Thursday, February 28, 2008

Limited edition for Seat Leon













Fresh for the imminent ‘08’ plate change SEAT is giving its most potent road-going model – the muscular Leon Cupra – the option of an even more sporty look courtesy of a dramatic limited edition styling kit version.

The impressive additions to the Leon’s already lithe lines give the 240 PS, turbocharged 2.0-litre Cupra even more of the look of the race-winning SEAT Sport BTCC car, which is set to compete for top honours again this year.

Boasting a bespoke K¹ boot badge, the limited edition car’s comprehensive styling additions include extensively re-worked front and rear bumpers, smart side skirts, a more pronounced tailgate spoiler and unique chrome-tipped, centrally-mounted, oval exhaust.

The car’s enhancements come in a range of eye-catching colours: Inferi Black, Emocion Red, Luna Grey and Candy White, and it is available to order now through the SEAT UK dealer network.

Great value at just £1,000 RRP over the standard Cupra, the K¹ additions arrive at the same time as a change to the Leon range-topper’s equipment manifest. Powerful Bi-xenon headlights, complete with AFS dynamic bend lighting that follows the turn of the steering wheel to help ensure the beam is always pointing precisely where the car’s headed, are now a £870 option.

At the same time new, optional, 18” Orion alloy wheels in black or white are made available at £205 RRP.

The best news for Cupra fans, though, is that the standard car’s price has been trimmed, from £19,695 RRP to £19,495 RRP, to make the 153 mph flier even easier on the pocket. The body kitted K¹ therefore costs £20,495 RRP.

SEAT UK’s Head of Marketing, Steve Robertson, said of the Cupra changes: ‘The K¹ styling kit gives the car even more road presence, and clearly recalls the look of our super-quick BTCC competitor.

‘Together with the optional black or white Orion alloy wheels, it ensures the Cupra has an outstanding look to match its outstanding performance.’

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Maserati GranTurismo S














MASERATI PRESENTS THE GRANTURISMO S

A year after the unveiling of the GranTurismo, Maserati will be back at the Geneva International Motorshow with yet another world premiere, the GranTurismo S. The ultimate expression of the Trident coupé’s sportiness shifts the emphasis onto performance and driving enjoyment.

Two main novelties are at the heart of the new Maserati: the 440 hp V8 4.7 engine and the electro-actuated gearbox with fast MC-Shift arranged in the transaxle layout typical of high-performance sports cars that represents the technological DNA of all Maseratis.

The GranTurismo S makes use of the high-performance brake system developed in collaboration with Brembo and introduced for the first time in the automotive field on the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S. The system features front brake discs made with dual-cast technology – a dual casting of cast iron and aluminium, paired with aluminium mono-bloc 6-piston brake callipers, ensuring optimised braking performance.

On the exterior the Maserati GranTurismo S is characterised by a number of aesthetic modifications that, although discrete, are highly effective and make the car body appear sportier without abandoning the sleekness of the lines masterfully designed by Pininfarina.

The interior upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather and Alcantara reflects the sporty flair of the Maserati GranTurismo S; the figure-hugging front and rear seats are distinguished by their new dynamic design with horizontal piping on the seats and seatbacks.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The New Toyota TRD Hilux












TRD HILUX - LESS FUEL, MORE PERFORMANCE

Toyota's new TRD HiLux sports ute achieves better fuel economy while significantly improving performance compared with the standard vehicle. TRD chief engineer Stephen Castles said the supercharged TRD HiLux uses a fraction less fuel than the naturally aspirated engine in the HiLux SR5 double cab.

"TRD HiLux is more fuel-efficient while power increases more than 25 per cent and torque by almost 20 per cent," Mr Castles said. "The standard HiLux 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine produces maximum torque of 376Nm at 3800rpm, which makes it a terrific workhorse," he said. "Our TRD engineers focused on excellent low to mid-range torque to give TRD HiLux even more pulling power. In fact, from just above idle right through to around 5700rpm, the TRD HiLux generates more torque than the standard vehicle's maximum. As a result, we have achieved a 0-100km/h acceleration time in the low seven-second range."

Mr Castles said the supercharged engine is Euro IV-compliant. He said the Eaton M90 supercharger and intercooler were developed jointly by TRD, Toyota Motor Sales (US) and Magnuson Products Inc. TRD HiLux has undergone extensive testing, including hot-weather hill-climbs and towing in central Australia, high-speed and load tests at Phillip Island and Winton raceways, plus cold-weather tests at Mt Hotham.

"TRD HiLux will have improved grip under all conditions, with sharper steering and handling," Mr Castles said. "Bigger brakes result in shorter stopping distances and greater resistance to fade. Overall, drivers will notice a flatter, more controlled body motion with enhanced ride comfort that is more in keeping with an SUV than a truck. We are also proud of the fact that the TRD enhancements have improved the renowned off-road capabilities of the HiLux," he said.

TRD HiLux, which features 17-inch alloy wheels, is being officially unveiled at the Melbourne International Motor Show from 29 February ahead of its April launch.

TECHART GTstreet convertible













TECHART GTstreet convertible – uncompromisingly sporty.


In hall 2 of the 78th International Geneva Auto-Salon, the world premiere of TECHART Automobildesign will be unveiled. Here, the new TECHART GTstreet convertible will be presented to the press and international public; the car is based on the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.

Uncompromisingly sporty, unreservedly suitable for everyday use. TECHART is continuing this traditional philosophy with its GTstreet convertible. Since 2001, when the Porsche 911 Turbo model from the 996 series was used, vehicles bearing the TECHART GTstreet logo have been among the fastest and highest performing road-worthy sports vehicles in the world.

The new TECHART GTstreet is continuing this impressive trend, based on the current Porsche 911 Turbo generation. At the world premiere on 4th March 2008, this convertible model will stand alongside the GTstreet Coupé, which was officially launched in Geneva in spring 2007 and caused a real sensation.

Unmistakable characteristic appearance and breath-taking performance. The TECHART GTstreet convertible now develops 463 kW (630 hp) and can reach a maximum speed of 345 km/h.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mercedes ML 420 CDI from Kicherer










Kicherer ML 42: Cold as Ice

Kicherer now has a tuning kit available for the ML 420 CDI bestowing an extra 56 hp and 200 Nm more torque to an already powerful SUV, thus increasing the effective horsepower from 306 hp in the standard model to a superb 360 hp. At the same time, the maximum torque of 700 Nm is increased to a terrific 900 Nm.
Just as spectacular is the performance of the so-called Kicherer ML 42 ICE. Accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.1 seconds, it is a whole half a second quicker than its series counterpart. The maximum speed has been increased to approximately 280 km/h.
The exceptional performance of the CDI power units tuned by Kicherer are impressive, as are the high degree of elasticity and favourable fuel consumption, which is at a standard level despite the increased power. As with the basic vehicle, Kicherer engines also comply with the Euro 4 exhaust standard and, of course, are just as suitable for any vehicle equipped with diesel particle filters.
But Kicherer has gone even one step further and perfected the details of the ML.
Its exterior looks have been adapted to match the increased performance by adding an AMG ML 63 body kit, AMG 20-inch wheels with special varnish, an electronic lowered suspension and a four-pipe sports exhaust. High-performance brakes ensure that fast off-road enthusiasts still have the appropriate deceleration.
The precision of the Kicherer team can also be seen in the interior. The roof interior, dashboard, door trim and other surfaces have been covered with the finest Kicherer leather. Real carbon trim parts add the necessary sporty accentuation to the otherwise luxurious surroundings.
The driver has the pleasure of an ergonomic sporty steering wheel with gear paddles - also finished in carbon.
A really cool complete package – Ice in name and Ice in nature


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The New Volvo XC60










THE NEW VOLVO XC60 – THE SAFEST AND MOST STUNNING VOLVO EVER

• “It’s not only the safest Volvo ever. If you ask me, it’s also the most stunning. Not a bad combination, is it?” says Volvo Cars President and CEO Fredrik Arp.
• World premiere at the international motor show in Geneva on 4 March 2008.
• First cars arrive in the UK in autumn 2008.

Sporty crossover
Volvo’s new crossover vehicle boasts an exciting mix of two car styles and steps boldly into what is the motoring world’s toughest and fastest-growing segment. Sporting capable XC muscles, it combines a strong athletic body with high ground clearance and large wheels, while the flowing lines create the sporty charisma of a coupe.

“This car is charged with more emotive form and more energy than any other Volvo. We’re elevating our design DNA to an entirely new level by literally turning up the visual volume. If you say that you’d recognise a Volvo from a hundred metres away today, I dare say the XC60 radiates a clear Volvo presence from at least twice that distance,” says Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin.

City safety standard on the new Volvo XC60
A variety of intelligent safety systems are another important part of the new Volvo XC60. The major news is City Safety – a unique system that can help the driver avoid or reduce the effects of the type of low-speed impacts that are common in city traffic and traffic tailbacks. If the car is about to drive into the vehicle in front and the driver does not react, the car brakes itself.
“We are the first manufacturer in the world to offer this type of feature as standard. City Safety clearly shows that the new Volvo XC60 is the safest car Volvo has ever produced. The car is packed with our accumulated safety know-how and technology, both when it comes to preventing accidents and protecting all the occupants in a collision,” says Fredrik Arp.
The XC60 project has its sights set on a target group that imposes high demands on design, brand integrity and high-tech content in its choice of lifestyle products.
“One might say that this could be the C30 owner’s next car. It’s as sporty and exciting, but more capable. With the Volvo XC60, we are widening our model range to attract even more customers with an active urban lifestyle,” explains Fredrik Arp.

Engines and volumes
The new XC60 is being launched with a choice of three engines: the turbocharged T6 which produces 285PS, and two variants of the D5 turbodiesel, producing 185 and 163 horsepower respectively. All- Wheel Drive (AWD) is fitted as standard.
“During 2009, we will offer a front-wheel driven 2.4-litre version powered by a Euro 5 diesel engine producing 163 horsepower and with a CO2 target around 170 g/km,” reveals Fredrik Arp.
The global sales target for the new XC60 is over 50,000 cars per year. The five largest markets during peak year 2010 will be the USA, Germany, Great Britain, Russia and China. The Volvo XC60 will be built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium. Sales of the car will start in Europe during the second half of 2008, while sales in North America will get under way in early 2009. The new XC60 will arrive in UK dealer showrooms in October.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Proton R3 Satria













Proton Gives A Hint To New Hot Hatch With R3 At Melbourne Motor Show

Proton will give Australia a sneak preview of its next generation hot hatch when it unveils the Proton R3 Satria at the Melbourne International Motor Show on February 29.

The R3 Satria has been developed by Proton's special vehicles and motorsport arm - R3, which stands for Race, Rally, and Research - at its headquarters in Shah Alam in Malaysia.

R3 is headed up by former Lotus engineer and prominent Malaysia race driver Tengku Djan Ley. The R3 Satria combines a range of special body enhancements as well as suspension development and a high performance power plant, to give the Satria Neo a true edge in the hot hatch arena.

At this stage the R3 Satria is still in development and no on sale date has been decided however the R3 division is working to bring the performance model to market as soon as possible.

While the type and configuration of the power plant can not be revealed at this stage R3 has targeted a significant power increase over the standard Proton Satria, which is powered by Proton's own Campro 1.6 litre twin cam multi-valve engine.

Alongside the R3 Satria at the Melbourne Motor Show media day will be Proton's new four-door Persona sedan, which will also be launched at the show.

According to Djan Ley the R3 Satria has been developed as a spiritual successor to the legendary Satria GTi, the first Proton to utilise the expertise and performance credentials of subsidiary company Lotus.

"We have very much focussed on the Lotus philosophy of performance through lightweight, utilising intelligent powerplant solutions while minimising weight and enhancing Satria's already impressive handling," said Djan.

"The Satria is a striking design and a great canvas for us to work with, I believe the R3 Satria will be a real hit at the show and draw a lot of attention," he added.

"However it is on the road where it will be really impressive but people will have to wait a little while before the R3 Satria hits the tarmac," he added.

Proton Cars Australia managing director John Startari said the presence of the R3 Satria on the Proton stand at Melbourne will be a huge drawcard during the fortnight of the show.

"The question we get asked all the time is when will the next Satria GTi be here, the first generation GTi carved a real niche for itself and it is a bit of a cult car, the R3 Satria certainly give some pointers to what its successor might look like," said John Startari.

"While we can't reveal too many details at this time Satria GTi enthusiasts can rest easy in the knowledge that a performance version of the new Satria is not too far away and the R3 Satria is evidence of that," he added.

As well as revealing the new Persona and R3 Satria, Proton will also show a full array of its Australian model line-up at Melbourne including the Savvy city car, Gen 2 hatch, Satria Neo and Jumbuck ute, recently named the cleanest and greenest ute in Australia by the Australian government Green Vehicle Guide.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The New Land Rover LRX











Land Rover's acclaimed LRX concept cross-coupe will make its European debut in Geneva at the 78e Salon International de l'Auto (March 6-16, 2008), alongside the global debut of the Defender SVX special edition, launched to mark Land Rover's 60th anniversary this year.

"The LRX diesel hybrid signals our ability to deliver Land Rover's core values in a more compact and fuel efficient package. For now, LRX remains a concept, designed to gauge public reaction, but the enthusiasm generated since we first unveiled it in January makes me even more certain that this would be a hugely exciting direction for us to take," says Phil Popham, Land Rover's managing director.

More immediately, the company is marking its 60th anniversary with the special edition Defender SVX model, which goes on sale this spring. The iconic Defender still bears a strong visual resemblance to its 1948 predecessor, but inside the SVX models boast satellite navigation, Recaro seats and iPod compatibility.

Land Rover LRX concept

The LRX diesel hybrid concept represents a bold evolution of Land Rover design that signals the brand’s shift into new areas of the market, while remaining true to its core values, such as breadth of capability. The three-door LRX, with its compact size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies, addresses the needs of a changing world and offers the potential of 120 g/km CO2 emissions, equivalent to fuel economy of 60 mpg on a European combined drive cycle.

Though shorter and lower than the Freelander 2, the LRX is a premium cross-coupé, designed to appeal to new customers in the luxury and executive sector – those who want many of the benefits of a 4x4 and the presence of a larger vehicle, but in a more compact package.

The first all-new Land Rover revealed since Gerry McGovern became the company’s design director, LRX is a natural extension of the Land Rover range, complementing the existing models and helping to define a new segment. Its many recognisable Land Rover design cues include bold new interpretations of the signature clamshell bonnet, the floating roof and the solid ‘wheel-at-each-corner’ stance.

LRX is conceived as a highly fuel-efficient 2.0-litre turbodiesel hybrid. In combination with other Land Rover technologies, this powertrain could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30% compared with other 4x4s of comparable size. It incorporates an Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) which would allow the LRX to use electric drive alone at lower speeds while retaining full (even improved) 4x4 ability in tough conditions.

Chevrolet Fuel Cell Equinox and GMC Yukon Hybrid











GM Premieres First Ever Fuel Cell, Hybrid SUV Fleet at the Oscars


Chevrolet Fuel Cell Equinox and GMC Yukon Hybrid Vehicles to Transport Hollywood's Hottest Talent in "Fuel-Friendly" Style


LOS ANGELES – The red-carpet arrivals at the 80th Annual Academy Awards® on Feb. 24, will be transformed with advanced technology vehicles from GMC and Chevrolet. This fuel-friendly fleet – larger than any other assembled for a major awards show before – will enable Hollywood’s hottest talent to enjoy stylish and environmentally friendly rides in one of more than 75 vehicles, including the GMC Yukon Hybrid, the zero-gas and zero-emissions Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell and the FlexFuel E85 ethanol-compatible GMC Yukon.

As the only ABC Network automotive sponsor of the 2008 Oscar® telecast, GMC and Chevrolet will bring hybrid and fuel cell technology to the forefront at the red carpet, and other Oscar Week events. The fleet continues GM’s major strategic effort to provide “fuel-friendly” vehicles to the entertainment industry and spread the word about GM’s environmentally-conscious cars, trucks and SUVs.

“GM’s longstanding relationship with Hollywood and our strong commitment to bringing advanced technologies to market that will help diversify fuel sources and reduce vehicle emissions makes this the perfect time for GM to drive ‘green’ to the Oscars,” said Dino Bernacchi, GM Director of Marketing Alliances and Branded Entertainment. “Our outreach to showcase GM’s ‘fuel-friendly’ products will be increasingly evident in the entertainment industry in 2008 with presence at awards shows, film festivals and special events, as well as a heightened product placement effort in movies and television.”

GM’s ramped-up efforts to drive Hollywood “green” began with “fuel-friendly” vehicles at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards and 39th NAACP Image Awards. Chevrolet is also reaching out to the next generation of tomorrow’s influencers with the first-ever “Chevy Rocks The Future” event on Feb. 19. GM already provides the largest “fuel-friendly” product placement fleet to Hollywood producers and directors with nearly 20 different vehicle types.

Later this quarter, Chevrolet will hand over the keys to Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles to major entertainment celebrities for everyday use as part of its Project Driveway program – an effort by Chevrolet to move fuel cell technology from the laboratory into consumers’ driveways.

The GMC Yukon Hybrid is the industry’s first full-size SUV hybrid. No other hybrid can offer the fuel efficiency and full-size SUV performance including seating for up to 8 passengers and 6,200 lbs. maximum towing.

The 2008 Yukon Hybrid boasts vastly improved fuel economy over its gasoline-only sibling. Two-wheel drive models, for example, deliver 21 mpg in the city, a 50-percent improvement over its 5.3L non-hybrid sibling and comparable to the much-smaller 2.4L-equipped Toyota Camry sedan, according to figures obtained from www.fueleconomy.gov.

This year’s Oscars will be the first major awards show where a fleet of fuel cell vehicles will provide transportation for celebrities. The Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicle is a zero-gas, zero-emissions vehicle that makes no compromises, achieving 0 to 60 mph in 12 seconds, 236-lb.-ft. of instant torque and top speed of about 100 miles per hour. It seats four, sports 32 cubic feet of cargo volume for everybody’s gear, and has a range of approximately 150 miles per fill-up based on the new 2008 EPA adjusted measurement. The Equinox Fuel Cell also features full four-wheel ABS for controlled, confident stopping.

Aside from its dramatically different propulsion system, the Equinox Fuel Cell looks and drives much like a production Chevy Equinox (a small SUV).

In addition to the GMC Yukon Hybrid and Chevy Fuel Cell Equinox, a select number of FlexFuel E85 ethanol-compatible Yukon SUVs will drive to the red carpet. Biofuels such as E85 ethanol have tremendous potential to help offset the world’s growing energy demands, and General Motors offers more FlexFuel E85 ethanol-capable models than any other brand, with 2.5 million FlexFuel E85 ethanol vehicles currently on the road. FlexFuel E85 ethanol vehicles can run on either gasoline or E85 ethanol – a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline – or a combination of both.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will present the 80th Annual Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2007, on Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, televised live at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST by the ABC Television Network.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The New Ford Kuga











The all-new Ford Kuga is Ford of Europe's first entry into the highly competitive crossover market and promises a blend of rewarding on-road driving quality and surprising off-road capability.

The genesis for Kuga was first seen in the dramatic iosis X Concept vehicle which made its debut at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. John Fleming, the company's President and CEO confirmed that Ford of Europe would be developing a production vehicle inspired by the iosis X Concept for launch within two years.

At the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford demonstrated that this commitment was soon to become reality with a preview of the production model. Signalling its significance as a new direction for Ford of Europe, the new model was given its own name; the Ford Kuga was born and destined to join the Ford of Europe model portfolio during the first half of 2008.

"With the new Ford Kuga we are keeping the promise we made at Paris in 2006, and delivering a highly capable, expressive and charismatic vehicle which will extend the Ford model range further," said John Fleming. "I firmly believe Kuga will appeal to many loyal Ford customers looking for something a bit different, but will also be capable of repeating the success of S-MAX in bringing new customers to the Ford brand. A distinctive 'kinetic design' exterior, Ford's acclaimed on-road vehicle dynamics and premium-like product quality are just some of the highlights Kuga will bring to this fast-growing market segment."

Sound Foundation

The new Ford Kuga is based unashamedly on Ford's acclaimed C-car architecture – well proven in both the Ford Focus and the Ford C-MAX.

"We have an established portfolio to use as a basis and our shared technologies initiative within Ford Motor Company allows us even more possibilities to develop niche vehicles like Kuga," said Gunnar Herrmann, C-Car Vehicle Line Director, Ford of Europe.

Available with a proven powertrain and two series levels the full-time Haldex intelligent AWD system is complemented by a front-wheel-drive (FWD) version that is perfect for those drivers that are attracted by the style and presence of Kuga but do not require AWD capability. The Ford Kuga is available in a choice of two distinct series levels with further options available that enable the driver to personalise the car exactly to their needs. The standard Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with combined Anti Rollover Mitigation (ARM), and ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) are just two of the significant driver assistance technologies of the new Kuga.

Taking a New Direction

The stylish and charismatic Kuga is a further demonstration of the exciting new direction Ford of Europe's products are taking. The fresh and modern styling is the starting point with the substance of the car matching this styling promise. This is delivered by leading driving dynamics, a strong and competent safety pedigree, high quality and craftsmanship and a competitive crossover package. A high seating position, the intelligent AWD option and large stowage volumes make the Kuga a very attractive proposition.

"Kuga's arrival will raise the bar in the crossover segment," said Stephen Odell, Ford of Europe's vice president for Marketing, Sales and Service. "Our 'kinetic design' styling has given the car great personality and this gives it tremendous showroom appeal to potential customers."

A carefully selected palette of ten body colours is available for Kuga. A specially developed and brand new metallic colour – Chill – is available for both Kuga series options and drive choices. As a reflection of its iosis X Concept roots the production Kuga is available in two shades of white; solid Frozen White and a brand new metallic Electric White. This colour was first seen on the iosis X Concept car and the pre-production Kuga shown at Frankfurt. The Kuga is the first Ford of Europe production model to use Electric White which uses a specialised application method.

The exterior design features of Kuga naturally incorporate a wealth of practicality that provides much more than first meets the eye. The 'liftgate in liftgate' tailgate offers maximum flexibility and convenience with separate access via micro switches to either the upper tailgate section only or both sections simultaneously.

The materials chosen for Kuga's interior also demonstrate the close links to the iosis X Concept. The eye-catching and lavish Kuga interior incorporates fine leathers and gloss finishes on key areas that were first seen on the iosis X Concept car in piano white but now have a choice of shades depending on the series chosen. Colour-matched details of the interior design and integrated trim colours highlight the instrument panel and door trims, creating a complete, unified look of design-led quality and premium sportiness.

Kuga offers comfortable and spacious seating for up to five adults. The second row seating has a 60/40 split and has been designed to fold completely flat to maximise the usefulness of the available load compartment in two-seat mode. Underseat storage is a practical feature beneath the second row with further storage under the floor of the luggage compartment area which is divided into compartments to offer maximum practicality.

A luggage compartment sill height of 758mm aids the loading of heavy items into the car. The Kuga has a generous luggage capacity of 1355 litres when in two-seat mode, while the enclosed luggage compartment achieves a volume of 360 litres.

The Kuga offers customers two distinct series; Trend and Titanium. These have been developed to provide a clear customer choice of a well-equipped cool and colourful series – the Trend – and the modern, techno premium-feel Titanium.

Trend and Titanium series offer customers a wide range of equipment, technology and styling options. They also provide a strong platform for further personalisation and items to tailor the car exactly to each customer's needs. These needs are further-enhanced and satisfied by the provision of dedicated Packs which provide additional protection, transport, stowage, styling and aftersales products.

The Ford Kuga features some technologies first showcased on Ford's large and luxury segment – and more recently seen on the new generation Ford Focus – while also bringing new features to the segment and the Ford of Europe portfolio for the first time, such as a 'liftgate in liftgate' tailgate.

Capability and Performance

The Kuga will be made available with a 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi 136 PS 100kW engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Applicable to both FWD and intelligent AWD derivatives the torque, performance and pulling power under all engine and vehicle load conditions have been perfectly calibrated to the new Ford Kuga. This engine provides high levels of torque – 320 Nm at 2,000rpm and 340 Nm in transient overboost. FWD and intelligent AWD variants return favourable fuel economy figures of 6.3 and 6.4 litres of fuel per 100 km respectively, using the combined fuel consumption figures. The intelligent AWD figure of 169 g/km of CO2 is class-leading.

"Kuga has a 'can-do' attitude and 'go-anywhere' ability and the powertrain perfectly plays its part." Said Herrmann.

The Ford Kuga has been engineered for class-leading on-road driving dynamics and exceptional off-road capabilities for expanded leisure time use.

Using proven and established Ford C-car chassis components and technology as a solid basis, Ford's engineers tailored, tuned and calibrated each component and aspect of the ride and handling to ensure Kuga carries the blue oval family pedigree for strong driving dynamics.

The key overall target was to ensure that Kuga achieved the highest levels of ride, handling, braking and steering performance within the segment. The all-new Kuga uses many new systems and components in order to achieve the programme's targets.

The Ford Kuga joins a highly acclaimed and successful portfolio that is recognised for its safety standards as being a key attribute. The first element contributing to Kuga's safety is the stiff and rigid passenger cell designed and built to resist deformation. A host of active, passive and dedicated pedestrian safety features further contribute to Kuga's safety story. Integrated electronic systems including Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) add to the Kuga's safety and instil driver confidence.

"We put a lot of resources into making our cars as safe as possible for our customers and all other road users," adds Herrmann. "We employ a whole-vehicle holistic and no-compromise approach."

Manufactured at Ford's Saarlouis plant in Germany the new Kuga will be built alongside the new Focus three-door, five-door and wagon variants and C-MAX.

The New Ford Fiesta










FORD CONFIRMS FIESTA AS GLOBAL NAME FOR SMALL CAR

  • Ford’s new-generation global small car to be previewed at 2008 Geneva Motor Show. Its worldwide name is confirmed – Ford Fiesta.
  • New Fiesta is the first product of Ford’s new global product development process, with versions due for launch also in Asia and North America between 2008 and 2010.
  • European production of new Fiesta begins in fall 2008.

Ford’s new small car family will use the Fiesta name around the world, the company confirmed today.

Designed and developed in Europe for customers in Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and the Americas between 2008 and 2010, the new Fiesta is the first major product of Ford’s new global product development process. This new small car keeps alive a name synonymous with more than 30 years of success and strong driving dynamics in Europe and is already well known in markets across Asia, Australia and South America. The Fiesta also was offered in the U.S. from 1978 to 1980.

“The new Ford Fiesta captures every aspect of what’s defined Ford as a small-car leader in Europe and builds on it in terms of driving dynamics and design,” said Mark Fields, president of the Americas, Ford Motor Company. “When it arrives in North America in 2010, the Ford Fiesta will set a new standard in the small car segment. Even before it arrives in this market, though, the new Fiesta demonstrates how leveraging our global strengths can yield attractive benefits for customers around the world.”

The dynamic new look for this global family of small cars was previewed in three Ford Verve Concept vehicles which made their debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2007, the Guangzhou Motor Show in November 2007 and the North American International Auto Show in January 2008.

In Europe, the new Fiesta will debut first in production guise at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show in March and will go on sale in fall 2008 in three- and five-door hatchback body styles. By 2010, the new Fiesta will be on sale in markets across Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and North America in a variety of regionally tailored models derived from a common platform.

“With the all-new Fiesta, we want to create a world standard for small car quality, design and comfort in a vehicle that is as exciting to drive as it is to look at. We believe this all-new model will attract a whole new generation of small car buyers, whether they are in Britain, Spain, China or California,” said Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company President and CEO. “The new Ford Fiesta will set the standard for delivering to our customers products they really want and value while taking advantage of our wonderful global resources.”

The new Ford Fiesta brings the dynamic Verve Concept exterior and interior styling to production reality, demonstrating that small cars can be stylish, sophisticated and emotional. It rejects the notion that an affordable small car has to be a commodity.

The new Ford Fiesta also makes major strides in small car craftsmanship, quality of materials and product choice while continuing to represent traditional strengths of practicality, value for money, agility and safety. It also brings a host of big-car features to the small-car segment for the first time.

“The new Ford Fiesta is an example of how good a small car can be,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president, Marketing and Communications. “The Fiesta is great to look at, great to drive and it has quality you can see, feel and touch. It’s going to be an important growth product for North America.”

A key Ford Fiesta strength throughout its life has been its acclaimed driving quality, and the new model intends to uphold this reputation. Ford’s dynamics engineers also worked hard to enhance Fiesta’s ride comfort and isolate road, wind and powertrain noise from the cabin, and to give the new model an impressively quiet driving quality for a small car.

Fiesta for a New Generation

The all-new Fiesta opens another chapter in the story of the popular Ford small car that has sold more than 12 million units since its introduction in 1976 and represented real change when it came on the automotive scene. While it has moved with the times and fashions over the years, it has remained steadfast in its dedication to providing economical, practical and dependable transportation for people of all ages.

Starting in the early 1970s, the Fiesta project became a personal mission of Ford’s Chairman, Henry Ford II. A passionate believer in small cars, Ford rallied his company to the mission of creating a new model. He personally was involved in every step of the long process that led to the grand opening of the new automotive assembly plant in Almusafes, Valencia, with the attendance of the newly crowned King of Spain, Juan Carlos.

With the global fuel crisis as extra incentive, at the end of 1973, the Ford Board of Directors gave Project Bobcat, as it was originally known, the go-ahead for development and production. Fiesta didn’t get its name until 1974, when Ford whittled down a list of 50 potential names to just five. The final choice went to Henry Ford II, and his preference for Fiesta was entirely appropriate given the creation of the new manufacturing plant in Spain.

In Europe, the new Fiesta will be built at Ford’s Valencia manufacturing facility in Spain beginning in early 2009 alongside the Cologne manufacturing plant, which starts production in fall 2008.
A production announcement for the Ford Fiesta in Asia will be announced in April at the Beijing Motor Show. A North America announcement will come at a later date.

Verve Sedan Concept Specifications

  • Overall length: 145.35 in.
  • Wheelbase: 97.99 in.
  • Overall width: 65.12 in.
  • Overall height at curb: 54.33 in.
  • Track width:
    • Front: 58.03 in.
    • Rear: 57.32 in.
  • Front Overhang: 32.05 in.
  • Rear Overhang: 57.32
  • Headroom
    • Front: 37.8 in.
    • Second Row: 35.83 in.
  • Legroom
    • Front: 42.09 in.
    • Second Row: 32.76 in.
  • Powertrain: Fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Most powerful Porsche 911










Most powerful racing 911 considerably improved

The Porsche GT3 RSR launches into the new model year with extensive modifications. The most powerful race car based on the Porsche 911, which last year scored wins at the 24 hour races of Le Mans and Spa as well as overall victory at the Nuerburgring 24 hours, competes in the GT2 class at international long distance races. The most distinguishing feature of the new GT3 RSR is the front end which received major improvements to the aerodynamics. The majority of innovations however are hidden under the weight-optimised body.

Aside from the easily recognisable additional spoilers on the front apron, so-called flicks, an optimised air ducting with newly-designed side air outlets generates more downforce and reduces drag. The rear end including the rear wing was taken over from the predecessor. Extensive changes to the suspension cinematics increase mechanical grip considerably. The range of possible suspension set-ups was broadened.

The 3.8-litre boxer engine of the GT3 RSR remains unchanged apart from slight improvements to details. It delivers 465 hp (342 kW) at 8,000 revs per minute and delivers a maximum torque of 430 Nm at 7,250 revs. The rev limiter of the efficient six-cylinder kicks in at 9,400 rpm.

Much of the know-how in the GT3 RSR’s totally new gearbox has come from the RS Spyder sports prototype. The sequential six-speed unit, developed by Porsche engineers, is considerably lighter than its predecessor. Internal friction was substantially reduced. The flat angle of the drive shafts allows teams a wider range of suspension set-ups.

Aside from the GT3 Cup and the GT3 Cup S, the GT3 RSR is the third race car based on the Porsche 911 offered by Porsche Motorsport. Thirty-five units of the fastest and most powerful long distance racer made in Weissach, apart from the exclusive RS Spyder sports prototype, are now being produced and delivered to customer teams around the globe. The price of the GT3 RSR is 349,800 Euro plus VAT.

Engine

Six-cylinder aluminium boxer engine, water-cooled; 3,795 cc; stroke 76.4 mm; bore 102.7 mm; 465 bhp (342 kW) at 8,000 rpm; max. torque 430 Nm at 7,250 rpm; air restrictors 2 x 29.5 mm; maximum engine speed 9,400 rpm; four valves per cylinder; dry sump lubrication; individual throttle butterflies; central air intake; electronic MS 4.0 engine management; fuel injection; fuel grade: RON 98 Super Plus unleaded.

Power transmission

Six-speed gearbox with sequential jaw-type shift; oil/water heat exchanger; single-mass flywheel; hydraulic disengagement lever; three-plate carbon-fibre clutch; rear wheel drive; limited-slip differential 45/65 %.

Body

Monocoque body (basis GT3 RS) of hot-galvanised steel; aerodynamically optimised front end with front spoiler; aerodynamically optimised front underfloor; adjustable rear wing; 90-litre safety fuel tank with fast filling function; air jack; welded-in safety cage; bucket-type racing seat (on driver's side only) with flame-resistant seat cover; six-point seat belt adapted for use of the HANS Head and Neck Support; electric fire-extinguishing system.

Suspension

Front: McPherson spring strut axle; Sachs four-way gas pressure dampers; double coil springs (main and ancillary spring); front axle arms adjustable for camber; adjustable sword-type anti-roll bar on both sides; power steering.
Rear: Multi-arm axle with rigidly mounted axle sub-frame; Sachs four-way gas pressure dampers; double coil springs (main and auxiliary spring); rear axle tie-bar reinforced and infinitely adjustable; adjustable sword-type anti-roll bar on both sides.
Complete suspension infinitely adjustable (height, camber, track).

Brakes

Brake system with balance bar control.
Front: Single-piece six-piston aluminium fixed callipers; inner-vented, 380 mm in diameter; racing brake pads.
Rear: Single-piece four-piston aluminium fixed callipers; inner-vented, 355 mm in diameter; racing brake pads.

Electrical System

Motec display with integrated data recording; adjustable traction control; battery: 12 volt, 50 Ah, 140 Ah alternator.

Wheels

Front: Three-piece BBS light-alloy wheels (11J x 18-34); central bolt;
Rear: Three-piece BBS light-alloy wheels (13J x 18-12.5); central bolt.

Weight

Approx. 1,225 kg complying with A.C.O. regulations, 1,200 kg complying with FIA regulations.

The New Toyoya iQ


Toyota to present two new additions to its small car line-up at Geneva Motor Show

  • World premiere of Toyota’s revolutionary new iQ urban car
  • European premiere of Toyota’s new small SUV, the Urban Cruiser

At the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota will unveil the production design of its all-new small car – Toyota iQ. First shown as the Concept Car iQ at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, iQ will go into production during late 2008.

iQ represents a break-through in compact urban transportation. For a first, up to three passengers can be comfortably seated in a compact urban vehicle at sub three metres in length, and additionally have enough area to accommodate a child or luggage.

The spaciousness of iQ is a result of its ingenious packaging, which was created by six space-saving but inter-linked engineering innovations that represent a revolution in Toyota’s automotive vehicle development.

Infused with Japanese design elements, iQ is a radical change in vehicle design as well as environmentally friendly transportation, and away from the belief that small cars are basic and less safe.

Toyota also uses the Geneva Motor Show to present a new extension of its sports utility vehicle line-up into the small car segment: Toyota Urban Cruiser.

This new Toyota is an environmentally responsible small SUV aimed at the urban all-roader market. It provides an answer to consumer desires for SUVs but with low fuel consumption and low emissions.

In addition, Toyota will also show its latest advances in urban environmental transport solutions, a Plug-in Hybrid prototype as well as two concept cars: the Toyota 1/X Plug-in Hybrid concept in combination with Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) technology, and the i-Real personal mobility concept.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Body Kit for Audi A3













Audi A3 Body Kit by RDX Racedesign


Sporty muscular look
Aerodynamic construction kit Audi A3 model 8L (except S3) for 615.56 euros
Front bumper spoiler ready for combination with Audi S6 daytime headlights
Custom-fit for single-frame grille use on Audi A3 / 8P Sportback
Precisely fitting; in high-quality robust GRP
Body-styling parts with TÜV-parts approved certificate/TÜV cleared

A new aerodynamic body-styling kit for the Audi A3 8L is being put on the market as from today by the tuning specialist RDX RACEDESIGN Automotive, Germany. It brushes up the first-generation A3 with rejuvenating body-styling at the same time giving it a really sporty appearance.

The aerodynamic kit comprises a front bumper spoiler (299.- euros), intended for use with a single-frame grille. It can be combined with the original Audi grille for the A3/8P Sportback as well es with various other single-frame grilles* supplied by RDX RACEDESIGN. In addition it can also be used on vehicles with or without headlight washing systems. The final detail, so-to-speak the "crowning" detail, is the chance to have Audi S6 day lights fitted, which can be ordered from Audi dealers.

Optical lowering and more side "muscles" are provided by a side skirt set (129.95 euros), which shows off the sporty air scoops on each side The new appearance is finished off by a new RDX RACEDESIGN rear apron fitted with an attractive design fold for 255.00 euros. The rear part is supplied without openings for the exhaust unit. They can be cut out to size as required.

The kit is available as a set for 615.56 euros. A price advantage of around 70 euros!

All RDX RACEDESIGN components display excellent custom-fitting, good paintability qualities and are of course TÜV tested and certified. The front part is supplied with TÜV parts approved certificate, the side skirt and rear with TÜV clearance.

For further information on the wide range RDX RACEDESIGN tuning programme please call 09176/ 99 55 90 or refer to the homepage www.rdx-racedesign-de.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The New Honda Accord


The All-New Honda Accord Euro

Honda announced the all-new Accord for Europe. Aimed squarely at challenging established premium contenders in the D-segment, Honda’s all-new Accord saloon and Tourer offer sporty styling, greater refinement and a unique package of safety systems, together with excellent dynamic capabilities. Strong environmental credentials in the form of an all Euro 5 emissions compliant engine line-up further emphasize Honda’s intent with the the all-new Accord.

Significantly wider and slightly lower, the styling adopts a more emotional, sporty motif. The ‘sharp-edged’ design, with pronounced muscular wheelarches that emphasize the car’s wider track, gives the Accord a distinctive, strong stance with a solid, planted feel. The distinctive nose and more flowing lines deliver a tauter and more athletic shape.

The evolution from the previous generation Accord is even more pronounced in the case of the Tourer, where a greater emphasis on load carrying practicality has evolved into a more dynamic expression of its advanced technology, while still retaining a strong degree of versatility and practicality.

Three advanced new engines with some of the lowest emissions in their segment

The new range is one of the first to offer a complete engine line-up that will comply with the forthcoming Euro 5 emissions regulations which aren’t due to be introduced until September 2009. The exceptional environmental credentials haven’t been achieved at the cost of driving enjoyment, however, and greater frugality is matched by greater performance and flexibility.

Making its debut is Honda’s second-generation diesel engine which builds on the outstanding qualities of the award-winning i-CTDi unit to raise the bar in the diesel stakes once again. Its advanced technology and overall capabilities place it firmly at the forefront of diesel development and underpins the Accord’s claim to offer one of the strongest combinations of dynamic performance and environmental responsibility in the marketplace.

Like its predecessor, the new i-DTEC engine is compact, lightweight, refined and quiet in operation. It employs the latest piezoelectric multi-stage fuel injection technology, more efficient exhaust gas recirculation and a particulate filter for significantly reduced emissions. At the same time both power and torque levels have been increased for a sportier driving experience. Output is 10 PS greater at 150 PS/110 kW at the same 4,000 rpm, while peak torque is now 350 Nm at 2,000 rpm.

The 2.0-liter i-VTEC offers similar levels of performance to its predecessor – 156 PS at 6,300 rpm – but builds on its class leading fuel economy. Key technological changes include increased diameter intake valves, further optimized valve lift and timing and increased inlet and exhaust air flow volumes.

The 2.4-liter engine is more powerful, delivering 200 PS at 7000 rpm and peak torque of 233 Nm at 4500 rpm – up from 190 PS and 223 Nm. Behind the figures are a compression ratio increased from 10.5 to 11.0:1, larger diameter valves, revised valve timing, and reduced exhaust system pressures.

6-speed manual/5-speed automatic

All three engines are matched to a 6-speed manual transmission, while both petrol engines have the option of a 5-speed automatic.

Manual models feature a ‘Shift Indicator Light’ or SIL which appears in the center of the rev counter. ‘UP’ or ‘DOWN’ are displayed to advise the driver of the optimum point (in terms of best fuel economy) at which to change gear; Honda tests have demonstrated fuel savings of as much as 5 per cent simply by following these commands.

The 5-speed automatic transmission now has a straight ‘P R N D S’ gate: using the steering wheel paddles in S mode provides a sequential shift mode, allowing manual shifting and gear hold.

Agile, secure handling

Enthusiastic drivers will also appreciate the new Accord’s greater agility. A lowered center of gravity, a wider track and the all-new front double wishbone and rear multilink suspension with variable rate dampers, plus greater body rigidity mean that the Accord more readily reacts to driver input. Handling is more responsive and confidence-inspiring and body roll is much reduced.

Speed sensitive electric power steering is standard on all models and the new axial system features a high output, low inertia brushless motor which provides excellent steering feel at higher speeds for a sense of stability and confidence. A quicker steering ratio has also been adopted in keeping with the Accord’s more agile chassis characteristics.

A comprehensive safety package
Complementing an armory of passive safety features is an outstanding array of dynamic systems delivering even greater security. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is standard across the range and is designed to assist the driver in maintaining control during cornering, acceleration and sudden manoeuvres by applying braking to the right or left hand wheels as necessary and modulating the engine torque output as required.

Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS)

The new Accord also features an innovative system in which the capabilities of both VSA and the car’s Electric Power Steering are brought to bear. Called Motion Adaptive EPS, it detects instability in slippery conditions both during cornering and under braking and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed at prompting the driver to steer in the correct direction.

The input is barely noticeable and control of the steering remains with the driver at all times. But this supporting steering torque is enough to prompt the driver to act intuitively and the driver’s reaction as a result is enough to regain stability or to shorten braking distances, allowing control to be maintained.
Advanced Driving Assist System (ADAS) optional across the range

Optionally available on Executive grade on 2.2 i-DTEC and 2.4 i-VTEC is Honda’s Advanced Driving Assist System (ADAS), a suite of three ground-breaking technologies that raise safety to a new level. The first of these is the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) which uses a camera to detect the car deviating from a traffic lane and provides steering torque when necessary, thereby reducing the burden of motorway driving while at the same time enhancing safety.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses a millimetre-wave radar to maintain a consistent distance to a vehicle directly in front, for more relaxed, less tiring driving.

The third ADAS system is the Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) which monitors the following distance and closing rate between the Accord and the car directly in front of it, warning the driver when a collision is likely and helping reduce impact when a collision becomes unavoidable.

These systems complement the Accord’s passive safety features which include front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, dual stage front airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, full length curtain airbags and ISOFIX fittings and tether anchor points for secure childseat fixture on all models. There are also front seat active headrests which are triggered when the occupant is pushed into the seat in the event of a rear impact, so causing a rigid plate to activate a link to the headrest which pushes it forward to support the head.

Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure

Progressively introduced throughout the Honda range, the Accord’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure provides significantly enhanced occupant protection in a variety of real-world crash conditions.

A front-mounted polygonal main frame is designed to prevent cabin deformation by distributing forces through multiple major load bearing pathways – and away from the passenger compartment. This is particularly important where a frontal collision occurs between vehicles of differing heights, weights or frame construction.

To achieve top level, side impact safety, Honda’s engineers have increased the side section of the frame and chosen different material specifications to provide the desired level of stiffness and strength for critical areas, without adding unnecessary weight.

The new Accord also incorporates many of the pedestrian-protection design features already familiar from recent Honda models, including windscreen wiper pivots designed to break away on impact, energy absorbing front wing mounts and bonnet hinges alongside an unobstructed area beneath the bonnet allowing greater space for deformation.

KITT is back !

Did you grow up watching KITT? I know I did... It was a very good movie. KITT is now back! I leave the comments up to you...


The New Renault Koleos


First 4x4 crossover from Renault

Renault is pleased to present Koleos, its first ever crossover. Ideal for escaping the everyday routine, Renault Koleos is comfortable, easy to drive and boasts genuine off-road ability. It has been designed to be versatile, too, offering the same reassuring drive when motoring in and about town, on open roads and on motorways as it does when it is taken off the beaten track. Meanwhile, Renault Koleos delivers the same standard of comfort as that expected of a saloon car, as well as cabin space worthy of a compact MPV.

Designed by Renault, developed by Nissan and manufactured in Renault Samsung Motors' Busan plant in Korea, Renault Koleos is the fruit of extremely close collaboration between teams from each of these Renault-Nissan Alliance brands.

Renault Koleos will be on show at the Geneva Motor Show from March 4, 2008. The launch of Koleos marks a decisive step in the brand's development, not only in Europe but across the world. The release of its first 4x4 crossover is a sure sign that Renault has the capacity to take its own authentic stance and a completely fresh approach in segments from which it has traditionally been absent.

Renault Koleos offers a unique standard of safety and comfort, a parameter that has become a recognised Renault hallmark which is not only clear for all to see but also highly affordable.

The release of Koleos sees Renault take the wraps off its first ever 4x4 crossover, a vehicle designed for getting away from it all which combines an efficient all-wheel drive chassis, the dynamic lines of a saloon car and the cabin space of an MPV.

Renault has made sure that Koleos has all the necessary genes to ensure that all passengers travel first class and that the new vehicle is easy to use. The seating and suspension provide a high standard of comfort and the driver benefits from outstanding forward visibility thanks to the low-mounted dashboard, while Koleos' split-opening tailgate greatly facilitates loading.

Dynamics

The sensation of being in control is felt as soon as the driver settles behind the wheel of Koleos. The power steering is precise, progressive, and accurately feeds back information from the road. Despite its higher ground clearance, Koleos handles like a saloon car thanks to its chassis which was purposely developed to provide an optimal trade off between comfort and handling, both of which are of a remarkably high standard. Special attention was paid to cornering performance with the intention of to curb body-roll which can often be a feature of this type of vehicle.

Versatility: a leitmotiv

Running gear

Renault Koleos is a crossover whose roots can be traced back to the worlds of the saloon car, the MPV and 4x4-type vehicle. It successfully blends the best of all three categories to deliver outstanding versatility and driving pleasure on all types of road. In built-up areas, on motorways and on unsealed surfaces, the Koleos chassis conveys a real sense of safety and being in control.

The MacPherson-type front suspension combines with the fully-independent multilink rear suspension seen on New X-Trail. This set-up guarantees comfort and directional stability in all situations, while the dampers and springs have been tuned to match Koleos' specific dimensions and contribute to the targeted balance between comfort and handling. Ground clearance of 206mm (diesel version: 188mm) and approach and departure angles of 27 and 31 degrees respectively are further illustrations of Koleos' off-road credentials.

All-wheel drive

Koleos is the first Renault model to feature four-wheel drive from launch. The torque split between the front and rear is automatically calculated as a function of available grip. In normal conditions, torque is delivered to the front wheels only. Should less grip become available, however, up to 50 per cent of torque is transferred to the rear. This front-rear split is ensured by an electronic coupler and controlled by the latest-generation 'All mode 4x4-I' system developed by Nissan for New X-Trail.

This system, which is designed to optimize traction in all road conditions, is not only acclaimed for its efficiency but also contributes to Renault Koleos' exceptional off-road ability.

The same all-wheel drive management system also contributes to the vehicle's active safety performance. The instant it detects even a small amount of oversteer or understeer, it immediately modifies the front-rear torque split, even before a possible intervention from the ESP kicks in. When grip is at a premium, such as on snow, mud, dirt or sand, the driver only has to flick a switch on the dashboard to electronically lock the transmission in 4x4 mode. Alternatively, should the driver so wish, the transmission can also be locked in two-wheel drive mode.

Renault Koleos is equipped with a Hill Start Assist function which can prove a particularly useful asset during everyday motoring. This system is automatically activated on gradients of more than 10 per cent with a view to preventing the vehicle slipping back down the slope. It also does away with the need for the driver to switch rapidly from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal which is inherent in most vehicles.

Similarly, Renault Koleos is equipped with a Hill Descent Control system for even safer off- road motoring. This function is activated via a button mounted on the central fascia and automatically holds the vehicle's speed at a maximum of 7kph on downhill gradients of 10 per cent or more without requiring the brakes to be used. This function works in reverse gear, too.

Koleos' navigation system has a number of specific off-road features, including an altimeter and barometer. The vehicle's angle of inclination, the slope and an altitude graph are equally displayed, while a digital compass takes the stress out of finding the correct heading when there are no signposts about. Renault Koleos will also be available in two-wheel drive form for those customers who are drawn by its adventurer, crossover looks but who have no call for all-wheel drive transmission.

Latest-generation powertrains

Renault Koleos will be available with two types of Alliance engines. The latest-generation 2.0 dCi Euro 4 diesel engine (M9R) is available in a choice of two power outputs, namely 110kW (150hp) or 127kW (175hp). The engine, which has already been seen on upper-range Renault vehicles, Mgane, Nissan's Qashqai and New X-Trail and Renault Samsung Motors' QM5, features the very latest diesel engine technologies, including piezoelectric injectors, common-rail 1,600-bar fuel injection, a water-cooled variable-geometry turbo and a periodic regeneration particulate filter.

The 2.0 dCi engine is available with a broad useful rev band, with peak torque of either 320 or 360Nm (depending on version) available from low engine speeds. The 2.0 dCi 110kW engine can be ordered for either the 4x2 or 4x4 versions and mated with either a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission. The 127kW version of the 2.0 dCi engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and all-wheel drive. The other engine of the Koleos range is a 2.5-litre Euro 4 powerplant (the Nissan TR25)

which delivers 126kW (170hp) and torque of 226Nm. Depending on market, it will be available with a manual six-speed gearbox and/or continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Active safety

Safety is a fundamental feature built into all Renault models, and Koleos has been engineered to provide impeccable performance on both the active and passive safety fronts. Its active safety is based on its carefully engineered chassis and big brakes which bring the model to a standstill from 100kph in just 42 metres, one of the shortest stopping distances to be found in the SUV/crossover segment.

In emergency braking situations, when taking avoidance action or when grip is lost, Renault Koleos can count on ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and ESP with understeer control. Even before the latter kicks in, the all-wheel drive transmission control system intervenes to adjust the front-rear torque split as soon as the first signs of oversteer or understeer are detected.

Passive safety

The fact that Renault's range includes eight models that have been awarded the maximum five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating speaks volumes for the brand's expertise when it comes to passive safety. It goes without saying that Renault Koleos has benefited from the years of extensive research that have gone into studying real-life accidents. Its very structure has been engineered to include programmed crumple zones both at the front and rear, while the design of the cabin's structure allows it to serve as a protective cell in the case of an accident. Furthermore, Renault Koleos comes with a long list of equipment committed to optimizing occupant protection, including six airbags (including two adaptive front airbags which adapt to the passenger's build), load limiters for the front and outer rear seat seatbelts, front seatbelt pretensioners and Isofix child seat anchorage for the outer rear seats.

The dynamic lines of a saloon with 4x4 styling cues Renault Koleos' lines were designed to be both distinctive and expressive. Koleos is unmistakably an 4x4, yet its looks are in no way aggressive and its styling is appealing without being ostentatious. The front end features the logo of the brand flanked by air intakes and modern elliptical headlamps, notably the module which incorporates Xenon headlamps and additional cornering lights.

The side design of Renault Koleos including high ground clearance and prominent wheel arches betrays its 4x4 calling. "Koleos has a strong personality. In our programme, it is a unique model that stands out from its rivals thanks to its raked rear screen which is suggestive of propulsion," notes Renault's Director of Design, Patrick le Quement. The distinctive lines of its hatch form a movement that flows from the bottom of the rear window to converge on the logo which sits on a gloss black finish plaque.

The cabin and drive station are purposely intuitive and the interior design is based on a series of elegantly flowing curves. The bottom of the dashboard forms a wave-like line which gives the impression that the cowling is actually floating on the dashboard. The form of the centre console, which houses all the vehicle's principal functions, contributes to an inescapable sense of well-being. This is further compounded by the quality of the materials selected for Koleos and by the careful attention that has been paid to the play and mating between panels and components. "The carefully-honed interior of Koleos is of a very high quality," observes Patrick le Quement. "Its graphic design is very pleasing, while special attention has been paid to perceived quality."

For customers who wish to personalize their vehicle, Renault has developed a range of customization accessories, some of which underpin the all-terrain calling of Koleos.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The PPI Audi R8 Razor


World premier at the Essen Motor Show 2007

The PPI R8 and PPI R8 Razor – automobile lifestyle in carbon fibre

With the launching of the R8, Audi heats up against rivals Porsche, Ferrari and Bentley vigorously providing stiff competition. The Swabian, German tuners PPI Automotive Design GmbH, customize Audi’s flagship sportscar by stoking up the fire with even more coal going that extra mile by providing an enhanced look combined with improved driving dynamics. A wind tunnel-tested aerodynamic kit of carbon fibre in combination with a performance enhancement and special lightweight magnesium wheels in 19-inch dimensions provides measurably improved appearance whether on the race track or the elegant promenade of the elite jet set.

Optimised performance for better resilience and increased driving pleasure

The stage 1 kit produces an increase power output of the original motor from 309kw/420hp to 348kw/460hp and increases torque from 430Nm/317lb-ft to 465Nm/343lbs-ft. A performance kit with durable components designed by PPI consists of corrosion resistant stainless steel sport rear muffler with throttle system. Just beginning at low-end torque, the resulting sound signals pure power, but with high speeds one experiences an even more imposing sound. Matched to this is a complete optimised engine management plus sport air filter providing the unit with extra breathing abilities. Results are a top speed of 192 mph (311 km/h) and sprinting from 0-60 mph in only 4,0 seconds; a six-tenths decrease versus standard production.

PPI aerodynamics: continued further development in carbon fibre

Without being overstated, PPI’s approach to the R8 was to retain the standard series design, with the addition of PPI developed aerodynamics. All PPI aerodynamics for the R8 are made of carbon fibre. This material is commonly used in motor sports reducing general weight yet simultaneously increasing sturdiness. This material is already featured in the Audi base model. PPI consequently takes a further step applying carbon fibre as the main component with highest quality for its entire car body material. Furthermore, PPI production carbon fibre parts are available in glossy or matte finish. The PPI aerodynamics package includes a lift reducing front lip spoiler. This more aggressive front air damn is designed to channel air to the front brakes, and cut through the air. In addition, the PPI designed, front bumper air intake “cartridges” were created for OEM fitting, and for improved air ventilation of the front radiator with separate air channel for brake cooling. Side sills sedate air inflow between the axles and provide this vehicle with a sporty and aggressive look even when standing still. It’s lateral appearance is completed with side blades in carbon fibre matte finish as standard production series offers carbon fibre glossy only. The diffuser with integrated PPI-designed air channels for exhaust pipe cooling stabilizes the rear with extra downforce and directional stability. The new double-sided rear grill deflects engine heat and exhaust system outwards and flanks the middle PPI rear plate. Rear spoiler with its adjustable wing increases downforce on the rear axle and completes the sporty elegant look.

PPI MAG9: the lightweight wheel from PPI

The new PPI MAG9 wheel design characterises the connection of high technical demands to sporty elegance. The two-part magnesium wheel with nine spokes and a wheel rim of carbon fibre commands not only by its exclusive look, but also through its outstanding craftsmanship setting new benchmark standards in the Audi tuning arena. The offered PPI MAG9 comes in dimension 9 x 19 front and 11 x 19 rear. Through the use of ultra light material magnesium resulting in reduction of unsprung mass, acceleration as well as deceleration and handling are distinctly improved. Weighing a mere 7,8 kg for front axle rims and 8,2 kg for rear axle rims, the PPI wheel are absolute champions in the lightweight arena. Optimal tires developed for the PPI R8 Razor in cooperation with Michelin are the supplied Michelin Pilot Sport Cup in dimensions 235/35 ZR19 (front) and 305/30 ZR19 (rear).

Ideal interior engineering

To complete the exclusive enhancements of the R8, PPI offers extensive modifications in materials and parts to the original interior. PPI offers handbrake, door entry threshold plates and middle instrument panel in carbon fibre. The technical highlight of the interior is the new PPI designed ergonomic steering wheel (available with Carbon Fibre sections) with additional interface controls for its driving dynamical program. Offered on special request is a personalized floor mat set furnished with leather trim. Also available is complete hand crafted precision leather, suede, alcantara upholstery from our in-house saddlers.