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  1. Earlier this week saw Mercedes-Benz introduce the next-generation E-Class wagon. But there is a new variant that will debut later this fall. Mercedes-Benz confirmed to Autocar that a model to compete against the Audi A6 Allroad and the upcoming Volvo V90 Cross Country will be shown at the Paris Motor Show in September. Known as the E-Class All Terrain, the wagon will feature Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system and an air suspension that can be raised or lowered depending on the terrain. “It won’t be as good as an SUV off road, but it will be able to go farther than most owners will expect,” said Michael Kelz, chief engineer on the E-Class. The exterior will come with plastic body cladding, new bumpers, and underbody protection. Mercedes-Benz will kick off sales of the E-Class All Terrain early next year. At the moment, there are no plans to bring it to the U.S. Source: Autocar
  2. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 26, 2012 The calm before the storm that is the auto show season. The beginning point is the Paris Motor Show which begins tomorrow. However, some automaker have made the decision to reveal some of their products and concepts a day earlier. The automakers include Jaguar, Bentley, and Porsche. Lets dive in Next: Jaguar Jaguar's showing for Paris was the new F-Type. Rumored for many years, Jaguar has finally brought a small, two-seat roadster to the market. Design draws a lot of inspiration from the C-X16 concept shown last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The front end features a bulging hood with vents, vertical xenon headlights, and vents. The rear-end has unique taillights that wrap around and a spoiler that rises up at speed. Inside, the F-Type has a driver-oriented dash layout and a grab-pull besides the center stack. Jaguar also fitted center air vents that deploy when the HVAC systems deems it necessary. Power will come either two V6s or a V8, all supercharged. F-Type: Supercharged V6 - 340 HP, 332 lb-ft F-Type S: Supercharged V6 - 380 HP, 339 lb-ft F-Type V8 S:Supercharged V8 - 495 HP, 460 lb-ft The only transmission choice is a eight-speed automatic transmission with paddles. The F-Type uses an aluminum structure which brings forth added rigidity and light weight (3,520 lbs) The new F-Type arrives in the U.S. next summer as a 2014 model. Next: Bentley Bentley's showing was their new Continental GT3 race car. Using the Continental GT as a base, Bentley threw out the AWD system and goes for RWD layout. Bentley also says the car is equipped with an aero package to allow the vehicle to cut through the wind. Powertrain wasn't revealed. Bentley says the Continental GT3 has the full support of the FIA nd will be “eligible for a range of race series, up to and including 24-hour marathons." The Continental GT3 starts a test season next year. Next: Porsche Porsche's showing was the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept or a Panamera wagon. The Panamera Sport Turismo Concept design extends the roofline, amount of glass, and adds a tailgate. It won't win any best design awards, but its better than the current Panamera. Power comes from a upgraded hybrid system from the current Panamera and Cayenne that produces a combined 410 HP and 67.2 MPG on the European test cycle. Porsche hints that the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept "is an outlook on a possible Porsche sports car of tomorrow," meaning that what we're seeing here could be what the next Panamera will look like. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Releases for the F-Type, Continental GT3 and Panamera Sport Turismo Concept are on Pages 4, 5, and 6. 26 September 2012 JAGUAR F-TYPE UNVEILED AT THE 2012 PARIS MOTOR SHOW At-A-Glance • The F-TYPE is an all-new two-seat Jaguar soft-top convertible sports car • Front-engine, lightweight aluminum architecture and rear-wheel drive, the F-TYPE is engineered to be a true high-performance sports car • Three models will be available – F-TYPE, F-TYPE S and the F-TYPE V8 S, powered respectively by the new Jaguar supercharged 3-liter V6 engine in 340hp and 380hp outputs and a 495hp 5-liter supercharged V8 • The convertible top folds in 12 seconds at speeds up to 30 MPH • Constructed on the fourth generation of Jaguar lightweight aluminum architecture. Torsional and lateral stiffness have been prioritized to maximize handling agility • The F-TYPE introduces a new sports car design language for Jaguar, with bold, clean lines accented by the discreet use of technology, including a deployable rear spoiler and hidden door handles • Exciting performance, with 0-to-60 in 5.1 seconds for the F-TYPE, 4.8 for the S model and 4.2 for the V8 S. The V8 S has a top track speed of 186 mph2 • All engines drive through an eight-speed 'Quickshift' automatic transmission, with a center console-mounted SportShift gear selector and steering wheel-mounted paddles for full manual control • Available Configurable Dynamics program allows the driver to tailor a number of the dynamic features to personal taste and includes displays for lap timer and G-meter functions1, 2 • Driver-focused interior melds classic sports car feel with high-tech controls • Jaguar F-TYPE to arrive in U.S. market in summer 2013 "Jaguar is a founding member of the sports car segment with a rich sporting bloodline stretching over 75 years, and in the F-TYPE we've reignited that flame. The F-TYPE isn't designed to be like anyone else's sports car. It's a Jaguar sports car – ultra-precise, powerful, sensual and, most of all, it feels alive." Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar The new Jaguar F-TYPE represents a return to the company's heart: a two-seat, convertible sports car focused on performance, agility and driver involvement. The F-TYPE is a continuation of a sporting bloodline that stretches back more than 75 years and encompasses some of the most beautiful, thrilling and desirable sports cars ever built. Joining the XK convertible and coupe models, the new F-TYPE provides Jaguar with a broader line of sports and GT models. The 2013 Jaguar F-TYPE combines low vehicle weight (starting at 3,521 pounds), high power (340hp, 380hp and 495hp versions) and superb aerodynamics to achieve a pure sports car experience, yet with Jaguar elegance and luxury. A true two-seat sports car, the all-new Jaguar F-TYPE is equipped with a modern, lightweight soft top that, when lowered, serves as its own tonneau cover. This not only provides a weight savings, but also improves packaging and contributes to the car's low center of gravity for greater agility. The top can be fully raised or lowered in just 12 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph. Its multi-layer construction includes a Thinsulate® lining for optimal thermal and sound-insulating properties. EXTERIOR DESIGN Jaguar cars have always defined sinuous, muscular elegance, and the F-TYPE continues -- and advances -- this tradition with new, assertive design language. Two "heartlines" define, in just two bold strokes, both the profile and top-down view of the F-TYPE. The main "heartline" theme begins in the blade dissecting the shark-like gills on either side of the grille. This first heartline runs up and forms the sharp top crease of the fender line, which provides sight lines that aid the driver in cornering maneuvers. It leads the eye along the top of the front fender, which is emphasized by the headlamp design, and then into the door and toward the rear of the car where it gracefully disappears. This sweeping line is mirrored by the feature line that runs back from the side vent. Along with "lightcatcher" surface detailing above the sill, the line instills a sense of speed to the car. The lightcatcher surface detailing also allows the door surface to wrap around the side of the car, creating a fuselage effect. The second "heartline" swells out to form the muscular rear haunch before sweeping dramatically around the rear of the car. The clean, sleek lines of the tail are made possible in part by the inclusion of an active rear spoiler that deploys at speed to reduce aerodynamic lift. The spoiler rises when the F-TYPE reaches 60 mph and then lowers to fit flush when the speed drops below 40 mph. Further discreet aerodynamic aids include a front splitter and a sculpted rear valance. "Every aspect of a sports car, dimensionally, allows us to create something that is visually exciting; visceral as well as physical. To me the definition of sports car design is being fit for purpose, wrapping up the occupants and mechanicals in the most exciting, beautiful and sensual package possible with no unnecessary surfaces or adornment. A piece of design should tell a story and this is why every line in the F-TYPE has a start, a direction and a conclusion. If you approach every line individually and get it as aesthetically correct as possible, get the dimensions right, it will stand the test of time." Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar The headlights run vertically rather than horizontally, which leads the eye naturally up and along the fender crease. Technology has facilitated the design language of the F-TYPE; the compact xenon unit requires just one projector, while the J-Blade LED running lights further emphasize the design of the heartline running through the lamp. The grille leans slightly forward to create a suggestion of motion when the car is stationary. The lower edge of the clamshell hood forms the top of the side vent. The mesh in the grille and side vents is a hexagonal design that gives greater form and depth. The hidden, automatically deploying door handles support the design purity. The handles remain flush with the door panel until activated by either unlocking the car with the key fob or touching a touch-sensitive area of the handle. Their automatic deployment provides a mechanical "handshake," inviting the driver and passenger to enter. Once the car is moving, the handles retract to leave an uninterrupted aerodynamic surface. Full LED rear lamps create a new Jaguar sports car signature by reinterpreting classic cues from the past. By wrapping the lights around to the trailing edge of the rear wheel arch, the car's powerful rear-wheel drive stance is emphasized. Reflecting the way the front grille leans forward, the tail tucks inward, reinforcing the impression that the car is poised to leap forward. Differing exhaust and tailpipe designs distinguish the V6 and V8 variants of the F-TYPE. The V6 models feature twin center outlets in a nod to the classic Jaguar E-TYPE introduced in 1961. The boldest exhaust finishers ever fitted to a Jaguar, these are stamped from a single piece of stainless steel, creating an unbroken gleaming surface. The V8 S model exclusively features four outboard-mounted exhaust outlets, with twin outlets on each side. Further detail differentiation between the three variants is found in the exterior trim. The F-TYPE V6 model is marked by satin black trim elements in the grilles, vents, front splitter and rear valance, while the two 'S' models receive gloss-black finishes in these areas. The V6 model features standard 18-inch alloy wheels, with 19-inch and 20-inch wheels standard for the S and V8 S, respectively, and available as options for the V6. The V8 S also receives additional aerodynamic features, including front vanes beneath the shark gills and flat side sill extensions to manage airflow. "This is the car that, as a team, we have always wanted to do. It was very much a team operation because we work very closely together and have a strong shared aesthetic. To begin with, I will let people express themselves as to what they think a Jaguar sports car should look like. Of course I will have a view in my head but I won't impose that on them. It's important because great things come out of it. It's an iterative process, it's about problem solving. Not just the functional and the practical but how to make that line work with that one or that form with another. The whole process is very intimate, very detailed and comes from the first sketches." Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar ALUMINUM STRUCTURE Jaguar, which has innovated the use of aluminum body structures, built the new F-TYPE around its most advanced rigid and lightweight aluminum architecture to date. Jaguar engineers applied more than a decade's worth of aluminum construction experience to achieve the twin goals for the F-TYPE of low mass and an extremely rigid body. Key to this was the further development of alloy technology. AC300, a 6000-series aluminum alloy, was specifically selected for parts of the F-TYPE to meet these goals. The F-TYPE structure is riveted and bonded, and this manufacturing process emits up to 80-percent less CO2 compared to that from welding a comparable steel structure. In addition to the structural alloy, Jaguar further developed an AC600 aluminum panel alloy in order to deliver the desired design language. This AC600 alloy offers robustness and quality of finish but with a great degree of formability. The effects can be seen in the clarity and tightness of radii and feature lines. It was the radius tightness of just 8mm that allowed the engineers to reproduce the car's "heartlines" exactly as the designers had intended. Aluminum construction, including all-aluminum double wishbone front and rear suspensions, helps endow the F-TYPE with an ideal balance, which enhances the agility demanded of a pure sports car. The new structural alloys used in the F-TYPE construction results in high rigidity. Using detailed Computer Aided Engineering programs, Jaguar achieved lateral stiffness gains of up to 30 percent in key areas, such as the front suspension mounting points, compared to other Jaguar models. This rigidity provides a precision foundation for a finely tuned suspension system to deliver a superb driver connectivity and fidelity of response. Significantly, the beautiful clamshell hood, an exotic signature feature of the F-TYPE and where the front heartline begins, is a one-piece stamping, made using a 1,000-ton press. Jaguar developed other new manufacturing techniques in order to deliver both the design and structural integrity engineered into the F-TYPE. A new process, known as "warm forming", is used to produce the inner door stamping. The ordinary stamping process with cold metal could not achieve the desired shape. Jaguar engineers developed a method in which the metal is heated to 500°F (260°C) before pressing. As a result, the desired shape and structure are achieved from one large pressing rather than numerous smaller ones, reducing complexity and weight. The F-TYPE employs more composite materials than in any previous Jaguar, with structures under the sill and the trunk lid constructed from high-strength polymers. Extensive analysis throughout the car's structure, powertrain, body and convertible roof contributed to the overall vehicle weight of about 3,521 pounds (1,597 kg). Concentrating as much of the mass as possible within the wheelbase by minimizing the front and rear overhangs also contributes to the car's agility and stability. Aluminum forms a great part of the commitment Jaguar has made to sustainability. More than half the content of the car comes from recycled or reclaimed metal. In addition, Jaguar is rolling out its closed-loop recycling system to its suppliers, ensuring all waste metal from the manufacturing process is reused. "We are creating a new generation of Jaguar sports car so it has to be credible from both a performance and design point of view. It has to deliver, it has to be a great handling car with a stiff, rigid platform underpinning and it has to look every inch an icon. For our team the greatest satisfaction was delivering a structure that underpinned the desired performance attributes - ride, handling and agility – by increasing stiffness and at the same time reducing weight. We also worked hard to deliver the designers' vision. The biggest design challenge was the hood. Not only is it a one-piece pressing, it's where the first heartline begins. When we produced that stamping, we all stood around the gloss black painted hood under the high intensity lights and the designers said to us, 'yes, that's what we wanted' and the tooling engineers said, 'we can make that'. That was us working at our best; delivering the design proposition in high volumes." Mark White, Chief Engineer, Body Complete PERFORMANCE The F-TYPE showcases the new supercharged Jaguar engines, a 3-liter supercharged V6 in 340hp and 380hp states of tune and the 5-liter supercharged V8 in the F-TYPE V8 S with 495hp and 460 ft-lbs of torque. All are equipped with the new Intelligent Stop/Start system to enhance fuel economy under certain driving conditions. The 340hp version of the supercharged V6, which debuted in the 2013 XJ and XF sedans, produces 332 ft-lbs of torque at 3,500-5,500 rpm. The 380hp version, exclusive to the F-TYPE, produces 339 ft-lbs of torque at 3,500-5,500 rpm. The V8 produces an even broader torque curve, with 460 ft-lbs produced over the 2,500-5,500 rpm range. The 340hp V6 model can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in 5.1 seconds (0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds). The 380hp S model lowers that to 4.8 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds), and the V8 S can hit 60 mph from rest in just 4.2 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds). Electronically limited maximum track speeds are 161 mph (260 km/h), 171 mph (275 km/h) and 186 mph (300 km/h), respectively, for the V6, V6 S and V8 S models.2 In addition to rapid zero-to-60 acceleration, the new Jaguar supercharged engines give the F-TYPE outstanding merging and passing performance. The 340hp V6 model will go from 50 to 75 mph in just 3.3 seconds; the 380hp S version in 3.1 and the V8 S model in 2.5 seconds. 2 Based on the Jaguar 5-liter V8 engine, the 3-liter V6 shares its all-alloy construction. The lightweight die-cast aluminum block is stiffened with cross-bolted main bearing caps, increasing rigidity and refinement. A system of counter-rotating front and rear balancer weights help give the new supercharged V6 the smoothness and refinement characteristics of the V8 on which it is based. The supercharged V6 and V8 engines combine high compression, direct fuel injection, dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT) and a supercharger to deliver their high levels of performance and efficiency. A twin vortex supercharger is mounted in the engine's "V", and a water-cooled intercooler reduces the temperature of the intake air to optimize power and efficiency. The supercharged V6 uses a higher compression ratio than the V8, 10.5:1 vs. 9.5:1. In both the V6 and V8, the aluminum cylinder heads package an innovative valve control system. The dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT) system is activated by the positive and negative torques generated by the movement of the intake and exhaust valves, allowing exceptionally quick actuation rates of more than 150 degrees per second throughout the rev range. Spray-guided direct injection delivers precisely measured quantities of fuel directly into the center of the combustion chambers at pressures of up to 150bar (2175 psi) , creating a more homogenous air-fuel mixture for cleaner and more efficient combustion. This is aided by spark plugs that are precisely indexed both in relation to the injector and within the combustion chamber. Intelligent Stop/Start The new Intelligent Stop/Start system offers fuel economy benefits under certain urban driving conditions. Stop/Start uses a twin solenoid starter, enabling the system to restart the engine quickly as the driver's foot to move from the brake pedal to the accelerator. There is also a strategy for engine stop-start "change of mind" scenarios. This will bring the engine back up to speed even during its run-down phase if, for instance, the car is coming to a halt at an intersection when the driver sees an opportunity to join the traffic flow. As the engine is shutting down, but before it has completely stopped, it can rapidly restart by injecting fuel into the cylinders. Active Exhaust Standard for the V6 S and V8 S models and optional for the V6, an Active Exhaust system enhances the exhaust note. Electronically controlled bypass valves in the rear section of the exhaust open under hard acceleration, effectively providing a free-flowing straight-through arrangement. At cruising speeds, the valves will close, retaining a powerful exhaust note with comfortable sound levels. Eight-speed 'Quickshift' Automatic Transmission With eight closely spaced ratios in the Quickshift automatic transmission, the F-TYPE driver can select a gear which will keep the engine within its optimal power band. The transmission was specifically tuned by Jaguar for the F-type to prioritize acceleration. The V6 S model has a slightly lower (higher numerical) final drive ratio, 3.31:1 vs. 3.15:1 than the standard V6 model. The entire drivetrain of the F-TYPE – up to and including tire contact patches – is tuned for optimal response to allow for ultra-fast transient torque delivery, which provides the driver with a high degree of responsive feedback. Importantly, once the transmission has shifted into second gear, a locking clutch bypasses the torque convertor, creating a direct mechanical link between the engine and the rear wheels. The Quickshift system enhances the sense of connectivity by ensuring sharp, immediate shifting performance via rapid and precisely timed engine torque intervention. The operating parameters of the transmission are determined by the adaptive shift strategy that has 25 different programs available to it, depending on driving style and road conditions. The transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity, road load, kick-down request and even whether the car is being driven up or down hill. On detecting a more spirited driving style, the transmission will automatically make the shifts more aggressive and move the shift points higher. In order to maintain the car's balance during a downshift, the transmission will instruct the engine management system to automatically blip the throttle to match engine revs. This function also allows the transmission to perform multiple and very rapid downshifts during hard braking. Corner Recognition senses when the F-TYPE is negotiating a curve, the transmission holding its ratio to ensure the correct gear for the exit. The transmission will also recognize when the car is performing a series of overtaking maneuvers requiring rapid changes in throttle position. Rather than upshift, the transmission will hold a lower gear to remain ready for the next demand for acceleration. Manual override of the transmission is available to the driver at any time, using either the steering wheel-mounted paddles or the console-mounted selector. Moving the shift selector to the left gate accesses manual mode, in which the driver pulls the lever rearward for an upshift and pushes forward for a downshift. If Dynamic Mode is also selected on the Jaguar Drive Controller, the transmission will not automatically shift up at the engine's redline and will only downshift to prevent engine stalling, leaving control fully in the hands of the driver. A Configurable Dynamics option is another first for a Jaguar. This allows the driver to select which elements of the Dynamic Mode are wanted so, for instance, the steering weight and throttle response can be sharpened while allowing the ride on models with Adaptive Dynamics to remain unchanged. Configurable Dynamics also adds functionality to the central touchscreen aimed at track use of the car. The system allows drivers to record lap and split times and will provide information on throttle and brake inputs and even G-forces generated. 1,2 Dynamic Launch Mode The Jaguar F-TYPE S offers Dynamic Launch Mode for track-driving activities. When the car is stationary, the driver depresses the brake pedal while simultaneously building engine speed with the accelerator until a message reading 'Dynamic Launch Ready' appears in the instrument panel. That signals that the traction control has been set to help facilitate maximum acceleration. Releasing the brake while flooring the accelerator pedal keeps Dynamic Launch Mode engaged for maximum acceleration performance until the driver releases the pedal. 1,2 Limited-Slip Differentials A mechanical limited-slip differential is fitted as standard to the F-TYPE S, which offers driver the opportunity to explore the car's superb balance and outer limits of its grip within a progressive handling envelope. The V8 S model is fitted with an active electronic controlled differential to maximize traction and offer even greater control. Inside the differential, an electric motor acts on a multi-plate clutch to transfer torque to the wheel with the most grip. Fully automatic in operation, the system can apply full locking torque almost instantaneously. Working in conjunction with the stability, traction and ABS systems, it allows for very fine control of power delivery and always makes the most use of available grip.1 Braking The three versions of the F-TYPE offer progressively more powerful braking systems, all with the high levels of pedal feedback required for accurate modulation. The Jaguar Performance system fitted to the 340hp F-TYPE has 13.9-inch (354mm) front and 12.8-inch (325mm) rear brake discs with silver painted calipers. The F-TYPE S uses the Jaguar High Performance system, gaining larger 15-inch (380mm) brake discs at the front. The F-TYPE V8 S uses the Super High Performance system with the largest set of brake discs fitted as standard to a Jaguar production car, including the 15-inch (380mm) front and 14.8-inch (376mm) rear. All cars are fitted as standard with ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist. Jaguar engineers used Computational Fluid Dynamics to optimize brake-cooling using directed cooling air. Cold air is channeled to the brake discs via the air intakes flanking the grille and by the use of aerodynamically shaped suspension components to direct airflow beneath the car. HANDLING DYNAMICS The aluminum structure of the F-TYPE ensures the best possible connection for the driver to the road. Every response from the steering to the transmission shifting, throttle, brakes and suspension has been finely honed to be as connected, accurate and involving as possible. "Fundamentally, a great sports car is one you'll look forward to driving because it's fun, and the F-TYPE definitely delivers on that score. We've worked hard to make sure that responses to steering, throttle and brakes are absolutely immediate, a task made far easier by the rigid aluminum structure at the car's base. It's precise and exciting, a car that you'll want to drive for the sake of driving alone – and it sounds fantastic." Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar Agility in the Jaguar F-TYPE begins with its dimensions, which give the car a planted, "wheels pushed to the corners" stance. The F-TYPE measures 176 inches (4,470mm) in length on a 103.2-in. (2,622 mm) wheelbase. The track is wider in rear than front, 64.1-in. (1,585mm) and 62.4-in. (1,627mm), respectively. Short front and rear overhangs also help in concentrating the mass within the wheelbase, reducing the moment of inertia and making the car much more immediate to turn in. To fully exploit this trait, Jaguar engineers paid particular attention to optimizing front-to-rear weight distribution. To that end, both the battery and windshield washer fluid reservoir have been placed in the trunk, rather than under the hood. To give the steering the greatest accuracy in response and feedback, the F-TYPE uses an alloy front sub frame and very stiff front knuckles, also in aluminum. This arrangement allowed the fitment of the quickest steering rack ever used on a modern Jaguar, giving the driver a very connected-to-the-road feeling. Every Jaguar is engineered and tuned to achieve an excellent balance between ride comfort and handling. In the F-TYPE, that balance naturally tips in favor of involving, accessible handling while still maintaining excellent ride compliance. The Dynamic Mode enables the driver – at the push of a button – to emphasize the sporting character of the car by sharpening throttle response, increasing steering weighting, performing gear changes more quickly and higher up the rev range and by also raising the threshold for stability control intervention. Dynamic mode also prevents automatic upshifts when the gearbox is shifted into manual mode.1 Additionally, the F-TYPE S and V8 S models are fitted with the Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics suspension damping system that controls vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates. The system continuously monitors driver inputs and the attitude of the F-TYPE on the road, adjusting damper rates accordingly up to 500 times a second to optimize stability and agility. The Dynamic Mode in these models also provides firmer damper rates through the Adaptive Dynamics system. 1 "Jaguar has a unique legacy of sports cars so the global expectations for the F-TYPE are immense. Developing it was therefore not just a great privilege but also a huge challenge. A Jaguar sports car is more than speed in its absolute sense; it is about its agility and its reactions to driver inputs, those millisecond responses to create a connection with the vehicle. This pure and predictable level of response is what enables the driver to exploit the potential and capabilities of the car as well as their own. Amongst the many test locations we use is our dedicated development center at the Nürburgring Nordschleife – a circuit unique in the demands it places on a vehicle. As well as being a very high-speed test facility, it is also very demanding of the transmission, the chassis and the brakes, allowing us to really exploit and test those final few tenths of the F-TYPE's abilities. Asking questions of every element of the F-TYPE's performance attributes allowed us to hone them as a holistic, integrated package." Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director DRIVER ENVIRONMENT The F-TYPE asymmetric cabin layout reflects the sharp focus on the driver. The aim was to create an enveloping cockpit for the driver with all the controls placed naturally to hand and logically grouped, allowing maximum attention on the driving experience. A grab handle sweeps down the center console on the passenger side, delineating it from the driver's position and wrapping around the center console. Different finishes in the driver and passenger areas are used, including a different grain on top of the instrument panel and center console than that found on the passenger side. In the S and V8 S models, the main control interfaces – the Engine Start button, steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles and Dynamic Mode toggle – are highlighted in an "Ignis" orange finish, similar to that used on the markings on professional divers' watches. The controls are ergonomically grouped by function, enabling the driver to more easily use them without diverting eyes from the road. "We wanted the experience of sitting in the F-TYPE to be exciting. A sports car cockpit should be an intimate place and so we aimed to get a sense of the surfaces falling towards and then wrapping around the driver. What we've done is given it the essence and spirit of doing what you want to do rather than what's expected of you. The more processed this world becomes, the more important that is." Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar A small-diameter three-spoke steering wheel will also be available in a flat-bottom design, as part of an optional Performance Pack. Numerals on the tachometer are larger and bolder than those on the speedometer, to enhance visibility when for shifting. A TFT LCD screen between the two dials provides further information for the driver. Rotary dials control the heating and air conditioning for each side of the car. A display screen within the two dials indicates temperature and mode. The controls are dual-purpose: in cars fitted with heated seats, pushing the left or right hand dial controls temperature for that seat. A row of toggle switches below the dials control additional climate functions, their design echoing classic Jaguar sports cars. The air vents on top of the dashboard are hidden, and will deploy by rising out of the dashboard only when instructed to by either the driver or climate control system, staying tucked discreetly out of sight in other circumstances. Switches are finished in soft-feel matte black with white markings for maximum legibility, and the highlight accents are deliberately understated satin chrome and dark aluminum. The two S models feature darker finishes than in the standard V6 F-TYPE. Sports seats feature power recline and height adjustment with manual control of fore/aft movement, a nod to weight reduction. Available Performance seats can be ordered with additional side bolstering for greater support during high-force cornering. Both seat types can also be optioned with full power adjustment, including adjustable lumbar and side support. The car's driving position is 20mm lower than in the Jaguar XKR-S, lowering the center of gravity and allowing the driver to feel more connected to the car. The F-TYPE is available with two audio systems from premium British audio experts Meridian™. These offer either 10 or 12 speakers with outputs of 380 watts and 770 watts, respectively. The Meridian™ systems benefit from the company's experience in digital signal processing to create life-like audio reproduction. The top of the range offering also features the Meridian™ Trifield System, which places both occupants at the center of their own perfectly focused surround sound field. BENTLEY RETURNS TO MOTORSPORT WITH RACING GT Bentley unveils new Continental GT3 concept racer Based on Bentley’s fastest ever road car - the new GT Speed FIA-approved concept with 2013 test programme in development (Paris, 26 September 2012). At the 2002 Paris Motor Show, the unveiling of the Continental GT concept took the world by storm and opened an exciting new chapter in Bentley’s history. Now, ten years on, Bentley is repeating the same feat with a Continental-based GT3 race car currently being developed by a dedicated motorsport team at the company’s factory in Crewe. Signalling Bentley’s return to the racetrack for the first time since its historic sixth Le Mans victory in 2003, Continental GT3 remains faithful to the company’s founding motorsport philosophy of developing racing cars from their road-going counterparts. Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, comments: “The clear message from our customers is that Bentley belongs on the racetrack, and the Continental GT3 is the realisation of a dream we’ve had ever since the launch of the Continental GT. The new GT Speed is the perfect car for us to develop into a racer, and our work so far has shown huge potential. The Continental GT3 is set to show the world what the Continental GT is capable of in its most extreme form, and establishes a solid foundation for Bentley’s long-term motorsport plans.” The new Continental GT Speed is a refined, luxury grand tourer but which, if the driver demands, has a distinctly hard-edged sporting character. With exceptional levels of instantly accessible performance, the GT Speed, the fastest road-going Bentley ever, is a supercar that can be used every day, whatever the weather and road conditions. The Continental GT3 concept capitalises on the prodigious performance, outstanding high-speed stability and renowned durability of Bentley’s iconic coupe, while tailoring its specification for the track with the adoption of a rear-wheel drive chassis in accordance with the regulations, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware and a comprehensive aerodynamic package. The dramatic livery of the car enhances the muscular, sculpted form of the Continental GT Speed while remaining proudly patriotic with the inclusion of Union flags. With the Continental GT3 concept receiving the full support of the FIA, Bentley is returning to the motorsport arena towards the end of 2013 with a GT race car capable of competing with the very best, in the true Bentley tradition. Equipped for endurance as well as outright speed, the new Bentley competitor will be eligible to race in a range of race series and events, up to and including 24-hour marathons. Heading the development of the Continental GT3 is Bentley’s Director of Chassis, Powertrain and Motorsport, Brian Gush. Having led the programme that famously saw a brace of Bentley Speed 8 prototype racers take a dominant and dramatic one/two at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003, Brian is well placed to lead Bentley’s return to competitive racing. Development of the Continental GT3 will continue over the coming months in the build-up to the start of a test programme in 2013. More information and details about Bentley’s return to motorsport will be released in the near future.</p> PORSCHE PANAMERA SPORT TURISMO Porsche is presenting the Panamera Sport Turismo concept car to show how amazingly intelligent and efficient drive technology might look in the design language of tomorrow. The Sport Turismo unites the next generation hybrid drive with new ideas for an evolutionary, sporty body concept; it combines Porsche performance with comprehensive everyday practicality. Body: sports appeal and functionality in further developed design The body concept of the Panamera Sport Turismo is an outlook on a possible Porsche sports car of tomorrow: The overhangs are short, and the boot lid is large – both sporty and functional. The concept car combines the dimensions of a premium vehicle with the interior comfort of the luxury class. The Sport Turismo is 1,990 mm wide, a low 1,401 mm in height and 4,950 mm long. Its direction indicators and sidelights are integrated in C-shaped lighting units – known as C-Blades – mounted in the large air inlets at the front end. Together with four-point LED headlights in an innovative design, they define the front end appearance of the concept car. The smooth and taut exterior skin is not interrupted by add-on parts – there are no conventional exterior mirrors. In their place, the Sport Turismo has two cameras mounted in the side air outlets whose images are shown on the displays in the cockpit. The rear body has been completely reshaped, yet it retains all of the characteristics of a Porsche. The rear lights in LED technology and the tail-light panel with the "Porsche" badge are sculpted in three dimensions, and the brake light is positioned between the four-point LED rear lights. Forming the roof termination is an adaptive carbon rear spoiler that produces improved downforce. The new Liquid Metal Blue colour gives the concept car a surface that resembles liquid metal and highlights its contours and design lines more distinctly. The wheels in dual-spoke design have a bi-colour look, and the brake callipers are painted Acid Green. The hub locks of the wheels recall the origins of every Porsche – which is motorsport. "e-hybrid" badges on the sides refer to the car's drive concept, while the name "Sport Turismo" at the rear, Concept car Panamera Sport Turismo 1 framed in the same Acid Green colour, emphasises the car's concept character. The milled aluminium battery housing is mounted under the boot floor, which is made of electrochromatic glass and reveals a view of the energy source illuminated in Acid Green at the press of a button. "e-hybrid" stands for plug-in hybrid technology from Porsche The drive technology of the Panamera Sport Turismo completes the next development step towards the plug-in hybrid, symbolised by the "e-hybrid" badge on the front wings. The car's new ability to be charged from the electrical power grid has been combined with even higher performance components. The concept vehicle with its 416 hp (306 kW) of peak system power is designed to be driven in pure electric mode up to a speed of 130 km/h and can cover distances of over 30 km. The Sport Turismo also exhibits impressive fuel economy per the NEDC standard; its combined fuel consumption is less than 3.5 litres per 100 km, while CO2 emissions are under 82 g/km. The drive system of the Panamera Sport Turismo is an advanced development of the parallel full hybrid that Porsche already implements today in the Panamera S Hybrid and Cayenne S Hybrid. The new electric motor produces about 70 kW (95 hp), which is around twice as much as in today's Porsche hybrid drive, while the three-litre V6 supercharged engine still produces 245 kW (333 hp) here. In their interplay, they accelerate the concept car from zero to 100 km/h in less than six seconds. Power pack: lithium-ion battery with external charging capability The electric power pack of the Sport Turismo e-hybrid consists of a lithium-ion battery whose performance is several times that of the nickel-hydride battery currently used in production, although it has practically the same dimensions. Its 9.4 Kilowatt-hours of energy storage capacity and high peak power enable faster acceleration, longer electric driving range and higher speeds when driving without the internal combustion engine. The default operating mode of the e-hybrid prioritises all-electric driving, but the driver may deactivate this by pressing a special button on the steering wheel. In addition, when the car is being operated in hybrid mode the driver can select the e-charge mode by pressing the steering wheel button to intentionally intensify charging of the high-voltage battery. This is especially useful when one section of the driving route on a motorway is followed by a section through a city that should be driven in pure electric mode without local emissions. In the e-charge mode, the internal combustion engine charges the battery by load point shifting, while satisfying rational energy management criteria. As a plug-in hybrid, the fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery is not only charged while driving; it can also be externally charged within 2.5 hours (depending on the power supply) via a charging interface on the vehicle. Porsche systematically thought through all aspects of the concept car's plug-in system; it utilises a universal charger (AC) that is wall-mounted in a home garage and has a standardised charging plug. Familiar and yet completely new: touch displays for instruments and controls The interior of the Sport Turismo is a forward-looking interpretation of purist sports car thinking: as little as possible and as much as necessary. Instead of classic instruments, a large central TFT colour display is positioned in front of the driver; it is used to call up and display any vehicle information as needed – from the tachometer to driving data or navigation. Two monitors, one to the left and one to the right of this display, show images from the "exterior mirror" cameras. Two additional displays in tube form provide information on the hybrid-specific driving states, e.g. pure electric driving, as well as other functions. The power meter in the instrument panel illuminates in Acid Green and shows the combined system power of the two drives. A press on the touch-sensitive colour display starts the e-hybrid. Naturally, on the side that is typical of a Porsche: the left side. A completely new type of touch display in the ascending centre console incorporates additional controls; this is the control centre for the e-hybrid and all other functions that is implemented in black panel technology. It offers the driver the option of influencing the hybrid drive via smart keys to choose maximum driving fun, Concept car Panamera Sport Turismo 3 maximum performance or maximum efficiency. All driving indicators and control functions are also intuitively operated by multi-touch functionality, such as automatic climate control, seat adjustment, lights, reversing camera and the functions of Porsche Communication Management (PCM). Wide-ranging communications and control via smart phone app The Panamera Sport Turismo gives the driver entirely new options for customised communications. The driver can use mobile online services to access and control all key vehicle information with a smart phone app. Charge control by mobile phone shows the user just how much electricity the battery has already stored at any given time and predicts how much more time the charging process will take. In addition, there is a charging timer with user-defined charging times. Moreover, the vehicle's interior can also be preconditioned by mobile phone, e.g. by turning on the air conditioner, and the vehicle will already be at the right temperature before driving with electricity supplied from a household electrical outlet. Specifications Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Body: Sport Turismo with four individual seats, four doors and boot lid. Drive system: Parallel full hybrid; 3-litre V6 engine, charged; hybrid module with electric motor and disengagement clutch; rear-wheel drive. Power: 245 kW (333 hp) V6 engine approx. 70 kW (95 hp) hybrid module 306 kW (416 hp) (combined peak power) Suspension: Double wishbone front suspension; electo-mechanical power steering; multi-link rear suspension. Dimensions: Length Width Height 4,950 mm 1,990 mm 1,401 mm Energy supply: Lithium-ion battery with 9.4 kWh capacity and plug-in charging system compatible with electrical power grid. Performance: Top speed, pure electric mode approx. 130 km/h Acceleration: 0 – 100 km/h < 6.0 s Consumption (NEDC): Combined < 3.5 l/100 km CO2 emissions: Combined < 82 g/km Range (NEDC): Pure electric mode: > 30 km Charging time: up to 2.5 h
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 19, 2012 Auto show season is upon us and it means two things; new cars and leaks. Case in point, a picture of the new Jaguar F-Type roadster was leaked earlier this afternoon by spy photographer and friend of C&G, Chris Doane. "Something interesting just popped up in my inbox..." Doane wrote as the caption on the picture on his Facebook fan page. The new F-Type looks to be almost a dead ringer for the C-X16 coupe concept shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, minus the roof. Powertrains will include two supercharged V6s and a possibility of a 5.0L supercharged V8. We'll learn more info about the F-Type when it premieres at the Paris Motor Show next week or before then. (Author's note: Chris has since taken down the picture by request of Jaguar. -WM) Source: Chris Doane Automotive LLC, Motor Authority 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.
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 14, 2012 Almost two years since the introduction of the Paceman concept at the Detroit Auto Show, Mini is showing the production version at the Paris Motor Show this month. The Paceman is essentially a Countryman, minus two doors and some design changes. The roofline is more rakish, the rear fenders are more muscular, and the back is completely different and features a new set of taillights. Inside, the Paceman is a four-seater only. Backseat passengers get their own seats. Cargo space measures out to be 38 cu. ft. when the seats are folded down. Powertrains for the U.S. model are going to be the base 1.6L four-cylinder producing 122 HP and 118 lb-ft of torque, and the turbocharged 1.6L producing 184 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. Both engines have the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic and front- or all-wheel drive. The Paceman rides lower than a Countryman and comes with MacPherson struts with forged crossmembers in front, while the rear gets a multilink setup. Electric power steering will come as standard. The Paceman will go on sale in the first quarter of 2013. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 SETTING A NEW PACE FOR MINI: The all-new MINI Paceman 13.09.2012 -- A sporty new exterior design, lowered suspension for a dynamic ride and an exciting reinterpretation of the familiar interior – feast your eyes on the all-new MINI Paceman, set for UK launch in March 2013. Styled as a coupé interpretation of the Countryman, four versions will be available when it arrives in showrooms next spring, including the MINI Cooper S Paceman which will have a 0-62mph of just 7.5 seconds. The seventh unique member of the family, it will sell alongside the Hatch, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupé and Roadster. Packed with MINI character and obvious design cues which tie it to the rest of the range, the three-door Paceman's unique exterior styling is what immediately catches the eye. Built on the Countryman platform, bumper to bumper the car is 4,109 mm (4,115mm for MINI Cooper S Paceman and Cooper SD Paceman), which makes it almost identical in size to its sibling. With a contemporary and expressive body shape, the Paceman has been created to appeal to a new type of design-conscious customer. The prominent horizontal lines and dynamic curved surfaces give the promise of sporting performance, yet there is an elegant simplicity to the overall form of the car. The upright front grille, complete with hexagonal radiator grille and broad chrome surround, gives the Paceman genuine presence. Its coupé-style stretched side profile features long doors, while the blacked-out pillars create a 'floating' roof concept, as already seen on the MINI Coupé. Available in either black, white or body colour, the roof gently slopes towards the rear of the car, ending at the integrated spoiler. The horizontal arrangement of the rear lights, which accentuates the car's width, is a first for MINI. The Paceman is the only member of the brand's line-up to be identified by a rear nameplate. The car's interior has been designed specifically for this model. Its highlight is the innovative rear seat, which has been styled around a lounge concept. Two individual chairs provide generous levels of head, shoulder and knee room with outstanding comfort and support. Armrests have been integrated into the rear trim. A two-section version of the MINI Centre Rail storage and attachment system – first seen in the Countryman – comes as standard. A full-length variant is available as an option. The Paceman is a strict four-seater, though practicality has not been sacrificed. Folding down the rear seats expands the rear load-carrying capacity from 330 litres to a maximum of 1,080 litres. Access is via a large and high-opening tailgate, offering extra practicality for owners. In the front, the raised seating position gives the driver and passenger an excellent view in every direction. The instrument panel includes many familiar components, including the large round central speedo. However, its black surround and decorative inner rings in high-gloss black or chrome are new, as are the redesigned air vent surrounds. Buttons for the windows, which have been toggle switches below the speedo on every MINI to date, have moved to the door trim panel. MINI's trademark go-kart handling will be a key part of the Paceman's appeal, enhanced by the optional all-wheel drive transmission. Lowered sports suspension as standard will help provide customers with an outstanding driving experience, though regular suspension and ride height are available as a no-cost option. From launch, Paceman customers will have the choice of four powerful four-cylinder engines, two petrol and two diesel. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox, or the optional six-speed automatic with Steptronic function for manual control. For petrol buyers, the MINI Cooper Paceman features a 1.6-litre 122bhp unit offering a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds, fuel economy of 47.1mpg with CO2 emissions of 140 g/km. The MINI Cooper S Paceman uses the same engine, tuned to deliver 184bhp. It will sprint to 62mph in 7.5 seconds. Fuel economy is 46.3mpg and emissions are 143g/km. For those who prefer diesel, the MINI Cooper D Paceman uses a 1.6-litre 112bhp turbocharged engine with a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds. It will provide owners with a frugal 64.2mpg fuel economy and 115g/km emissions. The flagship diesel is the MINI Cooper SD Paceman, which gets a 2.0-litre 143bhp engine. Its 0-62mph time is 9.2 seconds. Fuel economy is 61.4mpg with an emissions figure of 122g/km. For buyers who want the reassuring grip that comes with four-wheel drive, MINI's ALL4 system is available on the Cooper D, SD and Cooper S Paceman, models. And for those seeking the ultimate in MINI performance and desirability, a John Cooper Works Paceman version is in development. Under the Paceman's body shell, sophisticated chassis technology includes MacPherson spring struts and forged cross members at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle and electric power steering with Servotronic function. These combine to provide a sure-footed yet dynamic driving experience. Extra fun can be summoned via the sport button, optional on Cooper and Cooper D, which tweaks the engine's responses and the power assistance provided by the steering. Driver aids include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard across the range, with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) including Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) on the MINI Cooper S Paceman, Cooper SD Paceman and Cooper D Paceman ALL4. Light alloy wheels in 16-inch and 17-inch sizes are standard, with 18-inch or 19-inch on the options list. The state-of-the-art powertrain and suspension technology is married to MINI's acclaimed MINIMALISM environmental systems, which are fitted as standard. They include Auto Start/Stop, Shift Point Display, Brake Energy Regeneration and on-demand operation of ancillary units, all of which help cut fuel use and reduce emissions. Outstanding occupant protection is provided by an extensive range of safety equipment including front and side airbags. Side curtain airbags are fitted in both the front and back. ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear and a tyre pressure warning are on every Paceman. Other standard equipment includes air conditioning, powered door mirrors and front sports seats. Popular options will include Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Park Distance Control, an electrically operated glass roof plus the MINI navigation system. Advanced infotainment functions are available via MINI Connected. A range of optional equipment packages will also be available providing customers excellent value and helping to promote strong residual values. Eight exterior paint shades are available including the new Brilliant Copper and Blazing Red. Starlight Blue also previously unseen and unique to the Paceman. As always with MINI, personalisation is expected to be very popular and there is an extensive choice of bonnet stripes, upholstery variants, interior surfaces and Colour Lines. It will go sale on 16 March 2013 with prices starting at just £18,970 on the road.
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 10, 2012 Suzuki's presence in the U.S. is, um lackluster. However in other parts of the world, Suzuki is a major player. So whenever the company shows off a new vehicle or concept, that means its not for the U.S. However, a vehicle that will make its premiere at the Paris Motor Show could be arriving to the U.S. Suzuki has released two teaser images of the S-Cross concept, a small crossover. Suzuki says that the S-Cross has a "Emotion x Quality x Aerodynamics" design that uses "distinctive dynamic lines that start on the front bumper, sweep across the doors, and continue to the rear of the body." The S-Cross makes its appearance at the Paris Motor Show next month. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 S-CROSS: C-SEGMENT CROSSOVER CONCEPT CAR TO DEBUT AT 2012 PARIS MOTOR SHOW The S-Cross, a concept car heralding a C-segment crossover model from Suzuki will be making its world debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show from 27 September to 14 October*. Suzuki's crossover concept S-Cross embodies an "Emotion x Quality x Aerodynamics" design theme, which is typified by distinctive dynamic lines that start on the front bumper, sweep across the doors, and continue to the rear of the body. Design elements which suggest stability and solidity also help create a cutting-edge crossover look. Further information about the S-Cross and other Suzuki activities can be obtained at the Suzuki Press Conference, scheduled for 7.30 a.m. on 27 September in Hall 5.2 – Aisle B – Stand 509. Suzuki will also be presenting its Alto, Splash, Swift, Swift Sport, SX4, Jimny, and Grand Vitara models. *The 2012 Paris Motor Show will be open to the press on 27 and 28 September and then to the general public from 29 September to 14 October.
  6. Every few years, Audi shows off a TT concept that leads to the speculation of a TT family. Such examples include a shooting brake or a crossover. Now it happens to be a sedan. The Audi TT Sportback Concept doesn't have all of the usual Audi concept trademarks such as large wheels, miniscule mirrors, and odd interior treatments. The outside looks like the new TT coupe with slim headlight and distinctive roofline. The back end reminds us the quattro concept, especially the trunk lid. Compared to the TT Coupe, the Sportback is 11 inches longer, 2.4 inches wider and rides on a wheelbase that is 4.7 inches longer. Under the hood lies a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 400 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive system. "With the TT, Audi created one of the automotive design icons of the last 20 years," says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development. "In the years since, we have designed our sporty and elegant five‑door Audi A5 Sportback* and Audi A7 Sportback*. In our Audi TT Sportback concept show car, we are now fusing both concepts to form a new member of a potential TT family." Source: Audi 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 Ingolstadt/Paris, 2014-10-01 The sportiness of the Audi TT redesigned: The Audi TT Sportback concept show car Sporty elongated sculpture: Concept study reinterprets Audi TT* Board Member for Development Prof. Dr. Hackenberg: “TT Sportback concept unites two concepts to form a new member of a potential TT family” Four-cylinder TFSI provides 400 hp, maximum torque 450 Nm (331.9 lb-ft) A speedy sports car with four seats and five doors – Audi is presenting the TT Sportback concept at the Paris Motor Show. The exterior of the show car invokes the design idiom of the classic TT*, developing it into a new, elongated sculpture. It is driven by a high-powered 2.0 TFSI engine that delivers 294 kW (400 hp). “With the TT, Audi created one of the automotive design icons of the last 20 years,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development. “In the years since, we have designed our sporty and elegant five‑door Audi A5 Sportback* and Audi A7 Sportback*. In our Audi TT Sportback concept show car, we are now fusing both concepts to form a new member of a potential TT family.” The Audi TT Sportback concept captivates with the power of 294 kW (400 hp) that flows through a seven-speed S tronic to the quattro permanent all‑wheel drive. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) takes just 3.9 seconds. The sophisticated suspension and the low center of gravity ensure dynamic handling, and the body integrates a number of lightweight aluminum components. A laser spot that complements the LED high beam is featured in each of the headlights – this innovation from Audi significantly boosts safety when driving in the dark. The Audi virtual cockpit dominates the elegantly designed interior of the show car, with the 12.3‑inch screen replacing the conventional instruments and the MMI monitor. The screen provides top-quality graphics and enables the driver to choose between multiple display levels. In the MMI terminal, the rotary push-button features a touchpad that is used to enter characters and gestures as with a smartphone. The operation of the climate control has been relocated to the air vents. Exterior design The five-door Audi TT Sportback concept is 4.47 meters (14.7 ft) long, 1.89 meters (6.2 ft) wide, and 1.38 meters (4.5 ft) high, featuring a wheelbase of 2.63 meters (8.6 ft). Compared with the new production TT, it is 29 centimeters (11.4 in) longer, 6 centimeters (2.4 in) wider and has a 12 centimeter (4.7 in) larger wheelbase; its height is 3 centimeters (1.2 in) less than that of the new TT. Featuring Mars red paintwork, the body is a statement of powerful elegance: High-precision lines border athletically domed surfaces, and a flat greenhouse is positioned on a powerful body. The design makes use of the Audi TT’s formal idiom to develop a new sporty and elongated sculpture that is highly taut. The distinctive horizontal lines at the front end of the new Audi TT Sportback concept reinforce the broad and sporty look. Bearing the quattro badge on its lower edge, the Singleframe grille is flatter and wider than on the two‑door coupe and features a honeycomb grille insert with a resplendent dark aluminum look. The lateral borders of the Singleframe are continued across the hood as swage lines, giving it a sporty contour. Typically for Audi, the design forms a coherent whole, with all the lines and surfaces of the show car being linked to one another in a logical manner. The front of the Audi TT Sportback concept has another characteristic feature in the form of the large, striking air inlets. Framed by pronounced edges, the air inlets have the look of individual structures and feature honeycomb inserts that fill their interior. A third, flat inlet underneath the Singleframe connects them to each other. The blade that gives the Singleframe structure sharpens the look of the show car whilst boosting the aerodynamics. Another typical TT design feature are the newly designed headlights with separators that demonstrate a unique daytime running light signature. On the Audi TT Sportback concept, the high-beam spot is provided by laser technology – in each headlight, a module comprising four powerful diodes generates a beam of light that illuminates several hundred meters. The laser spot, which is activated at 60 km/h ( 37.3 mph) and above, supplements the LED high beam. For the driver, this is a significant boost to visibility and safety; a camera is used to detect and blank out other road users. The lighting concept is rounded out by the indicator with a dynamized display that is also used in the LED rear lights. It comprises a series of individual diodes that light up one after the other from the inside to the outside, indicating the direction selected by the driver. The side view of the four-seater show car is a particularly striking indication of the close relationship between it and the production TT. The Audi TT Sportback concept sits powerfully on the road and features short overhangs. The wide semicircles of the wheel arches, each of which protrudes by 3 centimeters (1.2 in), have a superimposed look. The front semicircle defines the edge of the hood, which runs as a sharp tornado line across the doors and to the rear end. The trim of the side sill, which connects the wheel arches to one another, also has a broad and sporty appearance. In classic sports car style, the exterior mirrors and their angular housings are positioned on the door top shoulders. The right side part houses the circular filler cap, another classic TT icon. The strong shoulders of the powerful vehicle body support a low greenhouse that is elongated towards the rear. This is in keeping with the Sportback line as implemented by Audi in its A5 and A7 model series. The flat C‑pillar flows elegantly into the shoulder, and the rear has a compact and sleek look. The highly rounded corners of the rear window are a homage to the original TT. The rear of the Audi TT Sportback concept is also focused and sculptural, with five horizontal lines emphasizing its width. The one-piece rear lights – which also include vertical separators inspired by the R18 – form independent structures. These are linked to one another by the handle edge of the luggage compartment, which constitutes a powerfully contoured continuous trim. The surface that bears the number plate is located in the shadow of the spoiler lip. The two large elliptical tailpipes of the exhaust system are embedded in the diffuser and linked by a trim. Interior The driver and the passengers enter the Audi TT Sportback concept through doors with frameless window panes. The interior fits around them with the precision of a sporty suit. In the interior, the uncompromising sportiness of the Audi TT meets the functionality of a five‑door sedan. This is underlined by slimline applications on the dashboard and doors, as well as a long center console which continues through the entire interior. Handworked seams run along the center console and top shoulder from the front through to the luggage compartment, lending a sporty elegance to the interior. The headlining also features an elegant contour that accentuates the length of the interior. The super sport seats with the integrated head restraints are sharply contoured and highly adjustable. There is space for two people in the rear, likewise on individual seats with integrated head restraints. They are separated by functional storage compartments and a comfortable armrest. The backrests can be folded down so that large objects can also be stowed in the luggage compartment beneath the tailgate. The sinewy, taut lines created by the Audi designers in the interior of the show car are closely oriented to those of the production TT. When viewed from the top, the instrument panel resembles the wing of an airplane and the five round air vents are reminiscent of jet engines. The controls for the seat heating, air recirculation, temperature, distribution and strength of the air flow are located on their axes. The omission of the classic air conditioning control panel and the MMI monitor has made it possible to design the instrument panel within a sleek and light architecture that is fully focused on the driver. The Audi virtual cockpit, the digital instrument cluster, replaces the conventional physical displays and the central MMI monitor. The driver can switch to the 12.3‑inch display at multiple levels in order to view top quality graphics. The system is operated via the multifunction steering wheel or the MMI terminal. The touchpad located on the round rotary push-button is used to enter characters and also processes multiple finger gestures – the driver can zoom in on the map as they would on a smartphone. In keeping with the character of sporty elegance, the interior of the Audi TT Sportback concept is defined by the use of high-quality materials. The instrument panel and the upper area of the door trims are dark granite gray in color. The door armrests, the center console and the seats see the use of a new soft leather in parchment beige – this is processed for a particularly near-natural look and has a silky sheen. The door top shoulder is upholstered in Alcantara, parchment beige. The seat upholstery features a diamond pattern. The side bolsters of the seats are trimmed with special accent strips in dark gray leather that are fixed with red thread using a special stitching technique. The instrument panel and the door trims contain decorative surfaces with a dark aluminum look. Further accents in this look are provided by the clasps on the sides of the seats and the trim rings on the air vents. The color and material concept is rounded out by black floor mats made from the rubberized material that also covers the floor of the luggage compartment. Drivetrain The 2.0 TFSI engine in the Audi TT Sportback concept captivates with its performance characteristics: It generates 294 kW (400 hp) at 6,400 rpm, with a specific output of 147 kW (200 hp) per liter of displacement. The four‑cylinder engine puts 450 Nm (331.9 lb‑ft) of torque on the crankshaft between 2,400 and 6,000 rpm, with over 300 Nm (221.3 lb‑ft) already available at just 1,900 rpm. The high-performance engine limits fuel consumption to an average of 7.0 liters per 100 kilometers (33.6 US mpg). This equates to CO2 emissions of 162 grams per kilometer (260.7 g/mi). As a member of the Audi EA 888 engine family, there is a comprehensive package of high-end technology on board for the turbocharged direct-injection unit. The camshaft adjustment on the intake and exhaust sides and the Audi valvelift system, which varies the stroke of the exhaust valves in two stages, ensure good filling of the combustion chambers. At part load, indirect injection complements the FSI direct injection. The exhaust manifold embedded in the cylinder head is an important component of the thermal management. The flow of coolant is managed by a powerful rotary slide module. In order to generate the high power output, the 2.0 TFSI has undergone profound modifications, including special aluminum pistons with an integrated cooling channel and a crankshaft made from ultra-high-strength forged steel. The crankcase consists of a new, high-strength casting alloy and the cylinder head has been designed for the increased gas flow rate. The turbocharger has also been redeveloped and builds up a maximum relative boost pressure of 1.8 bar. It contains a mixed flow turbine wheel that is noted for its particularly fast start-up performance. When driving, the four-cylinder unit’s extreme dynamics are breathtaking. The turbocharged direct-injection engine accelerates the Audi TT Sportback concept from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds, demonstrating excellent response characteristics and running at 7,200 rpm up to the maximum rated speed. The sporty sound is made even more resonant as the load and engine speed increase. The force of the engine flows into a compact seven-speed S-tronic with a three-shaft layout that performs direct gear changes in a few hundredths of a second. The driver can let the dual-clutch transmission operate in two automatic programs or take control using the paddles on the steering wheel. Power is delivered to the road via quattro permanent all‑wheel drive. For optimal weight distribution, the hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch is located on the rear axle. The quattro drive actively controls the distribution of torque between the axles in milliseconds, thus adding to the car’s dynamic handling. Chassis The suspension also reflects the technological expertise behind the Audi TT Sportback concept. The front suspension is based on a McPherson system; aluminum components reduce the weight of the unsprung chassis masses. The four-link rear suspension can process the longitudinal and transverse forces separately. The large wheels have a 21‑inch diameter and a tire format of 255/30. The four brake discs in 18‑inch format feature a weight-saving wave design. The Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) adds the final touch to the handling. A sub-function of the ESC is enabled at the cornering threshold – through minimal application of the brakes at the wheels on the inside of the curve, which are reduced of load, the wheel-selective torque control diverts the drive torque to the wheels on the outside of the curve. For the driver, this means a further boost in terms of neutrality, stability and traction. Body The body plays a leading role in the lightweight construction concept of the Audi TT Sportback concept on the basis of the modular transverse matrix (MQB). The entire front section is made from steel. The passenger compartment floor comprises high-strength, hot-shaped steel components which, thanks to their outstanding strength properties, feature thin walls and are correspondingly light. The compartment’s structure, the outer skin, and the doors and lids are made of the classic Audi semi-finished aluminum products cast node, extruded profile and sheet metal. With its composite concept, the body represents the latest evolution of the Audi Space Frame (ASF). Its hybrid construction ensures that the show car has a low center of gravity – ideal for sporty driving.
  7. For the past year, there was a far fetched rumor flying around that Volkswagen was working on a high-performance version of the XL1 hyper-efficient vehicle with some help from the recently bought Ducati. Well it seems that wasn't as far fetched as many thought. Meet the Volkswagen XL Sport Concept. The concept uses a Ducati V-twin engine from of the 1199 Superlegerra motorcycle which is capable of 197 horsepower. Placed into a vehicle with a curb weight of 1,962 pounds, the XL Sport has a power to weight ratio of 9.95:1. Volkswagen quotes figures such as 11,000 rpm redline, 5.7 seconds to hit 60 MPH, and a top speed of 168 MPH. Aside from the performance and weight, the XL Sport also has aero on its side. The XL Sport has a 0.258 coefficient of drag and a frontal area of only 1.7 square meters, making this one of most aerodynamic vehicles ever built. A peek under the skin reveals strengthened steel suspension subframes, acing-style pushrod rear shock absorbers, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a set of wider performance tires. 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 XL SPORT, FEATURING HIGH-TECH DUCATI V-TWIN ENGINE, MAKES ITS DEBUT AT THE PARIS MOTOR SHOW 197-horsepower sports car is based on the XL1, has a top speed of 168 mph and promises incredible track performance XL Sport uses the world's most powerful two-cylinder engine Better aerodynamics than any other sports car Ducati Superleggera V-Twin engine revs to 11,000 rpm Car accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds High-tech engine features titanium connecting rods, desmodromic valvegear, and magnesium-alloy components Completely new chassis uses a motorsports-derived features Wolfsburg / Paris, October 2014 —There has never been a sports car like the XL Sport concept that is being shown for the first time by Volkswagen at the Paris Motor Show. This is a car that uncompromisingly furthers the development of the lightweight sports car. Based on the XL1, the most fuel-efficient production car of all time, this 168-mph machine is a compelling blend of efficiency and emotion. The XL Sport houses one of the finest achievements in engine technology—the V-Twin adapted from the new Ducati 1199 Superleggera, the world's most powerful two-cylinder motorcycle. Like the XL1, of which only 250 will be built, the Superleggera is also being manufactured in a limited edition of 500 units, using a process that embraces hand fabrication and high-precision industrial manufacturing. The XL1 and the Superleggera, two icons of lightweight carbon and magnesium design technology, thus unite to create a unique sports car. With the XL Sport, Volkswagen and Ducati impressively demonstrate how high-tech developments can lead to synergies between Volkswagen Group brands. Pioneering aerodynamics. The Ducati 1199 Superleggera has the best power-to-weight ratio of any production motorcycle in history. In the car world, the XL Sport achieves a similar record—the best ratio between weight (1962 pounds), power (147 kW/197 hp) and aerodynamics (CdA of 0.44 square meters). It’s a combination that allows the car to reach an impressive top speed of 168 mph on just 197 hp. The vehicle's aerodynamics are one key reason the car performs so well. The coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.258 and the low frontal area of 1.7 sq m combine to give a CdA of 0.44 sq m, one of the best values ever achieved and a major triumph for Volkswagen's aerodynamicists and designers. The achievement is made all the more impressive due to the fact that the concept's performance-car design brief demanded wide tires, apertures for cooling air, and optimal downforce. There are a number of individual features that contribute to the XL Sport's arrow-like performance, in addition to the uncompromising styling. These include special vanes that direct the air at the front into specific channels, wheelarch vents, an optimized underbody, lift-reducing air ducts in the hood, an extendable rear spoiler (powered by the same unit as in the Lamborghini Aventador), and adaptive air vents incorporated in the rear hatch. The world's most powerful two-cylinder engine. The Ducati 1199 Superleggera's V-Twin engine was slightly modified for use in the XL Sport, but is basically the same as the motorcycle’s. Thanks to its tough, lightweight titanium connecting rods, the 1199 cc double-overhead-camshaft engine can rev up to 11,000 rpm. The Superquadro's high speeds are made possible by its extreme bore/stroke ratio of 112 mm by 60.8 mm and the exceptionally short crankshaft stroke associated with it. In addition, the two four-valve cylinders, which are arranged at an angle of 90 degrees to each other, feature desmodromic valve control (positive valve closure) that is typical of the high-revving Ducati engines and requires the finest of precision engineering to ensure optimum valve clearance. Other features of the world's most powerful two-cylinder engine are the use of magnesium-alloy for the clutch, cylinder head, and oil pan covers, the two throttle valve discs, and the two fuel injectors per cylinder. Last but by no means least, the XL Sport has a newly developed step-down transmission to reduce engine speeds by a factor of 1.86. Torque from the V-Twin engine (99 pound-feet) is transmitted to the rear axle via a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. From a standing start, the XL Sport takes 5.7 seconds to reach 62 mph. Racing chassis. The significantly redesigned chassis, high-revving engine, and aerodynamic performance firmly plant the XL Sport in the racing realm. The chassis incorporates high-strength steel subframes which house upper and lower control arms at the front with pullrod actuation for the dampers, while the control arms at the back have pushrods—similar to the layout for a racing car. The forged magnesium-alloy wheels, which save 53 pounds compared to aluminum-alloy rims, are fitted with 205/40 R18 front and 265/35 R18 rear high-performance tires. The XL Sport has a powerful ceramic brake disc setup. CFRP body. Because the XL Sport is a sister model to the XL1, it shares the same basic design. Like the XL1, the central monocoque and most of the body panels are manufactured in carbonfiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) using the RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) process. The monocoque features slightly offset seats for the driver and passenger. The wing doors of the XL1 and XL Sport are reminiscent of a high-end sports car’s. They are hinged at two points: low on the A-pillars and just above the windshield in the roof frame, so they swivel upwards and slightly forwards as well. The doors also extend far into the roof, giving an exceptionally large amount of entry and exit space. In order to keep the weight as low as possible, the windows are made from polycarbonate and are fixed in place: just a segment of the lower area of the side windows can be opened. Compelling proportions. Despite sharing its underlying design with the XL1, the XL Sport has a look of its own. The reason for this is that the XL1 was designed for ultimate fuel efficiency, whereas the XL Sport’s design brief included uncompromising driving dynamics. The XL Sport is longer and wider than the XL1 because of the need for additional downforce on a 168-mph car and because of the packaging requirements of the chassis and powertrain. The XL Sport showcased in Paris is 168.9 inches long (versus 153.1 in for the XL1), 72.7 in wide (65.5 in), and 45.4 in mm high (45.4 in). The wheelbase has also been increased to 95.4 in, up from : 87.6 in. Design concept. As outlined above, the concept car builds on the dynamic and expressive design of the XL1. The surfaces have an even more muscular appearance as they extend over the significantly broader fenders and the large wheels. The XL Sport’s broad front section is marked out by dual LED headlights and the XL1’s signature LED daytime running lights. The XL Sport features air intakes on either side of the headlights for the vanes which feed the air around the car's front end. In common with the XL1, the front section of the XL Sport does not have a conventional radiator grille, yet it retains the current Volkswagen design DNA, with horizontal lines dominating this area. The cooling air supply for the Ducati engine is via vents in the rear fenders. Whereas the XL1 is at its widest at the front and tapers towards the rear, the XL Sport is just as wide at the back as at the front. From above, the shape is that of a classic racing car, with a waisted cockpit area. Air intakes and outlets at the A- and B-posts ensure optimal air flow and cooling for the drive unit. Like the XL1, there are no conventional door mirrors: instead, they are replaced by e-Mirrors, small streamlined cameras integrated in the fenders that send images of the surroundings behind the car to two displays inside the vehicle. In front of the rear wheelarches, the 'Motore Ducati' lettering refers to the 1199 Superleggera engine in the rear. At the rear, the new XL Sport has four specific eye catching features. First, the extremely wide, flat rear has distinctive “shoulders” above the wheels and an extendable rear spoiler that occupies almost the full width. Second, as with the XL1, there is a coupe-shaped roofline without a rear windshield. The rear hatch that merges into the roofline conceals the Ducati engine, the seven-speed DSG transmission and 3.8 cubic feet of luggage space, and incorporates five louvers that open automatically to cool the drive unit. Third, the iconic red LED ribbon follows the shape of the rear section and is framed at the sides by another, vertical, LED element which serves to emphasize the XL Sport’s width. Fourth, there is a black diffuser that merges almost seamlessly into the completely enclosed underbody and is finished at each side with a chrome exhaust tip. Interior design. The interior of the XL Sport is based on the XL1’s, but has been modified and individualized to conform with the change in the vehicle's mission. For example, the XL Sport boasts a digital instrument cluster that includes a lap timer and oil pressure display. A carbonfiber cowl extends across the top of the instrument cluster to completely eliminate reflections. The XL Sport's steering wheel has decorative red stitching and has been equipped with aluminum-alloy shift paddles to facilitate ultra-quick gear shifts. There are further classy details to add a sporty touch, with anodized aluminum accents around the air vents, the climate control fascia and the DSG shift gate. The seat belts are red, picking up on the theme of the contrasting red stitching on the steering wheel.
  8. One of Kia showings at this year's Paris Motor Show is a intriguing hybrid concept housed in the current Optima. The Optima T-Hybrid Concept pairs a 1.7L diesel four-cylinder featuring a turbocharger and electric supercharger, and a a small electric motor with a 48-volt lead-carbon battery. The mild-hybrid setup allows the vehicle to travel on all-electric at low speeds and when cruising. When slowing down, the setup helps recharge the battery pack. Kia isn't talking about fuel economy or emissions as the company is still developing the powertrain. “In future, our mild hybrid powertrain could offer Kia customers greater performance and lower running costs, without sacrificing the qualities they expect of a Kia car – enjoyable handling, a comfortable ride and high quality. Demonstrated for the first time in the Optima T-Hybrid, the technology will lower the total cost of ownership of our cars, yet still keep them affordable as an outright purchase for customers,” said Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe. Source: Kia 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 to showcase diesel-electric Kia Optima T-Hybrid at Paris - More power and lower emissions for Kia Optima mild hybrid show car - Innovative new powertrain pairs 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine with 48V lead-carbon battery, small electric motor and an electric supercharger- Kia Optima T-Hybrid concept previews new powertrain technology ahead of future mass production Frankfurt, 29 September 2014 – Kia will reveal the new Kia Optima mild hybrid show car at the 2014 Paris Motor Show on 2 October, the first application and demonstration of the brand's innovative new mild hybrid powertrain. The Kia Optima T-Hybrid (turbo hybrid) concept is powered by the model's existing 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine, paired with a small electric motor, powered by a 48V lead-carbon battery. The diesel-electric powertrain concept, which was previewed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, enables the Optima T-Hybrid show car to be driven in electric-only mode at low speeds and when cruising, with deceleration serving to recharge the battery pack. Lead-carbon batteries were chosen for the mild hybrid powertrain as, unlike lithium-ion batteries, they require no active cooling and are easier to recycle at the end of the unit's lifecycle. The vehicle features a zero-emissions stop-start system, and a new belt-driven starter generator replaces the conventional alternator, meaning the engine can restart with almost no noise or vibration. Installing the powertrain in the Optima sedan has enabled engineers to fit a smaller vehicle battery and starter motor, enhancing weight distribution and handling. The system also allows the installation of an innovative electric supercharger for the CRDi engine, in addition to the conventional turbocharger, providing improved power and torque at all engine speeds. The electric supercharger in particular helps to boost torque and engine response at low engine speeds. Still under development, no specific performance or fuel economy figures are confirmed for the powertrain or its application in the Optima T-Hybrid show car. However, Kia's engineers are targeting a significant reduction in CO2 tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption and a power increase of between 15 to 20 percent for any model which could be equipped with the new powertrain. Currently, the Optima's 136ps 1.7-litre engine produces CO2 emissions of 128 g/km (when fitted with ISG stop-start). "In future, our mild hybrid powertrain could offer Kia customers greater performance and lower running costs, without sacrificing the qualities they expect of a Kia car – enjoyable handling, a comfortable ride and high quality. Demonstrated for the first time in the Optima T-Hybrid, the technology will lower the total cost of ownership of our cars, yet still keep them affordable as an outright purchase for customers," commented Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe. "The new mild hybrid system is our flagship technology for improving the efficiency of our internal combustion-powered models. In future, technology such as this will help Kia further reduce fleet emissions in Europe," added Cole. While under development, no plans have been confirmed yet for mass production of the Kia Optima T-Hybrid show car. The T-Hybrid powertrain remains under consideration for new Kia models in the future.
  9. Ferrari's showing for the Paris Motor Show is the Ferrari 458 Speciale A. The 458 Speciale A (Aperta) is the convertible version of the 458 Speciale and features most of the the lightweight materials found on the coupe. The difference is the addition of a folding aluminum roof which can open or close in 14 seconds, and only adds about 110 pound to the weight of the Speciale A. Power comes from a 4.5L V8 engine which makes 605 horsepower and 397 pound-feet of torque. Ferrari says the 458 Speciale A can hit 60 MPH in about 3.0 seconds (about a tenth slower than the coupe). The Special A also features Ferrari's Side Slip angle Control (SSC) system which varies the torque distribution to improve handling. Ferrari says they will only build 499 458 Speciale A models. No word on when Ferrari will begin selling them. Source: Ferrari Press Release is on Page 2 FERRARI 458 SPECIALE A: A NEW RECORD-BREAKING SPIDER 25/09/14 499 cars to celebrate our most successful, award-winning 8-cylinder model Maranello, 25th September 2014 – Ferrari is pleased to announce the Paris Motor Show world debut of the 458 Speciale A (A as in Aperta). The new limited edition special series is a celebration of the dazzling success of the various versions of the 458, a model that has collected an array of international motoring media awards and track victories, not least a double WEC title and category wins in classic endurance races, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Dedicated to just 499 Ferrari collectors, the 458 Speciale A is the most powerful spider in Prancing Horse history, effortlessly marrying extreme performance with the sublime pleasure of drop-top driving. Its aluminium retractable hard top, which takes a mere 14 seconds to deploy or retract, helps reduce the weight difference with the Speciale coupé to just 50 kg. The 458 Speciale A sports the most powerful naturally-aspirated road-going V8 engine ever built by Ferrari. It punches out a massive 605 cv (135 cv/l specific power output) and 540 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm yet only generates 275 g/km of CO2 emissions. The three international Best Performance Engine awards the V8 has won are acknowledged on a special plaque in the cockpit. The new car sprints from 0-100 km/h in just 3.0 seconds and has a Fiorano lap time of 1'23"5. These superb results are thanks in great part to its front and rear active aerodynamics, the rigidity of a chassis that incorporates 10 aluminium alloys, and Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) which guarantees unparalleled sporty driving in all conditions, underscored by the seductively exhilarating signature Ferrari soundtrack. As is the case with all Prancing Horse cars, the 458 Speciale A's sculpted forms are absolutely performance-oriented. In fact, a series of innovative and original bodywork solutions has made the 458 Speciale A the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever. The 458 Speciale A is being premiered in a unique triple-layer yellow livery with a Blu Nart and Bianco Avus central stripe as well as five-spoke forged wheels in Grigio Corsa. The cockpit has a distinctive racing-inspired look: lightweight yet exclusive materials have been adopted throughout and, of course, crafted with Ferrari's signature artisanal sophistication. This is particularly true of the finish of the dash, the moulded door panels and central tunnel in an exclusive blue carbon-fibre (also used for the treadplates) as well as the newly-designed seats in Alcantara© with contrasting stitching and 3D technical fabric. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION SUMMARY EngineType V8 – 90° Total displacement 4497 ccMax. power output 605 cv at 9000 rpm Maximum torque 540 Nm at 6000 rpm WeightDry weight 1340 kg Weight-power ratio 2.21 kg/cv Performance0 - 100 km/h 3.0" 0 - 200 km/h 9.5"Fiorano lap time 1'23"5 Emissions (ECE + EUDC combined cycle) CO2 emissions** 275 gr/km **with HELE system
  10. Whenever a new BMW M3 (and M4) appears, you can expect other automakers to introduce their competitors to give the roundel a run for its money. Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker to launch its competitor to the M3/M4 and the name is the Mercedes-AMG C63. Mercedes-AMG? Are you sure you didn't mistype that? No. From now on, AMG vehicles will wear the Mercedes-AMG nameplate. This was introduced on the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT coupe that will do battle with the Porsche 911. Like the E63, the new C63 will be offered in two states of tune. The standard C63 features a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 producing 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The C63 S increases the output to 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Both models use a seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission which routes power to the rear wheels only. 0-60 is done in 4 seconds in the C63, while the S does it in 3.9 seconds. The C63 features dynamic engine mounts which can vary how much stiffness the chassis has. There's also a three-stage adjustable damping system and four different driving modes (Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport+, and Race). Styling-wise, the C63 features a new front bumper with larger intakes and splitter; either 18-inch (C63) or 19-inch (C63 S) wheels; wider front fenders, and a new rear bumper with a diffuser. The C63 and C63 S arrive at dealers in March, with a special Edition 1 model as well that features unique exterior and interior appointments. Source: Mercedes-Benz William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 The New Mercedes-AMG C63 Powerful High-Performance Athlete September 24, 2014 Affalterbach. Pure fascination and breathtaking dynamics – the new Mercedes-AMG C63 sets benchmarks. The high-tech drivetrain, the signature AMG handling and the high level of individuality in optional equipment guarantee an utterly unique driving experience. The pinnacle of the C-Class line-up is driven by an all new 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine closely related to the power unit that provides breathtaking propulsion in the new Mercedes-AMG GT. The power spectrum ranges from 469 hp in the C63 to 503 hp in the C63 S. With an unrivalled fuel fuel economy, the C63 is the most fuel-efficient eight-cylinder car in the high-performance segment. The extensive range of standard equipment includes the AMG Adaptive sports suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers, the mechanical rear locking differential and the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT with its multiple drive programs. Additionally, there will be a highly exclusive "Edition 1" model available from market launch. Dynamics plus long-distance comfort –the new Mercedes-AMG C63 offers impressive engine output with exceptionally low fuel consumption figures, outstanding longitudinal and lateral dynamics and yet delivers a high level of everyday usability. As form is just as important as function, the interior and exterior design is more distinctive than ever before. The V8 pinnacle in the C-Class portfoilio is available in a choice of two models –the Mercedes-AMG C63 S and C63, with the C63 S set up for even more dynamic handling and performance. The Mercedes-AMG C63 celebrates its world premiere on October 2, 2014 together with the show premiere of the Mercedes-AMG GT at the Salon de l’Automobile in Paris. Market introduction in the USA begins in March 2015 with both the C63 and C63 S launching at the same time. "We are also marking the beginning of a new era with the new nomenclature. The successor to the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, which has been incredibly successful worldwide, will now be called the Mercedes-AMG C63," says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "At 40,000 units, the 204 C63 AMG was the bestselling AMG model. We will now add to this success with the new Mercedes-AMG C63. Be it in drive, handling or equipment, the Mercedes-AMG C63 sets new benchmarks and will further strengthen our brand promise ‘Driving Performance’. AMG customers can look forward to an exceptionally dynamic driving experience." Best in fuel consumption, best in performance The C63 is at the forefront of the competitive field. The new high-performance vehicles from Affalterbach are the only ones in the segment to be equipped with an eight-cylinder biturbo engine. The result is impressive power delivery and a highly emotional engine sound – a signature of the AMG brand. Drivers benefit from unrivalled performance delivered by a supreme level of power and torque. The C63 S accelerates from zero to 60mph in 3.9 seconds and the C63 in 4.0. The top speed is 155mph (electronically limited). "Naturally, the new Mercedes-AMG C63 is once again powered by an eightcylinder engine. The passionate power delivery and highly emotional sound of our 4.0-liter V8 biturbo are truly compelling. At the same time, we are maintaining our leading role in the core issue of efficiency. No other highperformance V8 automobile is more fuel efficient than the new C63," says Christian Enderle, Head of Development Engine and Drivetrain at Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The C63 not only holds the top position in terms of engine data and performance, it also sets new benchmarks in fuel consumption. The high-performance car from Affalterbach demonstrates exceptional efficiency that puts it at the top of the segment. And it does not stop there – the C63 is the most fuel-efficient eightcylinder, high-performance vehicle in the world. It achieves a remarkable decrease in fuel consumption compared with the preceding C63 AMG. The new Mercedes-AMG C63 consumes around 32 percent less fuel than its direct predecessor with the 6.3-liter V8 naturally aspirated engine – while delivering even more performance and the emotional sound that is a signature of the AMG V8. New V8 biturbo closely related to the engine in the Mercedes-AMG GT This impressive efficiency improvement is rooted in the new drive package. The M177 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine is a close relative of the M178, which is the sports-car heart of the new Mercedes-AMG GT. The innovative eightcylinder is notable for its outstanding power delivery, targeted lightweight design, high efficiency and environmental compatibility. It also fulfills the highest standards in terms of noise and vibration comfort. The newly developed eight-cylinder features biturbocharging, whereby the two chargers are not located on the outside of the cylinder banks, but instead, within the cylinder V – specialists refer to this as the "hot inside V". The resulting benefits are a compact engine design, optimum responsiveness and low exhaust emissions. Petrol piezo direct injection with spray-guided combustion Mixture preparation is handled by the petrol piezo direct injection system used exclusively by Mercedes. The third generation of the spray-guided combustion process has been developed to meet all future legislative requirements. A sophisticated engine cooling system ensures high performance even at ambitious race-track speeds. Performance exhaust system available as an option Fascination, emotionality and immediate recognition – engine sound is an important development objective. The C63 and C63 S feature a sports exhaust system with a dynamic electronically controlled exhaust flap. Depending on the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program, the engine sound varies between low-key for long-distance travel and raw emotionality. The exhaust flap is located in the front third, at the interface between the two pipes. Its infinitely variable actuation is controlled on the basis of the drive program, the performance wishes of the driver and the engine speed. A Performance exhaust system with three electronically controlled exhaust flaps is available as an option for both engine variants. It provides the driver with an even greater level of control of the exhaust note via a button on the center console. In the "Comfort" drive program, the engine is quieter and more comfortable, while, in "Sport +" and "Race", the V8 sound is even more dominant and evocative of a race touring car – complete with acoustic up-shift and distinctive double de-clutching feedback. In addition to setting it via the drive programme, the engine sound can also be set individually at any time at the push of a button. C63 S comes as standard with dynamic engine mounts A further new feature of the C63 S that is unique in the competitive field is the dynamic engine mounts – as used on the Mercedes-AMG GT. They address the conflict of interest between comfort and handling by reducing vibration from the engine/transmission unit. The dynamic mounts can adapt their stiffness smoothly and in fractions of a second to the prevailing driving conditions and style. Soft engine mounts improve comfort by better reducing noise and vibration. Handling and agility, on the other hand, benefit from slightly stiffer mounts. When driving dynamically, the driver feels more closely connected to the vehicle as a result of increased feedback, while steering response is more direct. The driver benefits overall from a more precise driving feel. Minimized movement of the drivetrain mass calls for less correction on turn-in. Engine production by hand – "one man, one engine" Powerful V8 engines have always been one of the competencies of AMG, the Mercedes-Benz performance brand. Mercedes-AMG GmbH is fully responsible for development and production. The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine is manufactured in the Affalterbach engine shop in accordance with the "one man, one engine" principle. Variable dynamics – the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission A large part of the direct and sporty character of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 is attributable to the transmission. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission offers a compelling mix of tailor-made dynamics and exceptional variability. The MCT transmission was extensively redeveloped for application in the C63 and is now even faster in its reaction times. Be it automatic or triggered at the steering wheel paddle by the driver, a manual up or down-shift is now noticeably faster than in the last model. The transmission is now significantly more spontaneous in the "Sport +" and manual modes in particular. This increase in responsiveness was enabled by optimization of the transmission’s hardware and software. Also, the aluminium shift paddles on the Performance steering wheel are now able to transmit the driver’s shift inputs even faster than before, thus further increasing the dynamic feel. One look at the drive programmes shows the high variability of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission. The available choices are "Controlled Efficiency", "Sport" and "Sport +" – as well as "Race", which is exclusive to the C63 S. The driver chooses from the various drive programmes with the aid of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch. The "temporary M" function, activated by using the paddles, delivers a further increase in dynamics in any mode. AMG Adaptive sport suspension with 3-stage adjustable damping Fascinating agility, high cornering speeds and optimum neutrality – the C63 is equipped with independent suspension featuring a high proportion of aluminium, dynamic-oriented kinematics, electronically controlled shock absorbers and AMG-specific elastokinematics. With the AMG Dynamic sport suspension, the customer can vary characteristics in three stages between maximum sporting performance and good long-distance comfort. At the front of the C63 is a four-link front suspension with motorsport-based radially mounted brakes. Independent steering knuckles and a wider track permit higher lateral acceleration. The multilink rear suspension with independent wheel mounts likewise has a higher negative camber. To improve traction and dynamics, the C63 has a mechanical locking differential at the rear, while the C63 S is equipped with an electronic rear locking differential. Both locking differentials reduce slip at the inside wheel without braking input. As a result, the driver can accelerate sooner out of corners and the car maintains its stability when braking at high speed. The locking differential also improves traction when accelerating from a standstill. Compared with the mechanical solution, the benefits of the electronic locking rear differential, which is standard equipment on the C63 S, are its faster and more finely tuned control, thus pushing the physical limits of the driving envelope even higher. The standard 3-stage ESP® with the functions "ESP ON", "SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" is perfectly networked with the locking rear differential and expertly tuned to the high level of dynamics. The electromechanical speed-sensitive sport steering ensures precise and agile handling, with the driver benefitting from a direct ratio and optimized response characteristics. It also has variable power assistance, whereby the steering force is adapted relative to the current vehicle speed. The power assistance reacts not only in accordance with vehicle speed, but also in line with current lateral acceleration and the drive programme chosen via AMG DYNAMIC SELECT. The C63 runs as standard on titanium grey painted and polished alloy wheels measuring 8.5 x 18 (front) and 9.5 x 18 (rear) in 10-spoke design and clad in 245/40 R 18 tires (front) and 265/40 R 18 (rear). The tire dimensions on the C63 S are 245/35 R 19 (front) and 265/35 R 19 (rear) running on alloy wheels measuring 8.5 x 19 (front) and 9.5 x 19 (rear) in 5-twin-spoke design, painted in titanium grey and polished. A high-performance, ceramic-composite brake system is available for the first time as optional equipment for the C63 S. Optional sport cup tires ensure a noticeable and measurable increase in grip. AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes The driver can use four different AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes to influence the characteristics of the C63. The C63 S has the additional "Race" programme, which enables a maximum level of individualisation. The driver defines the driving experience using a switch to the left of the touchpad. There is a choice of several different pre-configured driving programmes and an "Individual" drive programme, which allows extensive self-configuration. "Controlled Efficiency" is the balanced drive programme with a comfortable Page 7 suspension and steering set-up as well as fuel-optimized drivetrain settings – including soft gearshifts and a more restrained engine sound. The "Gliding Function" is completely new and delivers a further reduction in fuel consumption. If the driver lifts off the accelerator between37 and 99 mph - , the clutch of the MCT transmission opens and the engine is decoupled from the drivetrain. The electronics system reduces the engine revs to idle, and the resistance generated by the compression and frictional forces produced under trailing throttle are reduced. The "Sport" and "Sport +" drive programmes increase sporting intensity. "Race" is reserved exclusively for the C63 S and is the optimum setting for ambitious laps on a closed race track. Form follows performance – the design reflects the technology Form follows performance – the design of the powerful V8 top model is influenced by motorsport and reflects its fascinating technology. Sensual clarity combines with stylish sporting character – the Mercedes C63 inspires fascination from the very first glance. From a visual standpoint, the new model is clearly a member of the Mercedes-AMG family. The exteriors of the C63 and C63 S are differentiated by specific design elements. The emotional, sensual surface design of the new C-Class, with its reduced, minimalist forms, now has an added, positive tension that gives it a truly dynamic character. The wider track and powerful eight-cylinder call for a completely standalone front end. The Mercedes-AMG C63 has aluminium front fenders, widened on each side by 0.55" and bearing "V8 BITURBO" lettering. The entire front end has also been lengthened by 2.12". In addition, the structure of the body-in-white has been reinforced in specific areas in order to compensate for the extreme longitudinal and transverse forces generated and transmitted by the drivetrain and running gear. Mercedes-AMG sets clear accents in sporting character, expressed succinctly at the front end – gracing the long aluminium bonnet are two distinctive power domes. Together with the wider front fenders, they guarantee a particularly muscular look. Positioned low down and with a characteristic arrow form, the "twin blade" radiator grille with AMG lettering lowers the vehicle’s visual center of gravity. The "A-wing" takes a three-dimensional form and also serves as an airflow guide for the three cooling air intakes. Flics ensure optimum airflow to the cooling module. Along the lower edge of the front skirt, a front splitter helps to increase downforce. At the rear end, the diffuser insert with three fins is a feature carried over from motorsport, as are the visual air outlets positioned on either side. They generate defined air separation edges and improve the cd figure. The two chrome-plated twin end pipes of the AMG sport exhaust system are perfectly integrated into the diffuser. The C63 Sedan has a separation edge on the rear deck lid,–which ensures even better grip at the rear axle. Stunning interior design Every detail in the interior of the C63 contributes to a stunning overall effect. The careful choice of select, first-class materials, their sumptuous tactile qualities and their precision craftsmanship deliver a sense of quality that is seldom seen even in higher vehicle classes. Like the exterior, the more powerful C63 S is distinguished from the C63 on the inside by a number of design details. The dashboard is finished in black ARTICO man-made leather, with the premium look-and-feel further enhanced by stitching in crystal grey, the winglike trim element in aluminium and the AMG-exclusive, IWC-design analogue clock (depending on equipment choice). Next to the touchpad is the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch as well as a number of AMG-specific controls, such as the button for the 3-stage AMG Dynamic sport suspension, the 3-stage ESP® and the optional button for the Performance exhaust system with variable exhaust flap control. The instrument cluster and the 3-spoke Performance steering wheel with 12-o’clock mark deliver a dynamically sporty ambience. Equipped with dedicated carbon weave-pattern dials and signature AMG numerals. Performance seats are also available as an alternative to the standard sports seats in MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfibre. They give occupants a lower seating position and ensure increased lateral grip due to their more powerfully contoured form. A range of further optional equipment means the Mercedes-AMG C63 can be extensively tailored to individual preferences. Exclusive and irresistible – the C63 "Edition 1" The Mercedes-AMG C63 S is also available from market launch as an "Edition 1" – with a stunning and irresistible combination of exclusive design and equipment features.. The "Edition 1" can be identified from the outside by a number of design highlights: Forged wheels in 8.5 x 19 and 9.5 x 19 cross-spoke design, painted matte black with the rim painted in red; tires are 245/35 R 19 (front) and 265/35 R 19 (rear) Night package (A-wing and trim in high-gloss black, wing mirror housings in high-gloss black, sill cladding inlays in high-gloss black, waistline trim and window frames in high-gloss black, radiator grille with double fin in silver chrome, Black-chromed twin end pipe fairings Red accentson radiator grille and wing mirrors Sport stripes in matte graphite grey above sill cladding The distinctive color combination carries into the interior: Performance seats, door center panels and armrest in black nappa leather with diamond pattern and red contrasting stitching designo seatbelts in red Performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfibre, flattened bottom, with red 12-o’clock marking, red contrasting stitching, steering wheel fairing in silver chrome with "Edition 1" lettering and silvercolored aluminium shift paddles Trim element in carbon red pepper / light aluminium with longitudinal grain and red filaments Floor mats in black with "AMG" lettering and piping in red Highest safety levels The stated aim of Mercedes-Benz is to make the highest level of safety available to all. For this reason, the C-Class features many of the new and extensively enhanced assistance systems that celebrated their world premieres just a few months ago in the S and E-Class. Standard equipment on-board the C63 includes enhanced drowsiness warning system ATTENTION ASSIST and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, which helps to avoid rear-end collisions. The assistance systems increase both comfort and safety. Mercedes-Benz calls this "Intelligent Drive". The predecessor to the new C-Class already demonstrated impressive results in terms of passive safety. The new model exceeds these and sets new benchmarks.
  11. Infiniti's showing for the Paris Motor Show seems to be inspired by the likes of the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera with their four-door fastback design. Meet the Q80 Inspiration Concept. Infiniti's take on the four-door fastback is to add more curves throughout the body. You also notice that the concept doesn't have any door handles or side-view mirrors. The company says that would only take away from the design profile. As for measurements, the Q80 Inspiration Concept is 198.9 inches long, 79.8 inches wide, 53.1 inches tall, and a wheelbase of 122.2 inches. Inside, the Q80 Inspiration Concept features seating for four passengers and comes with carbon fiber, aluminum, and leather. "After showing Q30 Concept and Q50 Eau Rouge, Infiniti is eager to show the upper range of our portfolio expansion," said Infiniti Executive Design Director, Alfonso Albaisa. "In Q80 Inspiration, we wanted to capture that unforgettable feeling when you experience something important, something beautiful, something magnetic for the first time." We'll have more information on the Q80 Inspiration Concept when debuts at Paris, next week. Source: Infiniti Press Release is on Page 2 Feasting the senses: Infiniti Q80 Inspiration - Infiniti unveils four-door concept that will lead to future model - Q80 Inspiration embodies the invigorated Infiniti brand - Fastback sedan showcases autonomy and powertrain technologies HONG KONG / PARIS – The Paris Auto Show is fast approaching, and companies are jockeying for position in the eye of a media storm. Infiniti presents Q80 Inspiration: Infiniti's vision of category-breaking, supreme luxurious driving – a top-of-the-line, four-seat fastback that rises above the crowd. It's an audacious and elegant step forward for Infiniti as a global player designed to shake up the status quo in the premium large four-door club – a no-compromise ambassador of driver-centric powertrain and onboard technologies. At 15:30 local time on October 2 in Hall 5 of the Parc des Expositions de Versailles in Paris, Infiniti will introduce the progressive Q80 Inspiration to the media and provide a glimpse into its high-performance and efficient hybrid-electric powertrain implementation as well as additional technologies. In profile, Infiniti Q80 Inspiration extends to 5052 millimeters (198.9 inches) with a long wheelbase of 3103 mm (122.2 in) framed by custom 22-inch five-dual-spoke lightweight alloys. It strikes an imposing stance with its width of 2027 mm (79.8 in) and height of 1350 mm (53.1 in). "After showing Q30 Concept and Q50 Eau Rouge, Infiniti is eager to show the upper range of our portfolio expansion," said Infiniti Executive Design Director, Alfonso Albaisa. "In Q80 Inspiration, we wanted to capture that unforgettable feeling when you experience something important, something beautiful, something magnetic for the first time." The Q80 Inspiration's expansive, edgy, sensual interpretation of the Infiniti brand really makes a statement. There are no side-door mirrors to break up the aesthetics of the unmistakable profile. The full roof length of the teardrop passenger greenhouse is accentuated by lightweight acoustic glass. And its doors open portal style, which allows the stunning cabin to be fully on display while driver and passengers step in and out with ease. A concept as impactful as Q80 Inspiration is set to push boundaries in more ways than through the beauty of its attention-grabbing skin. The cabin is able to bring together the four occupants in a highly stylized and personalized ambiance of the highest quality. Carbon fiber, aluminum and leather surround those inside in spacious "1 + 1 + 1 + 1" seating. Earmarked for an advanced adaptive suspension, the light and rigid chassis combines with the acoustic glass all around and additional sound deadening to promise a driving and ride experience among the very best. A design and technological highlight to which Infiniti's four worldwide design studios will refer regularly in coming years, the Q80 Inspiration four-door fastback is to be taken as clear intent to have an entry into the newly defined premium fastback segment.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 10, 2012 Suzuki's presence in the U.S. is, um lackluster. However in other parts of the world, Suzuki is a major player. So whenever the company shows off a new vehicle or concept, that means its not for the U.S. However, a vehicle that will make its premiere at the Paris Motor Show could be arriving to the U.S. Suzuki has released two teaser images of the S-Cross concept, a small crossover. Suzuki says that the S-Cross has a "Emotion x Quality x Aerodynamics" design that uses "distinctive dynamic lines that start on the front bumper, sweep across the doors, and continue to the rear of the body." The S-Cross makes its appearance at the Paris Motor Show next month. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 S-CROSS: C-SEGMENT CROSSOVER CONCEPT CAR TO DEBUT AT 2012 PARIS MOTOR SHOW The S-Cross, a concept car heralding a C-segment crossover model from Suzuki will be making its world debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show from 27 September to 14 October*. Suzuki's crossover concept S-Cross embodies an "Emotion x Quality x Aerodynamics" design theme, which is typified by distinctive dynamic lines that start on the front bumper, sweep across the doors, and continue to the rear of the body. Design elements which suggest stability and solidity also help create a cutting-edge crossover look. Further information about the S-Cross and other Suzuki activities can be obtained at the Suzuki Press Conference, scheduled for 7.30 a.m. on 27 September in Hall 5.2 – Aisle B – Stand 509. Suzuki will also be presenting its Alto, Splash, Swift, Swift Sport, SX4, Jimny, and Grand Vitara models. *The 2012 Paris Motor Show will be open to the press on 27 and 28 September and then to the general public from 29 September to 14 October. View full article
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 26, 2012 The calm before the storm that is the auto show season. The beginning point is the Paris Motor Show which begins tomorrow. However, some automaker have made the decision to reveal some of their products and concepts a day earlier. The automakers include Jaguar, Bentley, and Porsche. Lets dive in Next: Jaguar Jaguar's showing for Paris was the new F-Type. Rumored for many years, Jaguar has finally brought a small, two-seat roadster to the market. Design draws a lot of inspiration from the C-X16 concept shown last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The front end features a bulging hood with vents, vertical xenon headlights, and vents. The rear-end has unique taillights that wrap around and a spoiler that rises up at speed. Inside, the F-Type has a driver-oriented dash layout and a grab-pull besides the center stack. Jaguar also fitted center air vents that deploy when the HVAC systems deems it necessary. Power will come either two V6s or a V8, all supercharged. F-Type: Supercharged V6 - 340 HP, 332 lb-ft F-Type S: Supercharged V6 - 380 HP, 339 lb-ft F-Type V8 S:Supercharged V8 - 495 HP, 460 lb-ft The only transmission choice is a eight-speed automatic transmission with paddles. The F-Type uses an aluminum structure which brings forth added rigidity and light weight (3,520 lbs) The new F-Type arrives in the U.S. next summer as a 2014 model. Next: Bentley Bentley's showing was their new Continental GT3 race car. Using the Continental GT as a base, Bentley threw out the AWD system and goes for RWD layout. Bentley also says the car is equipped with an aero package to allow the vehicle to cut through the wind. Powertrain wasn't revealed. Bentley says the Continental GT3 has the full support of the FIA nd will be “eligible for a range of race series, up to and including 24-hour marathons." The Continental GT3 starts a test season next year. Next: Porsche Porsche's showing was the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept or a Panamera wagon. The Panamera Sport Turismo Concept design extends the roofline, amount of glass, and adds a tailgate. It won't win any best design awards, but its better than the current Panamera. Power comes from a upgraded hybrid system from the current Panamera and Cayenne that produces a combined 410 HP and 67.2 MPG on the European test cycle. Porsche hints that the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept "is an outlook on a possible Porsche sports car of tomorrow," meaning that what we're seeing here could be what the next Panamera will look like. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Releases for the F-Type, Continental GT3 and Panamera Sport Turismo Concept are on Pages 4, 5, and 6. 26 September 2012 JAGUAR F-TYPE UNVEILED AT THE 2012 PARIS MOTOR SHOW At-A-Glance • The F-TYPE is an all-new two-seat Jaguar soft-top convertible sports car • Front-engine, lightweight aluminum architecture and rear-wheel drive, the F-TYPE is engineered to be a true high-performance sports car • Three models will be available – F-TYPE, F-TYPE S and the F-TYPE V8 S, powered respectively by the new Jaguar supercharged 3-liter V6 engine in 340hp and 380hp outputs and a 495hp 5-liter supercharged V8 • The convertible top folds in 12 seconds at speeds up to 30 MPH • Constructed on the fourth generation of Jaguar lightweight aluminum architecture. Torsional and lateral stiffness have been prioritized to maximize handling agility • The F-TYPE introduces a new sports car design language for Jaguar, with bold, clean lines accented by the discreet use of technology, including a deployable rear spoiler and hidden door handles • Exciting performance, with 0-to-60 in 5.1 seconds for the F-TYPE, 4.8 for the S model and 4.2 for the V8 S. The V8 S has a top track speed of 186 mph2 • All engines drive through an eight-speed 'Quickshift' automatic transmission, with a center console-mounted SportShift gear selector and steering wheel-mounted paddles for full manual control • Available Configurable Dynamics program allows the driver to tailor a number of the dynamic features to personal taste and includes displays for lap timer and G-meter functions1, 2 • Driver-focused interior melds classic sports car feel with high-tech controls • Jaguar F-TYPE to arrive in U.S. market in summer 2013 "Jaguar is a founding member of the sports car segment with a rich sporting bloodline stretching over 75 years, and in the F-TYPE we've reignited that flame. The F-TYPE isn't designed to be like anyone else's sports car. It's a Jaguar sports car – ultra-precise, powerful, sensual and, most of all, it feels alive." Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar The new Jaguar F-TYPE represents a return to the company's heart: a two-seat, convertible sports car focused on performance, agility and driver involvement. The F-TYPE is a continuation of a sporting bloodline that stretches back more than 75 years and encompasses some of the most beautiful, thrilling and desirable sports cars ever built. Joining the XK convertible and coupe models, the new F-TYPE provides Jaguar with a broader line of sports and GT models. The 2013 Jaguar F-TYPE combines low vehicle weight (starting at 3,521 pounds), high power (340hp, 380hp and 495hp versions) and superb aerodynamics to achieve a pure sports car experience, yet with Jaguar elegance and luxury. A true two-seat sports car, the all-new Jaguar F-TYPE is equipped with a modern, lightweight soft top that, when lowered, serves as its own tonneau cover. This not only provides a weight savings, but also improves packaging and contributes to the car's low center of gravity for greater agility. The top can be fully raised or lowered in just 12 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph. Its multi-layer construction includes a Thinsulate® lining for optimal thermal and sound-insulating properties. EXTERIOR DESIGN Jaguar cars have always defined sinuous, muscular elegance, and the F-TYPE continues -- and advances -- this tradition with new, assertive design language. Two "heartlines" define, in just two bold strokes, both the profile and top-down view of the F-TYPE. The main "heartline" theme begins in the blade dissecting the shark-like gills on either side of the grille. This first heartline runs up and forms the sharp top crease of the fender line, which provides sight lines that aid the driver in cornering maneuvers. It leads the eye along the top of the front fender, which is emphasized by the headlamp design, and then into the door and toward the rear of the car where it gracefully disappears. This sweeping line is mirrored by the feature line that runs back from the side vent. Along with "lightcatcher" surface detailing above the sill, the line instills a sense of speed to the car. The lightcatcher surface detailing also allows the door surface to wrap around the side of the car, creating a fuselage effect. The second "heartline" swells out to form the muscular rear haunch before sweeping dramatically around the rear of the car. The clean, sleek lines of the tail are made possible in part by the inclusion of an active rear spoiler that deploys at speed to reduce aerodynamic lift. The spoiler rises when the F-TYPE reaches 60 mph and then lowers to fit flush when the speed drops below 40 mph. Further discreet aerodynamic aids include a front splitter and a sculpted rear valance. "Every aspect of a sports car, dimensionally, allows us to create something that is visually exciting; visceral as well as physical. To me the definition of sports car design is being fit for purpose, wrapping up the occupants and mechanicals in the most exciting, beautiful and sensual package possible with no unnecessary surfaces or adornment. A piece of design should tell a story and this is why every line in the F-TYPE has a start, a direction and a conclusion. If you approach every line individually and get it as aesthetically correct as possible, get the dimensions right, it will stand the test of time." Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar The headlights run vertically rather than horizontally, which leads the eye naturally up and along the fender crease. Technology has facilitated the design language of the F-TYPE; the compact xenon unit requires just one projector, while the J-Blade LED running lights further emphasize the design of the heartline running through the lamp. The grille leans slightly forward to create a suggestion of motion when the car is stationary. The lower edge of the clamshell hood forms the top of the side vent. The mesh in the grille and side vents is a hexagonal design that gives greater form and depth. The hidden, automatically deploying door handles support the design purity. The handles remain flush with the door panel until activated by either unlocking the car with the key fob or touching a touch-sensitive area of the handle. Their automatic deployment provides a mechanical "handshake," inviting the driver and passenger to enter. Once the car is moving, the handles retract to leave an uninterrupted aerodynamic surface. Full LED rear lamps create a new Jaguar sports car signature by reinterpreting classic cues from the past. By wrapping the lights around to the trailing edge of the rear wheel arch, the car's powerful rear-wheel drive stance is emphasized. Reflecting the way the front grille leans forward, the tail tucks inward, reinforcing the impression that the car is poised to leap forward. Differing exhaust and tailpipe designs distinguish the V6 and V8 variants of the F-TYPE. The V6 models feature twin center outlets in a nod to the classic Jaguar E-TYPE introduced in 1961. The boldest exhaust finishers ever fitted to a Jaguar, these are stamped from a single piece of stainless steel, creating an unbroken gleaming surface. The V8 S model exclusively features four outboard-mounted exhaust outlets, with twin outlets on each side. Further detail differentiation between the three variants is found in the exterior trim. The F-TYPE V6 model is marked by satin black trim elements in the grilles, vents, front splitter and rear valance, while the two 'S' models receive gloss-black finishes in these areas. The V6 model features standard 18-inch alloy wheels, with 19-inch and 20-inch wheels standard for the S and V8 S, respectively, and available as options for the V6. The V8 S also receives additional aerodynamic features, including front vanes beneath the shark gills and flat side sill extensions to manage airflow. "This is the car that, as a team, we have always wanted to do. It was very much a team operation because we work very closely together and have a strong shared aesthetic. To begin with, I will let people express themselves as to what they think a Jaguar sports car should look like. Of course I will have a view in my head but I won't impose that on them. It's important because great things come out of it. It's an iterative process, it's about problem solving. Not just the functional and the practical but how to make that line work with that one or that form with another. The whole process is very intimate, very detailed and comes from the first sketches." Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar ALUMINUM STRUCTURE Jaguar, which has innovated the use of aluminum body structures, built the new F-TYPE around its most advanced rigid and lightweight aluminum architecture to date. Jaguar engineers applied more than a decade's worth of aluminum construction experience to achieve the twin goals for the F-TYPE of low mass and an extremely rigid body. Key to this was the further development of alloy technology. AC300, a 6000-series aluminum alloy, was specifically selected for parts of the F-TYPE to meet these goals. The F-TYPE structure is riveted and bonded, and this manufacturing process emits up to 80-percent less CO2 compared to that from welding a comparable steel structure. In addition to the structural alloy, Jaguar further developed an AC600 aluminum panel alloy in order to deliver the desired design language. This AC600 alloy offers robustness and quality of finish but with a great degree of formability. The effects can be seen in the clarity and tightness of radii and feature lines. It was the radius tightness of just 8mm that allowed the engineers to reproduce the car's "heartlines" exactly as the designers had intended. Aluminum construction, including all-aluminum double wishbone front and rear suspensions, helps endow the F-TYPE with an ideal balance, which enhances the agility demanded of a pure sports car. The new structural alloys used in the F-TYPE construction results in high rigidity. Using detailed Computer Aided Engineering programs, Jaguar achieved lateral stiffness gains of up to 30 percent in key areas, such as the front suspension mounting points, compared to other Jaguar models. This rigidity provides a precision foundation for a finely tuned suspension system to deliver a superb driver connectivity and fidelity of response. Significantly, the beautiful clamshell hood, an exotic signature feature of the F-TYPE and where the front heartline begins, is a one-piece stamping, made using a 1,000-ton press. Jaguar developed other new manufacturing techniques in order to deliver both the design and structural integrity engineered into the F-TYPE. A new process, known as "warm forming", is used to produce the inner door stamping. The ordinary stamping process with cold metal could not achieve the desired shape. Jaguar engineers developed a method in which the metal is heated to 500°F (260°C) before pressing. As a result, the desired shape and structure are achieved from one large pressing rather than numerous smaller ones, reducing complexity and weight. The F-TYPE employs more composite materials than in any previous Jaguar, with structures under the sill and the trunk lid constructed from high-strength polymers. Extensive analysis throughout the car's structure, powertrain, body and convertible roof contributed to the overall vehicle weight of about 3,521 pounds (1,597 kg). Concentrating as much of the mass as possible within the wheelbase by minimizing the front and rear overhangs also contributes to the car's agility and stability. Aluminum forms a great part of the commitment Jaguar has made to sustainability. More than half the content of the car comes from recycled or reclaimed metal. In addition, Jaguar is rolling out its closed-loop recycling system to its suppliers, ensuring all waste metal from the manufacturing process is reused. "We are creating a new generation of Jaguar sports car so it has to be credible from both a performance and design point of view. It has to deliver, it has to be a great handling car with a stiff, rigid platform underpinning and it has to look every inch an icon. For our team the greatest satisfaction was delivering a structure that underpinned the desired performance attributes - ride, handling and agility – by increasing stiffness and at the same time reducing weight. We also worked hard to deliver the designers' vision. The biggest design challenge was the hood. Not only is it a one-piece pressing, it's where the first heartline begins. When we produced that stamping, we all stood around the gloss black painted hood under the high intensity lights and the designers said to us, 'yes, that's what we wanted' and the tooling engineers said, 'we can make that'. That was us working at our best; delivering the design proposition in high volumes." Mark White, Chief Engineer, Body Complete PERFORMANCE The F-TYPE showcases the new supercharged Jaguar engines, a 3-liter supercharged V6 in 340hp and 380hp states of tune and the 5-liter supercharged V8 in the F-TYPE V8 S with 495hp and 460 ft-lbs of torque. All are equipped with the new Intelligent Stop/Start system to enhance fuel economy under certain driving conditions. The 340hp version of the supercharged V6, which debuted in the 2013 XJ and XF sedans, produces 332 ft-lbs of torque at 3,500-5,500 rpm. The 380hp version, exclusive to the F-TYPE, produces 339 ft-lbs of torque at 3,500-5,500 rpm. The V8 produces an even broader torque curve, with 460 ft-lbs produced over the 2,500-5,500 rpm range. The 340hp V6 model can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in 5.1 seconds (0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds). The 380hp S model lowers that to 4.8 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds), and the V8 S can hit 60 mph from rest in just 4.2 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds). Electronically limited maximum track speeds are 161 mph (260 km/h), 171 mph (275 km/h) and 186 mph (300 km/h), respectively, for the V6, V6 S and V8 S models.2 In addition to rapid zero-to-60 acceleration, the new Jaguar supercharged engines give the F-TYPE outstanding merging and passing performance. The 340hp V6 model will go from 50 to 75 mph in just 3.3 seconds; the 380hp S version in 3.1 and the V8 S model in 2.5 seconds. 2 Based on the Jaguar 5-liter V8 engine, the 3-liter V6 shares its all-alloy construction. The lightweight die-cast aluminum block is stiffened with cross-bolted main bearing caps, increasing rigidity and refinement. A system of counter-rotating front and rear balancer weights help give the new supercharged V6 the smoothness and refinement characteristics of the V8 on which it is based. The supercharged V6 and V8 engines combine high compression, direct fuel injection, dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT) and a supercharger to deliver their high levels of performance and efficiency. A twin vortex supercharger is mounted in the engine's "V", and a water-cooled intercooler reduces the temperature of the intake air to optimize power and efficiency. The supercharged V6 uses a higher compression ratio than the V8, 10.5:1 vs. 9.5:1. In both the V6 and V8, the aluminum cylinder heads package an innovative valve control system. The dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT) system is activated by the positive and negative torques generated by the movement of the intake and exhaust valves, allowing exceptionally quick actuation rates of more than 150 degrees per second throughout the rev range. Spray-guided direct injection delivers precisely measured quantities of fuel directly into the center of the combustion chambers at pressures of up to 150bar (2175 psi) , creating a more homogenous air-fuel mixture for cleaner and more efficient combustion. This is aided by spark plugs that are precisely indexed both in relation to the injector and within the combustion chamber. Intelligent Stop/Start The new Intelligent Stop/Start system offers fuel economy benefits under certain urban driving conditions. Stop/Start uses a twin solenoid starter, enabling the system to restart the engine quickly as the driver's foot to move from the brake pedal to the accelerator. There is also a strategy for engine stop-start "change of mind" scenarios. This will bring the engine back up to speed even during its run-down phase if, for instance, the car is coming to a halt at an intersection when the driver sees an opportunity to join the traffic flow. As the engine is shutting down, but before it has completely stopped, it can rapidly restart by injecting fuel into the cylinders. Active Exhaust Standard for the V6 S and V8 S models and optional for the V6, an Active Exhaust system enhances the exhaust note. Electronically controlled bypass valves in the rear section of the exhaust open under hard acceleration, effectively providing a free-flowing straight-through arrangement. At cruising speeds, the valves will close, retaining a powerful exhaust note with comfortable sound levels. Eight-speed 'Quickshift' Automatic Transmission With eight closely spaced ratios in the Quickshift automatic transmission, the F-TYPE driver can select a gear which will keep the engine within its optimal power band. The transmission was specifically tuned by Jaguar for the F-type to prioritize acceleration. The V6 S model has a slightly lower (higher numerical) final drive ratio, 3.31:1 vs. 3.15:1 than the standard V6 model. The entire drivetrain of the F-TYPE – up to and including tire contact patches – is tuned for optimal response to allow for ultra-fast transient torque delivery, which provides the driver with a high degree of responsive feedback. Importantly, once the transmission has shifted into second gear, a locking clutch bypasses the torque convertor, creating a direct mechanical link between the engine and the rear wheels. The Quickshift system enhances the sense of connectivity by ensuring sharp, immediate shifting performance via rapid and precisely timed engine torque intervention. The operating parameters of the transmission are determined by the adaptive shift strategy that has 25 different programs available to it, depending on driving style and road conditions. The transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity, road load, kick-down request and even whether the car is being driven up or down hill. On detecting a more spirited driving style, the transmission will automatically make the shifts more aggressive and move the shift points higher. In order to maintain the car's balance during a downshift, the transmission will instruct the engine management system to automatically blip the throttle to match engine revs. This function also allows the transmission to perform multiple and very rapid downshifts during hard braking. Corner Recognition senses when the F-TYPE is negotiating a curve, the transmission holding its ratio to ensure the correct gear for the exit. The transmission will also recognize when the car is performing a series of overtaking maneuvers requiring rapid changes in throttle position. Rather than upshift, the transmission will hold a lower gear to remain ready for the next demand for acceleration. Manual override of the transmission is available to the driver at any time, using either the steering wheel-mounted paddles or the console-mounted selector. Moving the shift selector to the left gate accesses manual mode, in which the driver pulls the lever rearward for an upshift and pushes forward for a downshift. If Dynamic Mode is also selected on the Jaguar Drive Controller, the transmission will not automatically shift up at the engine's redline and will only downshift to prevent engine stalling, leaving control fully in the hands of the driver. A Configurable Dynamics option is another first for a Jaguar. This allows the driver to select which elements of the Dynamic Mode are wanted so, for instance, the steering weight and throttle response can be sharpened while allowing the ride on models with Adaptive Dynamics to remain unchanged. Configurable Dynamics also adds functionality to the central touchscreen aimed at track use of the car. The system allows drivers to record lap and split times and will provide information on throttle and brake inputs and even G-forces generated. 1,2 Dynamic Launch Mode The Jaguar F-TYPE S offers Dynamic Launch Mode for track-driving activities. When the car is stationary, the driver depresses the brake pedal while simultaneously building engine speed with the accelerator until a message reading 'Dynamic Launch Ready' appears in the instrument panel. That signals that the traction control has been set to help facilitate maximum acceleration. Releasing the brake while flooring the accelerator pedal keeps Dynamic Launch Mode engaged for maximum acceleration performance until the driver releases the pedal. 1,2 Limited-Slip Differentials A mechanical limited-slip differential is fitted as standard to the F-TYPE S, which offers driver the opportunity to explore the car's superb balance and outer limits of its grip within a progressive handling envelope. The V8 S model is fitted with an active electronic controlled differential to maximize traction and offer even greater control. Inside the differential, an electric motor acts on a multi-plate clutch to transfer torque to the wheel with the most grip. Fully automatic in operation, the system can apply full locking torque almost instantaneously. Working in conjunction with the stability, traction and ABS systems, it allows for very fine control of power delivery and always makes the most use of available grip.1 Braking The three versions of the F-TYPE offer progressively more powerful braking systems, all with the high levels of pedal feedback required for accurate modulation. The Jaguar Performance system fitted to the 340hp F-TYPE has 13.9-inch (354mm) front and 12.8-inch (325mm) rear brake discs with silver painted calipers. The F-TYPE S uses the Jaguar High Performance system, gaining larger 15-inch (380mm) brake discs at the front. The F-TYPE V8 S uses the Super High Performance system with the largest set of brake discs fitted as standard to a Jaguar production car, including the 15-inch (380mm) front and 14.8-inch (376mm) rear. All cars are fitted as standard with ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist. Jaguar engineers used Computational Fluid Dynamics to optimize brake-cooling using directed cooling air. Cold air is channeled to the brake discs via the air intakes flanking the grille and by the use of aerodynamically shaped suspension components to direct airflow beneath the car. HANDLING DYNAMICS The aluminum structure of the F-TYPE ensures the best possible connection for the driver to the road. Every response from the steering to the transmission shifting, throttle, brakes and suspension has been finely honed to be as connected, accurate and involving as possible. "Fundamentally, a great sports car is one you'll look forward to driving because it's fun, and the F-TYPE definitely delivers on that score. We've worked hard to make sure that responses to steering, throttle and brakes are absolutely immediate, a task made far easier by the rigid aluminum structure at the car's base. It's precise and exciting, a car that you'll want to drive for the sake of driving alone – and it sounds fantastic." Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar Agility in the Jaguar F-TYPE begins with its dimensions, which give the car a planted, "wheels pushed to the corners" stance. The F-TYPE measures 176 inches (4,470mm) in length on a 103.2-in. (2,622 mm) wheelbase. The track is wider in rear than front, 64.1-in. (1,585mm) and 62.4-in. (1,627mm), respectively. Short front and rear overhangs also help in concentrating the mass within the wheelbase, reducing the moment of inertia and making the car much more immediate to turn in. To fully exploit this trait, Jaguar engineers paid particular attention to optimizing front-to-rear weight distribution. To that end, both the battery and windshield washer fluid reservoir have been placed in the trunk, rather than under the hood. To give the steering the greatest accuracy in response and feedback, the F-TYPE uses an alloy front sub frame and very stiff front knuckles, also in aluminum. This arrangement allowed the fitment of the quickest steering rack ever used on a modern Jaguar, giving the driver a very connected-to-the-road feeling. Every Jaguar is engineered and tuned to achieve an excellent balance between ride comfort and handling. In the F-TYPE, that balance naturally tips in favor of involving, accessible handling while still maintaining excellent ride compliance. The Dynamic Mode enables the driver – at the push of a button – to emphasize the sporting character of the car by sharpening throttle response, increasing steering weighting, performing gear changes more quickly and higher up the rev range and by also raising the threshold for stability control intervention. Dynamic mode also prevents automatic upshifts when the gearbox is shifted into manual mode.1 Additionally, the F-TYPE S and V8 S models are fitted with the Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics suspension damping system that controls vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates. The system continuously monitors driver inputs and the attitude of the F-TYPE on the road, adjusting damper rates accordingly up to 500 times a second to optimize stability and agility. The Dynamic Mode in these models also provides firmer damper rates through the Adaptive Dynamics system. 1 "Jaguar has a unique legacy of sports cars so the global expectations for the F-TYPE are immense. Developing it was therefore not just a great privilege but also a huge challenge. A Jaguar sports car is more than speed in its absolute sense; it is about its agility and its reactions to driver inputs, those millisecond responses to create a connection with the vehicle. This pure and predictable level of response is what enables the driver to exploit the potential and capabilities of the car as well as their own. Amongst the many test locations we use is our dedicated development center at the Nürburgring Nordschleife – a circuit unique in the demands it places on a vehicle. As well as being a very high-speed test facility, it is also very demanding of the transmission, the chassis and the brakes, allowing us to really exploit and test those final few tenths of the F-TYPE's abilities. Asking questions of every element of the F-TYPE's performance attributes allowed us to hone them as a holistic, integrated package." Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director DRIVER ENVIRONMENT The F-TYPE asymmetric cabin layout reflects the sharp focus on the driver. The aim was to create an enveloping cockpit for the driver with all the controls placed naturally to hand and logically grouped, allowing maximum attention on the driving experience. A grab handle sweeps down the center console on the passenger side, delineating it from the driver's position and wrapping around the center console. Different finishes in the driver and passenger areas are used, including a different grain on top of the instrument panel and center console than that found on the passenger side. In the S and V8 S models, the main control interfaces – the Engine Start button, steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles and Dynamic Mode toggle – are highlighted in an "Ignis" orange finish, similar to that used on the markings on professional divers' watches. The controls are ergonomically grouped by function, enabling the driver to more easily use them without diverting eyes from the road. "We wanted the experience of sitting in the F-TYPE to be exciting. A sports car cockpit should be an intimate place and so we aimed to get a sense of the surfaces falling towards and then wrapping around the driver. What we've done is given it the essence and spirit of doing what you want to do rather than what's expected of you. The more processed this world becomes, the more important that is." Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar A small-diameter three-spoke steering wheel will also be available in a flat-bottom design, as part of an optional Performance Pack. Numerals on the tachometer are larger and bolder than those on the speedometer, to enhance visibility when for shifting. A TFT LCD screen between the two dials provides further information for the driver. Rotary dials control the heating and air conditioning for each side of the car. A display screen within the two dials indicates temperature and mode. The controls are dual-purpose: in cars fitted with heated seats, pushing the left or right hand dial controls temperature for that seat. A row of toggle switches below the dials control additional climate functions, their design echoing classic Jaguar sports cars. The air vents on top of the dashboard are hidden, and will deploy by rising out of the dashboard only when instructed to by either the driver or climate control system, staying tucked discreetly out of sight in other circumstances. Switches are finished in soft-feel matte black with white markings for maximum legibility, and the highlight accents are deliberately understated satin chrome and dark aluminum. The two S models feature darker finishes than in the standard V6 F-TYPE. Sports seats feature power recline and height adjustment with manual control of fore/aft movement, a nod to weight reduction. Available Performance seats can be ordered with additional side bolstering for greater support during high-force cornering. Both seat types can also be optioned with full power adjustment, including adjustable lumbar and side support. The car's driving position is 20mm lower than in the Jaguar XKR-S, lowering the center of gravity and allowing the driver to feel more connected to the car. The F-TYPE is available with two audio systems from premium British audio experts Meridian™. These offer either 10 or 12 speakers with outputs of 380 watts and 770 watts, respectively. The Meridian™ systems benefit from the company's experience in digital signal processing to create life-like audio reproduction. The top of the range offering also features the Meridian™ Trifield System, which places both occupants at the center of their own perfectly focused surround sound field. BENTLEY RETURNS TO MOTORSPORT WITH RACING GT Bentley unveils new Continental GT3 concept racer Based on Bentley’s fastest ever road car - the new GT Speed FIA-approved concept with 2013 test programme in development (Paris, 26 September 2012). At the 2002 Paris Motor Show, the unveiling of the Continental GT concept took the world by storm and opened an exciting new chapter in Bentley’s history. Now, ten years on, Bentley is repeating the same feat with a Continental-based GT3 race car currently being developed by a dedicated motorsport team at the company’s factory in Crewe. Signalling Bentley’s return to the racetrack for the first time since its historic sixth Le Mans victory in 2003, Continental GT3 remains faithful to the company’s founding motorsport philosophy of developing racing cars from their road-going counterparts. Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, comments: “The clear message from our customers is that Bentley belongs on the racetrack, and the Continental GT3 is the realisation of a dream we’ve had ever since the launch of the Continental GT. The new GT Speed is the perfect car for us to develop into a racer, and our work so far has shown huge potential. The Continental GT3 is set to show the world what the Continental GT is capable of in its most extreme form, and establishes a solid foundation for Bentley’s long-term motorsport plans.” The new Continental GT Speed is a refined, luxury grand tourer but which, if the driver demands, has a distinctly hard-edged sporting character. With exceptional levels of instantly accessible performance, the GT Speed, the fastest road-going Bentley ever, is a supercar that can be used every day, whatever the weather and road conditions. The Continental GT3 concept capitalises on the prodigious performance, outstanding high-speed stability and renowned durability of Bentley’s iconic coupe, while tailoring its specification for the track with the adoption of a rear-wheel drive chassis in accordance with the regulations, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware and a comprehensive aerodynamic package. The dramatic livery of the car enhances the muscular, sculpted form of the Continental GT Speed while remaining proudly patriotic with the inclusion of Union flags. With the Continental GT3 concept receiving the full support of the FIA, Bentley is returning to the motorsport arena towards the end of 2013 with a GT race car capable of competing with the very best, in the true Bentley tradition. Equipped for endurance as well as outright speed, the new Bentley competitor will be eligible to race in a range of race series and events, up to and including 24-hour marathons. Heading the development of the Continental GT3 is Bentley’s Director of Chassis, Powertrain and Motorsport, Brian Gush. Having led the programme that famously saw a brace of Bentley Speed 8 prototype racers take a dominant and dramatic one/two at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003, Brian is well placed to lead Bentley’s return to competitive racing. Development of the Continental GT3 will continue over the coming months in the build-up to the start of a test programme in 2013. More information and details about Bentley’s return to motorsport will be released in the near future.</p> PORSCHE PANAMERA SPORT TURISMO Porsche is presenting the Panamera Sport Turismo concept car to show how amazingly intelligent and efficient drive technology might look in the design language of tomorrow. The Sport Turismo unites the next generation hybrid drive with new ideas for an evolutionary, sporty body concept; it combines Porsche performance with comprehensive everyday practicality. Body: sports appeal and functionality in further developed design The body concept of the Panamera Sport Turismo is an outlook on a possible Porsche sports car of tomorrow: The overhangs are short, and the boot lid is large – both sporty and functional. The concept car combines the dimensions of a premium vehicle with the interior comfort of the luxury class. The Sport Turismo is 1,990 mm wide, a low 1,401 mm in height and 4,950 mm long. Its direction indicators and sidelights are integrated in C-shaped lighting units – known as C-Blades – mounted in the large air inlets at the front end. Together with four-point LED headlights in an innovative design, they define the front end appearance of the concept car. The smooth and taut exterior skin is not interrupted by add-on parts – there are no conventional exterior mirrors. In their place, the Sport Turismo has two cameras mounted in the side air outlets whose images are shown on the displays in the cockpit. The rear body has been completely reshaped, yet it retains all of the characteristics of a Porsche. The rear lights in LED technology and the tail-light panel with the "Porsche" badge are sculpted in three dimensions, and the brake light is positioned between the four-point LED rear lights. Forming the roof termination is an adaptive carbon rear spoiler that produces improved downforce. The new Liquid Metal Blue colour gives the concept car a surface that resembles liquid metal and highlights its contours and design lines more distinctly. The wheels in dual-spoke design have a bi-colour look, and the brake callipers are painted Acid Green. The hub locks of the wheels recall the origins of every Porsche – which is motorsport. "e-hybrid" badges on the sides refer to the car's drive concept, while the name "Sport Turismo" at the rear, Concept car Panamera Sport Turismo 1 framed in the same Acid Green colour, emphasises the car's concept character. The milled aluminium battery housing is mounted under the boot floor, which is made of electrochromatic glass and reveals a view of the energy source illuminated in Acid Green at the press of a button. "e-hybrid" stands for plug-in hybrid technology from Porsche The drive technology of the Panamera Sport Turismo completes the next development step towards the plug-in hybrid, symbolised by the "e-hybrid" badge on the front wings. The car's new ability to be charged from the electrical power grid has been combined with even higher performance components. The concept vehicle with its 416 hp (306 kW) of peak system power is designed to be driven in pure electric mode up to a speed of 130 km/h and can cover distances of over 30 km. The Sport Turismo also exhibits impressive fuel economy per the NEDC standard; its combined fuel consumption is less than 3.5 litres per 100 km, while CO2 emissions are under 82 g/km. The drive system of the Panamera Sport Turismo is an advanced development of the parallel full hybrid that Porsche already implements today in the Panamera S Hybrid and Cayenne S Hybrid. The new electric motor produces about 70 kW (95 hp), which is around twice as much as in today's Porsche hybrid drive, while the three-litre V6 supercharged engine still produces 245 kW (333 hp) here. In their interplay, they accelerate the concept car from zero to 100 km/h in less than six seconds. Power pack: lithium-ion battery with external charging capability The electric power pack of the Sport Turismo e-hybrid consists of a lithium-ion battery whose performance is several times that of the nickel-hydride battery currently used in production, although it has practically the same dimensions. Its 9.4 Kilowatt-hours of energy storage capacity and high peak power enable faster acceleration, longer electric driving range and higher speeds when driving without the internal combustion engine. The default operating mode of the e-hybrid prioritises all-electric driving, but the driver may deactivate this by pressing a special button on the steering wheel. In addition, when the car is being operated in hybrid mode the driver can select the e-charge mode by pressing the steering wheel button to intentionally intensify charging of the high-voltage battery. This is especially useful when one section of the driving route on a motorway is followed by a section through a city that should be driven in pure electric mode without local emissions. In the e-charge mode, the internal combustion engine charges the battery by load point shifting, while satisfying rational energy management criteria. As a plug-in hybrid, the fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery is not only charged while driving; it can also be externally charged within 2.5 hours (depending on the power supply) via a charging interface on the vehicle. Porsche systematically thought through all aspects of the concept car's plug-in system; it utilises a universal charger (AC) that is wall-mounted in a home garage and has a standardised charging plug. Familiar and yet completely new: touch displays for instruments and controls The interior of the Sport Turismo is a forward-looking interpretation of purist sports car thinking: as little as possible and as much as necessary. Instead of classic instruments, a large central TFT colour display is positioned in front of the driver; it is used to call up and display any vehicle information as needed – from the tachometer to driving data or navigation. Two monitors, one to the left and one to the right of this display, show images from the "exterior mirror" cameras. Two additional displays in tube form provide information on the hybrid-specific driving states, e.g. pure electric driving, as well as other functions. The power meter in the instrument panel illuminates in Acid Green and shows the combined system power of the two drives. A press on the touch-sensitive colour display starts the e-hybrid. Naturally, on the side that is typical of a Porsche: the left side. A completely new type of touch display in the ascending centre console incorporates additional controls; this is the control centre for the e-hybrid and all other functions that is implemented in black panel technology. It offers the driver the option of influencing the hybrid drive via smart keys to choose maximum driving fun, Concept car Panamera Sport Turismo 3 maximum performance or maximum efficiency. All driving indicators and control functions are also intuitively operated by multi-touch functionality, such as automatic climate control, seat adjustment, lights, reversing camera and the functions of Porsche Communication Management (PCM). Wide-ranging communications and control via smart phone app The Panamera Sport Turismo gives the driver entirely new options for customised communications. The driver can use mobile online services to access and control all key vehicle information with a smart phone app. Charge control by mobile phone shows the user just how much electricity the battery has already stored at any given time and predicts how much more time the charging process will take. In addition, there is a charging timer with user-defined charging times. Moreover, the vehicle's interior can also be preconditioned by mobile phone, e.g. by turning on the air conditioner, and the vehicle will already be at the right temperature before driving with electricity supplied from a household electrical outlet. Specifications Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Body: Sport Turismo with four individual seats, four doors and boot lid. Drive system: Parallel full hybrid; 3-litre V6 engine, charged; hybrid module with electric motor and disengagement clutch; rear-wheel drive. Power: 245 kW (333 hp) V6 engine approx. 70 kW (95 hp) hybrid module 306 kW (416 hp) (combined peak power) Suspension: Double wishbone front suspension; electo-mechanical power steering; multi-link rear suspension. Dimensions: Length Width Height 4,950 mm 1,990 mm 1,401 mm Energy supply: Lithium-ion battery with 9.4 kWh capacity and plug-in charging system compatible with electrical power grid. Performance: Top speed, pure electric mode approx. 130 km/h Acceleration: 0 – 100 km/h < 6.0 s Consumption (NEDC): Combined < 3.5 l/100 km CO2 emissions: Combined < 82 g/km Range (NEDC): Pure electric mode: > 30 km Charging time: up to 2.5 h View full article
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 14, 2012 Almost two years since the introduction of the Paceman concept at the Detroit Auto Show, Mini is showing the production version at the Paris Motor Show this month. The Paceman is essentially a Countryman, minus two doors and some design changes. The roofline is more rakish, the rear fenders are more muscular, and the back is completely different and features a new set of taillights. Inside, the Paceman is a four-seater only. Backseat passengers get their own seats. Cargo space measures out to be 38 cu. ft. when the seats are folded down. Powertrains for the U.S. model are going to be the base 1.6L four-cylinder producing 122 HP and 118 lb-ft of torque, and the turbocharged 1.6L producing 184 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. Both engines have the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic and front- or all-wheel drive. The Paceman rides lower than a Countryman and comes with MacPherson struts with forged crossmembers in front, while the rear gets a multilink setup. Electric power steering will come as standard. The Paceman will go on sale in the first quarter of 2013. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 SETTING A NEW PACE FOR MINI: The all-new MINI Paceman 13.09.2012 -- A sporty new exterior design, lowered suspension for a dynamic ride and an exciting reinterpretation of the familiar interior – feast your eyes on the all-new MINI Paceman, set for UK launch in March 2013. Styled as a coupé interpretation of the Countryman, four versions will be available when it arrives in showrooms next spring, including the MINI Cooper S Paceman which will have a 0-62mph of just 7.5 seconds. The seventh unique member of the family, it will sell alongside the Hatch, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupé and Roadster. Packed with MINI character and obvious design cues which tie it to the rest of the range, the three-door Paceman's unique exterior styling is what immediately catches the eye. Built on the Countryman platform, bumper to bumper the car is 4,109 mm (4,115mm for MINI Cooper S Paceman and Cooper SD Paceman), which makes it almost identical in size to its sibling. With a contemporary and expressive body shape, the Paceman has been created to appeal to a new type of design-conscious customer. The prominent horizontal lines and dynamic curved surfaces give the promise of sporting performance, yet there is an elegant simplicity to the overall form of the car. The upright front grille, complete with hexagonal radiator grille and broad chrome surround, gives the Paceman genuine presence. Its coupé-style stretched side profile features long doors, while the blacked-out pillars create a 'floating' roof concept, as already seen on the MINI Coupé. Available in either black, white or body colour, the roof gently slopes towards the rear of the car, ending at the integrated spoiler. The horizontal arrangement of the rear lights, which accentuates the car's width, is a first for MINI. The Paceman is the only member of the brand's line-up to be identified by a rear nameplate. The car's interior has been designed specifically for this model. Its highlight is the innovative rear seat, which has been styled around a lounge concept. Two individual chairs provide generous levels of head, shoulder and knee room with outstanding comfort and support. Armrests have been integrated into the rear trim. A two-section version of the MINI Centre Rail storage and attachment system – first seen in the Countryman – comes as standard. A full-length variant is available as an option. The Paceman is a strict four-seater, though practicality has not been sacrificed. Folding down the rear seats expands the rear load-carrying capacity from 330 litres to a maximum of 1,080 litres. Access is via a large and high-opening tailgate, offering extra practicality for owners. In the front, the raised seating position gives the driver and passenger an excellent view in every direction. The instrument panel includes many familiar components, including the large round central speedo. However, its black surround and decorative inner rings in high-gloss black or chrome are new, as are the redesigned air vent surrounds. Buttons for the windows, which have been toggle switches below the speedo on every MINI to date, have moved to the door trim panel. MINI's trademark go-kart handling will be a key part of the Paceman's appeal, enhanced by the optional all-wheel drive transmission. Lowered sports suspension as standard will help provide customers with an outstanding driving experience, though regular suspension and ride height are available as a no-cost option. From launch, Paceman customers will have the choice of four powerful four-cylinder engines, two petrol and two diesel. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox, or the optional six-speed automatic with Steptronic function for manual control. For petrol buyers, the MINI Cooper Paceman features a 1.6-litre 122bhp unit offering a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds, fuel economy of 47.1mpg with CO2 emissions of 140 g/km. The MINI Cooper S Paceman uses the same engine, tuned to deliver 184bhp. It will sprint to 62mph in 7.5 seconds. Fuel economy is 46.3mpg and emissions are 143g/km. For those who prefer diesel, the MINI Cooper D Paceman uses a 1.6-litre 112bhp turbocharged engine with a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds. It will provide owners with a frugal 64.2mpg fuel economy and 115g/km emissions. The flagship diesel is the MINI Cooper SD Paceman, which gets a 2.0-litre 143bhp engine. Its 0-62mph time is 9.2 seconds. Fuel economy is 61.4mpg with an emissions figure of 122g/km. For buyers who want the reassuring grip that comes with four-wheel drive, MINI's ALL4 system is available on the Cooper D, SD and Cooper S Paceman, models. And for those seeking the ultimate in MINI performance and desirability, a John Cooper Works Paceman version is in development. Under the Paceman's body shell, sophisticated chassis technology includes MacPherson spring struts and forged cross members at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle and electric power steering with Servotronic function. These combine to provide a sure-footed yet dynamic driving experience. Extra fun can be summoned via the sport button, optional on Cooper and Cooper D, which tweaks the engine's responses and the power assistance provided by the steering. Driver aids include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard across the range, with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) including Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) on the MINI Cooper S Paceman, Cooper SD Paceman and Cooper D Paceman ALL4. Light alloy wheels in 16-inch and 17-inch sizes are standard, with 18-inch or 19-inch on the options list. The state-of-the-art powertrain and suspension technology is married to MINI's acclaimed MINIMALISM environmental systems, which are fitted as standard. They include Auto Start/Stop, Shift Point Display, Brake Energy Regeneration and on-demand operation of ancillary units, all of which help cut fuel use and reduce emissions. Outstanding occupant protection is provided by an extensive range of safety equipment including front and side airbags. Side curtain airbags are fitted in both the front and back. ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear and a tyre pressure warning are on every Paceman. Other standard equipment includes air conditioning, powered door mirrors and front sports seats. Popular options will include Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Park Distance Control, an electrically operated glass roof plus the MINI navigation system. Advanced infotainment functions are available via MINI Connected. A range of optional equipment packages will also be available providing customers excellent value and helping to promote strong residual values. Eight exterior paint shades are available including the new Brilliant Copper and Blazing Red. Starlight Blue also previously unseen and unique to the Paceman. As always with MINI, personalisation is expected to be very popular and there is an extensive choice of bonnet stripes, upholstery variants, interior surfaces and Colour Lines. It will go sale on 16 March 2013 with prices starting at just £18,970 on the road. View full article
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 19, 2012 Auto show season is upon us and it means two things; new cars and leaks. Case in point, a picture of the new Jaguar F-Type roadster was leaked earlier this afternoon by spy photographer and friend of C&G, Chris Doane. "Something interesting just popped up in my inbox..." Doane wrote as the caption on the picture on his Facebook fan page. The new F-Type looks to be almost a dead ringer for the C-X16 coupe concept shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, minus the roof. Powertrains will include two supercharged V6s and a possibility of a 5.0L supercharged V8. We'll learn more info about the F-Type when it premieres at the Paris Motor Show next week or before then. (Author's note: Chris has since taken down the picture by request of Jaguar. -WM) Source: Chris Doane Automotive LLC, Motor Authority William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  16. Ferrari's showing for the Paris Motor Show is the Ferrari 458 Speciale A. The 458 Speciale A (Aperta) is the convertible version of the 458 Speciale and features most of the the lightweight materials found on the coupe. The difference is the addition of a folding aluminum roof which can open or close in 14 seconds, and only adds about 110 pound to the weight of the Speciale A. Power comes from a 4.5L V8 engine which makes 605 horsepower and 397 pound-feet of torque. Ferrari says the 458 Speciale A can hit 60 MPH in about 3.0 seconds (about a tenth slower than the coupe). The Special A also features Ferrari's Side Slip angle Control (SSC) system which varies the torque distribution to improve handling. Ferrari says they will only build 499 458 Speciale A models. No word on when Ferrari will begin selling them. Source: Ferrari Press Release is on Page 2 FERRARI 458 SPECIALE A: A NEW RECORD-BREAKING SPIDER 25/09/14 499 cars to celebrate our most successful, award-winning 8-cylinder model Maranello, 25th September 2014 – Ferrari is pleased to announce the Paris Motor Show world debut of the 458 Speciale A (A as in Aperta). The new limited edition special series is a celebration of the dazzling success of the various versions of the 458, a model that has collected an array of international motoring media awards and track victories, not least a double WEC title and category wins in classic endurance races, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Dedicated to just 499 Ferrari collectors, the 458 Speciale A is the most powerful spider in Prancing Horse history, effortlessly marrying extreme performance with the sublime pleasure of drop-top driving. Its aluminium retractable hard top, which takes a mere 14 seconds to deploy or retract, helps reduce the weight difference with the Speciale coupé to just 50 kg. The 458 Speciale A sports the most powerful naturally-aspirated road-going V8 engine ever built by Ferrari. It punches out a massive 605 cv (135 cv/l specific power output) and 540 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm yet only generates 275 g/km of CO2 emissions. The three international Best Performance Engine awards the V8 has won are acknowledged on a special plaque in the cockpit. The new car sprints from 0-100 km/h in just 3.0 seconds and has a Fiorano lap time of 1'23"5. These superb results are thanks in great part to its front and rear active aerodynamics, the rigidity of a chassis that incorporates 10 aluminium alloys, and Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) which guarantees unparalleled sporty driving in all conditions, underscored by the seductively exhilarating signature Ferrari soundtrack. As is the case with all Prancing Horse cars, the 458 Speciale A's sculpted forms are absolutely performance-oriented. In fact, a series of innovative and original bodywork solutions has made the 458 Speciale A the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever. The 458 Speciale A is being premiered in a unique triple-layer yellow livery with a Blu Nart and Bianco Avus central stripe as well as five-spoke forged wheels in Grigio Corsa. The cockpit has a distinctive racing-inspired look: lightweight yet exclusive materials have been adopted throughout and, of course, crafted with Ferrari's signature artisanal sophistication. This is particularly true of the finish of the dash, the moulded door panels and central tunnel in an exclusive blue carbon-fibre (also used for the treadplates) as well as the newly-designed seats in Alcantara© with contrasting stitching and 3D technical fabric. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION SUMMARY EngineType V8 – 90° Total displacement 4497 ccMax. power output 605 cv at 9000 rpm Maximum torque 540 Nm at 6000 rpm WeightDry weight 1340 kg Weight-power ratio 2.21 kg/cv Performance0 - 100 km/h 3.0" 0 - 200 km/h 9.5"Fiorano lap time 1'23"5 Emissions (ECE + EUDC combined cycle) CO2 emissions** 275 gr/km **with HELE system View full article
  17. Whenever a new BMW M3 (and M4) appears, you can expect other automakers to introduce their competitors to give the roundel a run for its money. Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker to launch its competitor to the M3/M4 and the name is the Mercedes-AMG C63. Mercedes-AMG? Are you sure you didn't mistype that? No. From now on, AMG vehicles will wear the Mercedes-AMG nameplate. This was introduced on the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT coupe that will do battle with the Porsche 911. Like the E63, the new C63 will be offered in two states of tune. The standard C63 features a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 producing 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The C63 S increases the output to 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Both models use a seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission which routes power to the rear wheels only. 0-60 is done in 4 seconds in the C63, while the S does it in 3.9 seconds. The C63 features dynamic engine mounts which can vary how much stiffness the chassis has. There's also a three-stage adjustable damping system and four different driving modes (Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport+, and Race). Styling-wise, the C63 features a new front bumper with larger intakes and splitter; either 18-inch (C63) or 19-inch (C63 S) wheels; wider front fenders, and a new rear bumper with a diffuser. The C63 and C63 S arrive at dealers in March, with a special Edition 1 model as well that features unique exterior and interior appointments. Source: Mercedes-Benz William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 The New Mercedes-AMG C63 Powerful High-Performance Athlete September 24, 2014 Affalterbach. Pure fascination and breathtaking dynamics – the new Mercedes-AMG C63 sets benchmarks. The high-tech drivetrain, the signature AMG handling and the high level of individuality in optional equipment guarantee an utterly unique driving experience. The pinnacle of the C-Class line-up is driven by an all new 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine closely related to the power unit that provides breathtaking propulsion in the new Mercedes-AMG GT. The power spectrum ranges from 469 hp in the C63 to 503 hp in the C63 S. With an unrivalled fuel fuel economy, the C63 is the most fuel-efficient eight-cylinder car in the high-performance segment. The extensive range of standard equipment includes the AMG Adaptive sports suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers, the mechanical rear locking differential and the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT with its multiple drive programs. Additionally, there will be a highly exclusive "Edition 1" model available from market launch. Dynamics plus long-distance comfort –the new Mercedes-AMG C63 offers impressive engine output with exceptionally low fuel consumption figures, outstanding longitudinal and lateral dynamics and yet delivers a high level of everyday usability. As form is just as important as function, the interior and exterior design is more distinctive than ever before. The V8 pinnacle in the C-Class portfoilio is available in a choice of two models –the Mercedes-AMG C63 S and C63, with the C63 S set up for even more dynamic handling and performance. The Mercedes-AMG C63 celebrates its world premiere on October 2, 2014 together with the show premiere of the Mercedes-AMG GT at the Salon de l’Automobile in Paris. Market introduction in the USA begins in March 2015 with both the C63 and C63 S launching at the same time. "We are also marking the beginning of a new era with the new nomenclature. The successor to the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, which has been incredibly successful worldwide, will now be called the Mercedes-AMG C63," says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "At 40,000 units, the 204 C63 AMG was the bestselling AMG model. We will now add to this success with the new Mercedes-AMG C63. Be it in drive, handling or equipment, the Mercedes-AMG C63 sets new benchmarks and will further strengthen our brand promise ‘Driving Performance’. AMG customers can look forward to an exceptionally dynamic driving experience." Best in fuel consumption, best in performance The C63 is at the forefront of the competitive field. The new high-performance vehicles from Affalterbach are the only ones in the segment to be equipped with an eight-cylinder biturbo engine. The result is impressive power delivery and a highly emotional engine sound – a signature of the AMG brand. Drivers benefit from unrivalled performance delivered by a supreme level of power and torque. The C63 S accelerates from zero to 60mph in 3.9 seconds and the C63 in 4.0. The top speed is 155mph (electronically limited). "Naturally, the new Mercedes-AMG C63 is once again powered by an eightcylinder engine. The passionate power delivery and highly emotional sound of our 4.0-liter V8 biturbo are truly compelling. At the same time, we are maintaining our leading role in the core issue of efficiency. No other highperformance V8 automobile is more fuel efficient than the new C63," says Christian Enderle, Head of Development Engine and Drivetrain at Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The C63 not only holds the top position in terms of engine data and performance, it also sets new benchmarks in fuel consumption. The high-performance car from Affalterbach demonstrates exceptional efficiency that puts it at the top of the segment. And it does not stop there – the C63 is the most fuel-efficient eightcylinder, high-performance vehicle in the world. It achieves a remarkable decrease in fuel consumption compared with the preceding C63 AMG. The new Mercedes-AMG C63 consumes around 32 percent less fuel than its direct predecessor with the 6.3-liter V8 naturally aspirated engine – while delivering even more performance and the emotional sound that is a signature of the AMG V8. New V8 biturbo closely related to the engine in the Mercedes-AMG GT This impressive efficiency improvement is rooted in the new drive package. The M177 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine is a close relative of the M178, which is the sports-car heart of the new Mercedes-AMG GT. The innovative eightcylinder is notable for its outstanding power delivery, targeted lightweight design, high efficiency and environmental compatibility. It also fulfills the highest standards in terms of noise and vibration comfort. The newly developed eight-cylinder features biturbocharging, whereby the two chargers are not located on the outside of the cylinder banks, but instead, within the cylinder V – specialists refer to this as the "hot inside V". The resulting benefits are a compact engine design, optimum responsiveness and low exhaust emissions. Petrol piezo direct injection with spray-guided combustion Mixture preparation is handled by the petrol piezo direct injection system used exclusively by Mercedes. The third generation of the spray-guided combustion process has been developed to meet all future legislative requirements. A sophisticated engine cooling system ensures high performance even at ambitious race-track speeds. Performance exhaust system available as an option Fascination, emotionality and immediate recognition – engine sound is an important development objective. The C63 and C63 S feature a sports exhaust system with a dynamic electronically controlled exhaust flap. Depending on the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program, the engine sound varies between low-key for long-distance travel and raw emotionality. The exhaust flap is located in the front third, at the interface between the two pipes. Its infinitely variable actuation is controlled on the basis of the drive program, the performance wishes of the driver and the engine speed. A Performance exhaust system with three electronically controlled exhaust flaps is available as an option for both engine variants. It provides the driver with an even greater level of control of the exhaust note via a button on the center console. In the "Comfort" drive program, the engine is quieter and more comfortable, while, in "Sport +" and "Race", the V8 sound is even more dominant and evocative of a race touring car – complete with acoustic up-shift and distinctive double de-clutching feedback. In addition to setting it via the drive programme, the engine sound can also be set individually at any time at the push of a button. C63 S comes as standard with dynamic engine mounts A further new feature of the C63 S that is unique in the competitive field is the dynamic engine mounts – as used on the Mercedes-AMG GT. They address the conflict of interest between comfort and handling by reducing vibration from the engine/transmission unit. The dynamic mounts can adapt their stiffness smoothly and in fractions of a second to the prevailing driving conditions and style. Soft engine mounts improve comfort by better reducing noise and vibration. Handling and agility, on the other hand, benefit from slightly stiffer mounts. When driving dynamically, the driver feels more closely connected to the vehicle as a result of increased feedback, while steering response is more direct. The driver benefits overall from a more precise driving feel. Minimized movement of the drivetrain mass calls for less correction on turn-in. Engine production by hand – "one man, one engine" Powerful V8 engines have always been one of the competencies of AMG, the Mercedes-Benz performance brand. Mercedes-AMG GmbH is fully responsible for development and production. The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine is manufactured in the Affalterbach engine shop in accordance with the "one man, one engine" principle. Variable dynamics – the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission A large part of the direct and sporty character of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 is attributable to the transmission. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission offers a compelling mix of tailor-made dynamics and exceptional variability. The MCT transmission was extensively redeveloped for application in the C63 and is now even faster in its reaction times. Be it automatic or triggered at the steering wheel paddle by the driver, a manual up or down-shift is now noticeably faster than in the last model. The transmission is now significantly more spontaneous in the "Sport +" and manual modes in particular. This increase in responsiveness was enabled by optimization of the transmission’s hardware and software. Also, the aluminium shift paddles on the Performance steering wheel are now able to transmit the driver’s shift inputs even faster than before, thus further increasing the dynamic feel. One look at the drive programmes shows the high variability of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission. The available choices are "Controlled Efficiency", "Sport" and "Sport +" – as well as "Race", which is exclusive to the C63 S. The driver chooses from the various drive programmes with the aid of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch. The "temporary M" function, activated by using the paddles, delivers a further increase in dynamics in any mode. AMG Adaptive sport suspension with 3-stage adjustable damping Fascinating agility, high cornering speeds and optimum neutrality – the C63 is equipped with independent suspension featuring a high proportion of aluminium, dynamic-oriented kinematics, electronically controlled shock absorbers and AMG-specific elastokinematics. With the AMG Dynamic sport suspension, the customer can vary characteristics in three stages between maximum sporting performance and good long-distance comfort. At the front of the C63 is a four-link front suspension with motorsport-based radially mounted brakes. Independent steering knuckles and a wider track permit higher lateral acceleration. The multilink rear suspension with independent wheel mounts likewise has a higher negative camber. To improve traction and dynamics, the C63 has a mechanical locking differential at the rear, while the C63 S is equipped with an electronic rear locking differential. Both locking differentials reduce slip at the inside wheel without braking input. As a result, the driver can accelerate sooner out of corners and the car maintains its stability when braking at high speed. The locking differential also improves traction when accelerating from a standstill. Compared with the mechanical solution, the benefits of the electronic locking rear differential, which is standard equipment on the C63 S, are its faster and more finely tuned control, thus pushing the physical limits of the driving envelope even higher. The standard 3-stage ESP® with the functions "ESP ON", "SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" is perfectly networked with the locking rear differential and expertly tuned to the high level of dynamics. The electromechanical speed-sensitive sport steering ensures precise and agile handling, with the driver benefitting from a direct ratio and optimized response characteristics. It also has variable power assistance, whereby the steering force is adapted relative to the current vehicle speed. The power assistance reacts not only in accordance with vehicle speed, but also in line with current lateral acceleration and the drive programme chosen via AMG DYNAMIC SELECT. The C63 runs as standard on titanium grey painted and polished alloy wheels measuring 8.5 x 18 (front) and 9.5 x 18 (rear) in 10-spoke design and clad in 245/40 R 18 tires (front) and 265/40 R 18 (rear). The tire dimensions on the C63 S are 245/35 R 19 (front) and 265/35 R 19 (rear) running on alloy wheels measuring 8.5 x 19 (front) and 9.5 x 19 (rear) in 5-twin-spoke design, painted in titanium grey and polished. A high-performance, ceramic-composite brake system is available for the first time as optional equipment for the C63 S. Optional sport cup tires ensure a noticeable and measurable increase in grip. AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes The driver can use four different AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes to influence the characteristics of the C63. The C63 S has the additional "Race" programme, which enables a maximum level of individualisation. The driver defines the driving experience using a switch to the left of the touchpad. There is a choice of several different pre-configured driving programmes and an "Individual" drive programme, which allows extensive self-configuration. "Controlled Efficiency" is the balanced drive programme with a comfortable Page 7 suspension and steering set-up as well as fuel-optimized drivetrain settings – including soft gearshifts and a more restrained engine sound. The "Gliding Function" is completely new and delivers a further reduction in fuel consumption. If the driver lifts off the accelerator between37 and 99 mph - , the clutch of the MCT transmission opens and the engine is decoupled from the drivetrain. The electronics system reduces the engine revs to idle, and the resistance generated by the compression and frictional forces produced under trailing throttle are reduced. The "Sport" and "Sport +" drive programmes increase sporting intensity. "Race" is reserved exclusively for the C63 S and is the optimum setting for ambitious laps on a closed race track. Form follows performance – the design reflects the technology Form follows performance – the design of the powerful V8 top model is influenced by motorsport and reflects its fascinating technology. Sensual clarity combines with stylish sporting character – the Mercedes C63 inspires fascination from the very first glance. From a visual standpoint, the new model is clearly a member of the Mercedes-AMG family. The exteriors of the C63 and C63 S are differentiated by specific design elements. The emotional, sensual surface design of the new C-Class, with its reduced, minimalist forms, now has an added, positive tension that gives it a truly dynamic character. The wider track and powerful eight-cylinder call for a completely standalone front end. The Mercedes-AMG C63 has aluminium front fenders, widened on each side by 0.55" and bearing "V8 BITURBO" lettering. The entire front end has also been lengthened by 2.12". In addition, the structure of the body-in-white has been reinforced in specific areas in order to compensate for the extreme longitudinal and transverse forces generated and transmitted by the drivetrain and running gear. Mercedes-AMG sets clear accents in sporting character, expressed succinctly at the front end – gracing the long aluminium bonnet are two distinctive power domes. Together with the wider front fenders, they guarantee a particularly muscular look. Positioned low down and with a characteristic arrow form, the "twin blade" radiator grille with AMG lettering lowers the vehicle’s visual center of gravity. The "A-wing" takes a three-dimensional form and also serves as an airflow guide for the three cooling air intakes. Flics ensure optimum airflow to the cooling module. Along the lower edge of the front skirt, a front splitter helps to increase downforce. At the rear end, the diffuser insert with three fins is a feature carried over from motorsport, as are the visual air outlets positioned on either side. They generate defined air separation edges and improve the cd figure. The two chrome-plated twin end pipes of the AMG sport exhaust system are perfectly integrated into the diffuser. The C63 Sedan has a separation edge on the rear deck lid,–which ensures even better grip at the rear axle. Stunning interior design Every detail in the interior of the C63 contributes to a stunning overall effect. The careful choice of select, first-class materials, their sumptuous tactile qualities and their precision craftsmanship deliver a sense of quality that is seldom seen even in higher vehicle classes. Like the exterior, the more powerful C63 S is distinguished from the C63 on the inside by a number of design details. The dashboard is finished in black ARTICO man-made leather, with the premium look-and-feel further enhanced by stitching in crystal grey, the winglike trim element in aluminium and the AMG-exclusive, IWC-design analogue clock (depending on equipment choice). Next to the touchpad is the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch as well as a number of AMG-specific controls, such as the button for the 3-stage AMG Dynamic sport suspension, the 3-stage ESP® and the optional button for the Performance exhaust system with variable exhaust flap control. The instrument cluster and the 3-spoke Performance steering wheel with 12-o’clock mark deliver a dynamically sporty ambience. Equipped with dedicated carbon weave-pattern dials and signature AMG numerals. Performance seats are also available as an alternative to the standard sports seats in MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfibre. They give occupants a lower seating position and ensure increased lateral grip due to their more powerfully contoured form. A range of further optional equipment means the Mercedes-AMG C63 can be extensively tailored to individual preferences. Exclusive and irresistible – the C63 "Edition 1" The Mercedes-AMG C63 S is also available from market launch as an "Edition 1" – with a stunning and irresistible combination of exclusive design and equipment features.. The "Edition 1" can be identified from the outside by a number of design highlights: Forged wheels in 8.5 x 19 and 9.5 x 19 cross-spoke design, painted matte black with the rim painted in red; tires are 245/35 R 19 (front) and 265/35 R 19 (rear) Night package (A-wing and trim in high-gloss black, wing mirror housings in high-gloss black, sill cladding inlays in high-gloss black, waistline trim and window frames in high-gloss black, radiator grille with double fin in silver chrome, Black-chromed twin end pipe fairings Red accentson radiator grille and wing mirrors Sport stripes in matte graphite grey above sill cladding The distinctive color combination carries into the interior: Performance seats, door center panels and armrest in black nappa leather with diamond pattern and red contrasting stitching designo seatbelts in red Performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfibre, flattened bottom, with red 12-o’clock marking, red contrasting stitching, steering wheel fairing in silver chrome with "Edition 1" lettering and silvercolored aluminium shift paddles Trim element in carbon red pepper / light aluminium with longitudinal grain and red filaments Floor mats in black with "AMG" lettering and piping in red Highest safety levels The stated aim of Mercedes-Benz is to make the highest level of safety available to all. For this reason, the C-Class features many of the new and extensively enhanced assistance systems that celebrated their world premieres just a few months ago in the S and E-Class. Standard equipment on-board the C63 includes enhanced drowsiness warning system ATTENTION ASSIST and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, which helps to avoid rear-end collisions. The assistance systems increase both comfort and safety. Mercedes-Benz calls this "Intelligent Drive". The predecessor to the new C-Class already demonstrated impressive results in terms of passive safety. The new model exceeds these and sets new benchmarks. View full article
  18. Infiniti's showing for the Paris Motor Show seems to be inspired by the likes of the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera with their four-door fastback design. Meet the Q80 Inspiration Concept. Infiniti's take on the four-door fastback is to add more curves throughout the body. You also notice that the concept doesn't have any door handles or side-view mirrors. The company says that would only take away from the design profile. As for measurements, the Q80 Inspiration Concept is 198.9 inches long, 79.8 inches wide, 53.1 inches tall, and a wheelbase of 122.2 inches. Inside, the Q80 Inspiration Concept features seating for four passengers and comes with carbon fiber, aluminum, and leather. "After showing Q30 Concept and Q50 Eau Rouge, Infiniti is eager to show the upper range of our portfolio expansion," said Infiniti Executive Design Director, Alfonso Albaisa. "In Q80 Inspiration, we wanted to capture that unforgettable feeling when you experience something important, something beautiful, something magnetic for the first time." We'll have more information on the Q80 Inspiration Concept when debuts at Paris, next week. Source: Infiniti Press Release is on Page 2 Feasting the senses: Infiniti Q80 Inspiration - Infiniti unveils four-door concept that will lead to future model - Q80 Inspiration embodies the invigorated Infiniti brand - Fastback sedan showcases autonomy and powertrain technologies HONG KONG / PARIS – The Paris Auto Show is fast approaching, and companies are jockeying for position in the eye of a media storm. Infiniti presents Q80 Inspiration: Infiniti's vision of category-breaking, supreme luxurious driving – a top-of-the-line, four-seat fastback that rises above the crowd. It's an audacious and elegant step forward for Infiniti as a global player designed to shake up the status quo in the premium large four-door club – a no-compromise ambassador of driver-centric powertrain and onboard technologies. At 15:30 local time on October 2 in Hall 5 of the Parc des Expositions de Versailles in Paris, Infiniti will introduce the progressive Q80 Inspiration to the media and provide a glimpse into its high-performance and efficient hybrid-electric powertrain implementation as well as additional technologies. In profile, Infiniti Q80 Inspiration extends to 5052 millimeters (198.9 inches) with a long wheelbase of 3103 mm (122.2 in) framed by custom 22-inch five-dual-spoke lightweight alloys. It strikes an imposing stance with its width of 2027 mm (79.8 in) and height of 1350 mm (53.1 in). "After showing Q30 Concept and Q50 Eau Rouge, Infiniti is eager to show the upper range of our portfolio expansion," said Infiniti Executive Design Director, Alfonso Albaisa. "In Q80 Inspiration, we wanted to capture that unforgettable feeling when you experience something important, something beautiful, something magnetic for the first time." The Q80 Inspiration's expansive, edgy, sensual interpretation of the Infiniti brand really makes a statement. There are no side-door mirrors to break up the aesthetics of the unmistakable profile. The full roof length of the teardrop passenger greenhouse is accentuated by lightweight acoustic glass. And its doors open portal style, which allows the stunning cabin to be fully on display while driver and passengers step in and out with ease. A concept as impactful as Q80 Inspiration is set to push boundaries in more ways than through the beauty of its attention-grabbing skin. The cabin is able to bring together the four occupants in a highly stylized and personalized ambiance of the highest quality. Carbon fiber, aluminum and leather surround those inside in spacious "1 + 1 + 1 + 1" seating. Earmarked for an advanced adaptive suspension, the light and rigid chassis combines with the acoustic glass all around and additional sound deadening to promise a driving and ride experience among the very best. A design and technological highlight to which Infiniti's four worldwide design studios will refer regularly in coming years, the Q80 Inspiration four-door fastback is to be taken as clear intent to have an entry into the newly defined premium fastback segment. View full article
  19. Earlier this week saw Mercedes-Benz introduce the next-generation E-Class wagon. But there is a new variant that will debut later this fall. Mercedes-Benz confirmed to Autocar that a model to compete against the Audi A6 Allroad and the upcoming Volvo V90 Cross Country will be shown at the Paris Motor Show in September. Known as the E-Class All Terrain, the wagon will feature Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system and an air suspension that can be raised or lowered depending on the terrain. “It won’t be as good as an SUV off road, but it will be able to go farther than most owners will expect,” said Michael Kelz, chief engineer on the E-Class. The exterior will come with plastic body cladding, new bumpers, and underbody protection. Mercedes-Benz will kick off sales of the E-Class All Terrain early next year. At the moment, there are no plans to bring it to the U.S. Source: Autocar View full article
  20. Every few years, Audi shows off a TT concept that leads to the speculation of a TT family. Such examples include a shooting brake or a crossover. Now it happens to be a sedan. The Audi TT Sportback Concept doesn't have all of the usual Audi concept trademarks such as large wheels, miniscule mirrors, and odd interior treatments. The outside looks like the new TT coupe with slim headlight and distinctive roofline. The back end reminds us the quattro concept, especially the trunk lid. Compared to the TT Coupe, the Sportback is 11 inches longer, 2.4 inches wider and rides on a wheelbase that is 4.7 inches longer. Under the hood lies a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 400 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive system. "With the TT, Audi created one of the automotive design icons of the last 20 years," says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development. "In the years since, we have designed our sporty and elegant five‑door Audi A5 Sportback* and Audi A7 Sportback*. In our Audi TT Sportback concept show car, we are now fusing both concepts to form a new member of a potential TT family." Source: Audi 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 Ingolstadt/Paris, 2014-10-01 The sportiness of the Audi TT redesigned: The Audi TT Sportback concept show car Sporty elongated sculpture: Concept study reinterprets Audi TT* Board Member for Development Prof. Dr. Hackenberg: “TT Sportback concept unites two concepts to form a new member of a potential TT family” Four-cylinder TFSI provides 400 hp, maximum torque 450 Nm (331.9 lb-ft) A speedy sports car with four seats and five doors – Audi is presenting the TT Sportback concept at the Paris Motor Show. The exterior of the show car invokes the design idiom of the classic TT*, developing it into a new, elongated sculpture. It is driven by a high-powered 2.0 TFSI engine that delivers 294 kW (400 hp). “With the TT, Audi created one of the automotive design icons of the last 20 years,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development. “In the years since, we have designed our sporty and elegant five‑door Audi A5 Sportback* and Audi A7 Sportback*. In our Audi TT Sportback concept show car, we are now fusing both concepts to form a new member of a potential TT family.” The Audi TT Sportback concept captivates with the power of 294 kW (400 hp) that flows through a seven-speed S tronic to the quattro permanent all‑wheel drive. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) takes just 3.9 seconds. The sophisticated suspension and the low center of gravity ensure dynamic handling, and the body integrates a number of lightweight aluminum components. A laser spot that complements the LED high beam is featured in each of the headlights – this innovation from Audi significantly boosts safety when driving in the dark. The Audi virtual cockpit dominates the elegantly designed interior of the show car, with the 12.3‑inch screen replacing the conventional instruments and the MMI monitor. The screen provides top-quality graphics and enables the driver to choose between multiple display levels. In the MMI terminal, the rotary push-button features a touchpad that is used to enter characters and gestures as with a smartphone. The operation of the climate control has been relocated to the air vents. Exterior design The five-door Audi TT Sportback concept is 4.47 meters (14.7 ft) long, 1.89 meters (6.2 ft) wide, and 1.38 meters (4.5 ft) high, featuring a wheelbase of 2.63 meters (8.6 ft). Compared with the new production TT, it is 29 centimeters (11.4 in) longer, 6 centimeters (2.4 in) wider and has a 12 centimeter (4.7 in) larger wheelbase; its height is 3 centimeters (1.2 in) less than that of the new TT. Featuring Mars red paintwork, the body is a statement of powerful elegance: High-precision lines border athletically domed surfaces, and a flat greenhouse is positioned on a powerful body. The design makes use of the Audi TT’s formal idiom to develop a new sporty and elongated sculpture that is highly taut. The distinctive horizontal lines at the front end of the new Audi TT Sportback concept reinforce the broad and sporty look. Bearing the quattro badge on its lower edge, the Singleframe grille is flatter and wider than on the two‑door coupe and features a honeycomb grille insert with a resplendent dark aluminum look. The lateral borders of the Singleframe are continued across the hood as swage lines, giving it a sporty contour. Typically for Audi, the design forms a coherent whole, with all the lines and surfaces of the show car being linked to one another in a logical manner. The front of the Audi TT Sportback concept has another characteristic feature in the form of the large, striking air inlets. Framed by pronounced edges, the air inlets have the look of individual structures and feature honeycomb inserts that fill their interior. A third, flat inlet underneath the Singleframe connects them to each other. The blade that gives the Singleframe structure sharpens the look of the show car whilst boosting the aerodynamics. Another typical TT design feature are the newly designed headlights with separators that demonstrate a unique daytime running light signature. On the Audi TT Sportback concept, the high-beam spot is provided by laser technology – in each headlight, a module comprising four powerful diodes generates a beam of light that illuminates several hundred meters. The laser spot, which is activated at 60 km/h ( 37.3 mph) and above, supplements the LED high beam. For the driver, this is a significant boost to visibility and safety; a camera is used to detect and blank out other road users. The lighting concept is rounded out by the indicator with a dynamized display that is also used in the LED rear lights. It comprises a series of individual diodes that light up one after the other from the inside to the outside, indicating the direction selected by the driver. The side view of the four-seater show car is a particularly striking indication of the close relationship between it and the production TT. The Audi TT Sportback concept sits powerfully on the road and features short overhangs. The wide semicircles of the wheel arches, each of which protrudes by 3 centimeters (1.2 in), have a superimposed look. The front semicircle defines the edge of the hood, which runs as a sharp tornado line across the doors and to the rear end. The trim of the side sill, which connects the wheel arches to one another, also has a broad and sporty appearance. In classic sports car style, the exterior mirrors and their angular housings are positioned on the door top shoulders. The right side part houses the circular filler cap, another classic TT icon. The strong shoulders of the powerful vehicle body support a low greenhouse that is elongated towards the rear. This is in keeping with the Sportback line as implemented by Audi in its A5 and A7 model series. The flat C‑pillar flows elegantly into the shoulder, and the rear has a compact and sleek look. The highly rounded corners of the rear window are a homage to the original TT. The rear of the Audi TT Sportback concept is also focused and sculptural, with five horizontal lines emphasizing its width. The one-piece rear lights – which also include vertical separators inspired by the R18 – form independent structures. These are linked to one another by the handle edge of the luggage compartment, which constitutes a powerfully contoured continuous trim. The surface that bears the number plate is located in the shadow of the spoiler lip. The two large elliptical tailpipes of the exhaust system are embedded in the diffuser and linked by a trim. Interior The driver and the passengers enter the Audi TT Sportback concept through doors with frameless window panes. The interior fits around them with the precision of a sporty suit. In the interior, the uncompromising sportiness of the Audi TT meets the functionality of a five‑door sedan. This is underlined by slimline applications on the dashboard and doors, as well as a long center console which continues through the entire interior. Handworked seams run along the center console and top shoulder from the front through to the luggage compartment, lending a sporty elegance to the interior. The headlining also features an elegant contour that accentuates the length of the interior. The super sport seats with the integrated head restraints are sharply contoured and highly adjustable. There is space for two people in the rear, likewise on individual seats with integrated head restraints. They are separated by functional storage compartments and a comfortable armrest. The backrests can be folded down so that large objects can also be stowed in the luggage compartment beneath the tailgate. The sinewy, taut lines created by the Audi designers in the interior of the show car are closely oriented to those of the production TT. When viewed from the top, the instrument panel resembles the wing of an airplane and the five round air vents are reminiscent of jet engines. The controls for the seat heating, air recirculation, temperature, distribution and strength of the air flow are located on their axes. The omission of the classic air conditioning control panel and the MMI monitor has made it possible to design the instrument panel within a sleek and light architecture that is fully focused on the driver. The Audi virtual cockpit, the digital instrument cluster, replaces the conventional physical displays and the central MMI monitor. The driver can switch to the 12.3‑inch display at multiple levels in order to view top quality graphics. The system is operated via the multifunction steering wheel or the MMI terminal. The touchpad located on the round rotary push-button is used to enter characters and also processes multiple finger gestures – the driver can zoom in on the map as they would on a smartphone. In keeping with the character of sporty elegance, the interior of the Audi TT Sportback concept is defined by the use of high-quality materials. The instrument panel and the upper area of the door trims are dark granite gray in color. The door armrests, the center console and the seats see the use of a new soft leather in parchment beige – this is processed for a particularly near-natural look and has a silky sheen. The door top shoulder is upholstered in Alcantara, parchment beige. The seat upholstery features a diamond pattern. The side bolsters of the seats are trimmed with special accent strips in dark gray leather that are fixed with red thread using a special stitching technique. The instrument panel and the door trims contain decorative surfaces with a dark aluminum look. Further accents in this look are provided by the clasps on the sides of the seats and the trim rings on the air vents. The color and material concept is rounded out by black floor mats made from the rubberized material that also covers the floor of the luggage compartment. Drivetrain The 2.0 TFSI engine in the Audi TT Sportback concept captivates with its performance characteristics: It generates 294 kW (400 hp) at 6,400 rpm, with a specific output of 147 kW (200 hp) per liter of displacement. The four‑cylinder engine puts 450 Nm (331.9 lb‑ft) of torque on the crankshaft between 2,400 and 6,000 rpm, with over 300 Nm (221.3 lb‑ft) already available at just 1,900 rpm. The high-performance engine limits fuel consumption to an average of 7.0 liters per 100 kilometers (33.6 US mpg). This equates to CO2 emissions of 162 grams per kilometer (260.7 g/mi). As a member of the Audi EA 888 engine family, there is a comprehensive package of high-end technology on board for the turbocharged direct-injection unit. The camshaft adjustment on the intake and exhaust sides and the Audi valvelift system, which varies the stroke of the exhaust valves in two stages, ensure good filling of the combustion chambers. At part load, indirect injection complements the FSI direct injection. The exhaust manifold embedded in the cylinder head is an important component of the thermal management. The flow of coolant is managed by a powerful rotary slide module. In order to generate the high power output, the 2.0 TFSI has undergone profound modifications, including special aluminum pistons with an integrated cooling channel and a crankshaft made from ultra-high-strength forged steel. The crankcase consists of a new, high-strength casting alloy and the cylinder head has been designed for the increased gas flow rate. The turbocharger has also been redeveloped and builds up a maximum relative boost pressure of 1.8 bar. It contains a mixed flow turbine wheel that is noted for its particularly fast start-up performance. When driving, the four-cylinder unit’s extreme dynamics are breathtaking. The turbocharged direct-injection engine accelerates the Audi TT Sportback concept from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds, demonstrating excellent response characteristics and running at 7,200 rpm up to the maximum rated speed. The sporty sound is made even more resonant as the load and engine speed increase. The force of the engine flows into a compact seven-speed S-tronic with a three-shaft layout that performs direct gear changes in a few hundredths of a second. The driver can let the dual-clutch transmission operate in two automatic programs or take control using the paddles on the steering wheel. Power is delivered to the road via quattro permanent all‑wheel drive. For optimal weight distribution, the hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch is located on the rear axle. The quattro drive actively controls the distribution of torque between the axles in milliseconds, thus adding to the car’s dynamic handling. Chassis The suspension also reflects the technological expertise behind the Audi TT Sportback concept. The front suspension is based on a McPherson system; aluminum components reduce the weight of the unsprung chassis masses. The four-link rear suspension can process the longitudinal and transverse forces separately. The large wheels have a 21‑inch diameter and a tire format of 255/30. The four brake discs in 18‑inch format feature a weight-saving wave design. The Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) adds the final touch to the handling. A sub-function of the ESC is enabled at the cornering threshold – through minimal application of the brakes at the wheels on the inside of the curve, which are reduced of load, the wheel-selective torque control diverts the drive torque to the wheels on the outside of the curve. For the driver, this means a further boost in terms of neutrality, stability and traction. Body The body plays a leading role in the lightweight construction concept of the Audi TT Sportback concept on the basis of the modular transverse matrix (MQB). The entire front section is made from steel. The passenger compartment floor comprises high-strength, hot-shaped steel components which, thanks to their outstanding strength properties, feature thin walls and are correspondingly light. The compartment’s structure, the outer skin, and the doors and lids are made of the classic Audi semi-finished aluminum products cast node, extruded profile and sheet metal. With its composite concept, the body represents the latest evolution of the Audi Space Frame (ASF). Its hybrid construction ensures that the show car has a low center of gravity – ideal for sporty driving. View full article
  21. For the past year, there was a far fetched rumor flying around that Volkswagen was working on a high-performance version of the XL1 hyper-efficient vehicle with some help from the recently bought Ducati. Well it seems that wasn't as far fetched as many thought. Meet the Volkswagen XL Sport Concept. The concept uses a Ducati V-twin engine from of the 1199 Superlegerra motorcycle which is capable of 197 horsepower. Placed into a vehicle with a curb weight of 1,962 pounds, the XL Sport has a power to weight ratio of 9.95:1. Volkswagen quotes figures such as 11,000 rpm redline, 5.7 seconds to hit 60 MPH, and a top speed of 168 MPH. Aside from the performance and weight, the XL Sport also has aero on its side. The XL Sport has a 0.258 coefficient of drag and a frontal area of only 1.7 square meters, making this one of most aerodynamic vehicles ever built. A peek under the skin reveals strengthened steel suspension subframes, acing-style pushrod rear shock absorbers, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a set of wider performance tires. 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 XL SPORT, FEATURING HIGH-TECH DUCATI V-TWIN ENGINE, MAKES ITS DEBUT AT THE PARIS MOTOR SHOW 197-horsepower sports car is based on the XL1, has a top speed of 168 mph and promises incredible track performance XL Sport uses the world's most powerful two-cylinder engine Better aerodynamics than any other sports car Ducati Superleggera V-Twin engine revs to 11,000 rpm Car accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds High-tech engine features titanium connecting rods, desmodromic valvegear, and magnesium-alloy components Completely new chassis uses a motorsports-derived features Wolfsburg / Paris, October 2014 —There has never been a sports car like the XL Sport concept that is being shown for the first time by Volkswagen at the Paris Motor Show. This is a car that uncompromisingly furthers the development of the lightweight sports car. Based on the XL1, the most fuel-efficient production car of all time, this 168-mph machine is a compelling blend of efficiency and emotion. The XL Sport houses one of the finest achievements in engine technology—the V-Twin adapted from the new Ducati 1199 Superleggera, the world's most powerful two-cylinder motorcycle. Like the XL1, of which only 250 will be built, the Superleggera is also being manufactured in a limited edition of 500 units, using a process that embraces hand fabrication and high-precision industrial manufacturing. The XL1 and the Superleggera, two icons of lightweight carbon and magnesium design technology, thus unite to create a unique sports car. With the XL Sport, Volkswagen and Ducati impressively demonstrate how high-tech developments can lead to synergies between Volkswagen Group brands. Pioneering aerodynamics. The Ducati 1199 Superleggera has the best power-to-weight ratio of any production motorcycle in history. In the car world, the XL Sport achieves a similar record—the best ratio between weight (1962 pounds), power (147 kW/197 hp) and aerodynamics (CdA of 0.44 square meters). It’s a combination that allows the car to reach an impressive top speed of 168 mph on just 197 hp. The vehicle's aerodynamics are one key reason the car performs so well. The coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.258 and the low frontal area of 1.7 sq m combine to give a CdA of 0.44 sq m, one of the best values ever achieved and a major triumph for Volkswagen's aerodynamicists and designers. The achievement is made all the more impressive due to the fact that the concept's performance-car design brief demanded wide tires, apertures for cooling air, and optimal downforce. There are a number of individual features that contribute to the XL Sport's arrow-like performance, in addition to the uncompromising styling. These include special vanes that direct the air at the front into specific channels, wheelarch vents, an optimized underbody, lift-reducing air ducts in the hood, an extendable rear spoiler (powered by the same unit as in the Lamborghini Aventador), and adaptive air vents incorporated in the rear hatch. The world's most powerful two-cylinder engine. The Ducati 1199 Superleggera's V-Twin engine was slightly modified for use in the XL Sport, but is basically the same as the motorcycle’s. Thanks to its tough, lightweight titanium connecting rods, the 1199 cc double-overhead-camshaft engine can rev up to 11,000 rpm. The Superquadro's high speeds are made possible by its extreme bore/stroke ratio of 112 mm by 60.8 mm and the exceptionally short crankshaft stroke associated with it. In addition, the two four-valve cylinders, which are arranged at an angle of 90 degrees to each other, feature desmodromic valve control (positive valve closure) that is typical of the high-revving Ducati engines and requires the finest of precision engineering to ensure optimum valve clearance. Other features of the world's most powerful two-cylinder engine are the use of magnesium-alloy for the clutch, cylinder head, and oil pan covers, the two throttle valve discs, and the two fuel injectors per cylinder. Last but by no means least, the XL Sport has a newly developed step-down transmission to reduce engine speeds by a factor of 1.86. Torque from the V-Twin engine (99 pound-feet) is transmitted to the rear axle via a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. From a standing start, the XL Sport takes 5.7 seconds to reach 62 mph. Racing chassis. The significantly redesigned chassis, high-revving engine, and aerodynamic performance firmly plant the XL Sport in the racing realm. The chassis incorporates high-strength steel subframes which house upper and lower control arms at the front with pullrod actuation for the dampers, while the control arms at the back have pushrods—similar to the layout for a racing car. The forged magnesium-alloy wheels, which save 53 pounds compared to aluminum-alloy rims, are fitted with 205/40 R18 front and 265/35 R18 rear high-performance tires. The XL Sport has a powerful ceramic brake disc setup. CFRP body. Because the XL Sport is a sister model to the XL1, it shares the same basic design. Like the XL1, the central monocoque and most of the body panels are manufactured in carbonfiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) using the RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) process. The monocoque features slightly offset seats for the driver and passenger. The wing doors of the XL1 and XL Sport are reminiscent of a high-end sports car’s. They are hinged at two points: low on the A-pillars and just above the windshield in the roof frame, so they swivel upwards and slightly forwards as well. The doors also extend far into the roof, giving an exceptionally large amount of entry and exit space. In order to keep the weight as low as possible, the windows are made from polycarbonate and are fixed in place: just a segment of the lower area of the side windows can be opened. Compelling proportions. Despite sharing its underlying design with the XL1, the XL Sport has a look of its own. The reason for this is that the XL1 was designed for ultimate fuel efficiency, whereas the XL Sport’s design brief included uncompromising driving dynamics. The XL Sport is longer and wider than the XL1 because of the need for additional downforce on a 168-mph car and because of the packaging requirements of the chassis and powertrain. The XL Sport showcased in Paris is 168.9 inches long (versus 153.1 in for the XL1), 72.7 in wide (65.5 in), and 45.4 in mm high (45.4 in). The wheelbase has also been increased to 95.4 in, up from : 87.6 in. Design concept. As outlined above, the concept car builds on the dynamic and expressive design of the XL1. The surfaces have an even more muscular appearance as they extend over the significantly broader fenders and the large wheels. The XL Sport’s broad front section is marked out by dual LED headlights and the XL1’s signature LED daytime running lights. The XL Sport features air intakes on either side of the headlights for the vanes which feed the air around the car's front end. In common with the XL1, the front section of the XL Sport does not have a conventional radiator grille, yet it retains the current Volkswagen design DNA, with horizontal lines dominating this area. The cooling air supply for the Ducati engine is via vents in the rear fenders. Whereas the XL1 is at its widest at the front and tapers towards the rear, the XL Sport is just as wide at the back as at the front. From above, the shape is that of a classic racing car, with a waisted cockpit area. Air intakes and outlets at the A- and B-posts ensure optimal air flow and cooling for the drive unit. Like the XL1, there are no conventional door mirrors: instead, they are replaced by e-Mirrors, small streamlined cameras integrated in the fenders that send images of the surroundings behind the car to two displays inside the vehicle. In front of the rear wheelarches, the 'Motore Ducati' lettering refers to the 1199 Superleggera engine in the rear. At the rear, the new XL Sport has four specific eye catching features. First, the extremely wide, flat rear has distinctive “shoulders” above the wheels and an extendable rear spoiler that occupies almost the full width. Second, as with the XL1, there is a coupe-shaped roofline without a rear windshield. The rear hatch that merges into the roofline conceals the Ducati engine, the seven-speed DSG transmission and 3.8 cubic feet of luggage space, and incorporates five louvers that open automatically to cool the drive unit. Third, the iconic red LED ribbon follows the shape of the rear section and is framed at the sides by another, vertical, LED element which serves to emphasize the XL Sport’s width. Fourth, there is a black diffuser that merges almost seamlessly into the completely enclosed underbody and is finished at each side with a chrome exhaust tip. Interior design. The interior of the XL Sport is based on the XL1’s, but has been modified and individualized to conform with the change in the vehicle's mission. For example, the XL Sport boasts a digital instrument cluster that includes a lap timer and oil pressure display. A carbonfiber cowl extends across the top of the instrument cluster to completely eliminate reflections. The XL Sport's steering wheel has decorative red stitching and has been equipped with aluminum-alloy shift paddles to facilitate ultra-quick gear shifts. There are further classy details to add a sporty touch, with anodized aluminum accents around the air vents, the climate control fascia and the DSG shift gate. The seat belts are red, picking up on the theme of the contrasting red stitching on the steering wheel. View full article
  22. One of Kia showings at this year's Paris Motor Show is a intriguing hybrid concept housed in the current Optima. The Optima T-Hybrid Concept pairs a 1.7L diesel four-cylinder featuring a turbocharger and electric supercharger, and a a small electric motor with a 48-volt lead-carbon battery. The mild-hybrid setup allows the vehicle to travel on all-electric at low speeds and when cruising. When slowing down, the setup helps recharge the battery pack. Kia isn't talking about fuel economy or emissions as the company is still developing the powertrain. “In future, our mild hybrid powertrain could offer Kia customers greater performance and lower running costs, without sacrificing the qualities they expect of a Kia car – enjoyable handling, a comfortable ride and high quality. Demonstrated for the first time in the Optima T-Hybrid, the technology will lower the total cost of ownership of our cars, yet still keep them affordable as an outright purchase for customers,” said Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe. Source: Kia 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 to showcase diesel-electric Kia Optima T-Hybrid at Paris - More power and lower emissions for Kia Optima mild hybrid show car - Innovative new powertrain pairs 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine with 48V lead-carbon battery, small electric motor and an electric supercharger- Kia Optima T-Hybrid concept previews new powertrain technology ahead of future mass production Frankfurt, 29 September 2014 – Kia will reveal the new Kia Optima mild hybrid show car at the 2014 Paris Motor Show on 2 October, the first application and demonstration of the brand's innovative new mild hybrid powertrain. The Kia Optima T-Hybrid (turbo hybrid) concept is powered by the model's existing 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine, paired with a small electric motor, powered by a 48V lead-carbon battery. The diesel-electric powertrain concept, which was previewed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, enables the Optima T-Hybrid show car to be driven in electric-only mode at low speeds and when cruising, with deceleration serving to recharge the battery pack. Lead-carbon batteries were chosen for the mild hybrid powertrain as, unlike lithium-ion batteries, they require no active cooling and are easier to recycle at the end of the unit's lifecycle. The vehicle features a zero-emissions stop-start system, and a new belt-driven starter generator replaces the conventional alternator, meaning the engine can restart with almost no noise or vibration. Installing the powertrain in the Optima sedan has enabled engineers to fit a smaller vehicle battery and starter motor, enhancing weight distribution and handling. The system also allows the installation of an innovative electric supercharger for the CRDi engine, in addition to the conventional turbocharger, providing improved power and torque at all engine speeds. The electric supercharger in particular helps to boost torque and engine response at low engine speeds. Still under development, no specific performance or fuel economy figures are confirmed for the powertrain or its application in the Optima T-Hybrid show car. However, Kia's engineers are targeting a significant reduction in CO2 tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption and a power increase of between 15 to 20 percent for any model which could be equipped with the new powertrain. Currently, the Optima's 136ps 1.7-litre engine produces CO2 emissions of 128 g/km (when fitted with ISG stop-start). "In future, our mild hybrid powertrain could offer Kia customers greater performance and lower running costs, without sacrificing the qualities they expect of a Kia car – enjoyable handling, a comfortable ride and high quality. Demonstrated for the first time in the Optima T-Hybrid, the technology will lower the total cost of ownership of our cars, yet still keep them affordable as an outright purchase for customers," commented Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe. "The new mild hybrid system is our flagship technology for improving the efficiency of our internal combustion-powered models. In future, technology such as this will help Kia further reduce fleet emissions in Europe," added Cole. While under development, no plans have been confirmed yet for mass production of the Kia Optima T-Hybrid show car. The T-Hybrid powertrain remains under consideration for new Kia models in the future. View full article

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