Thursday, January 31, 2008

New BMW X5 from Hamann

New BMW X5 with wide body modifications from HAMANN
Wide body-aerodynamic parts “Flash” for brawny appearance
Increase in performance for 3.0si, 3.0d, 3.0sd and 4.8i;
Agile road handling through sport springs; sport brake system in front and rear
Four wheel designs available in three sizes

One of the most successful cars of its class is the BMW X5. BMW only recently introduced its latest successor and HAMANN has already put together a complete program for the new X5. Hardly any area has been left untouched. Whether it’s suspension, wheels, performance, interior or aerodynamics, the Laupheim German specialists provide clear individualisation launching far above the norm. Wide-body-parts arrange an especially brawny appearace, making the X5 become the HAMANN “Flash”.

Quite flashily-dressed

New aerodynamic components are mandatory hence HAMANN begins with a new, wider front spoiler that lends the SAV X5 a significant powerful feature. In back HAMANN added a rear apron seizing the design of the front spoiler to match. Between front and rear, HAMANN adds fender extensions, which complete the wide body “Flash” looks. A further sporty accent shines through with the HAMANN roof spoiler, providing a stabilizing effect. It marks the icing on the cake of this extremely impressing “Flash”.

With such a large vehicle, every miniscule of power counts. For this reason, HAMANN reprogrammed the series-produced Motronic. The X5 3.0si received subsequently a power boost to about 14 bhp/10kW and 25 Nm more torque. The X5 3.0d (stock power: 235 bhp/173 kW) is raised by the tuners to 265 bhp/ 195 kW and 600 Nm, the X5 3.0sd (stock power: 286 bhp/210 kW) to 320 bhp / 235 kW and 660 Nm. The 8-cylinder model 4.8i jumps by 18 bhp/ 13 kW for more power and torque increase as well.

Not an easy choice!

Pondering over wheel choices will require the majority of customers´ time. Here are four designs of choice for the “Flash” including PG3, Anniversary I and II as well as Edition Race.
The noble tuners from Laupheim present a multi-pieced wheel PG3 available in silver finish with high-polished flange. It´s characterized through the sporty five-spoke design.
The one-pieced wheel Anniversary I portrays a light footing with its´ multi-spoke design. HAMANN supplies these in silver or black matt finish with INOX stainless steel lip flange. The multi-pieced light alloy wheel Anniversary II exhibits a multi-spoke design as well projecting a feeling of pure motor sports. The silver rims with high-polished flange reflects both nobility and luxury simultaneously.
The appearance of the three-piece, ultra light forged wheels Edition Race in crossing spoke design and black wheel spider is identified through its´ nine main spokes double-attached, branching and continually double-crossing towards the outside rim. Its´ stirring design becomes particularly noticeable through Titan studs. The high-polished flange is icing on the cake to complete this luxurious look.

PG3 and Anniversary I are available through HAMANN for the X5 in 20 and 22-inch, Anniversary II in 22-inch and the wheel Edition Race comes in an impressive 23-inch. Naturally HAMANN offers the wheels in form of complete wheel sets.

Typical wheel / tire combinations:
Edition Race: FA/RA 10,5 J x 23 315/25R23 102Y XL
PG3: FA /RA 9,5 J x 22 295/30 ZR 22
PG3: FA/RA 9,5 J x 20 295/40 ZR 20
Anniversary II: FA/RA 10,5 J x 22 295/30 ZR 22
Anniversary I: FA/RA 10,5 J x 22 295/30 ZR 22
Anniversary I: FA/RA 10,5 J x 20 295/40 ZR 20
Anniversary I: FA/RA 10,5 J x 20 FA 275/40 ZR20 / RA 315/35 ZR 20

By using a set of progressive suspension springs, HAMANN reduces the center of gravity for the X5. For those vehicles that have level regulation, it is lowered to about 40 mm in front, and for vehicles without level regulation or air suspension to about 40 mm in front and about 30 mm in back. Through this, the X5 receives a bit of agility back which, in contrast to its´ predecessor model, had suffered somewhat due to its bigger size.

The specifically developed HAMANN brake system for the front axle with slotted and ventilated brake discs sized 405x34 millimetres, aluminium disc chamber, sports brake linings and steelflex brake pipes. The six-piston fixed calliper disc brakes in silver complete the system and apply a powerful grip. At the rear axle an four-piston brake system with slotted and ventilated brake discs sized 345x28mm plus the same hardware as above support the system working at the front.

The growling thunder matching the name “Flash” is generated by a HAMANN-exhaust system. It consists of sports headers (gas engine), sports metal catalytic converters (gas engine) and a sports rear silencer. Last mentioned can be ordered either as 2-pipe (oval, 145mm in diameter) or as 4-pipe-variant (round, 76 mm diameter) made from stainless steel.

Interior modifications per request

Large vehicles such as the BMW X5 are tailor-made for travel. Due to this, HAMANN also modified the interior. Travellers should have the drive be as comfortable as possible and additionally should provide a feast for the eyes. HAMANN´s accessories such as an exclusive foot mat flooring in black, a foot pedal of aluminium or even an aluminium foot rest enhance the cockpit of the X5. Naturally HAMANN also modifies each BMW X5 for personalized customer requests. For example, extravagant leather decor is available in a variety of colours or an elaborate multimedia alterations including DVD, TV and Play station.

BRABUS PowerXtra D6 BLUE Power Kit

BRABUS PowerXtra D6 BLUE Power Kit for the E 300 BLUETEC

A powerful engine and exemplary environmental friendliness are not mutually exclusive: The motor engineers of BRABUS have developed the BRABUS PowerXtra D6 BLUE performance kit for the new Mercedes E 300 BLUETEC. It boosts power output of the cleanest diesel car on the market by 47 hp / 35 kW. The new BRABUS tuning technology makes BRABUS the first automobile tuner to meet ultra-stringent EURO V exhaust limits which won’t go into effect until 2011. The Mercedes E 300 BLUETEC with BRABUS PowerXtra D6 BLUE tuning stayed below permissible exhaust limits of EURO V by up to 65 percent.

Powerful and clean tuning for diesel engines is a long BRABUS tradition. The BRABUS E V8 Diesel from 2001 was the first diesel car ever to be equipped with a particulate filter. It met today’s EURO IV emission limits even long before they became law.

Using state-of-the-art test-bench technology in the company-own R&D center the BRABUS development team has developed a special auxiliary module for the electronic engine management system of the E 300 BLUETEC. BRABUS mapping is specifically calibrated to the environmentally friendly BLUETEC concept that features an oxidation catalyst, particulate filter and BLUETEC SCR catalyst.

After the conversion operation, which any authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer can perform, the engine produces 258 hp (255 hp SAE net) / 190 kW at 3,700 rpm. The engine’s torque grows by a healthy amount as well: Between 1,600 and 2,400 rpm the torque curve reaches a new high of 610 Nm (450 lb-ft), up from standard 540 Nm (398 lb-ft). Thus powered the BRABUS-tuned car sprints from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.8 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

In everyday driving the 3-liter V6 engine with BRABUS D6 BLUE kit harmonizes perfectly with the seven-speed automatic gearbox. The engine delivers excellent performance with even further improved pulling power from low engine speeds, which benefits overall fuel economy. Despite the improved performance fuel consumption remains on the low level of the production car.

The BRABUS PowerXtra D6 BLUE power kit for the E 300 BLUETEC is available for 1,790 Euros MSRP. Like all BRABUS components the kit is backed by the one-of-a-kind BRABUS Tuning Warranty® of three years, up to 100,000 kilometers or 62,000 miles (see BRABUS warranty conditions as of November 2006). BRABUS also offers a power kit for the E320 BLUETEC model available in the USA and Canada.

An efficient complement to the BRABUS D6 BLUE power kit is the BRABUS sport exhaust system with four polished tailpipes. The fully stainless-steel exhaust system lends the common-rail diesel engine a throatier exhaust note and optimizes power yield.

To add sporty emphasis to the elegant lines of the W 211-series E-Class the BRABUS designers have developed a sporty aerodynamic-enhancement kit, manufactured from Pur-R-Rim in OEM quality.

BRABUS one-piece and multi-piece light-alloy wheels for the E 300 BLUETEC are available in four different designs and in sizes ranging from 8.5Jx17 to 10.5Jx20. The optimal tires in any size come from technology partners Pirelli and YOKOHAMA, up to the largest possible tire sizes for the E-Class, size 245/30 ZR 20 in front and 295/25 ZR 20 on the rear axle.

Also available for the E-Class sedan are custom-tailored BRABUS suspension solutions such as lowering modules, sporty yet comfortable complete suspensions, a special control module for the optional air suspension, and sport stabilizers that reduce body roll during cornering.

BRABUS high-performance brake systems for the Mercedes E-Class are available in three different versions.

Another BRABUS specialty is the creation of luxurious customized interiors. The range of products includes stainless-steel scuff plates with illuminated BRABUS logo, various types of ergonomically shaped sport steering wheels, and even an exclusive BRABUS interior crafted from a combination of especially soft yet durable BRABUS Mastik leather and Alcantara.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The New Pininfarina concept - Sintesi

Sintesi, the new Pininfarina concept-car, at the Geneva Motor Show

Friday, 14 December 2007
Turin, December 14, 2007. Pininfarina is proud to announce the unveiling of a new concept at the next Geneva Motor Show in March, 2008. This exciting new car will be named “Sintesi”.

“Sintesi” is the result of the Pininfarina Design Department, under the direction since last August by Lowie Vermeersch, the 33 year old Design Director with almost ten years experience at Pininfarina. Assisting him are Vice Directors Guglielmo Cartia and Fabrizio Valentini and chief designers Jason Castriota, Giovanni Piccardo, Goran Popovic and Giuseppe Randazzo.
“Three years ago we unveiled Birdcage 75th, our last prototype. Together with our new concept Sintesi we would like to anticipate new car design trends” says Andrea Pininfarina, Chairman and CEO Pininfarina S.p.A.
“This concept car is the synthesis of our values, of the love for our work and our passion for innovation, of beauty driven by functionality, of sportiness and elegance. However, Sintesi isn’t only the expression of Pininfarina design; it also embraces innovative technologies that allow us to explore new typologies of mobility, active safety and packaging solutions” states Lowie Vermeersch.
“In Sintesi, we put all our goodwill in looking at the future, first and foremost in resorting to the excellence of our design” underlines Andrea Pininfarina.
An on-line teaser campaign will accompany Sintesi from January to the Geneva Motor Show.

Best on-Road Characteristics of Any Cayenne Porsche

GTS to Offer the Best on-Road Characteristics of Any Cayenne Porsche

ATLANTA--Jan. 29, 2008--Porsche will add some spice to the 100th anniversary of the Chicago Auto Show by unveiling the Cayenne GTS to the American public. Already known for exceptional on and off-road prowess, the GTS has been formulated, tested and tweaked to offer the best on-road characteristics of any Cayenne Porsche has ever produced.

The Cayenne GTS features a 405hp 4.8 liter V-8 engine. Based on the same V8 found in the Cayenne S, this more robust powerplant can be coupled either with an automatic Tiptronic S or, for the first time in a Cayenne V8, a six-speed manual transmission for those who want to take full advantage of this new power and suspension package. The GTS gets its cornering prowess from standard 21-inch alloy rims equipped with 295/35 R21 tires and air suspension that features Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM).

The Cayenne GTS front end is reminiscent of the Cayenne Turbo while the body has a lower stance and a striking new wheel-arch design that complements the new 21-inch rims. The interior boasts redesigned front and rear seats that offer a sportier look and feel with Alcantara to hold both driver and passenger in place during spirited driving.

The 2008 Cayenne GTS goes on sale in February and pricing for this new model is US $69,300.

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., and its subsidiary, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd., are the exclusive importers of Porsche sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles for the United States and Canada. A wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing.h.c. F. Porsche AG, PCNA employs approximately 250 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 212 U.S. and Canadian dealers. They, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The New Skoda Superb

Škoda has unveiled the first official photographs of the all-new Škoda Superb. Offering generous interior space and a striking new look, the 2008 Superb looks set to shake up the upper medium segment.

At 4,838mm long and 1,783mm wide the new Škoda Superb is 35mm longer and 18mm wider than its predecessor. It stands at 1,461mm high and has a wheel base of 2,761mm - 8mm lower and 42mm shorter respectively than the model it replaces.

As customers have come to expect from the Czech firm's products, the new Superb features a number of smart technological solutions including adaptive cornering headlamps, a new electronic air conditioning system, automatic parking assist and much more that will be revealed over the coming weeks. Safety was one of the top priorities in developing the new Superb, and with nine airbags altogether it is now safer than ever.

A total of up to six engines will be available in the new Superb - three petrol and three diesel. Outputs will range from 105bhp to 260bhp and the units will be combined with a selection of manual or DSG transmissions. The full UK engine line-up will be announced closer to the model's UK launch date.

The Škoda Superb will be manufactured in the car maker's Kvasiny plant in the Czech Republic and will be on sale in the UK in September 2008.

It will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 4 and 5 March 2008.

The new Seat Leon

Sporty nature that also cares for the environment
• Only 119 g/km of CO2 emissions
• 100 km at 3.9 litres of fuel consumption
• Efficient 105 hp 1.9 TDI engine with DPF particulate filter
SEAT has demonstrated how it is possible to combine the sporty character of its models with its concern for preserving the environment. At the last Frankfurt Motor Show, SEAT unveiled the Ibiza ECOMOTIVE, whose CO2 emission figure of 99 g/km made it the least polluting model in its segment.
SEAT has now gone one step further with the development of an ECOMOTIVE version for the León. With its emissions reduced by 16 g/km, or from 135 to 119, this model can take advantage of tax benefits in many European countries. In Spain for example, a person buying the León ECOMOTIVE is not required to pay any registration tax.

Making the car more ecological did not require modifying its outward appearance. The only difference on the new car is the "ECOMOTIVE" badge on the rear, which identifies it and the Ibiza as SEAT's greenest versions with the lowest CO2 emission levels.

Not only does the car feature low emission levels and tax benefits, but also reduced fuel consumption figures, making it an economical choice for customers within the León range.
From the León to the León ECOMOTIVE
In order to reduce the CO2 emissions of the León, engineers at the Technical Centre worked on four fundamental areas: the engine, the gearbox, the weight and the tyres.
105 hp 1.9 TDI engine with particulate filter

The León ECOMOTIVE is equipped with one of the SEAT range's most efficient engines - the 105 hp 1.9 TDI, which has undergone extensive improvements to its electronic management. Optimisation work on the central control unit and the gearbox's new ratios reduced CO2 emissions to 119 g/km compared with the 135 of the basic version.

Regarding the engine, the León ECOMOTIVE has been fitted with a DPF particulate filter as standard equipment, filtering the typical (but small amount of) soot particles that most diesel engines produce. When left unfiltered, these particles remain in suspension and attract other harmful elements. Approximately 0.3% of diesel engine emissions are made up of gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, sulphur dioxide, and nitric acids as well as soot.

The engine's control unit constantly checks the state of the filter, and activates regeneration in order to burn up the accumulated soot particles. In other words, thanks to this system the particulate filter requires no maintenance during the car's lifetime.

The new León ECOMOTIVE features outstandingly low fuel consumption figures, with a reduction of 0.6 l/100 km on the extra-urban cycle. These new figures make it possible to drive the León ECOMOTIVE for almost 1,500 km without refuelling.

New gear ratios
The Martorell Technical Centre also modified the car's gear ratios in order to deliver lower CO2 emission figures.
The new gears are 8.2% longer overall. By maintaining the first and second gear ratios and lengthening third, fourth and fifth - the latter by 16% - compared with the former version, emissions on the León ECOMOTIVE have been further reduced by 7 g/km.
Nevertheless, these modifications do not hamper engine performance at all. With its engine torque of 250 Nm at 1,900 rpm, the 1.9 TDI still delivers excellent in-gear acceleration and top speed. Furthermore, the new model's dynamic capability has even been improved, giving 1 km/h faster top speed, while 0 to 100 km/h acceleration is 0.4 seconds and 0 to 1,000 metre acceleration is 0.6 seconds faster - or 186 km/h, 10.9 seconds and 32.6 seconds respectively.

Limited maximum weight
On a car such as the León, with its high standards of safety and comfort, it is difficult to reduce the vehicle's minimum weight. But the maximum weight can be limited by eliminating certain options, such as the 17 inch alloy wheels and combinations of equipment if this exceeds the maximum weight of 1,320 kg compared to the current 1,405. This considerable difference has been achieved not only by working on the basic car itself, but by taking a close look at the additional optional equipment in order to keep the car within the desired weight range.

Lower resistance tyres
Another feature of the León ECOMOTIVE is lower resistance tyres, making it possible to mount 195/65 tyres on 15 inch wheels or 205/55 tyres on 16 inch wheels.

Available with Reference and Stylance equipment
The León ECOMOTIVE will be available with two trim levels. The Reference version features ABS and TCS, double front airbag, side airbags, head airbag, 16 inch steel wheels, 205/55 tyres, Isofix anchoring points, front electric one-touch and anti-trap windows, heated electric body colour door mirrors, air conditioning, CD radio with MP3 and Aux-in and six speakers, among others.

The Stylance version has volumetric alarm, ESP with EBA emergency brake assistance, tyre pressure sensor, 16 inch seven spoke alloy wheels, foglamps, dual zone climatiser, rear power windows, door mirrors with electric park position, leather steering wheel with audio controls, leather gear knob, cruise control, trip computer, coming and leaving home function and two extra speakers.
The special Sport Limited version builds on Reference with sport seats, leather steering wheel, 16 inch alloy wheels, foglamps and black door handles.

Mercedes CL65 tuned by Renntech

The last few years have seen a flood of 500 horsepower sedans almost pouring out of Germany from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. Earlier this month, however, representatives from Mercedes and AMG announced that the "horsepower wars" were over, saying that outright power would no longer be the "main focus" for future sports sedans.

Apparently, no-one sent that "war over" memo to RENNTECH.

This morning, RENNTECH announced a new "stage 3" tune for the 2008 65 series AMG models, which makes use of what RENNTECH calls "next-generation ECU software" to get 695 hp and 890 lb-ft of torque from the AMG's twin-turbo V12.

"Power will always be important to many customers, especially torque." explains Hartmut Feyhl, RENNTECH's president and ex technical director of AMG North America. "Our cars have always been able to make considerable torque, and have been praised in magazines for their drivability. Still, we are constantly trying to improve our product."

Commitment to constant improvement is one reason RENNTECH has become known as one of the world's premier tuning firms, and America's foremost authority on Mercedes-Benz. RENNTECH believes their new software will further cement that knowledge in the public mind. "We now have two in-house engineers that are doing software full-time, and others that work with the software on a part-time or contract basis. We are always looking for improvements. The latest software takes advantage of the increased power of the new engine computers, and offers a number of small improvements that add up to a big 'overall' improvement," Feyhl explains. "It really is that 'next-generation' sort of product that is much more advanced than what we were capable of offering before. Compared to earlier versions, our new software gives customers more power and better drivability in a way that is more reliable, smoother power curve, and even improves emissions and gas mileage."

In addition to the software upgrades, RENNTECH adds a larger intercooler pump and secondary heat exchanger, as well as a pair of carbon fiber airboxes to improve the flow of cool air into the big AMG's V12. The intercooler system upgrades reduce air intake temperatures by more than 20 degrees, delivering more consistent power compared to stock and allowing RENNTECH to more safely increase boost throughout the rpm range.

RENNTECH's stainless steel sport mufflers (also part of the new package) produce a deep, distinctive growl that is suitably aggressive for a high-end luxury car. Feyhl suggests that his mufflers "let the car sound the way it is supposed to sound."

With almost 900 lb-ft of torque available from the engine, RENNTECH's upgrades deliver a real, noticeable improvement in terms power and acceleration compared to the already impressive performance of the stock 65 series AMG cars. MSRP for RENNTECH's new performance "PKG3" for 65 series AMG is $18,990 (plus installation). PKG365 is available for S65, CL65, and SL65 AMG.

The New Mazda Atenza

Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the launch of the fully remodeled Mazda Atenza (known as the all-new Mazda6 overseas) in Japan. Available in three body styles - Sedan, Sport (5-door hatchback), and Sport Wagon - Mazda’s globally acclaimed mid-size car goes on sale from today at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan.

Developed in line with Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom evolution concept, the all-new Mazda Atenza’s design theme is “Bold & Exquisite.” The exterior look expresses a combination of athleticism and delicate grace in all three body styles. Sporty and sophisticated interior design creates an environment in which drivers can experience real driving pleasure, comfort and a feeling of security.

Launched in Japan in May 2002, the first generation Atenza combined unique and attractive styling with exceptional driving performance. Now, the second generation model takes these characteristics one step further through substantially enhanced environmental and safety performance. With top class aerodynamics, it features improved high speed stability, ride quality and quietness, providing enhanced comfort levels worthy of the “ultimate high speed long-distance touring car.”

Mazda’s newly developed MZR 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder engine, mated to five-speed and six-speed automatic transmissions which are newly combined with Active Adaptive Shift (AAS) control*1, further evolve the exceptional driving dynamics that were highly acclaimed on the first Atenza. The all-new Atenza is larger than its predecessor, but increased use of high tensile steel has helped reduce the overall vehicle weight. In combination with the top-class aerodynamics, this contributes to improved fuel economy. To lower running costs, the use of regular gasoline is now recommended for all model grades.

Safety features on the all-new Mazda Atenza include Japan’s first rear vehicle monitoring system. When driving at speeds over 60 kilometers per hour, this system uses radar to detect vehicles approaching from behind and alerts the driver. Another new feature is CF-Net (Cross Functional Network) functionality, a combination of switches on the steering wheel with a centralized display at the top of the instrument panel, which provide simple control of all systems, including air conditioning and audio. This helps the driver focus on the road and reduces hand movement away from the steering wheel. Other safety attributes include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Mazda’s Traction Control System (TCS) as standard equipment on all the 2.5-liter model grades. Mazda’s enhanced safety equipment and functionality promote safe and comfortable driving.

Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices range from 2,070,000 to 2,500,000 yen for the all-new Mazda Atenza Sedan, 2,280,000 to 2,670,000 yen for the Sport version, and from 2,200,000 to 2,670,000 yen for the Sport Wagon model (all prices include consumption tax).


The all-new Atenza is equipped with Mazda’s recently developed MZR 2.5-liter engine, a step up from the previous model’s 2.3-liter version. By increasing torque at all engine speeds, linear acceleration and precise response were achieved. With engine emissions cleaner than ever before and the recommended fuel changed to regular gasoline - previously, premium gasoline was the designated fuel for all the 2.3-liter models - the new Atenza is more environmentally-friendly and cheaper to run. The highly acclaimed MZR 2.0-liter engine is also available.

Electrically controlled five-speed and six-speed automatic (Activematic) transmissions are fitted with the Active Adaptive Shift (AAS) system that is also featured on the Mazda RX-8. This setup delivers a linear and agile ride by selecting the optimal gear for the particular driving condition. An advanced six-speed manual transmission is equipped on the 25Z and 25S grades of the Atenza Sport and Sport Wagon.

Mazda’s electrically-controlled Active Torque Split All-Wheel-Drive system is equipped on the four-wheel-drive models. Torque transfer is optimized for the front and rear axle in accordance with changing road surfaces and driving conditions.

Environmental and safety features: equipment that embodies evolved Zoom-Zoom

Mazda’s Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Traction Control System (TSC) support safe and linear driving (standard on 2.5-liter grades, available as a factory-installed set option on 2.0-liter grades).

The all-new Atenza features Japan’s first rear vehicle monitoring system. At speeds over 60 kilometers per hour, this system detects vehicles approaching from the rear and alerts the driver (on all 25EX and 25Z and 25S FWD grades). Mazda’s Precrash Safety System detects oncoming obstacles, alerts the driver and, if necessary, automatically applies the brakes. Additionally, a motor pre-tensions the seatbelts prior to a crash to more effectively restrain the occupants (available as a factory-installed set option on 25EX, 25Z and 25S FWD grades with automatic transmissions).

Mazda’s Radar Cruise Control System uses a radar sensor to measure the speed and distance of the vehicle in front and automatically controls acceleration and deceleration to maintain a preset distance (available as a factory-installed set option on 25EX, 25Z and 25S FWD grades with automatic transmissions).

The adaptive front lighting system (AFS) with bi-xenon headlights dramatically improves nighttime visibility (standard on Sport and Sport Wagon 25EX and 25Z grades and available as a factory-installed set option on all other grades except 25C and 20F).

Parking sensor: A total of eight ultrasonic sensors in the front and rear bumpers sense the distance to obstacles from the corners of the car and deliver a series of audible beeps to help the driver park in tight spaces (available as a factory-installed set option on all grades except 25C and 20F).

Front Seat Active Headrests are installed on a Mazda vehicle for the first time. The headrests reduce the risk of neck injuries in the event of a rear end collision.

The all-new Atenza boasts top class aerodynamics, reduced roll resistance and is equipped with electric power steering (FWD grades) and LED brake lights. It delivers significantly improved performance and safety as well as a two percent improvement in fuel economy even though it is larger than the outgoing model.

While engine size has increased, the all-new Atenza’s exhaust emissions are as clean as ever (FWD grades achieve exhaust emissions that are 75 percent or lower than the levels required by the Japanese government’s 2005 exhaust emissions regulations. All 4WD grades achieve exhaust emissions that are 50 percent or lower than the regulations.)

By using polypropylene (PP) and other reusable materials in a variety of parts, the all-new Atenza is over 90 percent*2 recyclable.

Materials with low proportions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) are used for interior resins, paints and adhesives. Proportions are less than those stipulated in guidelines set by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Mitsubishi Prototype-S

Mitsubishi Motors to show Prototype-S sports hatchback concept at 2008 Geneva Show

Tokyo, January 28, 2008 -- Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is to give the Prototype-S concept for a sports hatchback its global debut at the 78th Geneva International Motor Show which runs from March 4 through March 16 at the Geneva Palexpo exhibition and conference complex (opening to the general public on March 6.)

Deriving from MMC's sport sedan family, which includes the Lancer (named the Galant Fortis on the Japanese market) launched in 2007 and the Lancer Ralliart announced at the 2008 Detroit Motors Show and the Lancer Evolution (Lancer Evolution X in Japan) premiered at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, Prototype-S takes the form of a hatchback -- a very popular body type in European markets.

Distinguished by the inverted-slant nose with trapezoidal grille front fascia that marks Mitsubishi Motors new design identity and with wide-and-low proportions that leave no doubt as to the concept underlying its design, Prototype-S uses exterior lines to craft a shape that is powerful and sporty even by European standards, echoing the acclaimed 2005 Concept-Sportback show car.

In its mechanical specification Prototype-S is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder DOHC MIVEC*1 intercooler / turbocharger engine [developing maxima of 177 kW (240 PS) and 343 Nm (35 kg-m)] mated to Mitsubishi Motors's high-efficiency Twin Clutch SST automated manual transmission that marries fun-to-drive control with outstanding fuel efficiency. The full-time 4WD driveline features Mitsubishi Motors' Active Center Differential (ACD) that uses an electronically controlled multi-plate hydraulic clutch to optimally tailor front/rear drive torque split to different driving conditions and deliver the best balance between steering response and traction.

*1 MIVEC : Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control System

Mitsubishi Motors at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show

What’s in a colour? Well for Mitsubishi at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the colour will be orange, embodying the lively, warm, enthusiastic, creative, energetic, successful, and stimulating character that is Mitsubishi Motors in 2008.

Right-brained (emotional responses) and different (standing out from the crowd), MMC embodies these traits through an all-new range of cars, each of them supported by an iconic figure on a mission:
• Lancer Evolution: … our sporting spirit • “i”: … our green (orange..?) vision • Shogun: … our “go-your-own-way” 4-Wheel Drive expertise
Indeed, at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, each of Mitsubishi’s premieres and key displays will broadcast the same very orange messages:

Lancer Prototype-S:

Just as Concept-X (2005 Tokyo) and then Prototype-X (2007 Detroit) announced the new Lancer and Lancer Evolution X (ten), Prototype-S will follow in the footsteps of the much-acclaimed Concept-Sportback show car (2005 Frankfurt) to preview the shape of the forthcoming Lancer Sportback.

When launched later in the year, this 5-door hatchback variant of the new Lancer family will be the most important of all in Europe, representing 70% of the forecasted Lancer volume in the overall region and 80% in the UK. Sporting a powerful metallic orange - similar to the one selected for Lancer Ralliart at the Detroit Auto Show a few weeks ago - Prototype-S will add the convenience of a lift-gate and flexible rear seating to the driving dynamics of the new Lancer range. It will hit the same unconventional buttons as Lancer Sports Sedan, albeit in a hatchback format, benchmarking the likes of Alfa Romeo with the 156 / 159 Sportwagons (dynamic benchmark) and of Saab with the legendary Saab 900 Turbo Combi-Coupé (aspirational benchmark).

Mirroring this aspiration: a sporty wedge-like profile, sharply chiselled lines, assertive stance born from a long wheelbase and wide track proportions, a high-shouldered rear end and the very expressive rear roof spoiler will embody Mitsubishi’s vision for a flexible sports sedan in the C/D sector, away from the traditional hatchbacks.

Fittingly, Prototype-S will blend elements from Concept-Sportback (the overall concept), Lancer Evolution X (the execution) and Lancer Ralliart (240ps / 343 Nm 2.0 litre turbo engine, Twin Clutch SST gearbox, full-time 4WD drivetrain featuring Mitsubishi Motors’ Active Center Differential), as well as proposing a further evolution of Mitsubishi Motors’ Jet Fighter grille.

i- EV

Livelier and more indicative of a healthier future for mankind than the cold tones of green and blue usually connected with environmental communication, orange would suit Mitsubishi’s bright developments in that direction very well indeed…

Spearheading these efforts, the electric-powered “i-EV” city car will also be displayed in Geneva as an indication of Mitsubishi’s commitment to innovative environment-friendly solutions.

Pajero Evolution

Cancellation of the 2008 Dakar notwithstanding, Pajero Evolution will once again play the guest star, bringing warm and exotic memories from Pajero’s 12 victories: a tribute to Pajero’s abilities and to Mitsubishi’s rugged quality and expertise in 4-Wheel Drive technology.

The new Hummer H3Tc


  • Exclusive standard full-time four-wheel drive with 32-inch tires and skid plates
  • Crew cab body style with seating for five
  • Five-foot (1.5 meters) bed capable of carrying two dirt bikes, a snowmobile or ATV and full sheets of plywood
  • Extensive portfolio of officially licensed accessories
  • Standard StabiliTrak and head curtain side air bags
  • H3T Alpha with 5.3L V-8 and a 5,900-lb. (2,676 kg) towing capacity

HUMMER is bringing its unmistakable style and unmatched capability to the truck market with the 2009 H3T. It is based on the architecture of the popular H3, but features a five-passenger crew cab and a separate five-foot-long (1.5 meters) bed.

The H3T is bigger than a midsize truck and smaller than a full-size truck, creating its own niche in the market. It also is infused with the attributes expected of a HUMMER, including exceptional off-road capability and a premium interior that is as functional as it is comfortable.

“With its unique size and HUMMER traits, the H3T is ideal for the customer who works hard and plays harder,” said Martin Walsh, HUMMER general manager. "It offers the combination of truck versatility and HUMMER off-road prowess that delivers customers to the trail in style.”

In addition to its segment-defying size, the H3T also stands apart from other trucks with its signature HUMMER off-road capability. It is the only midsize truck to come standard with full-time four-wheel drive, 32-inch tires and functional skid shields. It also is the only midsize truck to offer front and rear locking differentials, as well as 33-inch tires. The V-8-powered H3T Alpha can tow up to 5,900 pounds (2,676 kg).

The H3T is offered in four trim levels, including five-cylinder models and the popular, V-8-powered H3T Alpha edition. Production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2008 at GM’s Shreveport, La., assembly plant, with vehicles arriving at HUMMER dealerships shortly thereafter. HUMMER will sell the H3T in North America, Europe and the Middle East.


Standard in the H3T is the Vortec 3.7L I-5 with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing. This inline five-cylinder engine offers an excellent combination of power and efficiency, delivering 242 horsepower (180 kW) at 5600 rpm* and 242 lb.-ft. of torque (328 Nm) at 4600 rpm. It is backed by a five-speed manual transmission or an available four-speed, electronically controlled automatic.

The H3T Alpha’s 5.3L engine is a powerful and efficient member of GM’s legendary small-block V-8 family. It is rated at 300 horsepower (224 kW)* and 320 lb.-ft. of torque (434 Nm).* An aluminum cylinder block is used with the H3 Alpha’s engine. It helps reduce overall mass and maintains a more desirable front-to-rear weight balance.

A Hydra-Matic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission is paired with the 5.3L engine. Flat towing is enabled on all H3 and H3T models.


Continuing HUMMER’s tradition of delivering a broad range of safety systems, the H3T offers the following standard features:

  • Dual frontal air bags with GM’s passenger sensing system
  • Head curtain side-impact air bags
  • StabiliTrak electronic vehicle stability control system
  • Four-wheel ABS with traction control
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • LATCH rear child seat anchors
  • OnStar with one-year Safe & Sound service

The H3T was also designed for vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility in the event of a crash, and its rigid body structure provides good passenger protection.

GM's Five-Year/100,000 Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty continues to make GM a better choice for customers. GM's coverage focuses on the complete ownership experience and includes other provisions that competitors do not offer, including transferability to the next owner, more complete coverage of parts, and coverage for new and certified used vehicles. In addition, GM offers complementary programs such as courtesy transportation and roadside assistance.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Here's the new Trabant

Herpa co-operates with IndiKar

The development of the Trabant successor in original size is currently being finalized in terms of a Saxon automobile cooperation. And at Herpa, the newTrabi "en miniature" already goes in production.
Presentation at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg.
The miniature manufacturer Herpa from Dietenhofen / Bavaria premiered the idea of reviving the brand Trabant at the IAA 2007 in Frankfurt and started the initiative newTrabi. The at the IAA presented design study in the 1/10 scale met a worldwide positive response. Over 90 percent of the polled IAA visitors voted with "yes" for a new Trabant. Already four months later, Herpa is now able to lay the foundation to expand the initiative newTrabi in form of a Saxon automobile cooperation.
The technical coordination and inclusion of additional Saxon companies for the development, respectively realization, is taken over by the company IndiKar (Wilkau-Haßlau, Zwickau/Saxony district). The IndiKar Individual Karosseriebau GmbH is a company of the Farmingtons Group and competent as system vendor of specialty vehicles, vehicle components and prototypes for the automobile industry. Management and team of IndiKar under the leadership of director Ronald Gerschewski know and appreciate the tradition of the historic Trabant and can be distinguished by a high level of know-how and innovation in individual automobile development.
"With IndiKar and their network-partners from the auto land Saxony, we want to pursue the goal to present a modern Trabant successor as original-sized prototype at the IAA 2009", so Klaus Schindler, member of the Herpa management and initiator of the newTrabi idea. "The wishes and expectations of the cult car's many enthusiastic fans will be incorporated in the development. The newTrabi is supposed to be an eye-catcher with history and charm, innovative, handy and economical."
Herpa will continue to manage the initiative newTrabi. The marketing and the contact to the car fans will therefore remain in Herpa's hands under the management of the initiator Klaus Schindler.
As first sponsor of the newTrabi Initiative will the Bauconzept Planungsgesellschaft mbH (Lichtenstein/Saxony) play a part. Director Christoph Rabe wants to make a contribution to this - for him also under cultural aspects - important project.
On request of thousands of fans, the Initiative newTrabi goes into the next round. And for all who would like to "have something in hand", the forerunners "en miniature" are already available. Parallel to the initiative's continuation, Herpa starts the production of the newTrabi as miniature model in the classic collector's scale 1/87 (H0), made in Germany and made of "plastic" of course. Herpa will present the newTrabi miniature model at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg from February 7 - 12, 2008. In April 2008, the model will be available in specialized trade for approx. 7 Euros.

The new Toyota Corolla


Nearly 40 years after the Corolla was introduced to American drivers, an all-new, 10th generation 2009 Corolla will continue to offer the quality and value for which the brand has long been known. The new Corolla with an all-new body that delivers increased interior and luggage room, more power, more economical engines and an all-new chassis and suspension.

The Corolla will come in five grades – Standard, LE, XLE, the sporty S, and the performance-driven XRS. A standard body kit on S and XRS models helps to modify aerodynamics and enhance the Corolla's sporty look – these include a front spoiler, rocker moldings, upper and lower rear spoilers, and for improved air management under the car, engine undercovers.

The 2009 Corolla is offered with a pair of efficient new engines, each of which can be combined with a five-speed manual transmission. The four-speed automatic transmission is combined with a 1.8-liter engine and the five-speed automatic is combined with a 2.4-liter engine.

The Standard, LE and XLE will be equipped with one of the all-new engines. The 1.8-liter 16-valve, DOHC four-cylinder engine, will produce 132 hp at 6,000 rpm and 128 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. One of the engine's most important features is its use of Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) on both the intake and exhaust camshafts that helps it achieve outstanding performance and economy.

For those who desire just a bit more horsepower and torque, there is the 2.4-liter engine which produces 158 hp at 6,000 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. This engine is completely redesigned for use in the new Corolla XRS grade. The 2.4-liter engine transmits its power through the five-speed manual transmission, but is available with a five-speed automatic. The automatic transmission can be manually shifted sequentially.

Airbags are installed in the steering wheel, instrument panel, front seats and side-roof. Side curtain airbags that help protect passengers in the front and rear seats in the event of a side impact are standard. Front seats employ active headrests as standard equipment. Toyota's Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is standard on all grades of the Corolla. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC) and cut-off switch available is available as an option.
The all-new Corolla is equipped with an array of standard performance and convenience features. Among the many features on the Standard grade are P195/65 R15 tires, a heavy duty rear window defogger, AM/FM/CD audio with four speakers that is also XM® satellite capable, air conditioning with air filter, intermittent windshield wipers, two 12-volt power outlets, daytime running lights, black manual folding power mirrors, power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seats, and much more.
In addition to standard features on the Standard grade, the LE grade adds power windows with driver-side one-touch-down, shift-activated power doorlocks and color-keyed manual-folding power mirrors.
As well as the features on the LE grade, the XLE grade adds P205/55 R16 tires with full wheel covers, variable intermittent wipers, remote keyless entry, Optitron gauges, center console with sliding armrests, wood grain trim, and driver and passenger rear-seat pockets.

Besides the Standard grade features, the sporty S grade also features standard P205/55R16 tires with full wheel covers, color-keyed front and rear underbody spoilers, fog lamps, front sport seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, black headlamp housing, chrome exhaust tip and AM/FM/CD XM® capable audio with six speakers.
In addition to S grade features, the XRS grade adds rear deck spoiler, P215/45 R17 tires with alloy wheels, sport strut tower brace, VSC with TRAC and cut-off switch, XRS scuff plate, leather-trimmed shift lever and knob, cruise control and interior chrome accent.

Additional standard equipment on the XLS grade includes VSC with TRAC and cut-off switch, P205/55 R16 tires with 16-inch alloy wheels, a JBL audio system with AM/FM/six-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA playback capability, XM® satellite and eight speakers in six locations and navigation system with AM/FM CD with MP3/WMA playback capability.

The Corolla Standard grade will carry a base MSRP of $15,250 for models with a manual transmission and $16,050 for models with an automatic. The LE grade with automatic has a base MSRP of $16,650 and the XLE grade with an automatic a base MSRP of $17,550. The S grade will carry a base price of $16,320 for a manual transmission model and $17,150 for models with an automatic. The MSRP for the premium XRS grade will be $18,760 for a manual transmission and $19,950 for models with an automatic.

The new Nissan Tiida

Nissan Releases New Tiida and Tiida Latio Compact Vehicles

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the sales launch of the new Tiida 5-door hatchback and Tiida Latio 4-door sedan at dealers across Japan.

Since their debut in 2004, the Tiida and Tiida Latio have exceeded customer expectations for compact vehicles – offering a premium-quality, roomy interior and outstanding fuel economy and performance. For 2008, both vehicles have been enhanced inside and out. Key changes include new exterior and interior designs, retuned electric power steering, powertrain enhancements and a new "Plus navi HDD" package, among other improvements.

Modern and Dynamic Exterior Styling
Both Tiida and Tiida Latio feature all-new front-end designs, with new grilles, front bumpers and headlights, which impart a feeling of dynamic modern performance. Tiida also features new taillights and a rear bumper for a more substantial look, and all Tiidas and Tiida Latios feature new wheel cover designs.

Eight exterior colors are available on Tiida, including titanium metallic Silky Beige, metallic Brilliant Silver, metallic Champagne Gold, and pearl metallic Pacific Blue. Tiida Latio offers seven color choices, including titanium metallic Silky Beige and metallic Brilliant Silver.

Revised, Roomy, Sporty Interior
The interiors of both the Tiida and Tiida Latio have been redesigned for a new, modern look, as well as increased usability and visibility. The new instrument cluster design features new illumination colors – changed to an orange hue – and a fuel consumption display function. New metallic-finish “dashboard paneling” is available on Tiida models.

The modern look continues with a revised center stack with redesigned automatic air-conditioner controls and new illumination scheme, as well as new silver finishers (available on 18G, 15G, 15M and 15M FOUR models). Additionally, seat fabrics have been changed on 18G and 15G models, while new seat fabric patterns and stitching colors are available on 15M and 15M FOUR. Stitching color changes also apply to Tiida 18G, 15G, 15M and 15M FOUR models and Tiida Latio 18G and 15G models with a black interior.

Powertrain Enhancements
The new Tiida and Tiida Latio models each receive a variety of powertrain enhancements, including the new availability of a 6-speed manual transmission on 1.8-liter models for a sportier driving experience. The electric-assisted power steering system has been retuned for improved feel at low and high speeds.

Additionally, 2WD models with the HR15DE 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and XTRONIC continuously variable transmission (CVT) attain a fuel economy level 20% higher than Japan's 2010 fuel economy standards, thereby qualifying for the highest tax reduction*1 under the Green Tax program in Japan.

The HR15DE/XTRONIC CVT/2WD combination also features fuel economy figures that more closely match actual fuel consumption, based on tests conducted under the JCO8 test mode, recently adopted in Japan to simulate real-world driving conditions more accurately, as well as on conventional 10-15 test mode data. Also, this powertrain, under the JC08 test, attains SU-LEV certification levels by emitting 75% fewer nitrogen oxides (NOx) and non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) than the levels required by Japan's 2005 exhaust emission regulations.

Special Tiida Packages
Tiida 15S and 15S FOUR models are available with a new, affordable “Plus navi HDD” package, which includes an exclusive HDD-based CARWINGS navigation system with a high-speed, large-capacity 30-gigabyte hard disk drive; steering-wheel-mounted switches for audio controls and hands-free phone; a front center armrest with console storage box; rear seat cupholders; fully automatic air conditioning system; and chrome-plated waistline molding.

The new Tiida is also available with two optional dealer packages – a “NISMO S-tune Aero Package” and a “NISMO S-tune Performance Package” for further fine-tuning of the vehicle’s aerodynamics and driving performance. Individual NISMO components are also available separately.

Pricing and Sales Targets

Pricing Range

Sales Target


1,459,500 yen to 1,795, 500 yen
(including consumption tax)

2,500 units/month

Tiida Latio

1,323,000 yen to 1,827,000 yen
(including consumption tax)

1,800 units/month

*1 The Tiida 15G and 15M and the Tiida Latio 15G, 15M and 15B (CVT model) achieve fuel economy 20% higher than Japan's 2010 fuel economy standards and are certified as Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (SU-LEVs) because their exhaust emissions are 75% lower than the levels required by Japan's 2005 exhaust emission regulations. Therefore, they qualify for a total tax reduction of 32,000 yen under the Green Tax program in Japan. This tax reduction applies to vehicles registered by March 31, 2008.

The new CLC Mercedes-Benz

The new Mercedes-Benz CLC: Sports Coupé with fun factor

Stuttgart - Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a stand-alone model series in the guise of the new CLC, the compelling entry-level model in the Mercedes-Benz coupé family. The Sports Coupé's design, technology and equipment meet the discerning requirements of young drivers looking for an athletic car that gives an involving drive, while at the same time delivering the hallmark Mercedes quality standards in terms of safety, comfort, environmental compatibility and functionality. Compared with the previous Sports Coupé, the Mercedes engineers have newly developed or enhanced over 1100 components. Engineering highlights of the CLC include a new direct-steer system for even more agile cornering, state-of-the-art infotainment systems featuring a colour display, Europe-wide DVD or hard-disc navigation and media interface, as well as an uprated four-cylinder engine that now develops 135 kW/184 hp. Fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 10.8 percent compared with the outgoing model.

The compact body dimensions and the muscular lines emphasise the sporty appearance of the new CLC. The Mercedes designers have completely redesigned the front and rear so that the Sports Coupé embodies the contemporary Mercedes design idiom with its distinctive coupé radiator grille featuring a large Mercedes star in the centre, and the new projection-beam headlamps. The S-Class, the luxury CL-Class Coupé and the C-Class provided the stylistic models. The redesigned large tailgate conceals a variable boot with up to 1100 litres of luggage capacity. The new tail lights, the long row of LEDs which make up the third brake light unit and the rear bumper subdivide the rear and emphasise its width.

The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz CLC is akin to a contemporary tailor-made suit - custom-fit and comfortable. Sports seats with better lateral support than ever, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, automatic climate control and brushed aluminium trim elements form part of the standard specification.

A choice of seat covers in black, alpaca grey and a particularly stylish combination of black and red are available to give the interior its individual colour scheme.

Engines: fuel consumption reduced by up to 10.8 percent

Mercedes-Benz offers four four-cylinder and two six-cylinder engines with power outputs ranging from 90 kW/122 hp to 200 kW/272 hp for the new CLC. The 135 kW/184 hp powerplant in the CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR now develops an extra 15 kW/20 hp while consuming just 7.8 to 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres in the NEDC cycle - the equivalent of up to 0.7 litres less than before. In consumption terms, with its advanced turbodiesel engines, the CLC falls into the five-litre category: the CLC 200 CDI returns a consumption of 5.8 to 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres in the NEDC cycle, up to 10.8 percent less than the outgoing model. The CDI models boast operating ranges of over 1000 kilometres with a full tank (62 litres).

The six-speed manual transmission comes as standard with all engine variants. Mercedes-Benz can also supply a five-speed automatic transmission for the four cylinder units, and the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission for the V6 models. In combination with the sports package, the driver can use gearshift paddles on the steering wheel to select the gears of the automatic transmission manually and make optimum use of the engines’ high power reserves when the driving situation calls for it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Citroen C4 Picasso Lounge


Citroën is taking the Compact MPV to new levels of luxury with the introduction of the Lounge, a very special edition of the Company’s multi-award winning C4 Picasso, created uniquely for the UK market. The marque’s popular family car has been given a prestigious upgrade to create a stylish and distinctive vehicle that combines a sleek and dynamic exterior with a spacious and luxurious interior.

Perfect for those looking to travel in style, the C4 Picasso Lounge is full of exclusive equipment such as full black leather upholstery for the four large individual armchair style seats, chrome wheels and a vast panoramic sunroof to ensure that Citroen’s top of the range Lounge stands out from the crowd.

With its curvaceous black bodywork, sporty rear spoiler and special chrome grille, the C4 Picasso Lounge’s exterior communicates status, style and individuality. Inside, the car’s sharp design exudes quality, refinement, comfort and well-being.

The four individual luxury leather upholstered chairs, complete with adjustable head and armrests offer maximum space and comfort for all occupants, whilst their aural comfort is taken care of by laminated windows to reduce road noise and a Philips designed NXT sound-system with state-of-the-art flat-panel speaker technology to produce a clearer, all-round Hi-Fi sound quality.

Fitted with a responsive 2.0 HDi 138hp engine, the C4 Picasso Lounge features a 6 speed fully automatic gearbox and delivers smooth acceleration with a top speed of 118mph and almost 40 mpg on the combined cycle. Based on the Exclusive trim level, the new model has a RRP of £23,995.

The C4 Picasso Lounge is designed for exemplary comfort. The roomy interior invites occupants to sit back and relax whilst the unique panoramic windscreen is enhanced by the massive sunroof that allows light to pour into the cabin, creating a bright and spacious environment. At night time, the interior is bathed in atmospheric and functional illumination, including convenient reading lights for rear passengers. LEDs in the door handles and adjustable mood lighting strips in the front console and door panels help to create a calming environment.

The C4’s unique fixed-centred controls steering wheel also puts many of the car’s main functions at the driver’s fingertips; ensuring driver attention is maintained on the road. Comprehensive driver assistance equipment includes cruise control, speed limiter, front and rear parking sensors, automatic digital air conditioning as well as rain-sensitive wipers and automatic headlights.

In addition to being one of the most comfortable vehicles on the road, with its self levelling pneumatic rear suspension, the C4 Picasso Lounge is also one of the safest, with its 7 seat stablemate having been awarded a maximum 5-star protection rating by Euro NCAP. Equipped with all the latest Citroën safety technology, the Lounge features ABS with EBD and EBA, ESP with traction control, seven airbags and a reinforced body structure to protect occupants and absorb the energy of an impact.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The new Fiat Bravo 1.6

Designed by the Fiat Style Centre, the Fiat Bravo has a sleek, aggressive line, yet is elegant and compact at the same time. It is 434 cm long, 179 wide and 149 high, with a wheelbase of 260 cm and a load capacity of 400 l, among the best in its class. An embodiment of the great Italian car making tradition, the vehicle's interior is extremely comfortable, the available space has been used to best effect, and the materials and colour schemes exude quality. All in all, the Fiat Bravo is a beautiful Italian car, both inside and out. It will surprise even the most discerning European customer, and has all the substance of a car that offers outstanding safety, reliability and driving pleasure.

An example? The award of the 5 star Euro NCAP rating, the top score in the passive and active safety tests - thanks to the ultra-resistant body shell, 7 airbags, 3-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, and front head rests with anti-whiplash function. Not forgetting that the new model also uses the most sophisticated electronic control systems such as ABS with EBD, advanced ESP with hill holder, and an anti-slip ASR system. The wide range of engines available makes the Fiat Bravo an even more substantial offer: apart from the new series of petrol T-Jets (1.4 engine, 120 or 150 bhp), there is also a lively 1.4 16v (90 bhp) and turbo diesel common rail Multijet (the brand new 105 or 120 bhp 1.6, and the well-known 1.9 version, 120 or 150 bhp).

Not only safe and fun to drive, the Fiat Bravo also carries the latest technology to ensure onboard comfort and wellbeing. For example, the new-generation "Blue&Me" system - "Blue&Me Nav", the dual-zone automatic climate control system, two car radios with specific hi-fi systems, well-sized panoramic sunroof, cruise control, rain sensor, parking aid with front and rear sensors, and fog-lights with self-adapting cornering function.

The Fiat Bravo range is extensive and varied, with the 12 elegant liveries and 4 trim levels (Active, Dynamic, Emotion and Sport). Various solutions are available for different markets, all of them offering great value and designed to reflect the many ways of interpreting and using a car. Last but not least, Fiat Bravos sold in Italy come with a 5-year warranty included in the list price: 2 years' contractual warranty plus 3 years or 120,000 km additional manufacturer's warranty.

Compared to the well-known 1.9 Multijet 120 bhp, the 1.6 Multijet series represents an important step forward, with considerable advantages:

  • torque improved by almost 25% (300 Nm at 1500 rpm) and consumption reduced by 8% measured on the NEDC cycle);
  • acceleration from 0-100 kph in just 10.5 seconds, while pick-up from 80-120 km/h in 5th gear is almost 4 seconds lower;
  • enhanced acoustic comfort with noise values improved by 5%.

What's more, thanks to the new 1.6 Multijet, the Fiat Bravo has notched up some remarkable records in its category:

  • it is the first Euro5-compliant car, well ahead of the legal deadline, and has the lowest HCNOx emissions in its category.
  • it is one of the few cars in this power segment with a 6-speed manual gearbox (in both the 105 and 120 bhp versions);
  • it has the highest specific torque (i.e. in relation to the displacement), in the power categories up to 200 bhp;
  • maximum torque is delivered at lowest revs: just 1500 rpm for an availability of 290 Nm and 300 Nm generated respectively by the 105 bhp and 120 bhp versions;
  • this is borne out by the acceleration values, the best among all engines up to 120 bhp;
  • it is the only car with 35,000 km service intervals, reducing ordinary maintenance costs by 25% (calculated on distances travelled of 90,000 or 100,000 km, the most frequently used distances in long-term leasing agreements).

Audi A4 and A5 have now a new engine

New engine versions for Audi A4 and A5

* 1.8 TFSI with various performance levels * High efficiency and sporty performance * Entry-level version for the Audi A4 line

Audi continues to expand its successful A4 and A5 model lines. The new entry-level units add to the range of available engines. The 1.8 TFSI engine is available for the Audi A4, where it generates 88 k (120 hp) in combination with a manual transmission, and for the A5, where it develops 125 kW (170 hp) in combination with the continuously variable multitronic transmission.

With a power output of 88 kW (120 hp), the 1.8 TFSI in the Audi A4 has proven to be an especially efficient version. The four-cylinder engine, which combines the technologies of turbocharging and gasoline direct injection, is offered with manual six-speed transmission and front-wheel drive. Maximum torque of 230 Nm (169.64 lb-ft), meanwhile, is reached at just 1,500 to 3,650 rpm. This enables fuel-efficient driving with fewer gearshifts.

The Audi A4 1.8 TFSI accelerates to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 10.5 seconds and has a top speed of 208 km/h (129.25 mph). Its average fuel consumption of 7.1 liters per 100 km (33.13 mpg) makes the four-cylinder unit an efficient engine. The Audi A4 1.8 TFSI can now be ordered starting at €25,900 (Attraction).

The Audi A5 is also offered now with either the 1.8 TFSI with manual gearshift or the continuously variable multitronic transmission. The maximum torque of 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) is available between 1,500 and 4,800 rpm. The high-revving gasoline engine handles the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.6 seconds and can achieve speeds of up to 218 km/h (135.46 mph).

The Audi A5 1.8 TFSI, with its continuously variable automatic multitronic transmission, unites ride comfort with superior driving performance and low fuel consumption – using an average of 7.4 liters per 100 km (31.79 mpg). The Audi A5 1.8 TFSI with multitronic starts at €34,900.

The New Peugeot 407 - Bellagio


  • 407 Coupé HDi 136 Bellagio – beautiful features all inclusive at £21,995
  • Exclusively available in Flamenco Red or the new Nera Black metallic
  • Specification includes RT4 Multi Media System and 18” alloy wheels

The new Peugeot 407 Coupé Bellagio is a new derivative in the range that beautifully combines performance, impressive green credentials and a high standard of specification and equipment.

The 407 Coupé has only recently become available with the 2.0-litre HDi 136 diesel engine. While power and performance are quickly on tap, it is the low CO2 emissions of just 156 g/km that will benefit the environment and the user’s pocket.

Standard equipment levels exceed the well-specified ‘Sport’ model with a RT4 Multi Media System that includes Colour Satellite Navigation (with European mapping), TMC (Traffic management information) audible GSM phone (with inbuilt voice activated hands free controls) & MP3 30GB hard drive (for mapping and music storage function), 18” Galaxy alloy wheels (HDi 136 Sport models ordinarily take 17”) and twin chromed exhaust pipes.

A choice of two new colours – Flamenco Red or the new Nera Black metallic.

Nissan GT-R GT500

Debut at Tokyo Auto Salon 2008 and Osaka Auto Messe 2008

The GT500 specification Nissan GT-R racing car, which will vie for the 2008 SUPER GT series, will make its public debut at the upcoming "Tokyo Auto Salon with NAPAC" (January 11-13, 2008 at Makuhari Messe), followed by the "Osaka Auto Messe 2008" (February 9-11, 2008 at Intecks Osaka), the country's two largest annual custom car shows.

The new works livery - which will be featured across Nissan motorsports activities during the 2008 season - will be unveiled on the race car. Nissan will vie for the SUPER GT Championship, one of the world's most demanding GT race series, with the new machine built on the same multi-performance super car concept of the Nissan GT-R road car.

The new livery resulted from close collaboration between Nissan's design team and NISMO, its motorsports affiliate company, and incorporates feedback from members of the "Club NISMO" fan club.

The signature wide "brush stroke" design motif, synonymous with the current Fairlady Z race car, was carried forward into the new GT-R racing car as Nissan's racing fans worldwide could immediately associate with the design. The livery design swipes forward from the rear in bold red and black - the red symbolizes the passion for racing, while the black signifies the high performance of the new Nissan GT-R.

Further details of the GT500 Nissan GT-R including technical specifications will be announced on January 31st, as well as Nissan's full range of global motorsports activities for the coming season.

CES Las Vegas presents Cadillac Provoq Concept

Cadillac To Showcase Future Design And Performance Technology

Cadillac extends its ongoing design and technology momentum with tomorrow's debut of the Provoq Concept, a vision for a petroleum-free future of luxury transportation. GM CEO Rick Wagoner will present the Cadillac Provoq concept vehicle January 8 at the influential Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, beginning a showcase of Cadillac's future performance technology and design that will continue at next week's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

The Provoq Concept continues Cadillac's remarkable heritage of landmark concept vehicles, this time in a vehicle free from petroleum fuel and emissions, the ultimate luxury. Provoq will make its world premiere at one of the world's leading technology showcases at CES, appearing again at one of the foremost automotive stages in Detroit on Jan. 14.

Cadillac accelerates into Detroit with another dramatic demonstration of its design and performance technology, the world premiere of the 2009 CTS-V. Cadillac's high performance V-Series represents the ultimate expression of the brand's performance and luxury, and the much-anticipated new CTS-V will include many significant technical and design enhancements aimed at placing it within the elite group of the world's most capable cars.

The 2009 CTS-V extends the momentum created by Cadillac's 2008 CTS Sport Sedan, which is earning wide acclaim from critics and consumers alike. Since September, CTS sales are up 59.5% in the U.S. CTS was recently named 2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year, headlining a long list of accolades that also includes positions on Car and Driver magazine's 10Best list and as a finalist for 2008 North American Car of the Year.

Also appearing in Detroit next week will be the Escalade Hybrid, featuring a fuel-saving Two Mode Hybrid system combining a gas engine with electric battery power. The Escalade Hybrid, beginning production in mid-2008, extends the desirability of the leading large luxury SUV.

Cadillac Provoq Fuel Cell Concept delivers clean, petroleum free performance and signature design

Cadillac unveils a new vision for the future of luxury transportation with the innovative Provoq fuel cell concept – a hydrogen fuel cell crossover vehicle that continues GM’s commitment to displace petroleum through advanced technology.

The Cadillac Provoq fuel cell concept is the latest example of GM’s groundbreaking E-Flex propulsion system, combining the new fifth-generation fuel cell system and a lithium-ion battery to produce an electrically driven vehicle that uses no petroleum and has no emission other than water. The concept’s fifth-generation fuel cell technology is half the size of its predecessor, yet it has been developed to produce more power and performance.

“Cadillac is a natural fit for GM’s next step in developing the E-Flex platform,” says Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. “Cadillac, at its very essence, is about premium luxury, design and technology, so it’s fitting that Cadillac would be propelled by the most elegant solution. This signals Cadillac’s intent to lead the industry with alternative-fuel technology.”

Fuel-cell variant of the E-Flex system

The concept can drive 300 miles (483 km) on a single fill of hydrogen – with 280 miles (450 km) from hydrogen and 20 miles (32 km) on pure, battery electric energy.

A pair of 10,000 psi (700 bar) composite storage tanks beneath the rear cargo floor hold 13.2 pounds (6 kg) of hydrogen to feed the fuel cell stack, located under the hood. There, hydrogen mixes with oxygen to generate electricity – up to 88 kW continuous power. A lithium-ion battery pack can store up to a total of 9kWh of electrical energy and also provides a peak of 60 kW of power for additional performance.

The electricity generated by the fuel cell is distributed to a 70 kW co-axial drive system for the front wheels and individual, 40 kW wheel hub motors on the rear wheels, giving the Cadillac Provoq its all-wheel-drive traction and great driving dynamics. Its 0-60 mph (approximately 100 km/h) speed of 8.5 seconds is a more than 30-percent improvement over the previous-generation fuel cell system and with instantaneous torque to the wheels, it feels even faster. Provoq has a top speed of 100 mph (160 km/h).

“This is a vision of what comes next – a fuel cell electric vehicle that delivers the driving characteristics Cadillac customers want and allowing them to do it without using a single drop of petroleum, while emitting only water vapor,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president for research and development. “This is proof that alternate fuels and advanced technologies create even greater opportunities to satisfy the luxury buyer.”