Friday, August 29, 2008

The New Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Chevrolet officially announced the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - an American supercar that brings the technology and engineering refinement of carbon-fiber, ceramics and electronics together in a distinctive design.

"Chevrolet's goal with the new Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is to show what an American supercar can deliver, at a price that trumps exotics that cost two, three or four times as much - and does so with exceptional driveability," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager.

The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1's basic stats:

  • All-new LS9 supercharged 6.2L V-8 targeted at producing at least 100 horsepower per liter, or 620 horsepower (462 kW), and approximately 595 lb.-ft. of torque (823 Nm)
  • Six-speed, close-ratio, race-hardened manual transmission
  • New, high-capacity dual-disc clutch
  • Higher-capacity and specific-diameter axle half-shafts; enhanced torque tube
  • Specific suspension tuning provides more than 1g cornering grip
  • Twenty-spoke 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires - P285/30ZR19 in front and P335/25ZR20 in the rear - developed specifically for the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
  • Standard carbon-ceramic, drilled disc brake rotors - 15.5-inch-diameter (394-mm) in the front and 15-inch-diameter (380-mm) in the rear
  • Larger brake calipers with substantially increased pad area
  • Standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control with track-level suspension
  • Wider, carbon-fiber front fenders with Chevrolet Corvette ZR1-specific dual vents
  • Carbon-fiber hood with a raised, polycarbonate window - offering a view of the intercooler below it
  • Carbon-fiber roof panel, roof bow, front fascia splitter and rocker moldings with clear-coated, exposed carbon-fiber weave
  • ZR1-specific full-width rear spoiler with raised outboard sections
  • Specific gauge cluster with boost gauge (also displayed on the head-up display) and 220-mph (370 km/h) speedometer readout
  • Only two options: chrome wheels and a "luxury" package
  • Curb weight of approximately 3,350 pounds (1,519 kg)

Transmission and axle

The LS9 engine is backed by a new, stronger six-speed manual transmission and a twin-disc clutch that provide exceptional clamping power, while maintaining an easy clutch effort. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1-specific gearing in the transmission provides a steep first-gear ratio that helps launch the car, and top speed is achieved in sixth gear - a change from the fifth-gear top-speed run-outs in the manual-transmission Corvette and Corvette Z06.

As the term implies, the twin-disc clutch system employs a pair of discs, which spreads out the engine's torque load over a wider area. This enables tremendous clamping power when the clutch is engaged, while also helping to dissipate heat better and extend the life of the clutch.

The twin-disc clutch system also contributes to the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1's exceptional driving quality, with smooth and easy shifting. The twin-disc system's design enables a 25-percent reduction in inertia, thanks to smaller, 260-mm plates, corresponding to a pedal effort that is similar to the Corvette Z06's 290-mm single-disc system.

The rear axle also is stronger in the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and features asymmetrical axle-shaft diameters that were developed after careful testing to provide optimal torque management. The axles are also mounted on a more horizontal plane that correlates with the wider width of the rear wheels and tires.

Ride and handling

The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is built on the same aluminum-intensive chassis as the Corvette Z06 and features similar independent SLA front and rear suspensions, with aluminum upper and lower control arms. Where the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 differs is the suspension tuning, which was optimized for the car's steamroller-wide front and rear tires.

Magnetic Selective Ride Control is standard and tuned specifically for the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The system's ability to deliver a compliant ride with nearly instantaneous damping adjustments enabled engineers to develop a surprisingly supple ride quality in a supercar that still delivers cornering grip of more than 1g.

From a high-performance perspective, Magnetic Selective Ride Control helps the rear axle remain planted during launch for smooth, hop-free acceleration. It also helps suppress axle movement when cornering on broken or uneven pavement.

Brakes, wheels and tires

Commensurate with the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1's engine output is the braking system, which is headlined by carbon-ceramic brake rotors. Found on only a few exotics and more expensive supercars, carbon-ceramic brake rotors are made of a carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic silicon carbide material . Their advantage comes in low mass and resistance to wear and heat. In fact, the rotors should never show any corrosion or require replacement for the life of the vehicle, when used in normal driving.

The vented and cross-drilled rotors on the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 measure 15.5 inches (394 mm) in diameter in the front and 15 inches (380 mm) in diameter in the rear - making them among the largest carbon-ceramic rotors available on any production vehicle.

Clamping down on the high-tech rotors are six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers, each painted a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1-exclusive blue. The front pads are equivalent in size to the largest on any production car with a single-pad design - double that of the Corvette Z06's 70-sq.-cm. front pads.

The brakes are visible through the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1's exclusive wheels: 20-spoke alloy rims that measure 19 inches in diameter in the front and 20 inches in the rear. They come standard with a bright, Sterling Silver paint finish and chrome versions are optional. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires developed specifically for the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, measuring P285/30ZR19 in front and P335/25ZR20 in the rear.

Exclusive exterior

The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is instantly recognizable, with perhaps the most identifiable feature a raised, all-carbon-fiber hood that incorporates a clear, polycarbonate window. The window provides a view of the top of the engine's intercooler, with the legend "LS9 SUPERCHARGED" embossed on the left and right sides, and an engine cover with the Corvette crossed flags logo debossed at the front.

The underside of the hood has an exposed carbon-fiber-weave. Exposed carbon-fiber is used on the roof, roof bow, rocker molding and front splitter. These exterior components are protected by a specially developed glossy, UV-resistant clear coat that resists yellowing and wear.

Widened, carbon-fiber front fenders with specific, dual lower vents, and a full-width, body-color rear spoiler incorporating the center high-mounted stop lamp, are also unique to the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. All of the exterior features of the car were developed to enhance high-speed stability and driver control.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The New Lexus LS600h L Pebble Beach Edition

Lexus introduced the first-ever Lexus LS600h L Pebble Beach Edition and the sixth Lexus SC430 Pebble Beach Edition to commemorate its continuing partnership with Pebble Beach Company. The vehicles were unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Lexus Fashion Preview on August 15, 2008. Production of these 2009 Pebble Beach Edition vehicles are limited to 50 Lexus LS600h L flagship hybrid luxury sedans and 300 Lexus SC430 hardtop convertibles. Pebble Beach Edition owners have the opportunity to customize their ownership experience by selecting from one of three distinctive merchandise packages: Callaway Golf Experience, Travel Package or Epicurean Encounter.

The Lexus LS600h L's distinctive L-finesse styling is complemented by a unique exterior/interior color combination exclusive to the Pebble Beach Edition with a Truffle Mica exterior paint combined with an exclusive two-tone Alabaster and Black leather trim interior with Dark Grey Bird's-eye maple wood trim. Additional styling cues include 19-inch, five-spoke wheels with a unique finish, Pebble Beach interior badging, premium black floor mats with stainless steel badging, and blue illuminated scuff plates. The Pebble Beach LS hybrid comes standard with the Advanced Pre-Collision System (APCS) which incorporates the world's first system designed to help detect pedestrians in the vehicle's path, as well as world's first Driver Monitor System that helps warn drivers if it senses an obstacle ahead of the car and that the driver's head is not facing forward. The APCS system helps prepare the car for evasive action or collision by triggering appropriate sensors in the car and retracting the front seatbelts. Furthermore, the Lexus LS600h L Pebble Beach Edition is equipped with the Advanced Parking Guidance System, Rear-Seat Entertainment System (RSES), power rear-door sunshades and rear-seat side airbags.

Lexus Personalization Program

Owners of an RX or ES Pebble Beach Edition can customize their ownership experience with the Lexus Personalization Program. Three distinct categories of packages are designed to invoke the unparalleled feel of the world-famous Pebble Beach Resorts: The Callaway Golf Experience, Travel Sets, and Epicurean Encounter. Owners can select from item(s) in one of the packages.

The Callaway Golf® Experience

Four exclusive packages are designed to improve the look and performance of one's golf game. One dozen personalized Callaway Golf Tour ix Golf Balls can be combined with a Callaway Golf Ft-I driver or Callaway Golf Hyper X driver and one X Hybrid. Three Callaway Golf X-Forged wedges and one Odyssey White Hot XG 2-Ball putter are matched to one dozen personalized Callaway Golf Tour ix Golf Balls. One case (12 dozen) of personalized Callaway Golf Tour ix Golf Balls is also available.

Travel Package

Pebble Beach Edition owners can carry style and refinement from their vehicle into a luxury hotel with one of three luxury luggage packages. A café-colored three-piece leather luggage set includes two cabin duffels, one carriage duffel, and personalized embossed luggage tags. Two pairs of Callaway Golf Eyewear complement the café-colored leather briefcase or the café-colored leather tote bag.

Epicurean Encounter

Those owners interested in improving their culinary skills can choose the Epicurean Encounter. They can select a six-piece Viking® Santoku Cutlery Set including 10-slot maple knife block or a four-piece Viking Cookware set. Both come with a Viking Cooking School $200 gift card redeemable for cooking classes or merchandise online at The package also offers the option of a café-colored leather wine tote and a diverse selection of wines from member wineries of the highly regarded Napa Valley Vintners.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The New Renault Symbol

Renault will shortly be releasing a new three-box model which features expressive, flowing lines. New Renault Symbol (aka Renault Thalia) exudes an elegance that is underpinned by the status-enhancing design of its front end, as well as by its harmonious styling which is worthy of that of a prestigious saloon. Inside, the driver and passengers will appreciate the comfortable, carefully-appointed cabin. The range of sprightly petrol and diesel engine is at the market's leading edge when it comes to low fuel consumption, while the suspension and running gear have been engineered for comfort and efficiency.

The public will be given an opportunity to see New Renault Symbol at the forthcoming Moscow Motor Show which opens on August 26, 2008.

Elegant, status-enhancing lines

New Renault Symbol is a new three-box car that boasts expressive lines and seductive appeal. Its length of 4.26 metres and height of 1.43 metres ensure nicely balanced proportions, while the design of the headlamps emphasizes the front end's statusenhancing styling. The harmonious side view is that of a prestigious saloon, while the robust lines of the rear are also suggestive of status. The presence of chrome trimming for the grille and rear panel adds a further note of refined distinction. The newcomer's seductive appeal and perceived quality are immediately apparent inside the cabin, too. New Renault Symbol also provides generous boot space which is as ideally suited to professional use as it is to a weekend in the country.

Economical to run and excellent roadholding

New Renault Symbol is powered by a range of latest-generation engines, all of which combine performance, low fuel consumption and respect for the environment. These powerplants - whether petrol or diesel - are the most fuel efficient of this three-box car's category and make it truly economical to run. The front end's distinctive looks point to the vehicle's outstanding on-road performance and travelling comfort. New Renault Symbol benefits from the same suspension as Clio II which is acclaimed for the quality of the balance it strikes between comfort and roadholding and the quiet ride it delivers.

New Renault Symbol has plenty of arguments in its favour to win over families in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Turkey and the Maghreb countries. The first public airing of the latest addition to the line-up outlined in the Renault Commitment 2009 plan will be the forthcoming Moscow Motor Show, which opens its doors on August 26, 2008.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The New Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport

The world's most significant celebration of the automobile takes place annually in Monterey, California. This year, it will see some of the most elegant, exclusive, and valuable vehicles ever produced in over 100 years of motoring, with Bugatti set to play a prominent role. On the evening prior to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the highlight of the event, the marque renowned for impeccable automotive solutions, aesthetics and driving dynamics will unveil a second model to the world - the new Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport with a unique removable roof.

In response to customer demand, significant modifications have been made to the vehicle's complex structure to make possible open-top driving, thereby adding a new dimension to this high-performance sports car. Incorporating a host of new and innovative safety and equipment features, it is the world's fastest and most exciting roadster. It is immediately recognizable as a result of its slightly higher windscreen, stylized daytime running lights, and lightweight, transparent polycarbonate roof.

The main challenge in developing the new Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport with removable roof resulted from the unique structure of the fixed-roof Bugatti Veyron. An optimum combination of rigidity and lightweight engineering ensures the monocoque passenger cell of the original model is extremely strong while weighing an absolute minimum - it is a central element of the vehicle's structure. As the roof is an integral part of this, removing it meant the load paths had to be completely redesigned to maintain the vehicle's rigidity and crash safety, and to offer additional protection from side impacts and rolling.

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Specifications

  • Dimensions
    • Length: 4,462 mm
    • Width: 1,998 mm
    • Height, Normal Position: 1,204 mm
    • Wheel base: 2,710 mm
    • Curb Weight: 1,968 kg
    • Max. permitted laden weight: 2,280 kg
    • Tank capacity: 100 l
  • Engine
    • Motor Type/Number of Cylinders: W16
    • Cylinder Capacity: 7 993 cm3
    • Power output: 736 KW (1,001 hp) @ 6,000 rpm
    • Max. torque: 1,250 Nm @ 2,200-5,500 rpm
    • Gearbox: 7 Gear DSG
    • Drive: 4WD
    • Power distribution: Front axle differential with Haldex clutch; rear axle with with transverse differential lock
  • Suspension
    • Wheel suspension: Double wishbone front / rear
    • Tyre, front: 265-680 ZR 500A Michelin Pilot Sport Pax
    • Tyres, rear: 365-710 ZR 540A Michelin Pilot Sport Pax
    • Tyre pressure: 3.1 bar front, 3.1 bar rear
  • Suspension Heights (front / rear)
    • Standard: 125 mm / 125 mm - For town traffic and speeds up to 220 km/h. From 220 km/h, automatic configuration switches from Standard to Handling
    • Handling: 80 mm / 95 mm - For fast driving on country roads or motorways, or manually selectable for race tracks
    • Top Speed: 65 mm / 70 mm - For V-max driving (over 375 km/h), manually selectable with separate key
  • Brakes
    • Brake disk diameter: 400 mm front, 380 mm rear
    • Brake disk material: Carbon / ceramic front / rear
    • Number of wheel brake cylinders: 8 front, 6 rear
    • Number of brake pads: 4 front, 2 rear
  • Aerodynamics
    • CW Values
      • Standard: 0.39
      • Handling: 0.42
      • Top Speed: 0.36
      • Airbrake: 0.68
    • Wing/Spoiler Angle
      • Standard: Retracted / 2° cool-down position
      • Handling with roof: 6°/27°
      • Handling without roof: 20°/27°
      • Top Speed: 2°
      • Brake setting: 55°/27°
      • Special features: Central hydraulics
  • Fuel Consumption
    • In town: 41,9 l/100km
    • Out of town: 15,6 l/100km
    • Combined: 24,9 l/100km
    • Fuel type: Super lead free 98 RON / ROZ
  • CO2-Emission
    • In town: 999 g/km
    • Out of town: 373 g/km
    • Combined: 596 g/km
  • Performance
    • Top speed: 407 km/h
    • Acceleration
      • 0-100 km/h: < 2.7 sec
      • 0-200 km/h: 7.3 sec
      • 0-300 km/h: 16.7 sec
    • Braking distance (100-0 km/h): 31.4 m
    • Gearbox shift time: < 150 ms

Friday, August 22, 2008

The New Ford Ka

The exciting new Ford Ka, Ford's fresh, fun and funky small car, will take centre-stage at the 2008 Paris Motor Show in October.

The all-new Ford Ka brings new levels of style and enjoyment to affordable city cars.

Twelve years after the original Ford Ka was launched to great acclaim, its successor captures the same youthful and cheeky spirit. The new model retains all of the qualities which made the Ford Ka so popular - its compact size, great looks, lively dynamics and fun personality - but presents them in a fresh new package.

Stylish Inside and Out

Ford designers have given the new Ford Ka a fashionable, modern appearance based around the company's 'kinetic design' form language. A number of visual cues provide a connection to the original Ford Ka, but with its distinctive face and chunky proportions the new model has its own unique character.

The interior of the new Ford Ka also has a stylish, dynamic design, combining bold contrasts and expressive colours which reflect the more adventurous tastes of the typical Ford Ka buyer.

Rebirth of a Design Icon

The new model is destined to continue the considerable success of the original Ford Ka, which is widely considered to be an automotive design icon. Launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1996, the Ford Ka was immediately praised for its exciting "New Edge" styling and class-leading driving dynamics.

Throughout its 12-year life the Ford Ka has remained tremendously popular among small-car buyers, inspiring fierce loyalty from its owners. In total, Ford Ka production has exceeded 1.4 million vehicles.

Further information on the new Ford Ka range will be released in time for the Paris Motor Show in early October 2008.

The New BMW X5 Security

BMW presents the ideal combination of state-of-the-art security standards with the adaptability of a sporting four-wheel drive vehicle. The new BMW X5 Security guarantees effective and tailor-made protection from criminal attacks and other hazards. Based on the successful Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) BMW X5 , the new BMW X5 Security has room for up to five passengers and provides a superior drive train and chassis technology, which allows drivers to master even challenging situations and terrain with confidence. Due to this combination, the new BMW X5 Security is unique in the security vehicle segment. It meets all challenges of day-to-day traffic as well as to situations that require special protection and flexible reactions.

Accelerating from naught to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds.

The new BMW X5 Security has a strong 261 kW/355 hp V8 engine. The large, 4.8 liter eight-cylinder powerplant mobilizes a maximum torque of 475 Nm at 3,400 rpm. Accelerating from naught to 100 km/h in only 7.5 seconds, the BMW X5 Security's top speed is limited electronically to 210 km/h. In addition to the engine performance the intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheel drive system ensures dynamic and superior thrust at all times. The constantly, electronically controlled all-wheel drive is networked via DSC Dynamic Stability Control to variably distribute the drive power between front and rear wheels. This way, xDrive promotes dynamic driving and on-road stability as well as off-road traction.

The new BMW X5 Security is the only vehicle of its segment to meet the requirements of the VR4 ballistic protection level. Its security options, which include armored passenger and baggage compartments as well as safety glazing, have been specially developed for this model and tested as part of the product development process. The integration of protective components has been taken into consideration during the development of the BMW X5 model and establishes ideal prerequisites for equipping the BMW X5 Security with highly effective security technology ex works.

On the safe side: Maximum protection off the production line.

In contrast to retrofitted security features, all components used for security vehicles that are manufactured by BMW are perfectly adapted to suit the model they are deployed in. The armored passenger compartment for example provides seamless protection of the entire interior. This way, critical areas such as door joints or transitional sections of the pillars safely withstand bullets or fragments and prevent them from penetrating into the passenger compartment.

The BMW X5 Security chassis is perfectly adapted to handle the extra weight. In order to achieve this, special measures were taken. Among others, specific chassis components such as suspension and dampers were integrated and the chassis management software was adapted to suit the specific requirements of security vehicles. Moreover, the BMW X5 Security is equipped with BMW Safety Tires. Even during complete loss of tire pressure- as a result of a shooting or after driving over sharp objects, for example - the tires still function. A fully loaded vehicle can thus continue safely for up to 50 km at speeds of up to 80 km/h.

Another benefit of the ex-works protection concept is the fact that all security measures are integrated without having any impact on the vehicle design. Even to the expert's eye, security vehicles manufactured by BMW are virtually indistinguishable from corresponding production models. This meets customers' wishes for discretion and provides extra safety for passengers.

Driving dynamics and comfort at the level of production models.

In addition to the outstanding security levels provided by the BMW X5 Security, the vehicle offers a multitude of impressive advantages such as maximum comfort, superior handling and an extremely sporting driving performance. Equipped with the intelligent all-wheel xDrive, the five-seater vehicle is not dependent on roads and expertly masters difficult off-road territory just as confidently.

The high-quality drive train technology and chassis management, which includes all elements of the BMW X5 production model, provides perfect conditions for safely mastering even extreme driving maneuvers and confidently evading any hazardous situations whenever required. The all-wheel drive and DSC Dynamic Stability Control are all networked via the Integrated Chassis Management (ICM), which allows an extremely precise drive power distribution to suit the driving situation at hand. Taking into account the data transmitted by the DSC sensors, the xDrive quickly shifts drive power to the axle with better grip. When dynamically navigating bends, the interaction between the xDrive and the DSC counteract the vehicles' tendency to oversteer or understeer in bends. Due to the situation-oriented, variable force distribution between the front and the rear wheels, DSC intervenes by applying the brakes separately on each wheel only if this is required by extreme situations.

The DSC version that was developed for the BMW X5 also includes a so called anti-fading support by setting off any decrease in brake power at extremely high temperatures by increasing brake forces accordingly. Moderate build-up of brake forces, in turn, also enhances brake standby in situations which may require spontaneous deceleration. Regular dry braking optimizes the performance of the brakes in the wet, while the start-off assistant facilitates the process of setting off on an uphill gradient.

The DSC system's range of functions include the special DTC Dynamic Traction Control mode. This mode is activated by a press of a button and raises the thresholds for intervention in the engine and brakes, allowing the vehicle to set off smoothly on loose snow or sand. Last, but certainly not least, DTC promotes an even more sporting style of motoring and navigating bends. In order to aid motorists navigating difficult terrain , the vehicle is equipped with Hill-Descent-Control (HDC). Networked via the DSC, the system allows a controlled descent of hills by means of automatically controlled braking interventions. Even steep off-road sections can be mastered safely and at constant speed.

Standard features of the BMW X5 Security: Adaptive Drive and Active Steering.

Boosting an even higher level of confidence in mastering challenging driving situations, the new BMW X5 Security provides Adaptive Drive as a standard option. The combination of active anti-roll stabilization and variable damper adjustment allows precise control of body roll and damping exactly as required at all times.

Using sensors, Adaptive Drive permanently monitors and gathers data on the road speed of the vehicle, its steering angle, forward and lateral acceleration, body and wheel acceleration, as well as height levels. Using this information, the system controls both the swivel motors on the anti-roll bars and the electromagnetic damper valves.

The FlexRay high-speed data transmission system is being used for the first time for fast and reliable coordination of all Adaptive Drive functions. BMW is the first manufacturer in the world to use FlexRay technology in production vehicles.

The new BMW X5 Security is available with Active Steering as a standard option. This system offers exactly the right steering ratio at all speeds and steering angle. Up to a speed of approximately 90 km/h steering behavior is predominantly direct. Moreover, parking is facilitated by the fact that is takes only two turns to proceed from lock to lock. At higher speeds, Active Steering transmission is more indirect, enhancing the directional stability of the vehicle and, accordingly, its driving comfort.

Active Steering is combined with Servotronic for better steering comfort through reduced steering forces dependent on the driving speed. As part of DSC Dynamic Stability Control, Active Steering is also networked via the ICM and actively stabilizes the vehicle when oversteering in a bend or during particularly demanding braking maneuvers. When applying the brakes on surfaces with a varying frictional coefficient (split-friction braking), for example, Active Steering generates a precise but discreet counter-steering effect to prevent the vehicle from swerving out of control. This way, even challenging driving situations can be mastered with maximum dynamics and utmost confidence.

Active and passive safety: BMW X5 is the ideal foundation.

Not only in terms of drive chain and chassis technology, but also in the areas of active and passive safety, the new BMW X5 Security benefits from substantial progress in development that was achieved up until the launch of the new version of the SAV production model. The torsional body stiffness, the arrangement of deformation zones, the crash safety of the passenger compartment and the high degree of safety features including their central control, the brake and lighting system have been significantly improved on the previous model.

The interior of the BMW X5 is equipped with frontal and hip/thorax airbags as well as curtain/head airbags at the side as standard features. These airbags inflate from the A-pillar covers and from the roof lining to protect passengers in the first and the second row of seats from injury. The BMW X5 is equipped with three-point inertia-reel belts on all seats. These restraint systems come with belt force limiters as well as with a belt latch tensioner for the front seats. ISOFIX child seat fasteners on the rear seats are featured as standard. In the event of an impending rollover, rollover sensors activate the curtain airbags and belt latch tensioners. Networked with DSC Dynamic Stability Control, these sensors guarantee an early and situation-related operation of the system. Due to this extensive package of measures for enhanced passenger safety, the BMW X5 meets the most stringent crash safety requirements. The BMW SAV was the first vehicle of its segment to be awarded five stars, the best result in the Euro-NCAP crash test.

The high-performance brake system in the new BMW X5 is supported by the wide range of DSC functions to ensure excellent stopping power in every situation. Inner-vented discs on all four wheels take up braking energy with maximum efficiency. Brake disc diameter on the BMW X5 Security is 365 millimeters at the front and 345 millimeters at the rear.

In conjunction with the Bi-Xenon headlights, the BMW X5 Security is also available with an optional adaptive bend-lighting system. The adaptive bend-lighting system adapts the illumination of the road to the corresponding steering angle. The headlights follow the progression of the bend, thus improving visibility of the stretch of road in front of the vehicle. In conjunction with the adaptive bend-lighting system, the vehicle can be equipped with an optional turning lights integrated into the fog lamps. With every turn, the fog lamps' light beam is guided to the side by a reflector to clearly illuminate the road ahead in the new direction taken by the turning vehicle.

BMW X5 Security: Extraordinary SAV, unique security vehicle

Safety, dynamics, protection - the new BMW X5 Security provides it all at premium level. It stands for both the extraordinary characteristics of a sporting BMW four-by-four and for the manufacturer's outstanding competence in the development and engineering of security vehicles. The BMW X5 Security imparts a feeling of confidence to the driver and a feeling of safety and comfort for the passengers, both of which is combined with a discreet appearance which helps maintain the passengers' anonymity.

Similar to the production model, the new BMW X5 Security is distinguished by its superior driving dynamics and impressive traction. Moreover, this model provides the comprehensive functional range of the successful BMW SAV model including five seats and the adaptive luggage compartment. The only vehicle of its segment to be certified to VR4 ballistic protection level, the BMW X5 Security combines sheer driving pleasure with the versatility of state-of-the-art safety engineering. This vehicle is prepared for mastering or preventing hazardous situations in more ways than one. The BMW X5 Security is both, an extraordinary SAV that is tailored to customers with a special focus on protection, and a unique security vehicle for a wide variety of applications and a high degree of day-to-day functionality.

BMW security vehicles: Development and engineering to standards of excellence.

All security vehicles are wholly manufactured by BMW to strict BMW quality assurance specifications for development and production. As with the production vehicle, the BMW X5 Security is manufactured in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA. The protection components are integrated to BMW process specifications at the manufacturer's plant in Toluca (Mexico).

At the same time, BMW provides its customers with extensive support all over the world, ranging from discreet consultancy to comprehensive service and part supply. All security vehicles are designed to allow maintenance and repair in regular BMW branches. The service range includes a corporate pool of security and maximum security vehicles.

In addition to its customer service, BMW offers special Security Driver Training sessions. BMW has been conducting these training sessions for more than twenty years. Drivers have a choice of different levels of intensity depending on the prior knowledge of the participants. They are carried out in different locations all over the world and are conducted by highly skilled experts. The training provides an extensive insight into the theory as well as practical vehicle handling.

The New Opel Insignia Sports Tourer

Due to be unveiled at Paris Motor Show (October 4-19, 2008), Opel's new station wagon offers leading technologies wrapped in a sporty, premium body and reflects this in its name: Opel Insignia Sports Tourer.

The Opel Insignia Sports Tourer, available in European markets in spring 2009, boasts the same athletic, powerful and elegant design as its sedan counterparts. "However," says Mark Adams, Vice President of GM Europe Design, "this is a stand-alone model and not simply a wagon version of the sedan. In fact, all the bodywork aft of the B-pillar is unique to the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer. We've also ensured that its design combines the sculptural artistry and technical precision found in the notch- and hatchback models."

Designers gave the rear of the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer a unique yet cohesive appearance by pulling the "wraparound" tailgate far into the flanks and accentuating it with large, distinctive, fully integrated tail lights.

This dynamic look encloses an interior that offers ample space for five occupants and a highly competitive luggage compartment. The luggage compartment offers a volume of 540 liters. The Opel Insignia Sports Tourer has retained an identical wheelbase of 2.74 meters as the sedan models and added around 80 mm to its length for an overall 4.91 meters.

wo new engines - a downsized gasoline turbo engine and a new turbo diesel - will join the seven engines already available from launch of the sedan models. In addition, an ecoFLEX variant with remarkably low fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels will be added to the range in the near future.

"Along with leading technologies and high safety standards, the elegant Opel Insignia Sports Tourer clearly expresses Opel's strategy to make innovation and attractive design accessible", says Alain Visser, Chief Marketing Officer for GM Europe.

Its newly developed chassis, designed to offer a high level of safety and comfort, can even be enhanced with the innovative, integrated FlexRide mechatronic system which raises stability and provides real time, electronically controlled damping. FlexRide also gives the driver the choice between three driving modes. In addition to the standard adaptive mode, the driver can either opt for a comfort-oriented mode ("Tour") or a Sport setting. The Sport mode makes the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer driving experience more active, as it changes the set-up of interlinked functions such as the steering, throttle control, damping and even the ambient lighting of the dashboard. Moreover, Opel Insignia customers can even opt for the new, sophisticated Adaptive 4x4 system that proactively distributes torque to ensure superb stability while providing optimal traction and enhancing handling performance on all road conditions.

The introduction of the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer benefits from the high levels of technology showcased at the Insignia's launch, such as the innovative "Opel Eye" camera, which reads and memorizes traffic signs and warns drivers when they unintentionally veer out of their lane. Other innovative features are the new-generation AFL headlamps that adjust to prevailing traffic conditions with nine different lighting functions and the particularly back-friendly, orthopedically-certified ergonomic sport seats.

Like the Opel Insignia sedan models, the Insignia Sports Tourer was developed in GM Europe's Design and Engineering Center in Rüsselsheim. It will also be built in the Rüsselsheim plant, one of the most modern and efficient plants in the world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

BMW M3 Cabrio from AC Schnitzer

The sun shines, the wind's in your hair and the engine note in your ears: almost no other vehicle on the road evokes such untrammelled emotions as the BMW M3 Convertible. Especially when the road leads via AC Schnitzer in Aachen. The 309 kW / 420 HP V8 engine is (as yet) untouched, but in the end, extra sporting performance can be achieved in a different way, as suspension guru Manfred Wollgarten knows: "With our racing suspension set up on the North Loop, we've thoroughly mastered the physics of driving".

The car is an out-and-out eyecatcher from the outside: with its new front skirt and strictly rectangular segments of the chromed grille insert, the vehicle has a strong, muscular look. The sporting presence is further underlined by the carbon spoiler lip with optional aluminium braces. The power dome on the bonnet hints at the powerful 4.0 litre V8. It is flanked by two AC Schnitzer Bonnet Vents, which emit a greedy intake howl during driving. At the sides, the open-air sports car shows its muscles in the form of flexibly moulded side skirts which emphasise the wheelarches.

The latter are perfectly filled by the 20" Type V lightweight forged rims. Their slender spokes give a clear view of the 8-pot high performance braking system by AC Schnitzer which mercilessly reins in the thrust when required. A deceleration performance which the AC Schnitzer BMW M3 Cabrio rarely needs for cornering, where it behaves totally neutrally.

A carbon rear diffuser helps the vehicle hunker down to the asphalt. The perfect driving experience is rounded off by the acoustic qualities of the powerful vehicle, provided by the AC Schnitzer sports rear silencer with chromed tailpipes in "Racing" design. The sonorous note of the cabrio is heard at its best in narrow road tunnels. If only the sun would shine a bit more often there!

And naturally AC Schnitzer maintains the motorsport atmosphere in the driver's workplace, with attractive and ergonomically designed aluminium elements for the gear knob and handbrake handle, pedals and i-Drive controller. A carbon interior trim and sports airbag steering wheels are available on request, together with velours mats.

The New Audi A6 allroad quattro

A winner always builds on his strengths: That's why Audi has again upgraded its luxury class Audi A6 model. Efficient engines have been added to the drive-train lineup, with innovative technologies cutting fuel consumption by about 15 percent across the whole model range. An improved suspension and new high-tech assistance system give the driver even greater control over the car. And the new-generation MMI control system is out-performing itself. The revamped Audi A6 will be launched in the German market in late summer.

It's the sportiest and most popular business sedan on the market. The Audi A6 is leading the Premium C pack - both in Europe and around the world. In 2007, Audi sold about 234,000 units, giving the Audi A6 a 37 percent market share among its core competitors. Most of the A6's sold were equipped with six- or eight-cylinder engines, permanent 4x4 quattro and a luxury assortment of optional equipment - all evidence of the high regard Audi technologies is enjoying worldwide.

Its design is emphasized by a range of bold new accents, perfectly articulating the Audi A6's strong personality. The single-frame grill, bumpers, air vents and fog lights have all gotten a facelift.

The optionally-available xenon plus, LED daytime running lights have been redesigned as horizontal strips with 6 LEDs each. Other options include Audi adaptive light, a dynamic cornering light system, and the high-beam assistant that automatically switches between the high and low beam.

As is expected of an Audi, the interior designers have made sure all the colors and materials match. Standard seats can be optionally upholstered with a new material; the sport seats are available in Valcona leather. Soft armrests on the doors increase comfort, while the integrated headrest system reduces the danger of whiplash.

Audi is now offering an S-line sports package for the most dynamic of drivers. The package includes enhanced performance features like 18-inch wheels and sports suspension that lowers the ride height by 30 millimeters (1.18 in). Its sporty seats, decorative inlays and upholstery give the black-trimmed interior a feeling of even more exclusivity and the S-line exterior package provides more drama. Features from this Audi exclusive program are tailor-made to fit the Audi A6's luxury-seeking mavericks.

One of the major strengths of the Audi A6 lies in its broad selection of engines: six gas and four diesels use direct fuel injection and cutting-edge FSI, TFSI and TDI technologies in a choice of four, six or eight cylinders. Whether stick shift, convenient tiptronic or high-efficiency multitronic, the energy literally flows to the front wheels, or all four wheels for that matter. Its engines are both powerful and efficient. New measures have been introduced to optimize engines and minimize fuel consumption without sacrificing one ounce of driving pleasure. Fuel consumption over the whole Audi A6 family has been lowered by about 15 percent.

The smallest gas engine is the 2.0 TFSI, a 125 kW (170 hp) turbocharged four-cylinder unit. On the other end of the spectrum is the 4.2 FSI, a 257 kW (350 hp) V8 engine. Audi V6 models can be equipped with one of its two new 2.8 liter FSI engines; the 140 kW (190 hp) or the 162 kW (220 hp). Both engines feature the innovative Audi Valvelift System (AVS), which manages the inlet valve timing so that there is more torque and less fuel consumption. Regardless of which 2.8 FSI engine the Audi A6 sedan is fitted, average fuel consumption is only 8.2 liters per 100 kilometers (28.68 US mpg) for the 190 hp, 6-speed manual shift or 8.4 liters per 100 kilometers (28.00 US mpg) for the 220 hp multitronic CVT.

With its 3-liter displacement and 213 kW (290 hp) power output, the V6 is a particularly exciting newcomer. Audi has designed the perfect package for each one of its engine. That's why the 3.0 TFSI is fitted with a supercharger. From now on "T" doesn't just stand for turbocharged - it stands for supercharged. Supercharger technology does not mean increased consumption - but the short intake paths do mean instantaneous response. And it's got full power build-up even at low engine speeds: from 2500 1/min to 4850 1/min, the torque curve is broad and flat at 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft).

The 3.0 TFSI comes with tiptronic and quattro drive train. The Audi A6 sedan accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.9 seconds and keeps on going as it presses to its electronically-regulated maximum speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). This is the kind of performance that only an eight-cylinder engine would have been able to deliver a few years ago. At 9.5 liters per 100 kilometers (24.76 US mpg) on the EU cycle, the supercharged V6 is amazingly economical. The 3.0 TFSI's combination of dynamic performance and low consumption is one more example of Audi's successful efficiency strategy.

The Audi A6 TDI engines give further evidence of just how closely Audi has been able to align sporty performance and efficiency. Fuel is delivered by the extremely sophisticated and quiet system of common rails with rapid-action piezo injectors and an injection pressure of 1800 bar (26,106.79 psi). The two V6 TDI engines (2.7 TDI with 140 kW (190 hp) and 3.0 TDI with 176 kW (240 hp) have peak torques of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) and 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft), respectively.

At the lower end of the diesel program is the four-cylinder 2.0 TDI engine, which is available in two versions: the 125 kW (170 hp), expected in fall 2008, and the 100 kW (136 hp). The basic version is an especially efficient e-model known as the 2.0 TDIe, which uses a six-speed manual shift or automatic multitronic transmission to deliver 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque to the front wheels. With multitronic it sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.9 seconds, and continues on to a top speed of 204 km/h (126.76 mph). Yet its average fuel consumption with a manual shift gearbox is only 5.3 liters per 100 km (44.38 US mpg), equivalent to CO2 emissions of app. 139 grams per kilometer (224 grams per mile).

The key to achieving such exemplary values is the strategic deployment of innovative technologies. The power steering pump operates on demand; the alternator regenerates electrical energy when coasting thereby reducing load off the engine. By lowering the ride height by 20 millimeters (0.79 in) and other aerodynamic fine-tuning, the drag coefficient has been reduced to cD = 0.28.

The transmission can be used longer in the upper two gears. Any manual-shift Audi A6 with Driver Information System, even the 2.0 TDIe, can opt to have the shift indicator displayed in the instrument panel. The icon lets the driver know which gear is most economical under actual circumstances.

Audi quattro four-wheel drive is available on all engines with 140 kW (190 hp) or above and is standard equipment on high-end aggregates. The manual shift, 140 kW (190 hp) 2.8 FSI notwithstanding, this is the very latest generation quattro with the newly emphasized rear-end design. It gives the Audi A6 tremendous driving characteristics, remarkable grip and superior safety. Under normal conditions, the torque split is 40 percent to the front wheels and 60 percent to the rear. The mechanically-operated Torsen differential immediately diverts most of the power to the axle, providing better traction whenever the need arises - in extreme cases, up to 65 percent to the front or 85 percent to the rear.

In fine-tuning the Audi A6, two key objectives were identified - increasing its comfort while retaining its sporty character. With new large-diameter, front-axle shock absorbers operating within an optimized valve system, Audi engineers were able to achieve both goals. Every other aspect of the suspension set-up has been improved, including the automotive spring response.

The Audi A6 can be equipped with factory-fitted adaptive air suspension so that the driver can vary his response and the characteristics of the adaptive shock absorbers into three styles. High-powered engines come equipped with larger 17-inch wheel brakes. Audi can also be fitted with a tire pressure monitoring system, which is entirely wear-free and maintenance-free. The customer can opt for run-flat tires, which limit the car to 50 kilometers (31 miles) should there be a drop in air pressure.

Audi has integrated several new high-tech assistance systems. The new Audi side assist kicks in to help drivers when changing lanes at speeds over 30 km/h (18.64 mph), ensuring a stress-free and superior drive. Using radar sensors, Audi Side Assist is able to detect other cars up to 50 meters (164.04 ft) away: a signal on the outside mirror lights up should changing lanes pose a threat. Audi lane assist helps keep drivers in their own lane, radar-assisted adaptive cruise control keeps a steady distance to the vehicle ahead, and Audi parking system advanced has a rearview camera.

Since its debut in 2002, the Audi Multi Media Interface system (MMI) has been setting the standard for perfectly controlling any number of functions. The Audi A6 comes equipped with the latest MMI generation, including the top-of-the-line MMI Navigation plus. Its basic construction has not changed. The central control knob can still be found on the middle console between the front seats and the operation is still carried out using large buttons. The new joystick capping the control knob means the MMI Navigation plus can be operated even more intuitively.

MMI Navigation plus is an ultimate solution, pioneering in an entirely new system generation with high-tech portfolio and ground-breaking standards. Special features include a CD/DVD/Navigation combination drive with a 40 GB hard drive capacity which can be used to store MP3s and up to 5000 addresses.

With its 7-inch, high-resolution screen, the monitor on this ultimate navigation system is truly innovative. The image is rich in contrast and incredibly sharp even under difficult lighting conditions. It also has an optional TV tuner that receives digital programs (DVB-T) in perfect quality.

The new navigation system has another innovation. A new bird's eye picture mode shows landscapes in topographical relief - in full detail, complete with three-dimensional images of landmark buildings. The monitor has a new operating principle: when adjusting specific functions like air conditioning or seat heating, a pop-up window appears at the right rather than taking over the whole screen.

The upgraded Audi A6 will be available in German dealer showrooms as of mid-October 2008. Starting at 34,200 Euros for the Audi A6 2.0 TFSI sedan, Audi's initial list prices have remained virtually unchanged, despite all the extensive innovations.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The New Toyota RAV4

Equipped with numerous enhancements for 2009, the average MSRP for the Toyota RAV4 will increase by $224, or 0.9 percent. The 2009 Toyota RAV4 will begin arriving at Toyota dealerships in early September.

The 2009 Toyota RAV4 is offered in three distinct grades - Base, performance-oriented Sport and top-of-the-line Limited - and with a choice between an all-new four-cylinder and powerful V6 engines with either front-wheel drive or electronic on-demand four-wheel-drive.

The base MSRP for the 2009 Toyota RAV4 ranges from $21,500 for the Base grade front-wheel-drive with a four-cylinder engine to $27,810 for the Limited grade four-wheel-drive with a V6 engine. Prices for all Base grade models remain unchanged from 2008, reflecting RAV4's excellent value.

All models will also offer Extra Value Packages containing many of Toyota RAV4's most popular stand alone option features at substantial savings. Savings on Extra Value Packages for all three grades range from $570 on Base, $1,000 on the Sport, and $2,000 on Limited.

For 2009, Toyota RAV4 adds an all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is more powerful and more fuel efficient than the previous 2.4-liter engine. In addition, all Toyota RAV4 models feature numerous interior upgrades and a stylish new Sport Appearance Package is available for the 4WD V6 model.

The Sport Appearance Package available for the 4WD V6 RAV4 model includes an exclusive look with a redesigned rear door featuring chrome accents and no spare tire. The package equips the Toyota RAV4 with run-flat tires. Other external cues include color-keyed power heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a stainless steel exhaust tip, unique badging, and the choice of an exclusive exterior color, Elusive Blue Metallic. Inside, the Sport Appearance Package adds a chrome accented shift knob with leather insert, chrome interior door handles, parking brake and vent trim, unique sport grade doorsills and available sport floor mats.

The Sport Appearance Package includes an AM/FM six-disc CD changer with six speakers, MP3/WMA playback capability and integrated XM® Satellite Radio with a one-year extended complementary service subscription.

The Toyota RAV4's standard all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is a low-friction design optimized for performance and fuel efficiency. It produces 179 horsepower at 6,000 RPM, along with 172 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 RPM (versus 166 horsepower and 165 lb.-ft. of peak torque of the previous 2.4-liter engine). The 2.5-liter engine employs Dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts (compared to the intake-only previous 2.4-liter engine).

The redesigned four-cylinder engine is partnered with a new four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission that is more compact, lightweight and efficient than the previous four-speed transmission. The new transmission is not only smoother in operation than the previous one, but more responsive as well. Fuel efficiency is excellent for its class and improved over the 2008 model with EPA mpg estimates of 22 city/28 highway on 4x2 models and 21 city/27 highway on 4x4 models.

The available 3.5-liter V6 is the powerhouse of its segment, generating a class-leading 269 horsepower at 6,200 RPM and 246 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,700 RPM. The V6 is also equipped with dual independent VVT-i to maximize performance and efficiency while reducing emissions. Equipped exclusively with a five-speed automatic transmission, the V6 RAV4 models offer greater fuel efficiency compared to less powerful competitors. The V6 RAV4 can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in under seven seconds, yet has estimated EPA fuel economy mpg ratings of 19 city/27 highway for 4x2 models and 19 city/26 highway for 4x4 models. All Toyota RAV4 models meet Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV II) certification.

The New Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen is unveiling its most important automotive secret of the year: the new Volkswagen Golf. The car - Europe's most successful with more than 26 million sold - was improved in all areas. "This sixth generation of Golf cars will completely redefine the quality and comfort level of its class over broad categories, offering more customer value than ever before", says Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board at Volkswagen AG. The European market launch of the new Volkswagen Golf will begin in October; following in succession will be Africa, Asia, Australia and North America. The entry price for the German market is around 16,500 Euros.

Innovative power - the Volkswagen Golf democratizes progress

The clear and powerful design of the new Volkswagen Golf is showing the entire brand the way to the future. Its acoustic properties and the overall comfort of the Volkswagen tear down class distinctions. Innovative engines and transmission technologies lower fuel consumption by up to 28 percent. All gasoline and diesel engines satisfy limits of the future EU-5 standard.

Assistance systems such as "automatic distance control" (ACC), "adaptive chassis control" (DCC) and the "park steering assistant" bring additional top technologies on board the Volkswagen Golf. A new ESP system, with finer response over its control range, further optimized crash properties, seven airbags including knee airbag, the special head restraints (WOKS) that counteract whiplash trauma, a "seatbelt detection" feature debuting in the rear seating area of the Volkswagen Golf and daytime running lights - that are standard equipment - provide for a maximum level of safety.

Interior - imploding class distinctions

The car's exceptional value also applies to the newly designed interior, whose refined surfaces and features completely transform class distinctions, both to the touch and visually, especially in the cockpit area. The appearance and layout of materials and details such as brushed chrome accents and round instruments derived directly from those of the Volkswagen Passat CC leave the impression that one is actually sitting in a car of the next higher segment. Ergonomic properties of the car's interior were also further developed. For example, all operating controls are even easier to use. They include the control of the automatic climate control system (Climatronic) - presented for the first time on the Passat CC - and the power window controls that are now located further forward in the door trim, making them easier to access.

There is a common thread here: Volkswagen's typical attention to perfection of every detail in the car. Take the example of "seatbelt detection" in the rear: if the Volkswagen Golf is ordered with rear side airbags, the user can recognize on the multifunctional display in the cockpit whether the occupants have their seatbelts fastened in the rear - separately for each seat. Or take the example of leather seats: a new, more robust leather surface is being used. Or the example of the cargo area: four practical hooks ensure that after shopping, the contents of shopping bags are not strewn across the cargo area. Or the example of the outside mirrors: thanks to an aerodynamically optimized shape they get significantly less dirty. They are easier to adjust from the interior, since the power mirror adjustment control is now located further up and more forward in the door trim.

Noise reduction - the quietest Volkswagen Golf since the first model

The new Volkswagen Golf is characterized by first-class acoustic properties. A special damping film in the windshield also reduces driving noises, as does the newly developed seal concept for the doors and side window guides. The new shape of the outside mirrors also significantly reduces wind noise. Furthermore, special modifications were made to acoustically isolate the engine and passenger compartments from one another better. Very quiet rolling tires and new engine bearings round out the noise reduction package.

Diesel engines - migration to common rail injection

Making a significant contribution to the pioneering acoustic properties are the exceptionally quiet TDI common rail engines being used in the Volkswagen Golf for the first time. Two balancer shafts also put an end to undesirable vibrations. Plans call for a TDI power range extending from 66 kW / 90 PS to 125 kW / 170 PS. Right at the market launch, Volkswagen will be offering the VW Golf with two 2.0 liter TDI engines; they output 81 kW / 110 PS and 103 kW / 140 PS. Always there as production equipment: a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The new TDIs are exceptionally fuel efficient. The 110 PS strong entry-level diesel is satisfied with 4.5 liters of fuel (119 g/km CO2) per 100 kilometers - that represents a 0.6 liter reduction! Even the 140 PS version only requires 4.9 liters of diesel (129 g/km CO2), which is 0.6 liters less.

Gasoline engines - more economical than ever before

Four variants will define the range of gasoline engines in the launch phase: 59 kW / 80 PS, 75 kW / 102 PS, 90 kW / 122 PS and 118 kW / 160 PS. Starting at 90 kW / 122 PS, the TSI engines come with supercharger and/or turbocharger. The fact is that the gasoline engines too are pioneering when it comes to fuel economy. The optimized 80 PS entry-level engine consumes just 6.4 liters of Super per hundred kilometers (149 g/km CO2) - that is 0.5 liters less than the previous model. The other TSI engines are also taking the stage as prime examples of efficiency: at 122 PS the new Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI consumes just 6.2 liters of Super (144 g/km CO2); this yields a fuel consumption advantage of 0.1 liters. Even the new 160 PS top version of the 1.4 TSI attains an excellent value at 6.3 liters. Compared to the retired 150 PS FSI, the 160 PS TSI's fuel consumption was even lowered by 1.6 liters.

DSG - replaces conventional automatic

With the exception of the entry-level versions, all gasoline and diesel engines can be paired with Volkswagen's dual clutch transmission (DSG). Depending on the engine torque, either a 6-s0eed or 7-speed DSG is used. On the VW Golf, the extremely efficient and agile DSG has thereby replaced the classic torque converter automatic. Just how efficient the alliance of TSI plus DSG can be is demonstrated by the average fuel consumption of the 1.4 TSI with 160 PS and 7-speed DSG: 6.0 liters (139 g/km CO2). This high-tech duo replaces the 2.0 FSI with 150 PS and 6-speed automatic. Average fuel consumption there: 8.3 liters. Savings: 2.3 liters per hundred kilometers or 28 percent - progress in its best form.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

BMW D3 Bi-Turbo Coupe from Alpina

The new Diesel Bi-Turbo continues the Alpina BMW D3 success story begun in 2006 by the popular 200 HP (147 kW) Alpina sport-diesel model, with over 850 units sold since its inception. It is a most passable answer to the low emissions and consumption discussions of current times, and dovetails perfectly with of out-of-hand fuel prices.

The designation "D" unmistakably indicates the diesel powerplants in the Alpina family. "D" especially stands for dynamism. The new D3 Bi-Turbo, celebrating its world debut at the 2008 GENEVA Salon d'Automobile - with 214 HP/211 bhp (157 kW) @ 4,100 rpm - is an exceptionally powerful and unusually high-revving diesel. Lastly, the "D" on the Alpina BMW D3 Bi-Turbo stands for the German "Drehmoment" or torque, which the D3 has in spades. At 450 Nm (332 lbs-ft) of torque from 2,000 to 2,500 rpm, the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder D3 is operating in V8 engine territory, or amongst large-displacement six-cylinder diesel engines. With the purchase of a D3 Bi-Turbo, an Alpina customer owns an engine transmission combination that is a rare and fine delicacy when measured against its diesel competitors.

The elegant manner in which the power is delivered can be further augmented with the optional SWITCH-TRONIC automatic transmission. Developed by ZF and Alpina in partnership, this sport-automatic is operated via three driving modes: D, S and M. Depending on the driver's mood, he or she may let the transmission shift automatically, or shift manually using buttons on the back of the steering wheel. This affords the broadest spectrum of driving fascination.

The Efficient Transfer of Power

The standard six-speed manual gearbox allows the driver to not only test the 5,200 rpm redline, but also to enjoy the driving experience in a way previously unknown to a diesel. Coupled with carefully-calibrated gear spacing, the broad useable torque curve makes possible an unusually lightfooted form of forward progress, especially on winding country lanes.

At the request of many customers, one can now enjoy the D3 Bi-Turbo with the optional SWITCH-TRONIC. This classic combination of plenty of torque and an automatic transmission, offers the driver a high degree of flexibility.

Using the normal "D" Drive mode, the SWITCH-TRONIC shifts into the next gear most comfortably and almost unnoticed by the driver. "D" mode uses the engine's impressive torque, allowing a driving style that's very economical. In "S" mode, the up-shifts are later in the rev range, and quicker. This provides for the kind of driving characteristics that to date were only to be found in strong petrol engines.

The D3 Bi-Turbo only really becomes the perfect "Sport Diesel" though, when the driver shifts manually using the shift buttons on the back of the steering wheel. Lightning-quick shifts are the order of the day - even the best drivers can't shift any quicker than themselves. This reveals itself in impressive performance numbers for both transmissions The manual D3 Coupé reaches 100 km/h [62 mph] in 6.9 seconds (automatic 7.0 sec), with a top speed of 244 km/h [152 mph].

Especially in light of the current CO2 discourse, the Alpina BMW D3 Bi-Turbo Coupe's fuel economy figures for the EU combined cycle of 5,4 (5,6) l/100 km [52.3 Imp. gal (50.4)] and resultant CO2 emissions of only 143 (148) g/km, reveal Alpina's efforts regarding highest fuel efficiency. In addition, all measures to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions used in the base BMW model were carried over into the D3, such as the automatic Start-Stop function on models with manual transmissions. High-mileage drivers and business users appreciate the resulting range: depending on driving style, up to 1,000 km (600 miles) are the norm.

Alpina Suspension, Tyres & Wheels

The Alpina BMW D3 Bi-Turbo Coupe uses suspension technology quite similar to the Alpina BMW B3 Bi-Turbo an automobile whose suspension and chassis set-up has received rave reviews from the press. The BMW 3 series coupe's high chassis rigidity and five-arm rear suspension provided Alpina great potential for the highest levels of driving dynamics. The strut/spring calibration is fittingly sporty, matching the D3's character. Thanks to the low kerb weight, extraordinarily agile handling has been achieved, exhibiting itself in the form of excellent handling, all the way to the limit.

The standard tyres and weight-optimised 18" Alpina CLASSIC light-alloy wheels can be up-graded with an optional 19" wheel/tyre combination, available in either Alpina CLASSIC or DYNAMIC wheel design. The interplay of 245/40 ZR18 front tyres and 265/40 ZR18 rear tyres, riding on 8x18" front and 9x18" rear wheels, yields outstandingly exact handling. The key is Alpina's choice not to use the heavy Run-Flat tyre technology, for reasons of weight and comfort.

In Conclusion

Alpina typical interior and exterior design cues demonstrate the Alpin BMW D3 Bi-Turbo Coupe's individuality and elegance. Attractive light-alloy wheels, an instrument cluster with blue dials, and a leather sports steering wheel with Alpina emblem and multi-functionality (automatic tranmission) are standard on the D3 Bi-Turbo. The front spoiler minimises lift and underscores the Coupé's aesthetic lines, which can be augmented further with an optional rear spoiler.

Initially offered as a Coupé, the D3 will also be available as a Saloon and Touring in Autumn 2008. With the advent of the new-generation D3, Alpina furthers the previous model's success.

Technical specifications

  • 2,0 litre four-cylinder with two turbo-charger
  • Horsepower: 214 HP [211 bhp, 157 kW]
  • Peak Torque: 450 Nm [332 lbs-ft] @ 2,000-2,500 rpm
  • Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds
  • Top Speed: 244 km/h [152 mph]
  • EU-consumption - manual (automatic)
    • combined 5.4 (5.6) l/100 km [52.3 (50.4) Imp. mpg]
    • extra-urban 4.6 (4.5) l/100 km [61.4 (62.7) mpg]
    • urban 6.7 (7.5) l/100 km [42.2 (37.7) mpg]
  • CO2 emission: 143 (148) g/km