Sunday, June 29, 2008

And the winner is Hyundai Concept Genesis Coupe

This week at the Automotive Hall of Fame the South East Automotive Media Organization (SEAMO) rewarded the Hyundai Genesis Concept with the best preview vehicle of the year award. And we can't agree with them more.

Juror Kevin Kelly of Automotive Design & Production praised the 306 hp Korean concept car for its sporty, aggressive and modern features without trying to copy the American muscle car. Kelly said that “the Concept Genesis Coupe doesn’t try to be a muscle car in the vein of the American concept, it busts through those doors to create something that’s a combination of sport and a bit of luxury that will still appeal to those who want power.”

“Our design objective for the concept was to create a ‘Tuner’ version of the production car.” said Joel Piaskowski, chief designer, Hyundai Design, North American Design Center. Tuner features would include the carbon fiber hood, roof panels and lower valence panels.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The New Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

With the modified Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera edo competition Motorsport has now added a second high-profile Italian racer to its tuning program after the Murciélago LP 640. Like its bigger brother, this sports car with the bull in its logo excels through its highlighted racing genes and more aggressive appearance after being modified at edo competition.

The most remarkable feature is the sensational acceleration. edo competition achieves these figures thanks to the installation of a massive air box, high flow catalytic converters which are a completely new design and a recalibration of the engine electronics. All components together raise the power output to 560 hp (411 kW) at 8,250 rpm. The power increase of 30 hp / 22 kW boosts the top speed by about 6 km/h (4 mph) to 320 km/h (199 mph). Another highlight: The sound volume of the modified exhaust system can be adjusted via remote.

The sporty concept of the edo Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera is rounded off with 19" three-piece racing wheels with an artificially-aged cast center-section, hand-polished outer rims and 39 stainless steel screws.

The front wheels are shod in stock-sized or (on request) 245/35 ZR 19 rubber while 305/30 ZR 19 Dunlop Sport Maxx tires are used on the rear axle. With this solution edo competition enables its customers to reuse the factory tires on their new wheels.

edo competition treats the masculine stance of the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera to an additional testosterone injection by lowering the suspension by a good 15 mm and through the use of corner-weighting. With these upgrades, the Lambo sticks to the road so firmly and unflappably that it would take an earthquake to upset its poise.

Verdict from the July 2008 Autobild comparison test „Edo Gallardo / MTM R8": „The edo Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera is the more harmonic and better balanced car. Very quick, great to control and of the finest quality in all aspects"!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Porsche 911 Turbo Stallion from Hamann

Like an Arabian Stallion collecting its attention for a jump. Concentrated and full of dynamic body tension. This is how the silhouette of the super sports car called Stallion presents itself. But the latest development of the premium refiner Hamann MOTORSPORT offers far more than a fascinating new aerodynamics concept. The efficiency boost to 630 hp and the Hamann-sport chassis turn the Stallion into one of the most powerful and fastest sports car in the whole world.

Less roof - more wings

The most striking eye-catcher of the individualised Porsche is the lowered roofline. For this elaborate reconstruction, Hamann reduces the windows and pillars up to 8 centimetres. Thereby, the reduced front surface diminishes the air resistance and therefore the fuel consumption. Moreover, this relieves the motor drastically while pushing for maximum speed. But that´s not all: Hamann equips the Stallion with gull-wing doors allowing the door to swing diagonally outward from the body of the car. This proprietary development does not only have an extravagant design, but also an exceptional stability. The combination between the Hamann front- and rear skirt with the altered heck spoiler profile and the roof spoiler produce additional road grip. Side spoilers between the axles put a finishing tough to the overall appearance.

Sensational performance based on well-engineered technology

The core of the Hamann Stallion is its modified engine. The Hamann motor technicians enhance the 3.6 litres Boxer Biturbo motor from standard 480 hp / 353 kW to 630 hp / 463 kW at 6,300 rpm. The upgrade also includes two larger VNT (variable nozzle turbochargers), a sport air strainer, a stainless steel exhaust system with metal catalytic converters and a new motor management.

These are measures which certainly hit their target. The Hamann Stallion accelerates to 100 km/h in only 3.3 seconds and is therefore six tenth of a second faster than its serial counterpart. The new maximum speed tag is sensational. With its efficiency boost and the reduced air resistance by Hamann-Aerodynamics, the Stallion achieves a maximum speed of 359 km/h.

Wheels and chassis - the combination for best roadholding and exclusive appearance

Hamann developed a sport chassis and a matching wheel-/tyre-combination for the optimal handling of the increased requirements of the Hamann Stallion. The three-part Hamann aluminium wheel named EDITION RACE with its black lacquered star and the titan bolting of the high gloss polished rim flange clearly emphasise the affinity of the Laupheim-based refiner to motor sports.

Due to its forge technology production, it is very light and therefore significantly improves the handling- and driving qualities. The wheel-tyre combination is available in 8,5Jx20 inches with tyres measuring 245/30ZR20 in front and 12,0Jx20 rims with 325/25ZR20 tyres at the back.

Hamann recommends top-level tyres type S1 EVO by its technology partner Hankook.

Lowering the vehicle centre by 20 mm with Hamann sport coils also significantly improves the handling.

Perfect combination between motor sports and lifestyle

Only the most precious materials can be found in the Hamann Stallion interior. The Hamann upholsterers only use selected leather for covering the fittings and sport seats. Aluminium gear shift and aluminium pedals make the cockpit gleam in a noble look and perfectly match with the carbon parts of the interior set. Precisely applied embroideries of the Hamann logo in the floor mats and headrests set further creative accents. All of these features complement one another in a stylish symbioses of motor sports flair and lifestyle

Fiat 500 Sportivo from Hamann

Normally Hamann-Motorsport is renowned as a tuning company for BMW and for refining sinfully expensive luxury cars. But sometimes the Laupheim-based technicians move off the beaten tracks and devote themselves to something completely unexpected - in this case the Fiat 500. The Hamann-technicians started with a lot of joy and enthusiasm for the cool little retro sports car and developed the extensive Hamann sportivo-tuning programme. Striking 17-inch rims and a lively flag pattern optically emphasize the racy character of this little Italian. The strong sound of the Hamann-sport exhaust system for the 1,4 litre petrol car also underlines this acoustically. A performance optimization for the diesel model, progressive chassis springs and a newly-developed braking system round out the racy appearance and provide a speedy joyride.

The design wheel HM sportivo I stands for trendy mobile appearance and perfect handling. The matt black varnish rim in one piece has a diamond-polished outer edge and is offered in the size 7.0 x 17. Hamann recommends matching tyres in the sizes 195/40 ZR17 or 215/35 ZR 17 by its technology partner Hankook. A complete wheelset can be obtained from 1,420 €. The Hamann-set for lowering chassis leads to a further improvement in handling the car and ensures that the vehicle centre which is made up from four progressively spun springs is lowered by 30mm.

The sport exhaust system which was especially devised for the 1,4 litre petrol car renders a thrilling sonorous sound. The system includes a muffler (from 390 € onwards) with two round end pipes made of high-grade steel (70 mm diameter), a pre-muffler with metal catalyst and a sport fan manifold. All components can also be obtained individually. Also for this model, Hamann developed a stable sport braking system for improved deceleration values. The set consists of two perforated and ventilated brake discs (diameter 280 x 28mm) at the front axle in connection with red 4-piston fixed yokes and steal flex brake lines. The back axle can be upgraded with brake discs measuring 240 mm in diameter.

The increased performance by Hamann costs 699 € for the 1,3 Multijet 16V Fiat 500 diesel model. After re-programming the integrated control unit, the motor renders up to 90 hp / 66 kW at 4,000 r.p.m. (series: 75 hp / 55 KW) and a maximum torque of 230 Nm at 1,750 r.p.m. (series: 145 Nm at 1,500 rpm).

The aluminium pedal set including footrest and a car mat set with an embroidered Hamann sportive logo accentuate the interior and perfect the Fiat 500 programme in a stylish way.

The New Maserati Quattroporte

Maserati Quattroporte, the model which established the category of "Luxury Sports Saloons", can be considered something of a Maserati masterpiece. After five years of success, with more than 15,000 cars delivered and 46 international awards, the Maserati Quattroporte is now being presented with a new look and new technical solutions. The history of art is characterised by audacious artists who challenged pre-existing conventions. Similarly the Pininfarina design team, thanks to their unrivalled and skilful hands, created a fresher, more modern look for the Maserati Quattroporte, yet always mindful of the class, glamour and exclusivity which represent its inner essence.

The personality and glamour of the Maserati flagship are now represented by two products: the Maserati Quattroporte and the Maserati Quattroporte S. The former is fitted with the familiar 4.2 litre 400 hp V8 engine, while the latter adopts the new 4.7 litre 430 hp V8 recently introduced on the GranTurismo S, with a different specification. Both cars feature the 6-speed automatic transmission developed in association with ZF.

The main styling changes are to the most recognisable features. First of all the front, where the new grille, with its vertical slats, is reminiscent of the GranTurismo. The front and rear light units are also updated, featuring LEDs. On the side, the under-door moulding is more noticeable, with a line that runs into that of the new bumpers, which have a wider protective band and more pronounced rear styling. The door mirrors are also new, with a more dynamic shape and a more streamlined mounting to the door. The interior has a new centre console and the controls are grouped more closely together for even more convenient operation. The car's range of navigation systems is also fully updated, now comprising the New Maserati Multimedia System. Two new shades of leather, Marrone Corniola (brown) and Sabbia (sand), replacing the beige which was previously in the range, debut on the Maserati Quattroporte S and Maserati Quattroporte respectively.

The new Maserati Quattroporte and Maserati Quattroporte S will be on sale in the UK from October 2008.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The New Subaru Exiga

Based on the concept of a seven-seater with panoramic visibility for the touring experience, the Subaru Exiga has been developed to provide a safe and pleasant journey for all occupants. Capitalizing on its accumulated know-how from building wagons and crossover SUVs, Subaru has succeeded in creating open and comfortable interior space for all the passengers to easily engage in conversation and share the experience of touring enhanced by dramatic wide-angle views through the windows.

The new model represents Subaru's latest proposal for a new type of multi-passenger vehicle, built on Subaru's strengths in vehicle stability, low noise, and quality ride - all realized by Subaru's Horizontally-Opposed engine layout and the Subaru Dynamic Chassis Control Concept (Subaru DC3).

Seven passengers

Despite a body size that's convenient for maneuvering, the Subaru Exiga comfortably accommodates up to seven occupants, ensuring ample space and a pleasant ride for each passenger. Excellent utility and comfort have been added through the adoption of new designs for better visibility, ingress/egress, and cargo space.

Interior design

Decorative insets with a horizontally flowing pattern from the center panel of the dashboard to the door trim add spaciousness and a quality look to the interior. Rich and refined interior design is further accentuated by the center panel, which combines wood and metal finishes, as well as by the indirect blue LED light installed on the overhead console, center tray and some foot areas.

Ivory tone that accentuates openness and light, and black tone, which highlights both sportiness and elegance, are available as interior colors.

The seats are newly designed to firmly support the occupants and reduce fatigue, even during a long drive, and the seat cushions are made thick to effectively absorb vibration and provide comfort.

The meter module on the instrument panel is distinctively designed with the meter background faces illuminated in blue to make the white dials clearly readable. The Sport Luminescent Meter, outlined with chrome-plated meter rings, is available on the 2.0GT, 2.0i-L, and 2.0i-S.


2.0-liter DOHC Engine (2.0i, 2.0i-L, 2.0i-S)

The use of a redesigned DOHC cylinder head and the active valve control system (AVCS) promotes excellent environmental performance. Also better fuel economy is realized through adoption of the regular gasoline engine.

With the optimization of the diameter and length of the intake manifold, and the adoption of the equal length/constant pulsation independent exhaust system, the engine's intake and exhaust performance has been elevated.

Two catalytic convertors have been placed in tandem. The layout enables the convertors to quickly heat up, which facilitates catalytic activation during engine startup and improves on emission reduction efficiency.

By expanding exhaust capacity with the twin mufflers, air flow resistance inside the mufflers is reduced, and excellent engine output characteristics and noise reduction are realized.

The electric control sensor system helps reduce engine load and further improve fuel economy by controlling electric generation according to driving conditions.

  • Max. power: 109 kW (148PS) @ 6,000 rpm
  • Max. torque: 191 Nm @ 3,200 rpm

2.0-liter DOHC Turbo Engine (2.0GT)

A lightweight, resin-based intake manifold is used. The inner walls of the manifold are smooth and less resistant to the intake flow, elevating intake efficiency.

The turbo charger was exclusively developed for the Subaru Exiga. Optimization of its A/R and compressor, as well as a redesign of its turbine vane, have distinctively improved low-end torque and made powerful and responsive acceleration possible.

Also adopted is a secondary air system that forces air into the exhaust port to burn out any gasoline remaining in it. The system helps eliminate harmful substances when the powertrain is still cool, and it promotes early activation of a catalytic converter.

Through optimization of the construction of the intercooler, the pressure loss is kept at a minimum to improve cooling efficiency.

The electric control sensor system helps reduce engine load and further improve fuel economy.

  • Max. power: 165kW (225PS) @ 5,600 rpm
  • Max. torque: 326 Nm @ 4,400 rpm

Drivetrain and Chassis

Lightweight and compact 4-speed AT with the SPORTSHIFT gear selection is standard on all 2.0 liter naturally aspirated models. By optimizing the final gear ratio, as well as through reducing friction among part assemblies, driving performance has been enhanced and fuel economy improved.

5-speed AT with the SPORTSHIFT gear selection is standard on 2.0 liter turbo models. The down-shift blipping control is added to enhance smooth gear change response when shifting down in manual mode.

The SI-Dive (Subaru Intelligent Drive) system on the 2.0GT model offers three different modes of driving for the driver to enjoy: Intelligent; Sport; and Sport Sharp.

The Active Torque Split AWD system is mounted on all naturally aspirated engine models. The turbo model comes with Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) system. Both systems distribute optimal torque to the wheels with the firm grip and traction, providing unrivalled vehicle stability.

Integrating robust body structure with finely tuned chassis elements, all models feature Subaru DC3, which ensures outstanding handling and vehicle stability as well as superb riding comfort.

The vehicle is equipped with a strut-type front suspension, which is made lightweight and resilient. Newly designed cross-members and stabilizers yield excellent steering response.

A double-wishbone rear suspension with optimized suspension geometry settings provides exceptional traction and vehicle stability, as well as riding comfort, even at full occupancy.

All models employ four-wheel ABS disc brakes with EBD (Electric Brake-force Distribution) for superb braking performance. The Brake Assist system and a brake booster with unique tie-rod design appropriately maximize braking control.

Two types of tires, 205/60R16 and 215/50R17, are available. Both are capable of balancing various vehicle elements, including stability, braking, comfort, and mileage.

Body Construction and Safety

The Subaru Exiga uses an advanced form of Subaru's proprietary Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame Body Structure. Through streamlined body construction and the extensive use of high-tensile steel, the new model has achieved high body rigidity and light weight.

A cowl stay enhancement is used to connect the front side frame and A pillar, and supportive cross-members have been adopted to further improve steering response and increase vehicle stability.

The Subaru Exiga, with its advanced frame construction, has realized high levels of safety and crash-worthiness through effectively absorbing and dispersing crash impact in frontal, side-, or rear-impact crashes.

By enhancing impact absorption in the front bumper and incorporating structural changes to the hood, the new model addresses safety features for pedestrians and other vehicles in collisions.

The front wiper system features a new uniform-pressure, fin-shaped design that creates downforce to prevent blade lift-off during high-speed driving.

Dual SRS (supplemental restraint system) air bags are standard on all models. SRS side air bags and curtain air bags that protect the third-row occupants are manufacturer's options.

All pillar trim adopts impact-absorbing structures. To reduce the risk of whiplash injuries in a rear collision, the seatbacks employ new impact-absorbing designs.

A collapsible brake pedal is available on all models to reduce the risk of foot injuries in frontal collisions.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Concept: BMW GINA Light Visionary Model

The key to affecting the development of tomorrow's mobility lies in our readiness to challenge what is established and in the ability to present new options. In order to meet these objectives, BMW Group Design taps into the potential of the GINA principle (Geometry and Functions In "N" Adaptions) which promotes innovative thinking by allowing maximum freedom of crea-tivity. GINA produces dramatically different solutions that affect the design and functionality of future cars. The GINA Light Visionary Model is an optical expression of selective, future-oriented concepts which provide an example of the manner and extent of this transformation.

BMW Group Design is not just interested in answering the question of how the car of the future will look but primarily wishes to explore the creative freedom it has to offer. Both of these aspects are affected by the requirements that future cars are expected to meet. All ideas that the GINA Light Visionary Model presents are therefore derived from the needs and demands of customers concerning the aesthetic and functional characteristics of their car and their desire to express individuality and lifestyle. The GINA Light Visionary Model has an almost seamless outer skin, a flexible textile cover that stretches across a moveable substructure. Individual functions are only revealed if and when they are needed.

This new material offers designers a significantly higher level of freedom of design and functionality.

The body consists of only four elements. The largest component extends from the front of the vehicle to the edge of the windscreen and down the sides to the rear edge of the doors. The large side panels start at the front where the rocker panels emerge and run across the rear wheel arches into the rear. The fourth component is the central rear deck element.

An innovation breaks new ground: car with a flexible outer skin

The innovation of a flexible outer skin breaks new ground in automotive engineering. This revolutionary solution opens up new design, production and functionality potential. It has a major impact on the interaction between driver and car and enhances it by offering a variety of entirely new options. Some elements of the substructure are moveable. The driver can move them by means of electro and electro-hydraulic controls. This will also change the shape of the outer skin, which can thus be adapted to suit the current situation, the driver's requirements and can also enhance the car's functional range.

The most striking example of this is the headlight design. In normal position, when the headlights are not active, i.e. when there is no necessity to illuminate the road, they are hidden under the special fabric cover. As soon as the driver turns on the lights, the contour of the front end changes. Activated by the metal structure that lies beneath it, the previously closed fabric cover opens to the right and left of the BMW kidney grille and reveals the BMW double head-lights. The rear and the rocker panels of the GINA Visionary Model can also adapt both the shape and function to the driving situation in hand. Both can change the shape of their outer skin to meet the driver's requirement for particularly dynamic motoring. This concept also takes into account a potential interaction with aerodynamic requirements. The design of the rear element allows for automatic lifting of the rear spoiler when a certain speed is reached, thus creating extra downforce on the rear axle at higher speeds. Due to the fact that the entire rear end, including the spoiler, is covered by a single sheet of material that reaches as far as the rear compartment of the interior, the homogeneous shape of the car's rear will not be affected by changes to the spoiler position. The mechanical system that moves the elements remains concealed.

The turn indicators and the taillights function without changes to the shape of the outer skin. Their position, however, is only revealed upon activation. The emitted light shines through the translucent fabric cover, which is permeable to light but not transparent.

The rocker panels demonstrate the formal versatility of the GINA Light Visionary Model with an equally impressive performance. The air duct can be optimised if required. A corresponding movement of the metal structure results in an adjustment of the rocker panel contour to allow for better airflow. At the same time, an additional protruding rocker panel line emerges. The aerodynamic optimization and the length of the line can be infinitely adapted to the driving situation at hand.

Special fabric cover ensures accurate reproduction of material folds.

The fact that the body surface is designed by means of a flexible fabric cover that stretches across a metal substructure means that the materials used must meet exacting requirements. Industrially produced hybrid fabric made from a stabilizing mesh netting support and an outer layer that is both water-repellent and resistant to high and low temperatures is suitable for this application.

Another essential material property is a maximum level of dimensional stability.

It must remain dimensionally stable irrespective of the temperature and air humidity it is exposed to even after severe and constant expansion. The dimen-sional stability helps retain the cover's surface tension for a long period of time. The movement of individual body elements creates accurately reproducible folds in the material. In its choice of material BMW Group Design was inspired by exterior and interior architecture. The expertise of seat pattern designers working for BMW Group Interior Design was successfully applied in order to cut the fabric webbing to size with maximum precision, determine the strategic position of attachment points and stretch the material. As a result, the surfaces are remarkably well balanced and due to the steady tension that is retained between any two clearly defined points, the lines are extremely accurate.

The special fabric is supported by a metal wire structure. At specific points, the high-strength metal is enhanced by carbon struts with a higher flexibility. They are used predominantly for round, moving contours with a particularly narrow radius.

The use of large fabric areas and the possibility of changing the surface contours by moving individual parts of the metal mesh that lies beneath it create a new relationship between form and function. If additional cooling air is required, the BMW kidney grille at the front of the vehicle can be opened. Because the overall surface of the special fabric covering remains unchanged, the contraction at the front of the vehicle, which is necessary for functional reasons, has to be compensated for by extra tension in other areas. The result is an optically attractive interaction between various body parts that introduces a new dimension to sculptural design. The widening of the kidney grille openings is activated by a movement of the metal mesh in the front area of the side panels. This creates more tension, which becomes visible by the emergence of an additional character line. The development of this new contour tenses the front of the vehicle: the kidney grille opens up.

Innovative body structure introduces new functional dimensions.

The high-precision fit of the material to the metal mesh also allows surface changes without slackening the tension. In this case, opening of the surface by moving the respective steel mesh struts creates precisely defined folds in the material. The GINA Light Visionary Model uses this option to display a function that corresponds to the opening of the hood in conventional vehicles. The material opens at the centre of the engine cover and can be folded to the far right and left along an opening line that is approximately 0.5 meters long, to allow the driver or mechanic access to the service points in the engine.

The filler caps of the engine oil, cooling and wiper water tanks are now open for servicing. Opening and closing is similar to the mechanism on a doctor's traditional medical bag, where clip-lock fasteners are held together in the middle by a rail.

The effect of the accurate surface material draping is even more impressive when the doors are opened. They swing both outwards and upwards. The high number of attachment points for the fabric cover positioned at the front of the car as well as at rear door edges creates a clearly defined and perfectly reproducible bulk of material. The draping is confined to the area between the front door edge and the side panel. Once the doors are closed, the folds in material disappear completely, leaving a perfectly smooth, stretched material surface.

The interior: discourse between driver and vehicle.

In the interior, variability, form and function are united in an inseparable connection. Whenever selected functions are accessed, the driver also changes the appearance of individual car elements. Again, the car's variability is adapted to suit the driver's needs. This creates a close interaction between driver and car in various different situations.

When the car is parked, the steering wheel and the round instruments - rev counter, speedometer and fuel gauge, which are vertically arranged on the centre console, are in idle position. This provides the driver with maximum comfort upon entering the car. Likewise, the seat only assumes its optimised functional position and shape if and when the driver sits down on it.

At that point, the headrest, previously firmly integrated into the seat's backrest, rises up automatically. At the same time, the steering wheel moves towards the driver and the instrument panel moves in the same direction. The information on the best driver-specific position of both steering column and seat is stored in the transducer. The engine is started simply by pushing the start/stop button.

The smooth transition of interior and exterior that is typical of BMW convertibles is reinterpreted by the GINA Light Visionary Model. The fabric that covers the rear deck runs into the interior and stretches across the driver and front passenger seats. The same material is also used for the surface design of the door trim and armrests. The shift lever in the centre console protrudes from tightly stretched textile bellows.

Driver and front seat passenger look out through a steeply inclined windscreen with the inside rear view mirror integrated into its frame. The side view mirrors are connected to the window frame. A narrow vertical dividing bar located at the center of the windscreen harks back to the typical windscreen division of traditional roadsters.

Innovative thinking put into practice: the GINA Light Visionary Model.

With the GINA Light Visionary Model, BMW Group Design focuses on a wide variety of issues that will determine the future conception of mobility.

It demonstrates the results of intense research into design, functionality, material and production. All ideas that have been put into practice in the GINA Light Visionary Model are derived from the same motivation: to challenge conventional and previously pursued solutions. The quest for alternative options has generated a wide variety of different requirements that potential solutions are expected to meet. The main focus is on providing general versatility and catering to customer requirements with sophisticated solutions. In accordance with the GINA principle, every functionality enhancement helps to create an emotional bond between the driver and their car. The new solutions also allow for the option of fast, flexible and cost-efficient production.

Every innovation demonstrated by the GINA Light Visionary Model also contributes to a clearly optimised resource management. As the quest for sustainability is one of the central issues of the GINA philosophy, new materials and manufacturing processes are expected to consume less resources and energy than previous solutions. Accordingly, the infrastructure used for manufacturing cars that are built in compliance with the GINA principle, has also changed. The manufacturing process requires fewer model-specific tools, and more highly-qualified skilled specialists. In all the areas referred to above, the GINA Light Visionary Model has provided inspiration for more intense research into ideas conceived as a result of maximum creative freedom.

Emotional appeal of roadster models and visionary prospect of future cars.

The solutions conceived as part of this philosophy are not considered sepa-rately, but have been pooled in an integrating vision - a vision that is expressed in the context of an outstanding, fascinating car. The basic features of a roadster with its eight-cylinder combustion engine below a stretched front that applies motive power to the rear wheels in order to move the car along the road defines this context. The synthesis of elementary visions and sheer driving pleasure expressed by the appearance of the GINA Light Visionary Model has a particularly striking emotional impact. Only the particular appearance of a fascinating car with its authentic design that creates a natural aesthetic look can bring to light the significance of the presented innovations.

The GINA Light Visionary Model builds a bridge between vision and reality by presenting a number of features with a striking similarity with those found on production vehicles. The Roadster rests on 20" alloy wheels in a cross-spoke design with a matt silver finish. The car body is comprised of an exceptionally light aluminum space frame. Two double tailpipes for the rear exhaust system, a third brake light integrated into the height-adjustable rear spoiler, an air splitter at the front and a rear-end diffuser in a carbon design also meet the standards of a production vehicle.

Nevertheless, the GINA Light Visionary Model retains its character as an object of research. It demonstrates the innovative force of BMW Group Design and its ability to challenge what is established, to find new solutions and to interpret these in the context of the car of the future at a high aesthetic level. This car is the logical continuation of the GINA principle in action. The GINA principle has already led to a variety of innovative concepts and has production vehicles in ways that are completely new and unprecedented by any other car manufacturer.

BMW Group Design uses concept cars such as the BMW concept car CS1 of 2002 as a step on the way towards putting a particular vision into practice. The CS1 was the first to present features such as the basic principle of the innovative control system - the BMW iDrive. Independently from all other innovative features shown by this concept car, the iDrive has become a series production feature.

Similarly, the GINA principle gave rise to an innovative manufacturing method that allows the manufacturers to decorate outer skin components that have been preformed by conventional methods with indi-vidually configured, high-precision contour lines prior to their reintegration into the manufacturing process. The Rapid Manufacturing method utilized for this process was first used during the production of hoods for the BMW Z4 M Roadster and the BMW Z4 M Coupé. In these models, the finished hood has received two distinctive contour lines prior to painting. These are not produced by a pressing tool but embossed into the metal with pin-point precision by a robot-guided steel pin.

Both examples illustrate the challenging route from a vision to a concept and to final series production that is not always straight and direct. With the GINA Light Visionary Model, BMW Group Design shows where this route begins. Not all innovations shown by the GINA Light Visionary Model will pro-ceed to the next stages. In its entirety, however, the visionary look into the future shows the extent to which the BMW Group employs creative potential in its endeavor to respond to the challenges of tomorrow's mobility.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The New Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4

With the new Gallardo LP560-4, Lamborghini once again sets a higher standard for super sports cars. With its new engine, permanent four-wheel drive transmission and new suspension, it delivers clearly improved performance and dynamics. In parallel, its innovative design takes the classic lines unique to the Lamborghini brand one step further. Powerful elegance has never been so defined before.

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is the successor of the most successful Lamborghini model of all time. Approximately 7100 Gallardo models have left the Sant'Agata Bolognese production plant since its launch in 2003. "The LP560-4 will consolidate this success story," states Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. "It will outclass its predecessor in every aspect; its dynamics are distinctly breathtaking and its design sets new standards. With the introduction of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, we will consistently continue Lamborghini's growth strategy".

The powerful heart of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is the new 5.2 litre V10 engine with an output of 560 PS (412 kW) at 8000 rpm. The increase of 40 PS compared with that of the previous Gallardo, and the approximate 20 kilogram reduction in weight, improves the power weight ratio to 2.5 kilograms per PS (hp) and thus enhances performance. The LP560-4 accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, its speed at 11.8 seconds is 200 km/h and its top speed lies at 325 km/h. At the same time the new, highly efficient engine enthrals its driver with its direct fuel injection system - "Iniezione Diretta Stratificata". Despite its clearly increased power, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have been reduced by a staggering 18 per cent.

Characteristic LED - Daytime running light

The new headlights have a characteristic 'daytime' running light integrated beneath the Bi-Xenon lamps: 15 diodes (LED) have been positioned in a Y structure. The same motif appears again in the rear tail-lights. The stop and brake lights have been inspired by the Miura Concept, the Murciélago LP640 and the Reventón and display the Y form three times over.

The completely redesigned rear gives the definition "powerful elegance" a new meaning: rear lights, air cooling vents, bumper and diffuser are arranged in precise positions on the car's exterior, which make the LP560-4 appear extremely wide and bonded to the road surface. In addition, the streamlined covers left and right of the engine hood accentuate the powerful shoulders and lengthened, stretched lines of the new Gallardo.

Clearly improved aerodynamics

The rear diffuser has been newly designed, is more efficient with respect to its predecessor and, together with the smooth underbody, contributes to the excellent steering stability even at extremely high speeds. In sum, the aerodynamic efficiency with regard to output compared to that of its predecessor has been increased by 31 %. The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 takes fast curves even more supremely.

The designers in Sant'Agata Bolognese have excelled themselves with the clear-cut, pure, stark lines of the Gallardo LP 560-4. They also have demonstrated distinct attention to detail; the elaborate aluminium cap for petrol and motor oil are testimony to this, as is the rear camera which has been integrated in a small fin in the independent rear spoiler as well as the finely-crafted grille in the exhaust pipes.

The body

Weight is undesirable in a sports car and a lightweight model encourages the dynamics of such a vehicle. Aluminium is much lighter than sheet steel and this is why the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is produced with a body in a much lighter but nevertheless more stiff structure: the two-seater car measures 4.34 metres in length, 1.90 metres in width and a mere 1.16 metres in height. It weighs in dry at 1410 kilograms - which is, effectively, 20 kilograms less that that of the previous Gallardo.

The construction of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 utilises what is known as a 'spaceframe construction method'. Integrally moulded node elements and extruded parts create its frame, and sheet metal plates made out of aluminium have been neatly and securely integrated to form the body. The body is not only extremely light but also torsionally stiff and displays the highest safety characteristics. Thus the basis for the extraordinary handling characteristics of the LP560-4 is formed.

The Engine - Extreme power in every situation

The engine of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is a completely new development. All that remains of the original V10 is the number of cylinders which, in this performance category, create a perfect and unique synthesis of torque, force of movement, sporty nimbleness, compact size and low weight.

The engine has a 5204 cm3 volumetric displacement which, with 8.000 rpm creates the extreme 560 PS (412 kW). This results in the excellent performance per litre of 107.6 PS/lt. At maximum torque output, the engine yields 540 Newtonmeter at 6.500 rpm. The ample torque curve guarantees outstanding thrust from every engine speed. With an acceleration of 3.7 seconds from 0-100 km/h and a maximum speed of 325 km/h, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 shoots into the orbit of the most extreme and powerful sports cars.

Despite the clearly improved driving performance of this super sports car, Sant'Agata's engineers were nevertheless able to achieve a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2emissions by 18 per cent. Measured by engine power and performance, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 e-gear's average fuel consumption of 13.7 litres per 100 kilometers, is extremely low.

Perfect weight distribution, class-leading dynamics

The engine in this new model lies lengthways in front of the rear axle - hence the model description Longitudinale Posteriore. The concept of the mid - rear engine is unbeatable in sports car production, with the centre of gravity being displaced next to the vertical axis, thus creating the car's exceptional dynamics. Furthermore, it creates the basis for the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4's perfect weight distribution with 43 per cent on the front axle and 57 per cent on the rear. In combination with the permanent four-wheel drive transmission, superior driving stability and road adherence are guaranteed in all situations.

Reduced weight for inspirational torque

The crank case of the new ten cylinder of Lamborghini Gallardo is produced with an aluminium alloy. Separate cylinder liners are not necessary with this technology: instead, the liners, due to their exposure to the hard silicone crystals during the production phase, are bored directly out of the material. The connecting rods are made out of wrought steel and the pistons are produced from an aluminium alloy. The consequent reduction in weight, inertia and in friction losses contributes to the car's inspirational torque.

The engine is unusually wide for a V10, with a cylinder angle of 90 degrees. A definite advantage of this construction is the low centre of gravity. The reduction of the gravity centre height comes also from the dry sump layout of the lubrication system which also guarantees the reliability of the oil supply even during lateral acceleration and on the race-track.

Direct fuel injection improves efficient combustion

The new V10 uses the direct fuel-injection system "Iniezione Diretta Stratificata" as an innovative way to optimize performance results in part-load conditions. Here, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber through the laterally positioned injector. Combined with the use of a 'tumble flap' in the intake manifold runners, this solution guarantees an optimized distribution of the gasoline in the combustion chamber (higher gasoline density around the spark plug, leaner mixture close to piston and cylinder liners) and delivers the basis for a highly efficient combustion system even with stoichiometric mean mixture composition. The direct injection boosts the extremely efficient 'full load' performance of the V10, reduces its knock sensitivity and thus enables the very high compression ratio of 12.5:1. The cylinder heads have been optimised to deliver a very quick gas exchange and the variable valve control system on all four camshafts improves the charge efficiency across the entire engine speed range.

Transmission - Superior control four-wheel drive

Such extreme power must be brought onto the streets with extreme reliability. The driver of a Gallardo LP560-4 can thus rely on the four-wheel drive Viscous Traction (VT) system, with the '4' in the model name a reminder of this. Lamborghini already introduced this system with the Diablo VT in 1993 - and for good reason: four actuated wheels achieve more grip than two and permit acceleration earlier in the curve exit.

The protagonist in the transmission is the central viscous-coupling which requires no electronic control. In this special Lamborghini configuration, the driving torque is distributed between front and rear - generally with a 30:70 front to rear ratio and, within milliseconds, adapts to even the slightest variations in road conditions. A mechanical differential on the rear axle provides up to 45% limited slip and an electronic differential lock at the front complete the four-wheel drive system.

Superior traction and handling

Not only does the maximum traction take advantage of the permanent four-wheel drive system, but also the car's clearly superior handling. Each wheel can only transfer a certain amount of torque to the road. As the propulsion power is distributed onto all four wheels through the viscous traction system, more potential for directional control remains - and reserves in every situation distinguish a perfectly made sports car.

Despite all the engine thrust, changing gears in the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is one of the most exciting experiences of driving this vehicle. It is still the customer's personal preference as to whether he wishes to change gears manually through the exact 'gate' guides of the six-speed gearbox via the short gear stick, or whether he prefers to let his fingertips control the e.gear's paddle-shift system located behind the steering wheel: the latter solution becoming the preference of the majority of Lamborghini customers.

Gear change time reduced by 40 per cent

The automated e-gear transmission has been completely redesigned and improved in all aspects. The complete system has not only been reduced in weight, but the time employed to change gears has also been reduced by 40 per cent in "CORSA" mode. The driver may choose between five different driving and changing programs: in addition to the 'normal' mode, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 offers a SPORT programm with its even more rapid gear changing times and increased number of revolutions.

The CORSA program directs the engine to optimum acceleration. It permits a greater slip angle and also allows - with maximum safety - the full dynamism of the LP560-4 to be enjoyed even on a race-track. The 'Thrust Mode' ensures maximum acceleration from neutral while the angle of the throttle valve and the clutch are here optimally adjusted to one another. Finally the Automatic mode: here the engine changes gear in total independence and permits a particularly comfortable mode of driving.

The Suspension - High-tech parts with Lamborghini know-how

Even the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4's predecessor was one of the world's best super sports cars with regard to handling, precision and driving stability. However, the latest model provides an even more intense driving experience: the new suspension improves the car's handling, its driving comfort and its directional stability at high speeds.

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4's space frame is uncompromisingly high tech. Its technical production was conceived from motor sport technologies. The double wishbones made out of aluminium with newly designed kinematics, while the springs and shock absorbers are tightly adjusted for grip.

The rear axle now has an additional track rod which further improves the excellent control of this super sports vehicle. Newly developed elements are the rubber-metal bearings - authentic high-tech parts - which clearly improve the special Lamborghini driving dynamics with well-chosen material combinations and cleverly defined assembly.

Extreme road adherence

The steering rack works with relatively little assisted steering support, thus bonding the driver closely to the road. This in turn provides him with an intense experience of power and impulse. The steering has its own cooling system for the power steering fluid.

Precise, breathtakingly fast, whilst stable and free from surprises, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4's dynamics assures a sensuous experience. The LP560-4's tyres (format 235/35 ZR 19 front and 295/30 ZR 19 rear) appear to bond with the asphalt. Specially developed Pirelli P-Zero series tyres are fitted: these have a particularly low roll resistance which also maintains tyre wear at a minimum without, of course, any reduction in their performance quality. At a speed of over 120 km/h an independently extended rear spoiler increases the downforce on the rear axle It acts in association with the specially formed underbody which directs the airstream under the car.

Optional Carbon Ceramic Brake system

The new braking system acts with brute force. At the front, eight 'Brembo specialist' cylinder callipers grasp the 365 mm diameter brake discs. At the rear, four cylinder callipers act on the 356 mm brake discs. In addition, the new disc ventilation system improves the stability in extreme situations. Optionally, discs made out of Carbon Ceramic are offered. At the front the CCB (Carbon Ceramic Brakes) discs measure 380mm in diameter and at the rear 356mm. They deliver much improved performance at a reduced weight. In total, the CCB braking system is lighter in weight that, at the wheel, improves driving dynamics and comfort.

Technical data

  • Type: 10 cylindres V90°, DOHC 4 valves,common-pin crankshaft
  • Displacement: 5204 cc
  • Compression ratio: 12,5 : 1
  • Maximum power: 412 kW (560 ps) at 8000 rpm
  • Maximum torque: 540 Nm 6500 rpm


  • Top speed: 325 km/h
  • Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 3,7 sec.
  • Acceleration (0-200 km/h): 11,8 sec.


  • Wheelbase: 2560 mm
  • Overall legth: 4345 mm
  • Overall width: 1900 mm
  • Overall height: 1165 mm

Fuel Consumption with E-Gear

  • Urban: 21 L/100 km
  • Extra urban: 10 L/100 km
  • Combined: 14 L/100 km
  • Emission: Euro 4
  • CO2: 327 g/km

Fuel Consumption with manual trasmission

  • Urban: 22 L/100 km
  • Extra urban: 10 L/100 km
  • Combined: 14,7 L/100 km
  • Emission: Euro 4
  • CO2: 351 g/km

The New Nissan Xterra

The Nissan Xterra, created as tough, essential gear designed to inspire and facilitate outdoor enthusiasts' activities wherever they go, receives a number of enhancements for the 2009 model year - including a redesigned front end appearance, new Roof-Mounted Off-Road Lights (Off-Road only), new wheel designs, new seat materials and colors (with leather-appointed seats standard on SE models), new trim level content and standard roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.

The changes to the second generation Xterra enhance the differentiation between the four available Xterra models - X, S, Off-Road and SE - making it easier for buyers to determine the exact Xterra model for their particular needs and lifestyles. Optional equipment packages have also been simplified with two packages, Technology Package and X Gear Package, offered for 2009.

For a limited time, beginning at the 2009 Nissan Xterra's sales launch in July 2008, the content of the Technology Package - including an advanced Rockford Fosgate® audio system, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately, automatic transmission models only), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel audio controls and auxiliary input jack - will be provided at no charge with every 2009 Nissan Xterra S, Off-Road or SE.

Revised Exterior, Enhanced Interior for 2009

While staying true to the original Xterra design concept of offering drivers "everything you need, and nothing you don't," the 2009 Nissan Xterra offers a number of exterior and interior refinements that helps keep the design fresh and exciting.

Xterra's signature exterior styling features include large flared fenders, a versatile roof rack with latchable lid and a rear bumper design with side steps for easy access to the roof rack. It also offers a large, powerful looking hood and headlights and Nissan SUV-style angled strut grille. For 2009, the shape of the grille and front bumper fascia have been modified and there are two new grille treatments - a Sandblast Aluminum finish for X, S and Off-Road models and Satin Chrome finish for Xterra SE models. SE models also receive a newly designed body colored side molding treatment. X and S models receive a newly designed black headlight inner housing surround.

Other exterior enhancements include new Roof-Mounted Off-Road Lights built into the roof rack air dam as a standard feature for Off-Road models, along with new side-step and roof rail colors and a new 4x4 badge on Xterra 4-wheel drive models. New wheel designs are also featured on all models, including a new 16-inch bright machine-finished wheel for the Xterra Off-Road. There are also two new exterior colors, Navy Blue and Red Brick.

As in previous years, Xterra features a long wheelbase for a smooth ride and ample interior room, yet overall length is highly manageable due to the short front overhang - helping to enhance maneuverability in off-road hill climbing and trail situations.

Xterra's flexible interior is spacious enough for up to five adults and their gear, with ample leg room, headroom and cargo room. A standard 60/40 split folding stadium-style rear seat with removable seat bottom cushions and an available fold-down front passenger seat (SE and Off-Road models) create added utility for hauling long recreational gear.

For 2009, the interior features a new center instrument panel cluster with a new fascia and new HVAC switches, new standard leather-appointed seating on SE models, new seat cloth an X and S models and new, unique seat cloth on Off-Road models.

Standard interior features include sporty reclining front bucket seats, footrest, dual front and rear 20-ounce cupholders, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, Remote Keyless Entry and cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls.

Xterra's versatile cargo area is highlighted by an available Easy Clean cargo surface and a total of 10 cargo area utility hooks - six on the floor/sides and four on the ceiling (floor hooks can carry up to 110 pounds). There's also an available built-in first-aid kit and space to securely carry jugs up to a one-gallon size. Securing bike racks and other accessories or gear is made easier with an available adjustable channel system in the cargo floor, similar in design to the Utili-track™ system offered on the Nissan Titan and Frontier pickups.

While maintaining its off-road adventure authenticity, the 2009 Nissan Xterra also offers a few necessary amenities, including an available premium 300-watt Rockford Fosgate®-powered audio system with eight speakers and subwoofer, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, MP3/WMA capability plus aux-in jack, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately).

A Rugged, Truck-Based Platform

Underneath its unique exterior design, every 2009 Nissan Xterra features a fully boxed, all-steel ladder frame and a rugged suspension featuring a steel double-wishbone front suspension and solid axle leaf spring rear suspension, with stabilizer bars front and rear. Xterra Off-Road models feature Bilstein high-performance gas shocks, a rear tire deflector and skids plates covering the oil pan, fuel tank and transfer case (4WD only).

Powering Xterra is a standard 4.0-liter DOHC V6, rated at 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft torque. The engine is an increased displacement version of Nissan's VQ engine series found in the 350Z, Maxima and Altima. It features a longer stroke (than the 3.5-liter version) and has been specifically tuned for SUV and truck applications.

Like others in the VQ family, the 4.0-liter version includes such advanced design features as lightweight aluminum block and cylinder heads, Continuous Valve Timing Control (CVTCS), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain and microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces. Other engine features include Teflon®-coated pistons, resin intake manifold, digital knock control system, 105,000-mile spark plugs and high capacity muffler. The engines' Electronic Throttle Control system includes secondary mapping in 4LO (4WD models).

Two advanced transmissions are offered with the 2009 Nissan Xterra. An available electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission, based on the transmission used in the both the Titan and Armada (with an emphasis on acceleration, fuel economy and shift quality), or a 6-speed manual transmission based on the 350Z design but tuned for driving performance and fuel economy.

Xterra is offered in 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. Xterra 4x4 models feature a part-time 4WD system with 2WD/4HI/4LO modes and electronically controlled transfer case. Xterra Off-Road models include two advanced off-road technologies - Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist - as well as an electronic locking rear differential.

Other driveline components include engine speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and 4-wheel vented disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD).

Wheel and tire packages include 16-inch steel wheels with P265/70R16 tires for Xterra X models and new-design 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P265/70R16 BFGoodrich Long Trail tires on Xterra S models. Xterra Off-Road models feature new 6-spoke 16-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels with BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A tires. New 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels with P265/65R17 BFGoodrich Long Trail tires are standard on Xterra SE.

Advanced Safety Systems

Xterra's list of safety features and equipment includes Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors, driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags and 3-point front/rear seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors. For 2009, all Xterras also come with standard roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.

Other standard equipment includes the LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren), Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Available Models and Packages

The 2009 Nissan Xterra is offered in four models - X, S, Off-Road and SE. The Off-Road model is available in 4-wheel drive only, while the X, S and SE are offered in both 2WD and 4WD configurations. Xterra SE comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission only, with X, S, and Off Road offering a choice of 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic.

The entry-level Xterra X grade offers a long list of standard features, including Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), power windows, locks and mirrors, Remote Keyless Entry, cruise control, engine speed sensitive power-assisted rack and pinion steering, 60/40 split fold-flat 2nd row seat and Nissan Advanced Airbag System (AABS).

Standard features for Xterra S include 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with BFGoodrich Long Trail tires, driver's seat lumbar support, Sandblast Aluminum step rails, Easy Clean Cargo surface and C-Channel cargo floor with four moveable hooks and front tow hook (4x4).

2009 Nissan Xterra Off-Road models feature Roof-Mounted Off-Road Lights in air dam, silver headlight inner color, black bodyside molding, fold-flat front passenger seat with backboard, unique cloth seat fabric (including red/graphite and charcoal/graphic combinations), sunglasses holder (overhead console), Off-Road badge on lower front doors, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with compass and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Unique Xterra Off-Road model performance equipment includes 265/75R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A off-road tires, rugged 16-inch wheels, Hill Descent Control and Hill Assist, electronic locking rear differential, high performance Bilstein gas-filled shocks and oil pan, fuel tank and transfer case skid plates.

The top-line Xterra SE features standard 5-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 265/65R17 BF Goodrich Long Trail tires, leather-appointed seating, silver headlight inner color, trip computer, sunglasses holder, step rails, body-colored outside mirrors, door handles and bodyside molding, XM® Satellite Radio with antenna (XM® subscription required, sold separately), fold-flat passenger seat with backboard, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with compass and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Two optional packages are available for 2009 - a Technology Package (Xterra S, Off-Road and SE models only) with Rockford Fosgate®-powered audio system with an in-dash 6 CD changer, 8 speakers and subwoofer, steering wheel audio controls, XM® Satellite Radio pre-wiring (manual transmission models) or XM® Satellite Radio receiver and black antenna (automatic transmission models) (XM® subscription required, sold separately), auxiliary input, and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System; and an X Gear Package (S and SE models only) with roof rack crossbars, fog lights, first aid kit, cargo net and gear basket.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The New Lancia Delta

Delta is a historical name that represents one of the pinnacles of Lancia's motoring history, but also a mathematical symbol that stands for change, progress. Delta is a universal measure of difference, a striving toward excellence by exceeding a previous limit. Our entire strategy is underpinned by a quest for an evolved form of the Delta.

So in this sense, the Lancia Delta is the first car to represent the new Lancia philosophy. An original and unique positioning, a blend of two values that are intrinsic to the brand: elegance of style and a bold, innovative temperament that are also the inspiration of every marketing and communication campaign.

Today we welcome the first all-new car from Lancia's second centenary, the Delta, with its unparalleled design, true to the brand's innovative vocation. Due to its product features and international development work to support the launch planned for mid-2008, the Delta represents a turning point in Lancia's history and contributes significantly to the development of a strategic plan.

The first developmental shift or 'delta' is the car's ability to reconcile the traditional elegance of a Lancia with original architectural features that wed the mettle of a sports car with the on-board well-being of a saloon for the first time, while also offering extraordinary roominess for the category (a wheelbase of no less than 2.7 metres adds to the car's imposing dimensions: It is 4.5 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 1.5 metres high). And so the Lancia Delta returns to take its place at the top of the mid-sized saloon segment, taking the great Lancia car tradition forward into the future: the Aprilia, Appia, Fulvia, Beta, Prisma and Dedra up to the Lybra.

The Lancia Delta is immediately outstanding for its up-to-date finely wrought design that is in keeping with the unmistakable Lancia style of recent years. Yet it saves the very best of itself for its guests: as soon as you get on board, you are immediately enveloped by an air of onboard wellbeing courtesy of an interior that is exceptional for its sophistication and comfort with fine colours and top-quality materials. Particular features include a roof made out of special sound-absorbent material (termed a Noise Absorbing Roof) that guarantees very low driving noise levels while great brightness is guaranteed by oceans of glass at the sides and, where fitted, an enormous sun-roof that takes up 80% of the total area. Everything is made even more exclusive by top-quality material,- from leather to Alcantara - used for the interior trim and the presence of an imposing dashboard made out of Benova®, an innovative and distinguished product made of polyurethane that conveys the same tactile and visual sensations as real leather. As an option, it is also possible to choose superb quality upholstery in Poltrona Frau® grosgrain leather, a touch of exclusivity that combines Lancia class with one of the most famous Italian designer labels in the world: the final result is a life-enhancing environment with a very hand-crafted look.

The lounge-like feel of the passenger compartment is enhanced by a sliding rear seat with reclining backrest (it can be tilted to 25°) that allows the already spacious boot (380 litres, 465 with the sliding rear seats) to be increased or it can be pushed back and tilted for total relaxation, like a business class seat on an intercontinental flight. Not to mention the fact that the Lancia Delta's rear passenger room is the best in the segment and it is the only hatchback saloon to offer the possibility of adjusting the rear seat backrest and sliding the seat.

The extraordinarily stylish interiors are complemented by instruments with a pronounced hi-tech look: one example is a good-looking central console that seems to float like some fantastic high-tech plate on the underlying surface - and the white lighting of the console that emphasises the original 3-D look keys. And more: All parts used for driving - console, steering wheel, climate control and infotainment features display the same colour treatment and material use, with a high-tech metallic effect that is evident over the entire dashboard. The chrome detailing on the controls and the stylish steering wheel (reminiscent of the historical four-spoke version) are an expression of unmistakeable Lancia class.

The Lancia Delta passenger compartment is therefore a superlative example of Italian refinement and exclusivity and for all the world like a real lounge that can welcome passengers into an environment that is unique in terms of class and comfort while also extremely high-tech. The Lancia Delta is able to offer the most advanced devices and systems in the in-car entertainment field due to its cooperation with the very best partners in each sector. for example, you can experience the musical lift of a Blaukpunt radio or, as an option, a Bose® hi fi with CD and MP3 player incorporating steering wheel controls. Or you can access the countless functions of the Blue&Me® device, a system developed in conjunction with Microsoft that offers handsfree operation with a Bluetooth® interface and advanced voice recognition, USB port, MP3 player and SMS interpreter (also available in a NAV version). The Lancia Delta will also host the debut of 'Instant Nav', a brand-new satellite navigation system. This innovative device, developed with Magneti Marelli, ensures top-level multimedia performance, great ease of use and the effective integration of numerous functions in a single system: USB interface, voice commands, management of maps on an SD card and a high-resolution screen.

The Lancia Delta also expresses its keynote values of elegance and temperament through its engines and mechanical parts. Firstly, the temperament of its petrol and diesel power units that offer outstanding technological innovation and performance. All the Lancia engines are turbocharged and paired with 6-speed gearboxes (manual, robotised or automatic). Three engines will be available immediately at the launch. 120 bhp and 150 bhp 1.4 Turbo Jet (both petrol-driven) and a 120 bhp 1.6 turbodiesel MultiJet (Euro 5) that will also be combined with an advanced robotised gearbox. These will be joined later by two brand new products: a 165 bhp 2.0 Multijet and a 190 bhp Twin Turbo Multijet.

The range will then be complemented by another innovative power unit: a 200 bhp 1.8 Di Turbojet (a direct injection petrol engine paired with an up-to-date 6-speed automatic gearbox). These power units, all Euro 5, confirm the Lancia brand as a benchmark in terms of technology and innovation throughout the entire automotive scenario.

Elegance of form and materials but also elegance in the way the car interacts with the outside world. As far as the environment is concerned, the Lancia Delta diesel engines are already in line with the limits due to be introduced by the future Euro 5 regulation, a characteristic that certainly marks an extra 'delta' shift over the competition.

Lastly, the engine performances are complemented by tried and tested mechanical parts that are optimised for comfort and handling through the use of technical features unique to the category. Beginning with the Absolute Handling System, an advanced stability control system that adds many major features over able those offered by devices available to date, namely LTF (Linearization Torque Feedback) that considerably improves your sense of mastering the car on bends, particularly at top speed; and TTC (Torque Transfer Control), an innovative function that improves traction on bends by significantly reducing understeer and ensures a more dynamic drive by electrically simulating the presence of a self-locking differential.

It should be emphasised that the innovative Absolute Handling System always cuts in unobtrusively due to its pairing with DST (Drive Steering Torque). The active electronic steering carries out corrections automatically and also controls oversteer over surfaces with low grip.

As another mark of its advance engineering, the Lancia Delta is fitted with an electronic variable damping suspension system (Reactive Suspension System) that considerably improves driving comfort while filtering out more vibrations over uneven road surfaces. It also further emphasises driving satisfaction by improving handling under all conditions (the system automatically adjusts ride according to the type of road and the driving stresses). The Delta's array of equipment is complemented by a semi-automatic parking system that controls steering, leaving the driver the task of operating the brake and throttle to complete the manoeuvre - and a 'Driving Advisor' system that acts on the steering wheel to warn the driver he is about to stray over the edge of the lane. The aim of all these devices, in short, is to simplify and improve the driving experience. All together they may be encapsulated by the description 'VIP Driving'.

Because it is destined for demanding customers who love to stand out in a crowd, the Lancia Delta offers more than 1000 personalised combinations created by cross-matching 3 specifications, 4 different seat trims, 3 interior colour schemes, 4 types of alloy wheels, 12 body shades and 12 two-tone body options. This broad and diverse range confirms the unique nature of the new model Returning to the theme of 'delta' as the symbol of progress, Fiat Group Automobiles Financial Services is also ringing the changes by offering finance options that differ from conventional packages because they include exclusive services guaranteed by the Fiat Group Automobiles 'Parts&Services' department.