Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Volkswagen Fox Edition

Volkswagen Fox

Only 3.82 metres in length, Volkswagen’s city specialist will now hit the roads in a version with a particularly attractive fittings package. Available immediately, the Fox “Fresh” is priced from € 10,575.

The extensive package for the Fox “Fresh” includes exterior fittings such as bumpers in the vehicle colour and 185/60 R14 tyres (for petrol-engine versions). Interior features include high-quality, high-comfort details such as special seat covers in Charcoal-Grey/Ice Blue “Fresh” design and an RCD 200 radio system with an MP3 player function.

The vehicle’s rear bench is truly versatile, given that it can be shifted back and forward, the backrest folded down, the entire bench folded away and even symmetrically split. The range of practical standard features in this special model also includes the “Easy Entry” system and power steering in a steering column which is adjustable both up and down as well as back and forward. The Fox “Fresh” is available in two petrol-engine versions (a 40 kW / 55 PS or a 55 kW / 75 PS engine) and a diesel version (51 kW / 70 PS).

What’s more, the Volkswagen Bank offers buyers attractive financing options. With an effective interest rate per annum of only 2.9 per cent, the Fox “Fresh” 1.2 l, for example, is available at a cost of monthly instalments of € 99.00 euro*. This sum covers third-party and comprehensive insurance, warranty-extension insurance and a free inspection package.

Volkswagen Tiguan tests

Volkswagen Tiguan

The new Volkswagen Tiguan has been awarded a maximum five star rating for occupant protection by Euro NCAP ahead of its launch in the UK next year. In addition the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) awarded the Tiguan four stars for child safety and two stars for pedestrian protection.

The new Tiguan benefits from an extremely rigid body structure to afford as much protection as possible for the passenger safety cell. Constructed out of high tensile steel the Tiguan features panels designed to deform in the event of the accident to soak up the energy of an impact. Despite the keen focus on the strength of the Tiguan, Volkswagen engineers also reduced the potential mass of the chassis to bring the overall kerb weight of the vehicle to as little as 1,451 kg.

Even before its market introduction on 9th November of this year, the European consumer protection organisation Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) tested the safety of the Tiguan and the results are first class. With this result, the Tiguan continues the good tradition established by the Golf, Touran, Passat and Touareg in the past.

When judging a vehicle, the Euro NCAP evaluates three areas of safety: passenger protection, child safety and pedestrian safety. The Tiguan earned five stars for passenger protection, four stars for child safety and two stars for pedestrian protection to lead the overall evaluation in its class.

The reasons for the high safety potential of the new Tiguan are the body structure with great rigidity (sturdy passenger cell), energy-absorbing deformation zones all around and a protection system fine-tuned to these characteristics. A design with light-weight, profile-intensive construction using form-hardened, highest-strength sheet steel was chosen for the Tiguan. The shell construction of the steel body also offers the occupants optimal protection under crash conditions. But the numerous driver-assistance systems including ABS, ESP with brake assist, TCS, EDL with trailer stabilisation and EBC also contribute to the outstanding safety.

Inside, the carefully matched interplay of body and restraint systems ensures that passenger impact is kept to a minimum in the event of an accident. Three-point retractable seat belts are standard for all seats. Belt force limiters to reduce impact to the chest are integrated into both front seats and the two outer rear seats. Furthermore, electronically activated belt tensioners in front insure the optimal exploitation of the available safety zone. The front airbags in combination with the belt restraint system provide an optimal protection for the driver and front passenger during a frontal collision. The completely newly developed front seats and head restraints are designed especially to provide extensive protection from cervical spine injuries during a rear collision. Child safety is rounded out by standard Isofix anchorage for the rear seats. Standard curtain airbags and side airbags integrated in the seat backrests add to the all-round safety of the Tiguan.

In addition to triggering the protective restraint systems, the belt tensioners and the airbags, the Tiguan’s airbag trigger system communicates with other control units: in the event of an accident, the hazard warning lights are activated, locked doors are unlocked, the interior lights are switched on and the fuel pump is switched off.

But pedestrian protection played a major role in the development of the Tiguan from the very beginning. All the relevant parts of the vehicle’s front were designed with the pedestrian in mind, and the inner sheet metal structure of the bonnet in particular was optimised for pedestrian protection. Thus, for example, a specially designed foam body has been fitted behind the bumper cover. Together with an additional cross member, it should reduce the severity of leg injuries.
Source: Volkswagen

Saturday, September 22, 2007

2007 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

2007 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

I'm driving my house.

Now, before you get visions of a cheesy mid-Seventies Winnebago with high-speed internet, the house reference is specific to fair market value on Casa Clark, assuming about 40-large in reno's. The vehicle is a 2007 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, with an 'entry' sticker sucker-punch of $133,200. Ouch. Then throw on about another 20-large for 'personalization'. Ouchie McOuch.

The last thing that any 911 will ever do is blend into the background. Want to be seen? Get in. Don't want to be seen? Tough noogies, especially in Guards Red, AKA Cop Bait. With all the eyes upon you, at all times, the last impression you want to give behind the wheel is that your purchase from Stuttgart wasn't all that smart, especially in the areas of overall convenience. This week, Inside Story pokes and prods at the Targa, during one of its rare occurrences of standing still.


Controls: Kudo's to Porsche for remembering that steering-wheel mounted controls are for commuters, not two-lane blacktop shooters. Just slightly ahead of that thumb-locating leathery goodness are four separate stalks, for everything from driver info to headlamp-washing squirts.

(Caution; the headlamp washers spray pattern will easily cover the entire front of the car, including the windshield if the wind is just right.) Column is tilt and telescoping. Wipers have an auto setting, as well as heated nozzles for trouble-free frosty squirts.

Instrumentation is first-rate, with digital speed readout for those 'common' velocities known as speed limits. This is not a driver's seat; it's a cockpit. Power windows possess auto-up and down. Speaking of power windows, feast your eyes on the retractable glass roof panel. Hit the switch, and the panel slides effortlessly to its rear 'Park' position, where it promptly obstructs the rear-view vision. The opening can be tailor-made to size, depending on your blow-drying needs. It takes a little bit of 'English' to activate the rolling sun screen; just tap the sunroof switch control until you get it right. Somewhat alarming was the noises heard when closing the panel. It had the aural quality of glass being stressed, to the point where it would soon be raining down on me in the handy cube size.


While the Targa cabin fits more like a snug sport coat than a Winnebago, there is an astonishing number of convenience features in the pockets.

Speaking of pockets, the front door armrests flip up, revealing healthy storage voids for cell phones and sunglasses. The centre console is as shallow as a pre-school wading pool, with an annoying hold-back strap. There is a 12-volt DC plug-in within. The vanity design on the visors allows for backlighting, but the materials and slide panels used feel more Camry than the Carrera-born. Another 12-volt DC inlet is found on the inner passenger wall of the footwell, near the floor heat outlet.

The dual cupholders are cleverly hidden behind the brightwork panel, directly above the locking glovebox of ample dimension. Push the panel, which reveals the swing-out beverage-grab system. It's an exercise in design finesse, for some form of shallow German coffee cup not sold in these parts. Even with a cinch grab, the holders are far too shallow. Interior lighting is excellent, almost turning the spotlight on you once more. There are four handy hooks inside; two coat-style nubs on the B-pillars, and two recessed grabbers on the front seatbacks. The Porsche Communication Management system is a story all its own. It will be covered in more detail in a future segment.

Heat isn't the only treat for the front buckets. These are the upgraded Adaptive Sports Seats, with memory function for the driver's position, as well as the exterior mirror settings. All functions are power-actuated, including side bolsters and lumbar support. The leather is liquid butter. (Buttah?) The rear seats are best described as 'In-A-Pinch', which is what your vertebrae will be doing to your spine, as your eyeballs twitch in time with your spastic drooling. Don't even try it as a gag.

Fit and finish

Except for the visors, a stunning execution of dead cow and minimal tolerances know-how.

Safety features

In addition to the expected dual frontal bags, the Targa 4S, like its 911 siblings, employs thorax pillows in the sides of the seatbacks, and head protection softness, which erupts from the pillars. Roadside assistance occurs for 4 years or 80,000 kms, whichever comes first.

This won't be too hard. Forget your cares with the affairs of the spares; no such donut exists. (Call Roadside.) The front 'trunk' is good for 3.71 cubic feet of what-have-you. (Folding Callaway's, anyone?) Actually, your clubs and other longer items could be stowed beneath the rear glass hatch, with the rear seatbacks folded forward.


Displacement: 3.8 litres of flat six, with 355 ponies and 0 to 100 km/h under 5 seconds. Boo-yah!

Fluid fill points: Coolant and oil top-ups are about it for the backyarders, plus windshield spritz in the front bonnet. As for servicing, just back away slowly. If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Headlamps: Bi-Xenon, adaptive, and not worth mucking around with. Great for annoying folks in Sunfires, who flash at you incessantly while you're using low beams.

Clarkey rating

This one is tricky. If we're just talking sheer sense, the Targa should be pleased with 2.75 stars. As for what it is, and what it does, ain't no number high enough. Even the backseats are worth the cramps.
Source: canadiandriver

VW Tiguan Review

VW Tiguan

If you're going to show up late to the party, you'd better at least bring something worth waiting for. A decade or so after Toyota and Honda arrived on the scene with their appealing car-based compact SUVs, Volkswagen has finally arrived with its homemade treat in hand, the 2008 Tiguan. But if you're thinking, "Yeah, the world really needs a re-bodied and lifted Golf," then guess again.

It's true the Tiguan shares a fair chunk of its mechanical bits with the current Golf (er... Rabbit), but while the overall look is unmistakably Volkswagen, nothing about it says "Golf." Instead, it looks every bit like a junior Touareg. It feels like it too; the interior is trademark VW, with high-quality surfaces everywhere. Well, just about everywhere - the center stack is finished in a faux-titanium silver, painted over smooth plastic, that not only doesn't match the genuine metal door handles, but also looks borrowed from any entry-level Asian car. It's the one dark spot in an otherwise brilliant cabin.

The cabin is ideally suited to adventure pursuits. Useful details like an air-conditioned glovebox, overhead storage binnacles, sliding storage bins under the front seats, one-liter bottle holders in the front door pockets, and even aircraft-style picnic trays on the front seatbacks are what we expect from the thoughtful Germans, and the Tiguan delivers them. The optional navigation system is an entirely new unit for Tiguan and features touch-screen inputs and 3D viewpoints; the seriously trail-ready models includes off-road navigation functions that stores up to 500 waypoints.

Thanks to the tall roofline and extended greenhouse that define the Tiguan as a mini-ute instead of a jacked-up hatchback, interior space and versatility are exceptional. The rear hatch is deep if not long, but the 60:40 split rear seats slide forward a full six inches to enlarge the cargo hold. That's not their only trick either; they also offer twenty-three degrees of vertical adjustment. Unlike the Golf, the VW Tiguan perches its driver and passengers high, offering superb visibility in all from any seat. But the best view of all may be the one through the massive panoramic moonroof, four times as large as a standard sunroof.

Volkswagen will offer three distinct option packages (Trend & Fun, Sport & Style, and Track & Field) in Europe with a variety of gas and diesel engines, all of which will feature forced induction of one sort or another. When the Tiguan arrives in the States next spring, it will be powered by the familiar 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo that moves the GTI. VW will offer front-wheel-drive versions with a choice of six-speed transmissions, either manual or automatic, but 4Motion all-wheel-drive variants will get only the autobox. We get to skip the cutesy package names, though; instead we'll get a standard-level S model (similar to Trend & Fun) and an upgraded SE (very much like Sport & Style). And we won't get the Track & Field model at all, with its unique front bumper that allows a 28-degree approach angle and one-touch off-road button for optimal maneuverability.

We sampled a European-market Trend & Fun with 4Motion and a manual transmission, powered by the 1.4-liter TSI engine. By pairing a supercharger with a turbocharger, the little sixteen-valver makes the power and torque of a much bigger motor, putting out 150 horses and 200 lb-ft of torque. But like so much else on our Tiguan tester, it won't be coming to our shores, either. Despite the not-for-this-market powertrain combination, we still got a good sense of what this little trucklet is all about.

The solidity of the Tiguan's body structure is apparent within the first few kilometers. It's tight and quiet and has a Teutonic heft that you feel through the seats and steering wheel and brake pedal. The suspension strikes a nice balance between ride and handling for a vehicle like this; it leans far less in corners than its competitors and yet feels confident, even sophisticated, on the rough stuff. In the countryside skirting Budapest, the Tiguan tackled winding forest roads with the poise of a small sports sedan, understeering mildly when the line sharpened, but falling back in step at the mere release of the throttle. On the bumpy brick and stone streets in the heart of this old Eastern Bloc city, the large-diameter tires easily absorbed small bumps.

Thanks to the generous amount of travel offered by its off-road suspension, bigger bumps, like hopping curbs to escape the insanity of local bus drivers (they actually bumped and dented one of our colleagues' cars when he couldn't get out of the dedicated bus lane in time) are barely felt. The electromechanical steering system manages such unexpected shocks, preventing the steering wheel from snapping the driver's wrist in such conditions. The system is well weighted and combines natural loading at road speeds with low effort at parking speeds. The only drawback is a slightly "lost" sensation on-center.

All models get the same four-wheel-disc brakes regardless of engine, with ABS and ESP standard. The 12.3-inch ventilated front discs are ample for both on-road duty and the gruel of trail riding. The rear rotors are solid but equally sufficient at 11.3 inches in diameter. The pedal is free of any ambiguity, offering an accurate report of what's happening at the corners. Real off-roaders may begrudge the electric parking brake, but the absence of a large conventional handbrake between the seats is a welcome change.

The 4Motion system uses a Haldex center clutch integrated into the rear axle assembly to split torque between the front and rear as traction demands. Under normal conditions 90 percent of the torque goes to the front, but nearly all of it can be shifted to the back if the front loses grip. VW Tiguan will easily clear several inches of snow and has seamless all-weather traction - which is, after all, as much as most mini-ute drivers demand anyway. And though we won't get the true off-road package, VW's baby-Touraeg is more capable than it needs to be for most buyers in this segment.

VW has not yet announced pricing, but it will certainly play a major role in the Tiguan's success in North America. In Europe, its base price is 26,700 Euros, which positions it against other premium soft-roaders like Land Rover's Freelander/LR2 and BMW's X3. Here, it will have to play with the likes of the CR-V and RAV4. Volkswagen will surely draw a premium for it, but by how much remains unsure.

Whatever its final price, the Tiguan promises to offer something unique in an established segment. Perhaps because of Volkswagen's ability to appeal to younger, cooler types, the Tiguan may find the kind of hipster buyers that marketing wonks fantasize about in their brochures and commercials. Never mind the small utility party is well under way; VW seems to understand that sometimes it's better to be fashionably late than promptly dull.
Source: motivemag

VW Scirocco

VW Scirocco

I think this one looks pretty close. Maybe a bit too low to the ground for a production car.

VW had announced earlier this year they would not import the next Scirocco to the US.
Being afraid of it competing with the GTI. But I have also heard since about US dealers complaining about this bonehead decision.

So we might get it after all.

I really like the 2 door wagon look. Chevy was supposed to have a Solstice based Nomad by now. A similar idea.
I guess they gave up on that one....
Source: thehollywoodextra

Friday, September 21, 2007

2008 Audi A8 Test Drive

2008 Audi A8

Our 2008 Audi A8 is just one in a long convoy that whisks through Karlsfeld, a small suburb about 50 klicks outside Munich. It's just after dawn on a Thursday morning and the small town is cloaked in thick fog. Twenty sets of xenon headlights cut through the haze and the bicycle commuters stop to watch our cavalcade roar across the cobblestone streets.

They probably assume that our big sedans with tinted windows must contain important political figures or high-ranking members of the Russian mafia. Whatever, because their open-mouthed reaction testifies to the 2008 Audi A8's presence on the road.

It proves that the A8 commands every bit as much shock and awe as the BMW 750Li or Mercedes-Benz S550, particularly in a small town where most of the cars on the streets could fit inside the trunk of our A8.

But It Doesn't Feel Big
Out of town and rocketing down a narrow, twisting German B-road, the 2008 Audi A8 has a way of feeling smaller than it actually is. This is a monumental achievement when you consider we're talking about one of the largest four-door sedans on the road. In "L" trim, the A8 checks in at a monumental 204.4 inches long and 74.6 inches wide, not counting the mirrors. This is a half-inch longer than a BMW 750Li and the same length as two Smart Fortwos placed end to end.

Maybe the feeling of compact maneuverability comes down to the precise steering, which seems telepathic thanks to the quicker-ratio steering rack from the current-generation S8 (a feature that every model of the new A8 will have). The newfound steering response allows you to precisely place the big A8 right between the fir trees at the edge of the road and the oncoming bread vans without making Mr. Baker-man cover his face and say his prayers when you zip through the gap.

The 2008 A8 also gets a revised air-spring suspension, which Audi calls "more responsive to minor irregularities in the road surface." Great, although we hadn't noticed the previous system was in need of improvement. As before, the suspension offers four driver-selected suspension modes that determine the firmness of body control as well as overall ride height.

The Grass Is Greener on the Other Side
No matter how good the steering and suspension might be, there's nothing like standing on the loud pedal and letting 'er rip. The 4.2-liter V8's eight cylinders hammer hard, while twin turbochargers help sink your skull back into the headrest with the swell of torque starting from just 1,600 rpm.

Wait, cancel that. It turns out that the twin-turbo diesel — the best of the A8's engine packages with 322 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque — isn't available on our side of the Atlantic. You'd never believe that a diesel could deliver such performance. Trust us, the grass actually is greener with Audi's twin-turbo V8 diesel.

But we're not doing too badly, as the U.S.-specification A8 will continue to be offered with the 4.2-liter V8 with direct injection, and the innovative 6.0 W12 will also be part of the program. And the S8 will continue to feature the 450-hp 5.0-liter V10 yanked from the Lamborghini Gallardo.

Opt for the 350-hp V8 and you'll find yourself 10 hp shy of the output of the BMW 750Li's 5.0-liter V8 and a full 32 hp down on a Mercedes-Benz S550's 5.5-liter V8. On the other hand, your Audi A8 is still hundreds of pounds lighter than either of those cars, despite the added weight of all-wheel drive.

If you're feeling inadequate, you can always check the box for the W12, which combines 450 hp with 428 lb-ft of torque for a surge of power in a luxuriously effortless whoosh. Plus, you seem like someone who has better things to do than drag race from stoplight to stoplight anyway.

Pick the Lambo V10-powered S8, on the other hand, and your 2-ton luxury car will roar with a soul that could drown out James Brown at a Baptist church on Easter morning.

Coddled and Quiet
When we tested the A8 L W12 back in 2005, we said it made us feel more at home in its well-appointed cabin than the BMW 7 Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class. We still can't think of a better way to describe the feeling. The top-notch interior of the 2008 Audi A8 feels warm and welcoming, despite its size.

Solving problems that don't exist seems to be one of Audi's specialties. To this end, the new A8 is even quieter than before — it's now the quietest car in its class. The new bragging rights are thanks largely to new fiber-type materials and textile surfaces that reduce ambient noise without adding weight.

Technical Wizardry
For 2008 the A8's plush interior receives a few more gizmos. A vibrating steering wheel, for example. Using Audi's MMI control interface, you can adjust the vibration in three levels of intensity. It's not some newfangled European massage system but instead, part of Audi's lane-departure warning system. Set the system to its most aggressive warning profile (there are three sensitivity levels) and the steering wheel will jiggle like Rip Van Winkle on speed in order to shake you awake.

The 2008 A8 can also be equipped with Audi's blind-spot warning technology, which illuminates yellow LEDs in the outside rearview mirrors when it senses a vehicle in your blind spot. If the system is triggered and you maneuver toward the hidden vehicle, the lights get brighter and flash repeatedly. According to the engineers at Audi, "It is virtually impossible to overlook this impulse because the human eye is highly sensitive to changes in contrast in the peripheral field of vision."

Both these gizmos come as a package that'll run you $1,400.

Nip, Tuck and a Few More Bucks
All but the automotive elite will be hard-pressed to distinguish a 2008 Audi A8 from the old one, as the fundamental sculpture remains largely unchanged. There's a minor face-lift with a one-piece grille treatment, blinkers in the outside mirrors and LED-style taillights, but that's about it.

As you might expect, the people at Ingolstadt have raised the prices for the various A8 models, and the regular A8 4.2 starts at $70,690, a $1,790 premium over last year's car. The same additional price premium goes for the long-wheelbase A8 L, which now runs $74,690. Meanwhile, the S8 jumps $1,900 to $93,900. But if you splurge for the A8 L W12, the price jump amounts to just $750 for a total of $120,875.

The 2008 Audi A8 isn't cheap, but we've said it before and we'll say it again: The Audi A8 is as good as cars get.
Source: edmunds

Prices for 2008 Audi A4

2008 Audi A42008 Audi A4

As the all new Audi A4 saloon is released from captivity on Press Day at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi UK will simultaneously make the first phase of right-hand-drive versions available for order. Priced from £22,590 OTR, the compact executive positioned as the sportiest in the premium sector will reach its first UK customers in spring 2008.

More spacious, more comprehensively equipped and significantly more technologically advanced, the new sports saloon debuts with five new or extensively revised engines, comprising two directly injected FSI petrol units and three common rail directly injected TDI diesels, and will be available initially in conjunction with a generous SE specification.

Refinements including an electromechanical parking brake and an intelligent key system are standard issue across the range, and SE models also come equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, sophisticated three-zone climate control, a 180-watt CD audio system with MMI control logic and 6.5-inch colour display, rear acoustic parking, automatic headlight and wiper operation and aluminium interior trim.

Options available at extra cost will include striking A5 coupe-style LED daytime running lights, ventilated ‘climate comfort’ seats, a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system and the acclaimed Audi DVD satellite navigation system with TMC congestion avoidance technology.

Latest driver assistance systems

The very latest in driver aids will also be available on the options list. At the touch of a button the unique-in-class Audi Drive Select system enables accelerator pedal response, transmission shift points, power steering assistance and shock absorber characteristics to be adjusted to suit preferences or prevailing conditions. Audi side assist uses sensors to warn of vehicles approaching in mirror blind spots, while Audi lane assist guards against unintentional lane changes by activating steering wheel vibrations to alert the driver.

The highly efficient 1.8 TFSI (160PS) and 3.2 FSI (265PS) petrol and 2.0 TDI (143PS) and 3.0 TDI (240PS) diesel units powering the first wave of A4 models will initially be available linked to a six-speed manual gearbox, with the ultra-efficient multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) reserved exclusively for the 2.7 TDI (190PS). More combinations will be available as the range expands during 2008.

To channel the impressive outputs of these highly efficient units to the road as effectively as possible, the new A4 sits on the longest wheelbase in the class, its front axle repositioned 154mm further forwards than in the existing car. Complemented by a new state-of-the-art suspension and steering configuration this even more stable foundation permits outstanding handling balance and agility, which can be further enhanced in 3.2 FSI and 3.0 TDI models by the latest quattro four-wheel-drive system with 40:60 front-to-rear torque split.

From a purely practical perspective, the lengthened wheel base also enables a 36mm increase in rear leg room and a 20 litre boost in boot capacity to 480mm, contributing to cabin space that comfortably outclasses key rivals in the premium sector.As the all new Audi A4 saloon is released from captivity on Press Day at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi UK will simultaneously make the first phase of right-hand-drive versions available for order. Priced from £22,590 OTR, the compact executive positioned as the sportiest in the premium sector will reach its first UK customers in spring 2008.

More spacious, more comprehensively equipped and significantly more technologically advanced, the new sports saloon debuts with five new or extensively revised engines, comprising two directly injected FSI petrol units and three common rail directly injected TDI diesels, and will be available initially in conjunction with a generous SE specification.Refinements including an electromechanical parking brake and an intelligent key system are standard issue across the range, and SE models also come equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, sophisticated three-zone climate control, a 180-watt CD audio system with MMI control logic and 6.5-inch colour display, rear acoustic parking, automatic headlight and wiper operation and aluminium interior trim.

Options available at extra cost will include striking A5 coupe-style LED daytime running lights, ventilated ‘climate comfort’ seats, a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system and the acclaimed Audi DVD satellite navigation system with TMC congestion avoidance technology.

Latest driver assistance systems

The very latest in driver aids will also be available on the options list. At the touch of a button the unique-in-class Audi Drive Select system enables accelerator pedal response, transmission shift points, power steering assistance and shock absorber characteristics to be adjusted to suit preferences or prevailing conditions. Audi side assist uses sensors to warn of vehicles approaching in mirror blind spots, while Audi lane assist guards against unintentional lane changes by activating steering wheel vibrations to alert the driver.

The highly efficient 1.8 TFSI (160PS) and 3.2 FSI (265PS) petrol and 2.0 TDI (143PS) and 3.0 TDI (240PS) diesel units powering the first wave of A4 models will initially be available linked to a six-speed manual gearbox, with the ultra-efficient multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) reserved exclusively for the 2.7 TDI (190PS). More combinations will be available as the range expands during 2008.

To channel the impressive outputs of these highly efficient units to the road as effectively as possible, the new A4 sits on the longest wheelbase in the class, its front axle repositioned 154mm further forwards than in the existing car. Complemented by a new state-of-the-art suspension and steering configuration this even more stable foundation permits outstanding handling balance and agility, which can be further enhanced in 3.2 FSI and 3.0 TDI models by the latest quattro four-wheel-drive system with 40:60 front-to-rear torque split.

From a purely practical perspective, the lengthened wheel base also enables a 36mm increase in rear leg room and a 20 litre boost in boot capacity to 480mm, contributing to cabin space that comfortably outclasses key rivals in the premium sector.

* UK pricing and specification for all new A4 released on Press Day at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show
* Prices range from £22,590 OTR to £30,290 OTR
* Engines at launch (UK): 1.8 TFSI 160PS, 3.2 FSI 265PS, 2.0 TDI 143PS, 2.7 TDI 190PS, 3.0 TDI 240PS
* New sports chassis with repositioned front axle, all new steering and latest generation quattro system with 40:60 torque split
* Longest wheelbase in the class giving reduced overhangs for optimised weight distribution and exceptional interior space
* Advanced features including Audi Drive Select enabling tailoring of throttle, steering and suspension characteristics to suit driver preferences
Source: 4wheelsblog

SEMA 2007: Lexus IS-F

Lexus IS-F

This year at the SEMA show as we know Toyota will be the official sponsor, so the automaker decided to make the official appearance of the Lexus brand.

The event will be perfect to launch the new IS-F sport sedan that will go on sale in early 2008 . Some lucky visitors will also have the opportunity to test driver the new IS-F.

The Lexus IS-F was presented this year in January at the Detroit Auto Show.The new model is going to have a V8 engine delivering 400 bhp, and having a top speed of 270 km/h. The sprint from 0-100 km/h will be in 4,8 seconds.

Lexus IS-F will be a serious competitor for the Audi RS4,Bmw M3 and the new Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. The new model from Lexus will be available by the end of this year.
Source: 4wheelsblog

Saturday, September 15, 2007

2010 Audi A1 Preview

Audi A1Audi A1

The minicar segment is about to explode, with new models planned from most of the major carmakers including, for the first time, premium labels such as Audi, which is planning to launch the new A1 hatch in 2009. A concept version of the car will be displayed at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show complete with a hybrid drivetrain. These new renderings give us an accurate look at what to expect, revealing designers are going with conventional hatchback styling and Audi’s familiar oversized grille.

The A1 won’t be a niche model. Audi management is hoping to sell more than 100,000 units per year and will likely add a ’shooting brake’ mini-estate and cabrio to its lineup. Audi is also rumored to be working on a mini SUV labeled the Q1, which you can see a preview of by clicking here. In addition to the mild hybrid version, Audi will also build cars equipped with more conventional TSI and FSI petrol engines as well as its frugal TDI diesels displacing 1.4 and 1.6L.

The car will be built on a new platform that will also spawn the next-gen VW Polo as well as allow engineers to add quattro AWD for a low-volume performance model. The new platform also means engineers may add a new low cost dual-clutch transmission with seven gears in total. Unlike the production version of the VW up! concept, the Audi A1 won’t be cheap and is expected to have a price tag of around €20,000. By contrast, VW’s minicar is expected to cost close to €8,000.
Source: motorauthority

Porsche Cayenne GTS V8: Now Faster

Porsche Cayenne GTS V8Porsche Cayenne GTS V8

Porsche is showcasing a new addition to its Cayenne range at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The new Cayenne GTS features an enhanced 4.8-liter V8, has been lowered by 24mm and comes with a specially developed chassis.

It is the first Cayenne to feature the electronically controlled damping system, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), with steel springs. This combination was previously reserved exclusively for Porsche sports cars.

The 4.8-liter engine with direct gasoline fuel injection (DFI) in the Cayenne GTS yields 298 kW at 6 500 r/min. Maximum torque remains unchanged at 500 Nm at 3 500 r/min.

This, the sportiest of Porsche SUVs, comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox and a shorter axle drive ratio than the Cayenne S (4.1:1 as opposed to 3.55:1).

The Cayenne GTS can thus accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 6.1 seconds, precisely 0.5 seconds quicker than the Cayenne S.

The Cayenne GTS is fitted with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) permanent all- wheel drive and the adaptive PASM chassis as standard. As well as optional air suspension, the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active anti-roll system is available to enhance handling and ride comfort. Newly developed 12-way sports seats and a leather-Alcantara mix emphasize the sporty interior.

The new Cayenne GTS is instantly recognizable: the front and rear look the same as the Cayenne Turbo, and the striking 14mm wheel-arch enlargements offer plenty of space for the standard 21-inch alloy rims with 295/35 R21 tires. Two new colors have also been reserved exclusively for the GTS: GTS Red and Nordic Gold Metallic.

The new Cayenne model with Tiptronic S transmission has an average consumption of 13.9 liters/100 km in accordance with EU standards.

Global dispatch will start in February 2008.
Source: wheels24

Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang New Official Pictures

Bugatti Veyron Pur SangBugatti Veyron Pur SangBugatti Veyron Pur SangBugatti Veyron Pur SangBugatti Veyron Pur Sang

Bugatti has posted even more official pictures of the Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang and these pictures look really, really good. Nice job!
Source: germancarblog

Lamborghini Gallardo Tuned by Hamann

tuned Lamborghini Gallardotuned Lamborghini Gallardotuned Lamborghini Gallardotuned Lamborghini Gallardo

So you think your Lambo is dull and you need to spice it up? Ok, in this case you have some mental problems, but that’s just me. Because Hamann presented the Lamborghini Gallardo Victory, a tuning package featuring a wide body-kit plus some internal modifications, like a reprogrammed ECU, high-flow exhaust system and new sport brake system.

The body-kit features a new front apron with an integrated spoiler and adjustable racing-spoiler lip, new fender extensions, new side skirts, modified rear bumper and an air scoop on the roof, plus 20 inch alloy wheels. View a photo gallery after the jump.
Source: autounleashed

Exclusive Bentley Continental GTC by Mansory

tuned Bentley Continental GTCtuned Bentley Continental GTCtuned Bentley Continental GTC

Mansory is doing some pretty good job with creating some really exclusive Bentleys. After some time ago we presented the Bentley Continental Flying Spur now we have a new jewel from Mansory, a modified Bentley Continental GTC.

The car has an all-new front spoiler with large air intakes, carbon fiber and LED daylights and is powered by a modified 6.0-liter W12 which now develops 641 bhp and takes the exclusive convertible from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.4 seconds and a whopping top speed of 330 km/h. There will only be 24 units available and we have no clue on the price, but it won’t come to cheap, for sure. View a photo gallery after the jump.
Source: autounleashed

Lamborghini Gallardo

Lamborghini Gallardo

Wide-body kits are the latest trend is tuning cars and here comes the Lamborghini Gallardo with the Victory wide-body kit by Hamann.
It also comes now with 540 or 550 bhp, depending on which engine you choose. Top speed is always regulated at 320 km/h.
Source: germancarblog

Ferrari F430 TuNero on Frankfurt Motor Show

Ferrari F430 TuNero

Amidst the countless tuner displays gracing the Frankfurt Messe, one vehicle caught the attention of our lens and caused the hairs on the back of our necks to stand at attention. The Novitec Ferrari F430 TuNero, swathed in matte black from its body to its brake calipers, is pure evil incarnate, and it's got the motivation to match.

Sporting a duo of race-ready superchargers, air-to-water intercoolers, a revised intake system, individual oil coolers, new fuel injectors and a host of other mods, the TuNero puts out 707 HP at 8,350 RPM and 525 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,300 RPM. 62 comes up in 3.5 seconds and Novitec claims that a top speed of 216 MPH is easily within reach.

We've assembled a number of live and press pics in the gallery below, so go forth and be intimidated.
Source: autoblog

Suzuki: Kizashi Concept Release

Suzuki Kizashi Concept

With the Swift, Suzuki began the first phase of its world strategy and gave undiluted form to the attribute that was the theme of the first phase: sportiness.

The Swift won awards around the world by virtue of its superior dynamics and design. Suzuki subsequently pursued sportiness in the Grand Vitara and SX4, and both cars enjoy enormous success.

The Splash is making its world debut at the 2007 Frankfurt show and will become the first model in the second phase of Suzuki’s world strategy. In this phase, the theme is families. Having focused on sportiness in the first phase, enhancing Suzuki’s image in the process, Suzuki is now building upon what they have already achieved while refocusing on its main traditional strength: family-oriented user-friendliness. The next model coming after the Splash is the next-generation Alto, which combines environmental compatibility with agility.

Suzuki’s D-Segment Entry

Suzuki realises that there’s no point in entering the D-segment unless it can offer new value that can’t be given by any of the existing brands.

Suzuki paid close attention to the fact that the D-segment is broadly divided into two parts. In one part, there are family-oriented cars that are relatively large and reflect an emphasis on cabin roominess. In the other part, there are “entry luxury” cars that reflect an emphasis on performance, are relatively compact, and offer relatively high levels of quality and prestige. The new value that Suzuki intends to provide will not belong to either group.

Suzuki’s “Way of Life!” brand slogan is based on five elements: “straightforward”, “value”, “sporty”, “spirit”, and “excitement”. The words “straightforward” and “value” reflect Suzuki’s ability to offer products that are sensible and worthwhile. The words “sporty” and “spirit” reflect the emotional appeal of its products. And the word “excitement” expresses the core factor that Suzuki delivers to customers through all products. Among these factors, “value” (in other words, a level of customer satisfaction higher than the expected from products’ prices), is an inherent virtue of Suzuki cars.

It might be argued that all existing D-segment cars whose affordability is a selling point are chosen by customers because they offer a good balance of pricing on one hand and the rational factors of equipment, driving performance, and cabin roominess on the other. But the Suzuki D-segment car will be different.

With the D-segment entry, Suzuki is targeting emotional appeal as a way to deliver a level of customer satisfaction far higher than what might be expected from the car’s price point. In other words, Suzuki is the first carmaker to target an uncompromised combination of affordability and emotional appeal in the D-segment.

For sportiness, the car’s dimensions need to reflect a priority on performance. So while ensuring the cabin roominess that is essential in the D-segment, the car is as lean as possible. And with regard to design, Suzuki has thoroughly studied the nature of sporty, exciting styling in the D-segment and has concluded that the design of the new car should have two themes: grace and dynamism.

Since the overall theme of the third phase of Suzuki’s world strategy is status, the expressions of dynamism should not be brash expressions of power. Rather, they aim for styling that’s rich in character and conveys a passionate spirit.

The sportiness that Suzuki wants to deliver in the D-segment will perhaps be most directly expressed by the car’s dynamics. The kind of dynamics creates a sense of refinement. Suzuki’s engineers are striving to devise ways to maximize the quality of the dynamics not only in performance but also in terms of motion that stirs people’s emotions. This effort is vital because the kind of sportiness is measured not in terms of times and performance figures but in terms of how it makes people feel. Suzuki has already given form to this thinking in the Swift Sport.

Now, they plan to carry it forward and further develop it for the D-segment.

The Engineering Approach Supporting Suzuki’s New Initiative

In order to achieve its goals, Suzuki is taking a typically Suzuki-like technological approach. The methodology is to combine and apply proven technologies, thoroughly refining them in user-centred ways rather than pursuing features using spectacular new techniques.

This approach is actually one of the greatest benefits Suzuki has gained from its company’s motorcycle business (Suzuki is one of only a handful of companies that produce both cars and motorcycles). With a motorcycle – where the man-machine interface is even more crucial than it is with a car – establishing the dynamics based on data alone is impossible. Rather, it’s essential to conduct numerous road tests, verifying and interpreting each and every comment from testers and feeding the results back into the design.

At the same time, Suzuki is conscious of the great demand for environmental compatibility in the D-segment. The main response to this demand is the development of a hybrid car. Its goal is to use a hybrid arrangement (an internal combustion engine provides the main propulsion, and an electric motor provides assistance whenever extra power is needed) to achieve environmental compatibility without sacrificing an emotionally appealing engine feel.

Suzuki is planning to use all-wheel drive (AWD; a technology that Suzuki has refined over many years) to further heighten the car’s refined dynamics. For an even better combination of environmental compatibility and dynamic performance, the AWD development targets include the lowest CO2 emissions of any D-segment AWD passenger car.

Suzuki D-Segment Preview: The Concept Kizashi

Suzuki unveils the progress of the new project, a concept car called the Concept Kizashi, at the 2007 IAA Frankfurt show.
Kizashi is a Japanese word meaning “prelude” or “foretaste”. The name symbolizes the change within Suzuki.

The Concept Kizashi represents Suzuki’s passion for challenges (this is a major aspect of Suzuki’s corporate culture), its future direction, and the competitive strengths that are unique to Suzuki.

To fulfill this mission, the design theme for the Concept Kizashi is “a dynamic athlete in motion”. This is because its D-segment ideals are summed up by the attributes of a great athlete: dedication to sporting challenges, physical strength that comes from hard daily training, a honed physique with no superfluous weight, and the presence and dignity of a champion.

Suzuki made a particular effort to express the car’s credentials as a highway athlete:

Overwhelming presence that breaks the D-segment mould

The body brings to mind the lean, muscular physique of a top-class athlete, and a strongly protrusive front end communicates a dignified character.

An energetic look that immediately gives an idea of the car’s dynamic performance

Large wheels and wide treads express a capacity for high performance. The bonnet shape hints at abundant engine power. And the body hints at aerodynamics that enable the car to punch through the air while firmly gripping the road.

A sense of character and status befitting Suzuki’s flagship car

The detailing of individual parts gives a sense of exquisiteness and quality.

The Concept Kizashi is a clear sign of the great things to come from Suzuki as the D-segment initiative continues to take shape.

* Overall length mm : 4,650
* Overall width mm : 1,950
* Overall height mm : 1,400
* Wheelbase mm : 2,850
* Engine : Newly developed 2.0L 4-valve turbo diesel
* Transmission : Sequential 6-speed
* Drive System : Advanced i-AWD
* Tyres : 255/30R21
* Wheels : 21-inch, nine-spoke, aluminum-alloy
Source: 4wheelsblog

VW Tiguan in Frankfurt Motor Show

VW Tiguan

Here are some live impressions of the VW Tiguan from the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Tiguan, which will go on sale early next year, will initially be equipped with either a 140 HP two-liter TDI or a 150 HP 1.4-liter TSI, with larger engines to follow. There will be three models available -- S, SE and Sport all of which will offer 4MOTION all-wheel-drive.

V-Dub is quick to point out that the Tiguan should be able to hold its own both on-road and off, citing an 18-degree angle of approach on standard models, or an optional front-end that allows for 28-degrees of cambered madness. Along with the additional off-road competence, buyers opting for the heavier-duty package get underbody cladding, a radiator protector, hill descent control and a compass.
Source: germancarblog

Thursday, September 13, 2007

2008 Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Review

2008 Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S

The new Quattroporte Sport GT S is unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show for its worldwide preview. The Quattroporte Sport GT S is the ultimate expression of Maserati’s flagship car sportiness. Exclusively for those looking for a sporting edge in a luxury sedan, the Quattroporte Sport GT S, equipped with an automatic 6-speed gearbox, stands out for its exceptional dynamic behaviour and uncompromised handling.

This result was obtained with the introduction of single-rate dampers and a new “racing” set up. The Quattroporte Sport GT S sits 10 mm lower at the front and 25 mm at the rear, and also features new, stiffer springs and dampers. The lower ride height and greater rigidity in the suspension system have led to a noticeable reduction in the roll and pitch angles, in the weight transfer and also to a slight increase in lateral acceleration. In everyday driving, this translates into limited body movements, with significant improvements in terms of agility, as well as travel speed through and traction coming out of curves. The result is a car that feels very much like a coupé to drive.

The Quattroporte Sport GT S also boasts another major new development: a unique braking system developed in collaboration with Brembo. This innovative technology uses composite dual-cast discs, the first time such a set up has been employed on a road car.

Unlike traditional cast iron discs, dual-cast discs are made of two materials, cast iron and aluminium, to ensure optimised braking, improving performance in the most extreme conditions and providing greater resistance to fade even at the highest temperatures. The dual-cast disc consists of a cast iron braking surface and an aluminium hat, making it possible to combine the advantages of heat-resistance provided by cast iron with the lightweight properties of aluminium. In particular, the use of aluminium, which is generally 20% lighter than cast iron, made it possible to increase the diameter of the front discs up to 360 mm, while maintaining the same weight. In addition to improving the performance of the braking system, other advantages created by the dual-casting of these materials include greater driving comfort, less wear on the discs and pads, and better component performance.

The Quattroporte Sport GT S’s new braking system also features new mono-block, six-piston front brake callipers and new tyres have been developed especially for this car (front 245/35-R20 and rear 295/30-R20). The larger rear ground footprint allows optimum use of the V8’s 400 hp, whilst the new tyre mix helps the brakes and set-up to guarantee a superior level of handling and driving emotion.

The fuel economy is also remarkable: it uses 9% less fuel compared to the Quattroporte DuoSelect (non-urban driving).

The Quattroporte Sport GT S’s exterior is distinguished by a more aggressive look. The black-chrome mesh front grille, a characteristic element of sporty Maseratis, is joined by a series of significant aesthetic elements: the side window trims and the two double exhaust pipes are also in black, whilst door handles are in the same colour as the body of the car.

The Quattroporte Sport GT S is fitted with dark-chrome 20", seven spoke alloy wheels.

Even the interior reflects the muscular character of the car, thanks to a meticulous selection of materials which celebrate the sportier nature of the latest evolution of the Maserati flagship vehicle. The interior finish features carbon-fibre with aluminium treads.

The front seats offer an advanced level of lateral support and are distinguished by the new design of the seat and backrest. Thanks to a more cosseting shape, they ensure an excellent level of comfort as well as support for the upper body and legs in sporty driving.

The interior of the Quattroporte GT S combines the traditional Poltrona Frau leather and Alcantara, which covers the central sections of the seats, the door panels and the rim of the steering wheel. Available in five colours (Beige, Pearl Beige, Grigio-Gray, Nero-Black, and Blu Trofeo), Alcantara, beside giving customers a further personalisation option, also offers better grip.
Source: digiads

2006 Subaru Baja

2006 Subaru Baja

The 2006 Baja is a 4-door, 4-passenger compact pickup, available in two trims, the Sport and the Turbo. Upon introduction, the Sport is equipped with a standard 2.5-liter, H4, 165-horsepower engine that achieves 21-mpg in the city and 27-mpg on the highway. The Turbo is equipped with a standard 2.5-liter, H4, 210-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 19-mpg in the city and 25-mpg on the highway.

A 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims, and a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional.The 2006 Baja is a carryover from 2005.

consumerguideauto Reviewed the 2006 Subaru Baja and gave out” This compact SUV is basically a small station wagon with a pickup-truck bed in place of an enclosed cargo area. It has a raised suspension, SUV-flavored styling, and like all Subarus, comes with all-wheel drive and a horizontally opposed engine…”

carguide123 Reviewed the 2006 Subaru Baja and gave out”The Baja Turbo is meant to be the performance package. The turbo provides a more powerful engine andh an upgraded six-speaker audio system with in-dash CD changer. This edition’s 2.5-liter turbo engine, providing 210 horsepower, is much more aggressive than the sport’s… ”

2006 Subaru Baja Types and Price:
# 2006 Subaru Baja Sport —$22,495
# 2006 Subaru Baja Turbo —$24,595

Frankfurt Motor Show: 2009 Jaguar XF

2009 Jaguar XF2009 Jaguar XF

Jaguar's new XF sedan is labeled a 2009 model but will make its way into owners' hands in March 2008. The objective for the XF, according to chief program engineer Mick Mohan, was to create "a bold, striking, contemporary sports saloon [sedan]; a 4-door, 5-seater that blends sports-car performance with the luxury and comfort of a sedan." The XF is powered by Jaguar's 4.2-liter V-8 engine in naturally aspirated (300 bhp) and supercharged (420 bhp) forms. Both engines mate to a 6-speed automatic shift-by-wire transmission with the all-new JaguarDrive Selector rotary knob on the center console, and steering-wheel-mounted paddles for sequential operation.

The Jaguar XF replaces the retro-style S-Type sedan. Design Director Ian Callum has jumped Jaguar into modern styling with the XF, creating a coupe-like profile on this roomy sedan. The XF is a bit larger than the S-Type, and the heritage styling found in the hood, the headlamps and the grille will be the design model for future Jaguar cars too.

The XF in the U.S. market will be offered in three trim levels — Luxury, Premium Luxury and Supercharged — and you can expect every sort of electronic control system from parking help to adaptive cruise control.

Pricng for the car has been released in the United Kingdom, with base models equipped with either a 2.7-liter diesel V-6 or 3.0-liter gasoline engine costing 33,900 pounds (nearly $68,000). The 4.2-liter V-8 model is listed at 44,500 pounds ($89,000) and the SV8 with the supercharged 4.2 engine, is priced at 54,900 pounds ($110,000). While current exchange rates are hoving around two pounds per dollar, don't expect this S-Type replacement to cost more than the current XJ. Those prices include Europe's Value Added Tax (VAT). Most likely, the pricing of the XF will range somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000 for the three versions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Frankfurt Motor Show: Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT

Here at Autoblog we've had the fortune of reviewing not one, but two Bentleys – the Continental Flying Spur and the Continental GTC (still being written, but will be published soon). Perhaps if we only write glowing praise about Bentley from here on out they'll let us drive the new Continental GT Speed, the most powerful Bentley ever made. The twin-turbo W12 mill from standard Continental GT breathes better thanks to a redesigned and more upright grille, and its ECU has also been hacked resulting in a nice round 600bhp, a 48bhp bump. 20-inch wheels wrapped in ultra low-profile rubber, a new steering wheel not shared with VW, and optional carbon ceramic brakes round out the hardware upgrades. All told, 60 MPH should arrive in 4.2 seconds and the Continental GT Speed's 202 MPH top speed officially makes it the fastest Bentley ever made, as well.

The Bentley Continental GT Speed is one of the most photogenic cars at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, so check out all the live high-res pics in our gallery below, and click here to read the official press release from our original post.
Source: autoblog

Frankfurt Motor Show: Brabus Bullit

Brabus Bullit

The term "sleeper" isn't quite accurate when referring to the Brabus Bullit. It has presence, with an air of understated brutality. The aero mods speak volumes about its predilection for sinister speed, and the V12 emblems flanking the sides only tell half the story. Housed within the engine bay is Brabus' own SV12 Biturbo mill, producing 720 HP and an electronically governed 811 lb.-ft. of torque (974 lb.-ft. of twist would be available if it wouldn't tear apart the rear diff and liquify the tires). On your way up to the 224 MPH top speed, you'll pass 62 MPH in just under four seconds.
Source: autoblog

BMW X6 Concept Hybrid Unveiled

BMW X6 HybridBMW X6 Hybrid

The new Bmw Concept X6 ActiveHybrid combines the significant enhancement of efficiency with the pleasure of driving typical to Bmw. The car features a special concept of hybrid drive that was never seen before.

The ActivHybrid system from Bmw is far superior to conventional hybrid vehicles in terms of driving dynamics. Its fuel consumption and emission ratings drop with 20% if we compare it with the car with conventional drivetrain technology.

An innovative vehicle concept and equally innovative drivetrain technology are now coming together in a unique car the world has never seen before: BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid is the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe to feature a special concept of hybrid drive likewise never seen before - and all this from Germany’s premium car manufacturer.

World debut of BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid - combining significant enhancement of efficiency with Sheer Driving Pleasure so typical of BMW.

The close and direct link of concepts combining the new Sports Activity Coupe with innovative BMW ActiveHybrid technology ensures an authentic match of design and technology in every respect. The potential of BMW’s ActiveHybrid system develops its optimum effect in the unique concept of the Sports Activity Coupe. This holistic, all-round approach sets the stage for an all-new driving experience.

The BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid, the BMW in the world of hybrid cars.

BMW ActiveHybrid is far superior to conventional hybrid vehicles in terms of driving dynamics. Its fuel consumption and emission ratings are up to 20 per cent better than on a comparable car with conventional drivetrain technology.

The combination with innovative hybrid technology offers the most sporting and dynamic rendition of a BMW X Car. Design language typical of BMW takes up the superior driving dynamics of the Sports Activity Coupe and visualises this superiority through authentic design and a unique look. Indeed, the extravagant design of the body combines the sporting elegance of a BMW Coupe with the striking DNA of BMW X and provides a clear reference to the innovative drive concept.


* The driving experience in BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid corresponds to the character of a typical BMW based on supreme dynamism and performance on the road. The car responds directly, spontaneously and with outstanding precision to the driver’s commands, offering the driver perfect feedback at all times through touch effects and acoustic signals, like on a car with a conventional combustion engine.
* BMW ActiveHybrid is a particular highlight of BMW EfficientDynamics, BMW’s trendsetting development strategy for today’s world. Introducing this technology, BMW is taking the next step in the ongoing reduction of fuel consumption and emissions. BMW ActiveHybrid is based on a modular concept following the strategy of “Best of Hybrid” to integrate the most appropriate, optimum components in each case in different concepts.
* Interacting with the two-mode active transmission, the concept, through electrical support, offers two operating modes, one for setting off and driving at low speeds, one for higher speeds. This ensures optimum use of the torque generated as a function of driving conditions.

The innovative two-mode active transmission allows variable power transmission via the power split incorporating planetary gearsets. In addition, the active transmission incorporates an electric drive system and enables the vehicle to drive at fixed transmission ratios within one system. This combines the driving dynamics and efficiency of the combustion engine and the electric drive system in an innovative, intelligent manner.

Unique and Only from BMW: Hybrid Technology with Sheer Driving Pleasure. BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid.

The result is the first BMW in the hybrid world, BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid combining Sheer Driving Pleasure with significant enhancement of all-round efficiency. Through its drive concept alone, BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid allows far greater driving dynamics than a conventional hybrid car and at the same time reduces fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent versus a comparable car running on a combustion engine alone.

The innovative drivetrain and the unique concept of the Sports Activity Coupe unparalleled the world over form an ideal match. BMW ActiveHybrid technology has indeed been developed especially for a particularly dynamic car in this segment and for extensive use far beyond city traffic. In terms of its size, character and driving dynamics, the BMW Sports Activity Coupe is simply ideal for bringing out the full potential of BMW ActiveHybrid technology, combining an elegant and dynamically flowing roofline with the features so typical of a BMW X car. In its design it clearly bears out the full DNA of BMW X, while interpreting the character of these cars in a uniquely sporting manner.

Combining the qualities of electric drive and BMW driving dynamics to provide an unprecedented driving experience.

BMW ActiveHybrid for the first time combines the combustion engine and two high-performance electric motors to allow use of the greater efficiency of hybrid technology over a much larger speed range than with a conventional hybrid vehicle. A further unique point is the driving experience provided by BMW ActiveHybrid reflecting the specific features and characteristics of electric drive together with the proven features of a combustion engine from BMW.

Responding directly and immediately to the driver’s commands when setting off, the electric drivetrain contributes its special qualities right from the start. Then, continuing the process of acceleration, BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid offers a perfect symbiosis of the drivetrain performance required and appropriate touch-based and acoustic feedback to the driver never seen before on a hybrid vehicle. The result is a driving experience at all speeds with that dynamic development of power and performance so typical of a BMW engine interacting with the particularly precise and fast-acting automatic transmission.

BMW started to develop hybrid drive many years ago, long before the foundation of the Global Hybrid Cooperation. Indeed, BMW tested the electric drivetrain as early as in the late 1980s, for example in the BMW E1. And the BMW Group has been conducting research on hybrid technology and its various options for more than 15 years, making this technology and the results already obtained a firm part of the BMW X5 EfficientDynamics development strategy.

In the meantime the BMW Group has presented several hybrid vehicle concepts, starting with a hybrid car in 1995 based on the BMW 518i. In particular, the outstanding potential of this drive technology has been proven in the BMW X5 EfficientDynamics presented in 2003 and the BMW Concept X3 EfficientDynamics shown to the world in 2005.

Introducing BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid, BMW is proudly presenting the highest degree of maturity in hybrid technology seen so far. Indeed, this technology offers everything it takes to combine extremely efficient motoring with that Sheer Driving Pleasure so typical of BMW.

A clear sign of the special status of the BMW ActiveHybrid concept is the presentation of this technology in combination with a brand new type of vehicle: BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid is the unusually attractive vision of a truly innovative vehicle virtually predestined for such cutting-edge drivetrain technology.
BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid thus offers not only a particularly high standard of efficiency, but also enhanced driving dynamics, this concept meeting the high standards of BMW EfficientDynamics in every respect. Indeed, BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid ensures progress on all levels - in terms of driving dynamics, in its all-round economy, and in design.

Sheer Driving Pleasure and the unique experience of particularly efficient motoring therefore come out clearly at very first sight.
Source: 4wheelsblog

Frankfurt Motor Show: Volvo C30

Volvo C30

As we told you earlier, the new Volvo C30 Efficiency achieves better fuel economy by incorporating off-the-shelf ideas available to any automaker with an eye on higher mileage. Its 105 HP 1.6L turbodiesel engine is optimized for fuel efficiency, and its transmission even uses low friction oil so as not to sap the power running through it. The tranny's third, fourth and fifth gears are also taller, and low rolling resistance tires, an aero-optimized undercarriage and special rear spoiler all contribute to lifting the C30 Efficiency's fuel economy to an incredible 4.5L for every 100 kilometers, or 52.26 MPG in the U.S. cycle. That's all, no whiz bang hybrid drives or vaporous hydrogen fuel cells on board this car.

One interesting design detail we didn't notice when the official pics were first released is the car's wheels, which are odd to say the least. It appears that the material between the spokes is something like chicken wire with a very fine weave. We're not sure if it cuts down on the production of turbulent air behind the wheel or a designer just had a brain fart, but it comes off as one of those "green" details this car could do without.
Source: autoblog

Citroen C-Cactus Concept was introduced in Frankfurt 2007

Citroen C-Cactus Concept

We doubt even a mother could love the face of the Citroen C-Cactus Concept, but that's not the point. Like many of the automakers filling up the Messe in Frankfurt, Citroen is trying to set its focus on greener offerings. The C-Cactus concept does its best to conserve resources by employing a hybrid HDi diesel-electric powertrain, which should allow this misshapen hunk of design detritus to get over 70 MPG.

If you're so inclined, there are plenty more details in our previous post and the gallery below proves that just because something is ecological and economical, it's not always going to be pretty.
Source: autoblog

Skoda Fabia Greenline on Frankfurt Motor Show

Skoda Fabia Greenline

Green-ness in the European auto market has become quite the trendy thing, as evidenced by the frenzy of alt-fuel/economy/clean-tech debuts littering the IAA floor. It's to be expected, given the regulatory noises coming from Euro government officials. VW-owned Czech automaker Skoda has gotten into the act this year, offering up a "GreenLine" version of its new Fabia compact. (Somewhere in the RenCen, Saturn officials must be grumbling about Skoda's name selection for its eco-roster.)

The GreenLine cars feature engines that focus on fuel economy and low emissions. As such, the Fabia GreenLine and Fabia Combi GreenLine (shown above) are powered by a 1.4L TDI with a diesel particulate filter that delivers 79 horsepower and emits less than 110 g/km of CO2. Another GreenLine car that will go on sale in biofuel-friendly Sweden later this year is the Octavia Combi Greenline, which is driven by a 100-horse 1.6L E85-compatible engine. Green is definitely the new black. Or something.

You can read more about Skoda's complete Frankfurt lineup in the press release after the jump.
Source: Skoda

Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang

Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang

Bugatti has presented the Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang at the Frankfurt Motor Show which will be released as a very limited edition of just 5 copies for 1.4 million Euro (net) each.
The Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang covers no paint and is made out of aluminium and carbon.
Source: germancarblog

Lamborghini Reventon first pictures announced

Lamborghini ReventonLamborghini Reventon

Lamborghini has just released the first official pictures of the Lamborghini Reventon, their $1.4 million supercar. A must see!

It’s actually the Lamborghini Reventon, a €1m special of which only 20 will be built. Named after a particularly feisty bull that killed bullfighter Felix Guzman in 1943, the Reventon features a 6.5-litre V12 producing 650bhp – just 10bhp up on the standard car with which it shares its four-wheel drive mechanicals.

Think of it as Lamborghini’s take on the Ferrari Enzo-based FXX – an extremely low-volume machine for those who find ultimate supercars a little too common. Unlike the FXX, however, the Reventon is built for the road.
Source: germancarblog

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