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, October 29, 2011

Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok, 2011

Production of the Volkswagen Amarok is about to start at the Volkswagen factory in Buenos Aires.
The Volkswagen Amarok has a generous payload capacity of up to 1.15 tonnes and maximum towing limit of 2.8 tonnes. Its 2.52 m² cargo area has the largest dimensions in its class at 1,555 mm long and 1,620 mm wide, plus a best in class width between the wheel arches of 1,222 mm, which means that for the first time on a mid-size pick-up, it is possible to load Euro pallets sideways, saving on space.

The official photos show the Volkswagen Amarok reflects the latest Volkswagen design DNA with frontal styling in line with the latest Transporter and Golf. It is 5.25 m long with a ladder frame chassis and will be offered with a choice of rear-wheel drive and switchable or permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive.

For maximum convenience, the switchable all-wheel drive is engaged by the push of a button, and also has low off-road gearing.

The full-time all-wheel drive version is a rarity in the pick-up sector, and uses a Torsen differential to distribute drive at a 40:60 ratio to the front and rear axles for excellent vehicle dynamics and high traction, and also ensures that the wheel with the best traction always gets the most power. A rear differential lock is available.
Volkswagen Amarok

Designed to tackle the toughest off-road terrain, the VW Amarok is offered with an electronic differential lock (EDL) and Off-Road ABS to significantly shorten braking distances in off-road conditions or gravel roads. At speeds of under 20 mph it also activates Hill Descent Assist to control hill descents by using selective braking interventions. Furthermore, the ESP Plus system includes Hill Hold Assist, which prevents the vehicle from rolling back by holding it in place on inclines until the driver presses the accelerator pedal.

There be a choice of two 2.0-litre fuel-efficient, Euro5 compliant, common rail TDI engines producing 163 PS, with torque of 400 Nm at a low 1,500 rpm, or 122 PS with maximum torque of 340 Nm from 2,000 rpm.

Both engines have a 6-speed manual transmission and will have impressive fuel economy with low emissions to make the Volkswagen Amarok the first all-wheel drive pick-up in this class offering CO2 emissions of less than 200 g/km.
Like the new Transporter and Caravelle, the Volkswagen Amarok has a gearchange indicator to help drivers achieve the best fuel economy, which with an 80-litre fuel tank should offer a range of over 600 miles.

The large and ergonomically designed interior is the largest in its class and in many ways resembles that of a Volkswagen passenger car. Easy entry, lots of headroom and ample legroom for passengers on the rear bench seat make the Volkswagen Amarok a fully-fledged five-seater. If only two people are travelling, interior storage space can be increased by folding the rear seat.

Volkswagen Touareg, 2011

Volkswagen Touareg, 2011

The Volkswagen is unveiling the completely redeveloped Volkswagen Touareg as a world premiere. It is the most technically innovative "VW" since the brand has been in existence. This Volkswagen Touareg is reinterpreting the fascinating multipurpose SUV idea in a contemporary way - thanks to a range of engines that are nearly 20 percent more fuel efficient and a large variety of new assistance and safety systems. The VW Touareg will  be the first and only off-roader in Europe by a German car maker to be available in a hybrid version too. It sets standards among fully off-road capable SUVs with petrol engines that have a fuel consumption value of just 8.2 litres fuel per 100 kilometres. The Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid can be driven up to 50 km/h in purely electric mode - emissions-free. Among the diesel engines, the Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI with 7.4 litre combined fuel consumption now posts the best value in the segment of genuine SUVs. Both versions, the VW Touareg Hybrid and V6 TDI, are the most fuel efficient petrol and diesel SUVs ever built in Europe in this large vehicle class.

New era SUV - lighter, more aerodynamic and fuel efficient
The globally successful, smaller Tiguan, Volkswagen is systematically striving for sustainability on the new Touareg too. The first precondition was met: The SUV was lightened by 208 kilograms in the base version! A quantum leap. Yet, the body has five percent greater torsional rigidity, which makes it the leader in its competitive class. A second precondition was met as well: Designers attained a significantly improved Cd value. Along with aerodynamic refinement efforts, another factor at work here is that this Volkswagen Touareg is built lower to the ground than the previous model. Together with front end styling based on the new Volkswagen design DNA, this results in a smaller frontal area. The third precondition: All engines, now offered with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission - a first in this market segment - demonstrate significant fuel economy advantages over the previous model; in some cases the advantage is far greater than two litres per 100 kilometres.

SUV for all trails - All-wheel drive in two versions

Modified in pursuit of reduced fuel consumption was the standard all-wheel drive. In the base version ("4Motion"), all new generation VW Touaregs have all-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip differential (4MOTION; climbing ability: 31 degrees). Like the Tiguan Track & Field, the VW Touareg also has an "Off-road driving programme", which - at the press of a button - tunes the ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road duty, activates Hill Descent Assist and adjusts the automatic gearshift points.

Instead of a Torsen differential, the V6 TDI can be ordered with an optional "Terrain Tech Packet" that has an even more rugged transfer case designed for off-road duty. It includes reduction gearing and centre and rear differentials, each with up to 100 percent locking (4XMOTION; climbing ability: 45 degrees). Similar to the first generation Volkswagen Touareg, this version also has a rotary switch the driver now uses to adapt the car to specific duty conditions over five levels: 1. "On-Road"; 2. "Off-Road" (like "Off-road driving programme" plus automatic control of the mechanical locks); 3. Low (like "Off-road" plus activation of reduced gearing, higher shift points, no automatic upshift in manual mode); 4. Addition of centre differential lock; 5. Addition of rear differential lock. Equipped like this, the Volkswagen Touareg can conquer any terrain on Earth.

SUV for everyday driving - more space, more innovations
The Volkswagen has not only made the new VW Touareg lighter, more fuel efficient and an agile performer; it has also made it into an even more versatile, all-round vehicle. The new interior was made more functional, the seats more comfortable and leg room in the rear is larger. Now the rear bench seat has 160 millimetres in longitudinal adjustment, and the backrest angle can be adjusted. Electrically unlatched at the press of a button as an option, it folds down in seconds and frees up 1,642 litres of cargo space. Already standard equipment in the base version is a radio-CD and info system, which is intuitively controlled over a 6.5-inch touch-screen.

The parking brake is now activated by pushbutton. The engine (V6 versions) automatically shuts off at traffic lights and restarts as soon as the driver releases the brake pedal (Stop-Start system). As an option, the tailgate can be opened and closed by a RF remote control unit integrated in the car key. The largest panoramic sunroof of all SUVs provides for light even on overcast days. The innovative "Area View" utilises four cameras to detect the Volkswagen Touareg's surroundings and this enhances safety. Also offering protection are up to nine airbags. Lane Assist ensures that the vehicle does not stray from the right path; meanwhile, Side Assist warns of vehicles approaching from the rear when changing lanes. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with integrated Front Assist can brake to a stop in an emergency and tension the seatbelts as a precautionary measure. Bi-Xenon headlights with Dynamic Light Assist perceive oncoming traffic and adjust the light beam to eliminate unwanted glare, and adaptive roll compensation ensures that the Volkswagen Touareg sits solidly on the street. For the first time, there will be special features on the new Touareg under the new "Exclusive" badge from Volkswagen Individual. Options that can be ordered include 19-inch alloy wheels ("Girona" type), fine wood inserts ("Olive Ash") and a leather interior ("Nappa") in the two-colour combinations "Dark Burgundy / Titan Black" or "Pepper Beige / Titan Black".

Volkswagen Touareg 
More or less 500,000 car drivers chose to buy the first generation of the SUV. It is a luxury sport utility vehicle that offers a high level of comfort, sporty driving properties, avant-garde styling, excellent quality and unlimited expedition capabilities - essentially the best of the passenger car and off-road worlds unified in one concept. This is now being followed up by the new VW Touareg - a high-end and versatile all-round vehicle that brings these two worlds together even more perfectly.

Volkswagen Sharan, 2011

Volkswagen Sharan, 2011

More over 600,000 units sold, Volkswagen Sharan is the favourite vehicle of countless families all over Europe. Coming now, with a world premiere at the 2010 Geneva International Motor Show (4th to 14th March), is a completely new generation of this best seller. Equipped for the first time with sliding doors in the back, the new Volkswagen Sharan has been enhanced in every area. There are only two parts that the new and the old VW Sharan have in common: the sun visors. That's it! Everything else - every screw, every exterior and interior part and all of the technology, including the TDI and TSI engines (103kW / 140PS to 147kW / 200PS) and transmission systems (DSG optional) - is new. Volkswagen Sharan 3.0, as it were, offering world-record performance in fuel efficiency: at 5.5 litres per 100km (51,4 mpg), the 140PS Volkswagen Sharan 2.0 TDI achieves lower fuel consumption than any other MPV in this class.
Four frugal engines
The Volkswagen Sharan's four direct injection turbo petrol (TSI) and turbo diesel (TDI) engines are up to 21 percent more fuel-efficient! The two TSI engines deliver 110kW / 150PS and 147kW / 200PS, while the TDIs develop 103kW / 140PS and 125kW / 170PS. With power outputs of up to 170PS the engines use a start-stop system and energy recuperation (recovery of kinetic energy, which gets temporarily stored in the battery). With average consumption of 5.5 litres per 100km (51.4 mpg, 145g/km of CO), the 140PS version of the VW Sharan 2.0 TDI - top speed 194 km/h (119 mph) - sets a new benchmark for fuel efficiency in this segment of the market! The theoretical driving range is correspondingly impressive: 1,273 kilometres (805 miles) from its 70 litre fuel tank. Both TDIs are also fitted with an SCR catalytic converter (SCR = selective catalytic reduction), which specifically eliminates oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and makes the Volkswagen Sharan, even as a turbo diesel, one of the cleanest MPVs in the world.

Design and dimensions
The new Sharan has gained significant extra agility. Completely new styling reinforces this. Its concise front and rear contours, in particular, plus its prominent wheel arches, create a totally new street presence. The vehicle's relative proportions also has a more dynamic effect, with the new model - at 4.85 metres in length - being 22 centimetres longer than the old VW Sharan. Its width has also grown, adding 9.2 centimetres (measured from door handle to door handle at the front) to now measure 1.9 metres. At the same time its height is now 1.2 centimetres lower, at 1.72 metres. The result is a fascinating interplay of proportions and a very powerful overall impression. The reduced height, however, does not come at the expense of interior headroom.

The third generation Volkswagen Sharan is the company's first MPV range to be designed by Walter de Silva (Group Chief Designer) and Klaus Bischoff (Brand's Chief Designer) based totally on the new Volkswagen design DNA matrix. The design of the vehicle body, which is both appealing and functional, is thus epitomised by clear, horizontal lines. It is fresh, yet certainly not dictated by any transient fashion. The aim of the design is rather to create with its balanced proportions and minimal lines an ideal basis for giving the body an extremely energetic look.

Front end
Following the new DNA, the Volkswagen Sharan unmistakably reflects the new era Volkswagen design, especially in the typical VW front end with its strong emphasis on horizontal planes and a clearly defined shape. A very elegant look is created by the gloss black bars across the radiator grille, the integrated chrome clips and the VW logo, also in chrome. The double headlights (with daytime running lights) incorporated into the V-contour of the bonnet can be ordered both in the standard and bi-xenon versions. In addition, as a new feature on the VW Sharan, there will also be a further headlight version with automatic main beam control (Light Assist). Based on a camera system, this dynamic main beam regulator detects both oncoming traffic and the vehicles in front and adjusts the beam such that nobody gets blinded (the headlight is partially masked) and the best possible illumination of the carriageway can also be achieved for the driver. If the Volkswagen Sharan is ordered with bi-xenon headlights, a newly designed LED daytime running and position light is also included within the headlamp module. It is made up of 15 individual LEDs that are positioned inside the module in a concise pattern.

Rear end
The rear look of the VW Sharan is just as clearly structured as that of the front. The visually dominant elements here are the concise roof-edge spoiler, the very deep tailgate (sill height: 0.67 metres) and the very large rear lights, which match the headlamps and also create an unmistakable appearance at night. The tailgate itself can optionally be opened and closed electrically.

Side profile
A distinctive feature of the Volkswagen Sharan is its smooth side profile. The background to this is that in designing the VW Sharan, De Silva and Bischoff put particular emphasis on the homogeneity of the vehicle's surfaces, as - allied to the relatively long wheelbase of 2.92 metres and the MPV's overall length - it makes the integration of the sliding doors perfect. The position of the door handles to the left and right of the B-pillar is extremely practical, as it enables the driver or passenger to open the front or rear door with single movement of the hand, without changing position. Anyone with small children in tow will appreciate this feature! The fact that the sliding doors open to the rear also creates an extremely large opening and thus easy access into the back.

The designers also gave a unique feel to the geometric, clearly defined look of the side windows. They sit relatively low on the vehicle, conveying a sense of airiness and transparency. The bottom edge of the row of windows rises dynamically at front and rear, giving the roof's A and D pillars a character of their own.

Volkswagen has developed a totally new configuration of the interior for the Volkswagen Sharan. It includes a choice of three base version interiors with five, six or seven seats. Thanks to the new EasyFold seating concept, the individual seats of the second and third row no longer need to be taken out in order to make use of the vehicle's full flexibility, but instead get stowed away in the floor using an easy-to-operate folding mechanism. Like the front seats, the ones in the second row can also be moved forwards and backwards, while their tilt can be adjusted by 20 degrees. The redesigned rear seat headrests are both highly practical and safe. Not only can they can be fully extended in order to provide optimum protection even for tall passengers, but also pushed down almost flush with the top of the seat backs when not in use.

First row of seats (driver and front-seat passenger)
One of the great strengths of the first two generations of the Volkswagen Sharan was the upright, comfortable sitting position of driver and front-seat passenger. The development engineers have improved comfort on the new model still further. While keeping the seat height almost identical, this has been done by making the sitting position sportier. In conjunction with the extremely clear and elegant dashboard and the positions of the central armrest and gear lever, the best possible ergonomic sitting and driving position is thus assured at all times. For the first time, a 12-way electrically adjustable seat, including driver's side memory function, is now also available as an option for the Volkswagen Sharan.

Second row of seats
The ergonomic design of the seats has been completely revised. Take, as an example, the second row, i.e. the traditional back seats: this comprises individual seats that can be moved 160mm back and forth and which now provide much more legroom thanks to, among other changes, the height of the seats being increased by 58mm. The internal height, meanwhile, has stayed at the same level. An important point for families is that the two outer seats can again be ordered with an integrated child seat. They offer younger passengers optimum safety and comfort. The seats are suitable for children aged three and above. The seat's surface is raised for the children via a simple mechanism, while adjustable seat sides hold them snugly in place. Side supports on the backrests (secured to the head rest guides) also ensure that they remain seated in the ideal position.

Third row of seats
Getting into the third row of seats has been made much easier. Firstly, the sliding doors open extremely wide and, secondly, the outer seats on the second row can be pushed forward and tilted. The EasyFold system has simply been supplemented here with an equally intuitive Easy Entry function, which creates ample room to reach the two additional seats in the Volkswagen Sharan - even for adults. In fact, while the two rear-most seats in MPVs of this size are generally reserved for children, the extended wheelbase (75mm longer at 2.92 metres) means that for most journeys these seats in the Volkswagen Sharan are comfortable for adults as well.

Boot / luggage area
No matter which of the seats in the back are folded down, what is produced here is always a totally level surface for loading in luggage. Even if just the third row of seats is folded down via the easy-to-use, single-hand mechanism, that alone provides a space 1.3 metres deep. Loaded up to the bottom edge of the window the luggage capacity is 711 litres. Thanks to an easily fitted mesh partition, the Volkswagen Sharan can alternatively be loaded right up to the roof without any safety concerns. The luggage capacity then increases to 1.167 litres.

The basic layout of the dashboard is a completely new interpretation of that in the previous model, albeit that the key instruments, such as the light switches and air-conditioning controls, are in practically identical positions - only now much easier to see and operate. The entire dashboard area features a strictly horizontal division, with a precision-made décor trim running from side to side between the upper and lower sections. All of the materials are also of a quality unequalled by the competition. This is shown, for example, by the frequent use of metal on the vents and switch surrounds.

Centre console
The centre console has been consciously 'pulled out' a long way towards the gear lever, thus making its controls even easier to operate. It houses the various audio, video and navigation systems, plus - arranged below these - the Climatic or Climatronic air conditioning controls. The entire control unit for these systems has been positioned appreciably higher. All of the elements can therefore be found more quickly and are more intuitive to operate. For the navigation systems (RNS 315 and RNS 510) and premium audio system (RCD 510) a touchscreen display is used.

Equipment versions
The new VW Sharan will be in three equipment versions: Trendline (base version), Comfortline (mid-level version) and Highline (the most exclusive version). It will be sold in nine different colours. In standard configuration the MPV is initially a five-seater (2:3). In addition to this, there will also be a so-called '6-seater pack' and a '7-seater pack'. As a 6-seater, the Volkswagen Sharan's second and third rows of seating each get fitted with two seats, including cushioned armrests (2:2:2), with the second row then no longer having a middle seat. Instead, the two remaining seats are positioned more centrally and thus offer even greater comfort. The 6-seater is thus ideal as the business version. Where the customer opts for the 7-seater, the second row again has three seats, as in the 5-seater version (2:3:2). The 6 and 7-seater versions of the Volkswagen Sharan are supplied with several added features across all equipment lines. These include a 3-zone (Climatronic) air conditioning system, incorporating a rear air conditioning unit for separate climate control in the back (the third zone).

VW Sharan Comfortline
In purely external terms the more refined Sharan Comfortline stands out from the Trendline model by virtue of features such as its 16-inch ('Memphis') alloy wheels with 215 tyres, a chrome rim around the bottom radiator grille, the side windows' chrome border, black roof rails and a windscreen also fitted with heat reflective glass.

Inside the high quality 'Bridge' upholstery in 'Titanium Black' or 'Palladium Grey', plus seats with sportier contours and decorative inlays in the 'Triangle Titan' design produce a more refined feel. The driver's seat can also be adjusted electrically (height, tilt, forwards and back) and has a manual 4-position lumbar support function. In addition, there are pockets and folding tables on the back of both front seats. For loading long objects, the front passenger seat can also be completely folded over. It too is height adjustable and provides lumbar support.

The tray on the centre console is provided in this range with a cover, while in the roof, in addition to the standard storage compartment, there is also a compartment for glasses and in front of each of the outer seats of the second row there is another storage compartment integrated into the floor. On top of all this on the functional side come details such as the automatic anti-glare rear-view mirror, rain sensor, automatic running light activation (including 'Coming home' and 'Leaving home' function), indirect background lighting and a cruise control system.

Volkswagen NILS Concept, 2011


Volkswagen NILS Concept, 2011

Volkswagen NILS, a single-seat electric concept vehicle that offers a glimpse of a new form of minimalist mobility, has been unveiled ahead of its public debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept car - which features an aluminium space frame, wing doors and free-standing wheels - has the dynamic performance of a sports car, yet travels silently, and with zero emissions.

The NILS project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, and is designed to be both technically realistic and economically supportable.

The breakthrough of electric mobility will lead to new vehicle requirements - many of which are oriented towards very specific target groups. In advancing electric mobility to high-volume production, it is not enough to simply electrify existing vehicle models.'

With a range of 65 kilometres (40 miles) and a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) Volkswagen NILS would be the ideal vehicle for the majority of commuters in Germany. According to the German Bureau of Statistics, 73.9 per cent of all commuters residing between Berlin and Munich cover less than 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) on their way to work.

Cars have always been mirrors of their times - their design styles and technological standards reflecting a particular era - and NILS is no different. It uses emissions-reducing electric drive technology to fulfil the specific requirements of commuters. In Germany, for example, about 60 per cent of all commuters travel by car, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics; of these over 90 per cent travel alone. Zero-emissions vehicles like NILS will offer these frequent drivers a new eco-friendly mobility solution.

The Volkswagen NILS is a very compact car that requires extremely little space in traffic. It is only 3.04 metres long - making it about 50 cm shorter than the new Volkswagen up! - just 0.39 metres wide from wheel to wheel, and a mere 1.2 metres tall.

Volkswagen NILS has the same basic layout as a Formula 1 race car, with the driver in the middle, the engine in back, and free-standing outboard wheels. The 17-inch alloy wheels are equipped with 115/80 (front) and 125/80 (rear) tyres optimised for low rolling resistance.

Though its inspiration may come from Formula 1, 'NILS was designed to make a visual statement and transport a vision of the automotive future to the present. I am especially pleased that we managed to implement the concept of the two glass wing doors. This allowed us to create large transparent surfaces and simultaneously to make entering and exiting the vehicle very comfortable, even in the most cramped of parking spaces.'

Because Volkswagen NILS is so compact and lightweight (460 kg), it is a lot of fun to drive. It has a top speed of 130 km/h, and can accelerate to 100 km/h in less than 11 seconds. This is achieved using an electric motor with a reasonably small 15 kW nominal power and short-term peak power of 25 kW. A lithium-ion battery supplies the electric motor with energy. The battery capacity (5.3 kWh) enables driving ranges of up to 65 km, depending on the style of driving. A battery of this size is relatively inexpensive, and can be charged either via a conventional 230-volt electrical outlet (maximum charging time two hours) or at an electric vehicle charging station. The socket is located at the back underneath the rear lighting module.

The centrepiece of the electric drive system is the lightweight 19 kg electric motor together with its transmission and battery. Energy management is via a high-voltage pulse inverter, which - together with the 12-Volt DC/DC converter for the vehicle electrical system and the charger - forms an integral drive unit. All drive unit components are located compactly in an aluminium housing at the rear of NILS; drive is to the rear wheels.

The motor, battery and all other components are so compact that there is still space for a small but practical bootspace. The body-coloured area above the rear lighting module swings upward, revealing space suitable for items such as a case of drinks and a bag.

Optimal weight distribution helps to ensure that Volkswagen NILS allows drivers not only to commute with zero emissions. The lightweight NILS drives like a go-kart. The steering is purely mechanical (the low weight means power assistance is unnecessary), while the electric motor produces its maximum torque of 130 Nm from standstill, via a one-speed transmission. Suspension is by double wishbones front and rear; while ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) helps to tame any over-exuberance on the part of the driver.

Safety is of course even more important than fun, and NILS is fitted with an automatic distance control system. This uses radar sensors to scan the space in front of the vehicle over a distance of about 200 metres and uses brake interventions to ensure that the distance to vehicles in traffic in front of the car does not drop below a specified minimum value. The system can even automatically brake the car to a stop, depending on the situation. Not only are the four disc brakes used to brake; electric traction by electric motor and battery regeneration can be used to brake as well. Last but not least, Front Assist is integrated in the automatic distance control system. This continually active system warns the driver of a potential collision; at speeds below 30 km/h (18 mph), automatic braking can avoid a collision under some circumstances.

The instrument cluster is a seven-inch TFT display. The vehicle's speed is shown digitally in the middle, while energy flow is represented by bars. Another graphic display offers information on the driving range. The second central instrument is a mobile multifunctional device like the one used in the new up!: the Portable Infotainment Device (PID). It is snapped into theA-pillar to the right of the instrument cluster. Via touchscreen, the driver controls functions related to Navigation, Radio, Media, Telephone, Trip computer and - to preconfigure the driving range - 'Eco. The PID computes the expected driving range, then it not only displays the route on the map display, but also the radius and thereby the destinations that can be reached using the current battery charge.

The side mirrors, for example, are adjusted manually. The heating and ventilation system has full electronic control, and there is seat heating. Located to the right of the steering column is the motor start-stop switch; this round switch is also used to select D, N or R.

The aluminium space frame body was designed to be a highly effective safety cell. The body in white is produced from extruded aluminium, cast aluminium and sheet aluminium. The roof frame together with the door mounts, a roll bar, the bootspace and the front bulkhead consist of high-strength sheet aluminium. Extruded aluminium is used in the side sills, the transverse profiles and the front and rear car sections. The front and rear side body are aluminium. Parts made of high-strength plastic include the bumpers and the trim panels on the side sills.

The frames of the wing doors consist of three main elements: an inner section, a crash reinforcement section and an exterior part. When closed, they offer optimal crash safety. The door windows are made of lightweight, scratch-resistant, layered polycarbonate, while the front window is made of laminated safety glass.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bentley Continental Flying Spur Series 51, 2012


Bentley Continental Flying Spur Series 51, 2012

Series 51 represents Bentley design at its most vibrant. It allows customers of both Continental Flying Spur and Flying Spur Speed to order 'off the peg' from an innovative and exclusive range of recommended combinations created by Bentley's colour and trim designers at the company's headquarters in Crewe, England, as Dirk van Braeckel, Bentley's director of design comments:

First offered on the Continental GT and GTC in 2009, Bentley's colour and trim team has now created no fewer than14 unique Series 51 designs for the Continental Flying Spur and Flying Spur Speed, enabling customers to tailor their cars to their individual tastes as Melinda June-Jenkins, manager of colour and trim, explains:

For Series 51 designs, the Bentley styling team operates on a 'rule of three' principle to create complex but harmonising colour schemes of depth and beauty, inspired by a customer's simple choice of three contrasting colours. With luxurious wood veneers and leather hides as the main canvas, the colour and trim specialists begin with a main interior colour (typically a darker shade) and then select a second insert colour to provide an eye-catching contrast. A critical skill is identifying the third 'accent' colour for the stitching and piping.

The selection of wood veneers or aluminium panels for the dashboard either complements the overall look or provides even greater contrast if the customer so desires.

Bentley has reserved the limited-edition Sapelli Pomelle veneer (which provides a rare, naturally occurring quilted effect in the wood) for the Series 51 Flying Spur and a range of further options, including Bentley's leather trimmed child seat and scatter cushions for the rear seats, may also be specified to further complement the exclusive design.

The paint range encompasses cool and crisp hues through to rich and fiery shades and everything in between with the Bentley colour and trim team recommending one of the three selected interior colours to complement and highlight the relationship between inside and out.

Bentley has created a unique Series 51 graphite-finished nine-spoke, 19-inch sports alloy wheel, while twin Series 51 wing badges, positioned behind the front wheel arches, complete the bespoke look.

As a further sporting touch, all the latest Continental Flying Spurs, including Series 51 models, may now be specified with distinctive blue brake callipers and front wing vents styled by Bentley's head of exterior design, Raul Pires. These sleek vents, positioned to the rear of the front wheel arches, are set into a uniquely tooled wing panel and feature a black or chrome mesh finish.

Advanced and intuitive touchscreen infotainment technology
All 2012 model year Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Supersports coupe and convertible models are now equipped with a new, highly-advanced touchscreen infotainment system that provides rich map imagery and a 30GB on-board hard drive.

An 8-inch screen displays the car's audio system, telephone, ride and comfort settings as well as the very latest navigation system, which uses both an in-car hard-disc drive and a DVD player to access route data. It also utilises dynamic navigation to avoid heavy traffic spots, locates destinations using geo-tagged photos from an SD memory card and is Google Maps-compatible for most markets.

The infotainment system, with 7-digit postcode entry, combines touchscreen controls and classic Bentley knurled rotary switches to offer instant usability and crystal-clear feedback. The graphic interface of the screen was specified by Bentley's interior design team to ensure its visuals are wholly in keeping with the classic, handcrafted interior. The 'knurled' switches on the screen for example, are 'virtual' echoes of the knurled texture of the jewel-like rotary switches below.

The latest Continental Flying Spur and Supersports models benefit from telephone and music player connectivity, digital television (where available) and DVD movie playback. Music can be played and controlled directly from an iPod as well as from a six-disc CD changer, SD card reader or directly from the car's hard-disc drive, which can store up to 15GB of music.

The new infotainment system is complemented by a new driver information panel (DIP) located in the main instrument cluster. The new wide-screen DIP employs TFT technology and enhanced graphics provide the driver with clear and easily accessible information about a wide range of car systems. These include the setting of head lamp 'coming home' controls, door locking and mirror functions while providing significantly improved control of such features as phone pairing and bluetooth media connectivity.

The new 2012 model year Continental Flying Spur, Flying Spur Speed and their Series 51 design options, together with the 2012 Supersports coupe and convertible models on sale since March 2011.

Bentley Mulsanne, 2011


Bentley Mulsanne, 2011

The new Bentley Mulsanne, designed and engineered at Crewe from the ground-up, reaffirms the marque's intent to create a new flagship Bentley with refined performance, unparalleled levels of interior luxury and coach building skills to the fore.

A pure expression of Bentley design
The design of the new Bentley Mulsanne is a unique fusion of sportiness, coachbuilt elegance and solidity. Echoing the Bentley S-Type of the 1950s, the Mulsanne features a bold frontal design dominated by the traditional Bentley matrix grille and highly prominent, classic round inner headlamps with chrome surrounds, flanked by two, smaller outboard lamp clusters, all featuring the latest in lighting technology. The iconic 'Flying B' retractable radiator mascot is available as an option.

The long bonnet, short front overhang and long rear overhang help to convey a sense of power and movement, reinforced by muscular haunches and sharply sculptured lines which flow gracefully from the front wings to the rear. Uniquely designed 20-inch wheels (and optional 21-inch) reinforce the Bentley Mulsanne's powerful, sporting stance.

The Bentley Mulsanne
The body is produced in a new manufacturing facility at Bentley's headquarters in Crewe where traditional metalworking skills, developed over six decades, are still used extensively during the nine-week build process. It is the very opposite of volume-production car-building… but the very epitome of Bentley.

The rear screen, is fully enveloped by the coachwork. This provides a flowing, flawless line to the rear of the car, complementing the exquisitely formed D-pillars - whose complex curves can only be created by skilled coach-builders. All spot welds are performed by hand during the Bentley Mulsanne's construction and all panel joints are hand-brazed. These further enhance that 'hewn from solid' appearance and result in an extremely stiff body.

Sumptuous interior meets advanced technology
The latest in-car technologies are discreetly placed within the Bentley Mulsanne's sumptuous interior. A multimedia system with 40 GB hard disc drives satellite navigation, audio/video, personal data, telephone and Bluetooth® connectivity. The upper dashboard houses an 8-inch multimedia screen, positioned unobtrusively behind an electrically operated veneered door, while below sits a stylish, leather-lined MP3-player stowage drawer.

The use of wood and leather hides has increased significantly to create an even more refined and luxurious cabin. While classic design features such as bulls-eye air vents (now also fitted in the rear compartment), high-quality mirror-matched wood veneers, leather hides and hand-finished stainless steel are retained, they are mixed with new touches such as beautiful glass switches.

Re-engineered V8 engine and new chassis: power, refinement and efficiency
The Bentley powertrain engineers were set three objectives for the Bentley Mulsanne:
  • To produce the effortless torque from extremely low revs that customers expect of a grand Bentley
  • To maintain the highest levels of refinement
  • To satisfy strict current and future environmental standards through improved engine efficiency

The pioneering use of the two technologies in combination allows the Bentley Mulsanne's engine management system not only to adjust the V8's breathing for improved engine idle quality and torque delivery, but also to close the valves of four of the eight cylinders for maximum fuel economy when cruising.

New lightweight componentry including pistons, connecting rods and forged crankshaft reduce reciprocating mass and internal friction for improved engine response.

In the new Mulsanne, the 6¾-litre V8 develops 512 PS (505 bhp/377 kW) while the massive torque (1020 Nm / 752 lb ft) is now delivered even earlier at 1800 rev/min. This dramatic improvement in torque delivery from just above idle and right across the rev range ensures that with a mere tap of the accelerator the driver is immediately rewarded with that characteristic deep, muffled V8 burble and phenomenal acceleration.

Prodigious power and torque are complemented by an all-new chassis, unique to the new Bentley Mulsanne. Both lighter and stiffer than previous flagship Bentleys, the new chassis benefits both ride and handling.

A new Drive Dynamics Control system operated by a rotary switch mounted next to the gearshift selector, can be used to select from three standard modes - Bentley, Sport and Comfort - offering precise calibration of suspension and steering control systems.

A new air suspension system with continuously variable dampers creates an even more refined and comfortable ride at lower speeds, yet can reduce the Bentley Mulsanne's ride height automatically at high speeds to reduce lift and improve aerodynamic stability. With 20-inch alloy wheels and 265/45 ZR 20 tyres as standard, dynamic handling is assured. Customers may also opt for 21-inch wheels, available in two styles, fitted with 265/40 ZR 21 tyres.

Technical Specifications
=  Engine
          o Type: Twin-turbocharged V8
          o Installation: Front, longitudinal, rear-wheel drive
          o Construction: Alloy heads and block
          o Capacity: 6750cc
          o Power: 512PS / 505bhp / 377kW
          o Torque: 1020Nm / 752 lb ft
=  Transmission
          o Type: Rear-wheel-drive
          o Gearbox: ZF 8-Speed automatic
=  Body & Chassis
          o Length: 5562mm (219.49 in)
          o Width: 1926mm (75.80 in)
          o Height: 1526mm (60.01 in)
          o Wheelbase: 3266mm (128.60 in)
          o Front Track: 1605mm (63.20 in)
          o Rear Track: 1651mm (65.00 in)
=  Wheels / tyres
          o (standard): 9J x 20in. with 265/45 ZR 20 tyres
          o (option): 9J x 21in. with 265/40 ZR 21 tyres

Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, 2011


Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, 2011

The Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible further strengthens Bentley's supercar range, following the introduction of the Bentley Continental Supersports Coupé in 2009. The new Supersports Convertible, with the same 630PS (621bhp/463kW) twin-turbocharged W12 engine, is the fastest, most potent drop-top Bentley has ever built, offering the ultimate Bentley driving experience in the world's most dramatic convertible.

The inspiration for the 'Supersports' name is the 1925 Bentley Supersports, a race-bred version of the iconic Bentley 3-litre, that delivered 85bhp when more ordinary cars were equipped with a modest 15bhp. It was also the first production car to reach 100mph - extreme performance in its day.

The muscular four-seat Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible is unmistakably Bentley in its design and craftsmanship but its interiorsignifies a dramatic re-interpretation of Bentley luxury. Satin-finished carbon fibre,Alcantara™and 'Soft Grip' leather create a unique ambience with a distinctly sporting and contemporary style.

The new Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible are now capable of running on both petrol (gasoline) and E85 bioethanol or any combination of the two, reaffirming Bentley's ongoing commitment to make all its cars bio-fuel compatible by 2012. Pioneered by the Supersports Coupe, this Flex Fuel technology offers a reduction of up to 70 per cent in CO2 emissions on a 'well-to-wheel' basis, a measure of a fuel's net contribution to the atmosphere, not just tailpipe emissions.
Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible

The Detail of Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible
The new Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible is a car that must be driven to be fully understood. Behind the wheel it is immediately clear that a Supersports Bentley is a 'fusion of extremes' - the ultimate in extreme performance, every day practicality and unrivalled hand-crafted luxury.

Bentley's Supersports programme began as an 'under the radar' project exploring the possibilities of weight reduction on the Continental GT Coupé but with more power and torque. The largely experimental project soon crystallised into an official new car programme, driven by the passion and enthusiasm of a small group of Bentley engineers and designers. Now the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible has received the same focus and the results are equally dramatic. Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board, Engineering explains the thinking behind the project:

A highly focussed, pure Bentley driving experience
With 630PS (621bhp) and 800Nm (590lb ft) of torque from its pioneering FlexFuel engine and new 'Quickshift' transmission, the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible is the fastest drop-top Bentley has ever built. It accelerates from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds) and, conditions permitting, can continue onto a top speed of 202mph (325km/h).

The lightweight wheels are fitted with 275/35 ZR 20 Pirelli Ultra-High Performance tyres, providing excellent steering response. The standard-fit tyre monitoring system allows the driver to select tyres type and speed range parameters. As well as monitoring pressures, the system warns drivers if their speed is too high for the tyre pressures or if tyre speed ratings are exceeded on winter tyres.

The Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible features an advanced electronic stability programme (ESP) that moderates intervention at low speeds, exploiting the potential of the more powerful engine and enhanced chassis, improving driver interaction and control. The new ESP also provides faster reinstatement of engine torque after intervention, giving the spirited driver greater control. The target slip is increased at greater than 90 per cent throttle to utilise all available longitudinal grip. Corner exit agility is thereby also enhanced for increased driver involvement. Together the chassis, tyre and track changes deliver improved grip, turn-in and agility.

Designing the 'extreme' Bentley convertible- where form follows function
The evolution of the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible's design is very much a case of form following function, with new purposeful sculptural forms signalling the engineering changes beneath the skin. Key engineering-led design changes to the Supersports:
  •  Revised front air intakes and new bonnet vents to improve airflow and cooling
  •  Flared rear wings to accommodate wider rear track
  •  Discreet bootlid spoiler benefitting aerodynamic balance at high speeds

The increased power and torque of the W12 engine necessitated an additional 10 per cent airflow to the twin turbocharger intercoolers and cooling system. With extensive use of Computational Fluid Dynamics techniques, Bentley's designers responded with a purposeful and dramatic style, featuring large vertical intake apertures. Twin bonnet vents were added to ensure positive air extraction.

Similarly, all-new flared rear wings that accommodate the 50mm (2 inches) wider rear track are designed to emphasise the powerful stance of this ultra-high performance Convertible. The resultant Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible style combines the looks of the graceful Continental GTC with a wide, low and muscular appearance that reflects its more extreme character.

The Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, in common with its Coupé stablemate, occupies a position within the Bentley portfolio which is all its own, as Raul Pires, Head of Exterior Design, explains.

From the front, the radiator, lower grille and dual bonnet vents are finished in a striking Smoked Steel finish. Derived from an innovative technology normally used to apply a coating to luxury watches and specialised industrial tools, Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) is a complex and time-consuming process that involves vaporised metal being deposited onto the surface of, in this case, stainless steel.

Restyled - and more aerodynamic - door mirrors match the exterior paint choice and the window and door surrounds replace polished stainless steel with a Smoked Steel finish to match the front grille. Eye-catching, black gloss Bentley-branded brake calipers act on the carbon ceramic brakes. Surrounding the brakes are the unique 20-inch, forged alloy wheels with Smoked Steel-finish which are exclusive to Supersports models. Large diameter tailpipe trims round out the car's purposeful stance when viewed from the rear. Beneath the bonnet Supersports badges grace the cover of the 630PS (621bhp) W12 engine.

The Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible has an electrically operated, three-layer fabric hood with advanced acoustic insulation to provide superb levels of refinement and comfort when raised. A choice of eight hood colours are available, including a new Dark Grey Metallic option, which is achieved by weaving a 'grey' acrylic fibre with a semi-transparent 'metallic effect' fibre in a twill weave construction to create a directional colour effect.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420, 2011

Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420, 2011

The Aston Martin has unveiled a new motorsport-inspired special edition; the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 which brings a new dimension of sporting prowess and dynamic ability to the V8 Vantage range.

Successor to the special edition V8 Vantage N400 of 2007, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 is based upon the standard 4.7-litre, 420bhp, 180mph V8 Vantage and is available as a Coupe or Roadster, and with a six-speed manual or optional Sportshift automated manual transmission.

The Vantage N420 draws inspiration from the company's experiences at the Nürburgring 24-hour race. In the 2006 running of the annual Nürburgring endurance classic amongst a field of mostly motorsport homologated cars, Aston Martin entered a near-standard, road-registered V8 Vantage. Driven by a team of employees, including Aston Martin's CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage - named 'Rose' by the team - finished 4th in class and 24th overall from a field of more than 200 specialised racing cars.

Since then Aston Martin has returned every year to compete in this gruelling endurance race, scoring a string of class victories and podiums with road-registered V8 and V12 Vantages and most recently the new four-door Rapide. Not only has this racing success spawned a burgeoning V8 Vantage GT4 customer programme run by Aston Martin Racing, but lessons learned in racing at the Nürburgring has led to aerodynamic and other performance developments being fed back into Aston Martin's road cars.
A generous standard specification and some unique options ensure the special edition Vantage N420 is both exclusive and distinctive, while also offering a 27kg weight saving - achieved through the application of carbon fibre - over the standard Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

The outside, wider sills combine perfectly with a carbon fibre splitter, side strakes and diffuser, while bold 10-spoke diamond turned alloy wheels complete with gloss black finish, black mesh vents and 'Graphitic' tailpipe finishers complete the co-ordinated look.

Inside the Vantage N420 offers an Iridium interior package, with graphite instruments, leather or Alcantara steering wheel, special N420 sill plaques and lightweight carbon fibre seats, complete with 'Race Track' stitching as in the Aston Martin V12 Vantage. Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and Park Distance Control are also standard.

Cementing the Vantage N420's credentials as a special edition Aston Martin V8 Vantage tailored for the most discerning and enthusiastic drivers, it is fitted with the normally optional Sports Pack. This package combines revised springs, dampers and anti-roll bars for even more responsive and dynamic handling, while retaining the V8 Vantage's renowned poise, balance and long distance ability. Finally, a new sports exhaust system delivers a suitably rousing soundtrack.

A further distinctive feature is the availability of a new range of optional Aston Martin 'Race Collection' paint schemes. Pairing bold body colours with contrasting hues for the cant rails and radiator grille surround, they celebrate the marque's racing heritage. All of the company's successful N24 Vantage racers are celebrated, with 'Rose' yellow, 'Kermit' green and 'Elwood' blue all featuring in the collection along with traditional Aston Martin Racing green. The white and black car shown in the accompanying images wears the equally striking 'Asia Cup' livery.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 prices start from £96,995.


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