Saturday, September 10, 2011

Toyota Land Cruiser, 2010


Toyota Land Cruiser, 2010

The Toyota Land Cruiser enjoys a special status in the global market as a vehicle that has proved its tough, lasting and reliable qualities in the most extreme environments. This pedigree has provided the platform for the development of an all-new Toyota Land Cruiser that goes further than ever before to deliver a balance of go-anywhere performance with the poise, comfort and refinement motorists want in normal day-to-day driving.

Makoto Arimoto, new Toyota Land Cruiser's Chief Engineer explains: "Generally speaking, it's considered difficult to achieve both good off-road and on-road performance in the same vehicle. But with the new Land Cruiser, rather than making a half-hearted attempt at offering 50:50 ratio between on and off-road capabilities, we put no less than 100 per cent into developing both. We believe we have succeeded in refining and improving both of these seemingly conflicting qualities."

The success of new Toyota Land Cruiser is built on three core product values:
    * Quality, durability and reliability, building on Land Cruiser's long and distinguished history and reputation for lasting performance.
    * Unrivalled balance of on and off-road driving performance, supported by advanced suspension and driver aid technologies.
    * Refined and versatile interior, offering a functional but luxurious and comfortable on-board environment.

New Toyota Land Cruiser benefits from a higher level of advanced but user friendly handling and guidance features that help the driver tackle the most challenging routes. At the same time new suspension technology and on-board monitors make Land Cruiser more comfortable and easier to manoeuvre through everyday urban traffic, too. Clever interior packaging provides highly flexible seating and luggage space arrangements, with generous space for up to seven on board. Most models enjoy a high specification of luxury features, including a surround sound premium audio system, triple-zone automatic air conditioning and a DVD/gaming entertainment package for rear seat passengers, creating a welcoming environment inside the vehicle whatever the driving conditions outside might be like.

The design of the new Toyota Land Cruiser is true to its heritage and projects the qualities of a vehicle that is robust, powerful and entirely at home in any environment.

At the front there is a new over-size bumper design with integral fog lamps, which emphasises Land Cruiser's powerful stance. The impact of the front overhang on the off-road driving approach angle has been minimised by sharply trimming the lower section. The new front grille has vertical bars, highlighted in chrome and silver finishes on higher grade versions, framed by headlamp clusters with cylindrical high and low beam lamps and turn indicators that extend into the wings so they are visible from the side.

In profile, new Toyota Land Cruiser's displays fluid and dynamic lines, with the cowl moved 65mm forwards, the belt line raised by 20mm and integral front and rear wheelarches flared towards the rear of the vehicle, like those on the larger Toyota Land Cruiser V8.

At the rear high-visibility LED lamp clusters flank the side-hinged tailgate, which is inset deep into the rear bumper to provide a practical, level access step, protected by a hard-wearing cover. The tailgate includes a top-hinged glass hatch, giving easy access to the load space, particularly in tight parking spots where opening of the full tailgate might be impeded. The hatch can be unlocked and opened one-handed, using the smart key or a button release next to the bottom left hand corner of the glass. An integral roof spoiler houses the rear screen wiper and high-mounted LED stop light.

The door mirror-mounted turn indicators and the rear lamps use LEDs in place of conventional bulbs. These light up more quickly, giving other drivers more time to react to vehicle braking, and they use less electricity.


Seamless bodywork with minimal panel gaps and a series of aerodynamic enhancements have reduced the vehicle's coefficient of drag (Cd) from 0.37 (current model) to 0.35, which in return supports a marked improvement in high-speed cruising fuel economy.

Aerodynamic efficiency has been improved by reducing the overall height by 15mm, and by introducing front and rear spoilers to channel airflow under the body and direct it cleanly away from the trailing edge of the roof. Deflectors inside the engine compartment correct the flow of air through the radiator grille to reduce turbulence, and the design of the front bumper includes extended corners to push air away from the sides of the front tyres, making for a smoother rearward airflow. Front and rear spats are fitted to manage airflow around the tyres and cut turbulence.


To preserve Land Cruiser's agile character, there are only modest increases in external dimensions: the new model is 45mm longer and 10mm wider than its predecessor, with a minimum turning radius of 5.8m.

The wheelbase (2,790mm) and rear overhang (1,075mm) remain the same and clever design of the new front bumper ensures that, although the front overhang is longer by 45mm (at 895mm), the 32° approach angle is unchanged. The departure angle is 25° (24° with electrically modulated rear air suspension) and the ramp breakover angle is 22°.


New Toyota Land Cruiser is equipped with a comprehensive and technically advanced range of active and passive on and off-road safety features. Advanced engineering and sophisticated electronic systems provide a high level of protection while at the same time making driving more rewarding, helping the driver explore and enjoy the limits of the vehicle's performance.

Body structure

Collisions between tall vehicles, such as SUVs, and passenger cars can result in the larger vehicle riding up over the smaller one. To counter this risk, Toyota works to ensure the safety systems of both vehicles involved in a collision can be used to their maximum potential.

To this end, the front crumple zone in the new Land Cruiser's frame is set at a height equivalent to that of an average passenger car. The frame and body are designed to effectively channel and absorb impact energies to help protect all parties involved, even those on the receiving of a collision in a smaller vehicle.

Numerous measures have been taken to control body deformation in a frontal collision, while preserving the structural integrity of the cabin. Reinforcements in the A-pillars have a multi-layer construction between the roof rail reinforcement and cowl to give increased buckling strength and improved energy sustainability when buckled, which helps limit body deformation. In addition, the lower front pillar reinforcements also have a multi-layer construction and high-strength outer rocker panel reinforcements have been introduced.

Using high-tensile sheet steel for the front pillar and roof rail reinforcement improves side collision performance. The roof header reinforcement has a closed top and bottom cross-section, giving added strength and floor cross-members are strategically placed to effectively distribute impact forces - measures which both further help to reduce the risk cabin deformation.

Pedestrian protection

New Toyota Land Cruiser's bonnet, cowl and front wings are all designed to absorb as much energy as possible in the event of a collision with a pedestrian.

The bonnet has a deep, energy-absorbing profile with longitudinal reinforcement ribs. Crush points and holes behind the bonnet striker reinforcement ensure there is an ample impact absorption zone.

The front wing mounting brackets have crush points for effective energy absorption, and the wings themselves incorporate energy-absorbing protectors, with a construction designed to slip down in a head impact, so reducing the reaction force sustained by the pedestrian.

Airbags and active headrests
New Land Cruiser is equipped as standard with seven SRS airbags: driver's dual-stage front airbag, a new driver's knee airbag, passenger front airbag, front side airbags and full-length curtain airbags, giving head protection to outer seat occupants in all three rows.

The front seats are fitted with seatbelts with pretensioners and new-design active headrests that help prevent whiplash injury. Extra protection is provided through a new seatback design, allied to a headrest shaped to sit as close as possible to the occupant's head in normal use. In a rear impact, the force of the body on the seatback causes the headrest to move up and forward to close the gap between the head and headrest, thus significantly reducing the risk of whiplash.

High Intensity Discharge headlamps and Adaptive Front-lighting
LC4 and LC5 versions of new Toyota Land Cruiser are fitted with High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs in the low beam headlamp projectors, which emit a near-daylight colour and give wider and longer illumination. The bulbs are also low-energy and have a long lifespan.

An Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) works in conjunction with the HID headlamps, swivelling the low beam in line with vehicle speed and steering angle to provide better lighting through bends and when turning at junctions. AFS also has a dynamic levelling function which maintains a constant beam height, whatever the load on board, or change in vehicle posture.

Braking and stability control systems
New Toyota Land Cruiser's servo-assisted braking system uses new 388mm ventilated front discs with width increased to 32mm. Four-piston callipers with larger pistons are used for improved stopping power and fade-free performance. At the rear there are 312mm ventilated discs with floating callipers.

The vehicle comes as standard with a full range of braking, traction control and stability systems: ABS with EBD and Brake Assist; Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC).

During emergency braking, the stop lamps automatically flash to alert following drivers.
Further brake control systems are provided specifically to enhance off-road performance and ease of use in taxing conditions, including Multi-terrain ABS, Active Traction Control (A-TRC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). Details of their operation can be found in the Off-Road Performance section.

Much of Land Cruiser's legendary off-road toughness can be attributed to its robust and durable body-on-frame construction. This concept has been carried over from the previous generation model, but with rigidity increased by 11 per cent.

Another advantage over the monocoque design used by many rival SUVs is the ability of the ladder frame to absorb vibrations and noise from the engine, drivetrain and road surface, so limiting NVH disturbance in the cabin. To further absorb NVH and aid a comfortable ride, the frame-to-body mounts are packed with insulating rubber.

New Toyota Land Cruiser uses an extensively revised version of the front independent double wishbone and rear four-link rigid suspension system that was used in its predecessor model, retuned for greater ride comfort and better steering feel.

At the front a long wheel stroke has been retained and the shock absorbers and springs have been optimised. The shocks themselves are larger than before. The lower arm and knuckle have been reinforced and all the bushings have been retuned. To achieve better handling stability, the roll steer ratio has been modified from five to eight degrees.
At the rear the long wheel stroke has been enhanced with optimised springs and shock absorbers, with, again, larger shocks adopted. Bushings have been retuned and the axle housing has been reinforced for added strength and durability.
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition, 2011


Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition, 2011

The 2006 Corvette Z06 was introduced, it represented the closest connection to the Corvette race cars ever. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 closed the gap between racing and production even further. In 2010, Corvette continues its tradition of track-to-street technology transfer with the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition.

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is another example of the expanded Corvette line-up. Five years ago, customers had the choice of a Corvette coupe or convertible. With the addition of the Z06, Grand Sport coupe and convertible and ZR1, Corvette enthusiasts now have more choices than ever.

The limited edition Z06 will boast Brembo carbon ceramic brakes with specific dark gray metallic calipers. These powerful brakes were first introduced on the ZR1. Black 20-spoke 19-inch front/20-inch rear wheels complement the car's Michelin PS2 tires. Other mechanical features include Magnetic Selective Ride Control for the first time on the Z06 and enhanced cooling. The car also features a special carbon pattern engine cover.

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition will be available in two colors: Inferno Orange and the all-new Supersonic Blue. Black headlamps and mirrors, a ZR1-style body color spoiler, body color door handles, carbon fiber raised hood, and black carbon fiber rockers and splitter enhance the Z06's dynamic design and reduce mass and aerodynamic lift. For track events, customers can also install the Euro-styled racing numbers that come with each car.

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition's ebony leather and suede interior is complemented by blue or orange seat stitching to match the exterior color chosen. Other features include a unique steering wheel emblem, sill plate and logoed headrest. The suede used on the steering wheel, shifter, seat inserts, armrests and doors add to the luxury of this limited edition Z06.

An optional Z07 performance package that includes the mechanical upgrades introduced on the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition can be added to a regular 2011 Z06. This package also includes Competition Gray 20-spoke wheels and all the chassis and cooling upgrades.

The CFZ Z06 carbon fiber package includes black carbon fiber rockers, splitter and roof panel with the full-width body color spoiler. It can also be purchased with or without the Z07 package on regular Z06 models.
The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition, as well as the new Z07 and CFZ Z06 option packages will be available in late summer of 2010.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GMC Sierra Hybrid Crew Cab, 2009


GMC Sierra Hybrid Crew Cab, 2009

GMC announced the 2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid, a powerful full-size pickup that achieves 40-percent greater city fuel economy and a 25-percent improvement in overall fuel economy while delivering the capability expected of a full-size truck - including a 6,100-pound (2,767 kg) towing capacity.

Partnering General Motors' patented two-mode hybrid system and a powerful 6.0L gas V-8, the Sierra Hybrid delivers highly efficient performance, including all-electric driving up to 30 mph (48 km/h). That allows fuel savings to be realized even when the truck is fully loaded or towing a trailer.

The GMC Sierra Hybrid goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2008 and is based on the strong and capable Sierra platform that was introduced for the 2007 model year. It will be offered in the Crew Cab body style on both 2WD and 4WD models. Each model is equipped with several standard, popular features, including StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, a locking rear axle and a trailering package. Sierra Hybrid also offers dual-stage frontal air bags and head curtain side air bags, and it is the only full-size truck with five-star side-impact ratings in federal crash tests.

Hybrid details
The Sierra Hybrid's fuel-saving performance is derived from GM's advanced Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS), which work in concert with the standard 6.0L V-8 gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late intake valve closing (LIVC) technology. GM's hybrid technology system not only enables the Sierra to launch and drive up to 30 mph on electricity alone, it also allows the Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical V-4 mode for longer periods.

As part of the vehicle's emission control system, the ESS is warranted for eight years/100,000 miles.

With GM's two-mode hybrid system, the electric power used to propel the vehicle is generated by the hybrid system itself. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is coasting, the electric motors within the hybrid system create electricity that is stored in the 300-volt battery. This stored energy is used to move the vehicle and the regenerative braking cycle is renewed.

The two-mode hybrid system provides seamless, dependable power on demand in an efficient package. In fact, its electric motor is less than half the size of those in single-mode hybrid systems. This technology was developed and is still used in fleets of hybrid transit buses in more than 70 North American and European cities. Scaled-down for use in passenger vehicles, the two-mode system delivers fuel savings where it is needed most - in large vehicles with high levels of capability. The two-mode system was first introduced on the 2008 Yukon Hybrid. It is a core part of GM's energy diversity efforts, which are centered on reducing dependence on petroleum, improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and minimizing the automobile's impact on the environment.

With the fuel savings of the hybrid system and Sierra's 26-gallon (98-liter) fuel tank, the Sierra Hybrid has a cruising range of more than 500 miles (800 km).

Quiet and smooth
Integration of the hybrid system on the Sierra is seamless - the battery pack is located beneath the rear seat - and perceptible only in what it lacks: noise.

Contributors to the quiet driving experience:
  •     New exhaust system and resonator tuned for the 6.0L engine's Active Fuel Management operation
  •     Additional engine intake induction tuning for reduced interior noise and pleasing sound quality
  •     Low-rolling resistance, "quiet-tuned" P265/65R18 tires for reduced road noise
  •     Electrically driven 300-volt air conditioning compressor reduces vibration and allows the standard, tri-zone HVAC system to cool the passenger compartment even when the gasoline engine is shut off
  •     Electrically driven 42-volt variable-assist power steering reduces vibration and provides up to a 0.5-mpg fuel economy improvement by reducing parasitic losses common in belt-driven hydraulic systems
  •     Energy Storage System (ESS) cooling system internal fan is tuned to be quiet at low vehicle speeds when the fan could more easily be heard by the occupants

Trailering performance

In addition to increased fuel economy, the GMC Sierra Hybrid's electrically variable transmission also provides tremendous trailering capability, enhancing driving smoothness and quality when towing. Electric drive is enabled up to approximately 30 mph (48 km/h), even when towing, allowing fuel savings when the truck is towing a trailer.
The EVT incorporates grade braking and tap up/tap down shift control. It also benefits towing on curves or lower-speed back roads, as exceptionally smooth gear transitions eliminate the "shift shock" torque disruption that can occur during abrupt shifts, such as when slowing or braking.
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GMC Granite Concept, 2010

GMC Granite Concept, 2010

Combining a decidedly urban-industrial design aesthetic with functionality aimed at young professionals, the GMC Granite Concept takes the brand's trademark capability in a new, more progressive direction. It was introduced at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

If brought to market, the GMC Granite Concept would be the smallest GMC ever - but has been optimized to feel much larger. Its length is a full 2 feet (0.6 m) shorter than the new Terrain compact crossover, but its open interior was designed to be spacious and flexible to fit the needs of active people. Generous cargo space and unique flipping/folding seats, for example, enable a mountain bike to be loaded completely inside with the tailgate closed.

Like GMC's current lineup of trucks, SUVs and crossovers, the GMC Granite Concept delivers style and capability, with advanced features, high-quality materials and exceptional attention to detail. An industrial-influenced exterior is combined with a spacious interior that features precise instruments and leading-edge technology. The climate system, navigation and infotainment technologies, for example, are viewed via an extra-wide, next-generation organic light-emitting diode technology that is more dynamic than the conventional screens used in most production vehicles.

Industrial-inspired exterior

A cadre of young designers drew upon the preferences of young, urban professionals like themselves, who are very social and active. They are more likely to take friends to clubs and load outdoor gear on weekend excursions than to haul lumber or tow a boat. With those requirements in mind, they sketched out the dimensions of the GMC Granite Concept accordingly. Its 103.6-inch (2,631 mm) wheelbase is comparable to a Chevrolet Cobalt, but its 161.3-inch (4,097 mm) overall length is more than a foot shorter. Its size gives the GMC Granite Concept exceptional maneuverability, even within narrow urban streets.

The GMC Granite Concept's comparatively short body length is complemented by a wide, 70.3-inch (1,786 mm) overall width and a tall, 60.5-inch (1,536 mm) height. Those dimensions create unique proportions that depart dramatically from conventional minivan, SUV or crossover designs. "The Design team leveraged the best attributes from different segments: SUV, minivan and crossover, and mixed them with a commercial chic aesthetic. We feel this redefines the premium class of vehicles we call urban utility vehicles," said Lyon.

GMC Granite Concept has four doors, hinged on each side to open like a set of French doors. There's no pillar between the front and rear doors, making the GMC Granite Concept easier to enter, exit and load, even with bulky items.

In keeping with the vehicle's urban theme, the exterior of the GMC Granite Concept has a series of complex, intersecting planes and angles, creating the impression of an industrial machine - an object created out of necessity, but admired for its precision and functional aesthetics.

A forward-angling motif that cuts through the door panels, starting high and behind the doors and cutting to the center of the front door, suggests motion, as does a high beltline and tapered side glass. A rear spoiler is integrated into the roof and extends slightly above the rear glass. Other angles and planes of the exterior appear carefully metal-crafted.

Up front, GMC's signature grille design is flanked by headlamps that sweep back into the fenders, further suggesting motion. The headlamps and fog lamps are set at the far edges of the front-end bodywork, accentuating the GMC Granite Concept's planted stance. At the rear, the vehicle's planes and angles come together tightly, showing careful attention to detail. Other exterior elements include prominent taillamps with a multi-layer appearance and LED lighting technology; and a centered exhaust outlet with a brushed metal tip.

There is no chrome on the exterior of the GMC Granite Concept; all the trim has a satin or brushed metal finish, accenting the industrial look. Large, 20-inch wheels - wrapped in Bridgestone tires - were tailored within the fenders for a low, sporty stance. The exterior color of the GMC Granite Concept is metallic gray that evokes the look of the material for which this concept was named.

Mechanically minded, highly functional interior
The interior was inspired by the design of aircraft-type mechanical instruments and precision tools. That is most apparent on the dashboard and instrument cluster, where gauges were modeled after finely crafted timepieces. A compass incorporated into the "barrel" surrounding the speedometer moves with every turn of the vehicle, providing an at-a-glance directional confirmation. "Our goal was not to hide but to show how this vehicle is put together, and the high quality of its craftsmanship, not unlike the finest industrial-inspired luxury time pieces," said Lyon.

Red backlighting illuminates the gauges, while a panel of organic light-emitting diode screens is the foundation for the vehicle's navigation, infotainment, phone and climate control readouts. The screens represent the next generation in vehicle information displays, with bright, multidimensional readouts and intuitive controls that give the GMC Granite Concept a modern feel.

Integrated within GMC Granite Concept are unmistakable GMC cues, including a center stack wing motif similar to that of the new GMC Terrain. A prominent center console runs between the front and rear seats, with ports to plug in popular portable electronic devices, as well as storage compartments large enough for a laptop computer.

Among the most functional elements of the GMC Granite Concept are reconfigurable seats. The front passenger and right rear seats flip up and fold in toward the center console, creating a long, unobstructed storage space. The GMC Granite Concept functionally addresses the needs of young professionals and their activities without compromises.

The cargo area includes a number of compartments to store items out of sight. Cargo hold-down provisions are built into the cargo area and the seatbacks have clasps that can be used when the seats are upright or folded to help secure cargo.

The GMC Granite Concept's interior is finished with dark tones on the bottom and complementing, lighter colors on top, including suede-like Nubuck material on the seats and instrument panel. The interior is further accented by satin-finish and anodized trim. The instrument panel gives the impression of a command console, with driver-focused instruments and controls set in an anodized panel.
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