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  1. Subaru will complete its trifecta of Impreza concepts next month with the introduction of the XV Concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Despite the XV not using the Impreza name, it is essentially a reworked version of Subaru's compact with higher ground clearance, chunkier wheels, body cladding, and skid plates. Subaru has decided not to give us any details about the XV Concept aside from a teaser photo. But we can tell that the concept has a set of meaty wheels, skid plates, and a new grille. We'll have more details when the XV Concept is revealed on March 1st. Source: Subaru Press Release is on Page 2 Subaru to Debut “Subaru XV Concept” at 2016 Geneva International Motor Show Tokyo, February 9, 2016 – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, today announced that the “Subaru XV Concept” will make its world debut at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show to be held in Switzerland (Press day: March 1 – 2 / Open to the public: March 3 – 13, 2016). The Subaru XV Concept will be unveiled at the press briefing scheduled for 11:15 AM (Central European Time) on March 1 at Subaru booth.
  2. If you have been wishing for a more powerful version of the Mazda Miata, your wish has come true. Although to get your hands on it, you'll need to visit a Fiat dealership. Fiat's performance division, Abarth introduced their version of 124 Spider at the Geneva Motor Show. The Abarth 124 Spider begins outside with a new aero package, larger vents for engine cooling, blacked out hood, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels. The interior is swathed in Alcantara and Abarth badging. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Abarth claims a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph. It should be noted the specs are for the European model. The U.S. model might have some slight differences. Other changes include a mechanical limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers, Brembo brakes, and a new Record Monza exhaust system that is said to produce a “beautiful growling sound.” The Abarth 124 Spider will go on sale this fall Europe with a base price of 40,000 Euros. No timeframe was given as to when we'll see it in the U.S. Source: Abarth Press Release is on Page 2 The new Abarth 124 spider The new Abarth 124 spider aims at sweeping a new generation off their feet with its performance and technical DNA. It combines the authentic roadster experience packed with thrills, technology, safety and a touch of unmistakable Italian design. The car will be available in September with prices starting from €40,000 for all Europe. Performance DNA The new Abarth 124 spider combines the great sensorial experiences of excitement and driving fun that only a spider can give. Developed with input from the Abarth Racing Team, the car exemplifies at best the distinctive Abarth values: performance, craftsmanship and technical excellence. It is the car that will bring back the smile on the driver’s face. Rear-Wheel drive architecture with Mechanical Limited-Slip Differential 124 spider is designed for thrills and performance and has all the qualities needed to satisfy even the most difficult-to-please drivers. For exceptional dynamism, the Abarth 124 spider is equipped with a sports mechanical Limited-Slip differential as standard to secure drive and traction in the most critical situations and provide incomparable dynamic behaviour. Perfect weight distribution and lightweight design Abarth 124 spider creates a new benchmark in the sporty roadster segment and this is confirmed in numbers. Much of the weight is concentrated between the axles and the engine is installed behind the front axle to guarantee agility and superior driving feel. Sophisticated mechanicals and the use of special materials have contained the weight to just 1,060 kilograms, which results in a weight-to-power ratio of 6.2 kg/HP, the best in its category, and perfect 50/50 weight distribution in running order, which translates in great agility and performance. Taking on board the lessons learned through the Abarth racing series, the weight obsession pushed Abarth to eliminate gram by gram all possible weight: For instance, an active bonnet system was developed in order to comply with the strict passenger collision standards without damaging the weight coefficient or balance of the car. By using sensors on the cross-member and two pyrotechnic loads in the engine compartment, the system recognises danger and deploys in a few milliseconds to guarantee a safety gap and attenuate the collision against the bonnet. Supercar mechanics and suspensions scheme The suspension of the 124 spider has a high double-wishbone layout in front and a five-link set up in the rear, specifically tuned for greater braking and cornering stability. Steering ensures a great driving feeling with the use of a dual pinion electric power assist system. The Abarth dynamic vehicle set-up ensures customers can get the most out of the rear-wheel drivetrain, always aiming for the true driving pleasure. Also the “Abarth by Bilstein” dampers, together with stiffened anti-roll bars, provide ultimate handling and driving comfort. The Brembo braking system, with aluminium front callipers, guarantees very short braking distances and excellent resistance to brake fade, making the pedal always feel pleasant and safe. Powerful engine and sporty gearboxes for an extraordinary driving experience The Abarth 124 spider offered in the EMEA region is equipped with a powerful, reliable four-cylinder 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine. It delivers 170 HP (about 124 HP per litre) and 250 Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 230 km/h and goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8-seconds. Furthermore, the sound of engine really matters in an Abarth car, so the Record Monza exhaust come equipped as standard, generating a beautiful growling sound. The spider is available with a six-speed manual or the automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox. The first is characterised by quick and accurate shifting with a short-throw, direct lever. The Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox is the result of careful tuning to exploit all the engine torque and conveys genuine racing sensations. Using the lever or the paddles behind the steering wheel, shifting is extremely fast and the performance of the car is boosted even further by setting “Sport” mode on the driving mode selector. Throttle-steer driving style The Abarth 124 spider comes with state-of-the-art electronic devices and active safety features but to ensure the Abarth provides a proper race car feeling when driving on track, the new 124 Spider lets the driver disengage the electronic controls to experience the perfect mechanical balance and linear engine response, the trademarks of a genuine rear-wheel drive sportscar. Officine Abarth: high technology, hand-crafted care Officine Abarth, based in Mirafiori, is where the 124 spider emphasise the typical Italian art of driving. The 124 receives a special treatment from Abarth technicians, who truly love cars. The Abarth people bring their values to an already great product, by fitting the Racing Anti-glare kit, a matt black treatment for bonnet and boot lid, the Racing Alcantara® Kit that contributes to elevate the overall interior quality, ensuring at the same time a proper sporting feel due to its dark finishing and grip. The standard-fit Record Monza exhaust is also installed in Officine Abarth, to ensure outstanding engine performance and an unmistakable sound. Each car is tested and certified by an Abarth technician who applies a metal plate showing the sequential number of each car to certify the exclusiveness of Abarth 124 spider. A unique number for a unique client. Design true to the Abarth DNA The design of the Abarth 124 spider reflects the superb mechanical layout of the car, a key element to achieve the perfect proportions for a sport car: A long bonnet to underline the importance of the engine and the powerful attitude of the car, reduced overhangs to emphasize its agile attitude, a cabin close to the rear axle to let the driver feel the road. The passenger compartment-to-bonnet ratio is comparable to that of a racing car. A horizontal line rises from the front and stretches rearward to join with the rear line near the rear light cluster: this is an unmistakable reference to the classic 124 spider. The design is all about performance: both the front bumper, with its larger air intake, and the rear bumper’s aerodynamic extractor were both shaped in the wind tunnel, as were the rear spoiler and wind stop which both contribute to improving air flow. The 17-inch alloy wheels, the windscreen surround and the roll bars are finished in “Forgiato Grey”, a colour selected to underline the bold, technical inclination of the car. The original headlights together with the front hexagonal grille contribute to reasserting the car's bold personality. The bonnet humps suggest the longitudinal position of the engine: this is a direct reference to the original 124 spider. The exclusive LED headlights and rear lights add expressiveness to the car, both during the day and at night. An important detail are the rear light cluster inserts in matching body colour which form a luminous ring-shaped surface. The rear end of Abarth 124 spider is characterised by two elements: the swallow-tail section rear wings and the horizontal rear lights which pick up particular features of its classic predecessor. The shape of the rear bumpers with the upper surface jutting into the boot lid conveys a characteristic V-shape to the back of the car. Five body colours are available: special solid "Turini 1975 White " and “Costa Brava 1972 Red, metallic "Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue”, "Portogallo 1974 Grey" and “San Marino 1972 Black”. The nomenclature is a clear tribute to its prestigious success in rallying. Interior design The Abarth DNA is also confirmed inside with an overall focus aimed at guaranteeing ideal ergonomics. The leather seats are supportive and very comfortable at the same time, and allow for a positive driving position as far back and as low as possible to better perceive any lateral movement of the car. Also, the controls are perfectly in tune with the car's sporty set-up: the position of the aluminium pedal board, the small-diameter steering wheel, the short gear lever and the start button on the dashboard all contribute to conveying a sporty driving experience. The instrument panel includes a large rev counter with red background arranged in central position. Active and passive safety The new Abarth 124 Spider is equipped with a host of state-of-the-art active and passive safety devices. In addition to the ABS, standard equipment includes the EBD, for adjusting front and rear brake force distribution so as to optimise braking distances and control in all load conditions of the car, and ESC for increased control in all driving conditions. It is useful in critical situations, e.g. on corners and mixed surfaces in presence of snow, ice and gravel. The ESC applies selective braking and acts on the accelerator to bring the car back on line if a difference between the driver's action and trajectory is detected. The ERM is an extension of the ESC system and exploits the sensors to calculate whether the car is approaching a potentially dangerous condition at risk of rolling over. It corrects the risk by applying the brakes separately and modulating the accelerator position as needed. It can be fully disengaged for track driving to allow the driver exploit the Abarth 124 spider’s outstanding balance and dynamic abilities to the full. The three-point seat belts employ Constant-Force Retractors (CFR) to control the degree of force applied by the belt and then gradually release it in controlled manner. The LED adaptive headlights are available to guarantee driving pleasure even in poor visibility conditions. They can be equipped with rain sensor and dusk sensor on demand. Equipment: sportiness and comfort The following details apply to the EMEA region and may vary according to the various market needs. See the www.fiatpress.com website for complete information. The new Abarth 124 spider has a three-gauge instrument panel featuring a large rev counter in the middle, a speedometer on the right and a data display on the left allowing the driver to monitor all key driving information at a glance. Standard equipment includes manual climate control system, stereo with four speakers, MP3 player and USB port, cruise control, adjustable and electrically-folded door mirrors. Other features available on demand include the infotainment system with an ergonomic and intuitive knob on the central unit. According to the configuration, the system can feature a 7-inch colour display, satellite navigation system, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity and a rear backup camera. For superior sound quality, a Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, including dual headrest speakers on both seats and a subwoofer, can be chosen.
  3. Mercedes-Benz is taking aim at the Audi S5 and BMW 435i with the introduction of the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe. At first glance, you might be thinking this is a dyed in the wool AMG model. But you would be incorrect. This would have been part AMG Sport lineup which includes the C450 sedan and GLE450. But earlier this year, Mercedes announced that it would be shuttering the AMG Sport name and rename the models Mercedes-AMG C43 and GLE43. The C43 coupe shares the sedan's twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with 362 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system gets the power to the road. The all-wheel drive system is biased to the rear (31:69). Mercedes quotes a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph. Mercedes has equipped the C43 with some of the goodies found in the mad C63. They include the three-stage variable dampers and the three-stage stability control system. In terms of looks, the C43 isn't quite as bonkers as the C63. But it does have a more aggressive front end and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels. Mercedes will debut the C43 next month at the Geneva Motor Show. Sales begin in the fall. Source: Mercedes-Benz Press Release is on Page 2 New member of the C-Class Performance family Mercedes-AMG has added another model to its C-Class family: the new C43 Coupe. For a dynamic driving experience, the Affalterbach-based development teams have put together a scintillating engineering package: the 362 hp 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is combined with the new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that provides rapid gearshifts. Together with the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the model-specific chassis technology, this provides the optimum basis for high agility and exhilarating lateral dynamics. Thus the new C43 Coupe also fulfills the brand promise of 'Driving Performance' in every respect. Dynamic growth characterizes the corporate philosophy of Mercedes-AMG. A key component is the continual extension of the product range to include all-new models, which was previously not part of the portfolio. "The extension of the C- Class family to include the new C43 Coupe is another component in our growth strategy. It not only enriches the wide line-up of the C-Class family, but also starts the introduction of a whole series of new '43' models this year", says Mercedes-AMG GmbH chairman Tobias Moers. "The '43' models boast the characteristic AMG genes, which are also included in our GT and '63' vehicles, and thus consistently interpret our brand essence of 'Driving Performance' in their segment." Sports car technology and motor racing flair thus become more attainable and appeal to a broader customer base. The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine provides impressive performance with 362 hp and peak torque of 384 lb-ft, sprinting from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). The newly developed front axle, taut elastokinematics and the highly precise steering make a substantial contribution to the agile driving experience. The highlights 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine with modified engine control unit for increased boost and high-revving 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with double-declutching function when shifting down and exhilaratingly short response times in "Sport Plus" mode AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 31 to 69 percent (front axle to rear axle) AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive variable damping in three stages; mode can be selected via button, adopted from Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch for dynamic, individually-selectable driving experience with five drive modes and AMG-specific tuning Three-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP® Front axle with newly developed steering knuckles and load-bearing joints on the spring link. Elastokinematic adjustments to the links have been adopted from the Mercedes-AMG C63 Rear axle with elastokinematics tailored to higher driving dynamics Large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 14.2", and with a diameter of 12.6" at the rear AMG styling with distinctive front and rear apron as well as special tailpipes Diamond radiator grill with chrome-plated pins and louvers in high-gloss black 18" AMG light-alloy wheels in 5-spoke design, painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish AMG instrument cluster with checkered flag design with 180 mph scale and AMG main menu Multifunction sports steering wheel in leather with deep embossing in grip area, flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching Upholstery in MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber in black with sport seat upholstery layout and red topstitching AMG-specific: the 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine The C43's 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine has seen several technical advances including a modified boost pressure allowed AMG engineers to increase the engine's power output and torque as well as its dynamism and flexibility to AMG levels. With 362 hp and 384 lb-ft, the V6 engine sets new standards in its segment. The NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder liners is also used in the Formula One engines of the MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS team. Especially tough and wear- resistant, this coating reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminum insert in the engine cover. Short shift times, high efficiency: 9G-TRONIC The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the Mercedes-AMG C43. Thanks to the model-specific software application, AMG developers managed to substantially reduce the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The ability to downshift multiple gears at once allows for even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gearshifts in the "Eco" and "Comfort" modes. "Manual" mode can be enabled by pressing a button on the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can change gears using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches redline. AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with automatic variable damping The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe offers the optimum conditions for high driving dynamics and outstanding comfort on long journeys thanks to the standard-fit AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension. The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity. Negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics and the elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. All these measures improve agility and boost the dynamics. In addition, the driver benefits from reduced body roll, higher lateral acceleration, better traction and neutral handling at the limit. The driver can select the automatic adjustable damping system's three suspension modes "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus" by pressing a button on the center console to fully customize the driving impression. Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes "Eco," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport Plus" and "Individual," the driver can tailor the characteristics of the C43 Coupe to individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. These modes modify several key parameters, including the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. The "Sport Plus" mode in particular delivers impressive hallmark AMG dynamics: partial cylinder suppression during full-throttle gear changes by means of a precisely defined delay in both ignition timing and fuel injection allows for faster and more audible gear changes. This is perfectly complemented by the double- declutching function when downshifting. In order to increase efficiency, the ECO start/stop function and the 'sailing' function reduce fuel consumption in "Eco" mode; when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level and driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode. Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sport steering The speed-sensitive sport steering assists the agile cornering of the new C43 Coupe with its variable ratio. It stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The servo assistance can be varied with the "Comfort" or "Sport" settings. The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized in "Individual" mode. Muscular with an emphasis on width: the exterior design The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is sporty in appearance, making it instantly recognizable as a member of the AMG family. Characteristic features include distinctive AMG styling as well as specific light-alloy wheels, underscoring the brand's progressive nature and performance. The engine cover has a red aluminum insert that accentuates the strengths of the six-cylinder Biturbo engine. Exterior AMG styling includes the front apron with sporty distinctive air intakes, diamond meshes, silver chrome trim, as well as the rear apron with matte iridium silver diffuser insert. The diamond radiator grill features chrome-plated pins, louvers in high-gloss black and AMG lettering. A silver-chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to various cooling modules. Additional highlights include black exterior mirror housings, high-gloss black waistline trim strip and window frame, as well as the two chrome-plated tailpipes with center divider. Further striking features come courtesy of the new "BITURBO – 4MATIC" lettering on the front fenders and the "AMG" (left) and "C43" (right) lettering on the trunk lid. Customers can choose the optional “Night Package," which adds high-gloss black front apron trim, a high-gloss black diffuser-look insert at the rear and two black tailpipes with center divider. AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish round off the design visually. Size 225/45 R 18 tires on 7.5 x 18 light-alloy wheels are fitted at the front, while the rear axle comes with 245/40 R 18 tires on 8.5 x 18 wheels. 19" light-alloy wheels in various designs are optionally available for even greater individualization. Sporty interior looks with model-specific details The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a spirited driving style, the multifunction sport steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching. The driver finds a secure and comfortable seating position even at speed thanks to improved lateral support provided by sport seats. The MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber upholstery and the instrument panel trimmed with MB-Tex create a sporty ambience. The man-made leather is also used on the upper edges of the body, the armrests, the door center panels and the center console. Red contrasting topstitching, designo red safety belts and black floor mats with red edging add attractive highlights. The aluminum trim pieces with light-tone longitudinal grain embedded in the instrument panel and the doors provide effective contrasts. The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimized for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look and feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 4.5-inch multifunction color display, RACETIMER and 180 mph scale in checkered-flag design.
  4. Maserati was hoping to keep the Levante - their first SUV - under wraps before its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. But Dutch publication Autoweek published leaked images of the Levante earlier today. That caused the Italian automaker to reveal the Levante's exterior and spill some information on it. As we have reported previously, the Levante would not be using any of the design found the on Kubang concept. Instead, the Levante looks like a Ghibli or Quattroporte hatchback or wagon. Up front is the distinctive grille that Maserati has been using on their current lineup, along with narrow headlights and sculpted hood. The back end is very reminiscent of the Porsche Cayenne. Maserati describes the Levante's chassis as combining "the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride." We're doubting most owners of the Levante are planning to go off-road. Maserati has also revealed that the Levante will have an eight-speed automatic and Q4 all-wheel-drive system. We'll have more details on the Levante next month. Source: Maserati, Autoweek.nl Press Release is on Page 2 Maserati Levante Maserati's first SUV receives its eagerly-awaited world unveiling at the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show Maserati reveals the exterior form of the Levante, the first SUV in the brand's more than one hundred year history: the new model completes the existing range of saloon and sports cars, extending the offering together with the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio models. The design of the Levante features clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character: the aggressive front introduces new, tapered headlights separated into two elements, with the upper headlight unit connected to the radiator grille. Maserati's design signature is clearly visible on the sides: the three iconic air vents on the front wings, the trapezoidal C-pillar with the “Saetta” logo and the large, frameless door windows. The rear is dominated by the very tapered back window and streamlined shape, both typical of a high-performance sports car. At a technical level, the Levante's chassis is designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride. The new SUV boasts a high level of content as standard, with all versions featuring: sophisticated electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, which can be set on several levels, “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmission specially calibrated for the brand's new SUV. When it comes to power units, the Levante is equipped with both petrol and diesel engines that are all Euro6-compliant. The Maserati Levante is built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin; the first cars have already come off the assembly line with the launch planned for this spring in Europe, to be followed by the rest of the world later this year.
  5. First there was GTI. Then came GTD. Now, Volkswagen has revealed the brand new GTE that will debut next next month at the Geneva Motor Show. The GTE follows in the footsteps of the GTD with offering hot hatch performance and improved fuel economy. The difference is how the GTE performs the feat. Under the skin is a plug-in hybrid system comprised of 1.4L turbo four (producing 148 horsepower) and a electric motor (producing 101 horsepower) that make a combined 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed DSG gearbox that has been built with hybrid vehicles in mind. A 8.8 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery finishes off the powertrain. Performance figures are as followed: 0 - 62 MPH: 7.6 Seconds Top Speed: 81 MPH on Electric Power, 135 MPH when Gas Engine is on Range on Electric Power: 31 Miles Driving Range: 584 Miles Combined Fuel Economy: 157 MPG on European Cycle Recharge Time: 3.5 Hours from a conventional home outlet, 2.5 Hours at a public charging station As for styling, the GTE incorporates elements of the GTI and e-Golf. However, the GTE has blue accents in places where the GTI would have red accents. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels come as standard, while seventeen and eighteen-inch wheels are optional. Volkswagen hasn't announced a release date or if the GTE will come to the U.S. in their release. Our best guess as to the GTE's fate of coming to the U.S. is that it will not. Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS THE PLUG-IN HYBRID GOLF GTE New plug-in hybrid marries sustainability and performance Golf GTE can be driven up to 31 miles in all-electric mode; the total theoretical driving range is 584 miles European Driving Cycle combined fuel economy of 157 mpg System has 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque GTE is the third GT in the Golf model series, following GTI and GTD Golf GTE has a top speed of 135 mph and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.6 seconds Wolfsburg / Geneva, March 2014 — Volkswagen is the first automaker worldwide to offer a model line with a full range of conventional and alternative powertrains. The new Golf GTE plug-in hybrid, which will be presented at the Geneva International Motor Show (March 4 to 16, 2014) is the fifth powertrain to be offered in the Golf, adding to gasoline, diesel, CNG and full electric versions. The Golf GTE has an NEDC hybrid combined fuel economy rating of 157 mpg (equivalent to 35 g of CO2) and has an all-electric range of 31 miles along with an overall range of 584 miles. GTI, GTD, GTE. The Golf GTE name is in line with the GTI and GTD abbreviations—two sporty icons of the Golf range. The first GTI in 1976 invented the term “hot hatch” and is currently the most successful compact sports car in the world. The “I” in the name stands for electronic fuel injection while the “D” in GTD, introduced for the first time in 1982, stands for diesel fuel injection. The latest versions of these two best-selling Golf sports cars were introduced in 2013. Now Volkswagen has transferred its sporty compact car philosophy to a third model—the Golf GTE. The new Golf GTE has two engines: a 1.4-liter 148 horsepower turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine and a 101 hp electric motor. These combine to provide the stated system power of 201 hp. If the electric motor is the sole source for propulsive power, the Golf GTE is capable of speeds of up to 81 mph. When the full power of the system is harnessed, the GTE sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and achieves a top speed of 135 mph on the autobahn and race courses. Of more significance is the superior pulling power of the Golf GTE thanks to its alliance of a gasoline engine and electric motor that produces a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft. This torque sets this first “GTE” apart from other plug-in hybrid models. Despite its power and torque, the Golf GTE remains one of the world's most efficient cars. If you mainly run short distances, you can drive in emissions-free all-electric mode for days, weeks, and months. The battery takes about three and a half hours to charge fully from a conventional wall outlet. If the battery is charged using a wallbox or a public charging station, the charging time is shortened to approximately two and a half hours. Thanks to the control options on the Golf GTE, the driver can also ensure on longer trips that only the electric motor is used in an urban area. The automobile revolution has a name – MQB. The variety of products in the Golf lineup— TSI (including GTI), TDI® (including GTD), TGI (powered by CNG), e-Golf, and Golf GTE—is made possible by the modular transverse matrix, abbreviated to MQB. This modular technology platform, initially introduced with the current Golf in 2012, is synonymous with an automotive revolution because Volkswagen engineers have created the prerequisites for a high-volume model, such as the Golf, to accept all drive types. This explains why Golf models with gasoline, diesel, natural gas, electric and hybrid drives can be manufactured from bumper to bumper at Volkswagen factories. As soon as developments make it possible, the first Golf with a hydrogen fuel cell will become part of the range. Golf GTE plug-in hybrid systemAs mentioned, the new Golf GTE is driven by a 148-hp TSI turbocharged and direct-injection gasoline engine and a 101-hp electric motor. The electric motor is supplied with power from a high-voltage 8.8 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that is charged from a socket behind the VW logo in the radiator grille. The battery weighs 265 pounds, or about eight percent of the GTE’s 3360-pound curb weight. The GTE has a six-speed DSG® automatic transmission that was developed specifically for hybrid vehicles. Volkswagen integrated the electric motor in the transmission housing. Additional hybrid drive components also include the power electronics (which converts the battery's direct current to alternating current for the electric motor) and a charger. An electro-mechanical brake servo and an electric air-conditioning compressor safeguard optimal and energy-efficient operation of the brakes and air conditioning, especially for the GTE’s “e-mode”. The Golf GTE can be driven in various intuitively named modes. For instance, the driver can push a button to intentionally switch to the “e-mode” which makes the Golf GTE a zero-emissions vehicle. The driver can also use the button to switch to “GTE mode”, which activates the sporty side of this new Golf. Design and features The Golf GTE contains a pioneering, environmentally friendly, and sporty plug-in hybrid system. All of this is combined with a suspension that offers equally sporty handling and high levels of comfort. Exterior. Volkswagen Head Designer Klaus Bischoff's crew created a look that merges GTI insignia with those of the e-Golf, creating an unmistakable identity. Klaus Bischoff explains the differences: “The presence of the electric drive is visually expressed by the prominent C-signature of the daytime running lights on the Golf GTE. Meanwhile, all other front design elements bridge to the GTI.” In those places where red dominates on the GTI, blue is used in the GTE. Bischoff continues: “A radiator crossbar running into the headlights provides further sporty accents within the context of Volkswagen electric mobility.” Like the e-Golf, the four-door Golf GTE will launch with LED dual headlights as standard. The turn signals, parking light, and smoked numberplate lighting also use LED technology. Side skirts and a roof-edge spoiler provide further parallels with the GTI and GTD. Meanwhile, the aerodynamic 16-inch (standard), 17-inch, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels were designed especially for the GTE. Interior. Like the exterior, the sporty interior of the Golf GTE reveals a clear relationship to its other two GT series counterparts. However, just as on the exterior, the interior’s red accents have also turned to blue. Klaus Bischoff says: “Volkswagen's e-mobility color of blue creates attractive contrasts in the car’s seating, decorative seams, and material design. Moreover, the blue ambience lighting builds a visual bridge to the world of e-mobility.” The light blue decorative seams on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, on the edges of the floormats, on the seats, and on the shifter grip are perfectly matched with the exterior features of the Golf GTE. Golf GTE-specific instruments and displays Touchscreen. All Golf cars are equipped with a touchscreen. In the case of the Golf GTE the high-resolution 6.5-inch “Composition Media” radio system is standard. The “Discover Pro” radio-navigation system is available as an option. Both units are equipped with many additional functions on the GTE. These include a “driving range monitor", an “energy flow display”, “zero emission statistics”, “e-manager”, and—with the optional navigation system—the “360° driving range”. Additionally, all Golf GTE owners can download the “Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote” app to their smartphone free-of-charge and use it to control functions and access information. Driving range monitor: shows the current electric driving range of the GTE as well as the additional driving range potential from deactivating any auxiliary features that consume electricity. Energy flow display: shows the power flow when accelerating (blue arrows) and when braking or regenerating (green arrows) as animated graphics. e-manager: can program up to three departure and charging times; the Golf GTE ensures the set temperature and battery charge status at a defined time. Parallel to this, heating or cooling of the interior can be activated using standard air-conditioning while charging. Air conditioning therefore does not hinder the battery charging process, thereby extending the electric range. 360° range: the current radius in “e-mode” is shown by the 360° range in the local map. The inner area shows the range for an outward and return trip, the outer area the range for a one-way drive. Charging stations can be displayed and incorporated in the route as intermediate stopovers. Car-Net e-Remote. Using the “Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote” app it is also possible to make several of these settings and requests for information via a smartphone or the Car-Net website. In detail, the app can program the departure time, air conditioning, charging the battery, accessing vehicle data, and the vehicle's status. Power meter. The power meter supplements the tachometer on the left-hand side of the instrument cluster; it displays how much system power is currently being used or the intensity of battery regeneration. The speedometer remains on the right-hand side. The color display which is located between the power meter and the speedometer (multifunction display “Plus”) also permanently shows the electrical driving range and the current operating mode.
  6. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 5, 2013 When the name of Ferrari's successor to the Enzo leaked, most if not all of us thought it was a joke. But when Ferrari introduced their new supercar today at the Geneva Motor Show, we all realized the name wasn't a joke. Meet the Ferrari LaFerrari. LaFerrari literally translates to 'The Ferrari.' We'll leave the jokes to the peanut gallery on this. Starting with the design of LaFerrari, it melds the Enzo, F12berlinetta, and F1 race car into one vehicle. There are vents, diffusers, and a rear spoiler throughout the vehicle to help improve downforce and efficiency The LaFerrari is 3.3 inches longer, 2 inches wider, and 6 inches shorter than the F12berlinetta. The LaFerrari tips the scales at 2,767 pounds. Power comes from Ferrari's new HY-KERS hybrid system which couples a 6.3L V12 engine and a 120-kilowatt electric motor. Total output stands at 949 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The battery pack sits in the middle of the vehicle so it doesn't affect the center of gravity and weight distribution. Performance stats for the LaFerrari are, 0 - 100 KPH (0 - 62 MPH): under three seconds 0 - 300 KPH (0 - 186 MPH): 15 seconds Top Speed: 217 MPH Inside the LaFerrari there is fixed drivers seat and a a 12.3-inch reconfigurable dashboard screen. Ferrari says they will build 499 LaFerraris and each one will cost cost €1.3 million (about $1.69 million). Source: Ferrari 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 LaFerrari unveiled at Geneva Maranello, 5th March 2013 – The wraps are finally off the LaFerrari. The Prancing Horse's eagerly-anticipated limited-series special, of which just 499 will be built, made its world debut today at the Geneva International Motor Show. "We chose to call this model LaFerrari," declared Ferrari's President, Luca di Montezemolo, "because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling and the sheer thrill of driving. Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range, and it represents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry. LaFerrari is the finest expression of our company's unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula 1." For Ferrari the development of a limited-series special like the LaFerrari represents an opportunity to experiment with all the technological solutions that will later filter down onto the production cars. Of particular significance in this context is the introduction of the hybrid system which, making full use of the Scuderia Ferrari's F1 KERS know-how, has resulted in a solution that exalts Ferrari's fundamental values – performance and driving thrills. The hybrid technology used, known as HY-KERS, represents the perfect combination of maximum performance and lower emissions. LaFerrari in fact emits just 330 g/km of CO2 but without resorting to electric-only drive which would not fit the mission of this model. The HY-KERS system is, however, designed so that in future applications a car can be driven using exclusively electric power for a few kilometres and, during development testing, a full-electric version of LaFerrari achieved just 220 g/km of C02 emissions on the combined cycle. The LaFerrari is equipped with dynamic controls that are integrated for the first time ever on a Ferrari road car with active aerodynamics and the HY-KERS system. Thanks to Ferrari's proprietary logic which govern all the systems, the car can achieve absolute levels of performance, aerodynamic efficiency and handling without any form of compromise in any area. A very advanced and uncompromising approach was also taken with the interior design which features an HMI inspired by F1 single-seaters. Architecture The LaFerrari's architecture posed the first challenge for the Prancing Horse team at the planning stage of the design. The aim was to achieve ideal weight distribution (59% at the rear) and a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. The result is that all of the masses are situated between the car's two axles and as close as possible to the floor to lower its centre of gravity (by 35 millimetres) and thereby guarantee dynamic handling and compact dimensions. The layout of the cabin made a significant contribution in this regard. The seat is fixed and tailored to the driver while both the pedal box and steering wheel are adjustable. The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed after consultation with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who played an active role throughout the entire development process. The LaFerrari's chassis features no less than four different types of carbon-fibre, all hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as the Formula 1 car. This helped optimise the design: various functions were integrated (e.g. seats and battery compartment) into the chassis to improve torsional rigidity (+27%) and beam stiffness (+22%) whilst cutting weight. Powertrain The LaFerrari is the first car in Ferrari history to be powered by the HY-KERS system. The ICE represents the pinnacle of engine development and research, with a 6262 cc V12 that punches out 800 CV and revs to a maximum of 9,250 rpm, a record for an engine of this displacement. It also features a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio and a high specific output equal to 128 CV per litre. The engine is coupled with a 120 Kw (163 CV) electric motor, giving it a combined power output of 963 CV. The high torque levels available at low revs from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimise the internal combustion engine's performance at higher revs, thus providing a constant supply of exceptional power throughout the rev range. Total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm. The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli – one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries – and a battery pack attached to the floor of the chassis consisting of cells that are assembled in the Scuderia Ferrari department where the KERS for the F138 is also made. The Scuderia's expertise allowed considerable savings in weight and size of the individual components and the batteries weigh just 60 kg while providing the highest energy density possible for this kind of application. The batteries are charged in different ways: under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter instance, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries. The electric motor is coupled with the F1 dual-clutch gearbox to the benefit of optimal weight distribution, but also to boosting energy efficiency as torque is instantly available to the wheels and, vice versa, from the wheels to the electric motor in recharging. Aerodynamics Active aerodynamics play an essential role, as they allow a complete adjustability of the car's configuration to attain LaFerrari's exceptional performance. The engineers' aim was to deliver the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car, with a coefficient of nearly 3, thanks to technical solutions honed with CFD analysis and fine-tuned in the F1 Wind Tunnel. To boost efficiency, the LaFerrari sports active aerodynamic devices front (diffusers and guide vane on the underbody) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler) which generate downforce when needed without compromising the car's overall drag coefficient. These devices deploy automatically on the basis of a number of different performance parameters which are monitored in real time by the car's dynamic vehicle controls, thus guaranteeing the ideal configuration on the basis of the driving conditions. Control systems One further innovative aspect of the LaFerrari is the integration of its active aerodynamics and hybrid system with the other dynamic control systems aboard. This means the car responds intelligently to driver inputs, making for a seamless blend of unprecedented performance and unparalleled driving emotions. Proprietary Ferrari algorithms deliver optimal integration of the electric motor and V12 for instantaneous response. In cornering, for instance, the HY-KERS keeps the V12's revs high to guarantee better acceleration on exit. The LaFerrari's Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system, and incorporates several new features, including new lightweight callipers designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition. The car's extreme performance potential called for a different tyre set-up, with 265/30 R 19 Pirelli P-Zeros on the front and 345/30 R 20s on the rear. All in all the car guarantees maximum driving thrills in every situation and performance levels are top level: 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in under 7 seconds, a lap time at Fiorano of under 1'20" – 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and over 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta. LaFerrari is thus the fastest road car in Maranello's long history. Styling The Ferrari design team led by Flavio Manzoni developed the LaFerrari's styling working in close synergy with the engineers to emphasise the exacting link between form and function. The result is an extreme, innovative design which retains close links to the marque's tradition. This is most evident in its side profile: the car has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches, a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes. The LaFerrari's body has been given a sculptural treatment heavily influenced by its clearly F1-inspired aerodynamics and a tail section that exudes uncompromising sportiness. Inside there's a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. The signature bridge on which the F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape. The whole interior, in fact, has a fiercely track-inspired, pared-back allure. The Ferrari range Aside from the new limited-series special, the Ferrari stand also features the complete range which is the most wide-ranging and critically acclaimed in its entire history. The five models all share the same Ferrari DNA in terms of performance, driving pleasure and technology, yet each one has its own strongly unique identity, in line with the company's philosophy of "different Ferraris for different Ferraristi". Ferrari's 12-cylinder GT sports car prowess is represented at Geneva by the FF, the very first four-seater and four-wheel drive in Prancing Horse history. It will be sporting a Grigio Ingrid livery with an elegant glass roof and Iroko interior. The FF is also now seamlessly integrated with Apple technologies, thanks to direct access to the infotainment system via SIRI voice commands and the adoption of two iPad Minis as the entertainment system of choice for the rear seat passengers. Blistering performance and sublime driving pleasure even at low speeds are assured behind the wheel of the multi-award-winning F12berlinetta, which is powered by a mid-front V12. Unique handling characteristics, extreme aerodynamics and an innovative yet classic design are its signatures. The car on show at Geneva has a Grigio Silverstone livery and a Sella di Cavallo interior. Moving on to the 8-cylinders, the California 30, in sophisticated Nero Stellato with a Crema interior, is a convertible GT that uncompromisingly marries sportiness and versatility. The California's already-massive popularity with both press and public alike grew still further after its V8's output was upped by 30 hp to 490 hp, and 30 kg was slashed off its overall weight. The blistering 458 Italia is a sublime, thoroughbred sports car. It and its drop-top sibling, the 458 Spider, are equipped with the same extraordinary mid-rear-mounted V8 engine which was named International Engine of the Year in both 2011 and 2012. These two models continue Ferrari's glorious tradition with this particular layout. The coupé seen at Geneva sports an aggressive Bianco Avus livery and sleek black interior with carbon-fibre trim, while the Spider, which dominates the Tailor-Made extreme personalisation area, takes its inspiration from the legendary 1957 250 Testa Rossa that sold for a record 16 million dollars at auction at Pebble Beach in 2011. It has the same red and blue livery and a host of competition car details in its cabin, not least of which are suede-upholstered seats and Alutex trim. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS HY-KERS system Total maximum power 963 CV Total maximum torque >900 Nm V12 maximum power* 800 CV @9000 rpm Maximum revs 9250 rpm V12 maximum torque 700 Nm @6750 rpm Electric motor output 120 Kw (163 CV) CO2 emissions** 330 g/km Performance Maximum speed over 350 km/h 0-100 km/h <3 sec 0-200 km/h <7 sec 0 - 300 km/h 15 sec ICE Type 65-deg. V12 Bore and stroke 94 x 752 mm Total displacement 6262 cc Compression ratio 13.5:1 Specific power 128 CV/l Dimensions Length 4702 mm Width 1992 mm Height 1116 mm Wheelbase 2650 mm Weight distribution 41% fr, 59% r Gearbox 7-speed DCT Suspensions Front double wishbones Rear multi-link Tyres(Pirelli P-Zero) Front 265/30 - 19 Rear 345/30 - 20 Carbon ceramic brakes (Brembo) Front 398 x 223 x 36 mm Rear 380 x 253 x 34 mm Electronic controls ESC stability control High performance ABS/EBD Sistema frenata anti bloccaggio prestazionale /electronic brake balance EF1-Trac F1 electronic traction control integrated with the hybrid system E-Diff 3 third generation electronic differential SCM-E Frs magnetorheological damping with twin solenoids (Al-Ni tube) Aerodynamics active * with dynamic ram effect **Undergoing homologation
  7. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 5, 2013 Spyker would like everyone to forget about the whole Saab mess from last year and focus on their showing at the Geneva Motor Show, the B6 Venator Concept. The B6 Venator Concept was designed by Spyker CEO Victor Muller and pays homage to Spyker's past as an automotive and airplane manufacturer. Such design cues include a V-Shaped mesh grille, wraparound canopy, LED taillights that mimic the burners of a jet engine, and nineteen-inch "Turbofan" wheels. Power comes from a transverse-mounted V6 producing 375 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic. While that may seem a bit low for a two-seat sports car, the B6 Venator Concept weighs around 3,100 pounds thanks to carbon-fiber panels and a aluminum chassis. Spyker says the B6 Venator will go into production next year for those living in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific markets. Those living in the U.S. will be able to pick one in late 2014. Source: Spyker 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 SPYKER UNVEILS NEW B6 VENATOR CONCEPT Geneva | March 05, 2013 2013 marks the global resurgence of Spyker as a creator of meticulously built automobiles whose beauty is equaled by their unrivaled craftsmanship. The brand's revival is heralded by the introduction of the Spyker B6 Venator Concept, a unique alternative in the High Luxury Sports sector, at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show. The Spyker B6 Venator Concept is a compact, 2-door mid-engine sports car that will offer the discerning driver of the highest standards a new choice, delivering a rare combination of heritage, design, performance and exclusivity. Designed by Victor R. Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Spyker N.V., the Spyker B6 Venator Concept makes a defiantly contemporary statement whilst paying homage to its past, making it instantly recognizable as a Spyker. Highly detailed design, bespoke materials and aviation-inspired elements are a core part of the Spyker DNA. With the announcement of the Spyker B6 Venator Concept, the company once again proves its Latin axiom: "Nulla tenaci invia est via" – "For the tenacious no road is impassable." The name "Venator" is Latin as well, meaning "Hunter" – a nod back to Spyker's "Hunter" fighter aircraft of the early 20th century. Exterior highlights include: The trademark radiator grille's mesh is V-shaped, referencing Spyker models of the previous century. The 1903 Spyker logo harkens back to an era when Spyker built racers such as the amazing 60HP. The aerodynamically shaped glass aircraft canopy extends rearwards to minimize drag, optimizing performance. The 3D LED rear lights are akin to the iris-type after burners of a jet engine from a modern fighter aircraft. The brake light has been sculpted into the rear panel design to ensure smooth, flowing design lines. Elegantly aggressive 19" TurbofanTM wheels are shown in mirror polish finish. Interior highlights include: Interior surroundings crafted from the finest materials are unusually open and airy for a sports car, the light and glass akin to an aeroplane cockpit. The leather is sourced from the Litano range produced by the Royal Hulshof Dutch Tanneries in Lichtenvoorde. Hulshof uses only West European first choice bull hides and a special tanning process that produces the beautifully rich colour palette. The red cover on the ignition switch evokes the spirit of starting an aeroplane, as does the dashboard that lights up as part of the 'pre-flight check.' The dashboard is shown with a turned aluminium fascia, similar to those seen on Spykers of the 1920s. Pressing the engine start button brings to life a powerful V6 engine that delivers 375+ bhp. The trademark exposed gear change mechanism was inspired by early aircraft controls from Spyker's aviation heritage. The Spyker B6 Venator Concept will begin production in early 2014 for key markets including Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and India, followed by the US in autumn 2014. The Spyker B6 Venator Concept is being shown for the first time at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show alongside the Spyker C8 Aileron that was first introduced at the 2009 Geneva International Motor Show. The design of the Spyker C8 Aileron represented another significant step in the evolution of Spyker, shifting from propeller to turbine inspired design. The introduction of the Spyker B6 Venator Concept marks the beginning of a new era for the brand, one that will include a significant increase in production led by a management team that has never been stronger. Last year Spyker expanded its global leadership with the appointment of John Walton as Chief Commercial Officer. Together, Muller and Walton are leading a passionate team that is supremely dedicated to creating unique and beautiful high- performance sports luxury cars. Since the brand's rebirth in 2000, the company has lived its motto – "for the tenacious no road is impassable" – making bold moves to ensure that Spyker will continue to be a viable, no-compromise brand. The company was taken public in 2004 in order to fund product development and growth. After a few bleak years and newfound partnerships, the momentum is all in the right direction. The financial standing of Spyker N.V. is strong, thanks to the recent conversion of all shareholder debt into equity and a €10M share issue to Youngman. The result: in 2012, Spyker N.V. recorded a €125M profit, laying the foundation for brand's global resurgence that is signaled today by the introduction of the Spyker B6 Venator Concept. Victor R. Muller, Spyker's CEO said, "There is no denying that Spyker went through a very rough period in recent years. However, today we prove the truth of our motto since 1914, 'Nulla tenaci invia est via' – 'For the tenacious no road is impassable.' Our dealer body and prospective clients have been asking us to make a more affordable car for everyday use. The Spyker B6 Venator Concept is that car and more: it is the highlight of our hard work to create a viable future for our company. By offering an exquisite, hand-crafted, exclusive car at a more accessible price point of approximately $125,000 / $150,000, more of those discerning drivers who have aspired to own a Spyker will be able to achieve that dream. Spyker B6 Venator Concept represents our view of the future, the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our history." Body: All carbon fibre Chassis: All aluminium platform Engine mount position: rear-mid Engine orientation: transverse mounted V6 Drivetrain type: RWD Transmission: 6-spd automatic Overall length: 4347 mm Wheelbase: 2500 mm Kerb weight: < 1400 kg
  8. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 5, 2013 Last month, Alfa Romeo pulled the covers off the production 4C before its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show. While we learned a bit about the design, chassis, and what would be powering it, Alfa Romeo was keeping quiet on performance figures. Until today where Alfa Romeo officially debuted the 4C at Geneva. The 4C's 1.75L turbocharged four-cylinder produces 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Top speed is 155 MPH and can reach 62 MPH in 4.5 seconds. Alfa also announced that annual 4C production would total 3,500 vehicles for the global market. 1,500 for Europe 1,200 for North America 800 for the rest of the world Pricing for the 4C will begin at 60,000 Euros (about $78,190). To help celebrate the introduction of the the 4C, Alfa Romeo will introduce a special Launch Edition 4C which brings forth exclusive characteristics and accents, such as carbon fiber trim, the choice between Carrara White or Alfa Red paint, and exclusive event in Italy, which includes an advanced driving session with instructors. The 4C arrives in North America in late 2013. Source: Alfa Romeo Album: Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition 5 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 05 March 2013 World première: Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition The exclusive 'Launch Edition' will make its début at the Geneva Motor Show. It will be produced as a numbered limited edition: 400 in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, 500 in North America and 100 in the rest of the world. Dedicated to the host of fans throughout the world, the limited edition of the new Alfa Romeo compact supercar is distinguished by exclusive characteristics such as carbon fibre trim and the 'Carrara White' body colour. The 4C 'Launch Edition' can be ordered straight away at a price which is almost the same throughout Europe, 60,000 euros including VAT (net of other local taxes). A unique privilege exclusively for 4C 'Launch Edition' buyers: the chance to take part in an exclusive event in Italy which also includes an Advanced Driving session with Professional Driver-Instructors. New all-aluminium engine: direct-injection 240HP 1750 Turbo Petrol. Top speed of more than 250km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds. Alfa TCT twin clutch transmission with shift paddles at steering wheel and new Alfa DNA selector with additional 'Race' mode. The global launch of the Alfa Romeo 4C marks the return of the brand to the world of lightweight sports coupés, an extraordinary event, awaited ever more eagerly by the host of fans throughout the world. The exclusive 'Launch Edition' was created just for them, a numbered limited edition of 400 in Europe with exclusive characteristics developed specifically for this unique version. It makes its début today, at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, where orders officially opened for the 'Launch Edition' of the new 4C compact supercar at a price of 60,000 euros in most European markets (price including VAT net of other local taxes). What's more, all buyers can take part in an exclusive event which will include an advanced driving course, to learn how to make the most of its potential in complete safety. The new Launch Edition can 'clothe' its body with two liveries - Carrara White or Alfa Red - and is marked out by the distinctive badge, inlaid beneath the paintwork. The line of the special car is enhanced by the carbon aerodynamic kit (including spoiler and door mirror covers), the rear aluminium diffuser with dark finishing, Bi-LED headlights with dark surround and 18" (front) and 19" (rear) alloy wheels with burnishing treatment. To accentuate the sports look still further, there are front air intakes, brake calipers in a specific colour, racing exhaust system with BMC air cleaner and suspension kit with specific calibration for shock absorbers and rear anti-roll bar. The interior has the same sports feel, with highlights provided by the leather/fabric sports seats with parts in Alcantara, as well as the distinctive, numbered carbon badge. In the case of the red livery, the Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition has red stitching on the steering wheel trim, handbrake, mats, handles and sports seats. Of course, the Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition offers all the winning characteristics of the model that represents the essential sportiness embedded in the 'Alfa Romeo DNA': Italian style, performance and technical excellence, for maximum driving pleasure in complete safety. Designed by Alfa Romeo and produced in the Maserati plant in Modena, the new mid-engined rear-wheel drive coupé with two bucket seats will be become available for purchase in 2013 and will mark the return of the Italian brand to the United States, inaugurating Alfa Romeo's global growth plan. The Alfa Romeo 4C derives directly from the concept which raised many eyebrows in admiration at the Geneva Show in 2011, so much so that it won three prestigious awards: the 'AutoBild Design Award' (2011, Germany), the 'Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes' (2012, Italy) and the 'Most Exciting Car of 2013' - 'What Car?' (2013, Great Britain). Acronym 4C The acronym '4C' draws its inspiration from the brand's glorious past, projecting the values of technology and emotions into the future. Indeed, it refers to Alfa Romeo's great sporting tradition: the acronyms 8C and 6C in the 1930s and 1940s distinguished cars - both racing and non - fitted with the powerful 'eight cylinders' and the innovative 'six cylinders', confirming in its design layout and construction the goal of achieving the weight/power ratio of an authentic supercar, less than 4 kg/HP, yet focusing not merely on the maximum power delivered, but on limiting the weight to guarantee maximum agility and top performance. To this end, the Alfa Romeo 4C uses state-of-the-art technologies and materials derived from super sports cars (including the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione) - carbon fibre, aluminium, rear-wheel drive - and technologies from the latest standard models from Alfa Romeo, but updated to enhance the sports appeal of the new car even further. This is demonstrated by the new 1750 Turbo Petrol all-aluminium engine with direct injection, the sophisticated "Alfa TCT" twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA selector with the brand-new Race mode. Exterior style Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the 4C immediately brings to mind some of the traditional iconic models which have left a significant mark in the history of the Brand. Above all others, in terms of dimensional and layout similarities, one stands out in particular: the 33 Stradale, a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style which "clothed" the engine and chassis appropriately with unmistakable Alfa Romeo treatments. The 4C has followed suit, and thus completes a journey which was embarked upon with the 8C Competizione, emphasising some particular concepts of the brand, such as compact size, dynamism and agility. The development of the 4C's exterior was characterised from the start by the need to enhance the style of the car and the technical characteristics both from a dynamic and aerodynamic point of view. For this reason, all the style solutions adopted have been optimised in accordance with the ultimate goal of the car: performance. The rear volume, sinuous and enveloping, simultaneously encloses and embraces the beating heart of the car: the mechanics and the engine, visible through the rear window. All this, thanks to the development of marked musculature above the wheels, lends strength and power to the rear end. The rear musculature supports its structure on round rear light clusters and on the side air intakes necessary to cool the intercooler and the air intake for engine aspiration. From this energy-charged rear volume and the two side air intakes spring the two long muscles which lend speed and dynamism to the side, generating the necessary volume at the front end to house the headlights and, on the central part, the two robust ribs running along the bonnet, tracing the unmistakable "V" and coming to their natural conclusion around the shield. This, together with the two side intakes, forms the famous "Trefoil", a substantial facet of Alfa Romeo's profile. Interior design The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction. Specifically, the carbon fibre of the central cell immediately stands out in the interior, left in full view to enhance the sense of low weight, technology and uniqueness of the car. The dashboard and door panels have an "asphalt " treatment to recall the vocation of the Alfa Romeo 4C, conceived to convey maximum driving sensation from the road. The seats ensure dedicated sports posture, favouring the driver's contact with the road without, however, compromising the comfort required for everyday use of the car. The dashboard, simple and designed to make using functions simple too, reaches its zenith in the concept of extreme driver-orientation, thanks to digital instruments and gear shift controls located on the appropriately shaped steering wheel. The cockpit, which powerfully suggests the world of motorcycle racing and race cars, brings together all information necessary to drive and control the car. The information, which is rendered captivating through powerful, high-impact graphics, allows the driver to keep everything under control without distractions from controls that would be superfluous on this type of car. The pedal unit and footboards for driver and passenger are all made of aluminium and embellish the lower part under the dashboard, highlighting sports character down to the smallest detail. Dimensions and aerodynamics The compact dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats truly unique among its competitors: 399 cm long, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of 238 cm. These dimensions serve both to emphasise the car's "supercar proportions" and to accentuate its agility. What's more, owing to the designers' excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, guaranteeing a negative Cz which, as in racing cars, contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds thanks to the aerodynamic downforce. New direct-injection 240 HP 1750 Turbo Petrol engine The engine is the beating "heart" of an Alfa Romeo. In this case, it's the new direct-injection 240 HP 4-cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol, which was designed with a precise objective: to ensure exceptional performance without sacrificing driving fluidity and use in any circumstances, from the racetrack to the city streets. The Alfa Romeo 4C's new mid-engine, all-aluminium power unit adopts specific optimised intake and exhaust systems, to enhance both response at low speeds and extension, with the assistance of a crankshaft with eight counterweights. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct petrol injection, dual (intake and exhaust) continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that eliminates turbo lag. Torque delivery is generous, with a peak of 350 Nm, 80% of which is available at only 1700 rpm. Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission, which is a genuine benchmark in the category due to its limited weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can be changed in sequential mode using the "shift paddles" located behind the steering wheel. Compared to the version already adopted on the Giulietta and MiTo models, the TCT on the Alfa Romeo 4C implements next-generation software and features the new 'Launch Control' function that optimises all car systems to provide the utmost acceleration possible. What's more, to ensure the best performance in accordance with the road conditions and driving style, the Alfa TCT adopts optimised operating logic, interacting with the Alfa DNA selector, the braking system, the engine management system and the vehicle stability control system. For example, in automatic mode, the shifting logic differs according to the Alfa DNA setting. The new Alfa DNA selector with 'Race' mode A specific evolution of the Alfa DNA selector has been developed for Alfa Romeo 4C, which not only features the three standard settings available on other models in the range - Dynamic, Natural and All Weather - but also a fourth mode: 'Race', designed to enhance the driving experience on a racetrack even further. It only takes a long press of the selector in Dynamic position to activate it: in this mode, the Alfa DNA deactivates the stability control and anti-slip systems, leaving the driver in full, exciting control. Finally, the full-digital instrument panel with TFT display changes configuration - showing only information relevant to the chosen mode - and colour in line with the Alfa DNA setting: yellow for Race, red for Dynamic, grey for Natural and blue for All Weather. Solid but lightweight structure A stiff, strong but light structure is an essential pre-requisite for a high-performance sports car. The same principle inspired the creation of the Alfa Romeo 4C. A state-of-the-art combination of hi-tech materials of extraordinary stiffness and strength, together with a very low specific weight, was selected to achieve this result. In particular, the chassis is a monocoque made entirely of carbon fibre with 'pre-preg' technology derived from Formula 1 and adopted only by the most advanced supercars, which weighs only 65 kilograms, inside which a space is formed for the driver and passenger. The front and rear structures of the chassis and the roof reinforcements are made entirely of aluminium. Additionally, the car's bodywork is made entirely of low-density, high-strength composite material. Benefits of using this material include lighter weight (it is 20% lighter than steel) and resistance to corrosion. Dimensional stability is comparable to steel and better than aluminium. Finally, the seats have a mixed carbon fibre and fibreglass structure which guarantees high resistance to stresses and a particularly low weight at the same time. The final result is a significant reduction in overall weight (the dry weight is just 895 kg) combined with the best possible torsional stiffness and strength characteristics, as well as the optimisation of the car's centre of gravity, which gives the advantage of increased agility and drivability on the most challenging roads. Suspension The Alfa Romeo 4C has an extremely sophisticated suspension layout - 'superimposed wishbones' at the front, development of MacPherson at the rear - to ensure maximum agility and road holding. This solution, along with the rear-wheel drive and the extraordinary weight to power ratio, ensures Alfa Romeo driving pleasure, enhanced even further by the weight distribution (40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear axle). What's more, for those wanting the maximum in terms of handling, a complete suspension kit will be available with a specific calibration of the shock absorbers and rear anti-roll bar. Braking system, wheels and steering To ensure decisive braking even under the most intensive conditions, the braking system has four self-ventilating perforated discs, with Brembo four-piston aluminium calipers on the front axle. In addition, to "stick" the car firmly onto the road surface, tyres with a different diameter and width depending on whether they are fitted at the front or rear have been fitted (two variants possible, either 17"-18" or 18"-19") which were developed especially to guarantee excellent performance (a kit of tyres with a softer mix is also provided for optimised grip). In line with the car's setup, the steering system of the 4C does not feature power steering, to save weight but above all to secure a superlative driving feel. An appropriate steering wheel load is maintained thanks to the low overall weight of the car. Real supercar performance The implemented state-of-the-art technical and technological solutions drive the Alfa Romeo 4C to reach real supercar performance with a unique driving feel. This is demonstrated by a top speed in excess of 250 km/h, only 4.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h, 1.1 of side acceleration on corners and 1.25 g of maximum braking deceleration. Excellence made in Italy The very best technical and industrial expertise of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands was used to develop the Alfa Romeo 4C. Specifically, the teamwork between the two brands was aimed at the integration of the Alfa Romeo design department with the Maserati production plant. This was boosted by the technical and technological contribution of other Italian companies, international leaders in the sector of high-performance sports car components. In short, this too is a distinguishing trait of Alfa Romeo, a brand with a century of history that continues to be one of the most famous and popular ambassadors of Italian products across the world.
  9. 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.”
  10. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 5, 2013 File this under the ‘wagons the the U.S. will never see’; Honda showed off the new Civic Wagon Concept at the Geneva Motor Show today. The Civic Wagon Concept takes the European Civic hatchback and adds a bit of length and height. Other design cues include embellished front and rear fenders, rear door handles mounted in the window frame, and sloping roofline. Honda will show the production version of the Civic wagon later this year. Source: Honda William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 British Built Honda Civic Range Expanding with New Tourer and Type R Variants 5 March 2013 - Wraps Taken Off Honda Civic Tourer Concept - Civic Type R Nurburgring testing to begin in 2013 Honda has taken the wraps off the Civic Tourer Concept at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. This Concept provides strong hints to the exterior design of the Civic Tourer production model which will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Honda has also confirmed that track testing of the new Civic Type R will start at the Nurburgring in 2013. Civic Tourer Concept Unveiled The Civic Tourer Concept shares many of the same features as the ninth generation Civic hatchback model which was launched in late 2011. It has a sophisticated, aerodynamic body that creates a clean, dynamic look. With a distinctive profile amongst its competitors, the Civic Tourer Concept has a low and wide stance giving it a sporty appearance which is complemented by a sleek cabin style also found on the Civic hatchback. The Civic Tourer Concept continues the same design direction as previous Honda Tourer derivatives such as the Accord Tourer and Civic Aero deck which sought to offer smooth design combined with practical and class leading cargo space. The production version of the Civic Tourer will be in dealerships in early 2014 and will be built alongside the hatchback model in Honda’s production facility in Swindon, Wiltshire. Nurburgring testing for new Civic Type R Last year, Honda confirmed the introduction of an all-new Civic Type R for Europe. With the application of technologies from Honda’s World Touring Car Championship Civic, development is progressing well and Honda has now announced that testing at the Nurburgring will begin in Europe during 2013. The Type R model will be built in Swindon alongside the rest of the Civic range.
  11. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 5, 2013 Say hello to the new Volkswagen Golf Variant which made its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show today. The Golf Variant is much like the Golf in its design, just on a longer wheelbase (about 12.1 inches). The European market gets a range of gasoline or diesel engines that can be mated to either a manual or DSG dual-clutch transmission. Also new for the Golf Variant is up to five drive modes that drivers can choose. The modes are Eco, Sport, Normal, Individual, and Comfort. The new Golf Variant goes on sale in August for Europe. No word on if and when the U.S. will be getting it. Source: Volkswagen 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 03.04.2013 NEW VOLKSWAGEN GOLF VARIANT MAKES ITS DEBUT AT THE GENEVA AUTO SHOW Versatile station wagon is significantly roomier than predecessor, yet up to 232 pounds lighter TDI® BlueMotion model is the most fuel-efficient Volkswagen wagon ever, with an EC combined fuel consumption figure of 71.3 mpg Golf Variant goes on sale in Europe in August, 2013 Wolfsburg/Geneva - Volkswagen will expand the Golf range even further at the 83rd Geneva Salon de l’Automobile with the debut of the new Golf Variant (wagon). Like the new Golf hatchback, the Variant is significantly lighter than its predecessor, to the tune of up to 232 pounds. For the first time, Volkswagen is also offering the Golf Variant as a stand-alone and extremely fuel-efficient TDI BlueMotion model in Europe. The 110-horsepower Variant is the most fuel-efficient Volkswagen wagon ever, with an EC combined fuel economy figure of 71.3 mpg (equivalent to 87 g/km CO2) when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. The all-wheel-drive Golf Variant 4Motion will also debut in Geneva. It will be available as a TDI Clean Diesel model with 105- and 150-hp engines. Volkswagen has a Golf Estate TGI BlueMotion with natural gas drive (CNG) in the pipeline, too. Roomier than ever. More than 1.8 million Golf Variants have been sold since this practical wagon was launched 20 years ago. The new Golf Variant is a sporty and elegant all-rounder that combines great gas mileage and excellent performance with premium quality and versatility. The versatility has been improved even further in the new model because the trunk volume with the seats in place has been expanded by 20 percent; with the rear seats folded, the load area is increased by nearly nine percent. The cargo area is now 41.5 inches long; with the rear seats folded, the length is 72.1 inches; and the load sill is just 24.8 inches high. Thus, the Golf Variant is up to the majority of hauling tasks. For the first time, the wagon features a roller blind with a two-step roll-up mechanism to cover the luggage compartment: when it’s not needed, the blind and the compartment’s net partition can be stowed under the cargo floor. In addition, the cargo floor is adjustable for height and can be locked in different positions. The split rear folding seat has also been completely redesigned and is more practical and easier to use, while there are now four bag hooks in the trunk area. Even more striking. The Golf Variant is 12.1 inches longer than the hatchback, at 179.6 inches overall. Up to the B-post, the Variant is the same as the hatchback, but is unique aft of that point. It retains the precise and timeless lines that mark out the new Golf, but it is obvious that the car was designed in parallel with the hatchback and not simply derived from it. That's why the silhouette of the new Golf Variant is particularly distinctive, although there is one common design theme at the back of the car: The designers succeeded in transferring the classic Golf C-pillar shape, which is like a drawn bow, to the D-pillar of the Variant. Visually, the “third” side window forms a part of the D-pillar. In contrast to the Golf hatchback, the so-called character line is picked up again behind the rear wheelarches and carried over completely to the rear of the vehicle, lending an even more muscular appearance. The precise window sill, the long side window, and the slightly rearward-sloping roof underscore this dynamic look. In addition, the new Golf’s revised proportions— short body overhangs and a wheelbase that is increased from 101.5 to 103.8 inches—further enhance the sportiness. Typically Golf. The new two-part taillights on the Golf Variant emphasize its family resemblance to the rest of the Golf range and reflect Volkswagen’s Brand DNA. The half of the taillight that's integrated in the trunk lid, however, is bigger than in the hatchback version and forms a longer parallel line with the graphic on the lower part of the trunk lid. In addition, a clear-cut difference between the Golf Variant and the “classic” Golf exists in the design of the middle part of the trunk lid and the bumpers: Whereas the license plate of the hatchback model is in the bumper, the designers of the Golf Estate decided to integrate it with the trunk lid. TDI BlueMotion goes its own way. In Germany, the Golf Variant will be available in the Trendline, Comfortline, and Highline equipment lines, but the TDI BlueMotion model will only be offered in Trendline and Comfortline trims. The TDI BlueMotion is not only different from the other models in the range from a technical standpoint, but also visually. From the front, the most fuel-efficient Variant can be distinguished by a partially closed radiator grille shutter, while flaps on the rear window rim identify it from the back. In addition, the model is equipped with an optimized underbody and wheelwell paneling, a 0.6-inch lower ride height, and super-low rolling resistance tires. There are also TDI BlueMotion badges on the front, back, and side of the body, as well as an optional “Clearwater Blue metallic” color. High tech, high safety. Like all new Golfs, the Variant is equipped with a Stop/Start system and battery regeneration mode. For the first time on a wagon, it also has the new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically slows down the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order to further reduce its residual kinetic energy. Standard features on the European model include: seven airbags electrically adjustable door mirrors outside temperature display chrome rings around the interior vents eco-HMI (fuel consumption-related information on the multi-function display / instruments) electronic stability control (ESC) height-adjustable driver’s seat power windows front and rear air conditioning steering column with height and length adjustment center console with storage compartment electronic parking brake with auto-hold function XDS differential lock tire pressure monitoring indicator asymmetrically split and folding rear seat backrests, with remote unlocking electro-mechanical power steering dust and pollen filter daytime running lights touchscreen with 5-inch TFT display central locking with wireless remote control Premium class features. As a new feature, the PreCrash preventive occupant protection system is available for the new Golf Variant. If this system detects a potential accident situation, the driver’s and front passenger’s seatbelts are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system. When an even more critical situation is on hand, such as severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap), along with the sunroof. When the windows and roof are nearly closed, the head and side airbags offer optimal energy absorption and are therefore at their most effective. Moreover, a broad range of high-tech systems is on offer for the Variant. They cover technologies like Front Assist that includes the City Emergency Braking function; Automatic Distance Control (ACC); Lane Assist; Driver Alert system; road sign recognition and the latest generation of Park Assist; Light Assist and Dynamic Light Assist. More new systems have been added, such as progressive steering; a newly developed ergonomic sport seat (ergoActive seat); a guard against using the wrong fuel in the diesels; and a new deluxe heated windshield. A driving profile selector is also a new feature: it has up to five modes—“Eco,” “Sport,” “Normal,” “Individual”, and “Comfort”. The last named is only available in in combination with the DCC adaptive chassis control that is available for the first time on the Golf Variant. Sophisticated infotainment. All Golf Variant models have touchscreen interfaces for their infotainment systems as standard. The new generation of systems is available with three different display sizes: 5 inches, 5.8 inches and 8 inches. Once you arrive at the mid-size screen, the displays have proximity sensors: as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display to input mode. The displays also have a function that lets users scroll through lists or browse CD covers in the media library with a swipe of the hand. Optional features include a high-end sound system by Dynaudio®. New engine families. Just like the new Golf hatchback, the Variant uses two newly developed engine families—the EA211 gasoline engines and the EA288 turbodiesels. All Variants are fitted with a Stop/Start system that reduces fuel consumption by up to four per cent and a battery regeneration mode that cuts CO2 emissions by around three percent. The new Golf Variants have either a five- or six-speed transmission, depending on the engine. Most of the TSI® and TDI engines may also be combined with a DSG® dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The EA211 turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engines produce 85, 105, 90, 122 and 140 hp. These engines are highly efficient: the 1.2-liter, 105-hp TSI BlueMotion Technology, for example, returns a combined figure of 46 mpg yet powers the car to a top speed of120 mph. The new EA288 TDI diesel engines are incredibly efficient. The three high-tech diesels make 105, 110, and 150 horsepower, and return between 71 mpg for the BlueMotion and 56.0 mpg for the torquey 150-hp version.
  12. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 4, 2013 And the award for the craziest hypercar shown at Geneva goes to the Lamborghini Veneno Concept. The Veneno concept like what a twelve-year old would design (not saying that is a bad thing). There are a variety of vents and scoops, exposed carbon fiber panels, large rear wing, wedge shaped nose, asymmetrical wheel wells, and rear fender scoops. Its what you expect from a concept done by Lamborgini. There is a reason for the crazy design and that reason is aerodynamics. The front of the Veneno was designed to act as a large wing, thus providing more downforce. The front fenders are separated from the body to improve airflow and as an homage to sports racing prototypes. The Veneno is mostly made out of carbon fiber and CFRP to help keep weight down. The carbon monocoque and aluminum subframes come from the Aventador. Power comes from the Aventador’s 6.5L V12 engine producing 750 horsepower. That goes through Lamborghini’s seven-speed single-clutch gearbox. Top speed is 220 MPH. Lamborghini has built four Venenos. One of those is the test vehicle that was shown. The other three will each be finished in either green, red or white (the colors of the Italian flag. Before you ask, the three have been spoken for with a pricetag of $3.9 million. Source: Lamborghini 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 Lamborghini Veneno - a racing prototype and road-going super sports car as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Automobili Lamborghini In the year of its 50th anniversary Automobili Lamborghini is presenting an extremely exclusive model at the Geneva Motor Show 2013. Only three unique units of the Lamborghini Veneno will be built and sold. Its design is consistently focused on optimum aerodynamics and cornering stability, giving the Veneno the real dynamic experience of a racing prototype, yet it is fully homologated for the road. With a maximum output of 552 kW / 750 hp, the Veneno accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds and the top speed for this street-legal racing car stands at 355 km/h. It is priced at three million Euros plus tax – and all three units have already been sold to customers. The Lamborghini Veneno features a twelve-cylinder power unit with a displacement of 6.5 liters, an extremely fast-shifting 7-speed ISR transmission with 5 driving modes and permanent all-wheel drive, as well as a racing chassis with pushrod suspension and horizontal spring/damper units. Above all, however, the Veneno benefits from the very special expertise that Automobili Lamborghini possesses in the development and execution of carbon-fiber materials – the complete chassis is produced as a CFRP monocoque, as is the outer skin of this extreme sports car. The inside, too, features innovative, Lamborghini-patented materials such as Forged Composite and CarbonSkin. Fully in keeping with the tradition of the brand, the name of the Veneno originates from a legendary fighting bull. Veneno is the name of one of the strongest and most aggressive fighting bulls ever. He is also famous for being one of the fastest bulls in the history of bullfighting. His name became popular in 1914, when he fatally wounded the famous torero José Sánchez Rodríguez during the bullfight in the arena Sanlúcar de Barrameda's, Andalusia, Spain. The Design The Lamborghini Veneno brings the aerodynamic efficiency of a racing prototype to the road. Every detail of its form pursues a clear function – exceptional dynamics, optimum downforce with minimal drag and perfect cooling of the high-performance engine. Yet the Veneno is unmistakably a Lamborghini; it sticks firmly to the consistent design philosophy of all the super sports cars from Sant'Agata Bolognese. That includes the extreme proportions, as well as the powerfully arrow-shaped front end and the interplay between razor-sharp lines and precise surfaces. The entire front end of the Lamborghini Veneno has been laid out for perfect airflow and downforce. The front end works as a large aerodynamic wing. Large channels guide the air to the outlets in the front hood and in front of the windshield, as well as to the front wheels. Characteristic for Lamborghini is the Y shape of the angular headlamps that reach well into the fenders as well as the scissor doors. The division of the fenders from the car body is a reference to the world of sport prototypes and optimizes at the same time the aerodynamic flow. The side line of the Veneno is therefore dominated by enormous sills and the mighty wheel arches front and rear. Here, too, sophisticated aerodynamics ensure perfect airflow to the large openings for engine cooling and intake air. Just like the front end, the rear of the Veneno has also been optimized for underbody aerodynamics and high speed cornering stability. The smooth underbody transitions into a substantial diffuser framing the four sizable exhaust pipes divided by a splitter to increase the level of downforce peak. Large openings serve to ventilate the engine bay and manage the airflow to the rear wing, with the only sealed area at the rear being reserved for the license plate. The rear lights, including brake lights, indicator lights and fog lights, pick up the Y theme as well. The engine cover sports six wedge-shaped openings, with the focus here, too, on optimum dissipation of heat from the engine. The engine cover extends into a large central "shark" fin, which improves efficiency during braking and rear-end stability, by delivering additional downforce at high yaw angles and thus increasing the high-speed cornering performance. The adjustable rear wing's design is the product of Motorsport experience and extensive aerodynamic simulation to ensure the best performance of rear wing interaction with rear diffuser air flow. The exclusive alloy wheels measure 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear and are equipped with center mountings. Their design is also determined by aerodynamic functionality – a carbon-fiber ring around the wheel rim works like a turbine to deliver additional cooling air to the carbon-ceramic brake discs. The Veneno is painted in an all-new, grey metallic-look color with individual parts gleaming in the black of the visible carbon-fiber structure. The only car to display all three colors of the Italian flag as an accent is the car shown at Geneva, the unit which will remain property of Lamborghini. The three cars sold to customers each feature a single color of the Italian national flag, together a triology in green, white and red accents and thus representing each a unique piece. The Technology The Veneno is further proof of Automobili Lamborghini's unique competence in CFRP-based lightweight design. A monocoque made from carbon-fiber reinforced polymer forms the basis of the Veneno. It is largely similar to the Aventador monocoque – as are the aluminum sub-frames front and rear – although its form has been adapted to the new design. All exterior parts are made from CFRP. The Veneno meets all safety and registration requirements worldwide, and naturally also incorporates a full complement of safety systems from airbags through to the adapted ESP handling system. Carbon fiber dominates the interior of the Veneno, too. The carbon fiber monocoque becomes visible inside the car in the area of the central tunnel and the sills. The two lightweight bucket seats are made from Lamborghini's patented Forged Composite. The woven carbon-fiber CarbonSkin® is used to clad the entire cockpit, part of the seats and the headliner. This unique material is soaked in a very special kind of resin that stabilizes the fiber structure, while allowing the material to remain supple. Like a hi-tech fabric, this extremely fine-looking carbon-fiber matting fits perfectly to any form, and it reduces weight. The racing personality has been transferred also to the instrument panel. It has been completely redesigned and now, thanks to an aggressive graphics and to the introduction of some additional features like the G-meter, provides all necessary information to the driver for control of the car. The systematic, carbon-fiber, lightweight design of the Veneno is not only visible, it is also evident on the scales: With a dry weight of just 1,450 kilograms (3,190 pounds), the Veneno is even 125 kilos (275 pounds) lighter than the already extremely lean Aventador. The highly beneficial power-to-weight ratio of 1.93 kg/hp (4,25 lbs/hp) guarantees a performance that is nothing short of mind-blowing. Even the stunning acceleration figure of 2,8 seconds cannot adequately describe it. Despite an aerodynamic setup configured for extreme downforce, the Veneno possesses exceptionally low wind resistance which allows it to reach a top speed of 355 km/h (221 mph). The twelve-cylinder with a displacement of 6.5 liters is a thrilling combination of absolute high-revving frenzy and phenomenal pulling power. Its output has been raised to 552 kW / 750 hp, facilitated through enlarged intake paths, optimized thermodynamics, a slightly higher rated rpm and an exhaust system with even lower back pressure. The ISR manual gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive and pushrod suspension have all been specifically adjusted to meet the demands of the Veneno. The Lamborghini Veneno celebrates its first public appearance at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle on show is the number 0, the Lamborghini test vehicle. Its future has not been determined yet, but it will allow Lamborghini to continue its activity of testing and innovation, both on the road and on the race track. The trilogy made of three unique vehicles will be produced in the course of the year 2013 and handed over to their future owners.
  13. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 4, 2013 Take a Rolls-Royce Ghost, cut a good size chunk out of it, place a fastback roof on it, and give it two doors. What do you have? You have the new Rolls-Royce Wraith. The Wraith is Rolls-Royce's most dynamic vehicle ever built and has the specs to prove it. Under the hood is a V12 engine that produce over 600 horsepower. That power is routed to a eight-speed ZF transmission to the rear wheels. The Wraith's shape blends the Ghost's front end with a fastback rear. Other design cues to take note are 20-inch alloy wheels, recessed grille, and new front air dam. We'll have more information and pictures when Rolls-Royce unveils the Wraith later this week. UPDATE: Make that later tonight. Rolls-Royce has let loose more information and pictures of the Wraith and wow, its a stunner. While the Wraith is based on the Ghost, its actually rides on shorter platform and is about 0.9-inch wider rear track. Power is a V12 producing 624 horsepower and 590 pound-feet. 0-60 takes 4.6 seconds and reaches 155 MPH (electronically limited). Very impressive numbers once you take into account the Wraith tips the scales at 5,200 pounds. The Wraith's interior promises many luxuries such as a few cows worth of leather, and options like option of Canadel Panelling on the doors and other surfaces (specially treated wood veneer) and Starlight headliner which uses small fiber-optic lights in the roof upholstery to simulate a night sky. The Wraith also features a lot of tech, the most notable being the Satellite Aided Transmission system. The system uses GPS-based knowledge of the road to select the appropriate gear. Other tech goodies include a new rotary controller/touchpad infotainment interface, large, 0.25-inch display, and adaptive cruise control. The Rolls-Royce Wraith arrives this winter. Source: Rolls-Royce Album: Rolls-Royce Wraith 10 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 WORLD DEBUT FOR ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH AT GENEVA MOTOR SHOW Elegant fastback design hints at dynamic prowess of the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever: 624 bhp/465 kW, 800 Nm from 1,500 rpm : 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds (0-62 in 4.6) Debut of Satellite Aided Transmission. A technology that uses GPS mapping data to ensure the correct gear is always pre-selected for the road terrain ahead Voice activated connectivity augments effortlessness – the ‘on-board valet’ Canadel Panelling sweeps through a sumptuous, contemporary and yacht-like interior cabin Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents the world debut of Wraith, the most powerful and dynamic Rolls-Royce in history. At its heart lie hallmark Rolls-Royce attributes of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship, but the new model from the world’s pinnacle super-luxury marque also presents a unique character defined by power, style and drama. With just a hint of the noir. “Today we launch the ultimate gentlemen’s gran turismo, a car that embodies the spirit of Charles Stewart Rolls,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, Wraith promises the sense of adventure and speed that drove our founding forefather. But of course, Wraith’s starting point is luxury, refinement and quality, traits that remain as important to Rolls-Royce customers today as they were more than a century ago.” Rolls-Royce Chairman and BMW Group board member Harald Krüger added the following: “The BMW Group today reconfirms its full commitment to the future of Rolls-Royce. Growth and a prosperous future lie ahead thanks to continued investment, careful brand stewardship and the launch of groundbreaking new models like Rolls-Royce Wraith, a magnificent addition to the product range.” In profile, Wraith’s sweeping fastback design gives the car its unique character. Bold lines, tension in the panels and a raked rear screen evoke the image of a world class athlete poised in the starting blocks. Further expression of dynamic intent can be seen in Wraith’s deeply recessed grille, wide rear track and dramatic two-tone presentation. Coach doors open to reveal a sumptuous interior complete with softest Phantom-grade leathers and expanses of wood called Canadel Panelling. Named after the famous cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design and engineering teams spent their winters, this contemporary and tactile finish sweeps through the interior, cosseting four occupants in a space bathed in light and warmth. The interior ambiance is complemented by Starlight Headliner, a Bespoke feature available beyond Phantom family cars for the first time. 1,340 fibre optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky. Performance delivers on the promise of Wraith’s styling. Power delivery is effortless, but dramatic, thanks to a V12 engine married to 8-speed automatic ZF transmission. 624 bhp / 465kW is available to the driver while the 0-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.4 seconds, compared with 563 bhp / 420kW and 0-60 in 4.7 seconds for Ghost. From 1,500 rpm 800 Nm of torque is available (780 Nm for Ghost), while a wide rear track, shorter wheelbase and lower roof height further contribute to the most powerful, involving driving experience of any Rolls-Royce in history. The car’s suspension has also been tuned to minimise body roll and discreetly amplify feedback when cornering; while steering weight is heavier at high speeds and lighter at low speeds adding to the spirited drive. However, Wraith is no GT bruiser. Agility improvements have been achieved with absolutely no compromise to the sensation of riding on a bed of air. Furthermore, the debut of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology takes the powertrain to a new level of effortless delivery, one that perfectly suits the Rolls-Royce brand. Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to see beyond what the driver sees; it anticipates his next move based on location and current driving style, then selects the most appropriate gear for the terrain ahead. Corners, motorway junctions and roundabouts are all anticipated in advance meaning Wraith is constantly poised to deliver on its promise of performance. A more polished, effortless driving experience and even better response brings a new, more dynamic dimension to the famous Rolls-Royce trait, waftability. For over a century a Rolls-Royce motor car has featured technologies designed to support occupants discreetly, delivering a peerless driving experience epitomised by the term ‘effortlessness’. In every Rolls-Royce these assist the driver when called upon, but are prepared to return without fuss to the background when no longer required. Advances in mechanical and electrical technology deliver systems like head-up display, adaptive headlights and Wraith’s keyless opening boot. But improvements in connectivity have taken the human-machine interface to a new level of sophistication, a suite of aids that could be likened to a contemporary on-board valet. Voice activation commands, for example, come with a one-touch call button located on the steering wheel. A destination no longer requires manual input from a navigation menu and route assistance begins immediately, on-screen and via audio guidance following a voice command such as “navigate to Piccadilly in London.” Additional improvements in communications come in the design and functionality of the elegant Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller. This allows navigation through on-screen functions using a touch pad that features pinch and pull functionality to echo smart phone usage. Letters can also be ‘drawn’ onto the pad by hand rather than by scrolling through a series of available characters on-screen. In Europe, Wraith will be priced at c. €245k. Confirmation and further pricing details in all markets will be revealed later in the year. First deliveries of Wraith will be made to customers in the final quarter of 2013.
  14. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 4, 2013 Now for something completely different from Kia. Their showing at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show is the Provo Concept, an aggressively styled three-door hatchback. The Provo Concept’s design features such cues as aerodynamic bumpers and LED lighting on the front and back, large center lock wheels, rear air diffuser, and a unique two-tone paint job that covers the carbon fiber body panels. Inside the Provo Concept, Kia designers used a mixture of carbon fiber, leather, and aluminum for a unique look. Gauges are digital. Power comes from a 1.6L direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder producing 201 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. In the back, there is a 44 horsepower electric motor which gives the Provo all-wheel drive. Source: Kia Album: Kia Provo Concept 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 Kia looks to set the streets alight with radical provo concept at Geneva (SEOUL) March 04, 2013 – Looking every centimetre a road-legal racer, Kia’s new provo concept, unveiled at the 83rd Salon International De l’Auto in Geneva, mixes ultra-modern technology with a self-confident and agile look to deliver an exciting new B-segment car for enthusiasts. The sleek, low, yet muscular coupe-style hatchback mixes a petrol-fuelled turbo-charged engine with clever regenerative-electric motors to bring a smart-hybrid solution to this fun-focused concept that points to Kia Motors’ future B-segment expansion plans. This is a car designed for fun – pure and simple. Every curve, crease and line combines to bring provo to life with a single purpose – to delight and entrance its owner and to bring a smile to the driver's face. The car is meant to be cheeky and cheerful in its compactness and to hint at the fun awaiting on the open road. Created to deliver a new interpretation of the DNA from sporting coupes of the past with all the advantages of up-to-the-minute technology and materials, provo blends a clean, simple yet muscular exterior with a stunning interior treatment mixing high-tech and luxury materials that will set pulses racing whether on busy city streets or at the race-track. From its steep leading edge featuring an aero-style splitter, carbon-fibre panels and tiny LED cluster front lights, over the long bonnet and sculpted flanks, visor-look windscreen to the sharply cut-off rear treatment (also featuring an aerodynamic splitter with an adjustable vent system to direct airflow), the provo looks every inch a purposeful performer. Described by Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Kia’s European styling base in Frankfurt, as “an emotional and muscular car aimed at delivering pure fun and performance for today’s city-based enthusiast driver who longs for the curves of the open road,” the Kia provo isn’t just a styling exercise. It combines a 1.6-litre Turbo GDI engine producing 204 ps with smart-4WD-hybrid technology from an electric motor delivering an additional power surge to the rear wheels when required and also allowing low-speed electric-only motion. A seven-speed DCT transmission – Kia’s first – completes the impressive technical package. Guillaume went on: “This is entirely a car for European tastes and conditions. Designed purely at our Frankfurt studios the provo was conceived as a confident and single-minded statement of dynamism and energy to deliver a new sense of fun into the B-segment. The potent shaping displays a balanced and refined outline within a compact overall shape and the tiny front and rear overhangs enhance the balance within its proportions.” Clearly a car from Kia, the compact provo which is 3.88-metres long, 1.77-metres wide and 1.35-metres tall, introduces itself with a steep front nose and carbon fibre lower valance that immediately convey a sense of purpose. Hidden behind a single piece of glass is the latest take on the Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille treatment linking straight into the Schreyer-inspired headlamp units that are made up of more than 850 tiny LEDs. The programmable LEDs can be used to provide daytime running lights, full beam or even race-style configurations – as well as more humorous and decorative displays to add to provo’s sense of fun! This thin, sharp glass panel is echoed at the rear of provo’s body and separates a purposeful splitter-style lower valance from the long, flat bonnet panel sculpted with twin creases to hint at but not slavishly copy the muscle cars of old. A wrap-around front screen hides the A pillars and frameless doors, giving a visor-style appearance to the cabin glass with the clamshell-like roof floating above. This is divided at the rear by different colour sections rising up from the C-Pillars in an almost roll-over bar appearance. Colour is used on the provo to enhance the almost-masculine stance with sharp points echoed throughout the design. High-intensity blood-orange accents contrast with the grey-green ‘Storm Metal’ body colour to draw the eye to particular aspects of the structure and equipment, while carbon fibre surfaces interplay with traditional materials and high-gloss or anodised aluminium to strengthen the connection to the track cars that inspired provo. Planting provo firmly in touch with the road are distinctive 225/40 19-inch milled-alloy wheels with a traditional ‘cast’ look fixed by single centre nuts finished in anodised blood-orange. And with just a 2.53-metre wheelbase, exciting handling and road-holding is guaranteed. Backing up those performance credentials, provo utilises an ingenious Smart 4WD Hybrid power train. The four cylinder turbocharged 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine is tuned to deliver is 204 ps rapidly and progressively allowing provo to deliver an injection of speed and performance often absent from the more functional B-segment mainstream. But, this potent internal combustion engine also benefits from a regenerative-powered electric motor driving the rear wheels either automatically when required during cornering and in strong acceleration – giving a power boost of as much as 45 ps – or in a button-activated creep-mode at low speeds to avoid emissions in city traffic or when ‘stealth’ is required. The regenerative system captures its power during braking when in normal use. Moving inside, the Kia Europe Design team was able to let imaginations run free although in typical Kia fashion it delivers clear functionality with exuberant style – essential if provo is to go into production at some point in the future. Guillaume commented: “The interior is very, very black – as we believe it should be to allow drivers to focus on the experience. But we have also looked to make the functional aspects of the car fit the modern demands of today’s motorists.” Opening the two side doors – via flush-fitting push-up electronic handles that operate with a satisfying electric click – reveals that the polished aluminium panels featured in the external sculpted flanks extend to create a relatively high-level two-step sill into the car – cut-away at the leading edge to allow easier ingress and exit. The next surprise is the door construction itself – the doors are made from three individual panels – the outer panel, a carbon-fibre inner panel and a neoprene-covered inner section that also features the Storm Metal body colour. The inner door releases are reassuringly solid polished aluminium. The dashboard is made from a single expanse of carbon fibre, but does not extend down to the floor – deliberately – in order to keep the footwells clear and uncluttered except for polished aluminium footrests and pedals. Echoing the sculpted flanks of the provo, the dashboard has a business-like main binnacle containing large analogue dials on a digital display and a smaller central display of other minor gauges, but because the display is digital it can be programmed to offer a selection of functions. Set on the centre tunnel are two control hubs – the engine stop-start button and drive selector for the seven-speed DCT transmission and a Multi-Media Interface control. This latter control allows the driver to select a variety of screen displays – as well as controlling infotainment functions. In ‘normal’ mode the driver sees a speedometer, rev counter and sat-nav route instructions. In ‘cruise’ the display is centred on a large scale map, route instructions and a speedometer, while in ‘track’ mode the display features just a large rev counter, a track-map and a lap-timer. There is also a full ‘entertainment’ mode allowing visuals of music, radio and other information. The centre-mounted display provides appropriate gauges to the mode with a series of aluminium toggle switches set underneath – including an anodised blood-orange toggle for the hazard warning lights. Modern materials allow the front seat construction to be made from a single wave-like panel running from one door sill to the other – covered in quilted leather. The seat backrests are cleverly mounted on a rotating aluminium track so that instead of folding forward, they spin into the centre of the vehicle allowing easy access to the admittedly occasional-use rear seats. Guillaume commented: “The whole interior concept was designed around not having a big centre console, but instead using latest technology to provide excellent functionality in a clean, clear and attractive manner. “By using a DCT gearbox we were able to get rid of the floor-mounted gear-shift and use paddles behind the steering wheel, which has blood-orange stitching and a race style straight-ahead indicator, allowing us to use the floor space for other controls resulting in a much tidier environment. And because the seats are fixed we have full electric adjustment for the pedal box and steering column – further simplifying the interior and giving a perfect-fit for any driver.” Completing the moody cockpit feel are tiny red LEDs set in the multi-layered doors, in the air vents and also in roof to give a low-glow ambient illumination. The roof panel also incorporates aluminium window toggle controls. Whilst no specific production schedule for provo is on the calendar, the arrival later this summer of the new Kia pro_cee’d GT makes it clear that the company remains committed to delivering desirable, dynamic and stunningly attractive vehicles that will deliver affordable enjoyment to real, everyday motorists. The provo could be just such a car.
  15. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 4, 2013 Want to know what vehicles will make their debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show? Cheers & Gears has your back. Concept Vehicles: Audi A3 E-Tron Honda Civic Tourer Kia Provo Land Rover Electric Defender Research Vehicle Opel Adam Rocks Spyker B6 Venator Concept Toyota FT-86 Open Production Vehicles: Alfa Romeo 4C, (2) Audi Q3 RS Audi S3 Bentley Flying Spur Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible Ferrari LaFerrari Lamborghini Veneno Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale McLaren P1, (2) Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507 Porsche 911 GT3 Qoros Rolls-Royce Wraith Volkswagen Golf GTD Volkswagen Golf Variant Volkswagen GTI Volkswagen XL1 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.
  16. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 1, 2013 Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the Toyota FT-86 Open concept that will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show next week. The pictures obtained by FT86Club.com gives us an indication of what's in store for the convertible. The concept features a folding soft top, a two-tone leather interior, the somewhat useless backseat, and large wheel/tire package. We'll have more information within the next week or so. Source: FT86Club.com William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 20, 2013 Audi has pulled back the curtain on the production RS Q3 before its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The RS Q3 stands out from other Q3s by number of small changes on the exterior. There is a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille, RS front bumper, a rear diffuser with a single oval tailpipe, roof spoiler, exclusive 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, and body accents. Inside the RS Q3 is a set of sport seats in black Alcantara and leather, a revised instrument cluster, a flat–bottom steering wheel, and a load of aluminum trim. Powering the RS Q3 is a turbocharged 2.5L five-cylinder engine producing 310 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 MPH takes only 5.5 seconds. All of that power goes through seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission to Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system. quattro engineers (Audi's performance arm) tweaked and lowered the suspension on the RS Q3. Other changes include larger brakes, selectable drive modes, and launch control. The RS Q3 arrives in Europe later this fall. Source: Audi Album: 2014 Audi RS Q3 3 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 First RS model in the Q series: Audi RS Q3 quattro GmbH chief van Meel: “The compact Audi RS Q3 creates a new class in the SUV segment.” Combines excellent power with outstanding everyday practicality 2.5 TFSI with 228 kW (310 hp) and 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft), 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.5 s Audi is presenting the RS Q3 at the Geneva International Motor Show, the first RS model for the successful Q line-up. It combines outstanding everyday practicality with dynamic driving performance: It takes just 5.5 seconds to complete the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph), and its top speed is electronically governed to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). The 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo produces 228 kW (310 hp) and has an average fuel consumption of just 8.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (26.73 US mpg). “The RS Q3 transfers the performance philosophy of Audi to the compact SUV segment, thereby creating a new performance class,” says Franciscus van Meel, Managing Director of quattro GmbH. “In addition to the RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback, the RS Q3 is the fourth RS model that we are launching on the market in 2013. The RS family is growing to eight members – more than ever.” The RS Q3 combines typical RS properties such as high performance and driving pleasure with lifestyle qualities and high utility value. The Audi RS Q3 was developed by quattro GmbH which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AUDI AG. An award-winning high-performance engine, the 2.5 TFSI, is at work under the hood of the RS Q3. This five-cylinder engine has been named “International Engine of the Year” in its class for three consecutive years since 2010 by an international jury of automotive specialists. From 2,480 cc of engine displacement, the turbocharged direct-injection engine produces a maximum power of 228 kW (310 hp) at 5,200-6,700 rpm; its maximum torque of 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft) is available between 1,500 and 5,200 rpm. These two values signify that the RS Q3 is unrivaled in its competitive field. This five-cylinder is a special engine, beginning with its fundamental concept. It is familiar from the TT RS and RS 3 Sportback, and quattro GmbH modified it for use in the RS Q3. The 1-2-4-5-3 ignition sequence, supported by the geometry of the air induction and exhaust systems, generates a sporty engine sound that first made Audi popular back in the 1980s. Drivers can influence the flap control for the exhaust system and the accelerator characteristic by choosing one of the modes auto, comfort and dynamic using the standard Audi drive select system. In the dynamic mode, engine response is sharper and the engine sound more intensive. The 2.5 TFSI accelerates the Audi RS Q3 from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 5.5 seconds – the best performance value in this segment. The vehicle’s top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). In the RS Q3, the Audi five-cylinder engine is working together with a standard start-stop-system for the first time. Other efficiency measures such as a regulated oil pump, which only pumps lubricant when needed, contribute to the car’s low average fuel consumption of 8.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (26.73 US mpg) which equates to 206 grams CO2 per km (331.52 g/mile). A standard seven-speed S tronic transfers power to the drivetrain. It was designed in a compact three-shaft configuration, and its seventh gear has a long gear ratio to save on fuel. Drivers can choose between the D and S modes for automatic shifting of the dual clutch transmission, or they can shift manually – using the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever that sports a unique RS design. The Launch Control function controls acceleration from a standstill to attain optimal traction. The heart of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is the hydraulically operated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch located at the rear axle. It ensures proper distribution of torque between the front and rear axles. The Audi RS Q3 impresses with dynamic and stable handling without sacrificing comfort. The RS sports suspension lowers the body of the compact high-performance SUV by 25 mm (0.98 in). The battery is located in the luggage compartment to achieve better weight distribution. The independent rear wheel suspensions are controlled by four links. The electro-mechanical rack and pinion steering system operates very efficiently, conveying a stiff, precise steering feeling. An electro-mechanical parking brake and hill hold assist are also standard. In the RS Q3, the internally ventilated and perforated brake discs at the front wheels have a wave design with wave-shaped outer contours, which saves approx. one kilogram (2.20 lb) of weight at the front wheels. The discs have a diameter of 365 mm (14.37 in), and they are gripped by eight-piston calipers painted black with RS logos. The electronic stabilization control (ESC) has a sport mode, and it can also be deactivated entirely. The Audi RS Q3 comes on the German market with standard 19-inch alloy wheels. Three versions of 20-inch wheels are offered as well. One of these is the exclusive 5 dual-spoke V design, which is based on the Audi RS Q3 concept car that was shown at the 2012 Auto China motor show. In addition to its engine, the Audi RS Q3 also demonstrates its special status within the Q3 line-up with a number of visual highlights. RS-specific design details emphasize the confident look of the compact, high-performance SUV. They consist of body accents and roof rails in matt aluminum, special door sill plates and door trim strips, a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille, RS front bumper and quattro emblem in the front air intake. A large roof spoiler, rear bumper with distinctive diffuser insert, large elliptical tailpipe and an RS Q3 logo accentuate the rear. At a length of 4,410 mm (14.47 ft), the dynamic top model is 25 mm (0.98 in) longer than the Audi Q3. It weighs in at 1,730 kg (3814.00 lb). The Audi RS Q3 can also be customized by one of two optional styling packages – matt aluminum or black. Styling features include the flaps in the side air intakes, the trim on the diffuser and the fins on the roof spoiler. The Audi RS Q3 is available in eight exterior colors, including the exclusive Sepang Blue pearl effect. The sporty lines of the exterior are continued in the interior styling. The instrument cluster has gray gauges with white scales and red pointers. Contrasting stitching in rock gray trim the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with its flat bottom as well as the gear selector lever. The MMI and driver information system displays welcome the driver with the RS logo. Drivers can call up the boost pressure, oil temperature and a lap timer via the RS menu in the driver information system. Along with the pedals, a foot support also shines in aluminum look, and the standard inlays are in piano finish black. quattro GmbH offers aluminum race or carbon as alternatives here. Black headlining is standard, and lunar silver headlining is optional. Sport seats with embossed RS Q3 logos are also standard and are upholstered in black Alcantara/leather. Customers can also choose the optional Fine Nappa leather in black or lunar silver with contrasting stitching in rock gray or the design package with diamond stitching. The cargo area has a base capacity of 356 liters (12.57 cubic ft), which can be increased to 1,261 liters (44.53 cubic ft) by folding down the split rear seat backs. A practical reversible loadliner is standard. Those wishing to transport even more cargo can order the towing bracket that is offered for the RS Q3. Other standard features of the Audi RS Q3 include – in addition to the RS-specific driver information system – park assist plus, Audi sound system with ten loudspeakers, xenon plus headlights and LED tail lights. When they are not lit, the tail lights display a dark red tint. In the infotainment area, a modular component system offers a wide range of options; at the top there is the hard-drive based navigation system, MMI Navigation plus. The surround sound system from Bose drives 14 loudspeakers with up to 465 watts of output power, while the Bluetooth car phone online together with WLAN hotspot connects the compact high-performance SUV with the Internet and brings the online services of Audi connect into the vehicle. Highly advanced driver assistance systems round out the options program. In Germany, the base price is €54,600, and deliveries begin in fall 2013.
  18. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 17, 2013 The 2013 Geneva Motor Show is setting up to be a exciting show with a number of vehicles making their debut. One of the big surprises for Geneva will be the launch of a new car company. Chinese automaker Qoros will be introducing itself to the world by showing off a production-intent sedan as well as two "concepts" that appear to be production ready. Qoros was founded as a part of a joint venture between Chery Automobile and global holding company, Israel Corporation. Their production-intent sedan is called 3 sedan and unlike most Chinese cars of the past few years, this doesn't look like a blatant copy of another automaker. The design is mostly original and unique. Measuring at 181 inches long and 72.4 inches wide, the 3 sedan is slightly larger than a Ford Focus. Power comes from either a 1.6L four-cylinder producing 126 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque or a turbocharged version of the same engine putting out 156 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. There is a choice between a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed dual clutch transmission. A stop-start system is available. Coming down the pipeline will be two other engines; a 1.3-liter inline-three and a 1.6-liter inline-four, both turbocharged and direct-injected. Qoros concept showings will include a 3 Cross Hybrid Concept which previews a crossover model and a hybrid system that uses two electric motors; one mounted in the back and the other mounted between the engine and transmission. The other concept is the Estate Concept which previews a possible wagon version. Qoros will begin selling the 3 sedan in China starting in the second half of this year. Europe will follow thereafter. Source: Qoros Album: Qoros Showings At Geneva 12 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release for the 3 Sedan is on Page 2, the Cross Hybrid and Estate Concept is on Page 3 World premiere: the Qoros 3 Sedan Elegant design, class-leading interior space, generous specification, high safety standards At its global debut at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, new automotive brand, Qoros, gives a world premiere to its first series production car, the Qoros 3 Sedan. The elegant compact (C-segment) car will be launched in China in the second half of 2013, with first sales in Europe starting later in the year. The vehicle is entering a pre-production development phase after two summers and two winters of extensive testing at key locations around the world. The styling of the Qoros 3 Sedan draws heavily on contemporary German-influenced automotive design and introduces a distinctive brand identity. A unique, advanced eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, developed in-house by Qoros, will be fitted as standard across the Qoros 3 Sedan range. The compact Qoros 3 Sedan offers class-leading interior space for maximum passenger comfort. A primary objective from the earliest stages of the vehicle engineering programme was to achieve high scores in both Chinese and European crash assessments. Qoros employs modern safety technology and has put the Qoros 3 Sedan through a rigorous testing regime in helping it meet this objective. Two efficient four-cylinder 1.6-litre gasoline engines will be available at the launch of the Qoros 3 Sedan in China, both of which feature VVT (variable valve timing), and which will challenge for class-leadership in China in terms of performance and efficiency. The naturally-aspirated unit delivers an output of 93 kW (126 bhp) and 155 Nm maximum torque. The turbocharged version offers 115 kW (156 bhp) and 210 Nm maximum torque. Both engines are combined with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with an optional six-speed dual clutch transmission available for both. A stop-start system will also be available. "With the support of AVL, Qoros is also developing a new three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged engine and an all-new four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, both with GDI (gasoline direct injection). These engines will deliver highly competitive performance and efficiency," comments Klaus Schmidt, Executive Director of Vehicle Engineering, who was formerly a senior manager at BMW M-Power. Elegant design with class-leading interior space The styling of the Qoros 3 Sedan was undertaken from a clean sheet by the Qoros design teams in Munich and Shanghai under the direction of Executive Director of Design, Gert Volker Hildebrand. It establishes the design direction for the entire Qoros model family and draws on contemporary German-influenced automotive design to exhibit a timeless, desirable elegance. Driven by the theme 'Creating Future History', Gert Hildebrand's team set out to ensure that every model in the Qoros family is instantly recognisable as a Qoros. Key elements introduced with the Qoros 3 Sedan include an athletic, elegant profile, short overhangs, a coupé-like silhouette and a roof which flows smoothly into the strong rear quarters. The Qoros engineering team established from the earliest stages of the development programme that the compact platform's design should incorporate a long wheelbase and generous proportions. At 4,615 mm long, 1,839 mm wide and 1,445 mm high, the sedan's athletic, elegant styling also presents a solid, well-planted profile. It features horizontal styling themes along and across the body that highlight its length and width. The Qoros 3 Sedan has one of the longest wheelbases in the compact segment, at 2,690 mm. A striking contour edge running continuously from the headlamps to the door handles and on to the rear light clusters emphasises the seamless, cleanly sculptured bodysides. In conjunction with the striking accentuation strip in matt aluminium that runs above the side sill between the wheel arches, this contour edge visually stretches the silhouette even further. At the front, the contours of the bonnet form a dynamic curve, and the front section is designed to meet the highest standards of crash safety and pedestrian protection. The rear doors feature a 'hockey-stick' rear window line that extends into the C-pillar to allow easier access for occupants into the rear seats. Subtly flared wheel arches reflect the overall elegant styling theme without overtly interrupting the bodyside's lateral flow. Wheel sizes start at 16 inches, compared to the 15-inch entry-level wheel size for most compact segment cars, and the Qoros 3 Sedan can be specified with wheels up to 18 inches, highlighting the car's unusually wide track, once again conveying solidity. Several alloy wheel design and size combinations will be available at launch. The bespoke-designed triple-split eight-spoke alloy wheel, with gloss black inner and matt silver outer surfaces are highly distinctive and are destined to become a hallmark Qoros feature. Unmistakable "brand face" The Qoros 3 Sedan introduces a characteristic "brand face", refined in its proportions and surface finishes, that will become familiar on future models in the Qoros family. The top of the dual-section radiator grille is at the same height as the headlamp units and creates a striking contrast with the overall horizontal orientation of the car's face. The radiator grille forms an equal-sided trapezoid with a wide chrome bar as its upper edge and a second chrome bar at the bottom edge of the lower air intake. The grille itself has also been carefully designed with a mesh of matt black 'clouds' to hide the radiator fans behind – another neat styling finish. The Qoros logo – also developed under the direction of Gert Volker Hildebrand – proudly occupies a central point within the upper contour line of the radiator grille. The horizontally stretched Q incorporates the full 'Qoros' brand name in uppercase letters in a tactile three-dimensional chrome and gloss-black arrangement. The front and rear lamp clusters were another defining feature on which Gert Hildebrand's team paid painstaking attention to detail. The distinctive daytime running lights are horizontally positioned LED bars at the upper edge of the headlamp modules. The same applies to the three horizontal LED light bars in the wide rear lamp clusters that dominate the rear quarter flanks. Interior: class-leading space The Qoros 3 Sedan offers its five passengers remarkably generous interior space for a compact segment car, and is again dominated by a horizontally-oriented design theme that emphasises the length and width of the cabin. The elegance of the exterior continues inside. The steering wheel, which features a flat lower edge, sits in front of a 'floating' instrument panel and centre console that maximises the feeling of interior spaciousness. The combination of thin red LED light strips along each edge of the central console and discreet red LED lighting in the door handles create a warm, welcoming interior ambience. This, as well as the instrument cluster displays that illuminate immediately when any one of the car doors is opened, emphasises the feeling of passenger cabin quality. A high-resolution TFT display at the centre of the instrument cluster provides crucial information to the driver, including vehicle range and next-turn directions from the navigation system. The Qoros 3 Sedan boasts a luggage compartment of 450 litres. The 60:40 split rear seatbacks fold down individually to optimise cargo carrying flexibility and incorporate a ski-hatch allowing the car to accommodate long items. As well as a 2.8-litre glovebox (which will be air conditioned on top specification models), there are nine further storage compartments, including in the front centre console, front arm rest, as well as wide door pockets in all four doors, and rigid front seatback pockets for rear seat passengers. There are bottle holders in the front door pockets, two large cupholders in the front centre console, and two cupholders in the rear centre armrest. Advanced touchscreen infotainment system as standard across the range The Qoros 3 Sedan is fitted as standard with an innovative eight-inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment system that represents an automotive industry first and occupies a prominent position in the central console. The advanced software, technology and graphics were designed and developed in-house to safely manage information displays for minimal driver distraction and to optimise ease-of-use while on the move. The intelligent and powerful package was created specifically with the young, aspirational, 'always-connected' target Qoros customer firmly in mind. The innovative user-interface is based on the finger 'swipe' concept of modern smartphones and is unique in responding to multi-touch gestures. Replacing the array of switches and buttons that blights many modern car interiors, the capacitive touchscreen enables users to manage entertainment, navigation, 'Cloud' networking connectivity and vehicle settings with intuitive finger 'swipe' inputs (full functionality will be model dependent). The system's user-interface is highly intuitive and is designed to fully exploit touchscreen technology. For example, an incoming phone call can be answered with a simple swipe anywhere on the screen towards the driver, or can be rejected and forwarded to voicemail with a swipe away. Audio balance (right-left) and fade (front-rear) settings for the speakers are shown on the touchscreen as a single focus point on an overhead view of the vehicle and can be adapted by moving the point with a finger. Selected versions of the system allows drivers to book dealer service appointments, features an automatic emergency services alert in the event of an accident, and supports usage-based car insurance services. The state-of-the-art navigation system includes best-in-class traffic information and an advanced points-of-interest search. Integrated networking – enabled through 'Cloud' connectivity – enables drivers to share their driving experiences, points-of-interest, favourite trips and photos via social media channels. Mobile phones on the most popular operating systems (Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone) and external music players can be integrated via Bluetooth, USB and AUX-IN connections. Powerful engines with optional dual clutch transmission Two engines developed in collaboration with leading powertrain engineering specialist, AVL, will be available for the launch of the Qoros 3 Sedan in China. Both are four-cylinder 1.6-litre units featuring variable valve control technology to optimise performance and efficiency. The naturally-aspirated version delivers 93 kW (126 bhp) and 155 Nm maximum torque at 3,900 rpm. With this engine, the Qoros 3 Sedan accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 11.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified). With the turbocharged engine, which offers 115kW (156 bhp) and 210 Nm maximum torque at 2,500 rpm, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h is achieved in a brisk 9.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified). Both power units are combined with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. A six-speed dual clutch transmission is available as an option for both engines, offering the driver automated gear selection as well as a manual shift mode. Depending on model and market, the Qoros 3 Sedan will be fitted with an automatic start-stop system for increased efficiency, and manual models will also feature an optimal gearshift point display. Other engine families are under development with the support of AVL. These will include a three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with 97 kW (130 bhp), and a brand new four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with 136 kW (160 bhp), both featuring GDI (gasoline direct injection) and VVT (variable valve timing). These will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission available as an option, which will offer the driver automated gear selection as well as a manual shift mode. The 1.2-litre and all-new 1.6-litre powertrain units will meet the EU6 emissions standard which comes into effect in Europe in 2014, and will be highly competitive in the compact segment in terms of power, torque, fuel economy and emissions. Ride and handling developed to European standards The vehicle dynamics of the Qoros 3 Sedan have been tailored to European customer expectations. The sedan features McPherson struts at the front and twist-beam suspension at the rear to provide an ideal balance of responsive handling and a compliant ride. Rack-and-pinion steering with electronic power assistance delivers precise direction changes. Stopping power is provided by 320mm disc brakes at the front and 285mm disc brakes at the rear. Braking performance and stability is enhanced by anti-lock braking (ABS) and electronic stability control systems developed in conjunction with TRW specifically for the Qoros 3 Sedan. Qoros' first production model has undergone an extensive development and testing regime under the direction of Klaus Schmidt, Executive Director of Vehicle Engineering, formerly head of the technology and driving dynamics department at BMW's M-Sport division. "Our aim was to offer our customers a driving experience defined by predictable, clear responses to their inputs," says Schmidt. "Our all-new compact segment vehicle platform provides the ideal basis for excellent reactions and control during spirited driving, while also being comfortable and hassle-free in the city. We have achieved the right balance between ride comfort and performance in the Qoros 3 Sedan." Solid body structure and high safety standards The highly sophisticated safety technology of the Qoros 3 Sedan is engineered to achieve top scores in European and Chinese new-car independent crash tests. Its body architecture is based on the very latest insights in the field of accident safety and occupant protection. A precise arrangement of impact-bearing structures and generously-sized deformation zones ensure that the passenger cell is protected from the most diverse types of collision events. Furthermore, there is an extensive package of safety features for occupant protection, including: Highly effective load-limiting safety belts with dual pre-tensioners to ensure the effective restraint of front seat occupants Optimised seat structures, providing robust occupant restraint in frontal impact and good whiplash protection in the event of a rear impact Suite of front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags and roof-mounted curtain airbags which deploy to cover the front and rear window apertures Seat belt reminder functions for all seating positions Comprehensive equipment as standard The Qoros 3 Sedan meets the needs and expectations of modern motorists who demand generous features and infotainment, and who also prefer options to individually configure their vehicle. The Qoros 3 Sedan offers three specification levels. Six exterior paint finishes (solid Crystal White and solid Midnight Black, and metallic Macadamia Brown, Starlight Black, Diamond Silver and Shimmer Grey) and two interior colours (Lava Black and Sand Dune Beige) will be available for the Qoros 3 Sedan at launch in China. The interior upholstery can be specified in fabric, a fabric-leatherette combination, or in full leather. Depending on the specification level, the Qoros 3 Sedan features interior décor finishes in various high-grade materials, as well as 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels in various designs. Standard features on all versions of the Qoros 3 Sedan include the innovative touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning, remote control central locking, all-round electric windows, electric exterior mirrors, and a four-speaker, 100-watt audio system. These can be supplemented by options that include a rear view camera with parking distance control, xenon headlamps, cruise control, electrically adjustable front seats, an automatic anti-dazzle interior mirror, and an upgraded six-speaker audio system. An extensive accessories list offers further customisation options. All-new production facility for quality, efficiency and sustainability The Qoros 3 Sedan will be produced in an all-new manufacturing facility in Changshu. Construction of the facility – occupying 250,000 square metres adjacent to the company's headquarters – is nearly complete, and it will include a bodyshop, assembly line and paintshop. The factory – and its production processes – exceeds legal requirements in both China and Europe in terms of the recyclability of end-of-life vehicles, components and materials. The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept and Qoros 3 Estate Concept Versatile driving pleasure with innovative drive technology Following the launch of its first production model, the Qoros 3 Sedan, the brand plans to expand its model family with the launch of a new model every six-to-eight months. At the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, Qoros presents a five-door crossover – the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept – that features a compact hatchback body, enhanced traction properties and an advanced hybrid drive. This concept illustrates how the design themes introduced in the Qoros 3 Sedan may be applied to its future model range. It also offers a glimpse ahead to the brand's future technological developments with a pioneering hybrid drive that not only enhances efficiency but that also provides an exceptional all-wheel driving experience. The intelligent Qoros modular vehicle architecture is a key factor in ensuring that new models can be introduced quickly and efficiently, and the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept is based on the same vehicle platform as the Qoros 3 Sedan. With the same long wheelbase (2,690 mm) and wide track as the sedan, the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept exhibits generous proportions and a solid, planted road presence. Hallmark design features reinterpreted The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept showcases a mild evolution of the styling introduced on the production sedan. Elegant lines and balanced proportions reflect sporty aspirations. Short body overhangs and the coupé-like roof line flowing into the hatchback tailgate give the five-door model a touch of dynamic flair. Horizontally oriented lines highlight the width of the boldly shaped rear, which featuresa large tailgate. The front view of the concept is almost identical to the Qoros 3 Sedan, but the core elements of the Qoros 'face' are supplemented with bespoke accents. The lower air inlet at the bottom of the trapezoidal grille stretches further back, highlighting the concept's powerful front stature. Also distinctive are the rounded contours of the fog lamps, which are placed wide apart. The headlamp clusters, featuring LED bars at their top edge as daytime running lights, are the same as those on the Qoros 3 Sedan, stretching far into the flanks and into a striking contour edge which runs through the door handles and rises continuously to the rear. The rear light clusters – unique to this concept, feature horizontal LED light bars in a neat compact arrangement. Its raised ground clearance and specific design features that emphasise its robust, versatile characteristics hint at the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept's potential for excursions beyond the asphalt. It features underbody protection at the front and rear to protect against impacts, as well as uprated suspension and damper systems that ensure occupants remain comfortable even on rough terrain. A combination of hybrid drive and all-wheel system for increased driving pleasure and efficiency The development of advanced engineering innovations is a core strategic activity for the brand and the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept features an advanced hybrid drive system developed in partnership with leading electric drive systems specialist American Axle. A three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 97 kW (130 bhp) is installed transversely at the front to drive the front wheels. A 50 kW electric motor is housed between the luggage compartment floor and the rear axle, not only convenient for power transfer but also safely isolated from rear collision impacts. The motor is powered by a LG Chem lithium-ion battery with a maximum capacity of 1.9 kilowatt-hours. A second electric motor – the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) – is mounted between the petrol engine and the transmission. Its role, as well as to start the petrol engine more discreetly – with less noise and less vibration – than a traditional starter motor, is to charge the rear electric motor's dedicated battery so that the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can operate continuously in all-wheel drive mode. And, during the most demanding driving, the ISG delivers additional power to the front axle, allowing the concept to deliver surprisingly swift performance: zero to 100 km/h is achieved in less than 7.0 seconds (provisional target, not yet verified). Intelligent control software ensures seamless transition between petrol-engine front-wheel drive, electric motor rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive, depending on the most efficient mode to respond to the driver's inputs and the prevailing road conditions. The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can be driven in pure-electric mode at a speed of up to 120 km/h, and for a maximum range of approximately four kilometres (provisional target, not yet verified). The Qoros 3 Estate Concept: modern functionality in an elegant, athletic style The Qoros 3 Estate Concept, featuring extended interior space, intelligent and flexible functionality, and elegant design, show how the new brand's compact segment model range might be expanded with an estate variant in the future. Qoros' modular platform provides the ideal basis for fast and efficient expansion of the model family, and the compact estate is becoming increasingly popular among European motorists. Its elegance and bold stature echo the Qoros styling themes introduced by the Qoros 3 Sedan, while the intelligently designed interior provides an incredibly versatile and adaptable space that allows luggage capacity to be adapted to individual needs. An individual alternative to the classic sedan Sales of compact segment estate cars are growing thanks to their more flexible capabilities to meet the diverse transport needs of ever more adventurous family lifestyles in Europe. The versatile trunk space provides additional flexibility and volume for luggage or other cargo, or to pursue leisure activities which might involve transporting bulky sports equipment, for example. The practical advantages are married with the impressive driving dynamics and performance of the Qoros 3 Sedan, and the estate concept pleasingly adopts its timeless, elegant exterior design. Signature design with distinctive touches Based on the same platform as the Qoros 3 Sedan, the Qoros 3 Estate Concept is generously-proportioned for a compact segment estate. Appealing touches include the application of the horizontal design theme to highlight the long roof line flowing smoothly to the rear, and the large side windows that give the vehicle an elegant and elongated look. Like the sedan, the concept has the characteristic Qoros face, featuring the same large headlamps which reach from the distinctive radiator grille far into the flanks. The rear lamp clusters are also identical to those on the product Qoros 3 Sedan, creating a strong family resemblance between the two models. The three bold horizontal LED taillight bars neatly suit the powerful rear, where the large tailgate opening features a convenient low loading sill. Plenty of space and versatility in the interior The wide-ranging options provided by the folding rear seatbacks and the ski hatch, as well as the numerous storage compartments and accessory attachments, offer prospective customers a highly versatile and functional vehicle, both for everyday driving and long-distance travel. The Qoros 3 Estate Concept is conceived for young families and other modern customers whose vehicle choice is based on an active, varied lifestyle.
  19. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 9, 2013 Opel and Vauxhall are trying to kill two birds with one stone with their showing at next month's Geneva Motor Show. The two have released some sketches of a new Adam concept called the Adam Rocks. The Adam Rocks concept is described as 'an urban mini-crossover'. Compared to the production Adam, the Rocks concept rides about 15 mm higher and has a wider stance. The sketches show the concept will wear front and rear skid plates, body cladding on the wheel arches and bumpers, and a central mounted exhaust. The Adam Rocks concept also features retractable fabric roof. “As a symbol for fashion-led, active drivers wanting to stand out from the crowd, ADAM ROCKS is just one possible answer to the question of how new development paths for the absolutely unique car can be forged – and others will follow,” said Malcolm Ward, Opel/Vauxhall Lead Design Director. Source: Opel Album: Opel Adam Rocks Concept Sketches 3 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Opel ADAM ROCKS Concept: Freedom in its most individual form ADAM ROCKS in Geneva – a new crossover open air concept New ROCKS Concept raises ADAM to the next level of individualization First urban mini-crossover has fierce design and muscular proportions Open air freedom thanks to fabric roof World Premiere at Geneva Motor Show (March 7-17, 2013) Geneva/Rüsselsheim. Offering 61,000 exterior variations and nearly 82,000 for the interior, as well as a state-of-the-art IntelliLink infotainment system, the lifestyle Opel ADAM is the true champion of individualization – and the best connected small car around. But that is not enough for Opel. At the Geneva Motor Show, Opel will show that it explores ways of further enhancing ADAM’s individualization and reveal an urban mini-crossover study called ADAM ROCKS. With its new 3-door body style, its 3.70 meters in length, muscular proportions, fierce design and open-air capability, ADAM ROCKS also is a proposal for opening a new segment of the market. Showcasing how ADAM’s unique personalization program can get another twist, the ROCKS Concept has been created for those seeking personal freedom ‘off the beaten track’ beyond the urban landscape. Inspired by Parkour urban athletes, it is higher and wider on its wheels, tougher and more compact in appearance. The ADAM ROCKS’ special feeling of personal freedom is further emphasized by its cabrio looks and fabric roof that offers a free view of the sky above. The fabric extends across the entire width and length of the roof, right back to the C-pillars. “With even bolder design than any other ADAM, the ROCKS is an impressive demonstration of how much more potential for individualization our new small lifestyle car still offers after its market launch. It combines the toughness of a crossover with the coolness of open air driving,” says Malcolm Ward, Opel/Vauxhall Lead Design Director. Describing the rationale behind Opel’s newest concept car, he explains: “As a symbol for fashion-led, active drivers wanting to stand out from the crowd, ADAM ROCKS is just one possible answer to the question of how new development paths for the absolutely unique car can be forged – and others will follow.” ADAM’s new concept will rock at Geneva Motor Show on the Opel stand, Hall 2.
  20. Audi is following up its Prologue concept shown at the LA Auto Show last November with another Prologue - the Prologue Avant concept. The purpose of the Prologue concepts is to give a preview of what Audi has in store with their future designs. The first concept was a preview into the future of sedans and coupes. This new concept which will debut at Geneva gives a peek into their hatchbacks and Avants. The exterior design features pieces of the first Prologue concept with the large grill and massive air vents in the front, along with a similar taillight treatment for the hatch. Compared to the Prologue concept, the Avant is slightly larger with measurements of 16.8 feet long, 6.5 feet wide, and rides on a 10-foot wheelbase. Inside, Audi's designers went with a dark theme thanks to use of black and brown for the dash and seats. There is also three touchscreens that control a variety of different functions in the vehicle. Power comes from a hybrid system which pairs a 3.0L TDI V6 with an electric motor to produce 455 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Audi claims a 0-62 MPH time of 5.2 seconds and a all-electric range of 33.6 miles. “With our show car for Geneva, we now translate the design language of the Audi prologue into a new, dynamic and stretched form. We are merging it with a concept of high variability. The Audi prologue Avant is progressive, emotion-filled and versatile, it reflects Audi’s technological competence and quality claim perfectly,” said Audi product development boss Ulrich Hackenberg. Source: Audi Press Release is on Page 2 Sporty and elegant, versatile and connected – the Audi prologue Avant show car New interpretation of the Avant philosophy Groundbreaking infotainment architecture and entertainment concept High-performance hybrid drive with 455 hp and 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) of torque A design with dynamic elegance and the latest high end technologies: The Audi prologue Avant show car with its stretched roof which the brand is presenting at the Geneva Motor Show gives a look into the future – with the new and emotion filled design language that Audi has initiated with its study in the coupé, the prologue. A glance into the future In November 2014 at the Los Angeles Motorshow, Audi presented the Audi prologue concept car, giving a look to the brand’s future design language. Only four months later, the premium manufacturer is showing a variant of its visionary concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The Audi prologue Avant combines dynamics, form and function in a perfect synthesis. With a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft) and a width of 1.97 meters (6.5 ft), the five-door car with its pioneering body concept positions itself clearly in the luxury class. At the same time, it offers unmistakeable sportiness and variability. Technology is becoming an experience, both outside and inside: The driver and up to three passengers can enjoy a luxurious interior and are digitally connected thanks to a state‑of‑the‑art infotainment architecture and connect technology. Architecture and operation are united The luxurious interior is kept in dark shades. Here as well, the show car offers a new experience: The straight‑lined architecture forms one whole with its display and control concept. The consistent front of the dashboard is composed of three touch displays. Moreover, the driver and up to three passengers can establish a digital communication via two OLED‑displays made from organic LEDs. The extremely slim, detachable OLED displays in the rear – a spin-off of the Audi tablet from the new Audi Q7* – provide passengers with on-demand information and entertainment. Technology close to series production The Audi prologue Avant uses technology which is close to series production. It is equipped with the plug‑in hybrid drive from the Audi Q7 e‑tron quattro which achieves even higher performance in the show car. 335 kW (455 hp) of system power output by the 3.0 TDI engine and the electric motor in combination make the car sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. The purely electric range is 54 kilometers (33.6 mi). The chassis is equipped with adaptive air suspension and the dynamic all‑wheel‑drive steering system – thus combining comfort, sportiness, handling and stability on a new performance level. A glance into the future: the Audi prologue Avant Progressive elegance, high variability and high-end technology with a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft): The large five-door car with its stretched roof continues with the design language that Audi has initiated with its coupé study, the prologue, giving a look into the future. “With our show car for Geneva, we now translate the design language of the Audi prologue into a new, dynamic and stretched form. We are merging it with a concept of high variability”, says Board Member for Technical Development, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. “The Audi prologue Avant is progressive, emotion-filled and versatile, it reflects Audi’s technological competence and quality claim perfectly.” The brand with the four rings stands for sportiness, lightweight construction and the permanent all-wheel-drive quattro. The Audi prologue Avant brings progressive technology into a new form. The large five-door car with its stretched roof and extremely flat D-pillars combines power and flowing elegance. Its design reflects the Audi quattro genes. In the interior, as well, the show car captivates the driver with innovative solutions – the architecture forms a new whole with its display and control concept. The driver and the passengers are digitally connected with one another. The continuous front of the dashboard consists of three touch displays, a major part of control and communication between the driver and the co-driver as well as passengers in the rear is realized by two OLED‑displays (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). The Audi prologue Avant uses the plug-in hybrid drive of the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro at a higher development level. The 3.0 TDI engine and the electric motor together output 335 kW (455 hp) of system performance and 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) of system torque. With this performance, the show car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. The dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system with which the rear wheels can be inclined by up to five degrees provides good handling and high drive stability. Audi prologue Avant: the concept “With the Audi prologue, the prototype meter of our new design language, we have clearly pointed the way in esthetics. Now we are going one step further by presenting a concept which combines esthetics, dynamics and function in a fascinating way” – this is how Marc Lichte describes the character of the Audi prologue Avant. “The progressive body design expresses our technological competence and reveals the values which render our brand unique: sportiness, high-quality, progressiveness.” At a glance, the new show car can be recognized to be an Audi – with its athletic build, taut surfaces and sharp edges. The Audi prologue Avant picks up on the tradition of the extraordinary design and space concepts, for example, of the proto Avant from 1982, and re-interprets this design. With a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft), a wheelbase of 3.04 meters (10.0 ft), a width of 1.97 meters (6.5 ft) and a height of 1.4 meters (4.6 ft), the Audi prologue Avant is a little larger than the two-door coupé Audi prologue. Four individual seats, four doors and a large tailgate round off the concept. Wide and flat: the front The Singleframe grille organically integrated into the car body dominates the show car’s low front. It is positioned lower and is designed much wider than in current production models. Its cross ribs made from brushed aluminum present a new variant of the e-tron look, providing a closed visual appearance. Towards the sides, they are slightly bent and forked. The headlamps underline the character of the show car – light-weight, dynamic and elegant. Shaped like wide, flat wedges, the headlamps are located with their tips above the Singleframe. They present the high-resolution Matrix Laser technology – the latest light innovation by Audi opens up new opportunities in design and technology. The light is decomposed into a high number of tiny pixels, resulting in virtually unlimited distribution possibilities. The upper and side edges of the characteristic air inlets are accentuated using additional light guides which in combination with daytime driving light give the Audi prologue Avant a new light signature. Strong flow: the side view A long front-section and a roof dome falling down early and continuing towards the rear above extremely flat D-pillars – the side view of the show car conveys an athletic effect. Its proportions are balanced off, emphasizing the front and the rear wheel alike – and give an indication of the Audi quattro genes. The wide, folded-out shoulders above the four wheels are inspired by the “blisters” of the Audi proto quattro dating back to the eighties. However, they were not just added on top with separate contours but have been smoothly integrated into the architecture. The shoulders swing smoothly over the wheels. The front shoulder carries on the edge of the engine hood, thus making it appear even longer. The long rear door emphasizes the luxury class character of the show car. The wheel houses are strongly vaulting out and carry wide wheel mirrors, thus visually reducing the metal volume of the flanks. They surround the mighty 22-inch wheels carrying size 285/30 tires. Their five arms with the edged, sharp-angled spokes present a further development of today’s rotor design. In each and every detail, the 5.11 meter (16.8 ft) long Audi prologue Avant embodies the progressive beauty of Audi technology. The dark blue paintcoat in fusion blue underlines the elegance of the show car in a subtle way. The outside rear-view mirrors are small sculptures made from aluminum, the window channel strips unostentatiously integrate the sensor surfaces towards the door opening. As soon as the driver touches the illuminated surfaces, electric motors will open the handle-less doors. A frame made from polished and matt aluminum surrounds the side windows. The rear fenders of the show car accommodate the charge socket for electric charging on the left side, the fuel filler flap for diesel fuel on the right side. By the press of a button in the interior, the cover flaps will open electrically, retracting into the body. Dynamic: the rear The flowing rear moving in strongly on the side is one of the most attractive views of the show car. The flatly arranged D-pillars sweep elegantly into the rear body shoulder which forms the edge of the luggage compartment lid and surrounds the entire rear section. The rear section itself is leaning forward in the direction of travel like a yacht – pushing off the car before it even starts moving. The rear lamp strip runs across the full width of the car, thus combining the LED rear lamps. They consist of 3D glass which has a sculptural effect. At their bottom end, the rear light draws a wavy contour. Deep inside the lamps lies the brake light – when it becomes active, it appears to approach the viewer. The different design levels and the change between two-dimensional and three-dimensional effects give the rear lamps an entirely new dynamic. As a logical continuation of the side sills, a sporty apron completes the rear section towards the bottom. On either side it integrates flat horizontally split openings with a wedge-shaped cut. The exhaust gas of the TDI engine comes out through the upper ones, the bottom ones with their struts are evocative of the Singleframe grille – this solution symbolizes the e-tron concept of the show car: combustion engine and electric motor in one car. Elegant experience: the interior The spacious interior of the Audi prologue Avant has the character of a luxurious lounge. Sinewy taut, calmly flowing lines and slender geometric bodies convey a feeling of expanse, lightness and tranquility. The long center console with its pass-through also appears to hover, as do the slender front seats, whose rails are mounted on the tunnel and side sills. The instrument panel stretches horizontally from one side to the other, thus creating a wide impression in the interior. It lowers itself towards the driver and the co-driver on two levels. The upper level, like a roof, lies over the Audi virtual cockpit future and the wide air vents. It forms part of the wrap‑around encompassing the interior and luggage compartment like a horizon. Both rear passengers can enjoy individual seats with a spacious ambience. All of the interior details demonstrate Audi’s high-quality design and uncompromising claim. A perforated trim panel covers the air vent; it moves down as soon as the air conditioning is set higher. The newly designed flat shift‑by‑wire selector lever for the eight-speed tiptronic is smoothly integrated in the center console. Three-part display: the instrument panel The elegant design architecture of the Audi prologue Avant show car blends in with a game-changing, new display and control concept enabling digital interaction between the driver and his passengers. Across its full width, the front of the dashboard is designed as a display surface which integrates three touch displays. Massive aluminum frames surround the two driver-faced displays left and right of the steering wheel. The left one serves to control the assist functions, the right one is for multimedia management. The front passenger faces a widescreen display that is integrated into the full surface of the instrument panel; it is used to configure entertainment features individually and conveniently. With a wiping movement, the front passenger can send media content such as music playlists to the right driver display or navigation data to the Audi virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel. On the console of the center tunnel, there is another display for text entry, air conditioning and infotainment designed for the driver. It consists primarily of an extremely thin, bendable OLED film (OLED: organic light emitting diodes), and it displays extremely sharp images that are rich in contrast. When inactive, the OLED display is in a flat retracted position; as soon as the vehicle is started, it moves up at an angle. The curved display ensures a constant ergonomic distance to the driver’s hand, his wrist calmly resting on the eight‑speed tiptronic selector lever. Within the driver’s field of view lies the Audi virtual cockpit future. High-resolution displays and three mirrors generate a virtual visual stage with three levels. In the navigation view, for instance, the first level presents information that is important for driving; levels two and three generate the depth effect in the cockpit. Thanks to this staggered approach, information is structured better and is easier to grasp. According to driving style, content and colors will change in the Audi virtual cockpit future – when driving tempers unleash, for instance, the display changes to sport mode. Comfort and entertainment in the rear provided by OLED technology The rear passengers in the Audi prologue Avant use a flexible OLED display integrated in the center console which due to its bendable structure adapts its angle to the rear seat backrests’ angle of inclination. Using this display, settings such as seat adjustment, climate control, audio/video and ambient values can be controlled in the back of the car. Moreover, passengers can exchange data with the driver. When inactive, the OLED display lies flat in the center console. As soon as rear passengers get into the car, it moves up at an angle. As with the OLED display in the front of the car, the curved display in the rear also ensures a constant and ergonomically ideal distance to the passenger’s hand. When the audio system is active, a sound spoiler moves out of the rear wheelhouse panelings, homogenously distributing music in the interior in high-end quality. Another infotainment feature are the two Audi tablets – a further development of the Audi tablet in the new Audi Q7. These are mounted to the backrests of the front seats – also with OLED technology, and highly slender and slightly curved. The tablets can be unclipped and then be operated outside of the car. From the moment of getting into the Audi prologue Avant, the driver and the passengers can experience first-class comfort. The “butler” – an innovative, intelligent software program – identifies them based on their smartphones and adjusts the seats and climate control system according to their preferences. The system also makes suggestions for music and route planning based on the owner’s preferences. Cell phones can be placed in the two Easy Slot systems integrated in the center tunnel console. There they are linked up with the vehicle infotainment system and inductively charged. Authentic: materials and colors Colors and materials in the Audi prologue Avant emphasize the impression of comfort and sporty elegance. The upper instrument panel is colored in lifestyle blue, the bottom instrument panel, the seats and the carpet are designed in elegant sarder brown color. In the interior, aluminum trim elements add powerful visual highlights. The spokes of the steering wheel, the frames of the driver displays, the door inserts and the mountings and switches of the seats are made from that material. On the wrap-around, the doors and the center tunnel console, they create a contrast with the panels out of open-pore, dark ash wood veneer. Various surfaces such as the seats, dashboard and center tunnel console are upholstered with the very natural Unikat leather. A generously dimensioned strip of Alcantara leather leads the eyes from the door inserts over the armrests back and into the luggage compartment. Artfully designed perforations in the seat center line are evocative of the Singleframe grille bars. Very close to series production: the technology The plug-in hybrid drive of the Audi prologue Avant is almost identical to the powertrain in the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro which will be launched in summer 2015. The 3.0 TDI engine installed in the Audi prologue Avant outputs a maximum of 260 kW (353 hp), a powerful electric motor integrated in the eight-speed tiptronic contributes up to 100 kW. System output is 335 kW (455 hp), while system torque is 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft). The eight‑speed tiptronic directs engine power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive ensuring superior drive characteristics in any situation. The show car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). The Audi prologue Avant consumes an average of only 1.6 liters per 100 kilometers (147.0 US mpg) according to the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrid vehicles – corresponding to 43 grams of carbon emissions per kilometer. The lithium-ion battery pack in the rear storing 14.1 kWh of energy gives the car a range of 54 kilometers (33.6 mi) in pure electric drive mode. With its AWC (Audi wireless charging) technology which Audi is developing for series production, the battery can also be charged inductively. AWC technology provides energy from a floor plate which is connected to the power grid and which can be embedded on or into the asphalt. This plate integrates a primary coil and an inverter (AC/AC converter). When active, this coil induces a magnetic field of alternating current. On the basis of state-of-the-art technology, Audi uses 3.6 kW of power as provided by a wall socket with a maximum of 16 amps of charging current. Comfort and sport combined: the chassis The chassis of the Audi prologue Avant is also packed with high-end series production technology. The adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension system with controlled damping – offers a wide spread between smooth power transmission and tight handling. Front and rear axles are lightweight five‑arm wishbone constructions. The 20-inch brake disks are made from carbon fiber ceramics. The dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system resolves the classic conflict between dynamic handling and stability. The system combines a dynamic transmission steering system on the front axle with an additional steering system for the rear wheels where an electric motor actuates two tie rods. When the driver steers at low to moderate speeds, the rear wheels turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This gives the responsiveness of the car a further boost and reduces its turning circle. At higher speeds, the Audi prologue Avant handles swerving very calmly and with superior reliability: in such a manoeuvre, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels.
  21. Audi is following up its Prologue concept shown at the LA Auto Show last November with another Prologue - the Prologue Avant concept. The purpose of the Prologue concepts is to give a preview of what Audi has in store with their future designs. The first concept was a preview into the future of sedans and coupes. This new concept which will debut at Geneva gives a peek into their hatchbacks and Avants. The exterior design features pieces of the first Prologue concept with the large grill and massive air vents in the front, along with a similar taillight treatment for the hatch. Compared to the Prologue concept, the Avant is slightly larger with measurements of 16.8 feet long, 6.5 feet wide, and rides on a 10-foot wheelbase. Inside, Audi's designers went with a dark theme thanks to use of black and brown for the dash and seats. There is also three touchscreens that control a variety of different functions in the vehicle. Power comes from a hybrid system which pairs a 3.0L TDI V6 with an electric motor to produce 455 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Audi claims a 0-62 MPH time of 5.2 seconds and a all-electric range of 33.6 miles. “With our show car for Geneva, we now translate the design language of the Audi prologue into a new, dynamic and stretched form. We are merging it with a concept of high variability. The Audi prologue Avant is progressive, emotion-filled and versatile, it reflects Audi’s technological competence and quality claim perfectly,” said Audi product development boss Ulrich Hackenberg. Source: Audi Press Release is on Page 2 Sporty and elegant, versatile and connected – the Audi prologue Avant show car New interpretation of the Avant philosophy Groundbreaking infotainment architecture and entertainment concept High-performance hybrid drive with 455 hp and 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) of torque A design with dynamic elegance and the latest high end technologies: The Audi prologue Avant show car with its stretched roof which the brand is presenting at the Geneva Motor Show gives a look into the future – with the new and emotion filled design language that Audi has initiated with its study in the coupé, the prologue. A glance into the future In November 2014 at the Los Angeles Motorshow, Audi presented the Audi prologue concept car, giving a look to the brand’s future design language. Only four months later, the premium manufacturer is showing a variant of its visionary concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The Audi prologue Avant combines dynamics, form and function in a perfect synthesis. With a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft) and a width of 1.97 meters (6.5 ft), the five-door car with its pioneering body concept positions itself clearly in the luxury class. At the same time, it offers unmistakeable sportiness and variability. Technology is becoming an experience, both outside and inside: The driver and up to three passengers can enjoy a luxurious interior and are digitally connected thanks to a state‑of‑the‑art infotainment architecture and connect technology. Architecture and operation are united The luxurious interior is kept in dark shades. Here as well, the show car offers a new experience: The straight‑lined architecture forms one whole with its display and control concept. The consistent front of the dashboard is composed of three touch displays. Moreover, the driver and up to three passengers can establish a digital communication via two OLED‑displays made from organic LEDs. The extremely slim, detachable OLED displays in the rear – a spin-off of the Audi tablet from the new Audi Q7* – provide passengers with on-demand information and entertainment. Technology close to series production The Audi prologue Avant uses technology which is close to series production. It is equipped with the plug‑in hybrid drive from the Audi Q7 e‑tron quattro which achieves even higher performance in the show car. 335 kW (455 hp) of system power output by the 3.0 TDI engine and the electric motor in combination make the car sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. The purely electric range is 54 kilometers (33.6 mi). The chassis is equipped with adaptive air suspension and the dynamic all‑wheel‑drive steering system – thus combining comfort, sportiness, handling and stability on a new performance level. A glance into the future: the Audi prologue Avant Progressive elegance, high variability and high-end technology with a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft): The large five-door car with its stretched roof continues with the design language that Audi has initiated with its coupé study, the prologue, giving a look into the future. “With our show car for Geneva, we now translate the design language of the Audi prologue into a new, dynamic and stretched form. We are merging it with a concept of high variability”, says Board Member for Technical Development, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. “The Audi prologue Avant is progressive, emotion-filled and versatile, it reflects Audi’s technological competence and quality claim perfectly.” The brand with the four rings stands for sportiness, lightweight construction and the permanent all-wheel-drive quattro. The Audi prologue Avant brings progressive technology into a new form. The large five-door car with its stretched roof and extremely flat D-pillars combines power and flowing elegance. Its design reflects the Audi quattro genes. In the interior, as well, the show car captivates the driver with innovative solutions – the architecture forms a new whole with its display and control concept. The driver and the passengers are digitally connected with one another. The continuous front of the dashboard consists of three touch displays, a major part of control and communication between the driver and the co-driver as well as passengers in the rear is realized by two OLED‑displays (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). The Audi prologue Avant uses the plug-in hybrid drive of the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro at a higher development level. The 3.0 TDI engine and the electric motor together output 335 kW (455 hp) of system performance and 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) of system torque. With this performance, the show car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. The dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system with which the rear wheels can be inclined by up to five degrees provides good handling and high drive stability. Audi prologue Avant: the concept “With the Audi prologue, the prototype meter of our new design language, we have clearly pointed the way in esthetics. Now we are going one step further by presenting a concept which combines esthetics, dynamics and function in a fascinating way” – this is how Marc Lichte describes the character of the Audi prologue Avant. “The progressive body design expresses our technological competence and reveals the values which render our brand unique: sportiness, high-quality, progressiveness.” At a glance, the new show car can be recognized to be an Audi – with its athletic build, taut surfaces and sharp edges. The Audi prologue Avant picks up on the tradition of the extraordinary design and space concepts, for example, of the proto Avant from 1982, and re-interprets this design. With a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft), a wheelbase of 3.04 meters (10.0 ft), a width of 1.97 meters (6.5 ft) and a height of 1.4 meters (4.6 ft), the Audi prologue Avant is a little larger than the two-door coupé Audi prologue. Four individual seats, four doors and a large tailgate round off the concept. Wide and flat: the front The Singleframe grille organically integrated into the car body dominates the show car’s low front. It is positioned lower and is designed much wider than in current production models. Its cross ribs made from brushed aluminum present a new variant of the e-tron look, providing a closed visual appearance. Towards the sides, they are slightly bent and forked. The headlamps underline the character of the show car – light-weight, dynamic and elegant. Shaped like wide, flat wedges, the headlamps are located with their tips above the Singleframe. They present the high-resolution Matrix Laser technology – the latest light innovation by Audi opens up new opportunities in design and technology. The light is decomposed into a high number of tiny pixels, resulting in virtually unlimited distribution possibilities. The upper and side edges of the characteristic air inlets are accentuated using additional light guides which in combination with daytime driving light give the Audi prologue Avant a new light signature. Strong flow: the side view A long front-section and a roof dome falling down early and continuing towards the rear above extremely flat D-pillars – the side view of the show car conveys an athletic effect. Its proportions are balanced off, emphasizing the front and the rear wheel alike – and give an indication of the Audi quattro genes. The wide, folded-out shoulders above the four wheels are inspired by the “blisters” of the Audi proto quattro dating back to the eighties. However, they were not just added on top with separate contours but have been smoothly integrated into the architecture. The shoulders swing smoothly over the wheels. The front shoulder carries on the edge of the engine hood, thus making it appear even longer. The long rear door emphasizes the luxury class character of the show car. The wheel houses are strongly vaulting out and carry wide wheel mirrors, thus visually reducing the metal volume of the flanks. They surround the mighty 22-inch wheels carrying size 285/30 tires. Their five arms with the edged, sharp-angled spokes present a further development of today’s rotor design. In each and every detail, the 5.11 meter (16.8 ft) long Audi prologue Avant embodies the progressive beauty of Audi technology. The dark blue paintcoat in fusion blue underlines the elegance of the show car in a subtle way. The outside rear-view mirrors are small sculptures made from aluminum, the window channel strips unostentatiously integrate the sensor surfaces towards the door opening. As soon as the driver touches the illuminated surfaces, electric motors will open the handle-less doors. A frame made from polished and matt aluminum surrounds the side windows. The rear fenders of the show car accommodate the charge socket for electric charging on the left side, the fuel filler flap for diesel fuel on the right side. By the press of a button in the interior, the cover flaps will open electrically, retracting into the body. Dynamic: the rear The flowing rear moving in strongly on the side is one of the most attractive views of the show car. The flatly arranged D-pillars sweep elegantly into the rear body shoulder which forms the edge of the luggage compartment lid and surrounds the entire rear section. The rear section itself is leaning forward in the direction of travel like a yacht – pushing off the car before it even starts moving. The rear lamp strip runs across the full width of the car, thus combining the LED rear lamps. They consist of 3D glass which has a sculptural effect. At their bottom end, the rear light draws a wavy contour. Deep inside the lamps lies the brake light – when it becomes active, it appears to approach the viewer. The different design levels and the change between two-dimensional and three-dimensional effects give the rear lamps an entirely new dynamic. As a logical continuation of the side sills, a sporty apron completes the rear section towards the bottom. On either side it integrates flat horizontally split openings with a wedge-shaped cut. The exhaust gas of the TDI engine comes out through the upper ones, the bottom ones with their struts are evocative of the Singleframe grille – this solution symbolizes the e-tron concept of the show car: combustion engine and electric motor in one car. Elegant experience: the interior The spacious interior of the Audi prologue Avant has the character of a luxurious lounge. Sinewy taut, calmly flowing lines and slender geometric bodies convey a feeling of expanse, lightness and tranquility. The long center console with its pass-through also appears to hover, as do the slender front seats, whose rails are mounted on the tunnel and side sills. The instrument panel stretches horizontally from one side to the other, thus creating a wide impression in the interior. It lowers itself towards the driver and the co-driver on two levels. The upper level, like a roof, lies over the Audi virtual cockpit future and the wide air vents. It forms part of the wrap‑around encompassing the interior and luggage compartment like a horizon. Both rear passengers can enjoy individual seats with a spacious ambience. All of the interior details demonstrate Audi’s high-quality design and uncompromising claim. A perforated trim panel covers the air vent; it moves down as soon as the air conditioning is set higher. The newly designed flat shift‑by‑wire selector lever for the eight-speed tiptronic is smoothly integrated in the center console. Three-part display: the instrument panel The elegant design architecture of the Audi prologue Avant show car blends in with a game-changing, new display and control concept enabling digital interaction between the driver and his passengers. Across its full width, the front of the dashboard is designed as a display surface which integrates three touch displays. Massive aluminum frames surround the two driver-faced displays left and right of the steering wheel. The left one serves to control the assist functions, the right one is for multimedia management. The front passenger faces a widescreen display that is integrated into the full surface of the instrument panel; it is used to configure entertainment features individually and conveniently. With a wiping movement, the front passenger can send media content such as music playlists to the right driver display or navigation data to the Audi virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel. On the console of the center tunnel, there is another display for text entry, air conditioning and infotainment designed for the driver. It consists primarily of an extremely thin, bendable OLED film (OLED: organic light emitting diodes), and it displays extremely sharp images that are rich in contrast. When inactive, the OLED display is in a flat retracted position; as soon as the vehicle is started, it moves up at an angle. The curved display ensures a constant ergonomic distance to the driver’s hand, his wrist calmly resting on the eight‑speed tiptronic selector lever. Within the driver’s field of view lies the Audi virtual cockpit future. High-resolution displays and three mirrors generate a virtual visual stage with three levels. In the navigation view, for instance, the first level presents information that is important for driving; levels two and three generate the depth effect in the cockpit. Thanks to this staggered approach, information is structured better and is easier to grasp. According to driving style, content and colors will change in the Audi virtual cockpit future – when driving tempers unleash, for instance, the display changes to sport mode. Comfort and entertainment in the rear provided by OLED technology The rear passengers in the Audi prologue Avant use a flexible OLED display integrated in the center console which due to its bendable structure adapts its angle to the rear seat backrests’ angle of inclination. Using this display, settings such as seat adjustment, climate control, audio/video and ambient values can be controlled in the back of the car. Moreover, passengers can exchange data with the driver. When inactive, the OLED display lies flat in the center console. As soon as rear passengers get into the car, it moves up at an angle. As with the OLED display in the front of the car, the curved display in the rear also ensures a constant and ergonomically ideal distance to the passenger’s hand. When the audio system is active, a sound spoiler moves out of the rear wheelhouse panelings, homogenously distributing music in the interior in high-end quality. Another infotainment feature are the two Audi tablets – a further development of the Audi tablet in the new Audi Q7. These are mounted to the backrests of the front seats – also with OLED technology, and highly slender and slightly curved. The tablets can be unclipped and then be operated outside of the car. From the moment of getting into the Audi prologue Avant, the driver and the passengers can experience first-class comfort. The “butler” – an innovative, intelligent software program – identifies them based on their smartphones and adjusts the seats and climate control system according to their preferences. The system also makes suggestions for music and route planning based on the owner’s preferences. Cell phones can be placed in the two Easy Slot systems integrated in the center tunnel console. There they are linked up with the vehicle infotainment system and inductively charged. Authentic: materials and colors Colors and materials in the Audi prologue Avant emphasize the impression of comfort and sporty elegance. The upper instrument panel is colored in lifestyle blue, the bottom instrument panel, the seats and the carpet are designed in elegant sarder brown color. In the interior, aluminum trim elements add powerful visual highlights. The spokes of the steering wheel, the frames of the driver displays, the door inserts and the mountings and switches of the seats are made from that material. On the wrap-around, the doors and the center tunnel console, they create a contrast with the panels out of open-pore, dark ash wood veneer. Various surfaces such as the seats, dashboard and center tunnel console are upholstered with the very natural Unikat leather. A generously dimensioned strip of Alcantara leather leads the eyes from the door inserts over the armrests back and into the luggage compartment. Artfully designed perforations in the seat center line are evocative of the Singleframe grille bars. Very close to series production: the technology The plug-in hybrid drive of the Audi prologue Avant is almost identical to the powertrain in the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro which will be launched in summer 2015. The 3.0 TDI engine installed in the Audi prologue Avant outputs a maximum of 260 kW (353 hp), a powerful electric motor integrated in the eight-speed tiptronic contributes up to 100 kW. System output is 335 kW (455 hp), while system torque is 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft). The eight‑speed tiptronic directs engine power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive ensuring superior drive characteristics in any situation. The show car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). The Audi prologue Avant consumes an average of only 1.6 liters per 100 kilometers (147.0 US mpg) according to the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrid vehicles – corresponding to 43 grams of carbon emissions per kilometer. The lithium-ion battery pack in the rear storing 14.1 kWh of energy gives the car a range of 54 kilometers (33.6 mi) in pure electric drive mode. With its AWC (Audi wireless charging) technology which Audi is developing for series production, the battery can also be charged inductively. AWC technology provides energy from a floor plate which is connected to the power grid and which can be embedded on or into the asphalt. This plate integrates a primary coil and an inverter (AC/AC converter). When active, this coil induces a magnetic field of alternating current. On the basis of state-of-the-art technology, Audi uses 3.6 kW of power as provided by a wall socket with a maximum of 16 amps of charging current. Comfort and sport combined: the chassis The chassis of the Audi prologue Avant is also packed with high-end series production technology. The adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension system with controlled damping – offers a wide spread between smooth power transmission and tight handling. Front and rear axles are lightweight five‑arm wishbone constructions. The 20-inch brake disks are made from carbon fiber ceramics. The dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system resolves the classic conflict between dynamic handling and stability. The system combines a dynamic transmission steering system on the front axle with an additional steering system for the rear wheels where an electric motor actuates two tie rods. When the driver steers at low to moderate speeds, the rear wheels turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This gives the responsiveness of the car a further boost and reduces its turning circle. At higher speeds, the Audi prologue Avant handles swerving very calmly and with superior reliability: in such a manoeuvre, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels. View full article
  22. If you have been wishing for a more powerful version of the Mazda Miata, your wish has come true. Although to get your hands on it, you'll need to visit a Fiat dealership. Fiat's performance division, Abarth introduced their version of 124 Spider at the Geneva Motor Show. The Abarth 124 Spider begins outside with a new aero package, larger vents for engine cooling, blacked out hood, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels. The interior is swathed in Alcantara and Abarth badging. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Abarth claims a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph. It should be noted the specs are for the European model. The U.S. model might have some slight differences. Other changes include a mechanical limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers, Brembo brakes, and a new Record Monza exhaust system that is said to produce a “beautiful growling sound.” The Abarth 124 Spider will go on sale this fall Europe with a base price of 40,000 Euros. No timeframe was given as to when we'll see it in the U.S. Source: Abarth Press Release is on Page 2 The new Abarth 124 spider The new Abarth 124 spider aims at sweeping a new generation off their feet with its performance and technical DNA. It combines the authentic roadster experience packed with thrills, technology, safety and a touch of unmistakable Italian design. The car will be available in September with prices starting from €40,000 for all Europe. Performance DNA The new Abarth 124 spider combines the great sensorial experiences of excitement and driving fun that only a spider can give. Developed with input from the Abarth Racing Team, the car exemplifies at best the distinctive Abarth values: performance, craftsmanship and technical excellence. It is the car that will bring back the smile on the driver’s face. Rear-Wheel drive architecture with Mechanical Limited-Slip Differential 124 spider is designed for thrills and performance and has all the qualities needed to satisfy even the most difficult-to-please drivers. For exceptional dynamism, the Abarth 124 spider is equipped with a sports mechanical Limited-Slip differential as standard to secure drive and traction in the most critical situations and provide incomparable dynamic behaviour. Perfect weight distribution and lightweight design Abarth 124 spider creates a new benchmark in the sporty roadster segment and this is confirmed in numbers. Much of the weight is concentrated between the axles and the engine is installed behind the front axle to guarantee agility and superior driving feel. Sophisticated mechanicals and the use of special materials have contained the weight to just 1,060 kilograms, which results in a weight-to-power ratio of 6.2 kg/HP, the best in its category, and perfect 50/50 weight distribution in running order, which translates in great agility and performance. Taking on board the lessons learned through the Abarth racing series, the weight obsession pushed Abarth to eliminate gram by gram all possible weight: For instance, an active bonnet system was developed in order to comply with the strict passenger collision standards without damaging the weight coefficient or balance of the car. By using sensors on the cross-member and two pyrotechnic loads in the engine compartment, the system recognises danger and deploys in a few milliseconds to guarantee a safety gap and attenuate the collision against the bonnet. Supercar mechanics and suspensions scheme The suspension of the 124 spider has a high double-wishbone layout in front and a five-link set up in the rear, specifically tuned for greater braking and cornering stability. Steering ensures a great driving feeling with the use of a dual pinion electric power assist system. The Abarth dynamic vehicle set-up ensures customers can get the most out of the rear-wheel drivetrain, always aiming for the true driving pleasure. Also the “Abarth by Bilstein” dampers, together with stiffened anti-roll bars, provide ultimate handling and driving comfort. The Brembo braking system, with aluminium front callipers, guarantees very short braking distances and excellent resistance to brake fade, making the pedal always feel pleasant and safe. Powerful engine and sporty gearboxes for an extraordinary driving experience The Abarth 124 spider offered in the EMEA region is equipped with a powerful, reliable four-cylinder 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine. It delivers 170 HP (about 124 HP per litre) and 250 Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 230 km/h and goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8-seconds. Furthermore, the sound of engine really matters in an Abarth car, so the Record Monza exhaust come equipped as standard, generating a beautiful growling sound. The spider is available with a six-speed manual or the automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox. The first is characterised by quick and accurate shifting with a short-throw, direct lever. The Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox is the result of careful tuning to exploit all the engine torque and conveys genuine racing sensations. Using the lever or the paddles behind the steering wheel, shifting is extremely fast and the performance of the car is boosted even further by setting “Sport” mode on the driving mode selector. Throttle-steer driving style The Abarth 124 spider comes with state-of-the-art electronic devices and active safety features but to ensure the Abarth provides a proper race car feeling when driving on track, the new 124 Spider lets the driver disengage the electronic controls to experience the perfect mechanical balance and linear engine response, the trademarks of a genuine rear-wheel drive sportscar. Officine Abarth: high technology, hand-crafted care Officine Abarth, based in Mirafiori, is where the 124 spider emphasise the typical Italian art of driving. The 124 receives a special treatment from Abarth technicians, who truly love cars. The Abarth people bring their values to an already great product, by fitting the Racing Anti-glare kit, a matt black treatment for bonnet and boot lid, the Racing Alcantara® Kit that contributes to elevate the overall interior quality, ensuring at the same time a proper sporting feel due to its dark finishing and grip. The standard-fit Record Monza exhaust is also installed in Officine Abarth, to ensure outstanding engine performance and an unmistakable sound. Each car is tested and certified by an Abarth technician who applies a metal plate showing the sequential number of each car to certify the exclusiveness of Abarth 124 spider. A unique number for a unique client. Design true to the Abarth DNA The design of the Abarth 124 spider reflects the superb mechanical layout of the car, a key element to achieve the perfect proportions for a sport car: A long bonnet to underline the importance of the engine and the powerful attitude of the car, reduced overhangs to emphasize its agile attitude, a cabin close to the rear axle to let the driver feel the road. The passenger compartment-to-bonnet ratio is comparable to that of a racing car. A horizontal line rises from the front and stretches rearward to join with the rear line near the rear light cluster: this is an unmistakable reference to the classic 124 spider. The design is all about performance: both the front bumper, with its larger air intake, and the rear bumper’s aerodynamic extractor were both shaped in the wind tunnel, as were the rear spoiler and wind stop which both contribute to improving air flow. The 17-inch alloy wheels, the windscreen surround and the roll bars are finished in “Forgiato Grey”, a colour selected to underline the bold, technical inclination of the car. The original headlights together with the front hexagonal grille contribute to reasserting the car's bold personality. The bonnet humps suggest the longitudinal position of the engine: this is a direct reference to the original 124 spider. The exclusive LED headlights and rear lights add expressiveness to the car, both during the day and at night. An important detail are the rear light cluster inserts in matching body colour which form a luminous ring-shaped surface. The rear end of Abarth 124 spider is characterised by two elements: the swallow-tail section rear wings and the horizontal rear lights which pick up particular features of its classic predecessor. The shape of the rear bumpers with the upper surface jutting into the boot lid conveys a characteristic V-shape to the back of the car. Five body colours are available: special solid "Turini 1975 White " and “Costa Brava 1972 Red, metallic "Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue”, "Portogallo 1974 Grey" and “San Marino 1972 Black”. The nomenclature is a clear tribute to its prestigious success in rallying. Interior design The Abarth DNA is also confirmed inside with an overall focus aimed at guaranteeing ideal ergonomics. The leather seats are supportive and very comfortable at the same time, and allow for a positive driving position as far back and as low as possible to better perceive any lateral movement of the car. Also, the controls are perfectly in tune with the car's sporty set-up: the position of the aluminium pedal board, the small-diameter steering wheel, the short gear lever and the start button on the dashboard all contribute to conveying a sporty driving experience. The instrument panel includes a large rev counter with red background arranged in central position. Active and passive safety The new Abarth 124 Spider is equipped with a host of state-of-the-art active and passive safety devices. In addition to the ABS, standard equipment includes the EBD, for adjusting front and rear brake force distribution so as to optimise braking distances and control in all load conditions of the car, and ESC for increased control in all driving conditions. It is useful in critical situations, e.g. on corners and mixed surfaces in presence of snow, ice and gravel. The ESC applies selective braking and acts on the accelerator to bring the car back on line if a difference between the driver's action and trajectory is detected. The ERM is an extension of the ESC system and exploits the sensors to calculate whether the car is approaching a potentially dangerous condition at risk of rolling over. It corrects the risk by applying the brakes separately and modulating the accelerator position as needed. It can be fully disengaged for track driving to allow the driver exploit the Abarth 124 spider’s outstanding balance and dynamic abilities to the full. The three-point seat belts employ Constant-Force Retractors (CFR) to control the degree of force applied by the belt and then gradually release it in controlled manner. The LED adaptive headlights are available to guarantee driving pleasure even in poor visibility conditions. They can be equipped with rain sensor and dusk sensor on demand. Equipment: sportiness and comfort The following details apply to the EMEA region and may vary according to the various market needs. See the www.fiatpress.com website for complete information. The new Abarth 124 spider has a three-gauge instrument panel featuring a large rev counter in the middle, a speedometer on the right and a data display on the left allowing the driver to monitor all key driving information at a glance. Standard equipment includes manual climate control system, stereo with four speakers, MP3 player and USB port, cruise control, adjustable and electrically-folded door mirrors. Other features available on demand include the infotainment system with an ergonomic and intuitive knob on the central unit. According to the configuration, the system can feature a 7-inch colour display, satellite navigation system, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity and a rear backup camera. For superior sound quality, a Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, including dual headrest speakers on both seats and a subwoofer, can be chosen. View full article
  23. Mercedes-Benz is taking aim at the Audi S5 and BMW 435i with the introduction of the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe. At first glance, you might be thinking this is a dyed in the wool AMG model. But you would be incorrect. This would have been part AMG Sport lineup which includes the C450 sedan and GLE450. But earlier this year, Mercedes announced that it would be shuttering the AMG Sport name and rename the models Mercedes-AMG C43 and GLE43. The C43 coupe shares the sedan's twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with 362 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system gets the power to the road. The all-wheel drive system is biased to the rear (31:69). Mercedes quotes a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph. Mercedes has equipped the C43 with some of the goodies found in the mad C63. They include the three-stage variable dampers and the three-stage stability control system. In terms of looks, the C43 isn't quite as bonkers as the C63. But it does have a more aggressive front end and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels. Mercedes will debut the C43 next month at the Geneva Motor Show. Sales begin in the fall. Source: Mercedes-Benz Press Release is on Page 2 New member of the C-Class Performance family Mercedes-AMG has added another model to its C-Class family: the new C43 Coupe. For a dynamic driving experience, the Affalterbach-based development teams have put together a scintillating engineering package: the 362 hp 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is combined with the new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that provides rapid gearshifts. Together with the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the model-specific chassis technology, this provides the optimum basis for high agility and exhilarating lateral dynamics. Thus the new C43 Coupe also fulfills the brand promise of 'Driving Performance' in every respect. Dynamic growth characterizes the corporate philosophy of Mercedes-AMG. A key component is the continual extension of the product range to include all-new models, which was previously not part of the portfolio. "The extension of the C- Class family to include the new C43 Coupe is another component in our growth strategy. It not only enriches the wide line-up of the C-Class family, but also starts the introduction of a whole series of new '43' models this year", says Mercedes-AMG GmbH chairman Tobias Moers. "The '43' models boast the characteristic AMG genes, which are also included in our GT and '63' vehicles, and thus consistently interpret our brand essence of 'Driving Performance' in their segment." Sports car technology and motor racing flair thus become more attainable and appeal to a broader customer base. The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine provides impressive performance with 362 hp and peak torque of 384 lb-ft, sprinting from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). The newly developed front axle, taut elastokinematics and the highly precise steering make a substantial contribution to the agile driving experience. The highlights 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine with modified engine control unit for increased boost and high-revving 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with double-declutching function when shifting down and exhilaratingly short response times in "Sport Plus" mode AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 31 to 69 percent (front axle to rear axle) AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive variable damping in three stages; mode can be selected via button, adopted from Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch for dynamic, individually-selectable driving experience with five drive modes and AMG-specific tuning Three-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP® Front axle with newly developed steering knuckles and load-bearing joints on the spring link. Elastokinematic adjustments to the links have been adopted from the Mercedes-AMG C63 Rear axle with elastokinematics tailored to higher driving dynamics Large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 14.2", and with a diameter of 12.6" at the rear AMG styling with distinctive front and rear apron as well as special tailpipes Diamond radiator grill with chrome-plated pins and louvers in high-gloss black 18" AMG light-alloy wheels in 5-spoke design, painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish AMG instrument cluster with checkered flag design with 180 mph scale and AMG main menu Multifunction sports steering wheel in leather with deep embossing in grip area, flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching Upholstery in MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber in black with sport seat upholstery layout and red topstitching AMG-specific: the 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine The C43's 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine has seen several technical advances including a modified boost pressure allowed AMG engineers to increase the engine's power output and torque as well as its dynamism and flexibility to AMG levels. With 362 hp and 384 lb-ft, the V6 engine sets new standards in its segment. The NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder liners is also used in the Formula One engines of the MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS team. Especially tough and wear- resistant, this coating reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminum insert in the engine cover. Short shift times, high efficiency: 9G-TRONIC The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the Mercedes-AMG C43. Thanks to the model-specific software application, AMG developers managed to substantially reduce the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The ability to downshift multiple gears at once allows for even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gearshifts in the "Eco" and "Comfort" modes. "Manual" mode can be enabled by pressing a button on the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can change gears using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches redline. AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with automatic variable damping The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe offers the optimum conditions for high driving dynamics and outstanding comfort on long journeys thanks to the standard-fit AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension. The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity. Negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics and the elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. All these measures improve agility and boost the dynamics. In addition, the driver benefits from reduced body roll, higher lateral acceleration, better traction and neutral handling at the limit. The driver can select the automatic adjustable damping system's three suspension modes "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus" by pressing a button on the center console to fully customize the driving impression. Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes "Eco," "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport Plus" and "Individual," the driver can tailor the characteristics of the C43 Coupe to individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. These modes modify several key parameters, including the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. The "Sport Plus" mode in particular delivers impressive hallmark AMG dynamics: partial cylinder suppression during full-throttle gear changes by means of a precisely defined delay in both ignition timing and fuel injection allows for faster and more audible gear changes. This is perfectly complemented by the double- declutching function when downshifting. In order to increase efficiency, the ECO start/stop function and the 'sailing' function reduce fuel consumption in "Eco" mode; when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level and driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode. Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sport steering The speed-sensitive sport steering assists the agile cornering of the new C43 Coupe with its variable ratio. It stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The servo assistance can be varied with the "Comfort" or "Sport" settings. The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized in "Individual" mode. Muscular with an emphasis on width: the exterior design The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is sporty in appearance, making it instantly recognizable as a member of the AMG family. Characteristic features include distinctive AMG styling as well as specific light-alloy wheels, underscoring the brand's progressive nature and performance. The engine cover has a red aluminum insert that accentuates the strengths of the six-cylinder Biturbo engine. Exterior AMG styling includes the front apron with sporty distinctive air intakes, diamond meshes, silver chrome trim, as well as the rear apron with matte iridium silver diffuser insert. The diamond radiator grill features chrome-plated pins, louvers in high-gloss black and AMG lettering. A silver-chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to various cooling modules. Additional highlights include black exterior mirror housings, high-gloss black waistline trim strip and window frame, as well as the two chrome-plated tailpipes with center divider. Further striking features come courtesy of the new "BITURBO – 4MATIC" lettering on the front fenders and the "AMG" (left) and "C43" (right) lettering on the trunk lid. Customers can choose the optional “Night Package," which adds high-gloss black front apron trim, a high-gloss black diffuser-look insert at the rear and two black tailpipes with center divider. AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish round off the design visually. Size 225/45 R 18 tires on 7.5 x 18 light-alloy wheels are fitted at the front, while the rear axle comes with 245/40 R 18 tires on 8.5 x 18 wheels. 19" light-alloy wheels in various designs are optionally available for even greater individualization. Sporty interior looks with model-specific details The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a spirited driving style, the multifunction sport steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching. The driver finds a secure and comfortable seating position even at speed thanks to improved lateral support provided by sport seats. The MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber upholstery and the instrument panel trimmed with MB-Tex create a sporty ambience. The man-made leather is also used on the upper edges of the body, the armrests, the door center panels and the center console. Red contrasting topstitching, designo red safety belts and black floor mats with red edging add attractive highlights. The aluminum trim pieces with light-tone longitudinal grain embedded in the instrument panel and the doors provide effective contrasts. The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimized for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look and feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 4.5-inch multifunction color display, RACETIMER and 180 mph scale in checkered-flag design. View full article
  24. Subaru will complete its trifecta of Impreza concepts next month with the introduction of the XV Concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Despite the XV not using the Impreza name, it is essentially a reworked version of Subaru's compact with higher ground clearance, chunkier wheels, body cladding, and skid plates. Subaru has decided not to give us any details about the XV Concept aside from a teaser photo. But we can tell that the concept has a set of meaty wheels, skid plates, and a new grille. We'll have more details when the XV Concept is revealed on March 1st. Source: Subaru Press Release is on Page 2 Subaru to Debut “Subaru XV Concept” at 2016 Geneva International Motor Show Tokyo, February 9, 2016 – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, today announced that the “Subaru XV Concept” will make its world debut at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show to be held in Switzerland (Press day: March 1 – 2 / Open to the public: March 3 – 13, 2016). The Subaru XV Concept will be unveiled at the press briefing scheduled for 11:15 AM (Central European Time) on March 1 at Subaru booth. View full article
  25. Maserati was hoping to keep the Levante - their first SUV - under wraps before its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. But Dutch publication Autoweek published leaked images of the Levante earlier today. That caused the Italian automaker to reveal the Levante's exterior and spill some information on it. As we have reported previously, the Levante would not be using any of the design found the on Kubang concept. Instead, the Levante looks like a Ghibli or Quattroporte hatchback or wagon. Up front is the distinctive grille that Maserati has been using on their current lineup, along with narrow headlights and sculpted hood. The back end is very reminiscent of the Porsche Cayenne. Maserati describes the Levante's chassis as combining "the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride." We're doubting most owners of the Levante are planning to go off-road. Maserati has also revealed that the Levante will have an eight-speed automatic and Q4 all-wheel-drive system. We'll have more details on the Levante next month. Source: Maserati, Autoweek.nl Press Release is on Page 2 Maserati Levante Maserati's first SUV receives its eagerly-awaited world unveiling at the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show Maserati reveals the exterior form of the Levante, the first SUV in the brand's more than one hundred year history: the new model completes the existing range of saloon and sports cars, extending the offering together with the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio models. The design of the Levante features clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character: the aggressive front introduces new, tapered headlights separated into two elements, with the upper headlight unit connected to the radiator grille. Maserati's design signature is clearly visible on the sides: the three iconic air vents on the front wings, the trapezoidal C-pillar with the “Saetta” logo and the large, frameless door windows. The rear is dominated by the very tapered back window and streamlined shape, both typical of a high-performance sports car. At a technical level, the Levante's chassis is designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride. The new SUV boasts a high level of content as standard, with all versions featuring: sophisticated electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, which can be set on several levels, “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmission specially calibrated for the brand's new SUV. When it comes to power units, the Levante is equipped with both petrol and diesel engines that are all Euro6-compliant. The Maserati Levante is built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin; the first cars have already come off the assembly line with the launch planned for this spring in Europe, to be followed by the rest of the world later this year. View full article

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