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  1. For those wondering when Bentley was planning to introduce a drop-top version of the second-generation Continental GT, wonder no more. This week, Bentley has revealed the 2019 Continental GT Convertible. There isn't any significant design changes aside from the roof being lopped off. The new power-folding soft top opens and closes in 19 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. Bentley is offering a tweed option for the roof. The interior is lavishly appointed with impressive materials and a new neckwarmer system to keep warm when the top is down. Power comes from a 6.0L twin-turbo W12 producing 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive. 0-60 mph takes 3.7 seconds - just a tenth slower than the coupe. Not bad since the convertible comes in a hefty 5,322 pounds. Bentley hasn't announced a launch timeframe or price for the Continental GT Convertible. Gallery: 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Source: Bentley ALL-NEW BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT CONVERTIBLE: THE PINNACLE OPEN-TOP GRAND TOURER Third generation model represents all Bentley knows about creating the world’s definitive Grand Tourers Beautiful, roof up or down, GT Convertible’s flowing, elegant exterior styling is accented with muscular, sculptural lines Finest handcrafted materials and in-car technologies harmonise to create a connected, personalised cabin Bentley Rotating Display offers customers option of a digital detox Elegantly tailored convertible roof sweeps open in 19 seconds to reveal exquisite, luxurious handcrafted interior Contemporary tweed Convertible roof available for the first time Serenity and style: unique Z-fold roof offers sportier appearance and three-decibel noise reduction New Convertible GT cabin as quiet as previous generation Coupe model All-season open-top Grand Touring enabled thanks to sophisticated luxury features Powerful and responsive driving experience from 635 PS W12 engine, eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and latest chassis technologies Convertible body-in-white now 20 per cent lighter, five per cent stiffer 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds); top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph) (Crewe, 26 November 2018) Bentley is introducing the all-new Continental GT Convertible. Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain – and representing all Bentley knows about creating the world’s most stylish and elegant Grand Tourers – the GT Convertible is the very essence of the luxury brand. Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors, said: “Elegant understatement that forces you to look; engineering excellence you’ll take for granted – the extraordinary breadth of capabilities offered by the new Continental GT Convertible is unique and can only be offered by our noble British brand. We have been building luxury Grand Tourers since the company was founded in 1919 and, as we approach our centenary year, the Continental GT Convertible joins a highly acclaimed range – arguably the strongest and most technologically advanced portfolio of products the world has ever seen in one luxury brand.” Elegant and sculptural exterior styling harmonises perfectly with an exquisite handcrafted cabin, featuring the highest quality leathers and sustainably sourced veneers. The tailored convertible roof can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, with the car travelling at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). This transforms the Continental GT Convertible from a luxurious coupe into an open-top Grand Tourer at the touch of a button. Seven different fabric hood colours are available, including an authentic tweed finish for the first time. A newly designed neckwarmer (which is both warmer and quieter than in the previous generation model), is seamlessly integrated into the heated Comfort Seats, optimising efficiency and airflow around the electrically adjustable headrests. The styling highlight of the new neckwarmer is a chrome centre vane that stretches the full width of the duct, echoing Bentley’s famous ‘bullseye’ vents. Combined with a heated steering wheel, seat heaters and new heated armrests, these sophisticated comfort features create a luxurious driving experience in all environments. The all-new Continental GT Convertible heightens the sensory experience of open-air motoring with exhilarating performance. A powerful 6.0-litre Bentley W12 engine is mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. [WLTP drive cycle: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) - Combined 20.2 (14.0). Combined CO₂- 317g/km. NEDC drive cycle equivalent: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) – Combined 22.8 (12.4). Combined CO₂ - 284g/km.] The new powertrain uses the latest engine management technology to produce 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) of torque, and accelerate to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds), on to a top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph). The new Continental GT Convertible also showcases major evolutions in Bentley’s unique application of technology. An advanced, fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display for the driver are among the suite of innovations. The latter features an impressive 12.3” touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves from pure veneer to reveal either a touchscreen or three elegant analogue dials – offering customers the option of a digital detox when desired. Elegant, sophisticated and refined, the all-new Continental GT Convertible is the pinnacle of open-top luxury Grand Touring. Effortless Elegance Meets Power and Style Unmistakably a Bentley – the third generation Continental GT Convertible retains the elegance and style of its forebears. More sculpted and sharply defined, the all-new body and materials combine to create a truly beautiful car – roof up or down. The Convertible’s profile is longer and lower than its forebear due to the positioning of the front wheels 135 mm further forward. This has allowed the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered. The key signature power lines of its coupe sibling still dominate, flowing back towards the muscular rear haunches. The lighting on the Continental GT Convertible uses the latest LED Matrix technology, but it is the design of the headlamps that truly sets them apart. Inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses, the internal surfaces are transparent with sharply defined edges that catch the light like a diamond. The result is similar to that of an illuminated gem – an effect which is magnified when the optional welcome sequence gradually illuminates the headlights as you approach the car. The taillights also feature the cut-crystal effect, highlighting the three-dimensional depth of the optics. The all-new Continental GT Convertible has 21” Five Tri-Spoke wheels as standard, with the option of 10-Spoke and 22” Five Open-Spoke wheels. These three wheel designs are offered in a selection of ten polished and painted finishes. Convertible customers can choose from the palette of 17 colours, including Beluga, Onyx and Portofino. An optional extended range of colours is also available – as well as the option of full bespoke colour-matching for Bentley customers. These can be coordinated with seven exterior roof colours. A Handcrafted Luxurious Cabin The exquisite interior of the all-new Continental GT Convertible is a showcase for Bentley’s unrivalled expertise in the use of natural materials, fully revealed to the world when the elegant roof is lowered. From the highest-quality leathers, to rare, sustainably sourced veneers, such as Koa and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus, the cabin is a triumph for craftsmanship and artisanal skill. Unique dual-veneer is offered, with over 10 square metres of wood used in every car. Customers have the choice of a polished wooden steering wheel too. The dashboard is styled and sculpted by long, flowing wings that mirror the shape of the Bentley badge. Continental GT Convertible customers can choose from eight interior hood lining colours, including Red, Blue and Magnolia. The centre console is finished to match the lower fascia, but can be specified in a new technical finish that is inspired by the delicate mechanical surfacing inside the finest mechanical Swiss watches, known as Côtes de Genève. This surface is machined onto 0.6 mm-thick aluminium and is created by machining from side to side to create a linear pattern. Each row is 5 mm wide and machined at an angle to give a truly three-dimensional finish, with each pass of the machine making a minute step of 0.5 mm. New types of luxurious haptic finishes adorn the interior of the Continental GT Convertible for greater sensory, as well as visual, enjoyment. In some areas, pillow knurling replaces the traditional mechanical knurling, for a softer, more refined feel on switches and controls, while diamond knurling adds a luxurious touch using a detailed three-dimensional faceted surface. The 20-way adjustable Comfort Seats set new industry standards in comfort and refinement. Smooth centre panels allow maximum efficiency for the ventilation, heating and massage functions, while the adjustable bolsters retain the signature Bentley quilting. There is also the option of Hand Cross Stitch finishing. A choice of three audio systems is offered in the new Continental GT Convertible. The standard system features 10 speakers and 650 Watts, while a Bang & Olufsen 1,500 W, 16-speaker system with illuminated speaker grilles is available, benefiting from the first automotive application of the BeoSonic system – a new way for tone setting with a simple, intuitive one-touch user interface. A Naim 2,200 W, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight sound modes is offered for the true audiophile. Behind the wheel, the technological advancements in the new Continental GT Convertible continue. The driver-orientated instrument panel is fully digital and can be personalised by the driver. The Bentley Rotating Display offers the choice between a digital or analogue journey. At first glance there appears to be no screen in the centre of the dashboard. Instead, the veneer flows uninterrupted across the dashboard, while a thin chrome bezel behind the steering wheel surrounds a digital instrument display. When the engine start button is pressed, however, the veneer in the middle of the dashboard glides silently forward and rotates to reveal Bentley’s largest-ever touchscreen, a 12.3” high-definition-quality digital MMI display, elegantly designed by Bentley with a customer-configurable home screen with three windows able to display the driver’s preferred functions, for example, navigation, media and telephone. The user interface is designed to be akin to a modern mobile phone and menus are structured to be instantly intuitive. The third side on the Bentley Rotating Display reveals three elegant analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and chronometer. Such an innovative use of traditional elements underscores Bentley’s unique commitment to the past and the future, and offers customers the choice of digital or analogue display or clean, calm cabin. The new Continental benefits from features designed to keep both driver and passengers connected at all times. Apple CarPlay, the smartest and quickest way to integrate the functionality of Apple devices in a car is connected via a USB port. Customer journeys are streamlined with features designed to improve navigation. Online search, powered by Google makes finding destinations simple, while real-time traffic information keeps the driver informed of current length or changes in congestion. In emergency situations, Private eCall provides instant access to emergency services for ultimate peace of mind when travelling. Exceptional Optionality including a Tweed Convertible Roof The all-new Continental GT Convertible redefines personalisation with paint, leather, veneer and lifestyle options that are virtually unlimited and tailored to the individual. The standard palette alone comprises 17 exterior paint colours, with up to 70 hues available in the extended range. There are also 15 luxurious carpet options, eight different handcrafted veneers (with a further four dual veneer options) and 15 choices of interior trim hide, which means that customers are able to specify their own choice of luxury finish. Seven exterior roof colours are available, including for the first time a contemporary interpretation of traditional British tweed. Black, Blue, Claret and Grey are among the other options. Furthermore, eight interior roof liner finishes are offered, ranging from New Red to Magnolia. The unique Z-fold convertible roof system represents a major improvement both in terms of refinement and packaging. The roof, with its sealing system improvements and acoustic treatments, contributes to a three-decibel reduction in overall noise levels compared to its predecessor at typical cruising speeds. An entirely new combination of roof insulating materials and operating mechanism, combined with sealing system improvements and acoustic treatments, have created a Convertible Grand Tourer that is as quiet as the previous generation Continental GT Coupe. Two technology option packs are offered at launch: City Specification for urban journeys and the Touring Specification for long-distance driving, both curated to optimise the customer experience. City Specification includes hands-free boot opening, pedestrian warning, traffic-sign recognition and city braking systems as well as a top-view camera. The Touring Specification pack, meanwhile, offers adaptive cruise control with traffic-jam assist, active lane assist, a heads-up display, night vision with an infrared camera, and pre-sense braking. The Mulliner Driving Specification adds a more sporting look to the car with 22” lightweight forged alloy wheels, unique ‘diamond in diamond’ quilting, embroidered Bentley emblems, additional veneer options, a jewelled-finish fuel filler, sports pedals and indented leather headliner. Customers can also choose personalised stitching in the front and rear of the car and personalised treadplates. As with all Bentleys, the Continental GT Convertible can also be handed over to the highly skilled and dedicated craftspeople at Mulliner, Bentley’s personal commissioning division, who will respond to bespoke customer requirements. Sublime Power: The Beating Heart of Bentley The all-new Continental GT Convertible is offered at launch with Bentley’s 6.0-litre, W12 TSI engine. Designed, developed and handbuilt in Crewe, it is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. The new powertrain uses the very latest engine management technology, with 300 million software calculations per second. It produces 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) of torque, accelerating the Convertible to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds), on to a top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph). The W12 TSI combines high-pressure direct fuel injection with low-pressure injection. The combination of these two systems maximises refinement, lowers particulate emissions and optimises power and torque delivery. [WLTP drive cycle: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) - Combined 20.2 (14.0). Combined CO₂- 317g/km. NEDC drive cycle equivalent: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) – Combined 22.8 (12.4). Combined CO₂ - 284g/km.] The new engine utilises Start-Stop technology and, in Bentley’s advanced application, coasting is also made possible. The engine rests not only when the vehicle is stationary but also at near-to-stop speeds. Bentley’s Variable Displacement system shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency. Significantly, a new dual-mass flywheel replaces the torque converter, to dampen out the oscillations of the driveline and provide a fittingly smooth power delivery for luxury touring. The dual-clutch eight-speed transmission provides smooth acceleration and impressively quick gearshifts, hallmarks of the Continental GT character, as well as combined fuel economy of 22.8 mpg (UK) or 12.4 L/100 km (NEDC combined). A new Active All-Wheel-Drive System replaces the traditional 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels respectively, instead varying the front-to-rear torque split dependent upon the driving situation. Unrivalled Grand Touring Ride and Handling The third generation of Continental GT Convertible features Bentley Dynamic Ride, an advanced 48-volt roll control system for unrivalled car control. The system controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle and so improves handling and ride comfort, as well as making the car feel lighter and more precise. This system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre-to-road contact to deliver class-leading ride comfort and exceptional handling. While conventional anti-roll bars present a compromise between body control and ride comfort, Bentley’s active system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Continental GT Convertible to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The use of a 48-volt system results in silent, instantaneous responses and sufficient power on hand to deal with all road surfaces. Through Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Control different modes can be selected: Comfort mode, Bentley mode or Sport mode; the suspension, engine, gearbox and other chassis systems will modify to match the selected drive mode. Alternatively, the driver can personalise his or her own dynamic settings. The air suspension on the new Continental GT Convertible uses three-chamber air springs which give the car 60 per cent more air volume in the softest setting than the previous model. This allowed Bentley’s engineers more scope for tuning the suspension to improve the ride comfort and dynamic character of the car. The system offers the scope to vary from sporting spring stiffness to luxury limousine refinement depending upon which mode the driver has selected. As a foundation for this impressive handling, the Continental GT Convertible boasts a body-in-white structure that manages to be both stiffer and lighter than its predecessor. This five per cent improvement in torsional rigidity and 20 per cent reduction in structural weight are achievable thanks to the intelligent utilisation of aluminium and high-tensile steel in the platform. Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) is also featured on the Continental GT Convertible. The new system improves feedback to the driver, while providing isolation from unwanted road disturbances. The steering system features a variable rack ratio, allowing increased response with higher steering angles to aid manoeuvrability whilst maintaining excellent stability at high speeds. Another key feature is the latest-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which constantly adjusts the damper forces to optimise comfort. The system continually measures the velocity and distance between the wheels and the body at each corner and also adjusts the air volume in the springs if necessary to ensure the optimum balance of comfort and handling. Both front and rear axles are of a lightweight aluminium construction, with multilink design at the front and rear. The braking system is the most powerful iron system ever fitted to a Bentley, with a total of 28 pistons. Front brake discs measuring 420 mm are a two-piece construction utilising a cast-iron friction ring and aluminium mounting bell. Front calipers feature ten pistons each, while rear calipers contain four pistons each that clamp 380 mm single-piece discs. Brakes of this scale provide the reliable, repeatable stopping performance inherently important to a 200+ mph sporting Grand Tourer. Bentley has worked together with Pirelli to create bespoke tyres for the new Continental GT Convertible right from the very beginning of the design phase. The car runs exclusively on Pirelli P Zero tyres, using a different tyre size between front and rear axles for the first time, to enhance dynamic ability. During the development process, Pirelli’s engineers sat alongside their counterparts from Bentley, driving and refining the car-tyre package until the perfect balance was reached between performance and comfort. The latest material compounds help the tyre respond more directly to driver inputs, ensuring a dynamic experience that is balanced and communicative. The P Zero tyre fitted to the Bentley also has Pirelli’s Noise Cancelling System which reduces road noise coming into the cabin. At the same time, rolling resistance is also improved on the latest P Zero tyres, creating less friction against the road without compromising grip. As a result, both wet and dry grip represent a step forward, with a noticeably reduced risk of aquaplaning.
  2. For those wondering when Bentley was planning to introduce a drop-top version of the second-generation Continental GT, wonder no more. This week, Bentley has revealed the 2019 Continental GT Convertible. There isn't any significant design changes aside from the roof being lopped off. The new power-folding soft top opens and closes in 19 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. Bentley is offering a tweed option for the roof. The interior is lavishly appointed with impressive materials and a new neckwarmer system to keep warm when the top is down. Power comes from a 6.0L twin-turbo W12 producing 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive. 0-60 mph takes 3.7 seconds - just a tenth slower than the coupe. Not bad since the convertible comes in a hefty 5,322 pounds. Bentley hasn't announced a launch timeframe or price for the Continental GT Convertible. Gallery: 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Source: Bentley ALL-NEW BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT CONVERTIBLE: THE PINNACLE OPEN-TOP GRAND TOURER Third generation model represents all Bentley knows about creating the world’s definitive Grand Tourers Beautiful, roof up or down, GT Convertible’s flowing, elegant exterior styling is accented with muscular, sculptural lines Finest handcrafted materials and in-car technologies harmonise to create a connected, personalised cabin Bentley Rotating Display offers customers option of a digital detox Elegantly tailored convertible roof sweeps open in 19 seconds to reveal exquisite, luxurious handcrafted interior Contemporary tweed Convertible roof available for the first time Serenity and style: unique Z-fold roof offers sportier appearance and three-decibel noise reduction New Convertible GT cabin as quiet as previous generation Coupe model All-season open-top Grand Touring enabled thanks to sophisticated luxury features Powerful and responsive driving experience from 635 PS W12 engine, eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and latest chassis technologies Convertible body-in-white now 20 per cent lighter, five per cent stiffer 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds); top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph) (Crewe, 26 November 2018) Bentley is introducing the all-new Continental GT Convertible. Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain – and representing all Bentley knows about creating the world’s most stylish and elegant Grand Tourers – the GT Convertible is the very essence of the luxury brand. Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors, said: “Elegant understatement that forces you to look; engineering excellence you’ll take for granted – the extraordinary breadth of capabilities offered by the new Continental GT Convertible is unique and can only be offered by our noble British brand. We have been building luxury Grand Tourers since the company was founded in 1919 and, as we approach our centenary year, the Continental GT Convertible joins a highly acclaimed range – arguably the strongest and most technologically advanced portfolio of products the world has ever seen in one luxury brand.” Elegant and sculptural exterior styling harmonises perfectly with an exquisite handcrafted cabin, featuring the highest quality leathers and sustainably sourced veneers. The tailored convertible roof can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, with the car travelling at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). This transforms the Continental GT Convertible from a luxurious coupe into an open-top Grand Tourer at the touch of a button. Seven different fabric hood colours are available, including an authentic tweed finish for the first time. A newly designed neckwarmer (which is both warmer and quieter than in the previous generation model), is seamlessly integrated into the heated Comfort Seats, optimising efficiency and airflow around the electrically adjustable headrests. The styling highlight of the new neckwarmer is a chrome centre vane that stretches the full width of the duct, echoing Bentley’s famous ‘bullseye’ vents. Combined with a heated steering wheel, seat heaters and new heated armrests, these sophisticated comfort features create a luxurious driving experience in all environments. The all-new Continental GT Convertible heightens the sensory experience of open-air motoring with exhilarating performance. A powerful 6.0-litre Bentley W12 engine is mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. [WLTP drive cycle: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) - Combined 20.2 (14.0). Combined CO₂- 317g/km. NEDC drive cycle equivalent: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) – Combined 22.8 (12.4). Combined CO₂ - 284g/km.] The new powertrain uses the latest engine management technology to produce 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) of torque, and accelerate to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds), on to a top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph). The new Continental GT Convertible also showcases major evolutions in Bentley’s unique application of technology. An advanced, fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display for the driver are among the suite of innovations. The latter features an impressive 12.3” touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves from pure veneer to reveal either a touchscreen or three elegant analogue dials – offering customers the option of a digital detox when desired. Elegant, sophisticated and refined, the all-new Continental GT Convertible is the pinnacle of open-top luxury Grand Touring. Effortless Elegance Meets Power and Style Unmistakably a Bentley – the third generation Continental GT Convertible retains the elegance and style of its forebears. More sculpted and sharply defined, the all-new body and materials combine to create a truly beautiful car – roof up or down. The Convertible’s profile is longer and lower than its forebear due to the positioning of the front wheels 135 mm further forward. This has allowed the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered. The key signature power lines of its coupe sibling still dominate, flowing back towards the muscular rear haunches. The lighting on the Continental GT Convertible uses the latest LED Matrix technology, but it is the design of the headlamps that truly sets them apart. Inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses, the internal surfaces are transparent with sharply defined edges that catch the light like a diamond. The result is similar to that of an illuminated gem – an effect which is magnified when the optional welcome sequence gradually illuminates the headlights as you approach the car. The taillights also feature the cut-crystal effect, highlighting the three-dimensional depth of the optics. The all-new Continental GT Convertible has 21” Five Tri-Spoke wheels as standard, with the option of 10-Spoke and 22” Five Open-Spoke wheels. These three wheel designs are offered in a selection of ten polished and painted finishes. Convertible customers can choose from the palette of 17 colours, including Beluga, Onyx and Portofino. An optional extended range of colours is also available – as well as the option of full bespoke colour-matching for Bentley customers. These can be coordinated with seven exterior roof colours. A Handcrafted Luxurious Cabin The exquisite interior of the all-new Continental GT Convertible is a showcase for Bentley’s unrivalled expertise in the use of natural materials, fully revealed to the world when the elegant roof is lowered. From the highest-quality leathers, to rare, sustainably sourced veneers, such as Koa and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus, the cabin is a triumph for craftsmanship and artisanal skill. Unique dual-veneer is offered, with over 10 square metres of wood used in every car. Customers have the choice of a polished wooden steering wheel too. The dashboard is styled and sculpted by long, flowing wings that mirror the shape of the Bentley badge. Continental GT Convertible customers can choose from eight interior hood lining colours, including Red, Blue and Magnolia. The centre console is finished to match the lower fascia, but can be specified in a new technical finish that is inspired by the delicate mechanical surfacing inside the finest mechanical Swiss watches, known as Côtes de Genève. This surface is machined onto 0.6 mm-thick aluminium and is created by machining from side to side to create a linear pattern. Each row is 5 mm wide and machined at an angle to give a truly three-dimensional finish, with each pass of the machine making a minute step of 0.5 mm. New types of luxurious haptic finishes adorn the interior of the Continental GT Convertible for greater sensory, as well as visual, enjoyment. In some areas, pillow knurling replaces the traditional mechanical knurling, for a softer, more refined feel on switches and controls, while diamond knurling adds a luxurious touch using a detailed three-dimensional faceted surface. The 20-way adjustable Comfort Seats set new industry standards in comfort and refinement. Smooth centre panels allow maximum efficiency for the ventilation, heating and massage functions, while the adjustable bolsters retain the signature Bentley quilting. There is also the option of Hand Cross Stitch finishing. A choice of three audio systems is offered in the new Continental GT Convertible. The standard system features 10 speakers and 650 Watts, while a Bang & Olufsen 1,500 W, 16-speaker system with illuminated speaker grilles is available, benefiting from the first automotive application of the BeoSonic system – a new way for tone setting with a simple, intuitive one-touch user interface. A Naim 2,200 W, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight sound modes is offered for the true audiophile. Behind the wheel, the technological advancements in the new Continental GT Convertible continue. The driver-orientated instrument panel is fully digital and can be personalised by the driver. The Bentley Rotating Display offers the choice between a digital or analogue journey. At first glance there appears to be no screen in the centre of the dashboard. Instead, the veneer flows uninterrupted across the dashboard, while a thin chrome bezel behind the steering wheel surrounds a digital instrument display. When the engine start button is pressed, however, the veneer in the middle of the dashboard glides silently forward and rotates to reveal Bentley’s largest-ever touchscreen, a 12.3” high-definition-quality digital MMI display, elegantly designed by Bentley with a customer-configurable home screen with three windows able to display the driver’s preferred functions, for example, navigation, media and telephone. The user interface is designed to be akin to a modern mobile phone and menus are structured to be instantly intuitive. The third side on the Bentley Rotating Display reveals three elegant analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and chronometer. Such an innovative use of traditional elements underscores Bentley’s unique commitment to the past and the future, and offers customers the choice of digital or analogue display or clean, calm cabin. The new Continental benefits from features designed to keep both driver and passengers connected at all times. Apple CarPlay, the smartest and quickest way to integrate the functionality of Apple devices in a car is connected via a USB port. Customer journeys are streamlined with features designed to improve navigation. Online search, powered by Google makes finding destinations simple, while real-time traffic information keeps the driver informed of current length or changes in congestion. In emergency situations, Private eCall provides instant access to emergency services for ultimate peace of mind when travelling. Exceptional Optionality including a Tweed Convertible Roof The all-new Continental GT Convertible redefines personalisation with paint, leather, veneer and lifestyle options that are virtually unlimited and tailored to the individual. The standard palette alone comprises 17 exterior paint colours, with up to 70 hues available in the extended range. There are also 15 luxurious carpet options, eight different handcrafted veneers (with a further four dual veneer options) and 15 choices of interior trim hide, which means that customers are able to specify their own choice of luxury finish. Seven exterior roof colours are available, including for the first time a contemporary interpretation of traditional British tweed. Black, Blue, Claret and Grey are among the other options. Furthermore, eight interior roof liner finishes are offered, ranging from New Red to Magnolia. The unique Z-fold convertible roof system represents a major improvement both in terms of refinement and packaging. The roof, with its sealing system improvements and acoustic treatments, contributes to a three-decibel reduction in overall noise levels compared to its predecessor at typical cruising speeds. An entirely new combination of roof insulating materials and operating mechanism, combined with sealing system improvements and acoustic treatments, have created a Convertible Grand Tourer that is as quiet as the previous generation Continental GT Coupe. Two technology option packs are offered at launch: City Specification for urban journeys and the Touring Specification for long-distance driving, both curated to optimise the customer experience. City Specification includes hands-free boot opening, pedestrian warning, traffic-sign recognition and city braking systems as well as a top-view camera. The Touring Specification pack, meanwhile, offers adaptive cruise control with traffic-jam assist, active lane assist, a heads-up display, night vision with an infrared camera, and pre-sense braking. The Mulliner Driving Specification adds a more sporting look to the car with 22” lightweight forged alloy wheels, unique ‘diamond in diamond’ quilting, embroidered Bentley emblems, additional veneer options, a jewelled-finish fuel filler, sports pedals and indented leather headliner. Customers can also choose personalised stitching in the front and rear of the car and personalised treadplates. As with all Bentleys, the Continental GT Convertible can also be handed over to the highly skilled and dedicated craftspeople at Mulliner, Bentley’s personal commissioning division, who will respond to bespoke customer requirements. Sublime Power: The Beating Heart of Bentley The all-new Continental GT Convertible is offered at launch with Bentley’s 6.0-litre, W12 TSI engine. Designed, developed and handbuilt in Crewe, it is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. The new powertrain uses the very latest engine management technology, with 300 million software calculations per second. It produces 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) of torque, accelerating the Convertible to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds), on to a top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph). The W12 TSI combines high-pressure direct fuel injection with low-pressure injection. The combination of these two systems maximises refinement, lowers particulate emissions and optimises power and torque delivery. [WLTP drive cycle: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) - Combined 20.2 (14.0). Combined CO₂- 317g/km. NEDC drive cycle equivalent: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) – Combined 22.8 (12.4). Combined CO₂ - 284g/km.] The new engine utilises Start-Stop technology and, in Bentley’s advanced application, coasting is also made possible. The engine rests not only when the vehicle is stationary but also at near-to-stop speeds. Bentley’s Variable Displacement system shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency. Significantly, a new dual-mass flywheel replaces the torque converter, to dampen out the oscillations of the driveline and provide a fittingly smooth power delivery for luxury touring. The dual-clutch eight-speed transmission provides smooth acceleration and impressively quick gearshifts, hallmarks of the Continental GT character, as well as combined fuel economy of 22.8 mpg (UK) or 12.4 L/100 km (NEDC combined). A new Active All-Wheel-Drive System replaces the traditional 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels respectively, instead varying the front-to-rear torque split dependent upon the driving situation. Unrivalled Grand Touring Ride and Handling The third generation of Continental GT Convertible features Bentley Dynamic Ride, an advanced 48-volt roll control system for unrivalled car control. The system controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle and so improves handling and ride comfort, as well as making the car feel lighter and more precise. This system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre-to-road contact to deliver class-leading ride comfort and exceptional handling. While conventional anti-roll bars present a compromise between body control and ride comfort, Bentley’s active system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Continental GT Convertible to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The use of a 48-volt system results in silent, instantaneous responses and sufficient power on hand to deal with all road surfaces. Through Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Control different modes can be selected: Comfort mode, Bentley mode or Sport mode; the suspension, engine, gearbox and other chassis systems will modify to match the selected drive mode. Alternatively, the driver can personalise his or her own dynamic settings. The air suspension on the new Continental GT Convertible uses three-chamber air springs which give the car 60 per cent more air volume in the softest setting than the previous model. This allowed Bentley’s engineers more scope for tuning the suspension to improve the ride comfort and dynamic character of the car. The system offers the scope to vary from sporting spring stiffness to luxury limousine refinement depending upon which mode the driver has selected. As a foundation for this impressive handling, the Continental GT Convertible boasts a body-in-white structure that manages to be both stiffer and lighter than its predecessor. This five per cent improvement in torsional rigidity and 20 per cent reduction in structural weight are achievable thanks to the intelligent utilisation of aluminium and high-tensile steel in the platform. Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) is also featured on the Continental GT Convertible. The new system improves feedback to the driver, while providing isolation from unwanted road disturbances. The steering system features a variable rack ratio, allowing increased response with higher steering angles to aid manoeuvrability whilst maintaining excellent stability at high speeds. Another key feature is the latest-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which constantly adjusts the damper forces to optimise comfort. The system continually measures the velocity and distance between the wheels and the body at each corner and also adjusts the air volume in the springs if necessary to ensure the optimum balance of comfort and handling. Both front and rear axles are of a lightweight aluminium construction, with multilink design at the front and rear. The braking system is the most powerful iron system ever fitted to a Bentley, with a total of 28 pistons. Front brake discs measuring 420 mm are a two-piece construction utilising a cast-iron friction ring and aluminium mounting bell. Front calipers feature ten pistons each, while rear calipers contain four pistons each that clamp 380 mm single-piece discs. Brakes of this scale provide the reliable, repeatable stopping performance inherently important to a 200+ mph sporting Grand Tourer. Bentley has worked together with Pirelli to create bespoke tyres for the new Continental GT Convertible right from the very beginning of the design phase. The car runs exclusively on Pirelli P Zero tyres, using a different tyre size between front and rear axles for the first time, to enhance dynamic ability. During the development process, Pirelli’s engineers sat alongside their counterparts from Bentley, driving and refining the car-tyre package until the perfect balance was reached between performance and comfort. The latest material compounds help the tyre respond more directly to driver inputs, ensuring a dynamic experience that is balanced and communicative. The P Zero tyre fitted to the Bentley also has Pirelli’s Noise Cancelling System which reduces road noise coming into the cabin. At the same time, rolling resistance is also improved on the latest P Zero tyres, creating less friction against the road without compromising grip. As a result, both wet and dry grip represent a step forward, with a noticeably reduced risk of aquaplaning. View full article
  3. Mini will be using next week's Detroit Auto Show to debut refreshed versions of the Cooper Hardtop and Convertible models. At first glance, the changes don't seem apparent as the new models look like the current ones. But you'll need to get a bit closer to see the changes. Up front, the 2019 Coopers feature a new headlight design and updated logo. Around back, Mini has fitted a new set of LED taillights with a Union Jack pattern. The interior sees some minor changes with Bluetooth and a 6.5-inch infotainment screen becoming standard. An 8.8-inch system with navigation is available as an option. The U.S. will miss out on one change that Mini is making for the Cooper in other markets - a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. No mention of when the 2019 Cooper Hardtop and Convertible will go on sale. Source: Mini Press Release is on Page 2 Fresh update for the original: the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door, the new MINI Convertible. Detroit, MI, January 9, 2018. The British premium automobile manufacturer strengthens the progressive character and appeal of its models in the small car segment with a stylishly refined visual appearance and extensive technological advancements. The update for the MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the MINI Convertible includes fresh design accentuations, innovations in the field of drive technology, additional customisation options and an expansion of the digital services available as part of MINI Connected. The upgrading of the original product substance in the premium segment of small cars highlights the mature yet distinctive charisma of MINI, which in its current model generation is now available for the first time with three body types for hallmark driving fun in urban environments. This is due to such elements as an extended range of standard features, newly designed headlights and rear lights, additional body finishes and cutting-edge connectivity technology for convenience and infotainment. MINI Hardtop 2 Door, MINI Hardtop 4 Door, MINI Convertible: overview of new features. LED rear lights in Union Jack design. New MINI logo, new body finishes, Piano Black exterior. New light alloy wheels. Extended range of leather trim, interior surfaces and Color Lines. Unique individualisation with MINI Yours Customised. Multifunction steering wheel and radio with 6.5-inch colour screen, USB and Bluetooth interface as standard. Optional radio and navigation systems with touchscreen monitor. Telephony with wireless charging. MINI Connected and MINI Connected XL with new functions. MINI logo projection from the exterior mirror on the driver's side. Bright and dazzle-free: LED headlights. A modified design for the characteristic circular headlights make the hallmark front view of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible even more powerfully expressive. In the standard halogen headlights, a striking accentuation is added by means of a black panel. In the LED headlights available as optional equipment items, the high-quality technology is underscored by means of an entirely newly design of the light sources. The latest generation of the LED modules for low and high beam offers increased brightness. The LED daytime driving light and the turn indicator light are generated by a ring which surrounds the entire contour of the headlight, Very British: rear lights in Union Jack design. The rear lights also feature a new design in conjunction with the optional LED headlights. As a clear reference to the brand's British DNA, the upright light units at the rear of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible now appear in a Union Jack design. The striking flag motif is recreated in the structure of the light functions. The turn indicators are horizontally arranged and the brake lights are vertically aligned, with the tail light additionally representing the diagonal lines of the British flag. In order to ensure a particularly harmonious lighting effect, all light sources forming the Union Jack graphic use LED technology. New MINI logo: reduced to the essentials. The new MINI logo is clear and authentic in style, appearing on the bonnet, tailgate, steering wheel, central instrument display, remote control, and optional driver’s side puddle lighting all models. It is a re-interpretation of the existing logo and now features a two-dimensional "flat design". As such, the MINI logo reflects the new brand identity with its focus on the essentials – namely key values such as driving fun, distinctive design, premium quality and emotional appeal. Three new exterior paint colors, premiere for Piano Black Exterior. The extensive range of exterior paint colors available for the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible now adds three variants: Emerald Grey metallic, Starlight Blue metallic, and Solaris Orange metallic. What is more, the list of optional equipment items features an additional means of customizing the exterior design. With the option Piano Black Exterior, the surrounds of the headlights, rear lights and radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black instead of chrome. The selection of optionally available light alloy wheels has been expanded, too. The 17-inch light alloy wheels in the design styles Roulette Spoke 2-tone and Propeller Spoke 2-tone are now available for all body variants of the new MINI. The likewise 17-inch light alloy wheels in Rail Spoke 2-tone design have also been newly added to the program. New leather trims, interior surfaces and Color Lines. A broad selection of seat surfaces, interior surfaces and Color Lines add a touch of individual style to the interior of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible. New features for the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and the MINI Hardtop 4 Door include supple Malt Brown Chesterfield Leather upholstery. In addition, the new option MINI Yours Interior Style Piano Black with illumination includes a backlit decorative panel on the passenger side of the dashboard, likewise finished in Piano Black as well as bearing a stylised Union Jack motif. The color of the backlighting matches the ambient lighting selected by the driver. This option also adds high-gloss Piano Black surfaces in the area of the doors and center console., Maximum individualization: MINI Yours Customised. The MINI Yours Customised program now raises hallmark brand individualization to a whole new level. It includes retrofit products that can be designed by customers themselves, which are then produced precisely according to these individual specifications. The MINI Yours Customised range will include side scuttles, decorative strips for the interior on the passenger side, LED door sill finishers and LED door projectors. MINI Yours Customised products can be designed and previewed through a specially created Online Customiser. Here customers can choose between various colors, patterns, surface structures and icons, as well as contributing their own texts and adding a touch of personal style to the design. This offering enables MINI fans to turn their vehicle into a unique specimen that bears the stamp of their own personality. The individualized products are manufactured using innovative production techniques such as various 3D printing methods and laser engraving. New infotainment systems and features A new 6.5” display is included as standard, and features an updated and optimized user interface, Bluetooth mobile phone integration, and support for Bluetooth audio streaming. In addition, customers can specify a new 8.8” touchscreen navigation system with new user interface and greatly expanded features. New options: telephony with wireless charging, MINI logo projection. The innovative optional equipment for the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible includes a wireless charging option. A storage compartment integrated in the centre armrest enables wireless charging of mobile phones which offer this capability. This option also adds a second USB port in the front section of the center console. For the first time, the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and MINI Hardtop 4 Door are available with a MINI logo projection feature. When the vehicle is opened and closed, the new MINI logo is projected onto the ground in front of the driver’s side door from a light source in the exterior mirror and can be seen there for 20 seconds, or permanently if the door is left open. MINI Connected: a range of digital services that is unique within the segment. With the new MINI Connected functions, MINI offers a diverse range of digital services at premium level that is unique in the small car segment. New features include Advanced Real Time Traffic Information with 4G LTE connectivity, support for Apple CarPlay, Connected Services, and intelligent emergency call. The personal mobility assistant feature of the MINI Connected smartphone app now enables drivers of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible to integrate their vehicle and mobility planning seamlessly into their day-to-day digital routine. For example, MINI Connected can draw on calendar entries and contact data entered in a smartphone to plan a route and determine the ideal time to set off based on real time traffic data. The Send-to-Car function enables planned routes to be sent to the MINI navigation system, while Remote Services allow the driver not just to display vehicle location, fuel level and other vehicle status details on their digital end device, but also activate the headlight flasher, horn, ventilation and door lock/unlock function. Intelligent networking of the MINI is via a SIM card integrated in the vehicle: this now complies with the mobile communications standard 4G. It also enables the use of MINI Teleservices and the Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity. Services now available in the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible for the first time also include MINI Find Mate. This consists of so-called tags with a wireless tracking function that can be attached to frequently used objects and travel items such as bags, cases, key rings and rucksacks. Their position can not only be displayed on the on-board computer but also in the MINI Connected App on a smartphone. In this way, MINI Find Mate helps prevent personal items getting lost or left behind. View full article
  4. Mini will be using next week's Detroit Auto Show to debut refreshed versions of the Cooper Hardtop and Convertible models. At first glance, the changes don't seem apparent as the new models look like the current ones. But you'll need to get a bit closer to see the changes. Up front, the 2019 Coopers feature a new headlight design and updated logo. Around back, Mini has fitted a new set of LED taillights with a Union Jack pattern. The interior sees some minor changes with Bluetooth and a 6.5-inch infotainment screen becoming standard. An 8.8-inch system with navigation is available as an option. The U.S. will miss out on one change that Mini is making for the Cooper in other markets - a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. No mention of when the 2019 Cooper Hardtop and Convertible will go on sale. Source: Mini Press Release is on Page 2 Fresh update for the original: the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door, the new MINI Convertible. Detroit, MI, January 9, 2018. The British premium automobile manufacturer strengthens the progressive character and appeal of its models in the small car segment with a stylishly refined visual appearance and extensive technological advancements. The update for the MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the MINI Convertible includes fresh design accentuations, innovations in the field of drive technology, additional customisation options and an expansion of the digital services available as part of MINI Connected. The upgrading of the original product substance in the premium segment of small cars highlights the mature yet distinctive charisma of MINI, which in its current model generation is now available for the first time with three body types for hallmark driving fun in urban environments. This is due to such elements as an extended range of standard features, newly designed headlights and rear lights, additional body finishes and cutting-edge connectivity technology for convenience and infotainment. MINI Hardtop 2 Door, MINI Hardtop 4 Door, MINI Convertible: overview of new features. LED rear lights in Union Jack design. New MINI logo, new body finishes, Piano Black exterior. New light alloy wheels. Extended range of leather trim, interior surfaces and Color Lines. Unique individualisation with MINI Yours Customised. Multifunction steering wheel and radio with 6.5-inch colour screen, USB and Bluetooth interface as standard. Optional radio and navigation systems with touchscreen monitor. Telephony with wireless charging. MINI Connected and MINI Connected XL with new functions. MINI logo projection from the exterior mirror on the driver's side. Bright and dazzle-free: LED headlights. A modified design for the characteristic circular headlights make the hallmark front view of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible even more powerfully expressive. In the standard halogen headlights, a striking accentuation is added by means of a black panel. In the LED headlights available as optional equipment items, the high-quality technology is underscored by means of an entirely newly design of the light sources. The latest generation of the LED modules for low and high beam offers increased brightness. The LED daytime driving light and the turn indicator light are generated by a ring which surrounds the entire contour of the headlight, Very British: rear lights in Union Jack design. The rear lights also feature a new design in conjunction with the optional LED headlights. As a clear reference to the brand's British DNA, the upright light units at the rear of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible now appear in a Union Jack design. The striking flag motif is recreated in the structure of the light functions. The turn indicators are horizontally arranged and the brake lights are vertically aligned, with the tail light additionally representing the diagonal lines of the British flag. In order to ensure a particularly harmonious lighting effect, all light sources forming the Union Jack graphic use LED technology. New MINI logo: reduced to the essentials. The new MINI logo is clear and authentic in style, appearing on the bonnet, tailgate, steering wheel, central instrument display, remote control, and optional driver’s side puddle lighting all models. It is a re-interpretation of the existing logo and now features a two-dimensional "flat design". As such, the MINI logo reflects the new brand identity with its focus on the essentials – namely key values such as driving fun, distinctive design, premium quality and emotional appeal. Three new exterior paint colors, premiere for Piano Black Exterior. The extensive range of exterior paint colors available for the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible now adds three variants: Emerald Grey metallic, Starlight Blue metallic, and Solaris Orange metallic. What is more, the list of optional equipment items features an additional means of customizing the exterior design. With the option Piano Black Exterior, the surrounds of the headlights, rear lights and radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black instead of chrome. The selection of optionally available light alloy wheels has been expanded, too. The 17-inch light alloy wheels in the design styles Roulette Spoke 2-tone and Propeller Spoke 2-tone are now available for all body variants of the new MINI. The likewise 17-inch light alloy wheels in Rail Spoke 2-tone design have also been newly added to the program. New leather trims, interior surfaces and Color Lines. A broad selection of seat surfaces, interior surfaces and Color Lines add a touch of individual style to the interior of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible. New features for the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and the MINI Hardtop 4 Door include supple Malt Brown Chesterfield Leather upholstery. In addition, the new option MINI Yours Interior Style Piano Black with illumination includes a backlit decorative panel on the passenger side of the dashboard, likewise finished in Piano Black as well as bearing a stylised Union Jack motif. The color of the backlighting matches the ambient lighting selected by the driver. This option also adds high-gloss Piano Black surfaces in the area of the doors and center console., Maximum individualization: MINI Yours Customised. The MINI Yours Customised program now raises hallmark brand individualization to a whole new level. It includes retrofit products that can be designed by customers themselves, which are then produced precisely according to these individual specifications. The MINI Yours Customised range will include side scuttles, decorative strips for the interior on the passenger side, LED door sill finishers and LED door projectors. MINI Yours Customised products can be designed and previewed through a specially created Online Customiser. Here customers can choose between various colors, patterns, surface structures and icons, as well as contributing their own texts and adding a touch of personal style to the design. This offering enables MINI fans to turn their vehicle into a unique specimen that bears the stamp of their own personality. The individualized products are manufactured using innovative production techniques such as various 3D printing methods and laser engraving. New infotainment systems and features A new 6.5” display is included as standard, and features an updated and optimized user interface, Bluetooth mobile phone integration, and support for Bluetooth audio streaming. In addition, customers can specify a new 8.8” touchscreen navigation system with new user interface and greatly expanded features. New options: telephony with wireless charging, MINI logo projection. The innovative optional equipment for the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible includes a wireless charging option. A storage compartment integrated in the centre armrest enables wireless charging of mobile phones which offer this capability. This option also adds a second USB port in the front section of the center console. For the first time, the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and MINI Hardtop 4 Door are available with a MINI logo projection feature. When the vehicle is opened and closed, the new MINI logo is projected onto the ground in front of the driver’s side door from a light source in the exterior mirror and can be seen there for 20 seconds, or permanently if the door is left open. MINI Connected: a range of digital services that is unique within the segment. With the new MINI Connected functions, MINI offers a diverse range of digital services at premium level that is unique in the small car segment. New features include Advanced Real Time Traffic Information with 4G LTE connectivity, support for Apple CarPlay, Connected Services, and intelligent emergency call. The personal mobility assistant feature of the MINI Connected smartphone app now enables drivers of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible to integrate their vehicle and mobility planning seamlessly into their day-to-day digital routine. For example, MINI Connected can draw on calendar entries and contact data entered in a smartphone to plan a route and determine the ideal time to set off based on real time traffic data. The Send-to-Car function enables planned routes to be sent to the MINI navigation system, while Remote Services allow the driver not just to display vehicle location, fuel level and other vehicle status details on their digital end device, but also activate the headlight flasher, horn, ventilation and door lock/unlock function. Intelligent networking of the MINI is via a SIM card integrated in the vehicle: this now complies with the mobile communications standard 4G. It also enables the use of MINI Teleservices and the Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity. Services now available in the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible for the first time also include MINI Find Mate. This consists of so-called tags with a wireless tracking function that can be attached to frequently used objects and travel items such as bags, cases, key rings and rucksacks. Their position can not only be displayed on the on-board computer but also in the MINI Connected App on a smartphone. In this way, MINI Find Mate helps prevent personal items getting lost or left behind.
  5. For the past few years, luxury automakers have been trying to fill every single niche they could think of. It's why we have such models as the BMW 5-Series GT and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Coupe for example. But now, BMW and Mercedes-Benz admit they have too many models and are planning to cut some. “The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, to Car and Driver. “There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out,” Robertson went on to say. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars harbors the same thoughts. “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.” Yep, it seems coupes and convertibles are on the chopping block - not the SUV-coupe things you were likely hoping for. Now Zetsche did say that would still offer two-door models, but it would not be “in the variety we are having them right now.” Taking into consideration there are coupe and convertible versions of the C, E, and S-Class, along with the SLK and SL roadsters, and the AMG GT coupe and convertible, we wouldn't be shocked if a couple of those models disappear. Source: Car and Driver
  6. For the past few years, luxury automakers have been trying to fill every single niche they could think of. It's why we have such models as the BMW 5-Series GT and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Coupe for example. But now, BMW and Mercedes-Benz admit they have too many models and are planning to cut some. “The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, to Car and Driver. “There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out,” Robertson went on to say. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars harbors the same thoughts. “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.” Yep, it seems coupes and convertibles are on the chopping block - not the SUV-coupe things you were likely hoping for. Now Zetsche did say that would still offer two-door models, but it would not be “in the variety we are having them right now.” Taking into consideration there are coupe and convertible versions of the C, E, and S-Class, along with the SLK and SL roadsters, and the AMG GT coupe and convertible, we wouldn't be shocked if a couple of those models disappear. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  7. Volvo is in the midsts of overhauling their lineup with the 90 Series nearing completion, and attention being turned towards the 40 and 60 Series. As Car and Driver notes during the press introduction of the 40 Series concepts, a video was shown demonstrating the flexibility of the CMA platform. Various body styles such as convertible were shown. This got Car and Driver thinking, was Volvo considering adding more variants down the line on the CMA platform? Peter Mertens, Volvo’s head of research and development said CMA could sit underneath a coupe or convertible. But right now, Mertens said Volvo is focused on their core models for this and the SPA platform. At the moment, Volvo's overhaul will be running till 2020. After that, Mertens said there would be the possibility of adding “emotional products” such as a convertible, a coupe, or even a coupe/SUV thing (PLEASE NO VOLVO, NO! -WM). Source: Car and Driver
  8. Volvo is in the midsts of overhauling their lineup with the 90 Series nearing completion, and attention being turned towards the 40 and 60 Series. As Car and Driver notes during the press introduction of the 40 Series concepts, a video was shown demonstrating the flexibility of the CMA platform. Various body styles such as convertible were shown. This got Car and Driver thinking, was Volvo considering adding more variants down the line on the CMA platform? Peter Mertens, Volvo’s head of research and development said CMA could sit underneath a coupe or convertible. But right now, Mertens said Volvo is focused on their core models for this and the SPA platform. At the moment, Volvo's overhaul will be running till 2020. After that, Mertens said there would be the possibility of adding “emotional products” such as a convertible, a coupe, or even a coupe/SUV thing (PLEASE NO VOLVO, NO! -WM). Source: Car and Driver View full article
  9. Chevrolet has an interesting week. Tomorrow, the automaker will be revealing the next-generation Cruze. Then a day after, the 6th generation Camaro Convertible will be shown for the first time. Unfortunately for Chevrolet, someone posted the images of the new Camaro Convertible on Chevy's site. The company has pulled them down, but the folks at Camaro6.com got the images. Not surprisingly, the convertible looks much the same as the coupe. We'll have more details on the drop-top Camaro later this week. Source: Camaro6.com
  10. Chevrolet has an interesting week. Tomorrow, the automaker will be revealing the next-generation Cruze. Then a day after, the 6th generation Camaro Convertible will be shown for the first time. Unfortunately for Chevrolet, someone posted the images of the new Camaro Convertible on Chevy's site. The company has pulled them down, but the folks at Camaro6.com got the images. Not surprisingly, the convertible looks much the same as the coupe. We'll have more details on the drop-top Camaro later this week. Source: Camaro6.com View full article
  11. Every automotive writer has a wish list of absurd ideas they would like to do. I have been very lucky to cross one of those items off my list - driving a $130,000+ vehicle for a week. A couple weeks back I was able to cross another item off that list: Driving a open-top vehicle in the winter. What vehicle afforded me the chance to accomplish this wish? It happens to be one of the smallest and sportiest open-top vehicles on sale today; the 2015 Fiat 500C Abarth. The Fiat 500 is one of the most iconic designs in the automotive world with its short and rounded shape that offered enough space for a small family, while having a price tag that everyone could afford. When it came to designing the new 500, designers took the basic shape and gave it a bit of a modern twist. The new 500 is slightly large, but retains the short front end and rounded cabin area. Abarth models give the 500 some attitude with a 0.7-inch suspension drop, Abarth badging on the front and rear; stripes running along the bottom edge of the doors, new wheels with a red scorpion cap, and a rear diffuser. Now this being the 500C, Fiat did something clever with the transition to a convertible. Instead of hacking off all of the roof, Fiat left the roof rails in place and installed a canvas top. By leaving the roof rails, it allows the 500C to retain a fair bit of structural integrity without fully resorting to adding rigidity towards to the bottom of the vehicle. Now the canvas top allows the driver to have it open in various positions such as a panoramic sunroof to fully open. The downside is when the top is fully open, it scrunches up at the bottom and causes a major blind spot to appear. I wish Fiat could figure out a way to stow away the top or at least offer a backup camera and blind spot monitoring. During my testing, the Detroit area had some of coldest temperatures with lows dipping into -20F. I was worried that the canvas top would make the week unbearable, but the top was able to retain the heat and make it a pleasant place to be in. The Abarth’s interior is very much full of sporting intentions paired with a bit of retro styling. The dash boasts a large piece of grey plastic with the 500C name on the passenger side to evoke the 500’s past when the dashboard was metal. This is paired with such details as sport seats wrapped in black cloth and a new steering wheel with stitching. Seats are mostly comfortable and provide excellent support in enthusiastic driving. Oddly, the seating position has you feeling like you’re sitting on a stool. I thought the seating position worked, while others complain about it. Your opinion may vary on this. Even though the 500 has seating for four, it's best to think to think of it as a two-seater as there is no legroom. My test Abarth came with equipped the Beats audio system. The optional system includes six-speakers, an eight-inch subwoofer, and a new amplifier. The optional system is impressive with providing excellent sound no matter what I played through it. I wished Fiat could have done a little bit more sound deadening so I didn’t have the volume up as much to try and drown out wind and road noise. The Abarth also included an optional TomTom navigation system. While it might look a little out of place, I have to give Fiat credit for hiding the power cable and other bits inside the dash. See the next page for thoughts on powertrain and driving experience. Powering the Abarth is a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder with 157 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque (or 170 pound-feet when equipped with the manual). My tester was fitted with the optional six-speed automatic, while a five-speed manual is standard. Start the 500C Abarth up and you’ll be inundated with one of the sweetest engine sounds on sale. With cracking and popping, this engine is a joy to work. Aside from the sweet noises, the engine is quite spunky. Power comes on fast and gets the Abarth moving at a decent clip. The six-speed automatic provides crisp shifts, though I found the shift logic a bit wonky as it tended to hold gears slightly longer than I was expecting. Fuel economy is rated at 24 City/32 Highway/27 combined. My week saw an average of 26 MPG. Out on the curvy bits, the Abarth shows off what it can do. The stiff suspension provides excellent body control and doesn’t make your passengers feel sick. Now the Abarth is a little bit twitchy due to the suspension and small tires, but it is easily controllable thanks to the engine and steering which possesses good weight. I did wish the steering had a little bit more feel. You might think the stiff suspension would make the ride unbearable, but the Abarth isn’t that unpleasant. The ride is bouncy, but you don’t feel like your spine is being shaken out. This may get old if you decide to take a long trip, along with loud exhaust that provides those sweet engine notes. I wonder if Fiat could look into a dual-mode exhaust into cutting back the noise for those times when need it. Despite the cold weather, the Fiat 500C Abarth proved to be amazing vehicle. Its has the looks and engine note to get noticed. Plus the handling and performance that can give you a big grin. Some may wish the 500 Abarth was a little bit more button down like the MINI Cooper in corners, but I think it would take away something from the model - its character. Few can match the 500C Abarth for driving fun and noise - even when its 20 below outside. Disclaimer: Fiat Provided the 500C Abarth, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Fiat Model: 500C Trim: Abarth Engine: 1.4L Turbocharged, MultiAir SOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 157 @ 5,500 Torque @ RPM: 183 @ 2,400 - 4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/32/27 Curb Weight: 2,545 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toluca, Mexico Base Price: $26,395 As Tested Price: $32,045 (Includes $850.00 Destination Charge) Options: Heavy-Duty Six-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,350.00 Comfort/Convenience Group - $900.00 Beats Audio Package - $700.00 TomTom Navigation with BLUE&ME - $600.00 16-Inch Aluminum Wheels - $550.00 Black Mirror Cap with Body Side Stripe - $450.00 Black Trimmed Lights - $250.00
  12. Every automotive writer has a wish list of absurd ideas they would like to do. I have been very lucky to cross one of those items off my list - driving a $130,000+ vehicle for a week. A couple weeks back I was able to cross another item off that list: Driving a open-top vehicle in the winter. What vehicle afforded me the chance to accomplish this wish? It happens to be one of the smallest and sportiest open-top vehicles on sale today; the 2015 Fiat 500C Abarth. The Fiat 500 is one of the most iconic designs in the automotive world with its short and rounded shape that offered enough space for a small family, while having a price tag that everyone could afford. When it came to designing the new 500, designers took the basic shape and gave it a bit of a modern twist. The new 500 is slightly large, but retains the short front end and rounded cabin area. Abarth models give the 500 some attitude with a 0.7-inch suspension drop, Abarth badging on the front and rear; stripes running along the bottom edge of the doors, new wheels with a red scorpion cap, and a rear diffuser. Now this being the 500C, Fiat did something clever with the transition to a convertible. Instead of hacking off all of the roof, Fiat left the roof rails in place and installed a canvas top. By leaving the roof rails, it allows the 500C to retain a fair bit of structural integrity without fully resorting to adding rigidity towards to the bottom of the vehicle. Now the canvas top allows the driver to have it open in various positions such as a panoramic sunroof to fully open. The downside is when the top is fully open, it scrunches up at the bottom and causes a major blind spot to appear. I wish Fiat could figure out a way to stow away the top or at least offer a backup camera and blind spot monitoring. During my testing, the Detroit area had some of coldest temperatures with lows dipping into -20F. I was worried that the canvas top would make the week unbearable, but the top was able to retain the heat and make it a pleasant place to be in. The Abarth’s interior is very much full of sporting intentions paired with a bit of retro styling. The dash boasts a large piece of grey plastic with the 500C name on the passenger side to evoke the 500’s past when the dashboard was metal. This is paired with such details as sport seats wrapped in black cloth and a new steering wheel with stitching. Seats are mostly comfortable and provide excellent support in enthusiastic driving. Oddly, the seating position has you feeling like you’re sitting on a stool. I thought the seating position worked, while others complain about it. Your opinion may vary on this. Even though the 500 has seating for four, it's best to think to think of it as a two-seater as there is no legroom. My test Abarth came with equipped the Beats audio system. The optional system includes six-speakers, an eight-inch subwoofer, and a new amplifier. The optional system is impressive with providing excellent sound no matter what I played through it. I wished Fiat could have done a little bit more sound deadening so I didn’t have the volume up as much to try and drown out wind and road noise. The Abarth also included an optional TomTom navigation system. While it might look a little out of place, I have to give Fiat credit for hiding the power cable and other bits inside the dash. See the next page for thoughts on powertrain and driving experience. Powering the Abarth is a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder with 157 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque (or 170 pound-feet when equipped with the manual). My tester was fitted with the optional six-speed automatic, while a five-speed manual is standard. Start the 500C Abarth up and you’ll be inundated with one of the sweetest engine sounds on sale. With cracking and popping, this engine is a joy to work. Aside from the sweet noises, the engine is quite spunky. Power comes on fast and gets the Abarth moving at a decent clip. The six-speed automatic provides crisp shifts, though I found the shift logic a bit wonky as it tended to hold gears slightly longer than I was expecting. Fuel economy is rated at 24 City/32 Highway/27 combined. My week saw an average of 26 MPG. Out on the curvy bits, the Abarth shows off what it can do. The stiff suspension provides excellent body control and doesn’t make your passengers feel sick. Now the Abarth is a little bit twitchy due to the suspension and small tires, but it is easily controllable thanks to the engine and steering which possesses good weight. I did wish the steering had a little bit more feel. You might think the stiff suspension would make the ride unbearable, but the Abarth isn’t that unpleasant. The ride is bouncy, but you don’t feel like your spine is being shaken out. This may get old if you decide to take a long trip, along with loud exhaust that provides those sweet engine notes. I wonder if Fiat could look into a dual-mode exhaust into cutting back the noise for those times when need it. Despite the cold weather, the Fiat 500C Abarth proved to be amazing vehicle. Its has the looks and engine note to get noticed. Plus the handling and performance that can give you a big grin. Some may wish the 500 Abarth was a little bit more button down like the MINI Cooper in corners, but I think it would take away something from the model - its character. Few can match the 500C Abarth for driving fun and noise - even when its 20 below outside. Disclaimer: Fiat Provided the 500C Abarth, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Fiat Model: 500C Trim: Abarth Engine: 1.4L Turbocharged, MultiAir SOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 157 @ 5,500 Torque @ RPM: 183 @ 2,400 - 4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/32/27 Curb Weight: 2,545 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toluca, Mexico Base Price: $26,395 As Tested Price: $32,045 (Includes $850.00 Destination Charge) Options: Heavy-Duty Six-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,350.00 Comfort/Convenience Group - $900.00 Beats Audio Package - $700.00 TomTom Navigation with BLUE&ME - $600.00 16-Inch Aluminum Wheels - $550.00 Black Mirror Cap with Body Side Stripe - $450.00 Black Trimmed Lights - $250.00 View full article
  13. As we suspected earlier this week, Buick is bringing the Opel Cascada Convertible stateside to be sold as a Buick. Much of what we know of the Opel Cascada carries over to the Buick, with the primary difference being with powertrain selection. While the Europeans get 3 engine choices, we only get one. That's not entirely a bad thing in this case as the 1.4T gasoline and 2.0T diesel would not likely be suitable for most American convertible buyers' tastes. The engine we get in the US is a new to us 1.6 liter turbo-charged, direct injected 4-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque. This engine also features an overboost feature that will temporarily boost torque up to 221 lb-ft. Power is routed to the front wheels via the familier GM 6-speed automatic. This is the first application of this powertrain in the US market. This engine is said to be quite fuel efficient for it's output and in the European cycle returns a rating 7.3 liters per 100 km.... which roughly translates to 32 mpg. The European test cycle is known to be rather optimistic so don't expect the Cascada to be rated quite that well once the EPA gets their hands on it. The suspension consists of GM's HiPer Strut up front with a Watts Z-link in the rear. The Watts Z-Link was chosen as a way to lower vehicle weight and improve the roominess of the trunk. On the safety side of things, the Cascada comes with active rollover protection bars that deploy from behind the rear seat if a possible rollover is detected, electric seat belt pre-tensioners, An interesting feature of the Cascada is its ability to lower its top while moving at up to 31 mph. The soft-top is insulated and drops below a hard tonneau cover that blends seamlessly into the rear deck. The Buick Cascada will be fully revealed at a press conference on January 11, 2015 at 6:30pm. We will be on hand to bring you updates and pictures from the press conference. You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroit here, or follow us onFacebook, Twitter,andGoogle+ Press Release on Page 2 Top-Down Luxury Returns with 2016 Buick Cascada 2+2 convertible with distinctive design, premium features, great refinement and 4G LTE connectivity Advanced chassis technologies – including HiPer Strut front suspension – and standard turbocharged performance Sophisticated, insulated soft-top system opens in 17 seconds at up to 31 mph DETROIT – Buick today introduced the 2016 Cascada – a dynamic, stylish convertible that uses innovative powertrain and chassis technologies to complement a sharp driving experience. The Cascada will be the first Buick convertible offered in North America in 25 years and the latest globally developed vehicle to join the brand’s growing portfolio. It goes on sale in early 2016. “The new, 2016 Buick Cascada is a beautiful, engaging convertible that represents the very best of the brand’s global development practices,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “It’s a car that will delight customers with its fun spirit and help drive the momentum that’s fueling Buick’s success.” The Cascada’s 2+2 configuration offers comfortable room for four adults. Its expressive driving experience is rooted in a rigid body structure, Buick’s sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension and responsive Watts Z-link suspension in the rear – along with a 200-horsepower (149 kW) turbocharged engine. And when it comes to dropping the top on a whim, it lowers in only 17 seconds and at speeds up to 31 mph. When it’s up, superior thermal and acoustic insulation contribute to driving comfort. “Cascada’s driving enjoyment is rooted in technologies that make it more comfortable and refined,” said Aldred. “Its features work harmoniously to provide a safe, connected and confidence-inspiring driving experience.” Technology and safety highlights include: Buick IntelliLink with a seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen and featuring Text Message Alerts, Siri Eyes Free and navigation OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot Electronic rear-seat entry system automatically powers the front seats forward by simply pressing the seatback forward. It moves the seats back when the seatback is returned to the upright position Electric safety belt presenters that use telescopic arms to slide the upper front safety belt assemblies from behind the front seat into closer reach for easier buckling Active rollover safety system includes rollover protection bars that deploy behind the rear seats when the possibility of a rollover is detected Confidence-inspiring features include lane departure warning, rear park assist, rearview camera and Rainsense windshield wipers. Distinctive design and thoughtful features Designed from the outset as a convertible, the Buick Cascada has a flowing, sculpted profile, with fast-raked A-pillars that convey a wind-in-the-hair flair. When lowered, the top folds neatly and completely beneath a hard tonneau behind the rear seats, giving the car a pure open-air aesthetic. “The Cascada’s design blends the suggestion of speed with sophisticated and uncompromising details,” said Holt Ware, Buick exterior design director. “Most convertibles are designed from existing coupes or sedans, meaning stowage of the top was an afterthought, but not this Buick. It looks handsome and has a premium appearance when the top is lowered – and a perfect, seamless profile when it’s up.” The windswept exterior design is further accentuated with a sweeping body-side line and sleek headlamps that flow into the front fenders, with Buick’s signature wing-shape LED daytime running lights delivering a distinctive appearance. Chrome trim bridges between the wing-shaped taillights, which are also LED-lit. The rear deck lid opens rearward to accommodate the folding soft-top. The electro-hydraulic power roof system features multilayer construction – including acoustic and thermal barriers – which makes for a comfortable ride in various conditions. Inside, a thoughtfully trimmed and comprehensively equipped cabin reflects Buick’s renaissance. The instrument panel is wrapped with soft-touch material featuring authentic stitching, while features including heated front seats and steering wheel offer comfort in a variety of climate conditions. The Cascada also has plenty of storage space for the trappings of a weekend getaway, including 13.4 cubic feet (380 liters) of cargo room with the top up and 9.8 cubic feet (280 liters) with the top down. The rear seatbacks fold down electronically to expand cargo capability for longer items. Turbocharged performance, engaging driving experience The Cascada is driven by an efficient 1.6L turbocharged engine rated at 200 horsepower (149 kW). With more than 100 horsepower per liter, it’s one of the most power-dense engines in the segment. It delivers strong torque, estimated at 206 lb-ft (280 Nm), with an overboost feature that briefly pushes torque to an estimated 221 lb-ft (300 Nm). Direct injection and variable valve timing complement the turbo engine’s performance with efficiency. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Power from the turbocharged engine is translated into driving enjoyment via the innovative suspension system, which employs the sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension pioneered on the LaCrosse and Regal. HiPer Strut is based on the MacPherson strut design and features dual-path top mountings that separate the transfer of spring and damper loads to the body structure. It enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer; more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control; and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. A responsive Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering, which helps keep the Cascada’s handling responses symmetrical on both left-hand and right-hand turns. The linkage’s capability to center the axle during cornering delivers a more-balanced driving experience because the rear suspension better follows the lead of the front suspension. The Z-link design is also lighter and requires less space than a typical fully independent rear suspension. The lower weight enhances efficiency, while the compact design enables the Cascada’s generous cargo room. Steering inputs are executed by a fuel-saving, rack-mounted electric power steering system, while stopping power is handled by standard four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock. It rolls on standard 20-inch wheels. A rigid body structure features high-strength steel in strategic areas, reinforced side sills and press-hardened steel in the A-pillars. It is the foundation for the Cascada’s dynamic and refined driving experience, contributing to steering precision, ride quality and quietness – as well as safety. A long, 106.1-inch (2,695 mm) wheelbase enhances ride smoothness while enabling greater rear-seat legroom.
  14. As we suspected earlier this week, Buick is bringing the Opel Cascada Convertible stateside to be sold as a Buick. Much of what we know of the Opel Cascada carries over to the Buick, with the primary difference being with powertrain selection. While the Europeans get 3 engine choices, we only get one. That's not entirely a bad thing in this case as the 1.4T gasoline and 2.0T diesel would not likely be suitable for most American convertible buyers' tastes. The engine we get in the US is a new to us 1.6 liter turbo-charged, direct injected 4-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque. This engine also features an overboost feature that will temporarily boost torque up to 221 lb-ft. Power is routed to the front wheels via the familier GM 6-speed automatic. This is the first application of this powertrain in the US market. This engine is said to be quite fuel efficient for it's output and in the European cycle returns a rating 7.3 liters per 100 km.... which roughly translates to 32 mpg. The European test cycle is known to be rather optimistic so don't expect the Cascada to be rated quite that well once the EPA gets their hands on it. The suspension consists of GM's HiPer Strut up front with a Watts Z-link in the rear. The Watts Z-Link was chosen as a way to lower vehicle weight and improve the roominess of the trunk. On the safety side of things, the Cascada comes with active rollover protection bars that deploy from behind the rear seat if a possible rollover is detected, electric seat belt pre-tensioners, An interesting feature of the Cascada is its ability to lower its top while moving at up to 31 mph. The soft-top is insulated and drops below a hard tonneau cover that blends seamlessly into the rear deck. The Buick Cascada will be fully revealed at a press conference on January 11, 2015 at 6:30pm. We will be on hand to bring you updates and pictures from the press conference. You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroit here, or follow us onFacebook, Twitter,andGoogle+ Press Release on Page 2 Top-Down Luxury Returns with 2016 Buick Cascada 2+2 convertible with distinctive design, premium features, great refinement and 4G LTE connectivity Advanced chassis technologies – including HiPer Strut front suspension – and standard turbocharged performance Sophisticated, insulated soft-top system opens in 17 seconds at up to 31 mph DETROIT – Buick today introduced the 2016 Cascada – a dynamic, stylish convertible that uses innovative powertrain and chassis technologies to complement a sharp driving experience. The Cascada will be the first Buick convertible offered in North America in 25 years and the latest globally developed vehicle to join the brand’s growing portfolio. It goes on sale in early 2016. “The new, 2016 Buick Cascada is a beautiful, engaging convertible that represents the very best of the brand’s global development practices,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “It’s a car that will delight customers with its fun spirit and help drive the momentum that’s fueling Buick’s success.” The Cascada’s 2+2 configuration offers comfortable room for four adults. Its expressive driving experience is rooted in a rigid body structure, Buick’s sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension and responsive Watts Z-link suspension in the rear – along with a 200-horsepower (149 kW) turbocharged engine. And when it comes to dropping the top on a whim, it lowers in only 17 seconds and at speeds up to 31 mph. When it’s up, superior thermal and acoustic insulation contribute to driving comfort. “Cascada’s driving enjoyment is rooted in technologies that make it more comfortable and refined,” said Aldred. “Its features work harmoniously to provide a safe, connected and confidence-inspiring driving experience.” Technology and safety highlights include: Buick IntelliLink with a seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen and featuring Text Message Alerts, Siri Eyes Free and navigation OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot Electronic rear-seat entry system automatically powers the front seats forward by simply pressing the seatback forward. It moves the seats back when the seatback is returned to the upright position Electric safety belt presenters that use telescopic arms to slide the upper front safety belt assemblies from behind the front seat into closer reach for easier buckling Active rollover safety system includes rollover protection bars that deploy behind the rear seats when the possibility of a rollover is detected Confidence-inspiring features include lane departure warning, rear park assist, rearview camera and Rainsense windshield wipers. Distinctive design and thoughtful features Designed from the outset as a convertible, the Buick Cascada has a flowing, sculpted profile, with fast-raked A-pillars that convey a wind-in-the-hair flair. When lowered, the top folds neatly and completely beneath a hard tonneau behind the rear seats, giving the car a pure open-air aesthetic. “The Cascada’s design blends the suggestion of speed with sophisticated and uncompromising details,” said Holt Ware, Buick exterior design director. “Most convertibles are designed from existing coupes or sedans, meaning stowage of the top was an afterthought, but not this Buick. It looks handsome and has a premium appearance when the top is lowered – and a perfect, seamless profile when it’s up.” The windswept exterior design is further accentuated with a sweeping body-side line and sleek headlamps that flow into the front fenders, with Buick’s signature wing-shape LED daytime running lights delivering a distinctive appearance. Chrome trim bridges between the wing-shaped taillights, which are also LED-lit. The rear deck lid opens rearward to accommodate the folding soft-top. The electro-hydraulic power roof system features multilayer construction – including acoustic and thermal barriers – which makes for a comfortable ride in various conditions. Inside, a thoughtfully trimmed and comprehensively equipped cabin reflects Buick’s renaissance. The instrument panel is wrapped with soft-touch material featuring authentic stitching, while features including heated front seats and steering wheel offer comfort in a variety of climate conditions. The Cascada also has plenty of storage space for the trappings of a weekend getaway, including 13.4 cubic feet (380 liters) of cargo room with the top up and 9.8 cubic feet (280 liters) with the top down. The rear seatbacks fold down electronically to expand cargo capability for longer items. Turbocharged performance, engaging driving experience The Cascada is driven by an efficient 1.6L turbocharged engine rated at 200 horsepower (149 kW). With more than 100 horsepower per liter, it’s one of the most power-dense engines in the segment. It delivers strong torque, estimated at 206 lb-ft (280 Nm), with an overboost feature that briefly pushes torque to an estimated 221 lb-ft (300 Nm). Direct injection and variable valve timing complement the turbo engine’s performance with efficiency. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Power from the turbocharged engine is translated into driving enjoyment via the innovative suspension system, which employs the sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension pioneered on the LaCrosse and Regal. HiPer Strut is based on the MacPherson strut design and features dual-path top mountings that separate the transfer of spring and damper loads to the body structure. It enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer; more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control; and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. A responsive Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering, which helps keep the Cascada’s handling responses symmetrical on both left-hand and right-hand turns. The linkage’s capability to center the axle during cornering delivers a more-balanced driving experience because the rear suspension better follows the lead of the front suspension. The Z-link design is also lighter and requires less space than a typical fully independent rear suspension. The lower weight enhances efficiency, while the compact design enables the Cascada’s generous cargo room. Steering inputs are executed by a fuel-saving, rack-mounted electric power steering system, while stopping power is handled by standard four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock. It rolls on standard 20-inch wheels. A rigid body structure features high-strength steel in strategic areas, reinforced side sills and press-hardened steel in the A-pillars. It is the foundation for the Cascada’s dynamic and refined driving experience, contributing to steering precision, ride quality and quietness – as well as safety. A long, 106.1-inch (2,695 mm) wheelbase enhances ride smoothness while enabling greater rear-seat legroom. View full article
  15. For the past couple of years, we have reporting on countless rumorpile stories concerning the Scion FR-S. Most of these stories have dealt with a convertible and turbo power, and whether or not they are off or back on the table. Well it might be that two things may never come. Wards Auto spoke with Doug Murtha, senior vice president at Scion. Murtha explained that Toyota couldn't make a business case for either proposal. “So on the convertible we went down swinging,” said Murtha. “I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, ‘We’re not going to even push it further.’ Nobody was more disappointed than we were.” This isn't the news the FR-S wanted to hear. At the moment, the model has been experiencing sales drop for most of the year. This is due to the phenomenon of sports car sales falling off halfway through the lifecycle of the vehicle, something Murtha admits. “You get 24 months out of those products and they tend to have a steep fall-off (and) we’re seeing a little bit of that. I don’t think that’s necessarily a surprise. I think the challenge is back to us to do some interesting things that keep the vehicle fresh.” For now, Scion is hoping the recently launched FR-S Release Series 1.0 will be able to bring back some interest in the sports coupe. Source: Wards Auto View full article
  16. For the past couple of years, we have reporting on countless rumorpile stories concerning the Scion FR-S. Most of these stories have dealt with a convertible and turbo power, and whether or not they are off or back on the table. Well it might be that two things may never come. Wards Auto spoke with Doug Murtha, senior vice president at Scion. Murtha explained that Toyota couldn't make a business case for either proposal. “So on the convertible we went down swinging,” said Murtha. “I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, ‘We’re not going to even push it further.’ Nobody was more disappointed than we were.” This isn't the news the FR-S wanted to hear. At the moment, the model has been experiencing sales drop for most of the year. This is due to the phenomenon of sports car sales falling off halfway through the lifecycle of the vehicle, something Murtha admits. “You get 24 months out of those products and they tend to have a steep fall-off (and) we’re seeing a little bit of that. I don’t think that’s necessarily a surprise. I think the challenge is back to us to do some interesting things that keep the vehicle fresh.” For now, Scion is hoping the recently launched FR-S Release Series 1.0 will be able to bring back some interest in the sports coupe. Source: Wards Auto
  17. Ferrari's showing for the Paris Motor Show is the Ferrari 458 Speciale A. The 458 Speciale A (Aperta) is the convertible version of the 458 Speciale and features most of the the lightweight materials found on the coupe. The difference is the addition of a folding aluminum roof which can open or close in 14 seconds, and only adds about 110 pound to the weight of the Speciale A. Power comes from a 4.5L V8 engine which makes 605 horsepower and 397 pound-feet of torque. Ferrari says the 458 Speciale A can hit 60 MPH in about 3.0 seconds (about a tenth slower than the coupe). The Special A also features Ferrari's Side Slip angle Control (SSC) system which varies the torque distribution to improve handling. Ferrari says they will only build 499 458 Speciale A models. No word on when Ferrari will begin selling them. Source: Ferrari Press Release is on Page 2 FERRARI 458 SPECIALE A: A NEW RECORD-BREAKING SPIDER 25/09/14 499 cars to celebrate our most successful, award-winning 8-cylinder model Maranello, 25th September 2014 – Ferrari is pleased to announce the Paris Motor Show world debut of the 458 Speciale A (A as in Aperta). The new limited edition special series is a celebration of the dazzling success of the various versions of the 458, a model that has collected an array of international motoring media awards and track victories, not least a double WEC title and category wins in classic endurance races, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Dedicated to just 499 Ferrari collectors, the 458 Speciale A is the most powerful spider in Prancing Horse history, effortlessly marrying extreme performance with the sublime pleasure of drop-top driving. Its aluminium retractable hard top, which takes a mere 14 seconds to deploy or retract, helps reduce the weight difference with the Speciale coupé to just 50 kg. The 458 Speciale A sports the most powerful naturally-aspirated road-going V8 engine ever built by Ferrari. It punches out a massive 605 cv (135 cv/l specific power output) and 540 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm yet only generates 275 g/km of CO2 emissions. The three international Best Performance Engine awards the V8 has won are acknowledged on a special plaque in the cockpit. The new car sprints from 0-100 km/h in just 3.0 seconds and has a Fiorano lap time of 1'23"5. These superb results are thanks in great part to its front and rear active aerodynamics, the rigidity of a chassis that incorporates 10 aluminium alloys, and Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) which guarantees unparalleled sporty driving in all conditions, underscored by the seductively exhilarating signature Ferrari soundtrack. As is the case with all Prancing Horse cars, the 458 Speciale A's sculpted forms are absolutely performance-oriented. In fact, a series of innovative and original bodywork solutions has made the 458 Speciale A the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever. The 458 Speciale A is being premiered in a unique triple-layer yellow livery with a Blu Nart and Bianco Avus central stripe as well as five-spoke forged wheels in Grigio Corsa. The cockpit has a distinctive racing-inspired look: lightweight yet exclusive materials have been adopted throughout and, of course, crafted with Ferrari's signature artisanal sophistication. This is particularly true of the finish of the dash, the moulded door panels and central tunnel in an exclusive blue carbon-fibre (also used for the treadplates) as well as the newly-designed seats in Alcantara© with contrasting stitching and 3D technical fabric. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION SUMMARY EngineType V8 – 90° Total displacement 4497 ccMax. power output 605 cv at 9000 rpm Maximum torque 540 Nm at 6000 rpm WeightDry weight 1340 kg Weight-power ratio 2.21 kg/cv Performance0 - 100 km/h 3.0" 0 - 200 km/h 9.5"Fiorano lap time 1'23"5 Emissions (ECE + EUDC combined cycle) CO2 emissions** 275 gr/km **with HELE system
  18. 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
  19. General Motors has announced pricing for the most powerful vehicle ever built. The new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will start at $78,995 for the coupe and $83,995 for the convertible. The Z06 will be offered with a 6.2L supercharged V8 with 650 horsepower, a choice of either a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, and three different trim levels. Available options include the Carbon Fiber Ground Effects package with enhanced aero for $2,995, and the Z07 Performance Package with Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, upgraded tires, and improved aero for $7,995. "The 2015 Corvette Z06's performance and technical capabilities place it in the elite fraternity of supercars. Very few cars in the world deliver 650 horsepower, true aerodynamic downforce, carbon fiber and performance technologies such as Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management and an electronic limited slip differential – and none gives the driver a transmission choice or the choice of a coupe with a removable roof panel or a full-power-top convertible," said Harlan Charles, Corvette product and marketing manager. Source: Chevrolet William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Corvette Z06 Priced at $78,995 American supercar delivers unprecedented performance, technology DETROIT – The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – the most powerful and technologically advanced model in the iconic car's 62-year history – will be offered at a suggested retail price of $78,995 while the convertible model will start at $83,995, Chevrolet announced today. "The 2015 Corvette Z06's performance and technical capabilities place it in the elite fraternity of supercars," said Harlan Charles, Corvette product and marketing manager. "Very few cars in the world deliver 650 horsepower, true aerodynamic downforce, carbon fiber and performance technologies such as Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management and an electronic limited slip differential – and none gives the driver a transmission choice or the choice of a coupe with a removable roof panel or a full-power-top convertible." Leveraging learnings from the Corvette Racing program, the $2,995 Carbon Fiber Ground Effects enables the Corvette Z06 to produce true aerodynamic downforce for increased stability at high speeds. The package adds a functional carbon fiber front splitter, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler. For the ultimate performance, the Z07 Performance Package is available for $7,995, adding Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to better handling through reduced unsprung weight. The Z07 package adds adjustable front and rear aerodynamic components to the Carbon Fiber Ground Effects package for unprecedented aerodynamic downforce and Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip. "The Z07 performance package enhances overall performance to make the Corvette Z06 one of the most track-capable cars you can buy off the dealership floor and still drive it to work every day," said Charles. Z06 models are offered in 1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ trims. A range of available features enables customers to tailor the look and feel of their Z06, including: - Premium Package with leather-wrapped interior - Aero-enhancing carbon fiber ground effects package - Performance Data Recorder and navigation - Competition sport seats offered in leather or sueded microfiber - Carbon fiber interior trim and carbon fiber convertible tonneau cover inserts - Visible carbon fiber roof panel (Coupe) - Tintcoat exterior colors, several available wheel finishes and several available brake caliper colors. Most powerful, technologically advanced Corvette ever The Z06 rejoins the Corvette lineup for 2015 with a stronger aluminum frame than previous models, an aero package designed to produce performance-enhancing downforce and an all-new, supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine rated at an SAE-certified at 650 horsepower (485 kW) and 650 lb-ft of torque (881 Nm). That makes it the most powerful production car ever from General Motors and one of the most powerful production cars available in the United States. To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray – direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing – and leverages them with a new, more efficient supercharger. Combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction, they help make the new Z06 surprisingly efficient. The Corvette Z06 also leverages other technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with calibrations tailored for its capabilities. The aluminum frame structure, for example, is 20 percent stiffer than the previous, fixed-roof Z06. Additional technologies support the car's tremendous performance capabilities and enhance the driving experience, including: - Third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard and can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector - Performance Traction Management is available in the Track mode of the Drive Mode Selector and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving - Launch control is available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration - An electronic limited-slip differential, also standard equipment on Z06, adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes. The Z06 offers three increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce: - The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and an aggressive rear spoiler. - The available carbon-fiber aero package – in either carbon flash paint or a visible carbon-fiber finish – adds a carbon-fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill, which combine to create true aerodynamic downforce - The available Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use. With this package, the Corvette Z06 delivers the most aerodynamic downforce of any production car GM has tested. Drivers can monitor the Z06's performance without taking their eyes off the road via a color head-up display (standard on 2LZ and 3LZ trims) that, among the range of performance readouts, displays a g-meter in Track mode. The Z06 also offers the award-winning, industry-first Performance Data Recorder – or PDR – which enables users to record high-definition video, with telemetry overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track. The racing-derived system is included with the available navigation system. Editors: Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price includes destination charges but excludes tax, title, license, optional equipment and dealer fees. View full article
  20. General Motors has announced pricing for the most powerful vehicle ever built. The new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will start at $78,995 for the coupe and $83,995 for the convertible. The Z06 will be offered with a 6.2L supercharged V8 with 650 horsepower, a choice of either a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, and three different trim levels. Available options include the Carbon Fiber Ground Effects package with enhanced aero for $2,995, and the Z07 Performance Package with Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, upgraded tires, and improved aero for $7,995. "The 2015 Corvette Z06's performance and technical capabilities place it in the elite fraternity of supercars. Very few cars in the world deliver 650 horsepower, true aerodynamic downforce, carbon fiber and performance technologies such as Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management and an electronic limited slip differential – and none gives the driver a transmission choice or the choice of a coupe with a removable roof panel or a full-power-top convertible," said Harlan Charles, Corvette product and marketing manager. Source: Chevrolet William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Corvette Z06 Priced at $78,995 American supercar delivers unprecedented performance, technology DETROIT – The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – the most powerful and technologically advanced model in the iconic car's 62-year history – will be offered at a suggested retail price of $78,995 while the convertible model will start at $83,995, Chevrolet announced today. "The 2015 Corvette Z06's performance and technical capabilities place it in the elite fraternity of supercars," said Harlan Charles, Corvette product and marketing manager. "Very few cars in the world deliver 650 horsepower, true aerodynamic downforce, carbon fiber and performance technologies such as Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management and an electronic limited slip differential – and none gives the driver a transmission choice or the choice of a coupe with a removable roof panel or a full-power-top convertible." Leveraging learnings from the Corvette Racing program, the $2,995 Carbon Fiber Ground Effects enables the Corvette Z06 to produce true aerodynamic downforce for increased stability at high speeds. The package adds a functional carbon fiber front splitter, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler. For the ultimate performance, the Z07 Performance Package is available for $7,995, adding Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to better handling through reduced unsprung weight. The Z07 package adds adjustable front and rear aerodynamic components to the Carbon Fiber Ground Effects package for unprecedented aerodynamic downforce and Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip. "The Z07 performance package enhances overall performance to make the Corvette Z06 one of the most track-capable cars you can buy off the dealership floor and still drive it to work every day," said Charles. Z06 models are offered in 1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ trims. A range of available features enables customers to tailor the look and feel of their Z06, including: - Premium Package with leather-wrapped interior - Aero-enhancing carbon fiber ground effects package - Performance Data Recorder and navigation - Competition sport seats offered in leather or sueded microfiber - Carbon fiber interior trim and carbon fiber convertible tonneau cover inserts - Visible carbon fiber roof panel (Coupe) - Tintcoat exterior colors, several available wheel finishes and several available brake caliper colors. Most powerful, technologically advanced Corvette ever The Z06 rejoins the Corvette lineup for 2015 with a stronger aluminum frame than previous models, an aero package designed to produce performance-enhancing downforce and an all-new, supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine rated at an SAE-certified at 650 horsepower (485 kW) and 650 lb-ft of torque (881 Nm). That makes it the most powerful production car ever from General Motors and one of the most powerful production cars available in the United States. To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray – direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing – and leverages them with a new, more efficient supercharger. Combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction, they help make the new Z06 surprisingly efficient. The Corvette Z06 also leverages other technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with calibrations tailored for its capabilities. The aluminum frame structure, for example, is 20 percent stiffer than the previous, fixed-roof Z06. Additional technologies support the car's tremendous performance capabilities and enhance the driving experience, including: - Third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard and can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector - Performance Traction Management is available in the Track mode of the Drive Mode Selector and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving - Launch control is available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration - An electronic limited-slip differential, also standard equipment on Z06, adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes. The Z06 offers three increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce: - The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and an aggressive rear spoiler. - The available carbon-fiber aero package – in either carbon flash paint or a visible carbon-fiber finish – adds a carbon-fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill, which combine to create true aerodynamic downforce - The available Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use. With this package, the Corvette Z06 delivers the most aerodynamic downforce of any production car GM has tested. Drivers can monitor the Z06's performance without taking their eyes off the road via a color head-up display (standard on 2LZ and 3LZ trims) that, among the range of performance readouts, displays a g-meter in Track mode. The Z06 also offers the award-winning, industry-first Performance Data Recorder – or PDR – which enables users to record high-definition video, with telemetry overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track. The racing-derived system is included with the available navigation system. Editors: Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price includes destination charges but excludes tax, title, license, optional equipment and dealer fees.
  21. Earlier this week, we reported that Chevrolet was planning to show off three vehicles for the New York Auto Show; one of those being a new variant of the Corvette. Many of us have been racking our brains trying to figure out what that new model is. Well thanks to someone leaking out photos earlier today, GM has revealed what the model is. Meet the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible whose task is to give vehicles such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet a run for their money. So what's different about the Z06 Convertible from the Coupe? The most obvious change is the loss of a hardtop and the introduction of a soft-top and folding mechanism. Now with most convertibles, they tend to weigh a bit more than the coupe thanks to added bracing, structural enhancements, and the top mechanism. The Corvette Z06 Convertible bucks that trend with it weighing the same as the coupe. The secret? Comes down to the ultra-stiff aluminum frame which means there doesn't have to be additional strengthening. "Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models. The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques – many of which were not available just five years ago," said Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the Corvette. The supercharged 6.2L V8 engine with 625 horsepower is there, as is the choice of either a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, Brembo Carbon-Ceramic brakes, and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The Corvette Z06 Convertible arrives early next year. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Drop-top Supercar: 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced one of the most capable drop-tops on the market: the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible. With at least 625 horsepower, and 635 pound-feet of torque, the Z06 is also the most powerful convertible ever produced by Chevrolet. "The Z06 Convertible is a world-class supercar in every sense," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development. "Only a handful of convertibles in the world bring more than 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Even fewer can match the advanced technologies, aerodynamic design, and visceral driving experience of the Z06 Convertible." This is the first Z06 Convertible offered from the factory since 1963 when the Z06 option package was introduced for endurance racing. Records show only 199 Corvette orders with a Z06 package that year, including one convertible. Recent technological advancements enable the building of a modern Z06 Convertible, said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter "Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models," Juechter said. "The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques – many of which were not available just five years ago." The aluminum structure is 20 percent stiffer than the previous, fixed-roof Z06. As there are no structural reinforcements needed for the Z06 Convertible, its curb weight is nearly identical to the Z06 Coupe. They also share the same chassis tuning, powertrain output, driver technologies and equipment options – including the Z07 Performance Package, which adds Brembo carbon-ceramic matrix brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and adjustable front- and rear-aerodynamic components. "The most impressive aspect of the Z06 Convertible may be its performance bandwidth," said Juechter. "Very few cars on the market can match its combination of extreme, supercar levels of performance; the flexibility for daily driving and long-distance commuting; and the 360-degree, open-air driving experience only true convertibles can offer." All-aluminum, high-tech foundation The Corvette Z06 Convertible represents the culmination of more than four years developing an all-new, all-aluminum structure for the seventh generation Corvette. That structure, built at General Motors' Bowling Green Assembly plant, was designed to the specifications of the Corvette Stingray, Corvette Z06 and the Corvette Racing C7.R. "We wanted a frame that was lighter than the steel frame of the previous Corvette, yet strong enough for both a 600-horsepower convertible and a 24-hour endurance racer," said Ed Moss, engineering group manager for Corvette structures. "That would not have been possible without improvements in computer-aided engineering software, which allowed us to model more than 17,000 frame iterations, with each iteration improving strength and stiffness, while reducing mass." The team used nearly 186,000 computational hours of modeling to develop the frame. It features main rails composed of five customized aluminum segments, including aluminum extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points. The gauge of each segment varies in thickness from 2mm to 11mm, tailored – along with the shape – to meet the strength and stiffness requirements for each frame section with minimal weight. These components are assembled using many advanced manufacturing processes, including:• 439 spot-welds using a GM-patented process that uses a unique electrode designed specifically for aluminum • 188 Flowdrill-machined fasteners installed by a high-speed drill that extrudes the frame material to create a strong, integral collar tapped for bolt-on fasteners• 113 feet of structural adhesives used in conjunction with welding and fasteners to increase overall frame stiffness • 37 feet of laser welds, which join frame sections via a precise beam of high energy that minimizes heat beyond the weld area for improved structural accuracy.The only structural differences between the Z06 Coupe and Convertible are provisions for mounting the power-folding top, and repositioned safety-belt mounts. High-performance aerodynamics Like the structure, only minor design changes distinguish the Z06 Coupe from the Convertible. The Z06 convertible features an electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car's key fob. The top can also open or clos on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). With the top up, the Z06 Convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick fabric top, offered in four colors along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, contributes to a quiet cabin and premium appearance. Behind the seat backs, dual accent panels – either Carbon Flash-painted or available with exposed carbon fiber – enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray's signature "waterfall" design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior. The power-operated tonneau cover necessitated moving the air intakes for the differential and transmission coolers from the rear quarter panels on the Z06 Coupe to the underbody of the Z06 Convertible. Otherwise, both models share the same, performance-driven aesthetic. "Practically every exterior panel serves a functional purpose to meet the performance goals of the Z06," said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, "The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability." Both Z06 models are fitted with Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package): P285/30ZR19 front, and 335/25ZR20 rear. The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which contribute to the design:• The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively • The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap. They collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors. Both Z06 coupe and convertible will be available with one of three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:• The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and rear spoiler • An available carbon-fiber aero package delivers aerodynamic downforce four times greater than the standard Z06. It adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce. The package is available in black or a visible carbon-fiber finish• The available Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler enabling customers to tailor the aerodynamics to their preference. Compared to the Corvette Stingray, the Corvette Z06 fenders are 2.2 inches (56 mm) wider at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. Those extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body. The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger's intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed. The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. A larger hood vent allows air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift. Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes. The Z06 benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering. Like the Stingray, the Z06 comes with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. A magnesium frame structure for both seats provides greater rigidity and strength compared with steel frames. Unprecedented attention to detail and build quality complements the Corvette Z06's performance. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, with every surface covered by premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede. The interior also features a flat-bottom steering wheel with a carbon fiber center spoke. The Z06 comes in five interior colors, including two that are unique to Z06 – blue and dark gray. Supercharged, efficient performance The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing. These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient. "The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette," said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. "It is one of the world's only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve." The supercharged LT4 comes with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance performance and efficiency. The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. A new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia. The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times. Smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency. "There's no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement," said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. "It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car." Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic. Track-proven technologiesThe 2015 Corvette Z06 Coupe and Convertible leverage the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities. "Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every 'g' of grip and every pound of downforce," said Juechter. "It's a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that's even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call." The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers, adjustable for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector, are standard on Z06. Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver's environment, including: • Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration• Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions • Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving• Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, balancing steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes. The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard. It features a hydraulically actuated clutch capable of infinitely varying clutch engagement. The system enhances all aspects of performance by constantly tailoring the clutch-pack engagement based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.
  22. Earlier this week, we reported that Chevrolet was planning to show off three vehicles for the New York Auto Show; one of those being a new variant of the Corvette. Many of us have been racking our brains trying to figure out what that new model is. Well thanks to someone leaking out photos earlier today, GM has revealed what the model is. Meet the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible whose task is to give vehicles such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet a run for their money. So what's different about the Z06 Convertible from the Coupe? The most obvious change is the loss of a hardtop and the introduction of a soft-top and folding mechanism. Now with most convertibles, they tend to weigh a bit more than the coupe thanks to added bracing, structural enhancements, and the top mechanism. The Corvette Z06 Convertible bucks that trend with it weighing the same as the coupe. The secret? Comes down to the ultra-stiff aluminum frame which means there doesn't have to be additional strengthening. "Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models. The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques – many of which were not available just five years ago," said Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the Corvette. The supercharged 6.2L V8 engine with 625 horsepower is there, as is the choice of either a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, Brembo Carbon-Ceramic brakes, and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The Corvette Z06 Convertible arrives early next year. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Drop-top Supercar: 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced one of the most capable drop-tops on the market: the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible. With at least 625 horsepower, and 635 pound-feet of torque, the Z06 is also the most powerful convertible ever produced by Chevrolet. "The Z06 Convertible is a world-class supercar in every sense," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development. "Only a handful of convertibles in the world bring more than 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Even fewer can match the advanced technologies, aerodynamic design, and visceral driving experience of the Z06 Convertible." This is the first Z06 Convertible offered from the factory since 1963 when the Z06 option package was introduced for endurance racing. Records show only 199 Corvette orders with a Z06 package that year, including one convertible. Recent technological advancements enable the building of a modern Z06 Convertible, said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter "Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models," Juechter said. "The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques – many of which were not available just five years ago." The aluminum structure is 20 percent stiffer than the previous, fixed-roof Z06. As there are no structural reinforcements needed for the Z06 Convertible, its curb weight is nearly identical to the Z06 Coupe. They also share the same chassis tuning, powertrain output, driver technologies and equipment options – including the Z07 Performance Package, which adds Brembo carbon-ceramic matrix brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and adjustable front- and rear-aerodynamic components. "The most impressive aspect of the Z06 Convertible may be its performance bandwidth," said Juechter. "Very few cars on the market can match its combination of extreme, supercar levels of performance; the flexibility for daily driving and long-distance commuting; and the 360-degree, open-air driving experience only true convertibles can offer." All-aluminum, high-tech foundation The Corvette Z06 Convertible represents the culmination of more than four years developing an all-new, all-aluminum structure for the seventh generation Corvette. That structure, built at General Motors' Bowling Green Assembly plant, was designed to the specifications of the Corvette Stingray, Corvette Z06 and the Corvette Racing C7.R. "We wanted a frame that was lighter than the steel frame of the previous Corvette, yet strong enough for both a 600-horsepower convertible and a 24-hour endurance racer," said Ed Moss, engineering group manager for Corvette structures. "That would not have been possible without improvements in computer-aided engineering software, which allowed us to model more than 17,000 frame iterations, with each iteration improving strength and stiffness, while reducing mass." The team used nearly 186,000 computational hours of modeling to develop the frame. It features main rails composed of five customized aluminum segments, including aluminum extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points. The gauge of each segment varies in thickness from 2mm to 11mm, tailored – along with the shape – to meet the strength and stiffness requirements for each frame section with minimal weight. These components are assembled using many advanced manufacturing processes, including:• 439 spot-welds using a GM-patented process that uses a unique electrode designed specifically for aluminum • 188 Flowdrill-machined fasteners installed by a high-speed drill that extrudes the frame material to create a strong, integral collar tapped for bolt-on fasteners• 113 feet of structural adhesives used in conjunction with welding and fasteners to increase overall frame stiffness • 37 feet of laser welds, which join frame sections via a precise beam of high energy that minimizes heat beyond the weld area for improved structural accuracy.The only structural differences between the Z06 Coupe and Convertible are provisions for mounting the power-folding top, and repositioned safety-belt mounts. High-performance aerodynamics Like the structure, only minor design changes distinguish the Z06 Coupe from the Convertible. The Z06 convertible features an electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car's key fob. The top can also open or clos on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). With the top up, the Z06 Convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick fabric top, offered in four colors along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, contributes to a quiet cabin and premium appearance. Behind the seat backs, dual accent panels – either Carbon Flash-painted or available with exposed carbon fiber – enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray's signature "waterfall" design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior. The power-operated tonneau cover necessitated moving the air intakes for the differential and transmission coolers from the rear quarter panels on the Z06 Coupe to the underbody of the Z06 Convertible. Otherwise, both models share the same, performance-driven aesthetic. "Practically every exterior panel serves a functional purpose to meet the performance goals of the Z06," said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, "The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability." Both Z06 models are fitted with Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package): P285/30ZR19 front, and 335/25ZR20 rear. The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which contribute to the design:• The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively • The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap. They collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors. Both Z06 coupe and convertible will be available with one of three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:• The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and rear spoiler • An available carbon-fiber aero package delivers aerodynamic downforce four times greater than the standard Z06. It adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce. The package is available in black or a visible carbon-fiber finish• The available Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler enabling customers to tailor the aerodynamics to their preference. Compared to the Corvette Stingray, the Corvette Z06 fenders are 2.2 inches (56 mm) wider at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. Those extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body. The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger's intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed. The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. A larger hood vent allows air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift. Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes. The Z06 benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering. Like the Stingray, the Z06 comes with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. A magnesium frame structure for both seats provides greater rigidity and strength compared with steel frames. Unprecedented attention to detail and build quality complements the Corvette Z06's performance. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, with every surface covered by premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede. The interior also features a flat-bottom steering wheel with a carbon fiber center spoke. The Z06 comes in five interior colors, including two that are unique to Z06 – blue and dark gray. Supercharged, efficient performance The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing. These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient. "The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette," said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. "It is one of the world's only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve." The supercharged LT4 comes with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance performance and efficiency. The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. A new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia. The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times. Smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency. "There's no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement," said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. "It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car." Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic. Track-proven technologiesThe 2015 Corvette Z06 Coupe and Convertible leverage the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities. "Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every 'g' of grip and every pound of downforce," said Juechter. "It's a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that's even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call." The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers, adjustable for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector, are standard on Z06. Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver's environment, including: • Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration• Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions • Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving• Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, balancing steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes. The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard. It features a hydraulically actuated clutch capable of infinitely varying clutch engagement. The system enhances all aspects of performance by constantly tailoring the clutch-pack engagement based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction. View full article
  23. Cadillac's Senior Vice President, Bob Ferguson said in a interview with Automotive News last week that the company is considering expanding the ATS lineup. "You've made the investment. You've built a brand within a brand. If you have a winner, you should exploit that and offer variations," said Ferguson. Models under the spotlight include a convertible and wagon. This would give the brand a better chance of competing with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The mention of a wagon and convertible signals a change of product plans at Cadillac. Previous reports had the ATS Convertible on hold and that the brand would likely not do a wagon due to the poor sales of the CTS SportsWagon. We'll be watching this closely. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  24. Cadillac's Senior Vice President, Bob Ferguson said in a interview with Automotive News last week that the company is considering expanding the ATS lineup. "You've made the investment. You've built a brand within a brand. If you have a winner, you should exploit that and offer variations," said Ferguson. Models under the spotlight include a convertible and wagon. This would give the brand a better chance of competing with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The mention of a wagon and convertible signals a change of product plans at Cadillac. Previous reports had the ATS Convertible on hold and that the brand would likely not do a wagon due to the poor sales of the CTS SportsWagon. We'll be watching this closely. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  25. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 22, 2013 If you ever wanted to see a case of mixed messages in the automotive world, let us introduce you to the mess with Toyota and Subaru over the GT86 Convertible. Automotive News spoke with Subaru brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga and asked about GT86/BRZ Convertible. Yoshinaga dismissed the notion of convertible, citing the vehicles would need a redesign of the structure for that to happen. "We make the car, so if we don't make it, it can't happen. Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change." This kind of plays into a rumorpile story from last month where the GT86 Convertible project was canned for the time-being, possibly due to the model needing a lot reinforcing, thus adding weight and ruining the perfect weight balance. Yet, Toyota is still showing off GT86 Convertible concept and creating a number of variations to show off at auto shows. Also consider the comment made by Toyota Europe President Didier Leroy made back in March when the GT86 Open concept was introduced, "I know you are all wondering about facts and figures, and body rigidity. Well, we have the same worries and Tada [chief engineer of the GT 86] and his team are deep into analysis. But GT86 was designed from the start as a cabriolet… That probably tells you all you needed to know." Someone apparently didn't tell Subaru or the two automakers disagree on the convertible idea. "I understand well that Toyota is receiving strong requests from the American market for the car. But the biggest challenge is meeting our internal safety standards. There are big technical difficulties," said Yoshinaga. We'll keep you updated. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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