Acura = Aero = Alfa-Romeo = Alpina = Artega = Ascari = Aston-Martin = Audi = BMW = Bentley = Brabus = Bugatti = Buick = Cadillac = Caparo = Chevrolet = Chrysler = Citroen = Covini = Dacia = Daewoo = Daihatsu = Daimler = Devon = Dodge = Donkervoort = Farbio = Ferrari = Fiat = Fisker = Ford = GM = GMC = Gumpert = Holden = Honda = Hummer = Hyundai = Infiniti = Italdesign = Jaguar = Jeep = KTM = Kia = Koenigsegg = Lamborghini = Lancia = Land Rover = Leblanc = Lexus = Lincoln = Lobini = Lotus = MG = Mansory = Maserati = Maybach = Mazda = Mazel = McLaren = Mercedes-Benz = Mercury = Mindset = Mini = Mitsubishi = Morgan = Nismo = Nissan = Noble = ORCA = Oldsmobile = Opel = PGO = Pagani = Peugeot = Plymouth = Pontiac = Porsche = Renault = Rolls-Royce = Rover = Saab = Saturn = Scion = Skoda = Smart = Spyker = SsangYong = Startech = Stola = Strosek = Suzuki = Torino = Subaru = Think = Toyota = Tramontana = Valmet = Vauxhall = Venturi = Volkswagen = Volvo = Wiesmann = Yes = Zagato = Zenvo.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4Matic, 2010

 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4Matic, 2010

With snow, sleet, freezing fog, black ice, temperatures hovering around zero and severe frosts, the winter months hold some unpleasant road conditions in store for drivers. Despite these impediments, however, drivers of Mercedes models equipped with the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive system can set off for the daily commute to work or savour the drive to the next winter wonderland with complete peace of mind. This is because the 4MATIC drive concept boasts formidable performance on snow-covered or icy roads. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC in particular stands out for its blend of high traction reserves, excellent directional stability, peerless safety and exceptional comfort levels. Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating the capa-bilities of the Saloon and Estate models by staging a 4MATIC Workshop in extreme winter conditions on the Timmelsjoch high alpine road in Austria.

The drive mechanism's permanently engaged design offers key advantages over other systems that first need to diagnose a lack of grip before activating the 4x4 drive. The 4MATIC on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class will have already made use of this valuable time to start transmitting drive torque via the wheels to the road.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC: stable handling on snow and ice
When pulling away in wintry conditions, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC models are designed to develop maximum traction. To this end, certain road conditions are automatically detected and the interventions of the 4ETS electronic traction control system adjusted so as to achieve the greatest possible acceleration while minimising wheel slip, ensuring optimum directional stability in the process. This strategy also allows the vehicle to pull away under the most adverse conditions, such as when one side of the vehicle is on an icy slope (µ-split) or both wheels on the front or rear axle have limited grip (µ-jump).

On twisting roads covered with snow and ice, vehicle stability is primarily controlled by the ASR acceleration skid control system's regulation of engine torque. The ASR control thresholds are adjusted according to the driving situation based on the vehicle's longitudinal and lateral dynamic readings as continuously measured by the ESP sensor system. If vehicle stability is to be maintained, the longitudinal force when cornering must be controlled by means of engine torque regulation in such a way that there are sufficient reserves of lateral force at all times. In order to comply with this physical correlation, when cornering on road surfaces with a low friction coefficient the control thresholds for engine torque regulation at the wheels on the outside of the bend are reduced considerably so that the tyres can develop sufficient lateral force.

4MATIC: cutting-edge technology breaks new ground
The 4MATIC powertrain in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is one of the best-performing permanent all-wheel-drive systems on the market. The basic design concept, with the engine installed longitudinally and the integral transmission and transfer case unit, produces a compact, lightweight arrangement that minimises frictional losses, heralding a number of benefits compared to other passenger car systems with a transverse power unit and selectable 4x4. Fuel consumption, for instance, is a mere between 0.2 and 0.6 litres more per hundred kilometres than on a com-parable model with conventional drive, while vibration and acoustic comfort meet the high standards expected of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class synonymous with supreme ride comfort
Mercedes-Benz achieves the standard of ride comfort which all versions of the E-Class are renowned for courtesy of the highly sophisticated DIRECT CONTROL suspension with adaptive shock absorbers, an intelligent body design with excellent rigidity, plus enhanced seats which are also available with massage and climate control functions. The weight-optimised DIRECT CONTROL system, featuring a three-link front suspension and multi-link independent rear suspension, automatically adapts to the changing driving situation by varying the damping forces, resulting in a substantial improvement in ride comfort. The air suspension system - optional for all 4MATIC models and standard on the E 500 4MATIC - is combined with a continuously variable, electronically controlled damping system that processes a series of sensor signals and controls each wheel individually. So, not only do Mercedes customers experience the best in ride comfort, they reap the benefits of excellent handling safety and sporty agility too.

THERMATIC and THERMOTRONIC heat up the passenger compartment of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class extremely efficiently, even after a cold start on winter mornings. This is thanks to a heating output of eleven kilowatts, equivalent to the capacity of the central heating system in a modern family home. On the diesel models, a heat exchanger with six integral PTC heating elements (PTC = Positive Temperature Coefficient) is also activated when the outside temperature falls below a certain level in order to boost the effect of the main heat exchanger with an electrical output of around 1200 watts. The assistance from the PTC heater is necessary due to the high thermal efficiency of today's CDI engines, which is precisely what makes them so economical and means that they dissipate considerably less heat to the coolant under partial load conditions than conventional engines.

Mercedes offers 4MATIC in 52 passenger car models
The Mercedes-Benz all-wheel-drive line-up encompasses 52 passenger car models across nine model series and offers an impressively wide choice: besides the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the C-Class, which likewise comes in both a saloon and an estate variant, the 4MATIC portfolio is enriched by models from the S-Class, CL luxury coupé and R-Class touring SUV ranges too. There is also the compact GLK as well as the GL-Class and M-Class off-roaders. Still going strong after 30 years in production, the G-Class truly comes into its own off the beaten track and continues to rank as one of the best cross-country vehicles in the world.

All-wheel drive development expertise since 1903
Ther's a reason why Mercedes engineers are so skilled in the development of groundbreaking all-wheel-drive concepts. The history of all-wheel drive at Mercedes-Benz dates all the way back to 1903. Since then, the accepted maxim has been that all-wheel drive is the best technology for making quicker and safer progress under the most adverse conditions. Over the course of the years it has been successfully employed in a variety of Mercedes-Benz models. Some models, such as the G-Class and the Unimog, have attained legendary status all over the world. But all-wheel drive has its benefits in everyday operation on asphalt roads too, as demonstrated by the 4MATIC saloons from Mercedes-Benz. The innovative drive concept received its saloon premiere in the W 124 Mercedes-Benz E-Class model series back in 1987. The 4ETS system made its debut aboard the M-Class in 1997. Mercedes-Benz has therefore amassed a wealth of experience with these electronic control systems - more in fact than any other car manufacturer.

Brabus B63 S, 2010


Brabus B63 S, 2010

The E63 AMG: With Brabus B63 S engine tuning, power output of both sedan and wagon jumps to 555 hp (547 bhp) / 408 kW and their top speed jumps to 320 km/h (200 mph). Brabus also offers exclusive accessories such as sporty yet elegant aerodynamic-enhancement components, custom-tailored tire/wheel combinations up to 20 inches in diameter and custom interior options.

The fast-revving 6.3-liter V8 becomes even more powerful with the Brabus B63 S performance kit. The conversion consists of two sport air filters, free-flow metal catalysts and newly programmed engine electronics. The tuning kit bumps power output of the engine from standard 525 hp (517 bhp) / 386 kW by 30 hp (30 bhp) / 22 kW. Simultaneously peak torque grows from 630 to 650 Nm (464 to 479 lb-ft) at 5,400 rpm. Brabus recommends fully synthetic Aral high-performance motor oil.

Equipped with the Brabus B63 S kit, the sprint time from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) is shortened to 4.3 seconds and in combination with the Brabus V/max unit top speed jumps to up to 320 km/h (200 mph), depending on the speed rating of the selected tire/wheel combination.

To transfer the increased power to the road with as little slip as possible Brabus offers a limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent for the E63 AMG.

Minimizing aerodynamic lift is essential in a car as fast as this one. The Brabus designers went into the wind tunnel to develop aerodynamic-enhancement components that are as stunning as they are effective. These components are manufactured from clear-coated carbon fiber. The production front apron of sedan and wagon can be upgraded with a spoiler lip. The aerodynamics of the sedan's rear can be further improved with a diffuser and a rear spoiler.

On the front axle Brabus aluminum sport fenders with lateral air outlets improve venting of the wheel houses and add a decidedly sporty note to the car's appearance.

The exclusive Brabus-refined interiors are also  for the Mercedes E63 AMG. The list of accessories ranges from stainless-steel scuff plates with illuminated Brabus logo to a speedometer with 360-km/h (225-mph) dial. The company upholstery shop creates luxury interiors from a combination of especially soft yet durable Brabus Mastik leather and Alcantara to each customer's exact specifications. The perfect complements are precious-wood and carbon-fiber inlays in any desired color and with various surface finishes.

Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, 2010

 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, 2010

The dynamic sports saloon with day-to-day suitability impresses with outstanding performance, thrilling handling characteristics and a technology transfer from the SL63 AMG high-performance Roadster.

The new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG distinguishes itself from the regular Mercedes-Benz E-Class models with a completely newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping and a new front axle, and with its autonomous exterior and interior design. At the same time Mercedes-AMG has achieved a reduction in fuel consumption by almost 12 percent for the new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, thanks to the concerted use of fuel efficiency measures. With its unique combination of pioneering driver assistance systems, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG further consolidates the brand's leading position in the field of automotive safety.

The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine in the new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG develops a power output of 525 hp and a torque figure of 630 Nm, matching the outstanding figures for the SL63 AMG. The high-performance Roadster has also donated its AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission to the new model. It dispenses with a conventional torque converter and uses a compact, wet start-up clutch. In conjunction with the four individual driving modes, the throttle-blipping and RACE START functions, the resulting, direct connection to the powertrain allows an extremely emotional and highly dynamic driving experience.

The drive unit is unique in this segment, and ensures sporty performance figures: the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG accelerates from 0-62 mph in just 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). The fast-revving, naturally aspirated engine with a displacement of 6208 cc impresses with its agile responsiveness, muscular power delivery and great flexibility. The newly composed AMG V8 sound is a thrilling accompaniment mile after mile, while the smooth-running engine guarantees typical Mercedes-Benz long-distance comfort. A newly designed water cooling system ensures maximum endurance even under the enormous dynamic stresses of the racetrack.

The Fuel consumption cut by almost 12 percent

Despite 11 hp of additional output versus the preceding model, the fuel consumption of the new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG has been significantly improved. It now returns 22.4 mpg, 2.6 mpg more than then previous car (NEDC combined consumption, provisional figure), and leads the field among sports saloons developing more than 500 hp. This progress has been made possible by a package of efficiency-enhancing measures. These include on-demand delivery of fuel and generator management with recuperation of braking energy on the overrun, both of which are standard in the new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. In-engine friction is also reduced by the AMG-exclusive twin-wire arc spray coating process used on the cylinder walls.

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission also makes a decisive contribution to fuel economy: a wet start-up clutch running in an oil bath replaces the previous torque converter. This unit responds extremely rapidly, dynamically and without the losses typical of a torque converter transmission thanks to its low rotational inertia. The transmission is equipped with four driving modes: "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual), which can be selected using a rotary electronic switch in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. Partial suppression of individual cylinders by interrupting ignition and injection during gearshifts under full load leads to considerably faster shift times. In M mode the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission allows gearshifts to be performed in 100 milliseconds.

In the even more fuel-efficient driving mode Controlled Efficiency, the transmission shifts the gears decidedly smoothly, and the transmission control unit is programmed to perform early upshifts to keep engine speeds as low as possible. At the same time the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission meets the most demanding requirements where driving dynamics are concerned: fast and precise multiple downshifts ensure first-class agility in conjunction with the automatic throttle-blipping and RACE START function: this enables the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG driver to call on the maximum acceleration potential automatically.

Electronically controlled damping system and a new front axle
Sporty or more comfort-oriented? The driver of the new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is not obliged to accept any compromises in this respect. The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension copes equally well with the agile manoeuvres of the racetrack and more comfortable, sedate driving. High performance and typical Mercedes-Benz long-distance comfort go together as an extraordinary synthesis in the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. This is made possible by the newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension. While new steel spring struts are used on the front axle, the rear suspension features AMG-specific air springs. The advantage of this solution, which is exclusive to AMG, is that the front spring struts ensure more sensitive responses while the rear air struts with their automatic level control system keep the vehicle at a constant height irrespective of the load.

The new, electronically controlled damping system automatically varies the damping characteristics according to the driving situation, reducing the roll angle of the body. The result is instant adjustment to provide the best possible ride comfort together with the greatest possible agility. In addition the driver is able to choose between the three suspension modes of Comfort, Sport and Sport plus at the touch of a button. The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is also equipped with a newly developed, dedicated front axle with a 56 mm wider track, a tubular stabiliser, new control arms, new wheel bearings, new elastokinematics and new wheel location for more negative camber - thereby providing more grip when taking bends at speed. The AMG-specific kinematics also ensure significantly more precision. This is a highly sophisticated axle design whose principle has already proved its worth in the C 63 AMG. The rear axle likewise has more negative camber, optimised elastokinematics and a new subframe mounting for greater stability at the physical limits.

Developed power steering and individual 3-stage ESP
For more direct responsiveness, the speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering is also a new development. The steering ratio of 14 : 1 is 22 percent more direct than in the standard production models, while a more rigid steering column plus the reconfigured characteristic mapping of the speed-sensitive servo assistance ensure better steering precision and improved road contact.
The 3-stage ESP familiar from the SL63 AMG and C63 AMG enables individual settings to be selected - with clear benefits in terms of driving pleasure combined with the same, high level of handling safety. The ESP key in the AMG DRIVE UNIT allows the driver to choose between "ESP ON", "ESP SPORT" and "ESP OFF" - with the currently active mode shown in the central display of the AMG instrument cluster. Perfect deceleration even when driving extremely briskly is ensured by the AMG high-performance braking system with 360 mm, internally ventilated and perforated brake discs all-round. Particularly resistant, motorsports-tested composite technology is used at the front axle. Outstanding grip is ensured by the 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with a width of nine and 9.5 inches and mixed tyre sizes of 255/40 R 18 at the front and 285/35 R 18 at the rear.

Decidedly dynamic interior and exterior
The decidedly dynamic design of the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is fully in keeping with the uncompromisingly sporty technology. The front aspect is characterised by 17 mm wider wings bearing "6.3 AMG" lettering, the new AMG front apron with large air intake apertures and the AMG-specific daytime driving lights using LED technology. In conjunction with the standard Intelligent Light System, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is equipped with tinted main headlamps. The striking visual presence is further enhanced by the AMG side skirts and AMG rear apron with a black diffuser insert. As a hallmark of the brand, the AMG sports exhaust system has two newly designed, chrome-plated twin tailpipes.

The newly designed interior of the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is an exciting blend of high-grade materials and functional sportiness. Exclusive features include the dedicated, electrically adjustable AMG sports seats with improved lateral support and the AMG sports steering wheel in a four-spoke design with AMG shift paddles. As a completely new feature exclusive to the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, the AMG selector lever has one-touch logic. Directly adjacent to it in the centre console is the AMG DRIVE UNIT, which provides adjustments for the MCT sports transmission, the ESP functions, the suspension set-up and the AMG driving modes. Standard equipment also includes high-grade nappa leather upholstery in three different colours, the AMG instrument cluster with an AMG main menu, door entry sills with AMG lettering and a sports pedal cluster - both in brushed stainless steel.
Even more individuality with tailor-made AMG extras

The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG can be dynamically enhanced with the Performance Package:
    * Lightweight, forged 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with size 255/35 R 19 tyres at the front and 285/30 R 19 at the rear
    * AMG Performance suspension with a stiffer set-up
    * AMG rear axle locking differential with 40 percent locking action
    * AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid
    * AMG Performance steering wheel in a three-spoke design

Optional extras from the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO are:
    * Lightweight, forged 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with size 255/35 R 19
    * tyres at the front and 285/30 R 19 at the rear
    * AMG rear axle locking differential with 40 percent locking action
    * AMG Exterior Carbon package
    * AMG Performance steering wheel in a three-spoke design
    * AMG carbon-fibre trim in the interior
    * Illuminated AMG door entry sills
    * AMG floor mats

Friday, September 23, 2011

Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, 2011

Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, 2011

The Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, the latest jewel in the Maserati range, made its official debut at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.

Six years after its birth, the car that created the luxury sport sedan segment continues to receive accolades from the general public, automobile enthusiasts and the press. Maserati has decided to celebrate its success with a superlative version, blending the elegance and sporty stylishness of the brand's flagship, thanks to the combination of highly refined details, handcrafted finishes and features with a decidedly sporty flair.

During its six years of life, the Maserati Quattroporte has received no less than fifty six awards from the most prestigious automotive and lifestyle publications in fourteen countries over in four continents: a global approval for a car that has known how to recreate itself over the years, never failing to maintain the appeal of the lines and purity of the forms created by the hand of Pininfarina, which defined it an instant classic.

The Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, based on the Quattroporte Sport GT S, aims to combine in one car all the features that have made the Trident flagship a benchmark for its segment:

    * the unique and elegant styling, mixed with a hint of sporting flair due to the eye-catching features adopted on both the exterior and interior fittings;
    * driving enjoyment, because the "Awards Edition" is based on the Quattroporte Sport GT S, which boasts dynamic and top-class performance;
    * the craftsmanship of the hand-finished details which make each car a unique product.

The new Quarzo fuso finishing - a pearlescent metallic grey with golden nuanced colour - exclusive to this model, makes the exterior immediately recognizable, and highlights the body's elegant lines. The burnished treatment used on the exterior chrome parts, as well as on the side air vents and radiator surround, also blends with the 20" Multi Trident dark grey rims with satin finish.

The brake system, which replicates the system fitted to the Quattroporte Sport GT S and uses dual-cast technology, is further enhanced by the hand-polished calipers both at the front and rear. With the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, Maserati and Brembo are introducing on the market for the first time polished calipers, treated with precision mechanical processes and featuring a hand finish which gives them their special mirror-like appearance and enhances their sporty credentials at the same time.

The interior also bears witness to the combination of sporting flair and craftsmanship that has always characterized the Maserati flagship sedan. The Poltrona Frau leather of the seats is combined with perforated Alcantara with a new undulated pattern, and the headlining still in Alcantara. Completing the interior space are the special brushed aluminum door sills and Piano Black satin-finish wood moldings.

The boot with a full black trim has been embellished further with chrome details and a leather side pocket. The attention to details has even been extended to the mats, which are made of even richer and softer material.

Maserati Gran Cabrio, 2011


Maserati Gran Cabrio, 2011

The Maserati Gran Cabrio - four proper seats, comfortable, inviting and all-enveloping. Never before had an open-top Maserati offered so much. Never before had a car with the Trident badge allowed an entire family or four friends to enjoy a journey in the open air. The Maserati Gran Cabrio's magical chemistry starts when you look at it: it is shockingly beautiful, with the soft top up or down. Indeed it features a sophisticated canvas top, for very precise reasons, which can be summed up in three words: «centre of gravity». Fabric, ultra-high tech fabric, weighs very little, infinitely less than metal and helps the car's road-holding: the overall system weight is just 65 kg. And then fabric is pliant, it complements the palette of the car's exterior colours six times over, the number of shades in which it is available, from a solid black to a high-tech titanium grey, to a warm chocolate colour.

The Maserati GranCabrio's Design

Dynamism, sensuality and passion have always been the features that transform Pininfarina's creative genius into masterpieces to be admired on roads the world over. The latest work of art to leave the Maserati factory, the Maserati GranCabrio, has the design of a dream car, but it is a real masterpiece that's just asking to be driven by lovers of beautiful cars who want to travel cocooned in a refined and comfortable ambience.

The challenge for Pininfarina was an intriguing one: never before had a proper four-seater convertible, capable of accommodating four adults comfortably without stealing even the tiniest bit of the incomparable pleasure of travel, been produced by Maserati. Now that the craftsmen have completed their work, it all seems obvious: the Maserati Gran Cabrio could only ever have been like this. An expert eye, however, understands how much power lies behind the front, imposing and dynamic at the same time, the sinuous and feline flanks and a rear that speaks a high-tech language with a wide aerodynamic diffuser tested in a wind tunnel, crowned by large, twin oval-section chrome tailpipes.

A sculpture that speaks to connoisseurs the ancient language of the great Italian coach builders, a beautiful car to admire when it is open, but also when it is moving with its roof up, something that isn't always the case for cars of this type. The canvas soft top was chosen over a rigid folding roof as, with its complicated closing system, would have imposed on engineers and designers unacceptable constraints for anyone seeking beauty in its purest form. And so the "all-clear" was given to supremequality materials and state of the art engineering, to a structure with a backbone consisting of five steel and aluminium spokes and covered with a triple-layer canvas available in six colours, meeting every single customer's requirement. The whole system weighs only 65 kg but, at the same time, guarantees maximum aero-acoustic efficiency and allows the Maserati Gran Cabrio to be enjoyed in all seasons, thanks to the most stringent tests conducted at 30 degrees below zero and at 40 degrees in the shade.

When the soft top is up the drag coefficient is 0.35, while with the soft top down 0.39. Extraordinary figures, the mark of a perfect chemistry between aesthetics and functionality. Without forgetting another absolute imperative, the comfort of those travelling in this open-top granturismo. The optional wind stop was designed precisely to fulfil this purpose, to provide passengers with excellent protection, even at high speed. So, with the wind stop on, the volume of air from outside falls by 70%, whilst the air speed inside the cabin is down 50%.

The Maserati Gran Cabrio's Voice
The voice of the Maserati GranCabrio, the musical notes of its V8 are powerful but subdued when travelling at a modest pace, but they can reach the strength of a tenor's high tones when the driver demands the maximum. The secret of such flexibility lies with the pneumatic control valves that manage the exhaust: normally they remain closed, to ensure that the car travels within the bounds of discretion, but if the Sport mode is selected, they open above 3000 rpm and the sound becomes a powerful roar, especially with the roof down.

The 8-cylinder orchestra is a chorus that sings about the pleasure of driving, harmoniously conducted by the 6-speed automatic gearbox. This transmission is the result of a close working relationship between Maserati and ZF, which has successfully interpreted the exciting combination between the 323 kW (440 HP) of the V8 engine and the fluidity of the automatic gearbox. And if the driver wants to feel even more like an orchestra conductor, all he has to do is select the Manual mode, and modulate the sound of the engine to the rhythm of the manual shifts, better still when using the steering wheel paddles.

On board the Maserati Gran Cabrio
Sleek and sporty from the outside, comfortable and cosy from the inside. This formula was refined with the expertise of the designers who were put to the test with the Maserati GranCabrio concept. A concept which envisaged, first of all, two adults being able to use the rear seats even on long journeys, without suffering from cramps or fatigue.

Active and passive safety
A hundred and ninety milliseconds, less than the bat of an eyelid. That's all the time needed to deploy, in an emergency situation, the heart of the Maserati Gran Cabrio's safety system: the extendable roll bars positioned behind the rear seats. The air bag control unit asks for their assistance when the car's dynamic situation creates the fear that the car is about to overturn. Or when the Maserati Gran Cabrio suffers a major side impact or is violently hit from behind, to prevent the roll bars getting damaged and not being able to protect the driver and passengers should the car overturn at a later stage.

The Maserati Gran Cabrio is very, very protective towards adults and children alike. The special configuration of the roll bars looks after the occupants, even if they are of above-average height. Special Isofix fixings provide a firm hold for child seats. And the new-generation airbag system operates according to the actual "size" of those in the car.
There is no compromise with safety on this car, as no compromise, however insignificant, would be acceptable. But the Maserati GranCabrio also has a second duty: to be beautiful in its minutest detail. This is why the airbag system located on the passenger side required a design aimed at optimiszing the appearance of the top part of the dashboard and blend the safety features perfectly with the interior's overall design.

Integrated systems
Twenty five degrees centigrade and dehumidified air: this is what the experts reckon is the ideal situation for the well being of people at home, in the office or when travelling by car. A rule that is certainly not set in stone, given that each of us has our own ideal temperature and, during car journeys, uses the on-board climate control system to find it.

On the Maserati Gran Cabrio the driver is just required to set the desired temperature in a range falling between 16 and 32 degrees and the electronics will start to mix the air and meter with micrometric precision the intensity of the flows until the target is quickly reached. The climate control system has been finetuned to offer maximum comfort both with the soft top up and down, adjusting itself accordingly. It knows that it has to perform quite differently on an early summer's evening or on a blisteringly hot day and it is also very well aware that it mustn't be too invasive in acoustic terms so that the engine can be left to sing to its heart's content.

A state of the art navigation system is one of many information systems that the Maserati GranCabrio puts at its owner's service. The interface consists of a 7 inch high-resolution colour display located in the centre of the dashboard which shows the functions of the CD player, navigation system, radio and on-board computer providing constant information on the journey and car performance.

The Maserati Gran Cabrio is also powerful from the IT standpoint, a field in which gigabytes rather than horsepower take centre-stage: the hard disk provided can contain up to 30 GB and can store up to 180 hours of music obtained directly from CDs or downloaded as Mp3 files. You can also use your own player as an audio source, connecting it to the USB port located in the glovebox compartment. The functions used most frequently can be activated with the controls on the steering wheel, to avoid any driving distractions. In addition, the audio system, navigation system and telephone, where applicable, can be managed using voice commands: being able to "talk" to your car means having maximum safety. But the Maserati Gran Cabrio can also speak: it can read SMS messages and provide traffic information so that there is no need to even glance at the display.

The Maserati Gran Cabrio's Interior
The Maserati Gran Cabrio embodies the essence of Italian craftsmanship, which has its roots in historic workshops from the Renaissance era and has gradually evolved, without losing sight of its own noble origins. The seats are the first thing one appreciates when getting behind the wheel: upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather, they feel plush, naturally soft and cosy in Winter, fresh and airy in Summer. Leather bound to improve with the passing of time, just like a great vintage wine.

The palette of colours includes no less than 10 shades, which can be blended together for seats, dashboard, tonneau cover, steering wheel and gear knob in an infinite number of combinations to create a tailor-made ambience to suit one's own taste. Each button on the steering wheel and dashboard is embellished with a fine chrome surround, an elegant stamp of an unquestionable superiority of style. The Trident logo is embossed by hand on the headrests and the exposed stitching on the armrest is hand-sewn.

Maserati open-top Heritage
The Maserati Gran Cabrio is the first open-top four-seater Maserati but this doesn't mean that it is without noble ancestors. On the contrary, entire chapters of the history of the motor car have been written by open top Trident cars, although they were strictly two seaters.

The first is the legendary A6G Frua Spyder, produced in a very limited series in the 1950s: it is in the details that the individual cars are distinguished from one another, details, which in the unique Frua, soar to the level of a masterpiece. To have a better understanding, one has to look no further than the front end with the chrome surround and the sunken fog lights, which a few months later, in the A6G 2000, would be transformed into the oval-shaped radiator grille, typical of the Maserati, with the large trident in the middle.

Maserati Gran Cabrio: from coupé to convertible
When a convertible is developed on an existing platform, a side effect is a weight increase of an average of 150 kg compared to the coupé\saloon versions. This is due to the need to compensate for the elimination of the upper structural portions (roof, centre pillar closure) with structural reinforcements positioned in the lower part of the under-frame and body.

At under-frame level, by contrast, the most significant modifications concern:
    * The complete redesign of the rear structures with the creation of a torsion wall positioned behind the rear seats which has a structural function.
    * The complete development of the structural parts of the centre pillar and rear and front connecting crossmembers located on the floor.
    * The insertion in the engine compartment of the V-ROD reinforcement, two metallic rods which connect the damper domes to the under-screen crossmember thus maintaining the tautness of the body.
    * The creation and housing of different under-body reinforcements tightened to improve the layout and allow the installation of the power train unit, paying particular attention to incorporating the functions for weight reduction.

The front and rear structural bases also incorporate thermo-fluid dynamic functions, thus keeping the increase of Cx under control and conveying the air to cool down the car's mechanics. The combination of these design refinements has enabled a car with such generous dimensions as the Maserati Gran Cabrio, which has a 2,942 mm wheelbase, to have outstanding dynamic rigidity values, with a dynamic torsional frequency of the body in white configuration (BIW) of 27.2 Hz and a static torsional stiffness of 75,000 daNm\rad. These figures make the car very taut in structural terms and highly responsive on the road, providing excellent feedback to the driver combined with a high level of responsiveness and absolutely no vibrations.

Chassis and weight distribution
Optimising weight distribution between front and rear so that the centre of gravity is positioned in the precise point to ensure maximum stability for the car: this is the key point on which engineers worked when developing the Maserati Gran Cabrio.

At the wheel of the Maserati Gran Cabrio
Getting close to the Maserati Gran Cabrio is a unique experience that never fails to excite and thrill. Getting behind the wheel is truly exhilarating: sitting in the driving seat gives a real feel for the car's sinuous grace combined with the unfettered attitude typical of a coupé, both with the top up and down.

The cabin, the natural environment for anyone who loves driving, reminds of the Maserati Gran Turismo, from which it actually gets its roomy features and the driving position with its well-appointed vertical steering wheel, and pronounced sporty layout which doesn't compromise on comfort.

The car is fitted with a 4.7 litre 8-cylinder engine - also offered on the Gran Turismo S - which delivers 323 kW, allows flexible, comfortable and fluid driveability in Normal mode and a more sporty and reactive response in Sport mode. The development has led to targeted interventions focused on the mappings of the gearbox, the engine, the management of the throttle and suspension system which have made the car a granturismo with enviable performance. All this is the result of the technicians, engineers and test drivers involved in the project working in synergy. During the numerous test sessions at the different proving grounds involved (Balocco, Vizzola, Nürburgring, Fiorano, but also Sweden and New Zealand) particular attention was paid to the interaction between chassis and suspension to ensure that the handling and comfort targets were reached without reflecting the car's chassis.

The Maserati Gran Cabrio carries only a small amount of extra weight, but on the road it's unnoticeable thanks to the thrilling performance and ease of driving offered by its excellent weight distribution: 49% on the front axle and 51% on the rear. This weight distribution proves particularly effective when the car is pushed to its limits and allows the driver to appreciate the ever-excellent traction, steering wheel response, predictable reaction to under/oversteering situations and last but not least the car's progressive approach to the transients, which are always manageable using steering and throttle. As it is a car designed for "everyday" use, particular attention was paid to the car stability and traction control systems on all types of surface, whether with low and very low grip (wet, snow and ice) or with medium and high grip (normal road surfaces and track) offering a well balanced, nimble car in "difficult" conditions whilst having available absolute peak power with maximum driving safety.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jaguar E-Type Speedster, 2011

 Jaguar E-Type Speedster, 2011

Eagle, makers of the exclusive Eagle E-Type, showcases the world's most exclusive hand built car - the E-Type Speedster Lightweight - an authentic Jaguar E-Type from the 1960s reworked with more muscular styling, fresh classic detailing, and the performance of a contemporary supercar.

The outstanding car makes its public debut at 2011 Salon Privé, the luxury supercar and Concours d'Elegance, taking place at Syon House in west London on 22nd-24th June, 2011.

Henry Pearman, the founder of Eagle, says of the new Speedster Lightweight: "The elements in this remarkable alchemy are an original Jaguar E-Type, thirty years of dedicated experience, and the absolute cream of our widely acclaimed engineering developments and upgrades."

Eagle has a global reputation as an E-Type specialist, and offers an unparalleled collection of magnificent E-Types for sale, ranging from the earliest original specification dealer launch examples through to fully developed cars.

Beneath the Speedster Lightweight's jaw-droppingly beautiful body, every component has been thoughtfully and skilfully reworked, improved and often lightened resulting in a handmade automotive masterpiece with a weight of just 1000kg. The technical tour de force is the original Lightweight E-Type based aluminium 4.7 litre fuel injected engine and aluminium drive train. While retaining an external appearance identical to the original, they enable the car to offer a power- to- weight ratio matching that of the very latest Porsche 911 Turbo.

Jaguar E-Type Speedster Lightweight Specification:
  •     Engine: 4.7 litre, aluminium in line 6 cylinder, longitudinal front mounted
  •     Cylinder head: Aluminium twin cam big valve.
  •     Max power: 310bhp @ 4800rpm
  •     Max Torque: 340lb ft @ 3600rpm
  •     Fuelling: Fuel injection with individual throttle bodies and ECU
  •     Transmission: Aluminium 5 speed gearbox, aluminium Power Lock differential
  •     Suspension: Independent wishbones, 6 high tech adjustable dampers, anti roll bars and rear radius arms
  •     Brakes: 315mm/280mm drilled and vented discs, Aluminium 4 pot calipers, servo assistance
  •     Steering: Rack and pinion
  •     Wheels: 6 x 16 front, 7.5 x 16 rear, aluminium rims with stainless steel spokes
  •     Tyres: 225/55 x 16 front, 245/55 x 16 rear
  •     Weight: 1008kg dry
  •     0-60mph: under 5 seconds
  •     Top speed: 160mph plus
  •     Height: 1000mm
  •     Length: 4260mm
  •     Width: 1740mm

Jaguar XF, 2010

Jaguar XF, 2010

The new Jaguar XF is already acclaimed as a key element in the revitalization of the Jaguar brand, with its new generation of beautiful fast cars. But now the car that defines Jaguar sporting luxury is even better, with major powertrain changes and a wider range of models - including a stunning new, supercharged Jaguar XFR.

The 2010 model year Jaguar XF features all-new 5.0-liter direct-injection V8 engines. There are also significant trim and specification changes - including many new features unique to the new XFR - and the introduction of a new Portfolio derivative.

When it was introduced last year, the Jaguar XF was soon recognized as a dramatic expression of a bold new Jaguar design language. It also soon became apparent that here was a car where the driving experience exceeded the expectations created by the striking appearance. Now, the new XFR takes this driving experience to new levels, shifting the balance even further towards dynamic performance while still retaining the Jaguar XF's core values as a refined and luxurious sports sedan. Power comes from an all-new 5.0-liter direct-injection supercharged V8 engine delivering 510bhp and 461lb-ft of torque. Immediately recognizable thanks to unique new 20-inch wheels, a new front end design with revised chrome air intakes, 'Supercharged' hood louvres, four polished exhaust tailpipes, an aerodynamically functional rear spoiler and side sills, the new XFR also sports discreet 'R' badging.

The attributes that marked out the Jaguar XF at launch are still very much new and in the public eye. The four-door XF has the visual excitement of a coupe, but room inside for five adults to enjoy an interior wholly contemporary in style yet uniquely Jaguar.

Simplicity and clever use of space are key to the Jaguar XF's interior design and this is unchanged in the new generation. For the driver, this is centered on the compact packaging of the JaguarDrive Selector™ transmission interface. The beautiful cast alloy Selector has already gained recognition for its part in the distinctive XF 'welcoming handshake'; a sequence in which the illuminated stop/start button pulsates like a heartbeat until pressed, when the JaguarDrive Selector™ rises into the driver's hand and the rotating fascia vents silently open.

Features such as this have already attracted more than 30,000 customers to the new Jaguar XF - and now, in many instances, they have been enhanced even further. The combination of aluminum dashboard, satin or gloss wood veneers, tailored instrument and door panels with twin-needle stitching as standard, plus Phosphor Blue halo illumination and interior mood lighting, set the Jaguar XF's cabin as far apart from its competitors as its exterior styling.

The new powertrain options that are at the heart of the changes for 2010 model year. The all-new 5.0-liter AJ-V8 Gen III engines - in 385bhp/380lb-ft of torque naturally aspirated and 510bhp/461lb-ft supercharged 'R' guise - add an entirely new, even more sporting dimension to the Jaguar XF range.

These new engines are Jaguar's most efficient ever, and they deliver power and performance at a higher level across the board. In the case of the supercharged engine, compared to the 4.2-liter V8, power has increased by a remarkable 23 percent and torque by 12 percent.

The result in the new Jaguar XFR is a 0-60mph sprint time of just 4.7 seconds (0-100kph in 4.9 seconds). More relevant in everyday driving, an excellent indicator of XFR's great flexibility is the time it takes to accelerate from 50-70mph - just 1.9 seconds.

The comparisons for the naturally aspirated engine are equally impressive. Power is increased by 29 percent and torque by 25 percent. The benchmark 0-60mph acceleration time is 5.5 seconds (0-100kph in 5.7 seconds) - some 0.8 seconds quicker than the 4.2 Jaguar XF. Better still, these improvements are achieved without hindering fuel economy and emissions performance. The new engines meet US ULEV II/Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions regulations.

And alongside these new engines, the naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8 engine will continue to play a key role for the Jaguar XF and will be available starting January 2009. Customers will be able to order the latest naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 versions of the new Jaguar XF range from January 2009. The 510bhp supercharged V8 XFR will be available to order from February 2009.

Jaguar C-X75 Concept, 2010

Jaguar C-X75 Concept, 2010

For 75 years, Jaguar has been responsible for some of the most iconic road and racing car designs ever seen. The roll call of names will be familiar to all: XK120, C-Type, D-Type, XJ13, E-Type, XJ220. To that list can now be added the Jaguar C-X75 Concept, which celebrates three-quarters of a century of beautiful, fast Jaguars by being the fastest and perhaps most beautiful concept of them all.

Jaguar has an award-winning portfolio of designs in its current range of XK, XF and XJ models and the C-X75 reinforces the marque's design-led approach to product development. Created under the guidance of Design Director Ian Callum, the concept points the way towards an even more emotive design language which combines beautiful contemporary styling with world-class research and engineering.

Aficionados will identify elements from Jaguars of the past in the Jaguar C-X75 Concept but the intention was not to look back but forward. The C-X75's designers stayed true to the long-held Jaguar design philosophy of natural, flowing lines and simple, elegant forms. Where inspiration from the past was found was in the innovative engineering and functional design elements of cars like the 1950s C-Type and D-Type racers and unique 1966 XJ13 Le Mans prototype - a car described by Callum as, "possibly the most beautiful Jaguar ever made."

Just as the XJ13 acted a test-bed for a new engine, the Jaguar C-X75 Concept offers similarly positive and inspiring potential solutions to the challenges posed by environmental concerns. Performance cars have always aimed for efficiencies in terms of weight, agility and dynamics, all of which also benefit economy. Using previously unseen combinations of technology, the C-X75 supercar provides a glimpse into the future of Jaguar and its commitment to producing beautiful, fast cars powered by sustainable means.

Exterior Design
The Jaguar C-X75 Concept borrows more than simply elegant looks from previous classic designs, however, for those cars were equally respected for the purity of their engineering. C-X75 has been created to indicate the future for luxury carmakers such as Jaguar. It shows that it is possible to retain core brand values while offering zero emissions motoring for much of the time, as well as range-extending technologies that will make electric vehicles significantly more practical.

Aerodynamic Purity
Shorter, slimmer and lower than the current crop of supercars, its exterior design is about pure performance with a simple central fuselage surrounded by prominent wheelarches. Thanks to the packaging efficiencies provided by the absence of a conventional piston engine, the car's designers had maximum freedom in placing the mechanical components and creating the most elegant engineering package available. Consequently the car has the most perfect proportions and sense of balance possible with a compact cabin placed centrally between the dramatic wheel arches. The lines of the supercar are purposeful and agile, suggesting a sense of movement and poise.

Aerodynamics are a key factor in designing a supercar capable of accelerating to speeds in excess of 320kph (200mph). Yet, as Thomson explains, the designers weren't prepared to sacrifice the car's beauty when it came to creating downforce and stability at high speeds: "Because we want this to be one of the most beautiful Jaguars ever, we took a much more elegant approach to the Jaguar C-X75 Concept's aerodynamics and exploited the benefits of having an electrically-powered drivetrain."

Using an underbody Venturi and directional exhaust gas control kept the car as sleek, compact and low as possible while still generating immense amounts of grip and downforce. Indeed, the movement of air itself was one of the principle drivers behind many of the design cues that were incorporated into the bodywork. Principal designer Matt Beavan reveals how the airflow into the turbines helped to shape the surfaces of the car itself: "We wanted to emphasize how the air makes its way not just over the car but is also channeled into the rear airbox. When operating at 80,000rpm, each gas-turbine requires 25,000 liters of air a minute which means we need a series of carefully honed intakes."

The two beautifully sculpted sill-mounted aluminum intakes have a striking two-tone finish, with polished inner surfaces emphasizing their functionality. Above them sit two further intakes that feed cold air to a separate turbine cooling system.

The turbine theme is also echoed in the stunning alloy wheels which appear to have been cut from a single block of aluminum with a spoke design inspired by the fan blades of the engines themselves. The tires have been custom-made by Pirelli with an asymmetric tread pattern and bold green F1-style wear indicator running the circumference of the tire.

Forward-hinged doors are opened using Jaguar Sense touch technology, raising outwards and upwards for excellent cabin access. To maintain the purity of the side profile, the designers replaced conventional door mirrors with cameras housed in a tailfin which is a miniaturized echo of that of the D-Type - images are displayed on screens inside the cabin. Behind the doors, fuel fillers sit either side of the cockpit - reminiscent of the twin-tank system on the original XJ6 - which on the C-X75 access respectively the fuel tank for the turbines and the plug-in battery charging point.

Jaguar has a long tradition of using the finest materials to create a cosseting and luxurious cabin that allows the driver to concentrate on the experience of driving, culminating in the award-winning interior of the current XJ. With the C-X75, Jaguar has blended beautiful leathers with innovative materials and finishes to create an elegantly tailored and driver-focused cabin that is defined and inspired by the technology that powers this sustainable supercar.

The twin micro-turbines provided great inspiration when designing the interior architecture. The turbines themselves require vast amounts of air and driver and passenger are placed in the calm centre of this storm. The soft shapes and surface changes of the cabin reflect the movement of air, unseen and unheard by those inside, within the channels surrounding it.
The seats are fixed into the rear bulkhead that forms part of the airbox feeding the turbines, integrating driver and passenger not only into the structure but also the function of the car. A beautifully formed aluminum spar directs air into the turbines which are supported by spiral-shaped cast brackets that appear to flow directly from the seats' headrests.

Driver-focused cabin
While Jaguar cabins have always been calm, comfortable sanctuaries for passengers, their focus has remained centered on the driver. The Jaguar C-X75 Concept takes this commitment to its logical conclusion by placing the driver as close as possible to the centre of the car. As a result the cabin tailors itself perfectly and uncompromisingly to the driver. A rocker switch on the steering wheel brings the wheel and instrument panel towards the driver, revealing a beautifully polished aluminum surround to the binnacle. The pedal box is likewise fully adjustable to create the perfect driving position.

The sense of occasion and driver experience engendered by the C-X75 is unsurpassed. Electro-luminescent micro-wires and LEDs use vibrant light to create two very different environments within the cockpit, making it feel incredibly dramatic and highlighting the car's width. As the driver approaches the car, a bright ring of phosphor blue wire lighting outlines the extreme plan shape of the car by leading the eye around the monocoque tub and into the turbine chamber.

When the driver enters, the electro-luminescent wire illumination is replaced by LEDs emitting a phosphor blue light that dims as the occupants settle themselves into the cockpit. This gentle illumination from inside the doors and bulkhead cavities creates a translucency inspired by lightweight aircraft structures and exposes the Bowers & Wilkins nano-speaker panels behind the micromesh. Additional LEDs behind the dashboard and underneath the turbines make both installations appear to 'float' inside the structure of the car.

The car is started using a switch mounted in the aircraft-inspired overhead control panel. Twin needles indicating turbine functionality sweep dramatically around the edge of the main dials and back to rest.
When driven in Track mode the cabin changes character once again - taking inspiration from fighter aircraft in combat mode. The Jaguar Co-Pilot touchscreen system switches to stealth and all ambient cabin lighting fades to minimize driver distraction. The electro-luminescent wire now forms blades of blue light which outline the driver's seat and controls.

The lighting however is not the only feature which lends a sense of theatre and uniqueness to the experience of piloting the Jaguar C-X75 Concept. The gear-selector is modeled on a fighter jet's throttle control and includes a manual override for the turbines, allowing them to run continuously for maximum charge.

Unique Materials
A unique, sustainable performance supercar, the C-X75 utilizes materials that reflect its design and engineering ideals. A luxurious cream Ceramic semi-aniline leather was chosen for the dashboard to complement the purity of the polished aluminum. In contrast, a more technical full-aniline Storm Grey leather was used on the seats. The leathers themselves have their own sustainability story, having been sourced from Scottish company Bridge of Weir, one of the most modern and environmentally efficient leather producers in the world.

To highlight the main driver interfaces, the instrument binnacle, gear selector and certain areas of the steering wheel are covered in a soft-feel textured neoprene. This malleable material allowed the designers to sculpt soft, flowing surfaces that encase the technical hardware. The leading edges of the instrument binnacle have a satin smooth finish while further back the material is covered in grains subtly shaped like the traditional Jaguar 'lozenge' logo.

Reflecting the polished working surfaces on the exterior of the car, the air-conditioning vents also feature a dual finish although this time it is reversed, with mirror-finished external surfaces and vapor-blasted matt interior. Inside the vents can be found an aluminum honeycomb structure similar to that used in aircraft construction.

A six-hour plug-in charge of the Lithium-ion batteries allows an electric-only range of 110km (68 miles). However, as a Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (RE-EV), the Jaguar C-X75 Concept removes the range anxiety that currently hinders the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles. The innovative twin turbines can either charge the car's batteries on-the-fly, allowing the supercar to travel 900km (560 miles) between fill-ups or, in Track mode, automatically provide supplementary power directly to the electric motors to allow the car to top 330kph (205mph).

In creating the C-X75, Jaguar, under the aegis of the Government sponsored Technology Strategy Board (TSB), has worked closely with other British firms, each of which is at the forefront of its field. The TSB is a public body that brings together businesses in a range of programs to drive innovation with an emphasis on sustainability. Jaguar's partners in this project are Bladon Jets, makers of the micro gas-turbines, and SR Drives who supply the switched reluctance generators.

The decision to use technology originally designed for aeronautical applications was an obvious one given both Britain's and Jaguar's heritage in this area. Born in Coventry, a short distance from the site of what would become the Jaguar's historic Browns Lane factory, Sir Frank Whittle is credited with developing the gas-turbine jet engine. It is Whittle's concept that has been refined by supplier Bladon Jets into the compact, efficient powerplant used by Jaguar in the C-X75.

Jaguar itself has an aeronautical heritage, a number of great Jaguars of the past - C-Type, D-Type and E-Type - were shaped by aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer. Aircraft-inspired technology also led to the development of the aluminum spaceframe chassis around which those early Le Mans-winning Jaguars were constructed; the same technique used today in the Jaguar C-X75 Concept.
For the Jaguar C-X75 Concept Bowers & Wilkins, the supplier of exclusive premium audio systems for Jaguar, has explored future audio technologies to develop a product that delivers unrivalled sound quality while making extremely low power demands.

Advanced aluminum lightweight construction
Jaguar's expertise in the use of aluminum stretches back more than 50 years to the first XK120s, through the lightweight E-Types and pioneering X350 to the XK and all-new 2010 XJ. It was with this latter creation that Jaguar fully realized the lightweight metal's benefits to performance, agility, economy and sustainability in a luxury car, creating a lead its rivals have yet to close.

The C-X75 naturally follows the same construction techniques with an extruded and bonded aerospace-inspired aluminum chassis clad in panels of the same material, making it significantly lighter than current supercars. Not only does this save weight, crucial in a car with an extreme performance envelope, but aluminum is one of the most easily recyclable metals available, boosting the Jaguar C-X75 Concept's sustainability as well as its speed. As with the current XJ, up to 50 percent of the supercar's structure is made from recycled aluminum.

Active Aerodynamics
Aerodynamics have always played a large part in Jaguar design with legendary designer Malcolm Sayer elevating it into an art form in cars such as the XJ13, the prototype from which the C-X75 draws inspiration.
Today Jaguar is aiming to reduce the drag coefficient of its future models in order to increase fuel efficiency. The Jaguar C-X75 Concept presented the additional challenge of managing the high volume of air required by the turbines. To achieve this active aerodynamics have been utilized for the first time on a Jaguar.

By opening the front grille and brake cooling vents only when necessary, Jaguar has increased the design's aerodynamic efficiency dramatically. At the rear corners of the car vertical control surfaces automatically engage at higher speeds to direct airflow aft of the rear wheels for increased stability and efficiency.

The carbon-fiber rear diffuser, a crucial element in guiding airflow under the car and creating downforce includes an active aerofoil, which is lowered automatically as speed increases. Vanes in the exhaust ports then alter the directional flow of the gases to further increase the effectiveness of the Venturi tunnel.

Propulsion System
Jaguar has already made a sizeable commitment to developing future generations of cars that minimize their impact on the environment. Jaguar is aiming to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by a quarter over the next five years and as a business £800m is being invested in research into innovative solutions to forthcoming sustainability challenges.

The C-X75 is capable of running in purely electric, zero tailpipe emissions mode for 110km (68 miles) on a six-hour domestic plug-in charge. However, unlike a conventional electric vehicle, the enjoyment of this supercar won't end there. The innovative, lightweight micro gas-turbines are capable of very quickly and efficiently recharging the Lithium-ion batteries, giving the car a theoretical range of 900km (560 miles) and can also automatically provide supplementary power directly to the motors when in Track mode.

This remarkable range-extension system is a result of Jaguar's research engineers adopting a clean-sheet approach to the question of powering the supercars of the future. The Jaguar C-X75 Concept turns to the very latest evolution of a pioneering piece of British technology: the gas turbine.

British engineering firm Bladon Jets achieved a recent breakthrough in producing the multi-stage axial flow compressors - the technology used on all large gas turbines - on a miniaturized scale and to very high tolerances. This increased the compression and efficiency of micro gas-turbines to the point at which they can be viewed as a realistic power source. Each of the micro gas-turbines weighs just 35kg and produces 70kW of power at a constant 80,000rpm.

Because the exhaust gases form part of the active aerodynamic package, Jaguar has utilized a specialized zirconia-molybdenum coating. This advanced heat-resistant coating is regularly used in Formula One cars and is applied in a plasma spray to the carbon-fiber diffuser to protect it from the exhaust gases.
Turbines offer a number of advantages over a reciprocating piston engine when powering range-extending generators. With fewer moving parts and air bearings, turbines do not need oil lubrication or water-cooling systems, all of which offers considerable weight-saving benefits. They can also be run on a range of fuels including diesel, biofuels, compressed natural gas and liquid petroleum gas.

Turbines reach their optimum operating speed and temperature in seconds and so can be used in short bursts to top up the batteries without compromising fuel consumption or life-cycle. Coupled to two switched reluctance generators supplied by SR Drives, the turbines operate either in sequence or together, depending on energy needs, to swiftly and efficiently charge the batteries - or provide power directly to the electric motors - as dictated by the propulsion system supervisory system.

Battery technology is currently the greatest limiting factor in the development of high-performance electric vehicles with a realistic range. Jaguar's engineers are currently carrying out research with leading battery suppliers into the next generation of power cells in order to find the best compromise between energy and power densities. The batteries used in the C-X75 are of a state-of-the-art composition which offers significant benefits in terms of weight, lifecycle, energy density and safety.

Power and Control
The energy created by the turbines and stored in the batteries is transmitted to the road using four independent electric motors. Using individual motors has benefits in terms of weight saving and distribution, packaging and efficiency. Each motor weighs just 50kg but produces 145kW (195bhp) of power and an astonishing combined total torque output of 1600Nm (1180lb ft).

Electric motors also produce maximum torque from almost zero rpm, making the traditional power curve a thing of the past. In fact, such is the C-X75's power that Jaguar's engineers had to artificially limit the torque available from rest in order to improve the driveability of the car. The performance available in the mid-range is truly startling. The Jaguar C-X75 Concept will accelerate from 80-145kph (50-90mph) in just 2.3 seconds. The quarter-mile sprint takes 10.3 seconds at a terminal velocity of 251kph (156mph) and acceleration peaks at 0.88G.
Such astounding performance requires equally impressive braking. Jaguar already has a system proven to be up to the task. The C-X75 is fitted with the brakes used on the supercharged XFR which in 2009 became the fastest Jaguar ever, achieving 363kph (226mph) at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. In this application, regenerative braking technology on all four wheels helps recharge the batteries during driving. The 380mm internally ventilated front discs and 345mm rears are covered by polished alloy wheels of 21 and 22 inches respectively.

Interior Innovation
The driver-focused interior of the Jaguar C-X75 Concept is a statement of intent from Jaguar, using cutting-edge technology that is seamlessly integrated into the car in order to enhance the driving experience. In creating the C-X75, Jaguar has forged relationships with other British companies that share its philosophy of engineering and design purity.

Fingertip Information Control
As on the new XJ, traditional analogue instruments have been replaced with high-resolution TFT-LCD technology for all three Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) within the cockpit.
The main Driver Information screen is housed within the instrument binnacle. Needles float on the periphery of the twin cowls and sweep round the outer edge to display the status and rpm of the two turbines. The amount of information that can be displayed required a new graphic interface. The design team combined designs from instrumentation in the new XJ saloon with those from fighter aircraft to create virtual 3D 'gimbals' around which the gauges wrap and rotate to provide status updates.

Information on speed, acceleration, power production, power usage and active aerodynamic status is selected using rocker action paddles mounted on the steering wheel, giving the driver fingertip control over all the complex systems of the car.

A secondary 'Jaguar Co-Pilot' touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard is angled towards the driver and performs a predictive function, suppressing superfluous information and allowing the driver to concentrate on the task in hand. As its name suggests, this seamlessly manages the relationship between car and driver. By syncing with technology such as smart-phone calendars for instance, it will recognize that the driver is due to attend a track session at Le Mans and will not only offer to calculate a route but also suggest activating high-performance modes once on the circuit itself. Once accepted by the driver, this information wipes seamlessly to the main binnacle display.

The two screens operate in three modes:
  •     Standard Mode - The left-hand dial displays speed, navigation information is shown in the centre with range and time in the right-hand dial. The Co-Pilot screen is used for economy and emissions data.
  •     Track Mode - The right-hand dial changes to display available power while the needles surrounding the binnacle show the turbine status. The Co-Pilot screen changes to display performance and lap time data.
  •     Heritage - Both screens transform into accurate recreations of classic D-Type instrumentation, demonstrating how owners might download their own bespoke interfaces.


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