Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The New Renault Laguna













Four-wheel steering for an exceptional ride

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering brings many benefits, starting with improved manoeuvrability, extremely rigorous dynamic response, and unequalled steering precision which gives the driver truly intuitive control over the cornering line, to attain new heights in driveability and active safety. The steering is immediately reassuring and agreeable, even at low speeds. In town and on winding roads, the car is easy to drive: manoeuvrable and precise.

Advanced roll control, with specific settings and reinforced seat support, gives the impression that Renault Laguna GT corners flat, without leaning into the bend. The driver is pleasantly surprised by the lack of transient dynamic phenomena when cornering, and by the extreme precision achieved by very small steering wheel angles. The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering also excels in active safety, both under difficult braking conditions (with good control over asymmetrical grip, and ESP matched to sporty driving styles), and during avoidance manoeuvres at speed ('elk' test).

Impressive low-speed manoeuvrability

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering makes Renault Laguna GT exceptionally easy to handle in town and superbly agile on winding roads. At speeds of less than 60kphh, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, up to an angle of 3.5°. This brings two advantages: a smaller turning circle, for easy manoeuvring; and smaller steering wheel angles thanks to the more direct, specially calibrated steering.

With four-wheel steering on the Active Drive chassis, Renault Laguna GT has a 10 per cent smaller turning circle than with two-wheel steering: 10.80 metres (the same as Clio!) with 18- inch tyres, instead of 12.05m. The greater the rear-wheel steering angle, the smaller the turning circle. Enhanced manoeuvrability is especially remarkable in tight parking situations and along narrow city streets.

With front wheels and rear wheels turning in opposite directions, the car effectively pivots, which means smaller steering angles are needed for the same turning effect. Whereas it takes a 16° steering wheel angle to produce a 1° turn in the front wheels on New Laguna, it takes just 13.5° with the Active Drive chassis. And this drops to 12° when the rear wheels are turned at the maximum 3.5° angle in the opposite direction to the front wheels. Because steering is more direct, with less need for wide steering wheel angles, the impression of manoeuvrability and agility is greatly enhanced. For any given bend profile, the driver will need less action on the steering wheel. This makes for more effective avoidance, with the car seeming to weave effortlessly around obstacles.

Ultra-precise steering control

From 60kph, the emphasis is on steering precision. The rear wheels turn simultaneously in the same direction as the front wheels, to enhance stability, almost as if the car were running on rails. The Active Drive system with four-wheel steering counters the centrifugal force that tends to push the rear end outwards round bends, and thus raises the safe cornering speed. The rear axle is set on the ideal trajectory, with a rear-wheel angle of less than 2° in most situations, for stability and efficacy. The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering enhances dynamic handling, with sound, reassuring response for outstanding driving pleasure.

Unparalleled active safety

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering also improves safety for heightened reassurance during avoidance manoeuvres. In an emergency situation, the rear-wheel angle can rise to 3.5°. Cut-in of the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system, specially configured for a sporty driving style, is delayed, so that the manoeuvre can be performed both safely and more swiftly. ESC only switches in when necessary, and is applied gradually because it is synchronized with the rear-wheel turn action. Via the ESC/ABS unit, the 4WS control unit also detects asymmetrical braking situations, adapting the rear-wheel turn angle automatically to keep the car stable with no driver action required. This helps the driver keep control during critical situations, and ensures uninterrupted peace of mind during everyday driving conditions.

Dynamic control logic

Developed jointly by Renault and Renault Sport Technologies, the Active Drive chassis with four- wheel steering implements electronic control of vehicle dynamics. A sensor on the steering column sends steering wheel angle information via the CAN network to the 4WD control unit, located behind the rear axle. The 4WD control unit also inputs vehicle speed from the ESP/ABS unit. And it tracks steering wheel angle information to detect sharp steering wheel movements symptomatic of a sports driving style or avoidance situation. All these parameters are analysed to determine the required rear-wheel turn angle, which is implemented by means of an electric actuator on the rear axle. Dynamic vehicle behaviour is precisely modelled to set the ideal vehicle trajectory at each instant, on the basis of the driver’s input and the actual situation of the vehicle. The controller and electric actuator are supplied by Aisin, a Japanese equipment supplier reputed for its experience in four-wheel steering systems.

High-performance engines

The diesel version of Renault Laguna GT is powered by a 2.0 dCi engine, best-in-class for performance, driveability and acoustics. In this implementation, it yields exceptional peak power of 180hp (131kW) at 3,750rpm. Peak torque of 400Nm is available from 2,000rpm, for prompt, consistent, sustained build-up through to 5,000 rpm. A reduced-inertia variable-nozzle turbocharger enhances dynamic response at low revs to achieve superlative performance: 29.6 seconds for the 1,000m standing start, and 0 to 100kph in 8.5 seconds. This new unit is fitted with a particulate filter and EGR valve with enhanced cooling, which makes intense driving pleasure perfectly consistent with environmental protection: mixed-cycle fuel consumption is just 6.5 litres/100km, which translates into CO2 emissions of just 172g/km. With its ultra-fast glow plugs, the 180hp 2.0 dCi unit roars into action instantly when the Start button is pressed, even in conditions of extreme cold (down to -23°C).

The petrol version of Renault Laguna GT is powered by a sports version (205hp/150kW at 5,000rpm and 300Nm from 3,000rpm) of the two-litre 16-valve unit, derived from Renault Sport technology as featured on Mégane Renault Sport, and specifically reworked for Renault Laguna GT, to yield the best in performance, handling and intense driving pleasure. It is superbly versatile, combining velvet smoothness with astonishingly crisp response, ideal for sports usage.

Design features such as the special air-intake system and twin-scroll turbo ensure the rev- counter leaps forward at the slightest touch of the throttle. Renault Laguna GT 2.0T accelerates from 0 to 100kph in 7.8 seconds and takes 28s to cover 1,000 metres from standstill. Yet fuel consumption is a very reasonable 8.2 litres/100km, which makes for CO2 emissions of just 194g/km.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Giugiaro Quaranta concept












Uncompromising innovation in Giugiaro tradition

An "extreme", clean-technology project embodying 40 years of styling research and engineering celebrated by Italdesign Giugiaro in Geneva

The "Quaranta" project is a concept car designed to celebrate Italdesign Giugiaro's forty years of business in styling and technological research at the service of the automotive sector. The Quaranta, world-premiered at the 2008 Geneva International Motor Show, is a synthesis of Italdesign Giugiaro's unmatched experience of automotive design: from city cars to super sports-cars, from MPVs to medium-engined saloons up to and including luxury flagships and environment-friendly SUV, not to mention light/heavy duty commercial vehicles, in complete cooperation with leading manufacturers all over the world.

The Quaranta is an "extreme" product, an environment-friendly, 4WD super sports-car which incorporates a series of innovative aspects: its styling, but also its drive technology, which combines a hybrid engine with solar energy, and its internal layout which, despite its mid-mounted rear engine, can accommodate three adults and a child, also providing a generous luggage compartment.

The idea which inspired the Quaranta project is that of the first single-volume concept car with central engine and drive. The original reference is to the 1968 Bizzarrini Manta which, at that time, represented a major breakthrough in styling, now adapted to state-of-the-art technology and enriched with Italdesign Giugiaro's forty years experience of research.

The style of the future
Despite its flat, highly compact shape, the Quaranta features a single-volume shape characterized by a continuous body line stretching from its clipped nose to the tail that exploits the almost horizontal rake of the windscreen.

Access to the cabin is "step-in" via an upper door incorporating the side ones. At the touch of an electric on/off button, the door opens upward in a downwind direction, regulated by proximity sensors. The door is hinged to the hood pillar and is aligned with a second upper rear door, for access to the engine compartment and boot.

The roof houses the array of solar panels, necessary to power the electric battery, in the space between the two doors. Along with the other solar panels positioned on the front end, these create a central opaque strip, a distinctive signature of the model, thanks to the interplay of light with the bright paint of the bodywork. The solar panels can generate a power of up to 250 W, sufficient for the functioning of the cockpit conditioning system and for recharging the electric battery.

The styling of the Quaranta prototype is further enhanced by the attention dedicated to surface aerodynamics, designed to ensure maximum possible efficiency and penetration, also by using sharp edges on the rear. This can also be noted in the front end of the vehicle where the radiator grille has been eliminated and replaced by two side air inlets, positioned above the lighting clusters, which perform the delicate function of front stabilizers. The rear of the vehicle has also been conceived to improve overall aerodynamic performance: an attentively-molded spoiler, with a perfectly square-edged cut and a very technical design, has the scope of supporting the lower wing, modeled according to latest generation F1 styling, that makes up for the absence of the traditional upper stabilizer.

Styling research aimed at top aerodynamic performance is also reflected on the sides, characterized by extremely generous glazing stretching from the front fender to the tail and in which the air vents are housed, located after the doors but also along the sill, in which the water cooling ducts are inserted. The most innovative feature of the side profile is certainly the contour line, between the door-windows and the sill, which is "negative" in the shoulder section, a particular, absolutely innovative feature for super sports-cars.

Interiors: technology for safety and comfort
Inside, the most striking innovation can be found in the multi-control steering wheel which reflects an idea already incorporated in the 1980 Medusa, a prototype developed by Italdesign and on display at its stand in Geneva: all vehicle driving and control functions are concentrated on the spokes, where the stalks have been eliminated and replaced with keys. This guarantees easier control by the driver, in a central position which can be obtained due to the absence of the gearbox-transmission block tunnel. This is possible thanks to the electric four-wheel drive system which eliminates any obstacles on the floor pan, making it completely flat. The generously-scaled central space of the cockpit can accommodate two adults and a child, behind the driver. The dashboard has been conceived with a sporting, modern look, with clean-cut details matching the style of the exterior, and equipped with a vast array of instruments. These are organized on two levels: the screens of the side and rear TV cameras are positioned on the upper level, with particular attention to the left-hand view mirror, useful when overtaking; the lower level is dedicated to the management of the vehicle. The drive-panel also includes a visor for X-ray sensors for night driving. The dark-colored leather and alcantara upholstery reflects the most refined Italian taste.

The lighting clusters are extremely modern: the low-beam lights are based on led technology, while the full-beam are of the Bi-xenon type. The direction indicators, the tail and rear stop lights are of the full led type, inserted in a single box but differentiated according to color, assembled and adapted by hand at Italdesign Giugiaro.

Last but not least, the Quaranta features 9 ½ by 20" alloy wheels, without hub caps for improved styling and aerodynamics, and four Vredestein tires as standard, which differ only in shoulder height: 275/35/R20 front and 275/40/R20 rear. The dimensions are certainly tight for a super sports-car but suitable for a 4WD car.

Technical data

Length (mm): 4450
Height (mm): 1230
Height from ground (mm): 165 / 230
Wheelbase (mm): 2620
Front/Rear overhang (mm) :960 / 758 (1014 / 808)
Front/rear width (mm): 1980 / 1982
Front/rear track (mm): 1759 / 1697
Front tires: 275 / 35 / R20 Vredestein
Rear tires: 275 / 40 / R20 Vredestein
Rims: 9 ½ x 20" OZ
Windscreen angle of incidence: 70°
Weight (kg): 1400
Drive: 4WD
Front suspensions: "Push-rod" type with overlapped triangular wishbones and central mono-shock-absorber
Rear suspensions: Push-rod" type with overlapped triangular wishbones and two shock-absorbers

Values and driving performance

Displacement (cm3): V6 3311
Max. power (kW/rpm): 155/5600
System total power (kW): 200
Max. torque (Nm/rpm): 288/4400
Top speed (km/h): 250 (limited)
0 – 100 km/h (sec.): 4.05
Consumption (l/100 km, combined cycle): 7,1
CO2 emissions (g/km, combined cycle): 180

Friday, March 21, 2008

Suzuki Kizashi Concept












Suzuki Kizashi Concept

Concept Kizashi made its world debut at the 2007 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, demonstrating Suzuki's progress toward the development of a vehicle that combines sportiness, style and substance. As the first concept in the Kizashi series, the vehicle's dynamic exterior was specifically developed to push the envelope and establish the overall design theme of the series. Reflecting the spirit of a highway athlete, the exaggerated dimensions of Concept Kizashi and its strong fascia communicate a dignified character and the overall presence of a dynamic flagship vehicle.

Suzuki Kizashi 2 Concept

Debuted at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, the Concept Kizashi 2 crossover sport wagon aims at drivers with dynamic lifestyles and can accommodate a wide range of activities. Continuing the series' athletic theme, Concept Kizashi 2 reflects the body of a triathlete, with the five-door vehicle's all-road capability enhanced by its raised height and all-wheel-drive configuration. In addition to the sport crossover's versatility, its 3.6 liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission promise a rewarding and engaging driving experience for daily drivers and enthusiasts alike.

Suzuki Kizashi 3 Concept

The closest-to-production variation of the Concept Kizashi series, Suzuki Kizashi 3 Concept embodies Suzuki's interpretation of the sport sedan segment in the North American market. The Kizashi's "super sport" identity, a core component of the Suzuki brand DNA, is tempered by the vehicle's overall mission to provide strong, refined urban performance.

As with Concept Kizashi and Concept Kizashi 2, the front end of the Suzuki Kizashi 3 Concept expresses strength and style, with sharply fashioned headlights that emphasize the sensation of forward motion. The vehicle's exquisitely engineered body reflects Suzuki's distinctive combination of capability and refinement, with power flowing from a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 engine with plated cylinders — a weight-and space-saving technology that evolved from the lessons learned by Suzuki's motorcycle and WRC development teams. The body's monochrome finish, Kizashi Silver, gives the vehicle a sense of composure and depth of character, with metallic paint sparkling to emphasize the dynamism of the body's cross-section.

Suzuki Kizashi 3 Concept Specifications

  • Powertrain layout: Front engine, four-wheel drive with Advanced i-AWD system
  • Seating capacity (persons): Five
  • Tires: 255/30ZR21 9.5J
  • Wheels: 21-inch, nine-spoke, aluminum
  • Engine: 3,564cm3 V6, DOHC, 24-valve
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic (with paddle shifters)
  • Maximum power: 300 hp
  • Overall length: 4,650mm/183.1 in.
  • Overall width: 1,900mm/74.8 in.
  • Overall height: 1,450mm/57.1 in.
  • Wheelbase: 2,800mm/110.2 in.
  • Minimum ground clearance: 120mm

Kia Koup concept












Combining youthful exuberance with a sporty and sleek design, Kia Motors America (KMA) debuted the Kia KOUP concept at the 2008 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) during a press conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Illustrating the shape and evolution of future Kia vehicles, the simple yet bold and aggressive KOUP exterior is complemented by its realistic and sleek interior design. Originating from the Kia Motors America Design Center in Irvine, Calif., the Kia KOUP concept embodies Kia's philosophy of "Exciting and Enabling" with its balanced proportions and fluid design set to evoke an emotional driving experience.

"The Kia KOUP concept represents the future of the Kia brand and its dynamic vehicles that speak to our core philosophies," said Tom Kearns, chief designer of KMA. "Kia strives to appeal to the emotional side of car enthusiasts who seek adventure and want to take a leap into the future with style and advanced technology, and the KOUP effectively delivers."

First Glance

Curb appeal begins with the KOUP's balanced proportions and fluid design. From the tab-shaped and purposeful upper grille to the high-tech and pragmatic headlamps, the front fascia's form gives the vehicle a bold and aggressive stance.

The KOUP features an uncomplicated yet dynamic wedge shape along its sides stemming from its glowing, carbon fiber and black chrome enhanced LED lamp lenses.

While the KOUP's overall form is simple and precise, it makes a design statement with positive tension created by a "swoosh" that swoops from the "C" pillar forward, down to the "A" pillar and flares all the way back around to the reardeck lid. A trailing horizontal lip along the deck lid tapers up toward the outer ends to meet up with the swoosh from the beltline. The rocker sill has a distinctive "check mark" shape and prominent wheel flares that give the KOUP a strong, lowered stance. The short overhangs and wide stance reflect its well-balanced and responsive character.

No element of high-style design is missing in the Kia KOUP concept as illustrated by its greenhouse-integrated, panoramic-view glass with two panels extending from the windshield through the roof to the backlight, appearing as two parallel pieces of glass - similar to a fighter jet cockpit. Segregating the glass panels, an interior mood light runs the full length of the greenhouse. To further the performance-inspired appearance with sporty elegance, carbon fiber enhancements accent the KOUP's chin spoiler, lamp lenses, cowl panel, side-view mirrors, rear bumper insert and rear diffuser, while flashy twin wheel spokes include carbon fiber inserts paired with an open design to show off the Brembo® calipers and cross-drilled rotors.

Inside the Cockpit

Conceived artfully and with graphic precision, the KOUP's interior hones in on the desires of auto enthusiasts from the inward lean of the dashboard and Supervision instrument panel, enhancing the performance-inspired driving experience to the custom-designed, race-inspired steering wheel in front of a three-gauge instrument cluster. Carbon fiber accents on the shifter plate and seat tilt-adjust mechanism reinforce sporty performance.

Audiophiles and car enthusiasts alike will take heed of eight speakers, including large rear deck speakers matched to a juke box audio system, further harmonizing the driving experience. A built-in Bluetooth®-enabled navigation system with Map On Demand (MOD) is just the beginning of the telematics services.

The Kia KOUP features a realistic interior design that integrates high-style materials, including rich and supple seat fabrics accentuated with concrete- and black-color trims. As a true driver's car, the front seats contrast the rear seats with opposing colors and patterning and horizontal, padded silicone bars occupy the seat backs for extra comfort. High-tech details are integrated into the interior, including convenient smart key with push button start, and a six-speed automatic transmission with steering column-mounted paddle shifters.

Taking Flight

Powered by a commanding 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged engine producing 290 horsepower paired with a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) twin scroll turbocharger for greater power and efficiency, the KOUP delivers astonishing torque of 289 lb-ft at a low 2,000 rpm sustained to 4,000 rpm. By injecting fuel directly into the cylinder under high pressure using the Kia GDI system, the intake charge is cooled and combustion behavior is improved. Improved combustion assures excellent fuel economy and low emissions. Lower grille openings enable additional air intake for extra power.

Built on a front-wheel-drive unibody frame, coil springs and stabilizer bars complement an independent front suspension featuring MacPherson struts and an independent dual link rear suspension to provide the optimal balance of ride comfort and engine responsiveness. An engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system adds the finishing touch for precise handling. In keeping with the KOUP's sporty essence, Continuous Damping Control (CDC) for quick movements and sharp turns paired with a sport-tuned, four-wheel independent suspension and strut tower bar offer a tighter grip for more spirited driving.

Safety

The Kia KOUP concept features all of the standard safety features offered in Kia's regular production vehicle lineup including six standard airbags and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Electronic Stability Control (ESC) paired with CDC helps to stabilize the KOUP for maximum contact with the pavement. The large 245/40ZR19 tires complete the KOUP's impressive package. Also included is adaptive front lighting and cruise control, adding to the KOUP's advanced safety technology.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lamborghini Reventon












Born in Sant'Agata Bolognese

The Lamborghini Reventón has been entirely designed in Sant'Agata Bolognese, the original birthplace of the Lamborghini and the native home of every super car born under the sign of the bull. The design drawn up in Lamborghini's Centro Stile (Style Centre) is fine-tuned in close collaboration with the Lamborghini Research and Development Department. Thus, the Reventón is not only "haute couture" but it also stands out for its elevated dynamism whilst being entirely suitable for every day use.

The Lamborghini Reventón is not destined to remain a one-off. A total of 20 Lamborghini friends and collectors will be able to own this extraordinary car and, naturally, enjoy the incomparable pleasure of driving it.

The name Reventón has been chosen according to Lamborghini tradition. Reventón was a fighting bull, owned by the Don Rodriguez family. It is included in the list of the most famous bulls ever and is known for killing the famed bullfighter Felix Guzman in 1943.

Inspired by the fastest airplanes

The present day Lamborghini models are distinguished by the clear language of their shape. The coherent proportions of the Murciélago and Gallardo highlight their power and dynamism. Sharp edges, precise lines and clean surfaces: these are ingredients of a style reduced to the essential. Each element is created exactly according to its function; ornaments and decorations are totally foreign to a Lamborghini.

With the Reventón the Centro Stile designers have coherently developed this philosophy, inspired by another sphere where speed and dynamism reign absolute: modern aeronautics, responsible for the fastest and most agile airplanes in the world. This has created an extremely precise, technically striking style with a new vitality: interrupted lines and contorted surfaces create a fascinating play of light, giving the car incredible movement.

Made of carbon fibre and precision

Although it is based on the extraordinarily successful Murciélago LP640, the exterior design of the Reventón is completely new. Just like the base model, the exterior is made of CFC, a composite carbon fibre material, which is as stable as it is light. The exterior components are glued and fixed to the body comprised of CFC and steel.

The front is characterised by the acute angle of the central 'arrow' and by the powerful forward-facing air intakes. Although they do not supply air directly to the turbine like an airplane, bearing in mind the 650 hp, an abundant volume of air is necessary to cool the carbon brake disks and the six cylinder callipers.

Born to become a legend

Since its foundation, Lamborghini has been a creator of trends in the world of sports cars and has always manufactured cars with an absolutely unmistakable character. Models such as the Miura or Countach, for example, were veritable forerunners and rapidly acquired the status of timeless classic cars. From the moment they are launched, every new Lamborghini promises to become a legend, destined to become a sought-after and precious possession.

With the Lamborghini Reventón, Lamborghini has done it again; it has created an unequalled super car; the perfect synthesis between the exclusivity and appeal of a limited edition design masterpiece, and the dynamism and driveability of a standard sports car. Thus, the Lamborghini legend is further enhanced by another, stylish future classic.

Lamborghini Reventón - Technical data

  • Frame
    • High strength tubular steel structure with carbon fibre components.
  • Bodywork
    • In carbon fibre, except roof and door external panels (steel)
  • Steering
    • Type: Mechanical (rack and pinion) power-assisted
    • Right-hand turning circle: 12.55 m (41.17 ft)
  • Wheels and tyres
    • Front: 245/35 ZR 18
    • Rear: 335/30 ZR 18
  • Engine
    • Type: 12 cylinders at 60°
    • Bore and stroke: 88 mm x 89 mm (3.46 in x 3.50 in)
    • Displacement: 6496 cc (396.41 in3)
    • Compression ratio: (11 ± 0.2):1
    • Maximum power: 650 HP (478 kW) at 8000 rpm (guaranteed through the engine selection)
    • Maximum torque: 660 Nm (487 lb-ft) at 6000 rpm
    • Engine position in vehicle: Longitudinal central-rear
    • Cylinder heads and engine block: Aluminium
    • Intake system: Variable geometry with 3 operating modes
  • Performance data
    • Top speed: 340 km/h (211.3 mph)
    • Acceleration 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 3.4 s (before: 3.8 s)
  • Fuel Consumption (according to DIR 1999/100/CE)
    • Urban: 32,3 l/100km
    • Extra-urban: 15,0 l/100 km
    • Combined: 21,3 l/100 km
    • CO2 emissions: 495 g/km

The New Hyundai Genesis













DESIGN PROCESS

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Genesis Coupe was shown as a concept at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show and its transformation from concept to production reveals that its signature design features have emerged intact.

"The mission for Genesis Coupe was to create a pure performance car with a design that would capture the imagination of hardcore automotive enthusiasts," said Joel Piaskowski, chief designer at the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, Calif. "With its aggressive look from just about any angle, I think we have been able to do that."

Hyundai Genesis Coupe is also unmistakably linked to several Hyundai concept cars. The powerful curves, undulating beltline, surface detail, and "Z" bodyside lines come straight from the HCD9 Talus and the HCD8 sport coupe concepts.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe's rocker panels are drawn close to the ground making the bodysides extra thick and the daylight opening thin, allowing the wheels to be slammed up into bulging fenders. To complete the aggressive sports car look, the depth between the fenders and the greenhouse has been maximized.

INTERIOR DESIGN

In keeping with its mission to be the most exciting, attainable sport coupe on the road, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe boasts a cockpit designed to enhance the driving experience. An information display screen features an outside temperature reading and audio system information. Analog gauges include a large speedometer and tachometer positioned so the driver can immediately access critical driving information. The instrument cluster features Hyundai's signature blue gauge illumination.

Bucket front seats with large side bolsters offer excellent lateral support for enthusiastic driving. High-quality seating surfaces range from full black fabric on the Hyundai Genesis Coupe GS and GT, to optional full black or brown leather on the GT, to red cloth inserts with black leather bolsters on the SE.

Among the other refinements are an Infinity audio system and two-stage front seat warmers. Hyundai Genesis Coupe also offers the convenience of a Smart Key and push-button starter.

REAR-WHEEL-DRIVE ARCHITECTURE

Hyundai Genesis Coupe's body shell is rich in ultra-high-tensile steel. Hyundai Genesis Coupe is lighter than the Infiniti G37, and its chassis is also 24 percent stiffer in bending rigidity than the BMW E46 M3. Rear-wheel drive provides a 55:45 front/rear weight distribution.

POWERTRAINS

Two engines infuse Hyundai Genesis Coupe with performance. The 3.8-liter Lambda DOHC V6 engine delivers an estimated 306 horsepower (310 horsepower using premium fuel) and 263 lb.-ft. of torque on regular unleaded. This engine will launch the Hyundai Genesis Coupe from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under six seconds. To maximize the power band, the 3.8-liter engine utilizes Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on intake cam shafts and a new Variable Intake System (VIS) that helps cylinders breathe efficiently at both low and high RPM. The better breathing results in outstanding off-the-line acceleration and passing performance, and remarkable fuel efficiency. The V6 engine uses an alloy block and cylinder heads for lighter weight and thermal efficiency, and features timing chains with no scheduled maintenance.

The turbocharged, intercooled 2.0-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder benefits from CVVT on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. The 2.0-liter turbo generates an estimated 212 horsepower (223 horsepower using premium fuel) and 217 lb.-ft. of torque. It also features a cast-aluminum cylinder block and cylinder head. Both engines feature a free flowing dual cat-back exhaust and an available limited slip differential to put the power to the ground.

SPORT-TUNED SUSPENSION

Hyundai Genesis Coupe employs a MacPherson strut dual-link front suspension and a five-link rear suspension setup. The front suspension is mounted to the body via a solid subframe which is lighter and stronger than a multi-piece component would be. To help reduce body roll and tune the Hyundai Genesis Coupe's at-the-limit handling for maximum predictability, 23-mm diameter front and 18-mm diameter rear stabilizer bars are used.

While all Hyundai Genesis Coupe models offer a fun and sporty driving experience, the high-performance Hyundai Genesis Coupe SE is a most willing partner for the true enthusiast. The SE's track-tuned sport suspension features a stiffer front spring rate, stiffer rear spring rate and unique shock valving. Hyundai Genesis Coupe SE delivers an increase in roll control over the GS. Superb structural rigidity sets the foundation for precisely-tuned handling performance in all Hyundai Genesis Coupes.

STEERING

Hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering with a quick ratio gear delivers both linearity and agility. The steering is also engine-RPM sensing.

TRANSMISSIONS

Both engines are mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0t offers an optional five-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC® while the 3.8-liter V6 offers a ZF six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC to handle the additional torque.

Drivers can access the SHIFTRONIC® feature by moving the gear selector into a separate gate. Pushing the selector forward or pulling it rearward will shift the transmission up or down sequentially, adding to driver control. A clear LCD readout on the instrument panel shows the gear that's in use.

HIGH PERFORMANCE BRAKING SYSTEMS

Brembo four-piston calipers clamp down on 13.4-inch front brake rotors and 13-inch rear rotors on SE models. All other models get substantial 12.6-inch front ventilated rotors and 12.4-inch rotors in the rear with floating single piston calipers.

INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES

The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe offers Xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights. The advantages of HID headlamps include greater lighting power, daylight-type lighting and reduced power consumption. In addition, the cut lines of the new HID headlights are extremely precise, providing maximum nighttime visibility without distracting other drivers.

Music lovers will welcome the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe's standard auxiliary input jacks (3.5 mm mini-jack and USB input) to accommodate and charge audio devices such as iPods®. When an iPod or flash drive is connected through the USB port, located in the center storage compartment, not only does it play music through the vehicle's audio system, but it also charges the iPod and allows the driver to access tracks with the steering wheel audio controls. This system also allows both driver and passengers to easily view song/artist/title information and control the music from the audio head unit rather than only the iPod itself.

HYUNDAI GENESIS COUPE GS

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged, intercooled four-cylinder engine
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Traction Control System
  • ABS
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Front, side, side air curtain air bags
  • Active front head restraints
  • Manual A/C
  • Keyless entry
  • Power windows, door locks, and mirrors
  • AM/FM/XM/CD Player/USB/iPod connectivity
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Cruise control
  • Vanity mirror illumination
  • Bluetooth

HYUNDAI GENESIS COUPE GT

GS equipment Plus:

  • 3.8-liter DOHC V6
  • Leather steering wheel / Shift knob
  • Metalgrain /chrome interior accents
  • Automatic temperature control
  • Fog lamps
  • Premium door sill plates
  • Trip computer
  • Chrome front fascia accents
  • Auto light control

HYUNDAI GENESIS COUPE SE

Unique SE equipment:

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or 3.8-liter DOHC V6
  • HID headlights
  • Aluminum pedals
  • Manual A/C
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • High performance Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer tires
  • Brembo braking system with monobloc four-piston calipers
  • SE track-tuned suspension / front strut brace
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Black leather bolsters / red cloth insert seats
  • Rear spoiler
  • Aero wiper blades

Dodge Challenger SRT8 Silver












Essential Hardware

The Dodge Challenger R/T features the new-generation 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission that produces an estimated 370 horsepower (276 kW) and 398 lb.-ft. of torque (540 N•m). For 2009, the HEMI engine is upgraded to get an estimated five percent improvement in fuel economy as well as an increase of 30 horsepower (9 percent) and 8 lb.-ft. improved torque (2 percent) over a greater range of engine speeds. The automatic transmission features fuel-saving multi-displacement (MDS) technology which increases fuel economy by as much as 20 percent depending on driving conditions without sacrificing vehicle performance. The Dodge Challenger R/T also offers a precision-shift six-speed manual transmission — the first for a new-generation HEMI-powered car — that produces 375 horsepower (280 kW) and 404 lb.-ft. of torque (548 N•m) when running on premium fuel. The Dodge Challenger R/T can go from zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds.

The 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 features an SRT-exclusive 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine mated with a new-for-2009 six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick that generates a blistering 425 horsepower (317 kW) and 420 lb.-ft. of torque (569 N•m). The vehicle can go from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds.

The Dodge Challenger SE powered by the 3.5-liter High Output V-6 with a four-speed automatic transmission produces 250 horsepower (186 kW) and 250 lb.-ft. of torque (339 N•m).

Patterned off the Dodge Charger architecture, the front suspension and five-link independent rear suspension system on all Dodge Challenger models provide excellent ride and handling characteristics.

Essential Styling

The Dodge Challenger design team stayed true to the concept revealed at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, while drawing upon elements from the original Challenger. The result: a bold, aggressive muscle machine that blends nostalgia with modern Dodge style.

Essential Technology

The all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger offers customers a full range of innovative technologies including:

  • MyGIG™ provides a cutting-edge multimedia audio and entertainment system, with built-in navigation
  • UConnect® Hands-free Communication System provides convenient, voice-activated communication with Bluetooth® cellular phones
  • SIRIUS® Digital Satellite Radio offers a variety of commercial-free radio programs and music
  • Keyless Go allows the driver to start the vehicle with the simple push of a button
  • Remote Start starts a secured vehicle with the key fob

More than 25 Safety and Security Features

Dodge Challenger offers more than 25 safety and security features including:

  • Supplemental Side-curtain Air Bags extend protection to all outboard front- and rear-seat passengers
  • Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) modulate the brakes for the driver to provide steering control while braking
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) applies selective braking or throttle reduction to control oversteer and understeer
  • Brake Assist ensures maximum braking action during panic stops
  • Traction Control reduces the throttle and/or applies selective braking to optimize traction during acceleration
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA) for Manual Transmission application assists the driver in launching the vehicle on an incline
  • Automatic Headlamps turn headlamps on at dusk and off in the daylight without driver intervention
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) alerts driver about low tire pressure(s) in order to facilitate safe handling

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The New Nissan Maxima












Make way for the all-new 2009 Nissan Maxima. The car which Nissan has branded as "the true 4-Door Sports Car" looks family sedan from the side, but a bit more aggressive from the front.

A seemingly intentional split personality, Nissan North America VP and General Manager Al Castignetti said, "Maxima has always enjoyed a certain ‘duality’ – a unique fusion of sedan practicality with the soul of a sports car." He went on to say, "In recent years, however, competitive vehicles have caught up with Maxima in ‘sporty’ looks and performance. For 2009, Nissan is reclaiming its rich 4-Door Sports Car heritage with an infusion of emotional design, driving excitement and advanced technology – creating a silky, stimulating sports sedan like no other on the road today."

This "duality" did have some significant effect on the design of the new Maxima. Originally, engineers were planning on puting together a Maxima that focused more on family. But inspired by the development of the GT-R, engineers decided instead to build a car that could be called "the best performing front engine, front-wheel, drive car in the world."

To accomplish this, the design team honed in on a redesign of the exterior -including LED taillights and those shark fin style headlights- significant cockpit improvements, and increases in performance.

Nissan will offer two models of the Maxima, the S and SV, each with a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 as standard. This petrol-burner has a bump of 35 horsepower over last year, with estimated ratings of 290 hp and 261 ft-lb of torque. The '09 shows a modest 9 ft-lb increase over the '08 model year. Engine is mated to a redesigned Xtronic CVT with available paddle-shifters, to replicate the feel of total control. This is a blow to the Maxima, as it might be necessary to have a full manual transmission if they want to compete with the Impreza and Lancer. 18-inch and 19-inch wheels are available as well. The Maxima gets 19mpg in the city, and 26mpg on the highway. This figure is slightly worse than the current model Honda Accord V6.

Optional packages include a sport package with the bigger wheels, tuned suspension, rear spoiler, Xenon headlights, and the paddle shifters. A premium package adds a dual panel moonroof, and several improvements found in the sport set (heated seats, Xenon, heated mirrors, and more). Add on the tech package, and you get a hard drive navigation system, 9.3gb Music Box system, and rearview monitor.

Available for purchase shortly, the all-new 2009 Nissan Maxima will hit showroom floors across the States beginning this summer.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Venom












Seven hundred horses are comin’ to town! Upscale luxury goods retailer Neiman Marcus Direct has teamed up with John Hennessey’s Hennessey Performance Engineering to bring us a stampede of 700 horses through their spring Neiman Marcus Men's Catalog. And boy do them horses look healthy and sound in that jet black!
"The Venom 700NM offers world-class power,” says John Hennessey, “performance and looks in typical Hennessey style. We are very excited about our new partnership with Neiman Marcus."

Persuaded by the thunderous Dodge Viper SRT-10 engine, the VENOM 700NM musters up a whole 700 bhp/ 522kW and 645lb-ft of massive torque. Figures suggest a 0 – 60 mph time of 3.3 seconds, 0 – 100 mph in 7 seconds and a top end of 214 mph.

A number of special kits are added to the Venom 700NM, including VenomAero Exterior Aerodynamic Upgrades and lightweight alloy wheel upgrade (19x10 inch front; 20x13 inch rear).

Sounds good to you? We thought so. Be a good boy then and put aside USD179,500, which by the look of the US dollar lately, isn’t much. Be quick about it too as only 7 are being made available. If you can make it to the New York Motor Show 2008 even better, 'cause then you can scope out the real deal in the metal.

The New Pontiac G8













The 2010 Pontiac G8 sport truck blurs the line between cars and trucks and is creating an all-new segment in the North American car market. This dramatically different vehicle blends the sporty handling of a performance coupe with the cargo capabilities of a light truck.

Based on the all-new Pontiac G8 performance sedan, the newest member of the G8 family has a longer wheelbase and a cargo bed suitable for either work or recreation. The Pontiac G8 sport truck significantly stretches Pontiac's commitment to style and performance and is expected to arrive in dealers' showrooms in late 2009.

"Pontiac has never shied away from offering segment-defining vehicles, going back to the original GTO," said Jim Bunnell, Buick-Pontiac-GMC general manager. "There's simply nothing else like the Pontiac G8 sport truck on the road today, and we definitely believe that there are customers who will be excited by its distinctive design, performance and cargo capabilities."

Consumer named

Another unique aspect of this new vehicle is the fact that it will be named by a consumer. Consumers can visit http://www.pontiac.com/namethiscar and submit their name ideas. "As an important part of the G8 family, we know that 'sport truck' doesn't fully describe the vehicle's ability to blur the lines between sports car and truck," said Craig Bierley, Pontiac marketing director. "Because its fans will surely be as unique as the vehicle itself, we're giving them a voice in selecting a name that reflects its appeal." The winning entry will be announced April 15, 2008.

Design

The Pontiac G8 sport truck maintains the same sporty exterior design as its namesake sedan. Flared fenders wrap around the 18-inch wheels and give it a wide, confident stance. The roofline has a coupe-like profile that reflects the vehicle's performance pedigree.

The doors, roof and exterior panels aft of the B-pillars are unique from the G8 sedan. One-piece outer body panels give the vehicle a sleek appearance. Wrap-around taillamps and fully concealed tailgate hinges add to the sculpted look. A color-coordinated, soft tonneau cover conceals and protects items in the cargo bed from the weather.

Performance

The sport truck draws its strength from the same powerful 6.0L V-8 engine used in the G8 GT. It puts out 361 horsepower (270 kW) and 385 lb.-ft. (522 Nm) of torque. The combination of a six-speed automatic transmission and Active Fuel Management technology provides both car-like fuel economy and an unexpected 0-to-60 time of 5.4 seconds.

While these performance numbers are respectable by sports car standards, the Pontiac G8 sport truck offers flexibility unlike that of a sports car. A 73.9-inch (1878 mm) cargo bed has 42.7 cubic feet (1208 L) of cargo space and a durable composite bed liner. It also can carry a payload of more than 1,074 pounds (488 kg) and tow a 3,500-pound (1,600 kg) trailer.

Structure

The Pontiac G8 sport truck is based on the same rear-wheel-drive architecture as the G8 performance sedan. However, the sport truck's body structure was reinforced in key areas to support its cargo and towing duties. More than 60 new components were added to strengthen the structure. Compared to the sedan, the 118.5-inch (3,009 mm) wheelbase is approximately four inches longer and the overall length is six inches longer.

Suspension and wheels

A four-wheel independent suspension with electronic stability control delivers confident handling, whether loaded with weekend home-improvement supplies or towing a pair of personal watercraft to the lake.

The steering box is located ahead of the front axle line for a quick, direct feel. The sport truck's front stabilizer bar is one mm larger than the sedan, and the rear suspension has been enhanced to support payloads without adversely affecting handling.

The Pontiac G8 sport truck rides on 18-inch machine-faced aluminum wheels with a P245/45R18 summer performance tire. All-season tires are available. An optional Sports Package includes 19-inch machine-faced aluminum wheels with P245/40R19 summer performance tires.

Brakes and steering

The sport truck shares the G8 GT's four-wheel disc brake system, featuring 12.64-inch front and 12.76-inch rear rotors. Front rotor thickness is 1.0 inch, while the rear rotors are 0.87-inch thick. Twin-piston, front alloy calipers and vented rotors and single-piston, alloy rear calipers with vented rotors are standard, as is ABS.

Comfort and convenience

Given its heritage, it's not surprising that the Pontiac G8 sport truck offers many of the same creature comforts as the G8 GT, such as:

  • Air conditioning with electronic dual-zone climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Driver Information Center
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel with DIC and radio controls
  • Power windows/locks/mirrors
  • Remote keyless entry and remote start
  • Theft-deterrent alarm system

Fully-bolstered, four-way adjustable cloth seats are standard. Heated, six-way leather seats are available. They can be customized with two-tone, black-and-red inserts and a coordinating gauge cluster.

Behind the seats is a surprisingly large interior cargo area with more than 8.5 cubic feet (245 liters) of storage space. There are two covered storage compartments beneath the load floor and a pair of cargo nets.

Sound system

The Pontiac G8 sport truck's 230-watt Blaupunkt AM/FM/six-disc CD changer has an MP3 input and five speakers. The 6.5-inch audio display controls both the sound and climate control systems.

Safety and security

A full list of safety features are standard, including:

  • StabiliTrak electronic vehicle stability system
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Dual-stage frontal air bags with a passenger sensing system
  • Head-curtain side air bags
  • Side thorax air bags
  • Three-point safety belts in all seating positions
  • Safety belt pretensioners
  • OnStar

Friday, March 14, 2008

The New B-Class generation













Mercedes-Benz B-Class: Sports Tourer in better shape than ever

After three successful years, Mercedes-Benz has overhauled the design and engineering of the B-Class. The facelift programme focused on environmental compatibility, economic efficiency and comfort, with further advances being made in each of these areas. Thanks to a series of detailed improvements, the four-cylinder engines now burn up to seven percent less fuel than previously, and distinguish themselves with remarkably low exhaust emissions that undercut the current EU limits by as much as 90 percent. Mercedes-Benz has developed a new ECO start/stop function for the high-volume B 150 and B 170 models. This switches off the engine when stopped at traffic lights, for example, producing a fuel saving of up to nine percent in practical use. Additional new developments include the bi-fuel petrol/natural-gas drive in the B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY, along with active parking assist which helps drivers to both find a suitable parking spot, and then manoeuvre into it.

Since its market premiere in summer 2005, the B-Class has evolved into the blueprint for a new species of car which harmonises the benefits of various vehicle concepts: the four-door model boasts the dynamic design of a sporty saloon, the exterior dimensions of a compact car, the spaciousness of an estate, the versatility of a mini MPV and, of course, the trademark safety of a Mercedes-Benz.

The sales figures for the B-Class to date provide clear evidence that the Mercedes-Benz product planners hit the mark with a concept that caters to the motoring needs of today's sophisticated society: since mid-2005, over 325,000 motorists around the world have been won over by the Sports Tourer.

The restyled front end injects the B-Class with even more poise and assurance than before. This is primarily down to the radiator grille with its three chromed cross fins painted in metallic grey and the Mercedes star integrated into its centre. However, the more imposing appearance of the B-Class also stems from the new-look bumper – whose design emphasises the large air intake at the bottom – as well as the modified bonnet.

Design: restyled front end creates a powerful presence

This new design idiom makes the front look broad and, as a consequence, especially powerful, symbolising the sporty attributes of the B-Class even more clearly than before. Aside from power and performance potential, these qualities include the car's agility and its forwards thrust, something which is further underlined by the more pronounced arrow shape of the bonnet, radiator grille and bumper. This has the effect of making the entire front section appear to be surging dynamically forwards – a highly expressive styling element of the current Mercedes design idiom, which can be appreciated better than ever before in the 2008 model year version of the B-Class. The front end's arrow shape is continued rearwards in the form of an understated but effective line running up the centre of the bonnet.

Typical distinguishing features of the current Mercedes style are also very much in evidence in the side profile of the B-Class, which presents a thrilling interplay between taut forms and crisp lines. Of particular note is the character line, which rises progressively from the front wing to the rear tail light, thereby marking an intriguing divide between the concave and convex-formed surfaces along the body's flanks. This line furthermore underscores the body's wedge-shaped form, and thereby gives added impact to the Sports Tourer's athletic, powerful nature.

In the 2008 model year B-Class, the design at the sides seems even more harmonious and elegant than before because the exterior mirror housings, door handles and skirt panels are now painted to match the body colour on all model variants. The restyled hubcaps and light-alloy wheels add further touches of class to the exterior looks.

The rear styling picks up on the dynamic flow of lines at the front and along the sides. A direct visual link is created by the tail light assemblies, whose upper edges merge seamlessly with the character line along the vehicle's sides. The tail lights sport a new high-brilliance look and draw the gaze to the large tailgate, which now comes with en ergonomically enhanced chrome handle strip. The rear bumper has been remodelled too, and includes a black-grained plastic insert on its upper face as standard which serves as a load sill guard. If the B-Class is specified with either the chrome or the sports package, this insert is made of polished stainless steel instead to add yet another gleaming highlight to the tail's design.

Interior: high-grade appointments with new upholsteries and trims

High-class appeal, attention to detail and a sense of ample spaciousness – these qualities have always been intrinsic to the B-Class. The winning blend of forms, colours and materials teams up with the interior's roominess, the pleasant feel of all its surface materials and the expansive window areas to produce a most inviting ambience. This is helped by the high seating position – which, incidentally, improves the driver's view of the vehicle too – while the relatively high waistline fosters a sense of security without making the occupants feel confined in any way.

The Mercedes design team has further upgraded the interior with a new upholstery fabric, plus a new fabric pattern for the seat cushions. If the B-Class is ordered with the sports package, the side seat bolsters are trimmed in ARTICO man-made leather and the centre panels in fabric. The interior door linings likewise feature a new fabric trim.

The centre console continues to be bordered by trim strips on both sides, but they are now made from diagonally brushed aluminium in a smoke grey finish. The same, meticulously integrated trim is found again in the vicinity of the gearshift and in the door panelling, giving the interior an added sense of refinement. Such fine touches demonstrate just how much attention to detail has been invested in even the basic version of the B-Class, as well as the high standards to which it has been specified.

Diesel engines: fuel consumption reduced by a further seven percent

The B-Class continues to be available with a choice of six engines – two direct-injection diesel units (80 kW/109 hp and 103 kW/140 hp) delivering up to 300 Newton metres of torque, as well as four petrol engines with a peak power output of up to 142 kW/193 hp and a maximum torque of 280 Newton metres. The four-cylinder power units have undergone a series of detailed improvements in order to further reduce fuel consumption.

For the diesel models, this means that the combined NEDC fuel consumption
of the B 180 CDI and B 200 CDI has dropped by as much as seven percent – depending on tyre size – to 5.2 - 5.4 and 5.4 - 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres, respectively. The two turbodiesel models will therefore be an even less seldom sight at the filling station from now on; the B 180 CDI can clock up over 1000 kilometres on a single tank of fuel (54 litres).

Petrol models: new fuel-saving ECO start/stop function

Depending on the model and engine output, the four petrol variants of the B Class return fuel consumption figures of between 6.6 and 8.1 litres per 100 kilometres on the NEDC driving cycle. From autumn 2008, motoring is set to become even more economical with the arrival of the B 150 and B 170 BlueEFFICIENCY models featuring the ECO start/stop function (optional). This newly developed function automatically switches the engine off when the driver shifts to neutral at low speed whilst depressing the brake pedal. If the criteria for stopping the engine are fulfilled, a special display appears in the instrument cluster to inform the driver.

The moment the clutch is pressed or the brake pedal released, the engine springs back to life almost noiselessly and in a fraction of a second. This ability to restart the engine swiftly yet smoothly gives the ECO start/stop function a key edge over other systems of this type. To achieve this, Mercedes-Benz fits a starter-generator which is connected to the crankshaft via the belt drive. This allows the engine to start much faster and far more quietly than with the conventional starter. During the journey, the starter-generator feeds the electrical system on board the B-Class with energy.

In practical operation, substantial fuel savings of up to nine percent can be achieved with the ECO start/stop function, particularly when driving in city traffic with frequent stops at traffic lights or in tailbacks.

Natural-gas drive: a clean and economical alternative

A further new addition to the B-Class range bears the initials "NGT" on the right-hand side of its tailgate. They stand for "Natural Gas Technology" and identify a model variant which is as economical as it is environmentally compatible, courtesy of its bi-fuel drive: the B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY is able to run on both natural gas and premium grade petrol while delivering an identical maximum output of 85 kW/116 hp.

In addition to the petrol tank, there are five natural gas reservoirs whose total capacity of 16 kilograms equates to a range of over 300 kilometres. With overall NEDC consumption figures of 7.3 litres of premium petrol and 4.9 kilograms of natural gas per 100 kilometres, the new B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY is therefore able to attain a total range in excess of 1000 kilometres. The driver determines which power source the engine is run on at the touch of a button using the multifunction steering wheel; an electronic control unit carries out the switch instantaneously without any jolts – even while on the move.

The four-cylinder engine has been modified by Mercedes-Benz to include additional gas injectors on the underside of the intake manifold. A close-coupled pressure governor with electromagnetic shut-off valve regulates the supply of natural gas and keeps the pressure within the system constant.

The installation of the gas reservoirs, which are located in the rear and underneath the front passenger footwell, reduces the boot capacity of the B Class by 128 to 422 litres (as per the VDA measurement method), but there is still sufficient space for carrying a family's luggage.

The lower carbon dioxide emissions and cheaper fuel costs make natural gas an attractive alternative to petrol and diesel, both ecologically and economically speaking. On the NEDC cycle, the CO2 emissions are 17 percent lower than in the petrol-powered B 170 at 135 grams per kilometre. If the 4.9 kilograms (7.5 m³) of natural gas consumed per 100 kilometres by the new B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY is converted into the equivalent quantity of petrol energy, the fuel cost per kilometre is around 50 percent less than when running on petrol.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The New M-Class generation













The new-generation M-Class: More dynamic, more powerful and with even more style

Mercedes-Benz has meticulously revamped the successful M Class. The new generation of the dynamic, stylish SUV now has even more distinctive characteristics, and looks even sportier and more powerful. The front end of this off-roader is now defined by a redesigned bumper, recontoured headlamps and a larger, even more dominant radiator. The rear view also sports a new-look bumper with integrated reflector strips, emphasising the vehicle's width, as well as tails lights with a smoked-glass look. Stylistic fine-tuning and new high-grade materials which are pleasing to the eye and touch combine with a new two-tone colour scheme to add fresh highlights to the interior. Moreover, the eye is immediately drawn to the new four-spoke multifunction steering wheel. The M-Class standard specification has also been significantly upgraded. It now includes the unique anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® and NECK-PRO head restraints as well as an all-new, high-performance telematics system developed by Mercedes-Benz, which is much easier to use thanks to a host of new functions. The Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG is also set to become even more distinctive and striking, courtesy of new front and rear aprons with a chromed underguard, and a larger AMG radiator grille.

The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is the trendsetter among today's SUVs. Its exceptional status is down to its characteristic dynamic, stylish design, a combination of compelling performance both on and off-road, the ride comfort and ease of operation of a saloon, along with a high perceived value. The M-Class also comes with a range of safety features that are unsurpassed in the SUV segment. Buyers have also come to appreciate these outstanding qualities. Since the second-generation M-Class was launched in April 2005, some 300,000 units have been delivered to customers around the world. As such, the state-of-the-art off-roader remains one of the most successful vehicles in this rapidly growing market segment.

Mercedes-Benz has now substantially upgraded the new-generation M-Class with fresh styling touches, even higher quality and extensively enhanced equipment and appointments. The premium SUV now looks even more powerful and sportier, making a bolder statement in terms of character and presence.

Added character and style for the exterior

The assured appearance of the M-Class is now marked by its dynamically flowing, yet at the same time crisp lines and a clear, powerful design idiom. Thanks to the new-look front-end as well as the modified rear, the new-generation M-Class looks more muscular yet brings a sense of aesthetic elegance to bear – in short, it has even more style.

The front end is dominated by a new-look, robust bumper as well as headlamps with a pronounced step in the lower edge. This step continues seamlessly down and around the radiator with its distinctive contours. The larger, lower-set radiator is another element brimming with character. Three wide, black louvres with large, rectangular air outlets and a gleaming chrome edge give structure to the radiator, making the new-generation M-Class appear even more dominant. Fog lamps set well to the outside and a new-look simulated underguard make the off-roader appear wider and even more dynamic.

The rear bumper with integrated reflectors has also been restyled, making the M Class appear even more poised and assured for anyone following behind. The optional stainless steel underguard conceals the exhaust system with its twin tailpipes and also gives the car a wider stance on the road. The reversing lights also feature darkened indicator repeater lenses in a smoked-glass look. Roof rails are now also included as part of the standard-fit styling and practical features, along with the new powerful mirrors with their larger surface designed to provide better visibility.

Interior with high-grade appointments

The interior of the new-generation, state-of-the-art off-roader has been stylishly upgraded with high-quality materials. The door centre panel is now trimmed in ARTICO man-made leather. Two-tone leather appointments are also available as an option to give a hand-made impression. In the enhanced interior the eye is also drawn to the new, four-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel with its chrome trim, improved ease of operation and standard-fit shift paddles. The seats have a more attractive, sportier design and can be fitted with four-way lumbar support as an option.

The new-generation M-Class features a brand new telematics generation developed by Mercedes-Benz, offering a new dimension in user-friendliness, high performance and a host of useful new functions. Integrated features include a hands-free system based on Bluetooth technology, and an aux-in connection for mobile audio devices such as an iPod. On request there is also a new Media Interface, which can connect an external music device with the off-roader's onboard electronics and control system, enabling music tracks to be shown in the instrument cluster and the colour display in the centre console, and conveniently accessed using the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel. At the same time, the audio device's battery is also charged.

There is a choice of three units, all of them with a colour display, a twin tuner for improved radio reception, speed-sensitive volume control, a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies and a Bluetooth interface which enables a mobile phone to be wirelessly linked to the hands-free system. Along with the new telematics generation, Mercedes-Benz also is now also offering enhanced LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system as an optional extra in the M Class for the first time.

The occupants are also able to enjoy a surround-sound experience of concert hall quality with the latest generation of the optional Harman Kardon® Logic7® sound system, which delivers exceptionally crystal-clear listening pleasure thanks to its output of 610 watts and digital signal processor (DSP).

Rear-seat passengers also have the option of a new entertainment system with two large 8-inch screens, a centrally integrated DVD player, two sets of wireless headphones for greater freedom of movement as well as two remote controls.

Unrivalled safety features as standard

The Mercedes-Benz M-Class has always set the benchmark in terms of safety in the SUV segment. In future it will also come as standard with the anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® and NECK-PRO head restraints.

Fuel consumption reduced by up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres

The M-Class is powered by powerful yet economical V6 and V8 petrol or diesel engines, which are now even more fuel-efficient. The 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive delivers outstanding performance both on and off-road. And the standard-fit 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with optimised shift characteristics translates the power from the engines into refined dynamism.

Five units are available in the new-generation M-Class ranging from 140 to 285 kW (190 to 388 hp). The engineers’ meticulous attention to detail has reduced fuel consumption by up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres compared with the outgoing models. Moreover, the most powerful engine developing 375 kW/510 hp is available in the guise of the ML 63 AMG 4MATIC.