Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ferrari 458 Spider, 2013

Ferrari 458 Spider, 2013

The new Ferrari 458 Spider joins the 458 Italia, widening the range of Ferrari's mid-rear engined V8s and offering the same uncompromising technological solutions, handling and performance in a refined open-top configuration. It is equipped with a Ferrari patented, fully retractable hard top, a world first for a sports car with this lay-out.

The 458 Spider is powered by Ferrari's naturally-aspirated, direct-injection 4.5 litre V8 which was nominated as the 2011 International Engine of the Year for its engineering excellence in terms of driveability, performance, economy and refinement. The power is transferred to the road by Ferrari's class-leading dual-clutch F1 paddle-shift transmission through the sophisticated E-Diff, itself integrated with the F1-Trac traction control and high-performance ABS for maximum handling dynamics.

Certain features, such as its accelerator pedal mapping and the damping of the multilink suspension, have been calibrated to guarantee maximum sportiness and absolute driving pleasure with the top down, in line with Maranello's exclusive spider tradition. Even the engine soundtrack has been honed to ensure that the car's occupants are completely captivated by the drop-top driving experience.

Entirely in aluminium, the hard-top solution adopted for the Ferrari 458 Spider offers a number of advantages over the traditional folding soft-top, including a reduction of 25 kg in weight and a deployment time of just 14 seconds. Fully integrated into the styling of the car, the hard-top was engineered to fit neatly ahead of the engine bay without compromising aerodynamics or the performance of the car. The small space needed to house the roof enables the designers to include a generous rear bench for luggage behind the seats.

The rear of the car is characterised by innovative forms with the buttresses designed to optimise the flow of air to the engine intakes and the clutch and gearbox oil radiators. For maximum comfort whilst driving top down the Ferrari 458 Spider features a generously-sized adjustable electric wind stop. The design was perfected to slow and diffuse the air in the cockpit, enabling normal conversation to be held even at speeds over 200 km/h.

New technical solutions adopted for the chassis guarantee identical levels of structural rigidity with the roof up or down. The result is a car that is truly exciting to drive, blending extreme performance with the responsiveness that has always characterised Ferrari's open-top berlinettas.
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Chevrolet Sonic, 2012


Chevrolet Sonic, 2012

The Chevrolet displayed the all-new 2012 Sonic at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. Its youthful, aggressive design is backed by turbocharged performance and agile ride and handling, combining to deliver an efficient, fun-to-drive small car.
The Chevrolet Sonic is offered in two body styles: a stylish four-door sedan and a sporty five-door. Each delivers class-leading rear-seat roominess and cargo space. A variety of connectivity features enhance the driving experience.

Production of the Chevrolet Sonic begins later in 2011 at the General Motors Orion Assembly Center in Michigan, which received a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling, and will help restore approximately 1,000 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area.

Progressive exterior design
From every angle, Chevrolet Sonic sedan and five-door models convey strength, stability and refinement. A wide, planted stance, with wheels-at-the-corners proportions, conveys performance. Progressive, raked body lines suggest movement even when the car is stationary.

Aggressive cues, including fender flares and motorcycle-inspired round headlamps, are blended with global design cues - a dual-element grille and round taillamps - for a design instantly recognizable as Chevrolet. The leading edge of the hood forms a character line above the headlamps, which flows in a sleek side profile characterized by uninterrupted body side lines, a high beltline and low roofline. The side mirrors carry the same shape as the car and seemingly disappear into the profile.

The sedan and five-door models are distinctively different. The five-door carries a tight, two-box shape with aggressive, diving feature lines, while the sedan's "notchback" profile has a more upscale and mature presence. At first glance, the five-door model looks like a three-door hatch because the rear door handles are discreetly located in the "C"-pillar area. The rear of the five-door continues with unconventional details, including exposed, motorcycle-inspired rear tail lamps.

Details that reinforce Chevrolet Sonic's quality and attention to detail include chrome grille surrounds and matte black honeycomb grille inserts on all models, while a range of large wheel sizes, including 17-inch alloy wheels, reinforces its sporty demeanor.

The interior
Chevrolet Sonic's cabin complements the motorcycle-inspired exterior with a detailed instrument cluster featuring a large, round analog tachometer set within an asymmetrical LCD readout, with a large digital speedometer display.

Additional interior highlights:
  • The mid-instrument panel surface is available in two colors (dark titanium and brick) and flows seamlessly into the upper doors, with premium low-glass finishes
  • The automatic shift knob has a "cobra head" design," while the manual shifter has a chrome-finished knob
  • Tubular outboard climate outlets protrude from the instrument panel surface.

The interior includes storage compartments in the center stack and doors. The rear seats fold flat for carrying larger items. Front bucket seats are standard and heated front seats are available.

Cruze-based powertrains
Chevrolet Sonic models are powered by efficient, power-dense, small-displacement engines, including the Ecotec 1.4L turbo and the Ecotec 1.8L - the same engines used in the new Chevrolet Cruze. Three transmissions are available: a five-speed manual and six-speed automatic with the 1.8L and a six-speed manual with the 1.4L turbo.

The Ecotec 1.4L turbo's power ratings are estimated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque - a specific trait of turbocharged engines - helps the engine deliver a better driving experience and performance. Premium design elements give the engine world-class smoothness and durability. Features:
  •     Low-mass hollow-frame cast iron block
  •     Dual overhead camshafts with variable valve timing
  •     Chain-driven cams
  •     Roller-finger camshaft followers
  •     Piston-cooling oil jets and integrated oil cooler
  •     Variable-flow oil pump
  •     Electronically controlled thermostat.

The 1.4L's turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility in small vehicles. A reinforced crankshaft and stronger connecting rods deliver additional strength to support the engine's pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band.

The naturally aspirated Ecotec 1.8L engine has many of the same features of the Ecotec 1.4L turbo. It is a compact and durable four-cylinder engine designed for low maintenance, low emissions and fuel efficiency. Its two-stage variable intake manifold allows approximately 90 percent of peak torque to be available from 2,400 rpm to 6,500 rpm. It is estimated at 135 horsepower (101 kW), along with 123 lb.-ft. of torque (167 Nm) at 3,800 rpm.

Engineered for agile, athletic ride and handling
The Chevrolet Sonic brings agility and a fun-to-drive feel that is rare in the segment. Engineers who also work on the Corvette tuned the Sonic's confident ride and handling, giving it a more direct and athletic feel, while balancing the vehicle for the broad range of driving conditions in North America.

All models feature a MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and a semi-independent, torsion beam axle-mount compound link-type rear suspension - featuring a robust, tubular V-shape beam - with gas-charged shocks. The front and rear tracks are identical at 59.4 inches (1,509 mm), for well-planted stability and excellent balance.
Electronic power steering is standard and features a wear compensator that continually adjusts the system interaction with the steering gear to ensure precise steering action over the life of the system.

The Chevrolet Sonic's body structure is designed to be one of the stiffest in the segment. Its rigidity enabled engineers to tune the ride and handling more precisely. Chevrolet Sonic's unique "flat top frame" cradle, for example, assures optimal stiffness in the front chassis portion of the vehicle. The rear axle is essentially a straight axle without contour for packaging restraints and reduced noise, vibration and harshness.

A range of wheel sizes is available, including 17-inch wheels and sport tires. Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes are standard, along with a four-channel antilock braking system. The four-sensor system - one at each wheel - incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo.
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Chevrolet Camaro EU Version, 2012


Chevrolet Camaro EU Version, 2012

It was the muscle car that stole the hearts and imaginations of people everywhere, providing subject matter for wall posters, T-shirts, and songs for four decades. Now it's back, better and mightier than ever, and ready to reclaim its place of honor on European roads - and bedroom walls.

The all-new 432 hp Chevrolet Camaro V8 has returned to Europe after a decade-long absence, with a design that is at once instantly recognizable and entirely modern.

The contemporary 21st century design is an expression of the Chevrolet Camaro's rich heritage, with a V-shaped nose, wide, planted stance and broad rear shoulders all distinguishing features that acknowledge the legendary past while claiming a place as a contemporary design icon.

The Chevrolet Camaro's vital stats are as impressive as its design: the manual transmission boasts a superb 432 hp 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine that produces 569 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm. This translates into a 0-100 km/h acceleration of 5.2 seconds for the coupe and 5.4 seconds for the convertible. The automatic transmission is mated to a 405hp 6.2 L L99 V8 engine that produces 556 Nm at 4,300 rpm. The automatic coupe hits 100km/h in 5.4 seconds, with an additional 0.2 seconds for the convertible. The Camaro has an impressive top speed of 250 km/h.

Prices for the coupe start at €38,900 while the convertible prices start at €43,900, although prices may vary across markets, depending on local taxation and import duties. The Transformers® Special Edition and 45th Anniversary package come at an additional €2,000 each including VAT.

Fully European
The car makes its presence felt from afar, with the deep low- frequency rumbling V8 delivering an unequivocal message of its impending arrival.

The European Chevy Camaro is similar in content to the 2SS model offered in North America. The new model, Europe's first, features an all-new FE4 suspension that was developed specifically for Europe. The suspension - characterized by an increase in stiffness and lateral stability that greatly improves high-speed performance and maneuverability - has proven so popular that the US will be offering it on their up-level models with the new model year. The FE4 suspension package features re-tuned front and rear dampers, and new solid front (23 mm) and rear (24 mm) stabilizer bars.

The 20-inch wheels riding on Pirelli PZero tires ensure that the power is translated adequately while the Brembo four-piston anti-lock disc brakes combined with StabiliTrak and traction control ensure effective braking and quick cornering. The wheels are positioned outbound to be virtually flush with body surfaces for an agile, planted appearance.

Jaw-dropping exterior design
If you crave anonymity and blending in with the crowd, the Chevrolet Camaro is probably not the car for you. The head-turning design tends to do just that, with pedestrians and motorists alike looking on in awe and admiration as the Camaro makes its commanding way down the road.

The V-shaped nose is flanked by high-intensity discharge headlamps with glowing LED Xenon halo rings, mimicking deep-inset eyes and giving the Chevrolet Camaro a menacing look. Chevrolet's 'gold bowtie' proudly adorns the front-end of the car and directs your eyes across the power dome hood, which gives a dynamic feeling of motion even when stationary.

The rear fascia is unique to the European Chevrolet Camaro models. Twin LED tail lamp elements mirror the unique look of the vehicle's front. The rear design is finished off with large, round chrome exhaust tips similar to those used on the Corvette Z06.

The Interior design
An array of sound-limiting applications ensures that you are transported to a different world as soon as you sit inside a Chevrolet Camaro, although a hint of the burble of the V8 penetrates the interior by design. It's just enough to remind you where you are and what you're doing.

Carrying forward the spirit and feeling of Camaros of the past, the interior conveys simplicity and refinement, with contemporary details in the dials, switches, cluster and ambient lighting.

The integrated center stack design combines easy-to-reach stereo and HVAC controls into a single piece of modern electronics with oversized knobs - detailed with rubber grommets and chrome - to match the character of the nameplate.

The Chevrolet Blue Ice ambient light runs across the doors. The same blue hue characterizes the speedometer on the left and rev counter on the right, with further driver information displayed in between. Optional orange ambient lighting is available with the Inferno Orange Interior Trim.

The four-pack gauge cluster fore of the shifter, harks back to the iconic 1969 Camaro, but includes contemporary LED backlighting. The package includes gauges for oil temperature, oil pressure, transmission fluid temperature and battery voltage.
The performance seats have sport bolstering and shape-carrying champhered shoulders with accent stitching.

Technological marvel
A large Driver Information Center (DIC) provides all the data - including consumption, trip information, and tire pressure - needed while on the road. The Chevrolet Camaro is the only vehicle in its class to offer a standard Head Up Display (HUD) that displays vital information, such as speed and stereo selection, on the windshield so drivers can always keep their eyes on the road. Ultrasonic rear parking assist with camera and six airbags are standard, as are ISOFIX anchors for the very young sports car fans.
The Chevrolet Camaro offers the discerning music aficionado a premium Boston Acoustics nine-speaker stereo system. USB ports for personal devices and Bluetooth connectivity are also part of the package.

The Active Fuel Management
While fuel economy may not be high on the priority list of a Chevrolet Camaro owner, the Active Fuel Management system on the L99 engine automatically shuts down four of the eight cylinders during light load operations, allowing for reduced fuel consumption. This results in savings of up to 7.5 percent.
The Chevrolet Camaro manual models have a combined consumption figure of 14.1 L/100 km. The automatic variants fare even better with a combine consumption of 13.1 L/100 km.

The jaw-dropping design of the fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro is an irresistible invitation to get in and drive away. The legendary car's return after a ten year absence brings with it a fusion of modernity, confidence and soul.

It is hard to decide where to look first - the immediately recognizable V-shaped nose that has become a Chevrolet Camaro trademark, the unmistakable tail, or the sculpted rear shoulders. All details of the car have been carefully designed to re-capture the spirit of the legend that first rolled off production lines 45 years ago while creating an thoroughly modern, 21st century sports car.
From the outside, there is no mistaking the four-passenger coupe as a modern interpretation of its legendary 1969 predecessor - strong, wide shoulders, long dash-to-axle, low roof line and large wheels.

The look
High-intensity discharge headlamps with glowing xenon halo rings, mimicking deep-inset eyes, complement the V-shaped front grille and give the Chevrolet Camaro an aggressive ready-to-pounce stance. The sweeping long hood and short rear deck accentuate the Chevrolet Camaro's iconic look and feel.

The hood carries a 10 centimeter power bulge, leaving little doubt as to what lies beneath and highlighting its sports car heritage.
The one-piece body shows off the bold lines that have become a distinguishing feature of all Chevrolet cars. Only here, the style is better defined and the clean creased lines are set off by muscular wheel arches. Rear quarter gills are stamped into the sheet metal just fore of the rear wheel, with a nod to a design element of the original concept car.

The sculpted rear shoulders set the stage for a stunningly-designed rear end. The unique, European specific LED tail lights are also inset and complement the image portrayed by the front of the Chevrolet Camaro. The dual outlet stainless steel exhausts have polished tips and complete the ensemble, creating an appealing blend of technology, design and performance.
A lower body side spear is formed seamlessly into the front quarter, door and rear quarter sheet metal delivering a muscular wheel-oriented cue and refined forward moving appearance, clearly defining its rear-wheel capability.

The Chevrolet Camaro sits on standard 20-inch wheels, a final touch of design and also a needed feature to transfer the engine torque to stunning forward movement. The wheels are positioned outward and flush with the body, giving the car a planted appearance.
The only feature more spectacular than the body of the car is what is underneath the hood (see Engines and Transmissions chapter).

Stylish and functional interior
The outlook on the world suddenly changes when you sit in a Chevrolet Camaro. You are immediately welcomed by a retro-styled contemporary dashboard with multi-dials ready to provide you with all the information pertaining to the functioning of the vehicle.
As the sport seats anchor you into position, the ambient light gives a blue hue that runs all the way across the upper edge of the doors. And once you have absorbed all this, you notice that while you are looking out, everybody on the outside is looking in.

Iconic look and feel
The interior of the Chevrolet Camaro presents an organized and functional setting, aimed at making the driver's job easier without losing any of the car's iconic look and feel. The revised instrument panel appearance presents a classic stance with contemporary details.

The steering wheel offers support for sporty driving and also includes cruise control, Bluetooth, iPod/MP3 and stereo functions to keep the eyes on the road and the hands on the wheel.

The leather seats provide support with sport bolstering carry champhered shoulders with accent stitching that is also seen on the shift, door, center console and steering wheel. They give drivers excellent lateral support and an added dose of confidence-inspiring comfort. The rear seat folds down completely to enable transport of longer items.
The HurstTM-branded short-throw shifter is designed to give the driver enhanced grip, critical when quick changes are required.

Dashboard blues
The Chevrolet Ice Blue lighting takes center stage on the Camaro dashboard and provides the perfect backdrop for the speedometer and engine temperature indicator, to the left of the steering wheel, the tachometer on the right and the large Driver Information Centre (DIC) in the middle of the display.

The DIC includes a digital speedometer, trip information - such as average consumption, distance travelled and fuel range - and a graphic display of tire pressure monitoring. An adjustable Heads Up Display (HUD), the only one offered in Chevrolet Camaro's segment, makes it possible for drivers to monitor all important information without taking their eyes of the road. The information is projected into the windscreen and appears as if located at the front end of the hood or slightly above it.
An integrated center stack design combines the stereo and HVAC controls into a single unit. Large dials, detailed with rubber grommets and chrome, match the character of the nameplate and make usage easier while driving.

A four-gauge cluster has been placed under the stereo/HVAC controls, harking back to the classic 1969 Camaro but with a contemporary look and backlighting. The cluster includes gauges for oil temperature, oil pressure, transmission fluid temperature and battery voltage.

Despite being a performance car, the Chevrolet Camaro has ample storage space in the doors, center console, glove box and cup-holder in the central console. Additionally, the 245-watt, nine- speaker Boston Acoustics® premium sound system ensures excellent sound quality.

The Rear Vision Package adds a rear view camera system and an auto-dimming mirror to the existing Rear Park Assist feature. The camera system complements the rear parking assist by providing a video display of the area behind the car with the video image appearing in the car's inside rear view mirror.

Safety features
Safety is also a key element engineered into the Chevrolet Camaro. It comes with six airbags, dual stage on both the passenger and driver sides for head and chest protection, seat-mounted pelvis-thorax side airbags for driver and passenger, and roof rail side curtain airbags for head protection for all occupants on the coupe.

Seat belts are equipped with load-limiting retractors and pre-tensioners aimed at reducing injury risk in frontal, offset frontal and lateral crashes. Further injury risk minimizers include a collapsible propshaft, break-away brake pedals and a ride down mechanism on the collapsible steering column.

Ride and Handling
From the frozen terrains in Sweden to test tracks in Germany - including the famed Nürburgring - and Australia, the Chevrolet Camaro has been put through its paces to provide a ride and handling that satisfies the specific European driving style.

A nearly ideal 52/48 front to rear weight distribution, providing a stable center of gravity, combined with an impressive FE4 suspensions and a tuned chassis means the Camaro will handle transitional situations beautifully and claw its way round corners with impressive agility.
The vehicle is designed to match the specific driving habits of Europeans, with tight cornering and performance handling characteristics among the best in its class. The precise handling dynamics were developed on different road surfaces and conditions around the world - including Australia, Germany, Sweden, Canada and the U.S.
A number of professional drivers provided input to help determine the perfect characteristics that make the Chevrolet Camaro what it is.

Smooth operator
The Camaro boasts a smooth and sophisticated ride, enhanced by a high-strength steel central structure, and polished road manners. The car is equally at home at cruising speeds and during performance runs.
The FE4 suspension geometry had been adjusted, including front (23 mm) and rear (24 mm) reshaped stabilizer bars that are repositioned outboard of the shock mounts. This results in more effective body control and more precise response in performance driving.
The unique 4.5-link independent rear suspension is double-isolated from the chassis for a smoother, quieter driving experience.

Four modes of driving
Precise and responsive steering contributes to cornering confidence as it provides great driver feedback. The Chevrolet Camaro chassis control system allows drivers to select the mode of driving:
  •     Base Stability Control Calibration
  •     Traction Control off / Stability Control on
  •     Competitive / Sport mode
  •     Traction Control off / Stability Control off

The vehicle is equipped with Stabili Trak, a four channel active handling system that links the car's dynamic control system to assist the driver in maintaining control under demanding or adverse conditions, such as wet, snow-covered or icy roads, tight turns and evasive maneuvers.
StabiliTrak combines the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Traction Control (TC) and Active Braking Systems to control wheel slip, optimize wheel spin and enhance vehicle stability.

The speed of all four wheels is monitored separately by the ABS, allowing for individual braking power directed to the wheels and resulting in superior control of the vehicles. Back-up braking is activated should one of the two braking circuits fail. Additionally, the ABS software uses a steering wheel angle sensor to differentiate between straight-line and corner braking.

The Traction Control System is integrated with the ABS and uses the powertrain and brakes to regulate wheel spin during acceleration. Further control is provided by the Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) which senses emergency braking by detecting the speed or force the driver applies to the brake pedal. Under extreme conditions, the HBA will apply the brakes selectively to maintain control.

Engine Drag Control (EDC) sends more torque to the driven wheels when the driver lifts off the throttle in precarious road conditions, such as in the presence of ice or rain. The resulting effect ensures vehicle stability as all four wheels, the free-rolling front and driven rear, are travelling at the same speed.

Massive 20-inch alloy wheels transfer the engine torque to the ground. The high rubber-to-road component ensures excellent lateral grip and handling and longitudinal acceleration, and shorter stopping distances.
The Chevrolet Camaro was engineered with performance in mind evidenced by the 355 mm x 32 mm vented front rotors and 365 mm x 28 mm vented rear rotors, clamped by high performance Brembo four-piston fixed-head aluminum calipers.
The brake linings are optimized to deliver long-term performance and consistent feel. The braking package is worthy of the power package, with stopping distances of less than 40 meters from 100 km/h on dry asphalt.

Engines and Transmissions

The European Camaro coupe and convertible are equipped with an 6.2 liter V8 engine, offering customers a choice of manual or paddle-shift automatic transmissions.

The Chevrolet Camaro's 16-valve V8 engine has a displacement of 6,126 cm3 and utilizes a central camshaft. Both manual and automatic cars have a top speed of 250 km/h.

The two engine variants - LS3 and L99 - are mated to the manual and automatic transmissions, respectively. They are essentially the same with two notable differences: the automatic version is equipped with Active Fuel Management (cylinder displacement-on-demand) and variable valve timing (VVT).

The performance of the Chevrolet Camaro is impressive: the manual transmission version boasts 432 hp at 5,900 rpm and a torque of 569 Nm at 4,600 rpm. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is 5.2 seconds for the manual coupe and 5.4 seconds for the manual convertible, both comparable to a number of top-class sports cars. The manual uses a Tremec TR 6060 six-speed manual transmission. Fuel consumption is 14.1 L/100 km (combined cycle).

Automatic transmissions are increasingly popular on performance cars. The Camaro's automatic transmission equipped powertrain produces 405 hp at 5,900 rpm, while maximum torque is 556 Nm at 4,300 rpm. Fuel consumption for the automatic is 13.1 L/100 km combined. The Chevrolet Camaro includes GM's Active Fuel Management System, enabling it to cruise on only four cylinders during light load conditions such as highway cruising.

Improving on excellence
The Chevrolet Camaro engine blocks are manufactured from aluminum with cast-in-place iron bore liners and a push-rod valve-in-train valvetrain. The engine is brought to life with a high-energy distributor-less ignition that features a solid state direct-fire ignition.
The evaporative dual exhaust system comes with close-coupled catalytic converters. The automatic transmission models include active fuel management and cam phasing (VVT).

When compared with previous generation engines, both LS3 and L99 variants feature a larger bore block (4.06 inches/10.15 cm); high flow LS7/L92-style heads, larger diameter pistons, hotter camshaft timings, a revised valve train with offset intake rocker arms, a high-flow intake manifold and larger fuel injectors.

The block casting design enhances bay-to-bay breathing for improved efficiency. The new pistons are made to suit the engine's high rpm capabilities. The heads use straighter, large capacity intake ports to optimize flow to the combustion chamber. The cylinder heads receive all the air they need thanks to a new, acoustically-tuned intake manifold while a high flow efficiency induction system is borrowed from the Corvette Z06.

Premium unleaded fuels (minimum 95 RON, preferably 98 RON or higher) are recommended for the Chevrolet Camaro, which has a maximum engine speed of 6,600 rpm.

Manual transmission
The new Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission carries a host of features to provide an effective transfer of the engine's exceptional power and torque while delivering high performance and fun-to-drive shifting characteristics.

The use of wider gears, made possible by using special fine-pitch teeth Hoerbiger-produced synchronizers, reduces synchronizer travel. The teeth enable smooth meshing and eliminate block-out-of-gear synchronization. As a result, shifter throw is reduced by 12 per cent.
The aluminum housing is strengthened where the shifter rails are held in place, improving the solid feel of each gear change. Tremec has adopted a one-piece output shaft to further enhance the bell housing ability to handle high torque.

A dual mass flywheel with twin-disk clutch reduces the overall rotating inertia by up to 25 per cent, meaning the engine can reach its maximum power quickly. The reduced inertia also enhances gear synchronization.
The three-point shifter mounting is attached directly to the body structure, resulting in an extremely solid, stiff and tunable unit.
Finally, all European Camaros are fitted with the acclaimed HurstTM short-throw shifter for even greater performance and response.

Automatic transmission

The L99 is mated with one of the most technologically advanced automatic transmissions on the market - the Hydra-Matic 6L80. The transmission uses clutch-to-clutch operations and an integrated 32-bit controller to deliver smooth and precise shifts.

The transmission includes advanced Performance Algorithm Shifting (PAS) that lets the electronic controller override the automatic gear selection during closed throttle high lateral acceleration maneuvers. This means rapid downshifting with near synchronous engine speed matching for quick power-up when the throttle is re-opened.

The steering mounted paddle shift control (TAPshift) allows the driver to sequentially shift gears manually. Shift calibration is designed specifically for the Chevrolet Camaro, with the twin-plate torque converter characteristics matching the characteristics and high torque output of the massive V8 6.2 L engine.
Certain components within the seven major sub-systems that make up the transmission learn from one another via the controller software in a unique form of self-adaptation that maximizes the interface of all networked components.

The safety systems installed on the new Chevrolet Camaro have two primary functions: crash avoidance and occupant protection.

Prevention better than cure
The Chevrolet Camaro's sports-tuned chassis dynamics help deliver better handling, maximum grip, high directional stability and powerful braking performance. Thanks to the integrated chassis control technologies - StabiliTrak electronic stability control, ABS, Traction Control and Brake Assist - drivers are in a better position to maintain control of the vehicle during evasive maneuvers and in adverse road conditions. Altogether, these features contribute in greatly to reducing the risk of accidents. This is further aided by the near perfect front/rear weight distribution.

Other safety factors include an ergonomically-designed interior with supportive bolstered-seating, visual and audio warnings, daytime running lamps, fast response LED tail and stop lights, steering wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth, camera-aided park assist and information displays - including the exclusive Heads-Up-Display - that provide drivers with pertinent information without distraction.

Occupant protection
More than 7,000 crash barrier tests were run using leading edge virtual technology. They were validated by 55 actual barrier tests. These tests helped optimize the vehicle's design for maximum occupant protection in the event of an accident.

Multiple load paths using high-strength steel were integrated into the design, establishing a de facto safety cage protection around the car's occupants.
Front and rear crumple zones absorb crash energy, while steel rails in the engine compartment and front bumper make up the crush zone and work with the six-mount engine cradle that deforms progressively on impact to take the brunt of a frontal impact.

Crash energy is distributed along the transition zones around the passenger compartment together with the safety cage construction, consisting of the floor pan, rocker panels, center tunnel, A and B pillars and front mid-rails.
The rear crush zone is designed to absorb energy progressively during impact, protecting passengers and ensuring the integrity of the fuel tank. A collapsible propshaft, break-away brake pedals which minimize lower limb injury, and a ride-down steering column further enhance the safety of the car's occupants.

Multiple airbags for full protection
Six airbags are standard equipment in the Chevrolet Camaro Coupe. Deployment of airbags is regulated to ensure minimal risk to out-of-position occupants. Both driver and front passenger have head and chest protection with the front dual-stage airbags. The side airbags provide pelvis and chest protection while roof rail side curtain airbags provide head protection for all occupants (on the Coupe).

Sensors in the front and side work in conjunction with a sensing diagnostic module (SDM) to trigger the seat belt pre-tensioners and deploy airbags depending on the crash severity. The sensors suppress air bag deployment if a child or small-statured person is in the passenger seat. The detection system uses a mat sensor embedded in the passenger seat to establish the occupant's weight and weight distribution.

The sensing system also determines the optimum level of airbag deployment depending on the occupant. According to crash severity, the first or both stages of airbag deployment will be activated. Additionally, if the seat is positioned just one-third of the way back from the forward-most position, only the first stage will be deployed.

Front seat belts are equipped with low friction rings and low-effort energy-absorbing retractors, putting minimum pressure on the occupant and maximizing comfort. Front and rear seats are designed to work with the safety belt system to assist in restraining occupants. Padded front head restraints help reduce the risk of head and neck injuries.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept, 2012

  • Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept, 2012

Land Rover unveil a Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The Evoque Convertible Concept vehicle  explore the potential for the world's first premium convertible SUV.

The bold concept builds on the global success of the Evoque and continues Land Rover's tradition for creating and leading new market segments. The concept is being shown to gauge reaction and to assess the potential for what could be another white space product from the world's leading SUV brand.

The concept has been developed by Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern and his team. Commenting on the concept, McGovern said: "The Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible. This study is not a traditional convertible design execution - instead we have worked with the balance of the Evoque's lines to retain its distinctive shape and create something that is unique and, we believe, highly desirable."

The soft-top convertible concept is based on the Range Rover Evoque Coupe. It features a fully retractable premium roof system with a Roll Over Protection System [ROPS]. The concept cleverly combines capability and versatility with a drop down tailgate and a comfortable four seat package. The vehicle has been developed with Land Rover DNA at its heart, retaining key characteristics including a command driving position and all-terrain capability.

The Evoque's dramatic rising waist line and distinctive shape has been retained and the new convertible body style has been achieved with minimal changes to weight and torsional rigidity. The hood is housed in a neat tapered finisher with the roof mechanism stowed discretely below the belt-line.

the concept is packed with Evoque's award winning technology including Terrain Response, surround cameras, Park Assist and class leading infotainment featuring an 8-inch dual view touch screen and a sound system from British audio experts, Meridian. The Evoque Convertible Concept features unique 21-inch Titan silver wheels and is finished in a new metallic Causeway Grey paint. The interior is in Lunar and Ivory with leather seats featuring sporty perforated panels and Ivory contrast stitching.

The Range Rover Evoque has been on sale for six months and is widely recognised as an international success with strong sales performances in 170 global markets, and achieving excellent customer satisfaction and class-leading residual values. The Evoque has been launched to worldwide media acclaim and to date has been honoured with over 90 international awards.

The Evoque Convertible Concept revealed at Geneva as a design and engineering study. There are no production plans confirmed.
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Aston Martin Cygnet, 2012

  •  Aston Martin Cygnet, 2012

The Aston Martin Cygnet is a city car that sets a new benchmark for compact luxury, building upon nearly a century of experience building high performance sports cars, luxurious long-range grand tourers, and extremely competitive racing machines.

The Cygnet demonstrates Aston Martin's commitment to innovation and integrity. "It is time to think differently. Aston Martin is honest and we don't make compromises" says Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez.

Aston Martin Cygnet expresses a simple but fundamental idea: in the modern city, scale equates to speed and freedom. At just three metres long, the Cygnet gives the driver a new dimension of freedom, able to slot into gaps in traffic, exploit the smallest parking spaces, consume the least fuel and emit the lowest emissions, all while delivering exceptional levels of quality and comfort.

Cygnet is a product of Aston Martin's unrivalled experience in craft, technology and design. The future city will present a very different luxury brand landscape, as social change and legislation increases the division between urban and anti-urban product categories. With the Cygnet, Aston Martin will be at the forefront of these changes, ensuring the company's enduring brand image will continue to prosper in new market conditions.

Dr Ulrich Bez continues: "The Cygnet is designed to support our sports cars by providing a greater degree of freedom in the urban context; it is a very special car, a premium but compact package with heart, soul and personality."

The Cygnet, a tailor fit solution for the city, will help drive Aston Martin into the future. "This car is reality; Cygnet is the natural choice for those who want a premium, bespoke commuter car."

The Cygnet will be the eighth major production car Aston Martin has introduced at its state-of-the art factory since 2004, offering further evidence of the company's ongoing commitment to British manufacturing, backed-up by a dedicated local workforce and supplier network.
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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.

On 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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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Audi A6, 2012


Audi A6, 2012

The Audi has redesigned its flagship executive class model. With its light body, sporty chassis and a wide array of new assistance and multimedia systems, the full-sized sedan is packed with innovative solutions in every area of technology. The range of available engines and drivetrains is equally extensive. Combining the power of a V6 with the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder engine, the soon-to-be-available Audi A6 Hybrid will be one highlight of the lineup.

Much of the body of the new Audi A6 consists of aluminum and high-tech steels, rendering it exceedingly light, stiff and safe. State-of-the art design methods and materials ensure extremely low interior noise levels. Precision tuning of all components and systematic hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings provide excellent vibrational comfort.

The design of the new Audi A6 embodies athleticism and elegance. The sedan is 4.92 meters (16.14 ft) long and 1.87 meters (6.14 ft) wide, but just 1.46 meters (4.79 ft) high - sporty proportions that are unrivaled by the competition. The long engine hood, the low, sweeping roofline and the prominent lines on the flanks create a dynamic overall appearance. Optional LED headlights emphasize the striking expression at the front.

The roomy interior of the new Audi A6 echoes the sinewy style of the exterior. The salient element is the "wrap-around" - an inlay encircling the driver and the front-seat passenger. The elegantly curved dash panel places the driver at the center of the interior.

Every detail of the interior is a testament to the care that Audi invests in carmaking. All materials, including an innovative layered-wood veneer, have been selected and crafted with the utmost care. As an option, the front seats can be equipped with ventilation and massage functions. Classy ambient lighting in the lighting package provides small points of light throughout the interior.

The new Audi A6 features the logical ergonomics concept that distinguishes all of the brand's models. A highly efficient automatic air conditioning system and the latest-generation MMI radio operating system are standard; Audi also offers an optional head-up display, which projects important information onto the windshield. The MMI touch operating system is also available as an option. This enables much of the hard-drive MMI navigation plus system to be controlled by means of a touchpad.

The online services, developed though a partnership between Audi and service provider Google, connect the full-sized sedan to the Internet via the Bluetooth car phone online. A UMTS module pulls images and information from Google Earth up on the monitor and integrates them with the navigation route. A WLAN hotspot provides contact to mobile terminals on board. The top of the hi-fi line is the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System.

MMI navigation plus works closely together with the optional assistance and safety systems in the new A6. It forwards the route data to the control units for the headlights, the automatic transmission and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. This enables these systems to recognize complex scenarios and assist the driver. In many situations, the Audi pre sense safety system is able to reduce accidents and their consequences, or even prevent them altogether. The Audi active lane assist helps the driver keep the Audi A6 on course, and the park assist system relieves the driver of the chore of steering when parallel parking.

Audi offers the A6 with five powerful, highly efficient engines: two gasoline engines and three TDI units. These powerplants develop between 130 kW (177 hp) and 220 kW (300 hp). All of these engines make use of important technologies from the brand's modular efficiency platform - the start-stop system, the energy recovery system, and the innovative thermal management concept.

Throughout the entire model line, fuel consumption in the Audi A6 has decreased by up to 19 percent compared to the previous model. In terms of consumption figures, the Audi A6 outperforms the competition.

The most powerful unit in the range is the 2.0 TDI. In conjunction with a manual transmission, it requires on average just 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (48.00 US mpg) and emits just 129 g CO2 per km (207.61 g/mile). The Audi A6 hybrid will be available from Audi at a later date. Serving up 180 kW (245 hp) of system performance, its 2.0 TFSI plus electric motor will achieve efficient and sporty acceleration with an average fuel consumption of only 6.2 liters per 100 km (37.94 US mpg) (provisional figure).

The new Audi A6 is also available with a wide range of drivetrains. The choice, based on the engine version, will include a manual six-speed transmission, the continuously variable multitronic, and the brand-new, sporty S tronic. Each unit is precisely tuned and features a wide gear-ratio spread, thereby making a significant contribution to the sedan's efficiency.

Depending on the engine version, power is funneled via the gears to the front wheels or to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, whose crown-gear center differential and torque-vectoring function achieve the ultimate traction, stability and dynamic response. For the top-of-the-line engines, Audi will offer an optional sport differential.

The chassis of the new A6 combines sporty precision with supreme comfort. Its links are made of aluminum; the redesigned power steering features a highly efficient electromechanical drive. The executive sedan has wheels ranging from 16 to 20 inches in diameter.

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system is standard, and the front-wheel-drive models have the sporty ESP with electronic limited-slip differential on board. For enhanced comfort, adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is available as an option. Dynamic steering will be available soon, also as an option.

The Body
The Audi has created an intelligent combination of various materials, rendering the body of the new Audi A6 extremely light, safe, and stiff. Thanks to its composite steel-aluminum construction, the body weighs approximately 15 percent less than a conventional steel construction, earning the sedan with the four rings a top ranking among the competition. Providing 130 kW (177 hp) of power, the Audi A6 2.0 TDI tips the scales at just 1,575 kilograms (3,472.28 lb), not including the driver.

Aluminum components make up more than 20 percent of the body. The strut mounts at the front of the car are castings; the struts in the engine compartment and the crossmembers behind the bumpers are sections made of this lightweight material. All add-on parts, such as the front fenders, the engine hood, the rear hatch and the doors, but also the bulkhead and the crossmember in the luggage compartment, are made of aluminum panels.

High-end steels also play a key role in the new Audi A6. The best of these are the hot-shaped steels, which get their extreme tensile strength from a temperature increase during the shaping process. These steels are found in some areas of the passenger cell and at its transition to the front end of the car. In many areas, tailored blanks are used. These are panels of various thicknesses that are thicker and stronger in areas subjected to higher loads.

The new Audi A6 sedan is extraordinarily quiet. Thanks to a sophisticated aeroacoustics system and extensive insulation, the noise level in the interior remains very low even at high speeds on the highway. The excellent vibrational comfort is the result of painstaking tuning of all components, systematic hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings, and the extremely stiff body.

The precision aerodynamic tuning, which also includes the paneled underfloor and the airflow through the engine compartment, translates to a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26 in the base version, an improvement compared with the predecessor. The frontal area of the new Audi A6 measures 2.3 m2 (24.76 ft2).

The Headlights
The headlights give the A6 a distinctive look. Featuring a shallow design that becomes wider toward the fenders, they shift the visual focus outward. A curved panel, or wing, gives structure to their interior, and the bottom edge forms an undulatory contour.

High-intensity halogen headlights are a standard feature on the new Audi A6. Xenon plus units that include new all-weather lights and an LED daytime running light strip are optionally available from Audi. Also available is the adaptive light function, which ensures just the right illumination in all driving conditions. Among its features is the floating headlight range control system, which detects other vehicles and localities with a camera and adapts its own light by swiveling the modules with soft transitions.

The headlight control unit works together with the optional MMI navigation plus system, from which it obtains route data in advance. Using navigation-based vehicle assistance, the system can activate the highway lights while the car is still on the on-ramp, for example, or turn on the cornering light even before the car reaches an intersection.

The new A6 can also be outfitted with all-LED headlights - a major technological innovation from Audi. The white light they emit is similar to daylight; at night, it is gentler on the eyes. The LED headlights are long-lasting, maintenance-free, and highly efficient; at low beam, each unit requires just 40 watts of power.

The high-performance LEDs for the low-beam and high-beam headlights produce striking graphics. The daytime running lights and turn signal, comprising a multitude of LEDs, appear as a homogeneous strip at the bottom edge of the headlight. The high-beam assistant switches automatically between the low and high beams. The cornering light, the all-weather lights and the highway lights round out the system.

The Design

The latest Audi A6 is 4.92 meters (16.14 ft) long and has a wheelbase of 2.91 meters (9.55 ft). Measuring 1.87 meters (6.14 ft) in width, it is only 1.46 meters (4.79 ft) tall. Compared to the previous model, it comes in a few millimeters shorter and lower; it width and, most notably, its wheelbase, however, have grown significantly. The harmonious proportions - the long engine hood, the short overhangs, and the sweeping roofline - embody a character of athletic elegance.

Painted a high-gloss black, the large, low single-frame grill featuring beveled upper corners merges neatly with the sculptured front end. The horizontal orientation of the louvers underscores the width of the latest Audi A6, as do the wide, low air intakes.

The interplay between soft surfaces and precise, hard lines dominates the side view of the new Audi A6. Typical for the brand, the sheet-metal body is roughly twice as tall as the greenhouse. The tornado line beneath the window edge runs across the entire flank; it forms a prominent shaded edge, lending strength to the body's shoulders. Above the side sills lies the dynamic line, taking a slight upward turn. A high-gloss package accentuates the area around the windows.

The elegant line ends in a prominent tail end with a subtle spoiler edge. The matt black diffuser insert envelopes the two large, round tailpipes for the exhaust system. As is always the case on an Audi, the surfaces at the tail end are three-dimensional in shape. The styling of the two-part tail lights also echoes the trapezoidal shape of the headlights at the rear of the car.

In combination with the xenon plus and LED headlights, Audi also offers tail lights with LED technology, giving a three-dimensional effect to their light pattern. The rear lighting system forms a visually continuous band in the form of a wide, U-shaped curve; the turn signal lights form a strip that runs across the upper edge of the unit. Incandescent lamps illuminate the back-up lights and the rear fog lights.

The optional S line exterior package gives the car an even sportier look, with more prominently featured bumpers, grills on the air intakes, and diffuser insert. The diffuser and the center edge of the front spoiler are painted gray; the fenders and the door sills sport S line badges. The sill panels stay the same color as the body.
Audi offers the new A6 in 12 paint finishes. The two solid colors are called Ibis White and Brilliant Black. The eight metallic hues bear the names Aviator Blue, Dakota Gray, Ice Silver, Havana Black, Moonlight Blue, Oolong Gray, Quartz Gray and - coming soon - Glacier White. The pearl-effect colors Phantom Black and Garnet Red round out the selection.

The Interior
The new Audi A6 welcomes passengers in its interior with an ambiance of airiness and roominess; the sinewy, dynamic quality of the exterior is echoed in the interior lines. The wrap-around inlay defines the cockpit area, beginning at the driver's door and running in one large arc beneath the root of the windshield, then all the way to the front passenger's door. Curved elegantly around the driver's seat, the dash panel with its high-precision trim strip rounds out the taut-line concept.

Every detail in the interior has been executed with the utmost attention and care, on par with the finest handcrafted quality. Take, for example, the brilliant aluminum-look control knobs, which click and engage perfectly. Merely a few tenths of a millimeter wide, the gaps run exactly parallel. The shift gate and the start-stop button feature subtle red backlighting. The optional ambient lighting and lighting package emphasize the lounge atmosphere.

The front seats in the new Audi A6 provide excellent support and guidance for the body. Audi can also install the optional comfort seats, which can be adjusted in 18 different ways. These seats can be equipped with optional, luxurious air-conditioning and massage functions, featuring ten air cushions and five programs to pamper the back. Sport seats with accentuated side bolsters and an extendable thigh support mechanism are available as an alternative.

The seats at the rear of the executive sedan offer ample room for feet, knees, elbows, and heads, with continuously adjustable doors that make getting in easy. As part of the front comfort seating option, Audi can install two individual contoured seats in the rear compartment, but without sacrificing the third seat. Large, practical storage compartments are available at all of the seats, and a special storage package is available as an option.

The seats are upholstered in cloth as standard, with two types of leather and an Alcantara/leather combination available as options. The colors for the seat upholstery are black, goa beige, nougat brown, titanium gray, and velvet beige. Black, gray, brown, and beige hues are available for the interior, and the roof lining comes in black, silver, and beige.

In addition to the standard trims in Micrometallic platinum, the inlays are also available in an aluminum version. The inlays also feature wood veneers made of ash and walnut. In the near future, Audi will also offer a new, exceptionally attractive alternative - a veneer made of layered oak wood.

The new Audi A6 offers a whole host of functions, all of which can be controlled effortlessly owing to the brand's logical ergonomics concept. The latest-generation MMI radio operating system is standard; its terminal is situated on the wide center tunnel, where there is ample space thanks to the electromechanical handbrake. When the system starts up, the central on-board monitor with its high-gloss black frame extends from the instrument panel in an elegant movement; it measures 6.5 or 8 inches in diagonal, depending on the version.

The optional seven-inch driver information system (DIS) sits between the two large dial instruments. It is controlled by means of the multifunction steering wheel, which, like the DIS itself, is available in a number of versions. Among the system's standard features is the on-board computer featuring an efficiency program. The on-board computer provides a gear-change indicator, offers tips for fuel-efficient driving, and displays the current energy requirements of on-board electrical consumers.

A high-efficiency two-zone automatic air conditioning system comes standard in the new Audi A6. One of the most attractive options is the newly developed head-up display, which projects important information onto the windshield. The colored digits and symbols appear to float at a distance of approximately 2.5 meters (8.20 ft), allowing for optimal readability. Drivers can customize the display for specific information.

The luggage compartment, lined with high-quality carpeting, has a capacity of 530 liters (18.72 cubic ft). The rear seat backs can be folded down as an optional feature, a feature that is standard with comfort seats. For the tailgate, Audi offers an optional electric drive that can also be operated with the convenience key. Also available are a load-through hatch complete with ski bag, as well as a reversible mat.
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