Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, 2012

  •  Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, 2012
The top-of-the-range version of the 4-door coupé is equipped with the newly developed AMG V8 biturbo engine, featuring a peak output of up to 557 hp and 800 Nm of torque, as well as the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. On top of this, the vehicle's fuel consumption of 28.5 mpg represents an improvement of 32 per cent compared with the previous model (all figures provisional).

The combination of an AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with an electronically controlled damping system and new front axle, newly developed electromechanical AMG sports parameter steering, and also optional AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system, is synonymous with maximum driving dynamics. Visually, the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG impresses with its athletic appearance and distinctive exterior and interior design. The model's standard specification also includes innovative LED High Performance headlamps.

Like the S63 AMG and CL63 AMG, drivers of the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG will benefit from an eight-cylinder powerhouse, designated internally as the M 157: the new AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine boasts a combination of innovative high-tech components which, in addition to spray-guided direct petrol injection with piezo injectors, and include a full aluminium crankcase, four-valve technology with camshaft adjustment, air/water intercooling, generator management and stop/start system. With a displacement of 5461 cc, the eight-cylinder engine develops a peak output of 525 hp and torque of 700 Nm. In conjunction with the AMG Performance package, these figures increase to 557 hp and 800 Nm. Both variants of the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG achieve exceptional performance: acceleration from 0-62 mph takes 4.4 and 4.3 seconds respectively, and the top speed is 155 mph (electronically limited).

The major difference between both power units is the increase in the maximum charge-air pressure from 1.0 to 1.3 bar. In addition, the CLS63 AMG with the AMG Performance package features a special high-quality carbon fibre engine cover.

The Quantum leap: fuel consumption reduced by 32 percent
Despite a significant performance increase compared with the previous model, which had a naturally aspirated AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine producing 514 hp and 630 Nm of torque, the new Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG is some 32 per cent, more economical - which represents a quantum leap forward.

The NEDC fuel consumption of 28.5 mpg equates to a CO2 output of 232 g/km. Thanks to these figures, the new V8 Coupé from AMG not only undercuts all of its direct competitors in the small but refined four-door high-performance coupé segment, but is also more fuel efficient than significantly lower-powered vehicles. Both performance variants have identical fuel consumption and CO2 figures.

Exclusive: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission
A major contribution towards achieving the unrivalled consumption figures has been made by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission, a component used exclusively at Mercedes-AMG. Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, the MCT transmission does away with the torque converter; instead, it makes use of a compact, wet start-up clutch. Also fitted as standard equipment is the stop/start function: it is permanently active in the transmission's Controlled Efficiency ("C") mode, and switches the eight-cylinder engine off when the car comes to a stop. At the same time, "C" mode also means a "soft" accelerator response set-up with convenient and early gearshifts; moving off generally takes place in second gear. A green "ECO" symbol in the AMG instrument cluster shows the driver that the stop/start function is active.

The engine and transmission come across as much more agile in the "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual) modes; in addition, the stop/start function is switched off. In "S" and "M" modes, the engine management system partially suppresses the cylinders: interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts than before. The highly emotional vocals are an appealing side effect of this lightning-fast process. An automatic double-declutching function and RACE START function are also included as standard.

Autonomously developed AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension
The suspension, steering and braking system of the new CLS63 AMG complement the high-tech drive system perfectly. The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension, with steel suspension struts on the front axle and air suspension struts on the rear axle, as well as automatic level control, is enhanced further by an electronically controlled damping system; it automatically adjusts the damping characteristics depending on the driving conditions and reduces the roll angle of the body. The result: lightning-fast adjustment between optimum driving comfort and the best possible agility. The driver can switch between the three suspension modes of "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport plus" at the press of a button.

The autonomously developed front axle, with a track width which is 24 mm wider, is the perfect match for the newly developed electromechanical AMG sports parameter steering. It not only features variable power assistance which adapts according to the suspension mode, but also contributes towards reducing fuel consumption, since the steering assistance system only draws power when the vehicle is actually being steered. The 3-stage ESP also has individual setting options - thereby providing a definite advantage when it comes to combining driving pleasure with absolute driving safety.

AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system available as an option
Perfect deceleration even when driving extremely briskly is ensured by the AMG high-performance braking system with 360 mm, internally ventilated and perforated brake discs all-round. Particularly resistant, motorsports-tested composite technology is used on the front axle. The optional AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system with yet larger brake discs guarantees an even higher level of braking performance as well as lower unsprung masses. Good contact with the road, meanwhile, is provided courtesy of the titanium grey-painted, high-sheen AMG light-alloy wheels featuring a new triple-spoke design and fitted with 255/35 R 19 tyres on the front and 285/30 R 19 tyres on the rear.

Intelligent lightweight construction: making a significant contribution to efficiency
The highest level of engineering is also reflected in the body of the new CLS63 AMG: the intelligent lightweight construction makes a significant contribution towards addressing the classic conflicting goals of low weight and high strength. Like the SLS AMG, the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG is also fitted with doors featuring a full aluminium construction. They consist of deep-drawn aluminium panels with extruded sections, and are around 24 kg lighter compared with conventional steel doors. In addition, the bonnet, front wings, boot lid, parcel shelf, various support sections as well as major parts of the chassis and engine are all made from aluminium too.

Light-years ahead: LED High Performance headlamps as standard
The Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG is the first passenger car in the world to offer LED High Performance headlamps, which combine the exciting colour elements of LED technology - similar to those of daytime running lamps - with the performance, functionality and energy efficiency of today's bi-xenon generation. Fitted as standard, for the first time ever this new light system provides the Intelligent Light System already proven in Mercedes models fitted with bi-xenon headlamps in combination with LED technology. The headlamps, with their 71 LED lamps in total, underline the unmistakable appearance of the CLS63 AMG. The light specialists from Mercedes-Benz have for the first time been able to use LED technology in the Adaptive Highbeam Assist, resulting in an entirely new level of safety when driving at night.

In contrast to the first vehicles equipped with LED headlamps, no compromises are now necessary with respect to the functionality and performance of the lighting technology. There are further arguments for the new, LED-based lighting technology: the average operating life of an LED is around 10,000 hours, around five times longer than that of a xenon light; moreover, LED headlamps most closely approximate the colour temperature of daylight. This means that LED light is in keeping with normal human perception patterns. Studies have shown that the closer the colour of artificial light comes to daylight, the less strain there is on the eyes. With a colour temperature of 5500 kelvin, LED light is closer to daylight (6500 K) than xenon light (4200 K). The LED daytime driving lights specific to AMG are also presented in two characteristic light strips integrated into the AMG front apron.

The Exterior design inspired by the SLS AMG
When viewed from the front, the new Mercedes CLS63 AMG evokes associations with the SLS AMG - the radiator grille in particular, with its large Mercedes star and wing-shaped horizontal slats, appears to have been inspired by the gullwing. The top-of-the-range AMG model distinguishes itself from the other CLS variants with its distinctive bonnet, wider mudguards with "V8 BITURBO" logo and a specific AMG front apron with black painted cross member. Eye-catching features at the rear include the diffuser insert, the AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid, the AMG sports exhaust system with dual twin chrome tailpipes, and - as also featured on the SLS AMG - integrated rear foglamp. The AMG bodystyling perfectly matches the typical CLS outline, which is essentially characterised by the elegantly long proportions, the lateral dropping line and the muscular sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle.

Exclusive atmosphere in the interior
The philosophy also continues through consistently into the interior. All of the AMG-specific design and appointment features ideally supplement the redesigned CLS interior. The wrap-around effect in the cockpit, with its high line which sweeps from the driver's door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door, is generously flanked by high-quality trim elements - available in black piano lacquer as standard in the top-of-the-range AMG model. Quality materials and workmanship meet the very highest of standards and help to guarantee a particularly exclusive atmosphere.

The extensive range of standard appointments also includes AMG sports seats in nappa leather, a new three-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles and flattened top and bottom sections, and the AMG DRIVE UNIT with compact E-SELECT selector lever.

New driving assistance systems: greater safety

More than a dozen driving assistance systems on the new CLS help to prevent traffic accidents and reduce the severity of an accident. The Active Blind Spot Assist and the Active Lane Keeping Assist are new.

Active Blind Spot Assist warns the driver if it detects - with the assistance of short-range radar sensors - that there is a danger of collision if the vehicle is about to change lanes. Should the driver ignore the warnings and come dangerously close to the vehicle in the next lane, Active Blind Spot Assist  intervene. By applying braking force to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle via the Electronic Stability Program ESP, a yaw movement is created which counteracts the collision course.

Active Lane Keeping Assist is now also linked to the ESP for the first time. This system kicks into action if the driver inadvertently drifts over a solid line to the right or left of a lane. In this case, Active Lane Keeping Assist brakes the opposite wheels and thereby prevents the vehicle from crossing the line. A display on the instrument cluster warns the driver at the same time. If broken lane markings are crossed, the system controls an electric pulse generator in the steering wheel which generates vibrations for a short time - a discreet but highly effective cue to countersteer immediately. Before the braking system intervenes, the steering wheel always vibrates to provide a warning.

Design and equipment: The exclusively styled athlete - a true AMG
Distinctive, exclusive, unique - the design of the new CLS63 AMG can be described in just a few words. The exceptional position occupied by the four-door high-performance Coupé is apparent from the very moment you set eyes on it. High-quality materials, comprehensive standard equipment, and a dynamic ambience typical of an AMG are the defining elements of the newly designed interior.

Externally, the top-of-the-range AMG model differs from the other CLS variants as a result of some specific visual modifications. The front view is dominated by the distinct radiator grille, the three-dimensional shape of which is very reminiscent of the SLS AMG. The large Mercedes star and prominent wing-shaped horizontal grille slat with chrome trim are equally evocative of the gull-wing model. The long bonnet with its V-shaped contour hints at the powerful package which lies beneath.

The AMG front apron is also markedly powerful: thanks to the drawn-out side air intakes with black grilles - flanked by LED daytime driving lights - and central air intake with black-painted cross strut, it makes for a real head-turning feature. A further highlight of the front view are the LED High-Performance headlamps. The characteristic AMG front apron continues stylishly into the broad wings, with integrated "V8 BITURBO" logo. The side view - which is defined by an innovative interplay between lines and areas, the lateral "dropping line" and also the wide-set wheel arches - receives an additional touch of dynamism courtesy of the titanium grey-painted high-sheen AMG light-alloy wheels, which feature a new triple-spoke design. The filigree spokes also provide a glimpse of the generously dimensioned AMG high-performance braking system.

The powerfully shaped rear end of the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG is an equal match for the car's front and side views: the exciting profile of the AMG rear apron with black diffuser insert also incorporates the dual twin chrome tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system as well as the rear fog lamp. The wide wraparound bicolour tail lamps featuring LED technology and the wide metal insert make for additional visual highlights.

The harmoniously integrated AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid helps to reduce lift at the rear axle by around 26 percent and further enhances handling at high speeds.

Exceptional quality of interior finish
The impression of the interior on opening the doors is defined by the exquisite quality of finish and the "wraparound" effect which is typical of the CLS: a high line sweeps in an arc from the driver's door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door, ensuring a feeling of security. Onlookers will discover the highest quality of materials, for example in the generous use of black piano lacquer trim elements. Up to seven layers of paint are applied and polished off until the desired high-sheen finish is achieved. An even more exclusive touch can be give to the interior with the optional AMG trim elements in carbon fibre/black piano lacquer.

The same goes for the leather upholstery: the AMG sports seats in nappa leather with cross-stitch sports design feature a surface quality which is particularly soft to the touch, making any journey in the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG an exceptionally pleasant experience. The driver and front seat passenger are accommodated in separate, newly developed AMG sports seats with electric adjustment, multicontour and memory functions, seat heating and AMG badges. All interior elements with which the driver comes into contact are finished in leather. Three colours of leather, namely black, alpaca grey and almond beige, are available to choose from. The two individual seats in the rear are designed to match the front AMG sports seats.

The new AMG Performance steering wheel with its three-spoke design has aluminium shift paddles, flattened upper and lower sections as well as specially shaped grip areas covered in perforated leather. The three-dimensional airbag cover is embedded into a metallic trim element in "silver shadow", the lower spoke of which has an open design. Twelve multifunction buttons are used to control al of the infotainment functions. A special highlight is the high-quality analogue clock featuring an "IWC Ingenieur" design located between the centre air vents.
Read More

Mazda 3 MPS, 2012

  •  Mazda 3 MPS, 2012
The Mazda 3 was launched in 2003 it was more than a continuation of Mazda's long compact history, it was a revelation. The new compact looked sportier than most compacts at the time and was exciting to drive. People took notice and Mazda 3 quickly led the way in a rebirth of the Mazda brand around the world, reaching the 1-million production mark sooner than any Mazda model before it. The current second-generation model followed in 2008 and introduced an aggressive front end design. It remains the company's most popular car with almost 3 million sold globally.

Europe is the car's second-largest market worldwide with total sales of 613,000 units, nearly 100,000 of these from the current model achieved in less than two years. With almost 60,000 units sold in 2010, the Mazda 3 is the best-selling vehicle for Mazda in Europe. Mazda 3 has accumulated 125 global accolades since originally launched, including several Car of the Year awards. The first-generation won 99 of these over a 5-year period, while the current model has already taken home 26 awards.

The current second-generation Mazda 3 has built a strong reputation as one of Europe's sportiest compacts. It comes in two body styles, each with its own distinct character: the smooth, sporty elegance of the four-door sedan, and the muscular strength of the five-door hatchback. For even sportier tastes there's the Mazda 3 MPS, which is one of the most powerful frontwheel drive compacts. Besides this strong emotional appeal, state-of-the-art technology and a long list of equipment make Mazda 3 frugal, fun-to-drive and easy to use. It has a powertrain line-up of five petrols (including two DISI direct injection petrol engines), three common-rail diesels, five and six-speed manual transmissions, and four and five-speed automatic transmissions. A long list of standard equipment and options - like a premium ten-speaker BOSE stereo system and Bluetooth® MP3 capability - make the ride an enjoyable one. Park assist make city parking easier, and adaptive front xenon headlights, tyre-pressure monitoring, rear vehicle monitoring (according to grade/option) and ESS (Emergency Stop Signal) - along with standard front, side and curtain airbags- deliver superior safety

The Design Refinement
When it comes to head-turning good looks, Mazda 3 is already one of the market's most appealing compact line-ups with an aggressive hatchback and a sporty yet elegant sedan. This was confirmed less than two years ago, when a poll of 200,000 AutoBild readers across Europe voted Mazda 3 Europe's best-looking compact. For the facelift version, designers focused on updates that would continue the car's emotional appeal. They redesigned the front end to be more aggressive and aerodynamic, and reduced rear bumper thickness. These changes give the exterior a well-toned muscular appearance that underscores the car's solid build quality. This focus was carried through to the inside as well, where new materials and colours enhance quality feel, while the optimized ergonomics make the Mazda 3 facelift easier to use.

The current Mazda 3 introduced a new front end that gave the car a unique sporty edge that is immediately recognizable as Zoom-Zoom. This continues with the Mazda 3 facelift. The friendly yet sporty front face with large 5-point grille is updated to create a richer and more stylish impression. The corners of the front bumper now have a larger fascia around the air inlets, new round fog lights embedded in their lower sections, and a lower front lip that protrudes outwards more than before. These changes not only give the Mazda 3 facelift a more aggressive and emotionally appealing look, they function to improve aerodynamic performance as well.

Hatchback Rear End Design - Less Means More
Changes were also made at the back of the Mazda 3 facelift five-door version. The rear bumper is not as thick as before (it protrudes 30 mm less than the outgoing sports-grade hatchback) and the reflectors are placed closer to side panels. As a result, the facelift hatchback looks even wider and more solidly built when seen from the back. The shortened rear bumper allows easier loading and unloading of the Hatchback's luggage compartment, and the overall length of the car has been reduced by 30 mm (compared to sports grade).

New Wheel Designs and Colours
The sporty silhouette of the Mazda 3 gets new 16 and 17-inch wheel designs with more spokes that are twisted slightly backwards to give a dynamic, lighter look even when the car is standing still. Customers can choose between 8 exterior colours: an all-new Autumn Bronze Mica to go along with Indigo Blue Mica, Velocity Red Mica, Crystal White Pearl, Arctic White, Aluminium Metallic, Graphite Mica and Black Mica.

Cockpit - Now Easier to Use
The insightful combination of design and functionality continues on the inside of the Mazda 3 facelift with updates intended to create a more stylish interior that is also functional and easier to use. The current Mazda 3 already delivers superior cockpit ergonomics with a driver-orientated sporty dashboard, great all-round view of the road, telescopic and height adjustable steering wheel, height and front-toaft seat adjustment, and a high-mount shift level backed by a centre console that allows easy shifting with a flick of the wrist.

Leaving this unchanged, designers focused on lowering the amount of eye-movement it takes to use the car's onboard systems from behind the wheel. To realize this, they replaced the previous silver of the lower section of the dashboard middle console with black colour, and ringed dials and controls that are used most by the driver in brighter satinpolish silver that's easier to see.

They also replaced the red graphics of the current model's multiinformation display and LCD (under the instrument panel hood) to a crisp white, which makes them easier to see as well. The twin-metre driver cluster is also optimized in the facelift model to be easier to read, especially during the day. The previous blackout meters are replaced by continuously lit white graphics. These graphics are placed on either a grey background colour (standard and high grade models) or a sporty red gradation for the Mazda 3 MPS.

Colours and Materials
The facelift interior now has leather park-brake handle for all models. Designers introduced new design patterns in the seat-centre that are of higher quality. Standard grades have a centre fabric in black or beige with a three-dimensional pattern using wavy cross-threads for a strong sense of quality. High grades also use this wavy pattern in black and beige, but with shiny threading that changes according to how the light hits it.

Optimised Ride Comfort and Handling Stability
The 2011 facelift carries forth the Mazda 3 reputation for agility and easy handling by introducing new features that improve ride quality and handling stability. The result is a facelift model that is even more fun and predictable to drive on a daily basis.

Toitsu-kan - a Higher Quality Driving Experience
Mazda 3 is a driver's car. For the facelift version, engineers optimized handling and ride comfort even further to deliver a higher quality driving experience. To achieve this, the pilot must experience a "consistent and linear feel" while driving. Engineers gave this composite attribute a name, Toitsu-kan, and applied it to steering, suspension and body characteristics, along with engines and transmissions.

It delivers smooth transitions between acceleration, lateral and deceleration G forces in response to the basic aspects of driving, turning and stopping for a more linear and consistent driving feel.

Updates to Body Shell, Suspension and Steering
A new single brace bar that is made of stronger and more rigid reinforcement material is added to the front of the body, instead of the current two reinforcing bars, which is better at suppressing foreaft deformation, it delivers not only more rigidity, but a more refined handling stability (except for MZR-CD 2.2-litre diesel version).

To increase ride comfort, changes were made to Mazda 3's front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension system, and its electric-hydraulic power assisted (EHPAS) system. Mazda 3's EHPAS system was updated with new pump-flow settings and stiffer wheels were introduced. When combined with the more rigid body and optimized dampers, these contribute to better steering feedback and road feel, especially at mid and high speeds.

Improved Aerodynamics
A major contributor to handling stability of the Mazda 3 facelift is its new, aerodynamically-optimized front bumper. Its lower side sections protrude further forward, and the fins beneath it are larger. This streamlines the air hitting the front of the vehicle more effectively and lowers turbulence where air enters the front of the engine compartment.

It improves the effectiveness of the new front tyre deflectors and suppresses air swirling at the sides of the body. The updated front grille allows more gloss painting at the upper part of the grille (for high-grade) and less grille mesh is needed, which has the advantage of reducing the chance of mud or rocks entering the grille.

The front tyre deflectors are now 50 percent more rigid than before, which helps prevent deformation at high speeds. The floor undercover was also redesigned to contribute to better aerodynamics. It now covers 10 percent more area than before and the vertical grooves of the outgoing model are replaced in favour of a flatter surface. At the back, the undercover is curved and closer to the ground, which is better for controlling air-flow rearwards. How much these measures affect air-flow can be seen in the Mazda 3 facelift's improved coefficient of drag - for the sedan Cd is just 0.27 (0.28 for the current model) and 0.29 for the hatchback (0.30 for the current model). The Mazda 3 MPS coefficient of drag is unchanged at 0.32.

Taken together, these updates help the Mazda 3 facelift to respond perfectly to driver input, support Mazda's trademark one-with-the-car feel, improve handling stability at higher speeds, and make the ride even more comfortable.

Improved NVH
Also contributing to increased ride comfort is an improvement in NVH performance for the facelift. Pressure within the cabin increases as the body shell around the cabin flexes and moves, which amplifies interior noise. To lower this, engineers introduced a new B-frame beneath the floor that is 0.7 mm thicker than before and has a reinforced joining area with more spot welds, which helps lower cabin deformation, and there is increased floor damping material as well, which reduces road noise and makes the Mazda 3 facelift cabin even quieter.

Improved Fuel Efficiency and Lower Emissions
Over the past two years, the Mazda 3 line-up has been expanded by several new engines and derivatives bringing the total number of different powertrains to seven. For the Mazda 3 facelift, this outstanding portfolio is expanded to eight with the introduction of a new 1.6-litre petrol model with automatic transmission, and all but two engines have been enhanced to deliver better fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

5 petrol powertrains are offered for the Mazda 3 facelift, beginning with the MZR 2.0 DISI i-stop with six-speed manual transmission, which produces a sporty 110 kW/150 PS of power at 6,200 rpm and 191 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. This driving fun is combined with Mazda's stop/start system, i-stop, that shuts down the engine when the cars stops and saves fuel. For the Mazda 3 facelift, optimized engine tuning and improved aerodynamics have lowered fuel consumption by 0.1 litre to 6.7 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions from 159 to 157 g/km (combined).

The petrol line-up also has the high-performance MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo with a special-ratio six-speed manual transmission in the Mazda 3 MPS for sports purists. This engine is one of the most powerful front wheel-drive petrol in the world and produces 191 kW/260 PS of maximum power at 5,500 rpm, and 380 Nm of maximum torque at just 3,000 rpm. The engine uses 9.6 litres of petrol per 100 km, which is very acceptable for a high-performance car this exciting to drive.

When onboard for the Mazda 3 facelift are three lively, petrol engines that are very popular with European customers. This includes the MZR 2.0 petrol with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode for easy driving with an ideal mix of power and fuel economy. It produces 110 kW/150 PS at 6,500 rpm and 187 Nm of maximum torque at 4,000 rpm, while using 7.6 litres of fuel and producing 175 g/km of CO2 (combined).

The agile MZR 1.6 petrol with five-speed manual transmission is onboard for customers looking for driving fun combined with low consumption. It produces 77 kW/105 PS of maximum power at 6,000 rpm and 145 Nm of maximum torque at 4,000 rpm. With the improved aerodynamics of the Mazda 3 facelift design and a 5th gear raised from 0.820 to 0.775, this engines produces less CO2 than before (147 g/km, down from 149) and uses 6.4 litres of fuel per 100 km. It is now joined by a four-speed automatic transmission version (see box). The sedan with this powertrain uses 7.4 litres of fuel per 100 km while emitting a low 171 g/km of CO2 (combined). The hatchback model needs 7.6 litres of fuel per 100 km and produces 176 g/km of CO2.

New Mazda 3 1.6 Petrol Activematic Transmission
For the facelift, Mazda is expanding the line-up with a new MZR 1.6 petrol model with a four-speed automatic transmission called Activematic, which allows the convenience of driving in fully-automatic or manual mode. The automatic mode is comfortable yet sporty and includes slope control for uphill grades that prevents gear-hunt, and optimised downshift characteristics from fourth-to-second gear. Tuned especially for the 1.6-litre petrol engine, Activematic provides a linear, direct feeling of control with no compromises on spirited engine performance.
Read More

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kia Picanto 3-door, 2012

  • Kia Picanto 3-door, 2012

The all-new Picanto city car Kia is introducing a 3-door version to the line-up for the first time since the model appeared in 2004. The distinctively styled Kia Picanto 3-door, with a new range of trim levels, will go on sale in the UK from 1st September 2011.

The Kia Picanto 3-door has a unique, sporty character while still managing to deliver the same, seemingly contradictory, upgrades as the more family-focused five-door: stronger performance with lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the safety and luxury features of a large car without an outrageous price tag, and practicality within a compact package. If the five-door Picanto is 'the small car, grown up', then the 3-door is the same but with a twinkle in its eye.

Why  created the 3-door
City-car sales - referred to as the A-segment in Europe - are increasing all over the world as the costs of buying and owning cars gets more prohibitive and many people are downsizing.

Globally, the market for Picanto-sized cars in 2014 will be around 2.4 million. By 2015 - well within the second-generation Picanto's life cycle - that will have grown to 3.3 million. Around a million of these will be 3-door cars. Without a 3-door model, Kia would have nothing to offer 30% of buyers in one of the most dynamic sectors of the market.

In the UK, the importance of the 3-door car is even more pronounced: the sales split between body styles in the A-segment is a slender 55:45 in favour of five-door models.

Two unique cars from one central concept
The dimensions of the three- and five-door Picanto are identical in order to ensure they enjoy the same levels of interior space and crash safety. However, that simple statement does not do justice to the wealth of detailed work undertaken by Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer and his creative teams to ensure the 3-door has its own, unique character.

The changes are most obvious in profile, where new doors, rear panels and glass aft of the A-pillar give the Kia Picanto 3-door a fresh, dynamic appearance, accentuated by the rising belt line that slices through the door handle on each side, and the aerodynamically shaped side sill mouldings. Unique alloy wheels on the upper two trim versions are other distinguishing features of the Kia Picanto 3-door.

At the front and rear the Kia Picanto 3-door reveals its own personality, too. The main grille opening is larger than that on the five-door and is available with silver or red trim surrounds. The front bumper has been re-profiled to make the car appear wider and lower. It contains a slim, full-width lower grille, housing large black-bezelled foglamps with the two upper trim grades.

The rear bumper has a rectangular black central section in place of body colour, a relatively simple measure that makes the Kia Picanto 3-door instantly appear sportier. The finishing touch is created by exposed twin chromed exhaust outlets in place of the hidden single tailpipe of the five-door car.

Changes inside
The Kia Picanto 3-door is a practical small car with five seats and a big boot within an overall length of less than 3.6 metres, just like the five-door. And while its primary role might not be as a family runabout, Kia has done everything to make access to the back easy for those occasions when owners might want to give a lift to friends or relatives. Sliding and tilting front seats provide a wide 'walk-in' to the split rear bench.

The Kia Picanto 3-door has its own colour schemes and trim structure that reflect its role as the sportier model in the range. The entry-level model - badged Picanto 1 or, with air conditioning, Picanto 1 Air - comes with all-black upholstery. Above that, the models are called Halo and Equinox rather than 2 and 3. Halo has premium black and grey interior trim, while Equinox is finished in premium 'Chilli' red.

Depending on engine and trim combination, there is a choice of four exterior colours, and alloy wheels are standard on all but '1' and '1 Air' grade cars.

Efficiency across the range
The Kia Picanto 3-door offers brand-new 1.0- and 1.25-litre Kappa-family petrol engines, which deliver fuel economy of up to 67.3mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km. The larger engine is available with Kia's EcoDynamics fuel-saving technology - an Intelligent Stop & Go engine stop/start system - or, alternatively, with automatic transmission.

The three-cylinder 1.0-litre unit develops 68bhp and 95Nm of torque. The 1.25-litre four-cylinder engine is offered in three guises, all developing 84bhp and 121Nm of torque. In standard form it averages 60.1mpg. With a four-speed automatic transmission fuel consumption is an impressive 53.3mpg. Finally, there is the EcoDynamics version with fuel consumption at 65.7mpg.

The same new running gear developed for the five-door Picanto also appears on the 3-door. It features MacPherson struts at the front and a coupled torsion beam axle at the rear, a layout which gives the best combination of ride and handling while minimising intrusions into passenger and luggage space.

The new set-up ensures the Picanto is stable in a straight linear speed and supple over typical British bumps. A stiff rear axle aids agility while also contributing to the car's impressive stability and comfort.

Four trim grades
Whilst the five-door Picanto follows Kia's simple trim naming structure of '1' for the entry model, '2' for the mid-spec and '3' for the top-of-the-range version a different approach has been taken with the three door.

Picanto 3-door is offered in four trim specifications: 1, 1 Air, Halo and Equinox. The 1 and 1 Air carry over from the five-door and offer buyers a great value specification whilst the Halo and Equinox are new to the range.

Halo and Equinox are similar in concept to the popular 'Originals Collection' versions of the Kia Soul, such as the Soul Echo, Burner and Searcher, and each offer a very high level of specification. By offering both entry level and characterful, more luxurious specifications Picanto 3-door appeals to a broad customer audience within the growing A-segment.

The Standard features on all versions include a trip computer, height-adjustable seat, a tilt-adjustable steering column and Motor Driven Power Steering. In-car entertainment is provided by a RDS radio and CD player with MP3 compatibility. Picanto 1, 1 Air, and Halo have four speakers and Picanto Equinox has six. Picanto Halo and Picanto Equinox also have USB and AUX ports, an iPod cable and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. On the outside body-coloured mirrors and bumpers and twin chromed exhaust outlets are all standard.

The Picanto 1 Air is for those customers who want air conditioning, and the fantastic value of the 1 specification, but without upgrading to the even more highly specified Halo or Equinox versions.

Whilst the Halo and Equinox versions have differing equipment levels they share certain items such as Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, automatic lights, LED front daytime running lights and LED rear lights, body-coloured side sill mouldings and a red front grille surround.

The Halo version adds to this with unique 14" alloys, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, reverse parking sensors, alloy pedals and a Supervision Cluster - Kia's comprehensive electronic instrument binnacle. Inside the black and grey upholstery is complemented with a high gloss white centre fascia and steering wheel arm, on the outside the Halo is finished in Lunar Glow metallic paint.

The Equinox spec changes the interior to premium red 'Chilli' upholstery with a contrasting high gloss black fascia and gearknob. Distinctive 15" telephone-dial style alloy wheels lend a more sporting look to the exterior which is finished in Galaxy Black metallic paint. Automatic air conditioning and a smart key with a start/stop button are on top of the shared level of specification.

All versions have electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) to apportion stopping effort to the wheels with most traction, and emergency brake assist system (BAS), ensuring maximum stopping power regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver.

Should the worst happen every Picanto has front, side and curtain airbags to cushion heads and torsos against impacts from any angle. Front seat-belt pre-tensioners and load limiters brace occupants against a crash impact while reducing the risk of chest injury.

Picanto, in line with every other Kia, comes with the best warranty in the business - seven years or 100,000 miles on all non-wear and tear parts, including labour, subject to terms and conditions. The warranty is fully transferable to the next owner if the car is sold before the time or mileage limit expires.
Read More

Brabus Mercedes-Benz CLS, 2012

  •  Brabus Mercedes-Benz CLS, 2012

The second Mercedes-Benz CLS generation has arrived and in a world debut Brabus presents an exclusive tuning program for the new four-door coupe at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

Sporty-elegant design paired with aerodynamic efficiency is the trademark of Brabus. For the new CLS body components were developed in the wind tunnel. They are manufactured in OEM quality from flexible high-quality Pur-R-Rim.

The Brabus front spoiler is mounted to the production bumper and noticeably reduces lift on the front axle at high speeds. The front can be further upgraded with the Brabus front apron caps. They feature strikingly styled air inlets and LED daytime running lights, available with either dark or chrome surrounds.

The CLS gets a distinctly dynamic appearance with the Brabus sport fenders. In addition to gills each side also features a horizontal brace with illuminated Brabus lettering.
The Brabus sill skirts give the four-door an even lower, sleeker stance. A useful and appealing added feature is the set of integrated entrance lights that are activated via keyless fob or door handles.

LED lights for safely accessing the trunk in the dark are integrated into the Brabus rear apron. Custom-tailored cutouts in the new rear apron provide the perfect backdrop for the four tailpipes of the Brabus sport exhaust system. The rear appearance is rounded out with a centrally mounted reflector.
The Brabus rear spoiler creates a perfect aerodynamic balance and emphasizes the sporty character of the Brabus designer suit.

Other important contribution to the exclusive Brabus look for the new CLS comes from the Brabus Monoblock wheels in sizes ranging from 8.5Jx17 to 10.5Jx20. The OEM-quality alloys are available as one-piece and three piece wheels in six different designs.

The most exclusive version features Brabus Monoblock VI, E or S wheels in size 9Jx20 in front and size 10.5Jx20 in back. The latest addition to the Brabus wheel family is the Brabus Monoblock F wheel. Presented initially as a forged wheel it is now also available as a 20-inch cast wheel, which also celebrates its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2011. On the new CLS this wheel can be mounted in sizes 8.5Jx20 and 9.5Jx20, painted a grey "Liquid Titanium" shade. The largest tires supplied by Brabus technology partners Pirelli and YOKOHAMA for these wheels come in size 255/30 ZR 20 in front and in size 305/25 ZR 20 for the rear axle.

Specially calibrated to the use of sporty low-profile tires are the Brabus suspension solutions, developed in cooperation with technology partner BILSTEIN. The lineup ranges from Brabus sport springs for a ride-height lowering by some 30 millimeters (1.2 in.). Sportier ambitions can be met with the Brabus complete suspension, which combines the ride-height lowering with firmer but yet comfortable damper settings. CLS models equipped ex-factory with the semi-active AIRMATIC air suspension system can be lowered by some 35 millimeters (1.4 in.) with the Brabus suspension module.

Brabus offers the world's most extensive performance tuning program for Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The CLS 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY model equipped with Brabus ECO PowerXtra D4 performance kit delivers an additional 31 hp (31 bhp) / 22.8 kW and produces a peak torque of 560 Nm (413 lb-ft).

For the CLS 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Brabus offers the ECO PowerXtra D6S tuning kit. The plug-and-play auxiliary control unit can be installed by any authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer or any Brabus competence partner in less than 45 minutes. This high-tech performance tuning also gives the driver the opportunity to influence power yield via the selected shift program of the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission.

In "Eco" mode only peak torque is increased from 620 Nm to 690 Nm (457 to 509 lb-ft) between 1,600 and 2,400 rpm. The maximum power output remains unchanged. If the "Sport" mode is selected manually or activated automatically both peak torque and power output are increased. Maximum rated power output then jumps from 265 hp (261 bhp) / 195 kW to 313 hp (309 bhp) / 230 kW at a low 3,600 rpm. Using this setting, the tuned turbodiesel model sprints from 0 - 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 250 km/h (155 mph).

The Brabus engines are operated exclusively with ARAL high-performance lubricants.
Fully stainless-steel Brabus quad sport exhaust systems are available for all CLS engine variants. The precision-calibrated exhaust systems optimize power yield and produce a throaty exhaust note.

The interior design that meets every customer request is a particular Brabus specialty. The options for the new Mercedes CLS range from appealing accessories to custom-tailored interiors crafted from especially soft and breathable yet highly durable Brabus Mastik leather and Alcantara.

The ergonomically shaped Brabus sport steering wheel is available in a variety of leather/wood designs. It provides perfect road feedback and ensures a relaxed posture for long-distance driving.

Scuff plates with illuminated Brabus logo or the speedometer with 340-km/h dial (213 mph) add individual highlights as do the distinctly sporty Brabus interior accessories: They include aluminum components such as pedal pads, door-lock pins and shifter, and high-quality clear-coated carbon-fiber inlays for dashboard and center console. Brabus also offers wood trim in any desired color and grain.

The four-door Brabus Mercedes-Benz CLS coupe can also be equipped with a custom-tailored Brabus multimedia package.
Read More

Thursday, May 31, 2012

BMW 6-Series Convertible, 2012

BMW 6-Series Convertible, 2012

Words such as "breathtaking", "irresistible" and "flawless" epper the history of BMW convertibles. And now the brand has added a new chapter to a tradition of open-top cars that stretches back decades. The new BMW 6-Series Convertible fulfils the wishes of discerning automotive aesthetes with its finely honed sense for sporty driving pleasure, groundbreaking luxury and sparkling looks. In the exclusive environs of the premium convertible market, the 2+2-seater makes a convincing case for itself with the most efficient engines, most advanced chassis technology and most innovative comfort, infotainment and safety features in its segment.

A sweeping bonnet, set-back passenger compartment, long wheelbase and flat waistline embody the hallmark proportions of a BMW convertible. The new BMW 6-Series Convertible combines these features with a classic soft-top roof in customary "fin" design. Powerfully contoured surfaces and the surging dynamism of its lines promise assured driving properties. The luxurious ambience of the interior is highlighted by the driver-oriented cockpit set-up and wraps the front passenger and rear passengers in a feeling of exclusive security. Nowhere is the high-class functionality of the interior underlined more prominently than in the redesigned freestanding Control Display of the standard-fitted iDrive control system.

The new BMW 6-Series Convertible is available with two engine variants from launch. The eight-cylinder powerplant in the BMW 650i Convertible produces 300 kW/407 hp, while an exclusive variant of the six-cylinder in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo, direct injection and VALVETRONIC -generating 235 kW/320 hp - has been developed for the BMW 640i Convertible. Both engines team up as standard with an eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox. Standard-fitted BMW EfficientDynamics features include the Auto Start-Stop function in the BMW 640i Convertible.

Chassis technology unmatched in its segment works in tandem with the cutting-edge engines to ensure even greater dynamic capability and a similarly discernible improvement in ride comfort compared to its predecessor. The new BMW 6-Series Convertible comes as standard with Drive Dynamic Control, which allows drivers to choose their own suspension settings, while the Adaptive Drive system is available as an option with electrically controlled dampers and roll stabilisation. In addition to the standard-fitted electromechanical power steering, another unique feature in this segment is the optional Integral Active Steering system.

The new BMW 6-Series Convertible also underlines its progressive character with numerous BMW ConnectedDrive features that none of its rivals can match. The selection of optional driver assistance systems includes a rear-view camera, Surround View, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition and BMW Parking Assistant. The new BMW 6-Series Convertible is the only car in its segment to be available with a Head-Up Display. Making its debut in the new soft top, the latest generation of the system uses a broader palette of colours to create an even more detailed and sharper image.

The design: athletic elegance, natural sportiness and sparkling looks.
The luxurious yet dynamic driving experience of the new BMW 6-Series Convertible is reflected in the athletic elegance and sense-tingling sportiness of its exterior design. A long, sweeping bonnet, set-back passenger compartment, long wheelbase and flat waistline combine to create the proportions typical of a BMW convertible. The precise interplay of eye-catching lines and meticulously sculpted surfaces help to give the new BMW 6-Series Convertible its arresting looks.

Like the lines projecting out from the nose of the car and continuing along its full length, the harmoniously curved surfaces of the body take their cue from the movement of waves sent out by a the bow of a motor boat piercing the water. Continuing the theme, the waistline surface which leads the body into the interior mimics the character of a boat deck.

The front end: surging forward and focusing on the road.

The new BMW 6-Series Convertible also displays its dynamic character in its front end design. The large, slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille - its "shark nose" - gives the car a sense of surging forward, while a broad air intake, strikingly contoured bonnet and muscular wheel arches hint at its powerful engine technology and impressive roadholding. High-quality chrome elements positioned on the outer edges of the front apron further accentuate the width of the car. The optional foglamps consisting of a string of three LED units are placed in front of these chrome elements.

The standard xenon headlights of the new BMW 6-Series Convertible pick up on the brand's familiar "twin round" look. As standard, an accent strip cuts across the top of them; this is replaced by an LED accent light if the optional Adaptive Headlights are specified. The daytime running lights take the form of LED light rings, whose bright white light illuminates the distinctive front end look. A horizontal light strip below the daytime running lights, meanwhile, performs direction indicator duties.

Side view: elongated lines, athletic curves.
Uninterrupted, flowing lines lend the silhouette of the BMW 6-Series Convertible a sweeping elegance. Powerful curves mimicking the natural movement of waves give the car's side view a natural athleticism. The hallmark BMW swage line at door handle level is spawned in the front wheel arch gill - which houses the side indicator - and extends all the way back into the rear lights.

Another character line is released from the bulge of the front wing, stretching powerfully over the front wheel like a wave before dropping down and continuing horizontally towards the rear. Together with the swage line, it creates a dynamic wedge shape which emphasises the car's forward-surging character.

The striking V-shape and accentuated width of the rear end create a powerful appearance.
Wide and flat surfaces define the rear of the new BMW 6-Series Convertible. The dominance of horizontal lines adds extra emphasis to the wider track of the new car compared to its predecessor. In addition, downward-converging lines underline the car's focus on the road, echoing the approach at the front end. This distinctive V-shape is created by lines including the side edges of the boot lid, the licence plate surround and the contours of the reflectors positioned in the bumper. The slightly concave lower section of the boot lid produces light and shade effects which lend an extra lightness to the rear of the car.

The two-part rear light clusters give the brand's familiar L-shape a particularly sporty, dynamic edge. Inside the units, two LED-powered light strips create the familiar BMW night-time look. The indicators and brake lights are also LED units.

The interior: seats for four - and each one made to measure.
The new BMW 6-Series Convertible is designed to be a 2+2-seater. Its interior offers individually tailored seats for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. High-quality materials, carefully coordinated colours and, once again, meticulously formed surfaces combine to produce an ambience defined by luxury, sweeping dynamism and stylish functionality. A hallmark BMW element of the interior design is the driver-oriented cockpit layout. The central section of the instrument panel, containing the iDrive system's Control Display, the central air vents and the controls for the audio system and air conditioning, are all angled slightly towards the driver. Added to which, the gearshift lever and the buttons for the parking brake, roof operation and Drive Dynamic Control are located on a surface that opens out towards the driver and is set lower than the front passenger side of the centre console.

The front passenger area is bordered by a surface curving elegantly from the armrest over the side edge of the centre console, upwards and outwards into the instrument panel and then horizontally into the door trim. This provides a harmonious surround for the front passenger area, creating a feeling of exclusive security. The contour of the rear waistline surface, which extends slightly into the interior between the head restraints, highlights the individual seat layout of the rear.

Premiere: freestanding Control Display with flatscreen design.
The black-panel instrument cluster of the new BMW 6-Series Convertible combines the traditional sports car circular instruments with state-of-the-art display technology. The navigation system, telephone and entertainment functions are operated using the standard-fitted iDrive control system, whose Control Display boasts an innovative design. The on-board monitor takes the form of a freestanding display for the first time in the new BMW 6-Series Convertible. The standard 7-inch screen can be upgraded to 10.2 inches by ordering the optional Navigation system Professional, and the larger screen has a high-quality galvanised chrome surround. The minimal depth of the display gives it the character of a flatscreen unit. The new arrangement of the Control Display - which now reaches further into the passenger compartment - also influences the architecture of the instrument panel, which rises up steeply in front of the driver and front passenger in the style of a powerboat cockpit

The impression is further enhanced by the structure of the door trim panels. Their surfaces have a powerfully taut look and, like the black waistline surface, pull in and rise up to create a smooth transition into the instrument panel, giving the interior the effect of wrapping around the driver and front passenger.

Exclusive and distinctive: the fin roof.
The new BMW 6-Series Convertible again comes with an electrically powered soft-top roof with "fin" architecture. The multi-layer roof - which has been optimised once again in terms of its acoustic properties and structural rigidity - offers outstanding thermal insulation and thus enables the new convertible to be used comfortably all year round. The fins project out along the flanks of the 6-Series into its rear section, accentuating the car's gracefully sweeping silhouette even more keenly than on its predecessor and giving it an unmistakable appearance. The upshot is that the transition of the roofline into the rear end flows as smoothly as on a hard-top coupé. The upright, heated, glass rear window is positioned directly behind the rear seats and can be lowered separately from the roof.

The automatic opening and closing operation for the roof is activated as standard using a button on the centre console. The Comfort Access option allows the process to be initiated using the remote control button on the car key. Opening the roof takes 19 seconds, the closing process 24 seconds. Both operations can be activated while on the move at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph).

The fin roof of the new BMW 6-Series Convertible is available in three colour variants, including new Anthracite Silver effect, which adds a stylish lustre. Two non-metallic exterior paint finishes and seven metallic shades are available. As an alternative to the standard Dakota leather trim, customers can also specify the Exclusive Nappa leather variant which can be ordered in four colour options. As well as the instrument panel, the centre console and the upper sections of the rear door panel and side trim can also be lined with Exclusive Nappa leather as an option. Plus, interior elements covered with Exclusive Nappa leather can also be ordered with optional stitching in a contrasting colour. The double stitching stands out from the leather surface, lending a particularly elegant flourish to the design of the interior.

Optimised seat comfort; boot capacity can be expanded as required.
At 4,894 millimetres (192.6 in.) in length, the new BMW 6-Series Convertible is 74 millimetres (2.9 in.) longer than its predecessor. Its similarly extended wheelbase now stretches to 2,855 millimetres (112.4 in.). The car has also grown by 39 millimetres (1.5 in.) in width, and now measures 1,894 millimetres (74.5 in.) across, while 9 millimetres (0.35 in.) have been shaved off its height (now 1,365 mm / 53.7 in.). These dimensions not only create a significantly more powerful and, at the same time, elegantly sweeping overall impression, they also take interior spaciousness to new levels. Despite its lower height, the new BMW 6-Series Convertible offers greater headroom in both the front and the rear. Added to which, the height adjustment of the driver and front passenger seats cover a greater range. The increase in the width of the interior is noticeable from all four seats, and passengers in the rear seats also benefit from additional legroom. The tilt angle of the rear seat backrest has seen further optimisation over the predecessor model and now achieves virtually the same angle as you will find in BMW saloons.

A ski bag with an opening in the rear seat backrest is available as an option and offers space for two sets of skis. The new BMW 6-Series Convertible boasts 300 litres (10.6 cu. ft.) of boot space with the roof open, allowing two 46-inch golfbags and a business case to be accommodated. With the roof closed, the variable soft-top stowage compartment can be folded up in a single movement to increase boot capacity to 350 litres (12.3 cu. ft.).

Newly developed lightweight seats, comprehensive safety equipment.
The new BMW 6-Series Convertible is fitted with newly developed lightweight seats with an integrated seatbelt system, and the seats are available in three variants. As an alternative to the standard items, customers can also order sports seats with integral head restraints or comfort seats with a wider range of adjustment. All seat variants come with crash-activated head restraints.

The range of standard safety equipment also includes front airbags, head-thorax side airbags integrated into the seat frame, three-point automatic belts for all seats, belt force limiters and front belt tensioners, ISOFIX child seat mounts in the rear and a roll-over protection system. The roll-over system further developed specifically for the new BMW 6-Series Convertible consists of two bars placed behind the rear head restraints. As soon as the central safety electronics register a danger of the car rolling over, the pyrotechnic release mechanism is activated, at which point the high-strength aluminium bars rise up from their rest position in a fraction of a second.

Carefully targeted advances in the use of materials and in the development of the car's load-bearing structure have significantly enhanced the body's construction in terms of the agility and safety it offers. Its static torsional rigidity is now around 50 per cent greater than that of its predecessor. In the interests of weight optimisation, the doors, bonnet and front axle spring mounts are all aluminium, while the front side panels, roof lid and boot are made from glass fibre composite.

Majestic power: eight- and six-cylinder engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo.
Instantaneous power development and majestic torque are the stand-out features of the two engines available for the new BMW 6-Series Convertible from launch. The V8 powerplant and six-cylinder in-line unit both have BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and direct injection, and combine their sporting character with outstanding smoothness and exceptional efficiency.

The 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine in the new BMW 650i Convertible develops a maximum 300 kW/407 hp between 5,500 and 6,400 rpm, and puts its peak torque of 600 Newton metres (443 lb-ft) on tap between 1,750 and 4,500 rpm. This unique engine, whose turbochargers are positioned in the V-shaped area between the cylinder banks, produces an instantaneous and sustained wave of power, making it a feast for the enthusiast driver. The new BMW 650i Convertible completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.0 seconds, and the engine electronics eventually step in to halt acceleration at 250 km/h (155 mph). This range-topping engine also boasts extraordinary efficiency for a model in its output class, as average fuel consumption of 10.7 litres per 100 kilometres in the EU test cycle (26.4 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 249 grams per kilometre clearly show.

The six-cylinder in-line engine under the bonnet of the new BMW 640i Convertible complements its BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and petrol direct injection with VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control. All of which enables the 3.0-litre unit to develop a maximum 235 kW/320 hp at 5,800 rpm and maximum torque of 450 Newton metres (332 lb-ft) between 1,300 and 4,500 rpm. This engine propels the BMW 640i Convertible from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Its average fuel economy in the EU test cycle comes in at 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres (35.8 mpg imp), while CO2 emissions are 185 grams per kilometre.

Eight-speed Sports automatic and BMW EfficientDynamics as standard.
The eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox fitted as standard in the new BMW 6-Series Convertible boasts a combination of sportiness, shift comfort and efficiency unmatched in its segment. Its minimal converter slip and rapid and precise gear changes set it apart from the crowd. An innovative gear set configuration allows this transmission to offer eight gears and a correspondingly wide gear range - which optimises the car's sprinting power yet also allows the driver to save fuel by driving at low revs - despite its compact construction and low weight. The driver can also change gear manually using shift paddles on the steering wheel.

In addition to the efficiency of the engines and eight-speed Sports automatic, an extensive range of BMW EfficientDynamics measures also contribute to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Technology such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering (EPS), the need-based operation of ancillary components, intelligent lightweight construction and low-rolling-resistance tyres ensure maximum efficiency. Plus, the new BMW 640i Convertible is also equipped with automatic active air flap control and the Auto Start-Stop function. When the driver draws to a standstill at junctions or in a traffic jam the engine is automatically switched off. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal, the engine starts up again. If the driver is using the Auto Hold function, the engine is restarted when the accelerator is depressed.

Advanced chassis technology including Electric Power Steering; Integral Active Steering available as an option.
Cutting-edge chassis technology gives the new BMW 6-Series Convertible the tools it needs to lay on sporty handling characteristics and exceptional comfort. Both the double wishbone front axle and the integral rear axle are made predominantly from aluminium. The chassis set-up is geared to the requirements of drivers with sporting intentions, though the dampers also respond sensitively to bumps in the road surface under high lateral acceleration. The optional Adaptive Drive system, which includes Dynamic Damper Control and the Dynamic Drive active roll stabilisation system, offers the driver even more precise responses. The electronically controlled dampers adapt to both the nature of the road surface and the driver's style to prevent unwanted movements in the car body. The roll stabilisation system reduces factors such as body sway in fast-driven corners and sudden direction changes.

Electric Power Steering with Servotronic serves up the familiar BMW recipe of precision, comfort and efficiency, and is unique in the BMW 6-Series Convertible's segment. Added to which, the new BMW 6-Series Convertible is the first car in its class that can be ordered - as an option - with Integral Active Steering. This system combines the Active Steering system for the front axle already available for the predecessor model with a steering rear axle, allowing the steering angle and power assistance to be controlled at both the front and the rear with the help of electric motors. Precisely harmonised wheel turns pave the way for extraordinary agility in dynamic driving situations. And Integral Active Steering also displays an impressively deft touch around twisty mountain passes and in city traffic.

Drive Dynamic Control allows a choice of suspension settings.
With Drive Dynamic Control the virtues of sportiness and comfort can take precedence as the situation demands. The driver can make his own choice of suspension settings in NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+ modes using a button on the centre console. If the Adaptive Drive option has been specified, he can also make use of the COMFORT setting. In this mode, as well as adjusting the accelerator pedal progression, engine responses, power steering characteristics, DSC response thresholds and the shift dynamics of the automatic gearbox, Drive Dynamic Control also tweaks the damper responses and roll stabilisation settings. On cars fitted with Integral Active Steering, the basic steering set-up is also adjusted according to the mode selected, not just the level of power assistance. As a result, in SPORT and SPORT+ modes the car's sporting responses are sharpened even further.

The lightweight floating-calliper brakes with inner-vented discs are easy to use with precision, and their effectiveness is reinforced by Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). This driving stability system brings together technology such as the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), the Start-off Assistant, the automatic Brake Drying function and brake fade compensation. Standard equipment also includes 18-inch light-alloy wheels on the new

The BMW 650i Convertible or 17-inch rims for the new BMW 640i Convertible, as well as runflat tyres and a runflat indicator.

Cutting-edge comfort-enhancing features and exclusive options from BMW ConnectedDrive.
Among the comfort-enhancing features included as standard in the new BMW 6-Series Convertible are 2-zone automatic climate control with convertible mode, a hi-fi audio system with CD player and AUX-IN socket, a multifunction steering wheel, electrically operated front seats with memory function and a rain sensor with integrated automatic driving lights control. Among the highlights of the optional equipment list are Adaptive Headlights, a heated steering wheel, active seat ventilation, active seats and the Navigation system Professional with a hard disk for storing maps and personal music collections.

The new BMW 6-Series Convertible is available with an even greater variety of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive. It can be ordered with technology such as the Lane Change Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System, Speed Limit Info, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, rear-view camera, Surround View and the BMW Parking Assistant. Innovative technologies optimise the integration of the Apple iPhone and other smartphones, as well as music players. And, in addition to internet access, BMW ConnectedDrive also allows email messages received on a smartphone to be shown on the Control Display as well as the use of internet-based services for navigation and entertainment.

What's more, the latest-generation Head-Up Display - a unique feature in this class - is making its debut in the new BMW 6-Series Convertible. The system projects driving-related information onto the windscreen within the driver's direct field of view. The graphics and symbols are now displayed using a full spectrum of colours, allowing traffic symbols, for example, to be realistically depicted.

The BMW 6-Series Convertible: exclusive driving pleasure and a unique heritage.
The new BMW 6-Series Convertible sees the world's most successful manufacturer of premium cars building on an unparalleled tradition. The allure of exclusive driving pleasure in open-top BMW sports cars continues to hold a magnetic attraction after more than 70 years. The extraordinary history of BMW convertibles stretches from the legendary BMW 328 - which provided the basis for the winning car in the 1940 Mille Miglia - via the highly coveted BMW 507 of the 1950s, to the dynamic and groundbreaking predecessor to the new BMW 6-Series Convertible.

Read More