at this year's Geneva Motor Show and the other is a turbocharged version. But a new report says both models have been canceled. Automotive News reports that the two FR-S models have been canned due to return of the investment not being viable for those models. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 10, 2013 Convertibles have a small slice of the new car market. That slice seems to shinking even further. According to data from R.L. Polk, sales of convertibles last year barely reached one percent. That's a major drop when compared to convertible sales of 1.6 percent in 2009 and 2 percent in 2006. In all, 151,636 convertibles were registered last year. While that is an increase in number of registations over the past few years, it still is lagging behind other vehicles. The reason for this? Automakers are putting more development into more volume models such as midsize sedans and crossovers. "They're sitting down and going through every potential product program and looking at the returns. When they see the volumes right now for convertibles, they're saying, 'Why would we do this?'" said R.L. Polk lead analyst Tom Libby. There is some new metal on the way within the next few years. Jaguar has launched the new F-Type, a new Mazda Miata with an Alfa Romeo twin is just around the corner, and we have such models as the Corvette to look forward to. The question is of course is can this new crop help turn the tide. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  10. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 5, 2013 Only a couple months after the new C7 Corvette Stingray made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, Geneva was the place where Chevrolet introduced the new 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible. The convertible marks the third introduction of a Corvette at the Geneva. The other two being the C6 Convertible and the monstrous C4 ZR1. The Corvette Stingray convertible shares many of design and performance cues as the coupe except for one. On the rear quarter panels , the Stingray convertible is missing the air intakes that are on the coupe. The reason? Well its due to the convertible top's mechanism being in the way. Engineers moved Another big change for the Corvette Stingray convertible deals with top. On the C6 convertible, you had the choice between a manual or power-operated top. On the C7, its power-operated only. The top can be raised or lowed up to 30 MPH. Plus, the top can be remotely operated by a button on the key fob. Power for the Corvette Stingray Convertible is the same 6.2L V8 producing 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque as in the coupe. Transmissions include a seven-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The new Corvette Stingray Convertible will be arriving three months after the Corvette Stingray goes on sale, so around late 2013. Source: Chevrolet Album: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible 13 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Lifts Lid on 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible 2013-03-05 GENEVA – Chevrolet revealed the 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible today at the Geneva Motor Show, featuring an all-new, fully electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car’s key fob. The top can also be opened or closed on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). “The convertible has been a part of the heart and soul of Corvette since the very beginning in 1953,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “With the all-new Corvette Stingray, we designed and developed the coupe and convertible simultaneously. As a result, the Corvette Stingray offers an open-top driving experience with no compromise in performance, technology or design.” The Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible arrive in global markets in late 2013, with left-hand-drive models to be offered in Europe, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Japan and Russia. Changes to Corvettes for export vary only in equipment required to accommodate a respective market’s regulations, such as lighting, headlamp washers and outside mirrors. “It's fitting to introduce the new Stingray convertible on the global stage at Geneva, because Corvette is the face of Chevrolet the world over,” said Susan Docherty, president and managing director of Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe. “It is an icon that has long been recognized and admired even in countries where it’s never officially been offered.” All of the performance technology and capabilities introduced on the Corvette Stingray coupe carry over to the convertible. The only structural changes are limited to accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts. Central to the Corvette Stingray’s driving experience is an all-new, more rigid aluminum frame structure, which is 57-percent stiffer and 99 pounds (45 kg) lighter than the current steel frame. All models are powered by the new LT1 6.2L V-8, with an estimated 450-hp (335 kW) and 450 lb-ft of torque (610 Nm). As no structural reinforcements are required for the convertible, both models share almost identical power-to-weight ratios. The LT1 combines several advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing to support an advanced combustion system designed to balance power and efficiency. The new Corvette Stingray is expected to improve upon the current model’s fuel economy of 13.6L/100km (EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 26 mpg). With the top up, the Corvette Stingray convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick, three-ply fabric top, along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, contributes to a quiet cabin and premium appearance. With the top down, the Corvette Stingray’s signature profile is further accentuated. Behind the seat backs, dual black accent panels enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray’s signature “waterfall” design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior. Additional highlights of the all-new Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible include: A sculpted exterior with advanced high-intensity discharge and light-emitting diode lighting and racing-proven aerodynamics that balance low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability An interior that offers genuine carbon fiber and aluminum trim, hand-wrapped leather materials, dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens, and two new seat choices – each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support Advanced driver technologies, including a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to fit the driver’s environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time Lightweight materials, including a carbon fiber hood on all models and a carbon fiber removable roof panel on coupes; composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame help shift weight rearward for an optimal 50/50 weight balance that supports a world-class power-to-weight ratio Track-capable Z51 Performance Package, including an electronic limited-slip differential; dry-sump oiling system; integral brake, differential and transmission cooling; as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability. “We wanted the driving experience of the Corvette to live up to the performance expectations that come with the ‘Stingray’ name,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “Because it was designed from the beginning as an open-top car, the Corvette Stingray delivers an exhilarating, connected driving experience – no matter what configuration you choose.”
  11. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 2, 2013 Before its official debut next week at the Geneva Motor Show, Chevrolet released two photographs of the new 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible. The Corvette Stingray convertible sticks the same dramatic styling of the coupe, although it seems the Coupe's ventwork on the rear fenders don't make an appearance. Chevrolet is sticking with a fabric top with the Corvette Stingray convertible. Power is expected to be the 6.2L LT1 V8 producing 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. We'll have more information when the Geneva Motor Show kicks off next week. In the meantime, what do you think of the Stingray convertible? Source: GM Album: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible 2 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 31, 2013 While Chicago is just a week away, Automakers are already gearing up for the Geneva Motor Show in March. Case in point, Toyota has released a teaser image of a convertible GT 86 concept. Officially named the FT-86 Open concept, Toyota says the concept, "previews a possible future development of the award-winning GT 86 sports coupe." More interesting is that Toyota says they will, "gauge public reaction to the idea, at the same time as it carries out engineering tests on a prototype." Source: Toyota William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 30, 2013 BMW is hard at work on a front-wheel drive assault, with the company considering almost twenty-three FWD vehicles (Twelve for BMW, eleven for MINI). One of those vehicles could be a two-seat roadster, due out in 2015 “We are considering a car in the spirit of the original Z3. It is of similar size to the E36/7 [the codename for the Z3 produced between 1996 and 2002] but is planned to use the front-wheel drive platform to keep costs down and achieve a margin level that ensures it is sustainable at comparatively low production volumes,” a BMW official reportedly told Autocar. Codenamed Z2, the model will sit underneath the Z4 and compete with the Miata/MX-5. The Z2 will come with a range of gas engine, including a 2.0L turbocharged engine producing as much as 300 horsepower. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  14. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 29, 2013 The Geneva Motor Show. a place where you'll see such automakers like Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Ford show off their wares. According to Autoweek, add Chevrolet to that list. Autoweek has learned from a few of its sources that Chevrolet will debut the Corvette Stingray convertible at the Geneva Motor Show in March. This isn't the first time Chevrolet has premiered a Corvette outside of the U.S.. At the 1989 Geneva Motor Show, Chevrolet introduced the hottest Corvette, the ZR-1. There is talk the convertible version could go on sale at the end of this year as a 2014 model. Sources explain the convertible will be about three months behind the launch of the coupe. Production of the coupe is expected to start in August, which means a November start for convertible production. Source: Autoweek William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  15. As we suspected earlier this week, Buick is bringing the Opel Cascada Convertible stateside to be sold as a Buick. Much of what we know of the Opel Cascada carries over to the Buick, with the primary difference being with powertrain selection. While the Europeans get 3 engine choices, we only get one. That's not entirely a bad thing in this case as the 1.4T gasoline and 2.0T diesel would not likely be suitable for most American convertible buyers' tastes. The engine we get in the US is a new to us 1.6 liter turbo-charged, direct injected 4-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque. This engine also features an overboost feature that will temporarily boost torque up to 221 lb-ft. Power is routed to the front wheels via the familier GM 6-speed automatic. This is the first application of this powertrain in the US market. This engine is said to be quite fuel efficient for it's output and in the European cycle returns a rating 7.3 liters per 100 km.... which roughly translates to 32 mpg. The European test cycle is known to be rather optimistic so don't expect the Cascada to be rated quite that well once the EPA gets their hands on it. The suspension consists of GM's HiPer Strut up front with a Watts Z-link in the rear. The Watts Z-Link was chosen as a way to lower vehicle weight and improve the roominess of the trunk. On the safety side of things, the Cascada comes with active rollover protection bars that deploy from behind the rear seat if a possible rollover is detected, electric seat belt pre-tensioners, An interesting feature of the Cascada is its ability to lower its top while moving at up to 31 mph. The soft-top is insulated and drops below a hard tonneau cover that blends seamlessly into the rear deck. The Buick Cascada will be fully revealed at a press conference on January 11, 2015 at 6:30pm. We will be on hand to bring you updates and pictures from the press conference. You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroit here, or follow us onFacebook, Twitter,andGoogle+ Press Release on Page 2 Top-Down Luxury Returns with 2016 Buick Cascada 2+2 convertible with distinctive design, premium features, great refinement and 4G LTE connectivity Advanced chassis technologies – including HiPer Strut front suspension – and standard turbocharged performance Sophisticated, insulated soft-top system opens in 17 seconds at up to 31 mph DETROIT – Buick today introduced the 2016 Cascada – a dynamic, stylish convertible that uses innovative powertrain and chassis technologies to complement a sharp driving experience. The Cascada will be the first Buick convertible offered in North America in 25 years and the latest globally developed vehicle to join the brand’s growing portfolio. It goes on sale in early 2016. “The new, 2016 Buick Cascada is a beautiful, engaging convertible that represents the very best of the brand’s global development practices,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “It’s a car that will delight customers with its fun spirit and help drive the momentum that’s fueling Buick’s success.” The Cascada’s 2+2 configuration offers comfortable room for four adults. Its expressive driving experience is rooted in a rigid body structure, Buick’s sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension and responsive Watts Z-link suspension in the rear – along with a 200-horsepower (149 kW) turbocharged engine. And when it comes to dropping the top on a whim, it lowers in only 17 seconds and at speeds up to 31 mph. When it’s up, superior thermal and acoustic insulation contribute to driving comfort. “Cascada’s driving enjoyment is rooted in technologies that make it more comfortable and refined,” said Aldred. “Its features work harmoniously to provide a safe, connected and confidence-inspiring driving experience.” Technology and safety highlights include: Buick IntelliLink with a seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen and featuring Text Message Alerts, Siri Eyes Free and navigation OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot Electronic rear-seat entry system automatically powers the front seats forward by simply pressing the seatback forward. It moves the seats back when the seatback is returned to the upright position Electric safety belt presenters that use telescopic arms to slide the upper front safety belt assemblies from behind the front seat into closer reach for easier buckling Active rollover safety system includes rollover protection bars that deploy behind the rear seats when the possibility of a rollover is detected Confidence-inspiring features include lane departure warning, rear park assist, rearview camera and Rainsense windshield wipers. Distinctive design and thoughtful features Designed from the outset as a convertible, the Buick Cascada has a flowing, sculpted profile, with fast-raked A-pillars that convey a wind-in-the-hair flair. When lowered, the top folds neatly and completely beneath a hard tonneau behind the rear seats, giving the car a pure open-air aesthetic. “The Cascada’s design blends the suggestion of speed with sophisticated and uncompromising details,” said Holt Ware, Buick exterior design director. “Most convertibles are designed from existing coupes or sedans, meaning stowage of the top was an afterthought, but not this Buick. It looks handsome and has a premium appearance when the top is lowered – and a perfect, seamless profile when it’s up.” The windswept exterior design is further accentuated with a sweeping body-side line and sleek headlamps that flow into the front fenders, with Buick’s signature wing-shape LED daytime running lights delivering a distinctive appearance. Chrome trim bridges between the wing-shaped taillights, which are also LED-lit. The rear deck lid opens rearward to accommodate the folding soft-top. The electro-hydraulic power roof system features multilayer construction – including acoustic and thermal barriers – which makes for a comfortable ride in various conditions. Inside, a thoughtfully trimmed and comprehensively equipped cabin reflects Buick’s renaissance. The instrument panel is wrapped with soft-touch material featuring authentic stitching, while features including heated front seats and steering wheel offer comfort in a variety of climate conditions. The Cascada also has plenty of storage space for the trappings of a weekend getaway, including 13.4 cubic feet (380 liters) of cargo room with the top up and 9.8 cubic feet (280 liters) with the top down. The rear seatbacks fold down electronically to expand cargo capability for longer items. Turbocharged performance, engaging driving experience The Cascada is driven by an efficient 1.6L turbocharged engine rated at 200 horsepower (149 kW). With more than 100 horsepower per liter, it’s one of the most power-dense engines in the segment. It delivers strong torque, estimated at 206 lb-ft (280 Nm), with an overboost feature that briefly pushes torque to an estimated 221 lb-ft (300 Nm). Direct injection and variable valve timing complement the turbo engine’s performance with efficiency. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Power from the turbocharged engine is translated into driving enjoyment via the innovative suspension system, which employs the sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension pioneered on the LaCrosse and Regal. HiPer Strut is based on the MacPherson strut design and features dual-path top mountings that separate the transfer of spring and damper loads to the body structure. It enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer; more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control; and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. A responsive Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering, which helps keep the Cascada’s handling responses symmetrical on both left-hand and right-hand turns. The linkage’s capability to center the axle during cornering delivers a more-balanced driving experience because the rear suspension better follows the lead of the front suspension. The Z-link design is also lighter and requires less space than a typical fully independent rear suspension. The lower weight enhances efficiency, while the compact design enables the Cascada’s generous cargo room. Steering inputs are executed by a fuel-saving, rack-mounted electric power steering system, while stopping power is handled by standard four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock. It rolls on standard 20-inch wheels. A rigid body structure features high-strength steel in strategic areas, reinforced side sills and press-hardened steel in the A-pillars. It is the foundation for the Cascada’s dynamic and refined driving experience, contributing to steering precision, ride quality and quietness – as well as safety. A long, 106.1-inch (2,695 mm) wheelbase enhances ride smoothness while enabling greater rear-seat legroom.
  16. For the past couple of years, we have reporting on countless rumorpile stories concerning the Scion FR-S. Most of these stories have dealt with a convertible and turbo power, and whether or not they are off or back on the table. Well it might be that two things may never come. Wards Auto spoke with Doug Murtha, senior vice president at Scion. Murtha explained that Toyota couldn't make a business case for either proposal. “So on the convertible we went down swinging,” said Murtha. “I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, ‘We’re not going to even push it further.’ Nobody was more disappointed than we were.” This isn't the news the FR-S wanted to hear. At the moment, the model has been experiencing sales drop for most of the year. This is due to the phenomenon of sports car sales falling off halfway through the lifecycle of the vehicle, something Murtha admits. “You get 24 months out of those products and they tend to have a steep fall-off (and) we’re seeing a little bit of that. I don’t think that’s necessarily a surprise. I think the challenge is back to us to do some interesting things that keep the vehicle fresh.” For now, Scion is hoping the recently launched FR-S Release Series 1.0 will be able to bring back some interest in the sports coupe. Source: Wards Auto
  17. Ferrari's showing for the Paris Motor Show is the Ferrari 458 Speciale A. The 458 Speciale A (Aperta) is the convertible version of the 458 Speciale and features most of the the lightweight materials found on the coupe. The difference is the addition of a folding aluminum roof which can open or close in 14 seconds, and only adds about 110 pound to the weight of the Speciale A. Power comes from a 4.5L V8 engine which makes 605 horsepower and 397 pound-feet of torque. Ferrari says the 458 Speciale A can hit 60 MPH in about 3.0 seconds (about a tenth slower than the coupe). The Special A also features Ferrari's Side Slip angle Control (SSC) system which varies the torque distribution to improve handling. Ferrari says they will only build 499 458 Speciale A models. No word on when Ferrari will begin selling them. Source: Ferrari Press Release is on Page 2 FERRARI 458 SPECIALE A: A NEW RECORD-BREAKING SPIDER 25/09/14 499 cars to celebrate our most successful, award-winning 8-cylinder model Maranello, 25th September 2014 – Ferrari is pleased to announce the Paris Motor Show world debut of the 458 Speciale A (A as in Aperta). The new limited edition special series is a celebration of the dazzling success of the various versions of the 458, a model that has collected an array of international motoring media awards and track victories, not least a double WEC title and category wins in classic endurance races, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Dedicated to just 499 Ferrari collectors, the 458 Speciale A is the most powerful spider in Prancing Horse history, effortlessly marrying extreme performance with the sublime pleasure of drop-top driving. Its aluminium retractable hard top, which takes a mere 14 seconds to deploy or retract, helps reduce the weight difference with the Speciale coupé to just 50 kg. The 458 Speciale A sports the most powerful naturally-aspirated road-going V8 engine ever built by Ferrari. It punches out a massive 605 cv (135 cv/l specific power output) and 540 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm yet only generates 275 g/km of CO2 emissions. The three international Best Performance Engine awards the V8 has won are acknowledged on a special plaque in the cockpit. The new car sprints from 0-100 km/h in just 3.0 seconds and has a Fiorano lap time of 1'23"5. These superb results are thanks in great part to its front and rear active aerodynamics, the rigidity of a chassis that incorporates 10 aluminium alloys, and Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) which guarantees unparalleled sporty driving in all conditions, underscored by the seductively exhilarating signature Ferrari soundtrack. As is the case with all Prancing Horse cars, the 458 Speciale A's sculpted forms are absolutely performance-oriented. In fact, a series of innovative and original bodywork solutions has made the 458 Speciale A the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever. The 458 Speciale A is being premiered in a unique triple-layer yellow livery with a Blu Nart and Bianco Avus central stripe as well as five-spoke forged wheels in Grigio Corsa. The cockpit has a distinctive racing-inspired look: lightweight yet exclusive materials have been adopted throughout and, of course, crafted with Ferrari's signature artisanal sophistication. This is particularly true of the finish of the dash, the moulded door panels and central tunnel in an exclusive blue carbon-fibre (also used for the treadplates) as well as the newly-designed seats in Alcantara© with contrasting stitching and 3D technical fabric. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION SUMMARY EngineType V8 – 90° Total displacement 4497 ccMax. power output 605 cv at 9000 rpm Maximum torque 540 Nm at 6000 rpm WeightDry weight 1340 kg Weight-power ratio 2.21 kg/cv Performance0 - 100 km/h 3.0" 0 - 200 km/h 9.5"Fiorano lap time 1'23"5 Emissions (ECE + EUDC combined cycle) CO2 emissions** 275 gr/km **with HELE system
  18. General Motors has announced pricing for the most powerful vehicle ever built. The new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will start at $78,995 for the coupe and $83,995 for the convertible. The Z06 will be offered with a 6.2L supercharged V8 with 650 horsepower, a choice of either a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, and three different trim levels. Available options include the Carbon Fiber Ground Effects package with enhanced aero for $2,995, and the Z07 Performance Package with Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, upgraded tires, and improved aero for $7,995. "The 2015 Corvette Z06's performance and technical capabilities place it in the elite fraternity of supercars. Very few cars in the world deliver 650 horsepower, true aerodynamic downforce, carbon fiber and performance technologies such as Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management and an electronic limited slip differential – and none gives the driver a transmission choice or the choice of a coupe with a removable roof panel or a full-power-top convertible," said Harlan Charles, Corvette product and marketing manager. Source: Chevrolet William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Corvette Z06 Priced at $78,995 American supercar delivers unprecedented performance, technology DETROIT – The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – the most powerful and technologically advanced model in the iconic car's 62-year history – will be offered at a suggested retail price of $78,995 while the convertible model will start at $83,995, Chevrolet announced today. "The 2015 Corvette Z06's performance and technical capabilities place it in the elite fraternity of supercars," said Harlan Charles, Corvette product and marketing manager. "Very few cars in the world deliver 650 horsepower, true aerodynamic downforce, carbon fiber and performance technologies such as Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management and an electronic limited slip differential – and none gives the driver a transmission choice or the choice of a coupe with a removable roof panel or a full-power-top convertible." Leveraging learnings from the Corvette Racing program, the $2,995 Carbon Fiber Ground Effects enables the Corvette Z06 to produce true aerodynamic downforce for increased stability at high speeds. The package adds a functional carbon fiber front splitter, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler. For the ultimate performance, the Z07 Performance Package is available for $7,995, adding Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to better handling through reduced unsprung weight. The Z07 package adds adjustable front and rear aerodynamic components to the Carbon Fiber Ground Effects package for unprecedented aerodynamic downforce and Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip. "The Z07 performance package enhances overall performance to make the Corvette Z06 one of the most track-capable cars you can buy off the dealership floor and still drive it to work every day," said Charles. Z06 models are offered in 1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ trims. A range of available features enables customers to tailor the look and feel of their Z06, including: - Premium Package with leather-wrapped interior - Aero-enhancing carbon fiber ground effects package - Performance Data Recorder and navigation - Competition sport seats offered in leather or sueded microfiber - Carbon fiber interior trim and carbon fiber convertible tonneau cover inserts - Visible carbon fiber roof panel (Coupe) - Tintcoat exterior colors, several available wheel finishes and several available brake caliper colors. Most powerful, technologically advanced Corvette ever The Z06 rejoins the Corvette lineup for 2015 with a stronger aluminum frame than previous models, an aero package designed to produce performance-enhancing downforce and an all-new, supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine rated at an SAE-certified at 650 horsepower (485 kW) and 650 lb-ft of torque (881 Nm). That makes it the most powerful production car ever from General Motors and one of the most powerful production cars available in the United States. To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray – direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing – and leverages them with a new, more efficient supercharger. Combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction, they help make the new Z06 surprisingly efficient. The Corvette Z06 also leverages other technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with calibrations tailored for its capabilities. The aluminum frame structure, for example, is 20 percent stiffer than the previous, fixed-roof Z06. Additional technologies support the car's tremendous performance capabilities and enhance the driving experience, including: - Third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard and can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector - Performance Traction Management is available in the Track mode of the Drive Mode Selector and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving - Launch control is available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration - An electronic limited-slip differential, also standard equipment on Z06, adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes. The Z06 offers three increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce: - The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and an aggressive rear spoiler. - The available carbon-fiber aero package – in either carbon flash paint or a visible carbon-fiber finish – adds a carbon-fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill, which combine to create true aerodynamic downforce - The available Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use. With this package, the Corvette Z06 delivers the most aerodynamic downforce of any production car GM has tested. Drivers can monitor the Z06's performance without taking their eyes off the road via a color head-up display (standard on 2LZ and 3LZ trims) that, among the range of performance readouts, displays a g-meter in Track mode. The Z06 also offers the award-winning, industry-first Performance Data Recorder – or PDR – which enables users to record high-definition video, with telemetry overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track. The racing-derived system is included with the available navigation system. Editors: Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price includes destination charges but excludes tax, title, license, optional equipment and dealer fees.
  19. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 9, 2013 Mercedes-Benz's showing at Detroit Auto Show will be the refreshed E-Class lineup. By lineup, I'm talking about the E-Class sedan, wagon, coupe, convertible, and AMG models. The overall exterior design has gone through a serious overhaul. The front end has a new, aggressive front fascia with large twin scoops outboard and one-piece headlights that contain LED strips that 'break' them into two parts. On the sedan and wagon, you have the choice of two grilles; a a luxury version that uses a three-bar grille topped by a three-pointed star ornament on the hood or a sport version which has a two-bar center grille with a large Mercedes emblem. The coupe and convertible stick with the sport version. Along the side, Mercedes-Benz's designers added a stronger character line that runs along the bottom of the doors. Inside, there are minor changes including a new dash cluster and head unit design. Being a Mercedes-Benz, there is a load of safety technologies. In the case of the 2014 E-Class, there are eleven new and enhanced safety systems including a Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera that can build a 3D view of what's ahead at a distance of up to 1,650 feet and feed that information to the vehicle. Under the hood, the E-Class sedan gets the widest variety of powertrains. E250 BlueTEC: 2.1L 4-cylinder turbodiesel: 190 horsepower, 369 pound-feet E350 Sedan: direct-injection 3.5L V6: 302 horsepower, 273 pound-feet E400 HYBRID Sedan: electric motor and direct-injection 3.5L V6: 27 horspower (electric) + 302 (gas) horsepower, 184 pound-feet (electric) + 273 (gas) pound-feet E550 4MATIC Sport Sedan: turbocharged direct-injection 5.5L V8: 402 hp, 443 lb.-ft. The E-Class wagon sticks with 3.5L V6 and AWD. The E-Class coupe and convertible stick with the 3.5L V6 and 5.5L V8. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Album: 2014 Mercedes Benz E-Class 55 images 0 comments Press Releases on Page 2 and 3 The MY 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan & Wagon Stylish, Efficient, Intelligent MONTVALE, NJ – Mercedes-Benz introduces the extensively updated 2014 E-Class Sedan and Wagon, featuring highly efficient engines, an array of new driver assistance systems and even more refined styling. No less than eleven new or optimized assistance systems from the future S-Class celebrate their world premiere in both the sedan and wagon models. They combine a host of comfort and safety features, referred to by Mercedes-Benz as "intelligent drive." These groundbreaking systems include technologies that can help prevent accidents with pedestrians or vehicles crossing in front, Active Lane Keeping Assist for avoiding collisions with oncoming traffic and anti-glare continuous high-beam headlamps. All this and more ensures that Mercedes-Benz maintains its pioneering role in vehicle safety. The new E-Class also takes a major step forward in terms of efficiency, thanks to the new four-cylinder diesel engine. An extensive package of design updates round-off the new and compelling features of the MY14 E-Class, delivering an accomplished combination of efficiency, intelligence and style. The 2014 E-Class Sedan and Wagon will be in U.S. showrooms this Spring. By conducting such a comprehensive redevelopment of the E-Class range, Mercedes-Benz is ensuring that its customers benefit from the very latest technical advances as soon as possible. The new E-Class also comes with distinctive updates in its styling for an elegant and sporty look, as well as significantly enhanced comfort features and upscale equipment, rounded-off by an exceptional level of efficiency and everyday driving pleasure. All of this comes together to ensure that the E-Class continues to consolidate its leading position in the luxury segment. Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars: "We are setting clear trends in terms of safety, design and efficiency with the new E-Class. It puts many technical innovations on the road and undoubtedly is the best E-Class ever. This also finds expression in its design and its carefully revised interior, which bring a breath of fresh air to the luxury class. The 'E' thus continues to hold its place at the very top of this demanding segment." Design – a choice of two new front-end styles Numerous intelligent modifications have given the E-Class a new front-end design and revised proportions. Designers applied the new Mercedes-Benz design language to reinterpret the brand's classic design values on the existing basis. The outcome is an elegant, refined and yet sporty look. The front end has been completely revised with new headlamps that incorporate all light functions within a single lens, while flowing light elements within the headlamps help to retain the "four-eyed" appearance that is such a distinctive E-Class signature. When it comes to light and sight, the E-Class sets the benchmark – low beam and daytime running lights both come with partial LED as standard, while full-LED headlamps are available as an option for the first time in this class. In another first, the MY14 E-Class is available with two different front-end designs. The Luxury version comes with the classic sedan grille with 3-louver look and star on the hood. The Sport version, on the other hand, features the sports grille with integrated star, forming a visual link to the brand's high performance sports car models. The hood and front bumper have also been completely redesigned. With its flowing lines, the hood offers a smooth, sleek expression of the new design language. The bumper has new, contemporary styling with an aerofoil shape along its lower edge for an even more distinctively sporting character. Sport models receive an even more confident front design, using the AMG styling package that features larger air intakes and a distinct aluminum trim line along the entire lower rim of the front bumper. Dynamic, elegant proportions A new feature line and a repositioned three-dimensional trim line bring new proportions to both the sedan and wagon. The feature line runs below the structure line from the rear door to the tail light, giving the car greater visual length. This is reinforced by the side trim, which is now much lower. The overall effect is to make the MY14 E-Class look longer and more elegant, and at the same time both dynamic and composed. Broad, distinctive rear end The rear end of the MY14 E-Class features modifications to the lights and the bumper. The new LED tail lamps have a horizontal design that emphasizes the width of the vehicle, while the two-tone look comes with a distinctive nighttime signature. Sport models feature exposed dual exhaust pipes. Premium interior The generously proportioned interior of the E-Class has been subtly revised and harmonized with the expressive exterior. Premium materials, precise lines and clearly defined surfaces combine to create a sophisticated overall look - and feel. A new feature is the two-part trim extending across the entire soft-touch dashboard, which is available in two wood finishes – burl walnut or black ash. Also new are the 3-tube instrument cluster, the trapezoidal head-unit display, the air vent design and the analogue clock between the two central vents. "Intelligent drive" with new assistance systems What started with PRE-SAFE® and continued with DISTRONIC PLUS® has emerged as a new dimension of driving at Mercedes-Benz, where comfort and safety merge into one. Mercedes-Benz calls this "intelligent drive." A whole host of new or optimized systems from the future S-Class celebrate their world premiere in the E-Class, delivering increased comfort and safety, such as the all-new DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist. The basis for all this is new state-of-the-art sensors and their associated algorithms. Mercedes-Benz has taken a major step forward with the introduction of the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera. Just like the previous Mono Multi-Purpose Camera, it is located on the windshield near the rearview mirror. However, this camera features two "eyes," set at an angle of 45 degrees to produce a three-dimensional view of the area up to 55 yards in front of the vehicle and with an overall range of up to 550 yards. The stereo camera gathers data for processing by various systems using intelligent algorithms. The systems can detect vehicles driving in front, oncoming or crossing and evaluate this three-dimensional visual information to determine their speed and position. They can also identify pedestrians within a large field of vision. Along with the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera, Mercedes-Benz is also introducing enhanced versions of the Multi-Mode Radar sensor system. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, a radar-based collision warning system with Adaptive Brake Assist is standard equipment on both the sedan and wagon. It helps to reduce significantly the risk of a rear-end collision. Also part of standard equipment is ATTENTION ASSIST®, which now warns of inattentiveness and drowsiness across a wider range, and provides visual information on attention level and time driven since the last break. The sensitivity of the new generation ATTENTION ASSIST® can be adjusted by the driver. Also available are a number of assistance systems that are either new or now feature significantly enhanced functionality. In overview: - DISTRONIC PLUS® with Steering Assist can help the driver keep the vehicle centered in its lane and can semi-autonomously follow in-line traffic. - For the first time, the Brake Assist system BAS PLUS® with Cross-Traffic Assist is able to detect crossing traffic and pedestrians, and boost the braking power applied by the driver accordingly. - The PRE-SAFE® Brake can now detect pedestrians as well and initiate autonomous braking. - PRE-SAFE® PLUS can identify an imminent rear-end collision and then prompt the PRE-SAFE® system to trigger occupant protection measures that reduce the forces exerted on passengers. If the vehicle is stationary, it can also prevent secondary accidents in the event of a rear-end collision by applying the brakes. - Active Lane Keeping Assist can now detect when the adjacent lane is not clear, including the presence of oncoming traffic, overtaking vehicles, crash barriers etc. Under threat of a collision, even if the lane marking is not a solid line, the system can prevent the vehicle from leaving its lane unintentionally by applying the brakes on one side. This system pairs perfectly with Active Blind Spot Assist. - Adaptive Highbeam Assist PLUS allows high beam to remain permanently switched on without dazzling traffic by masking out other vehicles in the beams' cone of light. - Active Parking Assist enables automated parking with active steering and brake control in both parallel and perpendicular spaces - The Surround View Camera will cover all four sides of the vehicle and enable a 360-degree view including virtual bird's-eye perspective – a top view of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings. Dynamic guide lines help during parking and maneuvering. Excellent performance with high gas mileage Both the E-Class sedan and wagon boast a range of powerful and efficient gasoline and diesel engines. All come with the ECO start/stop system as standard equipment and are highly efficient. Mercedes-Benz offers the broadest range of ECO start/stop systems in the United States, as well as the most seamless, smooth, and unobtrusive algorithms. The gasoline engines offered in the MY14 E-Class are the highly successful V6 and V8 units in the E350 and E550, which will go on sale in Spring 2013. They combine excellent response characteristics and outstanding power delivery with exceptional efficiency. Powerful diesel engine and hybrid drive for outstanding efficiency New in the MY14 E-Class sedan is the incredibly efficient four-cylinder diesel engine powering the E250 BlueTEC with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, available Fall 2013. Compliant with emissions legislations in all fifty states, the latest diesel model from Mercedes-Benz shows that premium elegance and outstanding economy are not mutually exclusive. The E250 BlueTEC generates 190 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, replacing the V6-powered E350 BlueTEC engine that only was available with rear-wheel drive. A further feature of the MY14 E-Class range is the highly economical E400 HYBRID. Supplemented by an electric motor (27hp, 184 lb-ft), the E400 HYBRID offers the powerful and refined performance of the Mercedes-Benz 3.5-liter V6 (302hp, 273 lb-ft) paired with an outstanding gas mileage of 24/30 mpg (est. city/highway). New-generation transmission for dynamic and economical driving The engines in the MY14 E-Class are mated to the seven-speed automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever and DIRECT SELECT shift paddles. This latest evolution of the seven-speed transmission offers significant benefits in terms of efficiency and ease of maintenance. A new feature is the short-term M mode. If the driver shifts up or down manually, the transmission independently switches back to the fuel-efficient automatic shift mode after a pre-determined period of time elapses. Traction and stability can also be enhanced across the MY14 E-Class lineup with the 4MATIC® permanent all-wheel-drive system – particularly effective in challenging surface conditions. The E63 AMG sedan and wagon, launching in Fall 2013, comes with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT seven-speed MCT and 4MATIC in the United States, delivering incredible performance. More technical details will follow in January 2013 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Refined suspension for excellent handling Mercedes-Benz offers three suspension configurations for the MY14 E-Class: - Configured for comfort, the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with stroke dependent damping system is the standard suspension setup for the Luxury model. - In the Sport model, the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with stroke dependent damping system is 15 mm lower and has a more sporty setup. - The E63 AMG comes with the AMG Adaptive Sport Suspension. All suspension variants feature outstanding sensitivity and ride characteristics and help to ensure an excellent level of road holding. All models in the MY14 E-Class lineup are fitted with an electromechanical Direct-Steer system as standard. This combines speed-sensitive power steering with a variable ratio across the steering angle range. The rack-and-pinion steering gear is controlled on-demand and therefore contributes towards efficiency. Advantages of the electromechanical Direct-Steer system include: - improved agility thanks to more direct steering response - comfortable handling and smooth steering characteristics at all speeds - improved efficiency, as energy is consumed only while steering - enables innovative assistance systems, e.g. Active Parking Assist Premium equipment The MY14 E-Class already comes with a comprehensive range of premium equipment as standard. Optional packages include the Premium 1 package with Rearview camera, COMAND navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, Harman/kardon® Logic 7® surround sound, power rear window sunshade, heated front seats (standard with E550), active ventilated front seats and garage-door opener. Further packages available at launch are the Lighting package, Parking Assist package, Lane Tracking package, Wood Trim package and Wheel package. The Driver Assistance package and KEYLESS-GO package will be available shortly after launch. The KEYLESS-GO package will feature electronic trunk closer and HANDSFREE ACCESS, which enables opening and closing of the trunk lid without physical contact by simply holding your foot beneath the bumper. This extremely convenient feature is particularly useful when loading and unloading the vehicle. When it comes to infotainment, Mercedes-Benz delivers the MY14 E-Class sedan and wagon with the COMAND® system featuring AM/FM/WB radio, indash DVD/CD player, in-dash memory card slot, and Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling. Standard equipment also includes a central controller with a 7-inch, high-resolution display and a color display in the instrument cluster. 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe & Convertible Driving pleasure at the highest level: Passionate, sporty, intelligent Mercedes-Benz has restyled the Coupe and Cabriolet members of the E-Class family for the 2014 model year. The bold new styling is combined with sophisticated new assistance systems which are part of Mercedes-Benz "intelligent drive." These new systems include technology that can help prevent accidents with crossing vehicles or pedestrians as well as an enhanced version of Active Lane Keeping Assist. Visually, Coupe and Cabriolet have been brought in line with the new Mercedes-Benz design idiom. These models also feature exclusive, luxurious appointments for refined driving, which are hallmarks of the entire E-Class family. The 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet go on sale in the U.S. in Summer 2013. The classic Coupe and the four-seat Cabriolet versions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class are among the most coveted vehicles in the premium medium-size segment. With intelligent and efficient technology as well as luxurious and comfortable appointments, both are uncompromisingly designed for passionate driving enjoyment. They are therefore regarded as emotionally appealing highlights of the successful E-Class family. Both on the outside and inside the design is fresh, sharpened and so ideally reflects the many new technical features. Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes- Benz Cars: "Three words suffice to very briefly characterize the Coupe and the four-seater Cabriolet: stunning, athletic, passionate. Especially gratifying is that both cars also offer the most intelligent engineering that currently can be had. This makes both of them genuine dream cars." Design: E-motional appeal in top form The new look of the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet is accentuated by the redesigned front end with new headlamps which contain all functional elements within a single lens. The headlamps are fitted with partial LED lights as standard, while full LED technology is available as an option for the first time in this segment. Flowing light elements within the headlamps ensure that the "four-eye" look typical of the E-Class is retained. The new, more V-shaped front bumpers with large air intakes clearly accentuate the athletic character. The bold front end puts a distinctive, sporty face forward, but at the same time emphasizes the close relationship of the Coupe and Cabriolet with the redesigned E-Class Sedan. The rear fenders, whose powerfully muscular shape has been retained, lend visual emphasis to the rear-wheel drive of the sporty cars. New tail lights and a wide rear bumper with a chrome trim element additionally underscore the aggressive appearance of these models. The proportions, with a long hood, extended side line, flat roof and powerful rear end, are those of a classic coupe. Traditional styling features that make the Mercedes-Benz Coupes unmistakable – for instance the layout of the fully retractable side windows, which is unbroken by B-pillars – lend emphasis to the distinctive lines of the two-door car. Fully retractable side windows are characteristic also of the four-seater Cabriolet and give emphasis to the clear proportions with a gently rising shoulder line from the front to the trunk lid. Elegant interior Mercedes-Benz also has restyled the interior of the 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet and tastefully matched it to the expressive exterior. Fine materials, two-piece trim stretching across the entire dashboard, and clean surfaces dominate in the interior. All models in the entire 2014 E-Class family feature an analog clock between the redesigned air vents and console switches are now finished in chrome. The interior is further characterized by a redesigned center console without a gear selector lever as well as a new three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with DIRECT SELECT shift lever and shift paddles. This makes room for additional storage space and larger cup holders. A special highlight of the new E-Class Cabriolet is its acoustic soft top with high-grade insulation, giving it the lowest noise level in its class. The unique acoustic cabriolet soft top ensures that little wind noise penetrates the interior even at high speeds. With the top down, the standard AIRCAP, which reduces interior turbulence and wind noise, ensures exceptional convertible driving comfort, especially in the rear seat. Now at speeds over 25 mph the AIRCAP system deploys automatically, and at speeds less than 10 mph the wind deflector in the windshield frame is automatically retracted again to present the E-Class Cabriolet in its purest and most beautiful form during slow driving and at a stop. The wind deflector between the rear head restraints responds to the number of occupants, which it automatically recognizes by the buckled rear seat belts, and adjusts the position of the extendible wind deflector in the front and rear accordingly. The available AIRSCARF neck-level heating extends the convertible season by making comfortable top-down driving possible even at low exterior temperatures. Limitless individual appointments E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet offer virtually unlimited possibilities for individual configuration. New interior colors and color combinations, such as blue with contrasting beige boldly brings a breath of fresh air to the exclusive ambience of the two E-Class athletes. "Intelligent drive" with new assistance systems from the future As in the Sedan and Wagon, new assistance systems that combine comfort and safety also are being introduced in the 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet. Mercedes-Benz refers to all this as "intelligent drive." The basis for this is formed by state-of-the-art sensors – for instance a Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera in the vicinity of the rearview mirror that produces a three-dimensional view of the area up to 165 feet in front of the vehicle, and is able to monitor the overall situation ahead up to a range of 1,640 feet. Part of the Driver Assistance Package, intelligent algorithms combine the data of the stereo camera with that of the installed radar sensors. They perform an evaluation of this three-dimensional visual information in order to detect vehicles that are driving ahead, oncoming or crossing, as well as pedestrians and road markings within a large field of vision, and to carry out a spatial classification of moving objects. The 2014 Coupe and Cabriolet are fitted with standard COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive brake assist systems, which helps to significantly reduce the risk of a collision. Also part of the standard equipment is ATTENTION ASSIST, which is now able to warn of inattentiveness and drowsiness across a wider speed range, and also inform the driver about his level of fatigue and the amount of driving time which has elapsed since the last break. It also offers an adjustable sensitivity level. Optionally available on all 2014 E-Class Models are a number of assistance systems which are either new or now feature enhanced functions. The following is an overview of the innovations: DISTRONIC PLUS® with Steering Assist can help the driver keep the vehicle centered in its lane and can semi-autonomously track lines of traffic. For the first time, the Brake Assist system BAS PLUS® with Intersection Assist is able to detect crossing traffic and pedestrians too, and boost the braking power applied by the driver accordingly. The PRE-SAFE® Brake can detect pedestrians and initiate autonomous braking to avoid a collision at speeds up to 30 mph PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognize an imminent rear-end collision, then prompts the PRE-SAFE® system to trigger occupant protection measures to reduce the forces to which occupants are subjected. It can also firmly apply the stationary vehicle's brakes in the event of a rearend collision to prevent secondary accidents. The Active Lane Keeping Assist now can detect when the adjacent lane is not clear, including when it is occupied by oncoming traffic. If a collision threatens, even if the lane marking is not a solid line the system can prevent the vehicle from leaving its lane unintentionally by applying the brakes on one side. It thus optimally supplements the Active Blind Spot Assist. Active Parking Assist enables automated parking with active steering and brake control in both parallel and perpendicular spaces The 360-degree camera covers all four sides of the vehicle and enables a seamless all-around view including a virtual bird's-eye perspective – with a top view of the vehicle and its direct surroundings. Dynamic guide lines are a help when entering and leaving parking spaces and maneuvering. Professor Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: "The new E-Class makes a big step forward in every respect. With an emotionally appealing design it provides for fresh highlights in its segment. And in technical respect it offers unique things. They include new assistance systems from the future S-Class which, for example, relieve driver stress with steering assist, DISTRONIC PLUS® and for the first time also can prevent accidents with crossing vehicles or pedestrians. In addition, the EClass achieves best ratings in the area of efficiency, offers an internet-capable cloud-based infotainment system and improves night-time driving safety with state-of-the-art LED headlamps. So the E-Class is a veritable high-tech package – a very attractively packaged one at that." Drive system: high-performing and a model of efficiency All the available engines for the 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet now feature an ECO start/stop system and are highly efficient. The E350 features a directinjection V6 gasoline engine with 302 hp and 273 lb ft of torque. The E550 is powered by a twin-turbo direct-injection V8 producing 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. The E350 Coupe is also available in the U.S. with 4MATIC All-Wheel-Drive. The electronically-controlled system displays an impressive level of traction on all manner of terrain, raises active safety and offers an outstanding degree of driveline refinement. Mercedes-Benz offers a 7-speed automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever and shift paddles. This latest version of this transmission provides significant advantages in terms of efficiency and ease of maintenance. A new feature is the short-term ‘M’ mode. If the driver has shifted up or down manually, after a set period of time the transmission independently switches back to the fuel-efficient automatic shift mode. The suspension – the basis for superior handling The 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet feature the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system. Its shock absorbers adapt to the condition of the road surface and ensure sporty handling and long-distance comfort typical of Mercedes-Benz. Alternatively available are the AGILITY CONTROL sports suspension with selective damping system and more tautly tuned dampers as well as the ADVANCED AGILITY package, which offers electronic damping control along with a program for selecting sportier accelerator characteristics and transmission shift points. With this, at the push of a button the driver can adjust the damping to his requirements depending on whether he wants to drive in a comfortable or sporty style. Like the Sedan and Wagon, the Coupe and Cabriolet are equipped with an electromechanical Direct-Steer system as standard. It combines the speeddependent power assistance of speed-sensitive steering with a variable ratio across the steering angle range. The electromechanical Direct-Steer system ensures more direct steering response, comfortable handling, and high levels of steering comfort across all speed ranges. It also provides considerable Page 7 savings potential, since energy is only required during steering action, and makes innovative assistance systems such as Active Parking Assist possible. High-quality appointments The 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet feature a comprehensive selection of premium equipment as standard. It includes a modern range of infotainment systems that allow the driver to keep up to date on what is happening around the world, or in the office, while on the road. Standard equipment includes the COMAND system featuring a 7-inch highresolution color display, sound system w/ AM/FM/WB radio, in-dash DVD/CD player, in-dash memory card slot, auxiliary input jack and Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz offers the mbrace2 system as standard equipment. mbrace2 provides drivers top-of-the-line features related to safety, infotainment, personal assistance and vehicle care. mbrace2 creates a truly networked vehicle offering open Internet access and custom versions of popular apps, including Facebook, Yelp and Google Local Search designed specifically for in-vehicle use - called Mercedes-Benz Apps. It also includes a solution to remotely update software via cloud networks ensuring that mbrace2 users always have the latest app versions in their vehicles and at their fingertips. Sensible user design and limited functionality of these Internetbased apps ensures that they provide maximum utility without unnecessary distraction when the vehicle is in motion; certain features are not available for use when the vehicle is in motion.
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 5, 2012 For the past year or so, we been reporting on whether the next-generation BMW 3-Series coupe and convetible would be sticking with the 3-Series or moving up to the 4-Series. Well, BMW has made the decision to go with the 4-Series for the next-generation coupe and convertible as evidenced by BMW revealing the new 4-Series coupe concept. The 4-Series coupe concept shares a similar style to the 3-Series sedan, but the coupe sports more aggressive body work, including dramatic sculpting on the front bumper, a more pointed front grille, full LED headlights, and fender gills. The 4-Series coupe interior is the same as the 3-Series, but the 4-Series seating arrangement is a 2+2. Engines will likely be a 2.0L turbo-four (428i) and 3.0L turbo straight-six (435i). A eight-speed automatic and six-speed manual will possibly be the transmission choices. BMW isn't saying where the 4-Series coupe concept will appear, but everyone believes it will be Detroit. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. Aesthetics, dynamics, individuality. Munich. BMW presents the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. The latest generation of the BMW 3 Series Coupe and Convertible leads the way worldwide in the premium mid-range coupe and convertible market. Indeed few, if any, rivals have made such a defining impact on this segment in terms of design, dynamics and efficiency. Now, with the unveiling of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe, BMW is looking ahead to the fourth generation of its sporty mid-range coupe – and reasserting its global leadership credentials in the process. The “4” – a sign of greater exclusivity and presence. The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe adds a new dimension to the qualities of the BMW 3 Series Coupe in terms of aesthetics, dynamics and elegance. The “4” doesn’t just mark the start of a new cycle, it represents the zenith of a development curve. BMW has given the new model its own individual character and a standalone design – and, in so doing, has turned “4” into segment shorthand for aesthetic and dynamic appeal. The latest addition to a nomenclature that sees BMW building on the fine tradition of its large BMW 6 Series and BMW 8 Series Coupes, the “4” stands for greater sportiness, greater exclusivity and even clearer differentiation from the BMW 3 Series range. The design: a development curve reaches its zenith. The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe allows the driver to experience the essence of this new, sporting and elegant generation of car in the lap of contemporary luxury. An array of high-quality details provide an exclusive showcase for the car’s perfectly balanced coupe proportions. Inside, the expertise of BMW Individual, skilled handcraftsmanship and carefully selected materials combine to create a supreme interior. The role of BMW Individual in the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe’s development clearly underlines the brand’s commitment to challenging itself constantly in pursuit of perfection. Lower and wider stance sharpens dynamics before a wheel is turned. The dimensions of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe imbue the car with a dynamic presence even when it is standing still. The wheelbase (2,810 mm) is 50 millimetres longer than that of the existing 3 Series Coupe, while 45 mm has been added to the front track (1,545 mm) and 80 mm to the rear track (1,593 mm). At 1,826 mm wide, the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is 44 mm broader than its predecessor, its roof line is 16 mm lower (1,362 mm) and it is also longer (4,641 mm) – all of which makes for exceptionally dynamic proportions. Perfection in proportions. A BMW Coupe is surrounded by a halo of fascination, and one glance tells the observer all he needs to know about the driving experience on offer. The elegant lines and athletic surface interplay of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe embody the qualities and expertise of BMW design and shine out through its sporting silhouette. The car’s proportions also fit the familiar BMW template: its long wheelbase, long sweeping bonnet, set-back passenger compartment and short overhangs propel the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe forwards even before its engine stirs into life. At the same time, its stretched proportions exude a very athletic elegance – the rear wheel arches mark the widest point of the car, emphasizing the point – and taut lines and surfaces etch emotion and precision into the body. The Coupe’s sophisticated detailing also captures the imagination on closer inspection. Functional elements such as air intakes and vents, door openers and exterior mirrors are given a stylistic lift by classy satin-finish aluminum accents. The exceptional dedication of the designers in achieving the right look for each particular function is evident in every one of these details. Precision and sportiness in the front seats. Precise contours and multifaceted surfaces define the striking face of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. The hallmark BMW front-end features, notably the kidney grille and twin circular headlights, have a slim, sporty design and ensure the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is immediately recognisable as a BMW. The front-end design displays a clear link with the BMW 3 Series family, but its sporting take on the theme accentuates the dynamic leanings of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. The new concept car lavishes both front-end design icons with meticulous detail and three-dimensional depth. The kidney grille is closed off in the interests of optimizing aerodynamics and keeping fuel consumption low, and the areas between the elaborately designed, satin-finish grille slats are blanked off by dark surfaces. The full-LED headlights are a hexagonal, extremely technical-looking take on the customary BMW twin circular design. The dynamically chiselled, slimmer interpretation of this iconic design cue integrates seamlessly into the front end. The design of the headlights adopts the link between the lights and kidney grille familiar from the BMW 3 Series and takes it to the next level, rendering this connection visible in darkness as well. An optical fibre leads out from the inner headlight tube and forms a visual link between the inner headlight and the kidney grille. In so doing, it gives the front end of the Coupe an even broader look. The most eye-catching feature of the car’s nose beyond the familiar BMW kidney grille and twin circular headlights is the large air intake in the front apron. Its wide opening hints at the extra air required by the powerful engines and guides the eye around to the muscular flared wheel arches. The two vent surrounds on either side of the intake replicate the contours of the hexagonal headlight graphics to lend the front end an even wider and more sporting look. Three strikingly sculptured, satin-finish aluminum trim elements in the intake provide added presence. Eye-catching and extremely width-accentuating, they give the aperture a sporty three-way split. The sides of the two flanking vents are of differing thickness and lend the front end a particularly dynamic appearance. At the same time, they mark off specific areas of the intake for brake and oil cooling and for the Air Curtain. This EfficientDynamics feature channels the incoming air around the outside of the wheels, ensuring the airflow “hugs” the wheel arches and fuel consumption is noticeably reduced as a consequence. A side order of power and elegance. Flowing, typically BMW proportions and a stretched silhouette define the athletically elegant side view of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe, with elongated lines and expressively contoured surfaces providing a lively interplay of light and shadow. The gently downward-sloping roofline – a classic coupe feature – creates a smooth transition into the rear, stretches the overall appearance of the car and takes the elegant route to accentuating the sporting appeal of the car’s flanks. The side windows also adhere to the slim and stretched theme. The striking exterior mirrors extend organically out of the shoulderline and provide another example of the eye for detail which allows aerodynamic function to be integrated neatly and with emotional appeal into the car’s form. The BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe boasts elegantly moulded shoulders, and surfaces and volumes blend harmoniously as the roof slopes down into the rear. The result is a sporty C-pillar design, which merges flawlessly into the sleek silhouette. Below the side windows, the “double swage line” familiar from the BMW 3 Series range lends the car a dynamic sense of forward motion. The shadowed surface above the rear wheel shrinks significantly below the swage line. This accentuates the muscular contours around the rear wheels, emphasising the car’s dynamic flair and hallmark BMW rear-wheel drive. The Air Breather, an aerodynamically effective aperture behind the front wheels, offers another pointer to the sophisticated aerodynamics of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. It draws a dynamic path between the two light surfaces of the car’s flanks, replicating the prominent form of the stylistic front-end elements. The Air Breather brings together the priorities of BMW EfficientDynamics and time-honoured BMW design, and works in tandem with the Air Curtain in the front apron to ensure an effective reduction in drag around the wheels. Exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels add the finishing touches to the car’s dynamically elegant silhouette. Their sophisticated, prominently three-dimensional multi-spoke design underscores their air of sporting elegance. Broad, sporty stance at the rear. The sporting character of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe continues in the low-slung design of the rear. The prominent horizontal lines and stretched tail lights positioned at the outer edges of the rear draw extra attention to the muscular wheel arches and wide track. The design of the rear window has a lowering effect on the car’s tail and gives the body as a whole an even more powerful look. It also shows off the car’s broad shoulders with satisfying clarity. The horizontal lines of the rear end frame a subtle three-dimensionality, while a tightly structured concave indent in the rear creates shadowed surfaces and gives the car a forward-surging energy. This contrasting interplay of light and shadow brings extra vivacity to the rear end. The L-shaped rear lights of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe blend harmoniously into the car’s overall design. They continue the path of the swage line to the side and are absorbed as an integral part of the exterior design. The tail lights taper in towards the centre of the rear end, but flare out powerfully towards the outer edges, underlining the Coupe’s broad, squat stance on the road. The inner elements of the rear lights recall a sculpture of contorted surfaces. A full-sized light element here reproduces the signature BMW “double L” in three-dimensional form and with impressive depth. While the emitting surfaces shine brightly, those at the back are rather darker, rendering the strong sense of three-dimensionality visible when the lights are hot as well. The most striking element of the rear end is the bumper, in which a clearly defined trim element in satin-finish aluminium provides a classy lower edge as the car drops down towards the road. The trim element adopts a similar three-way split to the front air intake, but in a width-emphasising form. It picks up the two exhaust tailpipes in a dynamic sweep at the outer edges of the rear apron before diverting the gaze to the wheels. Small upturns next to the tailpipes lend additional dynamic flair and finesse. Interior bathed in subtle beauty. The interior of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe follows the traditional BMW recipe, blending sportiness and exclusivity stylishly into a single package. The interior wraps around the driver in typically BMW, driver-focused style. The most important controls for driving the car are grouped ergonomically around the driver to ensure all functions are within the easiest possible reach. The “layering” approach – whereby volumes are arranged into layers through the clever use of lines and surfaces – underlines the dynamic feeling inside the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. This dynamic use of lines continues into the door design. All the lines streak backwards towards the rear of the car, thus pulling the focus of the interior clearly towards the front. At the same time, clearly defined surfaces around the window sills and door trim panels converge via the B-pillar into the rear in a tightly structured horizontal movement and connect the front and rear compartments. The arrangement of volumes around the doors, side walls and window sills forms a kind of cocoon around the passengers and generates a sporty and secure sense of space. Added to which, the strong contouring of the rear seats makes them appear like two individual seats joined together, emphasising once again the sporting instincts of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe. Craftsmanship, sustainability and technical refinement. Developed by BMW Individual, the colour and materials design of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe is tailored precisely to the geometry of the interior. The two-tone Black and Schiaparelli Brown trim provides a particularly effective showcase for the interplay of forms in the front cabin, and light contrast stitching adds a fresh touch to the leather-covered surfaces. This exclusive trim consists of sustainably tanned leather, which makes a convincing case for itself with its natural feel and soft texture, as well as the environment-friendly tanning process used to produce it. The fine detailing of the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe exterior is continued inside the car, numerous elements of which reflect the exceptional attention to detail with which the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe has been put together. As well as discreetly embossed “BMW Individual” lettering on the seats and door sillstrips, the seats are also home to very special hand-braided leather trim elements, which run vertically down the seats and enhance the interior’s feeling of class. The likewise leather-covered cup holders also adopt the braiding theme, as do the floor mats. A Natural Chestnut fine wood trim strip adds the finishing touch to the exclusive interior. The combination of carefully selected, high-grade materials, sophisticated details and the extensive use of hand craftsmanship fills the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe with an ambience defined by contemporary luxury. The Liquid Metal Silver exterior colour developed exclusively for the concept car shows off its expressive exterior design to excellent effect and injects an extra dose of energy into the interplay of contours and surfaces.
  21. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 17, 2012 Opel unveiled the new Cascada, a four-seater convertible that will be arriving at dealers early next year. The Cascada has many design cues from the Astra and Insignia with a chrome grille, bulging front hood, sculpted doors, and wing-shaped rear lights. Overall measurements for the Cascada are 184.9 inches long and 72.8 inches wide, which makes it a little bit larger than an Audi A5; one of the vehicles the Cascada is said to compete with. The fabric roof of the Cascada that retracts in 17 seconds and at speeds up to 31 MPH. Powertrains for the Cascada will include two variations of the 1.4L turbo, a new 1.6L SIDI turbo, and a 2.0 CDTI diesel engine. All engines will come with the choice of a six-speed manual or automatic. Opel says the Cascada will come packed luxury and tech features. Features will include an adaptive forward lighting system,ergonomic heated front seats, and Opel Eye, a system that utilizes a front camera that recognize traffic signs. Opel Eye will also incorporate lane departure warning and forward collision alert. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster Press Release is on Page 2 New Opel Cascada: Athletic, glamorous midsize convertible Elongated 4-seater midsize convertible with muscular, timeless elegance Sophisticated, high-quality soft-top system operates at driving speeds of up to 50 km/h Outstanding body stiffness combined with HiPerStrut front suspension technology Broad powertrain line-up with new generation direct injection gasoline 1.6 Turbo 2012-10-17 Rüsselsheim. Back to the most intense automotive experiences: cruising along with the sun softly warming your skin; feeling the air thickening in your open hand as speed increases; tipping back your head and finding no limit to your view, just diving into the deep blue sky. These are typical Cascada moments. The Cascada, Opel's new all-season convertible due to be launched in early 2013, is a classy four-seater with an elongated silhouette and a high-quality soft top. Heading to the top of Opel's line-up, the Cascada is a midsize convertible not only by its size (length: 4,697 mm; width 1,840 mm excl. mirrors) but also by its allure and the premium technologies and features it offers. After several generations of compact Kadett and Astra cabriolets, Opel returns to an older tradition of prestigious and rare midsize, four-seat soft-top convertibles from the fifties and sixties – like the Kapitän and the Rekord – but in a new, refreshing way and with the best of modern technologies. The Cascada provides a sharp driving experience thanks to its super-rigid body, HiPerStrut front suspension and FlexRide adaptive damping system. Its driver and passengers can enjoy the open-air feeling thanks to the premium soft top that can be opened at the touch of a button in 17 seconds while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h. Electric seat belt presenters, exclusive Nappa leather and ventilated, ergonomic seats as well as invisible, watchful safety systems make life serene and safe. Thomas Sedran, Deputy Chairman of Adam Opel Management Board: "The midsize cabriolet segment is only occupied by very high-priced cars from premium manufacturers. With the Cascada, Opel offers all the typical features and premium qualities of a midsize convertible, but at an affordable price. The Cascada rounds off Opel's product offensive: in 2012 and 2013, we're enhancing our portfolio and entering all-new segments, with the electric Ampera, the small SUV Mokka, the fashionable, urban ADAM, and now this midsize convertible." Attitude: Pure soft-top elegance enables full open-air enjoyment With its broad stance and a flowing continuity of sculptured shapes that is typical for Opel, the Cascada design reflects the classic and timeless elegance of the "Grandes Routières" of a bygone and glamorous age. With the top down for open-air drives, the Cascada has a perfectly clean profile: behind the fast and gracefully raked A-pillar, no roof top cover or visible rollover protection disturbs the silhouette. Below this clarity and to add some drama, the subtle Opel blade on the lower body side is mirrored in its upper part by a sharp crease that swings upward to the rear end, into the wraparound rear lights. The gently upswept waistline is highlighted by a horizontal chrome strip that elegantly sweeps around the cockpit, fluidly and elegantly marking the boundary between the roof top and the body. "Most convertibles look good with the top down, but many seem clumsy with their roof up. Thanks to its high-quality, aerodynamically clean soft top with a perfect, seamless profile, the Opel Cascada also cuts a fine figure when closed," says Malcolm Ward, Director Exterior Design. Tastefully sculpted in a purposeful power bulge, the bonnet tops a deepened front grille with bold chrome applications. The fog lights are carried in two overturned shark fin elements, which are visually enhanced and balanced by chrome inserts. Both using LED technology, the daytime running lights in the headlamps and the rear lights incorporate the Opel-typical wing signature. In the rear, the LED lighting modules are diffused for giving a solid and sharp light signal - a typical feature of premium class cars. A proud chrome strip linking the lighting units set into the boot lid balances the front chrome trim. Top quality materials selected from suppliers of the most prestigious premium cabriolets are used to build Opel Cascada's soft top. It benefits from superior acoustic and thermal insulation thanks to a special layer of polyester fleece between the outside layer and the interior lining. An electro-hydraulic mechanism activated via a switch located between the front seats opens the roof in 17 seconds at driving speeds of up to 50 km/h – placing the Cascada among the benchmarks in roof-top operation. In addition, key-operated remote control for opening and closing the top is standard in all Cascada models. Three soft top colors are available at launch. They can be coordinated with ten different body colors. Indulgence: Crafted cockpit with outstanding comfort and functionality The Cascada's cockpit offers a striking, sculptural yet sporty design highlighted by precise, handcrafted details. The lines of the wing-shaped instrument panel, which features real stitching on soft, wrapped surfaces, flow into the doors, dynamically embracing the front-seat occupants. All new richly trimmed seats are offered in several elegantly embossed fabrics and leathers. The up-level AGR certified ergonomic seats are wrapped in rich, soft Nappa leather and benefit from heating and ventilation systems: on hot, sunny days, fresh air is drawn through the holes in the perforated leather to increase front occupants' comfort. Securing them is easy and comfortable due to the electric seat belt extender which brings the seat belt within close reach using a telescoping arm. An electric Easy Entry system makes access to the rear seat swift and comfortable. The Opel Cascada benefits from great storage and stowage capacity for a convertible, allowing comfortable, all-season daily use. Several useful, large storage spaces have been placed around the driver: in the door, in and under the instrument panel and, thanks to a standard Electric Park Brake, in the center console – just where you need storage space the most. The minimum load volume with the roof open is 280 liters, and up to 350 liters are available when the soft top is closed. To extend its load volume or transport exceptionally long objects, the Opel Cascada benefits from the FlexFold system that electrically releases and folds down the 50:50 split rear seat back rests – a feature that cannot be offered in hard-top cabriolets. Excellence: Superior body stiffness combines with outstanding chassis technology Body stiffness is a key criterion for open-roof vehicles; it has a high impact on their driving behavior, steering precision, acoustics, safety and comfort and also conveys a clear feeling of their genuine quality. The Opel Cascada provides an superior balance between torsional and bending stiffness thanks to several measures including impressive underbody crossed steel bars and reinforced rocker profiles. Compared to Opel's previous generation cabriolet, the Astra TwinTop, the Cascada's body is 43% stiffer in torsion and 10% in bending. This layout provides a solid basis for the suspension and contributes towards significant reduction in noise, vibrations and harshness. The new midsize Opel Cascada naturally has a more impressive footprint than the 2006 compact Astra Twin Top. The wheelbase is 71 mm longer, the front tread 56 mm and the rear tread 70 mm wider. That benefits handling and stability. The front axle of the Cascada features as standard the best of Opel chassis technology with the HiPerStrut layout that was initially developed for the Insignia OPC. HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) separates the functions of damping and steering and provides highest traction and cornering precision as well as reduced torque steer and improved grip under all circumstances. The Opel Cascada has electrically powered rack-and-pinion steering with speed sensitive assistance. For more direct steering feel and precision, the electric motor is mounted on the rack, as opposed to the base of the steering column. FlexRide, Opel's integrated, fully adaptive chassis control system is of course available in the Cascada. It enhances its ride and handling performance and safety as it adapts to the driving situation, driving style as well as the drivers' preferences. The Opel Cascada can be equipped with 17" to 20" wheels. Brake discs have sizes of up to 326 mm in front and 325 mm in rear. Performance: New generation direct Injection 1.6 Turbo gasoline engine A broad powertrain line-up will be available in the Opel Cascada convertible. The 1.4 gasoline Turbo opens the portfolio; it is combined with a manual 6-speed transmission and is available in two output versions of 88 kW/120 hp and 103 kW/140 hp, both delivering up to 220 Nm thanks to an overboost function. On the diesel side, the 2.0 CDTI with 121 kW/165 hp comes with either a manual or an automatic 6-speed transmission. This engine delivers up to 380 Nm when its overboost is active. The highlight in the Cascada powertrain line-up will be the 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC gasoline engine. This midsize direct injection unit is part of a fully new generation that makes its debut in early 2013 and is geared to very smooth ride and torque delivery and great fuel economy. It delivers 125 kW/170 hp, between 1,650 and 3,200 rpm – and 280 Nm thanks to an overboost function. This engine will be available with manual and automatic 6-speed transmissions. The new, low-friction 6-speed automatic transmission in the Cascada features an Active Select function that allows manual shifting for a more sporty driving experience. More powerful versions of both gasoline and diesel engines will be launched in the Cascada at a later stage. Serenity: Sophisticated technology and safety features The Cascada combines an open-air driving experience with the best of Opel technology. This includes the AFL+ Adaptive Forward Lighting system with up to 11 automatic functions, the second generation Opel Eye front camera with its new, extended functionalities (enhanced Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning, new Following Distance Indication and Forward Collision Alert), a rear-view camera and an Advanced Park Assist that eases parking maneuvers, an ultra-sonic based Side Blind Spot Alert, ergonomic front seats, a heated steering wheel, and Hill Start Assist. The Cascada's extremely rigid passenger cell is mainly fabricated from high-strength steel for the least deformation and largest possible survival space in crash conditions. Doors have diagonally mounted ultra-high strength steel beams and beltline reinforcements. The A-pillars supporting the windscreen are in press hardened steel. In case of roll-over, pyrotechnically activated spring-loaded high-strength bars automatically deploy behind the rear seats. These pop-ups are also triggered during other severe impacts – when airbags are deployed – in order to prepare the vehicle for possible secondary impacts and resulting roll-over. Front seats both benefit from two-way active headrests and double seat belt pre-tensioners and even the two rear seats have seat belt pre-tensioners.
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 26, 2012 For the longest time, we've been hearing reports and rumors that BMW would separate the 3-Series sedans and the 3-Series coupe/convertible, giving the coupes and convertibles the 4-Series moniker. Well, a new report from Automobile Magazine says the 4-Series is a done deal. Automobile says BMW is moving this way to make money. Using the example of a similarly equipped 5-Series sedan and 6-Series Gran Coupe, the Gran Coupe would cost a third more than a 5-Series sedan. Separating the coupe and convertible from the sedan would allow BMW to charge a bit more. The model breakdown for the 3-Series and 4-Series will look something like this, 3-Series Sedan Wagon GT 4-Series Coupe Convertible Gran Coupe The 4-Series coupe and convertible will share the 3-Series platform. The 3-Series GT and 4-Series Gran Coupe will utilize a stretched version of the 3-Series platform. Engines will mirror the 3-Series lineup. If you're wondering about whether M3 will solider on for the coupe or use M4, well its the latter. M3 will still be in use for the sedan. Source: Automobile Magazine William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  23. Volvo is in the midsts of overhauling their lineup with the 90 Series nearing completion, and attention being turned towards the 40 and 60 Series. As Car and Driver notes during the press introduction of the 40 Series concepts, a video was shown demonstrating the flexibility of the CMA platform. Various body styles such as convertible were shown. This got Car and Driver thinking, was Volvo considering adding more variants down the line on the CMA platform? Peter Mertens, Volvo’s head of research and development said CMA could sit underneath a coupe or convertible. But right now, Mertens said Volvo is focused on their core models for this and the SPA platform. At the moment, Volvo's overhaul will be running till 2020. After that, Mertens said there would be the possibility of adding “emotional products” such as a convertible, a coupe, or even a coupe/SUV thing (PLEASE NO VOLVO, NO! -WM). Source: Car and Driver View full article
  24. Chevrolet has an interesting week. Tomorrow, the automaker will be revealing the next-generation Cruze. Then a day after, the 6th generation Camaro Convertible will be shown for the first time. Unfortunately for Chevrolet, someone posted the images of the new Camaro Convertible on Chevy's site. The company has pulled them down, but the folks at Camaro6.com got the images. Not surprisingly, the convertible looks much the same as the coupe. We'll have more details on the drop-top Camaro later this week. Source: Camaro6.com View full article
  25. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 22, 2013 If you ever wanted to see a case of mixed messages in the automotive world, let us introduce you to the mess with Toyota and Subaru over the GT86 Convertible. Automotive News spoke with Subaru brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga and asked about GT86/BRZ Convertible. Yoshinaga dismissed the notion of convertible, citing the vehicles would need a redesign of the structure for that to happen. "We make the car, so if we don't make it, it can't happen. Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change." This kind of plays into a rumorpile story from last month where the GT86 Convertible project was canned for the time-being, possibly due to the model needing a lot reinforcing, thus adding weight and ruining the perfect weight balance. Yet, Toyota is still showing off GT86 Convertible concept and creating a number of variations to show off at auto shows. Also consider the comment made by Toyota Europe President Didier Leroy made back in March when the GT86 Open concept was introduced, "I know you are all wondering about facts and figures, and body rigidity. Well, we have the same worries and Tada [chief engineer of the GT 86] and his team are deep into analysis. But GT86 was designed from the start as a cabriolet… That probably tells you all you needed to know." Someone apparently didn't tell Subaru or the two automakers disagree on the convertible idea. "I understand well that Toyota is receiving strong requests from the American market for the car. But the biggest challenge is meeting our internal safety standards. There are big technical difficulties," said Yoshinaga. We'll keep you updated. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article

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