Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dacia Duster Concept, 2009

The Dacia Duster Concept - Dacia's first concept crossover - is proud to be different. Seen from the driver's side, it is visibly a sporting coupé, yet passengers entering from the other side will see it as an MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) with a traditionally opening front door and rear-hinged rear door which suggest plush travelling refinement.
The Dacia Duster Concept's height of 1.49 metres, short front and rear overhangs (65cm and 80cm respectively), generous wheelbase (2.80m) and compact volumes (4.25m long, 1.64m wide) exude an overriding sense of robustness and sports appeal.

The front end features a broad bumper with two horizontal air-intake slits that suggest power. The grille features evident Dacia styling cues and is flanked by headlamps which wrap over the front wings to form a tapering line of light that stretches rearward towards the doors.
Viewed from the side, the clear-cut lines of the wheel arches and tall doors reinforce the impression that Dacia Duster Concept sits squarely on the road. The Anthracite Grey bodywork and extensive one-piece glazed sweep - made possible by the absence of a central pillar - highlights the styling of the sides which are unmistakably reminiscent of Dacia Duster Concept's graphic identity.

At the rear, the engraved Dacia logo further emphasizes the concept car's robust, dependable credentials.

Special care has gone into Dacia Duster Concept's aerodynamic efficiency (Cd: 0.30) and the fluid lines of the body sides enable air to flow freely along the vehicle's flanks before being jettisoned through the rear lights. The aerodynamic, wing-like forms of the roof-mounted direction indicators also channel airflow towards the rear. The sum of all this work has naturally been beneficial to fuel consumption, and Dacia Duster Concept stands out as a particularly environmentally-respectful crossover. Despite its performance potential, the particulate filterequipped 1.5 dCi 105hp engine (77kW) emits just 139g of CO2/km, equivalent to fuel consumption of 5.3 litres/100km.

The futuristic crossover showcases the brand's core values - namely simplicity, robustness and authenticity - in a surprising form, yet Dacia's hallmark ingenuity and generosity are immediately apparent in the way designers have approached Dacia Duster Concept's cabin.
The concept car's two-tone chocolate and blue interior exudes a sense of well-being and conviviality. The fully glazed roof floods the cabin with light, while the enveloping forms of the staggered slim-line front seats provide first class comfort and support. The driver's seat is incorporated in a structure which extends all the way from the sill to the centre console, forming a sculptural, one-piece ensemble that echoes the exterior's sporty appeal.

Dacia Duster Concept is an adaptable, modular concept car. The four-seat 'daily driver' layout can be swiftly converted into a leisure configuration in a matter of seconds. The passenger seat slides underneath the driver's seat on rails concealed in the floor to leave just one front seat and consequently free up a total carrying volume of two cubic metres. Thanks to a recess in the floor and a strap located under the dashboard, this space can be used to carry a trials mountain bike.

* Length: 4,250 mm
* Width: 1,640 mm
* Height: 1,495 mm
* Overall width, doors open: 4,285 mm
* Wheelbase: 2,804 mm
* Front track: 1,637 mm
* Rear track: 1,640 mm
* Unladen weight: 1,300 kg
* Boot volume: 470 dm3 (VDA)

Technical data
* Engine type: dCi 105
* Maximum power: 105 hp (77 kW)
* Maximum torque: 240 Nm at 2,000rpm
* 0-100 km/h: 9.6 s
* CO2 emissions: 139g/km
* Combined cycle fuel consumption: equivalent to 5.3 litres/100km
* Transmission: Manual six-speed gearbox
* Tyres: 245/35 ZR21
* Wheels: 21-inch diameter wheels
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Brabus E V12 Coupe, 2010

The Brabus E V12 Coupe celebrates its world debut as the world's fastest Gran Tourismo. Based on the new Mercedes E-Class Coupe, Brabus builds a luxurious 2+2-seater in small-series production. It is powered by a Brabus SV12 R Biturbo 800 twelve-cylinder displacement engine that produces 800 hp (788 bhp) / 588 kW of power and a peak torque of 1,420 Nm (1,047 lb-ft). Brabus accepted by the German Federal Vehicle Registration Agency (Kraftfahrtbundesamt) as an automobile manufacturer, offers this high-performance automobile capable of reaching speeds in excess of 370 km/h (230 mph) starting at 478,000 Euros MSRP.

Like the fourth-generation Brabus E V12 sedan the new E V12 Coupe is powered by a Brabus SV12 R Biturbo 800 displacement engine. Drawing upon decades of experience in developing and building high-performance vehicles the twelve-cylinder engine was fitted into the engine bay of the two-door E-Class.

The basis for this engine is the twelve-cylinder twin-turbo engine from the latest Mercedes 600 models. Displacement of the engine is increased from 5.5 to 6.3 liters (336 to 384 cu. in.) with the help of a special crankshaft, larger cylinder bore and correspondingly larger pistons. Both three-valve cylinder heads are optimized for mixture flow, and fitted with sport camshafts.
Brabus E V12 Coupe

Underneath the custom-made hood with integrated carbon-fiber RAM airbox is space for a completely newly developed air intake system. This twin-turbo system was designed from the ground up for the new E V12 generation. It includes two custom high-performance headers with integrated turbochargers and four water-to-air intercoolers. The stainless-steel high-performance exhaust system with free-flow metal catalysts was also custom-tailored for the confined space under the E-Class Coupe.

In addition, the Brabus engine specialists have developed a precision engine management system that controls injection, ignition and driving dynamics systems. The result is an optimal combination of impressive power yield and eco-friendly emissions that meet strict EURO IV exhaust limits.

The Brabus SV12 R Biturbo 800 engine is lubricated with high-tech motor oil from technology partner ARAL. It produces a rated power output of 800 hp (788 bhp) / 588 kW at 5,500 rpm. The even more impressive peak torque of 1,420 Nm (1,047 lb-ft), available already at a low 2,100 rpm, is limited electronically to 1,100 Nm (811 lb-ft).

Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a reinforced five-speed automatic transmission and a Brabus high-performance limited-slip differential. The Brabus E V12 comes standard with state-of-the-art driving stability programs that can be deactivated at the push of a button.

Performance of the coupe is as exceptional as that of the four-door model: The Brabus E V12 Coupe sprints from 0 - 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds, to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 9.9 seconds, and reaches 300 km/h (186 mph) after a mere 23.9 seconds. For street-legal use the top speed of the Gran Tourismo is limited electronically to 350 km/h (217 mph). Without the limiter the two-door twelve-cylinder car is capable of speeds in excess of 370 km/h (230 mph).

This extreme performance also places highest demands on the vehicle's aerodynamic properties. The Brabus designers went into the wind tunnel to develop a body conversion kit made from high-strength yet especially lightweight carbon fiber. The kit combines sporty design and aerodynamic efficiency to perfection.

The Brabus front was designed to reduce lift on the front axle and to provide all radiators of the V12 with an optimal supply of cooling air. Air outlets in the sides route the air quickly away from the heat exchangers.

A wider track means better directional stability at high speeds. Because of that Brabus has developed special carbon-fiber sport fenders with integrated air vents for the front axle. Special carbon-fiber rear fenders add 60 millimeters (2.4 in.) to the width of the coupe on the rear axle. The Brabus E V12 Coupe runs on especially wide wheels fitted with high-performance tires from Pirelli or YOKOHAMA. The 19-inch combination is perfect for the enormous top speed the car is capable of. The wheels are 9.5 inches and 10 inches wide and customers can choose from Brabus Monoblock designs VI, E, Q and S. Tires in size 265/30 ZR 19 are mounted on the front axle. Size 285/30 ZR 19 tires on the rear axle provide optimal traction.

Rocker panels with integrated illuminated Brabus logo and LED entrance lights route the air stream along the sides with minimum turbulence. They also lend the two-door car a longer, sleeker appearance.

The Brabus rear apron with carbon-fiber diffuser features a centrally mounted reflector and custom-tailored cutouts on either side for the Brabus quad sport exhaust system. The Brabus rear spoiler is essential for well-balanced aerodynamics at high speed.

To make the Brabus E V12 Coupe not only a superior road warrior but upon request also an extremely sporty racer on the track the suspension was completely redesigned. The redesign includes special suspension components on front and rear axle that offer a wider range of individual suspension settings.

These measures are complemented by a Brabus coil-over suspension that features a multitude of selectable settings for bound and rebound. The shock absorbers on the front and rear axle feature ten selectable settings for bound and rebound. The ride height has an adjustment range of 35 millimeters (1.4 inches). Sport sway bars can further minimize body roll during fast cornering.

The Brabus high-performance brake system meets the toughest demands, on the road or on the track. The front axle features 12-piston aluminum fixed calipers and vented and grooved steel brake discs measuring 380 x 37 millimeters (15.0 x 1.5 inches). The rear axle stops on six-piston aluminum fixed calipers gripping discs measuring 360 x 28 millimeters (14.2 x 1.1 inches). The Brabus high-performance brake system incorporates all functions of the standard Brake Assist system of the Mercedes E-Class.

The interior combines sporty character with luxurious ambiance. An ergonomically shaped sport steering wheel is part of the equipment list of the Brabus E V12 Coupe as are sport seats upholstered with the finest leather. The seats provide excellent seating comfort and lateral support.

Genuine carbon-fiber trim on dashboard, center console and doors adds further sporty highlights.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Daihatsu Materia Design Concept, 2008

The Materia's funky yet practical shape maximises interior space and was designed to be both distinctive and spirited. It is sold as both a Toyota and Daihatsu in Japan.

Its exceptionally short overhangs and flared wheelarches give a ground-hugging stance, while the squared-off passenger compartment promises - and delivers - outstanding space.

The front design is quite imposing with a chunky, deep bonnet and chiselled look to the headlamps and narrow but wide grille, cut into the deep bumper.

The Materia's rear also emphasises its width, strength and stability, emphasised by a swooping, low-mounted panel that connects the narrow rear lamps which gently curve over each rear wheelarch.

From the side, large 15 ins diameter spoked alloy wheels - linked by deep side skirts - further reinforce the message of stability. The generous 185/55 tyres combined with a wide track 'fill' the wheel openings.

Size Comparisons
The Daihatsu Materia's spacious cabin features both a generous interior width and length clothed in a compact body with excellent manoeuvrability thanks to good visibility and a tight 9.8 metre turning circle (kerb-to-kerb).

Its overall length of 3,800 mm is between the Renault Modus (3,792 mm) and Vauxhall Meriva (4,042 mm). The Daihatsu's width of 1,690 mm is almost identical to the 1,695 mm of the Renault and 1,694 mm of the Vauxhall.

The Materia's 1,635 mm height compares with the1,589 mm of the Modus and 1,624 mm of the Meriva, while the Daihatsu's wheelbase of 2,540 mm exceeds the 2,482 mm of the Renault but is slightly shorter than the Vauxhall's 2,630 mm.

Its 1,420 mm interior width far exceeds the Renault Modus which can only offer 1,280 mm. This, combined with an interior length of 1,950 mm (Vauxhall Meriva 1,825 mm) offers outstanding useable space.

Versatile, Funky-Looking Interior
The Materia's stylish and versatile interior includes a rear seat that has a rake-adjustable backrest which can also be fully reclined to form a bed, joining the equally fully-reclining front seats.

The rear seat also features a 60/40 split plus fore and aft slide adjustment of 160 mm. This allows a fully-flexible rear legroom/load space compromise. The rear tailgate opening is flush with the load floor for easy loading and unloading.

A compartment under the rear floor allows the storage of various items such as tools, while a deep bottle holder is also included in the side of the luggage compartment. Interior bottle holders can be found in both front and rear doors plus four in the centre console.

Meanwhile, the interior design itself is both funky and interesting with, for example, blue illumination of the front door armrests and circular front door speakers.

The centrally-mounted acrylic instrument panel creates a futuristic, three-dimensional look boosted by a swooping, stadium-shaped arc to the entire fascia.
Other distinctive features include a glossy black finish to the flush-fitting audio unit and side air-conditioning vents for a high-quality look.

Lively, Frugal, Advanced Petrol Engine
The new Daihatsu Materia features a lively and frugal 1.5 litre petrol engine offered with the choice of either five-speed manual of four-speed automatic transmission.

The engine itself is highly advanced and is similar to that fitted to the Daihatsu Terios compact SUV and can also be seen in 1.3 litre form in the Sirion supermini.

Featuring Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (DVVT) which enhances low-speed pulling power and high-rev response, the twin overhead camshaft unit is compact and light, with an alloy head and block.

Power is 103.3 PS at 6,000 rpm with torque of either 97.4 lb ft at 4,400 rpm for the Daihatsu Materia manual or 101.8 lb ft in the automatic. The engine has a 10.0:1 compression ratio and features a bore and stroke of 72 x 91.8 mm.

The five-speed manual gearbox and four-speed automatic both have carefully chosen ratios that provide sprightly acceleration from standstill yet relaxed cruising.

To further aid refinement, various sound-insulation measures enhance noise-suppression. These include asphalt sheets for the passenger floor plus fascia, engine compartment and body frame insulators. All four doors have double seals for a quality closing experience and further refinement boost.

World's First Self-Regenerating Catalyst
The new Sirion 1.3 litre launched in 2005 featured the world's first self-regenerating catalyst. This innovation is also standard on the new Copen 1.3 and now the new 1.5 litre Daihatsu Materia.

It effectively extends the life of the catalytic converter, reducing maintenance costs and is kinder to the environment as it keeps the catalyst 'healthier' over a higher mileage meaning the already low 169 g/km does not increase as the engine becomes older.
The revolutionary technology works by providing a self-regenerating capability in the particles of the precious metal which normally degrades.

European-Tuned Chassis
Daihatsu has tuned the Materia's chassis for European markets and the result is a firmly-damped but smooth ride and excellent control of body roll despite the car's higher-than average stance.

The power-steering is well-weighted, with good straight-line stability and reassuring self-centring. Meanwhile, the front and rear anti-roll bars coupled with generous low-profile tyres keep understeer well in check.

The semi-independent rear features a conventional torsion beam and coil springs with separate shock absorbers. The anti-roll bar is complemented by a curved shape to the torsion beam which further improves roll stiffness.

The Daihatsu Materia has a conventional hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system as opposed to the growing trend towards electric power-assistance. The benefits are greater feel and sensitivity.

High Safety Levels Safety is given high priority in the Daihatsu Materia, especially considering its likely roll as a family car. It therefore has all the latest life-saving and injury-reducing initiatives.

For example, both front seats have seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters. These are designed to provide just the right amount of restraint for the level of retardation.
Should parents wish to carry their offspring in a child seat placed on the front passenger seat, a switch can be used to disable the passenger airbag.

Twin front airbags and side airbags are also standard as are dual side-impact door beams. The body structure is designed to absorb all-angle impacts while maintaining survival space around the occupants.

Various materials are used around the cabin to minimise impact injury such as to the knees and lower legs, while the brake pedal features a special mechanism which reduces intrusion into the cabin.

The braking system features servo-assisted front ventilated disc brakes and rear drums. Anti-lock (ABS) is also standard as is Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) which further avoids the locking-up of individual wheels during severe braking.
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Want to drive fast? really seriously fast? you’re spoilt for choice at present – at least in terms of the machinery available, if not the roads to do it on... There’s the 253mph Bugatti Veyron, the 250+mph Koenigsegg CCXR and the Bristol Fighter T with a claimed top speed potential of 270mph, but which will be restricted to 225mph.
There’s also the Hennessey Venom Viper with a claimed top speed of 255mph.

The world’s most powerful production car, ever.
Boasting a truly gargantuan 1,183bhp, the small, little-known Washington State-based company claims a top speed capability of 273mph. In tests earlier this year on a closed section of Nevada highway the SSC managed 230mph in the two miles available, but had the originally intended 12 mile site not been hit by snow, then the Veyron could well have been humbled.

There’s little that’s impressive inside as fit, finish and detailing falls far short of the current supercar norm.
On the plus side the Aero TT is easy enough to climb in and out of, the leather seats are supportive, it’s reasonably spacious with ample headroom and the driving position is fine apart from the front wheel arch intruding into the footwell,

Despite the Aero TT’s massive torque, moving away sedately from a standstill requires a delicate balance of clutch and throttle.
It’s eager either to launch like a dragster, or stall. Despite SSC’s brochure claiming the TT’s rack and pinion steering is assisted.
Manoeuvring at parking speeds required strong arms and a firm, two-handed grip on the wheel, but once rolling the SSC is easy enough to drive with a precise gearchange and direct, accurate steering, even by mid-engined supercar standards.

* Engine - mid-mounted, all-alloy 16-valve V8 twin turbo
* Displacement - 6,348 cc (387.2 cu in)
* Power - 1,183 bhp (1,199 PS) @ 6,950 rpm (7,200 rpm redline)
* Torque - 1,094 lb/ft (1,484 Nm) @ 6,150 rpm
* Transmission - 6-speed manual, rear wheel drive
* 0-60 mph - 2.78 secs
* Standing 1/4 mile - 9.9 secs @ 144mph
* 60-0mph - 31.4 metres (103 ft)
* Top speed - 273 mph
* Chassis - steel tube space frame
* Body - carbon fibre composite, flat undertray with venturi tunnels
* Cd - 0.357
* Brakes - 14 inch vented, cross-drilled discs, 8-piston* calipers (front), 6-piston* (rear), (*see text)
* Suspension - double wishbone (front); upper rocker arm, lower wishbone (rear), remote reservoir, adjustable Penske dampers, coil-over springs, anti-roll bar
* Wheels - forged, 3-piece alloy, 19 x 9.5” (front), 20 x 13” (rear)
* Tyres - Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, 235/35 19 (front), 335/30 20 (rear)
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Artega GT, 2008

The Design features: agility, driving dynamics and safety

The high-grade drive components of the Volkswagen Group are installed as rear engine traverse to the direction of travel. The 3.6-litre V6 is the ideal drive for a vehicle of this class. Along with the highly praised and well-tried direct-shift gearbox, the engine is mounted in a compact module made of highstrength steel tubes. The backs of the comfortable sports seats fold back to make loading easier. Especially effective crash modules as well as a steel side-collision protection as essential features of the passive safety system protect the passengers with front and side airbags in the case of accident. To ensure a maximum of active safety, the Artega GT design integrates state-of-the-art driver assistance systems, such as ASP (Artega Stability Program) such as the electronic stability program ASP (Artega), ABS and the traction control TC. Just as in other super sports cars, four different drive programs can be selected at the Headunit: Normal (ASP with early intervention, TC on), Sport (ASP with later intervention, TC on), Race (ASP off, TC on) and Off (ASP off, TC off).

In designing the body and interior of the car, great care was taken to consider the needs and comfort of the occupants. The generous amount of space compared to the extremely compact overall dimensions, numerous convenient interior places to put things and two separate luggage compartments (one behind the seats and the other under the front hood) are exceptional for a car this size. Such storage conditions were made possible by the engine's transverse installation in the rear. Though the Artega GT provides phenomenal handling performance and drive capabilities, the chassis fine-tuning ensures that comfort in no way comes too short. Even long trips will be savoured in happy memory by the driver and passenger - and even if the top cruising range provided by the optional 80-litre tank is fully used.

Operation: paragon makes driving easier, more pleasant, and safer
The competence of the electronic specialists at paragon AG has provided comprehensive innovative systems for operation and driver information. One of the primary concerns of the Artega idea is to prove their benefit in the Artega GT.With innovative sensor buttons and the unique dual-pointer dashboard for road speed and engine speed, paragon offers a novel ambience as a significant, distinctive attribute of the Artega GT.These features are emphasized by a plaque with the inscription "Cockpit systems from paragon" in the interior of the vehicle.
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Ascari A10, 2007

Ascari A10, 2007

The British Supercar manufacturer, Ascari has produced the answer to the Ferrari Enzo FXX.

Whereas the Enzo FXX is not road legal, it was produced to be driven during track days only, the A10 is road legal so can be driven home and parked on your drive.

Designed, engineered and hand built in Banbury, England the A10 has 625bhp and weighs in at around 1200kg, thanks to its lightweight carbon fibre bodywork. Reaching 60mph in just 2.8 seconds and 100mph in less than 6 seconds, the manufacturer claims the A10 is the fastest road going production car around a race track.

The A10 is more than just a revamped KZ1, which has found success in its first year of competing in the GT3 in 2006. It has new body panels, a reworked engine and suspension, with extensive brake modifications to cope with the extra power. Some luxuries such as remote central locking, electric windows and door mirrors, climate control and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm system.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aston Martin DBS: Design, 2008

The Aston Martin DBS is manufactured using the finest materials, with a combination of hand-finishing and pioneering high-technology processes. From the exceptional quality of the design and finish to the advanced production techniques employed to save weight and create strength, the DBS is both a technological masterpiece and a powerful visual and tactile experience, inside and out.

The Aston Martin DBS is the culmination of the DB bloodline, a synthesis of race-bred technology and road-going practicality that can be traced back to the iconic Aston Martin DB2, DB3S and DB4 GT, and is continued today with the DBR9 and DBRS9 race cars. The DBS's powerful, flowing form fuses the visual language of the DBR9 GT1 race car with the innate elegance of the DB series. Lower and tauter than other Aston Martin production models, the DBS has subtly flared wheel arches accommodating standard 20" diameter wheels and tyres. These provide excellent stability and grip, while giving the car a muscular and athletic stance that evokes the DBR9 and DBRS9. The design process involved continuous revision and honing of the Aston Martin DBS's surfaces, ensuring that the shapes and forms represent perfectly the car's inherent power, while never diluting the fundamental proportions that are the essence of every Aston Martin.

The DBS's aerodynamic enhancements are shaped by Aston Martin's racing experience. A carbon-fibre splitter and a new front bumper design help channel airflow around the car's wider bodywork. The aerodynamics team worked hand in hand with the modelling team to ensure that the forms and surfaces of Aston Martin DBS were sculpted for inherent stability at high speeds.

The interior of the Aston Martin DBS represents the epitome of Aston Martin's commitment to using materials honestly, without disguise or embellishment. Lightweight materials are used throughout to save weight; door pulls are made from carbon-fibre, for example, and the carpet has been woven with lighter fibres to save valuable kilograms. Special semi-aniline leather is used throughout the cabin, saving weight as well as giving a soft feel and distinctive aroma.

Aston Martin DBS Specification

* Two-door coupe body style with 2+0 seating
* Bonded aluminium VH structure
* Aluminium, magnesium alloy and carbon-fibre composite body
* Extruded aluminium door side-impact beams
* High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps (main beam)
* LED rear lamps and side repeaters

* All-alloy, quad overhead camshaft, 48-valve, 5935cc V12.
* Compression ratio 10.9:1
* Front-mid mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
* Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
* Max power: 380kW (510bhp/517 PS) at 6500rpm
* Max torque: 570Nm (420 lb.ft) at 5750rpm
* Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (0-62mph) in 4.3 seconds
* Max speed: 302 km/h (191mph)

* Rear-mid mounted, six-speed manual gearbox
* Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre propeller shaft
* Limited-slip differential
* Final-drive ratio 3.71:1

Wheels and Tyres
* Front: 8.5'' x 20'' Pirelli P Zero 245/35
* Rear: 11'' x 20'' Pirelli P Zero 295/30

* Rack and pinion, Servotronic speed-sensitive power-assisted steering, 3.0 turns lock-to-lock. Column tilt and reach adjustment

* Front: Independent double wishbone incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bare and monotube adaptive dampers
* Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube adaptive dampers
* Adaptive Damping System (ADS) with Track mode

* Front: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 398mm diameter with six-piston calipers
* Rear: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs, 360mm diameter with four-piston calipers
* Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Track mode
* Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
* Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
* Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
* Traction control

* Length: 4721mm (185.9'')
* Wheelbase: 2740mm (107.9'')
* Width: 1905mm (75'') (exc. Mirrors) 2060mm (81.1'') (inc. Mirrors)
* Fuel tank capacity: 78 litres (17.2 Imp.galls, 20.5 US galls)
* Height: 1280mm (50.4'') Weight: 1695kg (3737lb)
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Aston Martin DB9 LM, 2008

Aston Martin DB9 LM, 2008

The Aston Martin DB9 LM and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400. Both special editions draw inspiration from the company's recent achievements at Le Mans and the N?rburgring 24-hour races.

The Aston Martin DB9 LM celebrates Aston Martin's GT1 class victory in the Le Mans 24-hour endurance classic in June with the Aston Martin DBR9 - a race car derived from the Aston Martin DB9.

The special edition car, in Coupe form only with Touchtronic transmission, includes a unique Sarthe Silver exterior paint finish, meshes and rear crossbar finished in Magnum Silver and red brake calipers. Inside, the Aston Martin DB9 LM is fitted with handcrafted black leather finish, perforated leather inserts, unique 'Tertre Rouge' facia trim and numbered sill plaque. The car is also equipped with the normally optional DB9 Sports Pack as standard, with colour keyed and diamond turned alloy wheels.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alfa Romeo 159, 2009

Alfa Romeo 159 is an exclusive sedan combining refined Italian style with the "elegant sportiness" of Alfa Romeo. The Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon on the other hand combines the style, performance and handling of a genuine sports car with the flexibility of use and luggage space versatility of a prestigious station wagon.

In detail, the Alfa Romeo 159 is fitted with the new 1.75 liter TBi engine (Euro 5) - maximum output 200 HP from 4750 to 5500 rpm and maximum torque of 320 Nm at 1400 rpm - giving it a maximum speed of 235 km/h and acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in barely 7.7 seconds.

The powerful Alfa Romeo 159 sedan is offered in the TI sporting version, featuring lowered geometry, bigger tires, 19 inch alloy rims, miniskirts and large aluminum brakes with red calipers. So, a very determined-looking car with a decidedly "ground-hugging" look. Inside, the TI environment is recognizable from the shaped sports seats in perforated leather with the Alfa Romeo logo stitched in red, plus the steering wheel with sports grip and the gear knob covered in leather with red stitching.

The internal coverings are black and the insignia are in "brushed dark aluminum". The same impression of sportiness appears in the instrument panel graphics, the pedals and the aluminum scuff plate with TI logo. The particular version comes with high-end equipment including triple-zone climate control, VDC system with Electronic Q2, Blue&Me Nav GPS and entertainment system, Bose Hi-Fi system and Cruise Control.

Next to this car, the public can admire an Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon equipped with the new 2.0 liter 170 HP JTDM engine (Euro 5). With this engine, the car can reach 216 km/h and takes 9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. The version displayed at Geneva is a Sport which is differentiated from the outside by the exclusive 18 inch alloy rims with the new "Turbine" design.

the eye is caught by the sports steering wheel with radio commands, the gear knob covered in leather with black stitching and the new sports seats covered in leather. Giving a further impression of sportiness, the head lining, the parcel shelf and the pillar fairings are black, while the badges are in "brushed aluminum" and the instrument panel employs "sporty" graphics. Finally, the equipment (standard and optional) offered on this car is very high-spec: triple-zone climate control, Cruise Control, VDC system (with Electronic Q2), Bose Hi-Fi system, GPS system (with telephone and voice commands), and Visibility Pack (rain, mist and twilight sensors).
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Alfa Romeo 8C Spider, 2009

The Alfa Romeo 8C Spider's turn to take centre stage and project into the future the values of technology and emotion which belong to the Alfa Romeo legacy.
Obviously, the new vehicle inherits all the winning features of the Coupè version. Starting with the two "sport seats" setup and the fascinating exterior lines, which characterized by sculpted and finely designed bodywork, "dress" the automotive and mechanical excellence of the model.

The interior, the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider guarantees a sophisticated environment, thanks to the vast use of composite materials in the dashboard and internal panels, as well as the use of anatomical seats, produced in carbon fibres, that can be adjusted according to the physical characteristics of the driver. Furthermore, for maximum possible personalization of the interior, the client can chose between different environments and aesthetic solutions. All distinguishable by the particular attention to detail and artisan workmanship: from the contrasting stitches, colour tone and exclusive matchings.

In analogous fashion to the interior, the same care has been taken in realizing the exteriors: from the alloy wheels to the brake calipers, every detail can be chosen to your particular design, because every Alfa Romeo 8C Spider can only look similar to itself. An unmistakable car made to measure for the owner's personality. The unique and un-repeatable Alfa Romeo 8C Spider announces the pleasure of a sporty drive with full respect for the brand's legacy.

Like in the best Alfa Romeo tradition, hidden under this pretty "dress" is the best of what's available in the field of mechanics and propulsions. Firstly, the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider has a rigid and light structure (the compact frame is made in steel for maximum torsion to guarantee a drive which is always precise and sure, whilst the body is in carbon fibre).

Under the banner of sophisticated technology, the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider adopts the new "8 cylinder mated to a 6-speed gearbox with 90°" and a capacity of 4691 cm3 which has been designed with one specific aim: guarantee extraordinary performances without relinquishing the fluidity of the gearshift or the ease of use in any driving context. A powerful and progressive propulsion is born with a top power of 450 CV at 7.000 rpm and a maximum torque of 7.500 rpm. The engine has been mated to a self-shifting 6-speed gearshift (with computerized selection of the gears via levers behind the steering-wheel), and a self-blocking differential unit.

As in the legendary Formula 1 vehicles from the 50's, the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider sports the Transaxle design which guarantees the best equilibrium in the partioning of weight. The propulsion is placed in the rear whilst the gearshift is placed behind along the differential and hydraulic motor unit. The Transaxle design foresees a tight connection between motor and gearshift, which is fitted with a self-blocking differential. The two groups are linked by a tubular element, at the interior of which rotates the transmission driving shaft: in this manner the load is distributed in an optimal manner between the front and rear suspension.

So much power can only be entrusted to an excellent braking system: the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider is fitted with carbo-ceramic Brembo (CCM), 380 mm in diameter on the front-wheels and 360 mm on the back-wheels. The solution guarantees a powerful brake action even in the most intense uses. The marked reduction in weight, in comparison to a traditional set-up, reduces the masses unsupported by the vehicle and so improves the dynamic performance and driving comfort. Furthermore, the mono-block calipers guarantee maximum rigidity and minimal deformation, given the high loads generated by the pressure of the pistons on the brake-linings.
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Renault Clio, 2009

New Renault Clio GT, a more purposeful personality

Styling: New Renault Clio GT can be recognized by its exclusive Malta Blue body colour and expressive, racy lines. It sits squarely on its 16-inch "Dark Anthracite" aluminium alloy wheels, while its more assertive front end features a gloss black grille and distinctive black headlamp masks. The lines of the sills point to the performance of the GT version's specific suspension. Meanwhile, the twin exhaust tailpipes and rear lip spoiler underline New Renault Clio GT's undeniable sports tourer looks. Inside, eye-catching sporty details include drilled aluminium pedal covers and extra side support for the seats, as seen on New Clio Renault Sport, plus GT-badging for the front seats.

Suspension: Renault Sport Technologies' engineers have paid special attention to ensure that New Renault Clio GT's chassis combines first class dynamic ability with a comfortable ride. The stiffness of the front springs and the calibration of the front dampers have been uprated by 15 per cent compared to the previous version. The variable-rate coil springs at the rear are 15 per cent stiffer, too, and the new rear dampers feature bigger diameter rods. These solutions ensure enhanced control of body movement and more precise cornering without detracting from comfort. To counter body roll, the front anti-roll bar diameter has been increased from 20.5 to 21mm, while the rear suspension is equipped with the same stiffer bushes as New Clio Renault Sport. The directional stability of the rear end has been made more precise by curbing of parasitic movements. New Renault Clio GT's power steering is also more direct for swifter response and greater driving pleasure.

Powertrains: the GT version is available with a choice of three engines (depending on market): the 1.6 16V 128 (exclusive to New Renault Clio GT), the 2.0 16V 140 and the dCi 105. They all drive through the TL4 six-speed gearbox.

New Renault Clio's interior styling: perceived quality and user friendly

New Renault Clio's interior styling was guided by a desire to provide a sense of well-being and perceived quality. The dashboard is available with a soft-touch finish and incorporates clear, easy-toread instruments, while the fully-integrated screen of the Carminat TomTom® satnav system is positioned at the top of the centre console. New Renault Clio is a car in which drivers feel immediately at home. The practical controls have been made even more user-friendly, including the short steering wheel-mounted stalks. The switch for the cruise control and speed limiter has been moved to the centre console, alongside the parking brake, and the dashboard display permits drivers to check whether the cruise control/speed limiter is activated or not. Meanwhile, special care has gone into the interior trim, with a range of elegant new ambiences depending on equipment level. Customers can choose a bright, relaxing hue, or might prefer a darker, sportier feel such as that proposed for New Renault Clio GT.

Benchmark cabin space and comfort

New Renault Clio boasts a class-leading overall cabin space index, with rear shoudler-room of 1,362mm in the case of three-door versions and 1,343mm for five-door and estate versions. The sensation of space is further accentuated by the generous headroom which is 866mm at the rear, while rear occupants benefit from kneeroom of 162mm, too. Indeed, New Renault Clio comfortably sits passengers who are more than 1.88m tall (95th percentile of the European population).

Grand tourer quality acoustic performance

New Renault Clio claims soundproofing performance from the next segment up. Its architecture has been carefully engineered to filter out engine and transmission-generated noise, as well as road noise. Care has also been taken with the sound damping between the cabin and the engine, while wind noise has been reduced thanks notably to the use of inflatable inserts in the structure's hollow sections.

Efficient suspension performance for a comfortable, reassuring ride

Responsive, environmentally-friendly engines

The range of engines and transmissions has been carefully selected to bring out the best in New Renault Clio's dynamic performance. These powertrains are respectful of the environment, too, thanks notably to:
* a choice of dCi engines, two of which emit less than 120g of CO2/km (e.g. the dCi 85: 117g of CO2/km) and the availability of a particulate filter for a certain number of them,
* the TCe 100, which boasts the lowest CO2 emissions of any 100hp petrol engine,
* a 1.2 16V engine capable of running on alternative fuels, namely an E85 bioethanolcompatible version and an LPG version (depending on market).

The versions of New Renault Clio powered by the 1.2 16V 75, TCe and dCi 70/85/105 engines meet all three of the criteria necessary to qualify for the Renault eco² signature.

The petrol line-up comprises five powerplants (depending on market): the 1.2 16V 75hp (55kW), the TCe 100 (74kW), the 1.6 16V 110hp (82kW), the 1.6 16V 128hp (94kW) and the 2.0 16V 140hp (102kW). An E85 bioethanol-compatible version of the 1.2 16V 75hp is also available. Modifications have been made to enable this engine, which is based on an existing block from the range, to adapt automatically to this type of fuel. The most notable changes concern the fuel tank, fuel system, injection system and combustion chambers.

Safety: a priority for Renault, and a self-evidence for New Renault Clio

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Renault Megane Coupe Concept, 2008

The Renault has chosen the Geneva Motor Show to take the wraps off its Mégane Coupé Concept show car which foreshadows a compact production coupe to be released at a later date. Like New Laguna, it points to an evolution towards more fluid, sportier styling from Renault. Renault Mégane Coupé Concept targets drivers who are not only drawn by the notion of driving pleasure but who also seek to express their personality through their vehicle. Mégane Coupé Concept symbolizes Renault's vision of what a genuine compact sports coupe should deliver, namely character and dynamism, two traits epitomized by the show car's unprecedented door-opening kinematics.

The juxtaposition of headlamp modules with aluminium-finish air-intakes also conveys an impression of fluidity and movement. The two rows of main and dipped beam lights sit on a crystal-like striated strip which fills the sidelight and daytime running light functions.
The headlamps use high-performance light-emitting diodes which are both long-lasting and extremely efficient. The foglamps also employ LED technology and blend harmoniously with the dynamic, front-end styling.
The shoulder-lines flow along the curvaceous sides before culminating in a squat rear-end which expresses power and movement.

The cabin: a compelling extension of the exterior's dynamic voluptuousness
The interior is redolent of the world of contemporary furniture. The independent, asymmetric front seats, which rise up from the sills, seem to float in midair. Their wafer-like forms express an airy lightness, while their enveloping design is a pledge of comfort and holds the occupants firmly in place. The aperture revealed by the open doors carries over to the front seat shells and the upper part of the two rear seats.
This sculptural, one-piece structure, which is finished in fire red lacquer, ensures a seamless link between the exterior and the cabin. The centre console extends through to the rear seats and its layered design recalls the striated bar of the headlamp modules.

The futuristic, ethereal dashboard features expressive, flowing lines and can be divided into two distinct sections: the red lacquered main structure and black nubuck inserts which can hold small items. This embedded zone houses the sophisticated instrumentation which takes its inspiration from aviator-style watches, including a speedometer which displays the speed in analogue form on the periphery and in digital form in the centre, plus an analogue rev-counter. Both feature black metallic backgrounds with white graphics and red backlighting.

The cabin equipment is modern and intuitive
The different controls have been inspired by the Renault-pioneered Touch Design approach and are both simple and practical. The central multimedia control is coupled with a display divided into three zones. The central part displays all journey-related information (navigation, radio, music, video, Bluetooth telephone), while the screens either side show the images relayed by cameras incorporated in the exterior mirrors. Renault Mégane Coupé Concept is locked and unlocked using a Samsung F700 mobile phone which serves as a hands-free card and connects to the centre console. Both rear passengers benefit from a portable Samsung P2 audio/video multimedia player with touch screen which they can use to swap files using the mp3/video Bluetooth controls.
The four-zone climate control system allows each passenger to select the temperature they prefer using controls housed either side of the dashboard in the case of the front passengers or on the front seatbacks for rear occupants.
Special care has also gone into ensuring that the cabin is brightly lit. The red backlighting of the instruments contrasts with the surrounding black backgrounds. Meanwhile, the panoramic windscreen extends over the roof to provide additional clarity during the day and blue-hued cabin lighting at night.

A show car dedicated to passion and driving pleasure
Renault Mégane Coupé Concept's generous bumper, wide, low grille and alveolar air-intake point to the presence of a high-performance powerplant under the bonnet.
Indeed, Renault Mégane Coupé Concept is powered by a 200hp (147kW) 2.0 Turbo petrol engine which delivers torque of 280Nm at 2,600rpm and peak power of 200hp at 5,800rpm to ensure punch and flexibility at all engine speeds for everyday motoring pleasure. Mated to a manual six-speed gearbox, the 2-litre turbocharged unit drives Renault Mégane Coupé Concept from a standstill to 100kph in just 7.2 seconds, yet it returns economical fuel consumption of just 6.5 litres/100km (154g of CO2/km).

* Length (mm) 4,514
* Width (mm) 1,908
* Height (mm) 1,371
* Height with doors open (mm) 2,085
* Wheelbase (mm) 2,749
* Front track (mm) 1,658
* Rear track (mm) 1,648
* Front overhang (mm) 950
* Rear overhang (mm) 815
* Unladen weight (kg) 1,310
* Boot volume (litres) 290

Technical data
* Engine 2.0 T petrol (200hp)
* Power (hp) 200hp (147kW)
* Maximum torque (Nm) 280Nm at 2,600rpm
* Acceleration from standstill to 100kph (s) 7.2
* Standard cycle CO2 emissions / fuel consumption 154g/km / 6.5 litres/100km
* Gearbox Six-speed manual gearbox
* with 'stop and start' system
* Transmission Front-wheel drive
* Tyres 245/35 ZR21
* Wheels 21-inch
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