Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lexus GS 250, 2013

  •  Lexus GS 250, 2013
The fourth generation Lexus GS features an all-new exterior reflecting a further development of Lexus' unique, L-finesse design philosophy, making the car look bolder and more dynamic.

Though remaining the same length, the new GS has a 10mm shorter front overhang, a 10mm longer rear overhang and is 30mm higher than its predecessor. Improving high speed stability, the front track has been increased by 40mm and the rear track by 50mm. Overall vehicle width has increased by 20mm.

Key to the new design is a more aggressive frontal treatment which gives the new GS the powerful, commanding road presence appropriate to a Lexus sports sedan.

In a further evolution of a styling cue first developed on the CT 200h, the inverted trapezoid upper grille and slanted lower grille have been combined and integrated into a single element, bridging the bumper mid-section to create a prominent 'spindle' shape. The brake cooling ducts at either side of the spindle grille combine a distinctive style with engineering functionality.

The bold, elegant and highly individual grille treatment makes the GS instantly recognisable as a Lexus at first glance, and will be adopted throughout the brand to strengthen the Lexus family identity between model ranges.

The grille is flanked by headlamp clusters clearly positioned on a higher plane than the grille itself. This is a unique characteristic of Lexus models, focusing the eye at the very apex of the vehicle to give the design a resolute look and strengthen the impression of speed and agility.

The headlamps themselves are underscored by newly developed, integral LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) which form the L-finesse arrowhead motif, further reinforcing the unique visual signature of the new GS.

Exclusive to the hybrid GS 450h, a unique three-lamp design aligns the turn signal and Lexus-first high and low beam LED lamps in a single horizontal row. The improved illumination and beam range provided by LED lamps offers significantly superior visibility even under low beam driving conditions.

Integrating sharply sculpted front foglamp housings, the deep front bumper forms a wide, trapezoid shape which anchors muscular front wings and flared wheel arches, reinforcing the new GS's wider front track, broad stance and powerful road presence.

In profile, the new GS shares its predecessor's long, elegant cabin proportions and slingshot window design highlighted by a stainless steel door frame moulding. But a new, 15mm higher roofline reflects the increase in rear passenger accommodation and boot space whilst providing optimum aerodynamic performance for a drag coefficient of Cd 0.26.

The door handle design has been changed, making it easier to grip, and the smart entry lock mechanism has been changed from a push switch to a touch sensor, improving both appearance and operability. The door mirror now incorporates both an LED side turn signal lamp and a puddle lamp. Both the door panel gaps and the gap between wheel arches and tyres have been reduced, further enhancing the appearance of the new GS model range.

To the rear, the new design narrows behind the flared wheel arches, exposing the lower portion of the rear tyre to emphasise the vehicle's wide rear track. LED lamp clusters feature aero-stabilising fins to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency and driving stability of the car. Uniquely, the rear bumper of the GS 450h covers the exhaust pipe apertures.

In addition to its new headlamp design, the new GS 450h may be further identified by hybrid-specific, front, rear and side blue badging.

F Sport Exclusive Features
The F Sport package is available across the entire GS model range. F Sport exterior design features include exclusive front grille and bumper, rear bumper and lip spoiler treatment, 19" alloys and grade-specific badging.

The F Sport front bumper design features a more three-dimensional form at the sides, incorporating enlarged side grilles. Combined with an exclusive, upper and lower grille mesh design, this reinforces the new GS's more aggressive appearance, wider track and sporting stance.

To the rear, F Sport petrol engine models feature a grey metallic paint finish to the bumper diffuser. The Lexus GS 450h F Sport diffuser combines grey metallic paint with a chrome plated moulding to the lower section of the bumper to further enhance the vehicle's road presence.

All F Sport models further benefit from a grade-specific rear spoiler and exclusive, dark premium metallic 19" alloy wheels.

Exterior Colours
The new GS is available in a choice of 11 colours, including three that are new to the Lexus colour palette: Crimson Red, Meteor Blue and Sonic Silver. Vehicles in Crimson Red benefit from glass flakes incorporated into the coating, adding a high level of brilliance to the paint.

Lexus engineers developed a new advanced coating process for the Sonic Silver finish. The new GS is the first Lexus to adopt this new coating technology. Vehicles with the Sonic Silver exterior appear more radiant as an additional metallic texture gives both strong shading and defined, sharp highlights. This metallic effect makes subtle and defined bodylines more noticeable and the surface appear finely polished.

An ergonomically designed, driver-focused cockpit enabling customers to remain alert and comfortable over long periods of time is an essential requirement of a sports sedan.

The new GS interior represents a continuation of the next generation Lexus interior design theme first seen in the CT 200h. With all functional driving components consolidated in the driver's seat surroundings, it combines outstanding ergonomics with advanced Human Machine Interface technologies.

Driver Focused Cockpit
A clean, elegant dashboard design forms a wide horizontal plane, emphasising the overall roominess of the interior, whilst the door and centre console trim support the driver and front passenger in a secure, cocooned environment.

The dashboard is divided into two distinct zones: an upper Display Zone, with the largest, ultra-wide, 12.3 inch, LCD multi-display screen yet installed in a production car, located at an ideal distance for at-a-glance viewing, and a lower Operation Zone, which allows access to system controls such as the second generation of Lexus' award winning, computer mouse-style Remote Touch Interface (RTI).

Every aspect of the driving position has been carefully considered to create the ideal placement of controls, maximise comfort and minimise driver distraction and fatigue

A new front seat features a lower hip point, placing the driver closer to the GS's centre of gravity, and combines optimum holding ability with superlative comfort. An extended seat sliding range caters for the widest possible cross-section of occupants. As well as a new mid seat back folding adjustment, multiple adjustment mechanisms include a butterfly headrest, shoulder support, side support, 4-way lumbar support, and a cushion length adjustable by 76mm .

The airflow volume of the seat ventilation system has been increased to almost twice that of the current model. And soft padded, tactile finishes to the centre console arm rest, knee pads and door arm rests further enhance the long-distance comfort of the driving position.

The steering wheel features an enlarged, 50mm telescopic reach to bring it closer to the driver, and has been set at a low angle to facilitate large steering inputs without the need for the driver to move their body unnecessarily through over-reaching. Even the cross-section has been painstakingly analysed; no longer uniform throughout the entire circumference of the wheel, its varying profile allows for a relaxing grip and smooth steering inputs.

Brake pedal operability has been optimised with a new pedal shape and surface angle, and the footrest size increased to 300mm for a better fit and greater comfort.

The driver's instrument binnacle incorporates large diameter Optitron dials. Minimising the driver's eye movement from the road ahead, a new Head-Up Display (HUD) relays essential driving information. Its visibility has now been significantly improved. By implementing a wedge-shaped glass for the windshield and the PVC film for displaying information, the clarity of projection has been increased as well as double image projection avoided. The HUD now displays a wider range of information including SPORT mode (tachometer) display and ECO bar display in addition to the speed and audio displays already implemented.

The driver's forward visibility has also been maximised - slim A pillars and a taller windscreen creating a wider field of view. And even the bonnet visibility range has been tailored to allow the driver to readily establish the vehicle extremities, making it easier to place when manoeuvring in confined spaces.

Comfort, Convenience and Contemporary Craftsmanship
Despite having an identical wheelbase length to that of its predecessor, the new GS offers increased space and comfort to all vehicle occupants. Both front and rear door openings have been designed for maximum ease of ingress and egress, with a particular focus on head clearance.

Front cabin occupants benefit from a new seat back design which is more comfortable for taller passengers. A greater seat sliding range and seat height adjustment give an increase in legroom and up to 30mm of extra headroom.

Rear seat passengers benefit from new seats with a revised seat back angle and redesigned cushion shape for greater comfort. A thin front seat design improves knee room by 20mm, and headroom has been increased by 25mm.

Allied to a new, more compact rear suspension layout, a wider opening, increased deck length and reduced deck height combine to make the new GS's luggage space more practical, and significantly increase its volume to up to 566 litres (a 31% increase over the current GS 350). The smart-packaging of the hybrid battery into a stacked format also increased the GS 450h's luggage capacity to up to 482 litres2 (a 61% increase over the current GS 450h).

Throughout the interior, high-quality materials and finishes convey a contemporary, premium look and feel, with a level of craftsmanship and attention to detail for which Lexus is globally renowned.

A new interior colour scheme replaces the traditional two-tone design with a more versatile palette. The dashboard, floor and steering wheel are uniformly black to create a sporting, luxurious feel. And the leather instrument panel features coloured stitching - available in grey and ivory depending on the interior tone- to enhance the premium quality of the cabin environment.

Matching seat and door upholstery will be available in a choice of six colours - Black, Ivory, Grey, Saddle Tan, Topaz Brown and Garnet. In addition to Ebony, Walnut and Bamboo wood finishes, newly developed Black Gloss and Aluminium bring a contemporary, artistic look and feel to the interior ornamentation.

A world first, the steering wheel of the GS 450h will be available in a real bamboo finish, symbolising the innovative spirit and environmental credentials of the vehicle's Lexus Hybrid Drive system.

The GS interior's air of sophistication and luxury is reinforced through Lexus' painstaking attention to detail throughout. It incorporates exquisitely crafted details such as satin metal trim, high quality stitching and the brushed aluminium knobs of the audio system. A new analogue clock with LED indicators, carved from an ingot, adds a unique touch.

The beautifully crafted interior is complimented by an all-white LED interior lighting system which creates an atmosphere appropriate to a premium performance sedan. Reinforcing the GS's highly refined on-board ambience, elements of the LED lighting illuminate to greet the occupants as they approach the car, even before it is unlocked, activating and fading thereafter in sequence with the vehicle starting procedure.

F Sport Exclusive Features
F Sport model interior design features include matching door and seat upholstery also available in Garnet -a grade-exclusive colour, combined with newly developed Aluminium ornamentation, 16-way electrically adjustable F Sport front seats, a black headliner and pillar finish, a dimple perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob, Aluminium pedals and dashboard trim, exclusive black logo scuff plates and F Sport badging to the steering wheel.

Several highly innovative technologies make a first appearance in the new GS model range, including a new, energy saving air-conditioning system with S-Flow and 'nanoe' technologies, a second generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) linked to the world's largest on-board multi-information display screen, and a choice of audio systems offering unparalleled power and clarity.

Second Generation RTI with 12.3" Multimedia Display
The second generation Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) multi-function control device has been enhanced for increased user-friendliness and ease of operation.

It now features the world's first slide haptic joystick mechanism -a planar slide-type controller that is much like a computer mouse, and the ENTER command is now accomplished by simply pushing the controller. Usability has also been improved through the addition of ambient lighting, and by minimising the difference in height between the RTI controller and the armrest.

RTI allows users to manipulate the cursor quickly and easily across the world's largest on-board multimedia display; a 12.3 inch, full colour, LED screen with an ultra-wide, 24:9 format. The screen's size allows for the permanent display of two types of information simultaneously, such as map/audio, night view/map and navigation input/incoming call.

Improved Navigation System
The new GS' navigation system has been enhanced by using also TPEG (Transport Protocol Expert Group) data including TFP (Traffic Flow and Protection) information, parking lot availability and fees which additionally allows to set a certain parking slot as destination.

S-Flow Air Conditioning with Nanoe Technology
Considerably more powerful than the previous system, the new air-conditioning features S-Flow technology to maintain optimum occupant comfort whilst significantly reducing power consumption. Using sensors it determines if the front passenger seat is occupied. If not, the system automatically closes all vents serving this seat. The same happens to the rear seats when the S-Flow button is switched on. This maximises system efficiency.

In addition the system measures the ambient air temperature, interior air temperature and insolation to determine the optimal level of air conditioning. The target airflow volume is customised for each seat through Temperature Airflow Output (TAO) control. When the thermal load is large (cooldown in summertime, warm-up in winter) air conditioning is implemented in the entire car to quickly obtain a comfortable interior temperature. Once the overall interior temperature is stabilized, the system concentrates only on occupied seats.

During the development of the centralised occupant sensing control system, intensive vehicle tests in wind tunnel facilities were performed. The system was also repeatedly tested on both test courses and actual roads to ensure it maintains comfortable driving in a range of environments.

In addition to the TAO control, upper and lower independent, multilayer air mix technology has been adopted to achieve an environment tailored for both driver, front and rear passengers. This allows for example to set the upper air mix for coolness to deal with effects of solar insolation, and at the same time the lower air mix for warmth.

The new system also introduces a 2-tier Interior / Exterior Air Control which prevents window fogging by inducing low humidity exterior air to the upper half of the cabin while maintaining excellent heating performance in the foot area by circulating interior air. This avoids ventilation losses which are characteristic to conventional control system where cold exterior air is induced into heated interior air.

The new GS is also equipped with a new deodorizing filter, which, in addition to the removal of pollen and dust, etc., also removes exhaust gas from the ambient air.

In addition, the air conditioning system incorporates a new 'nanoe' technology system. This air cleaning technology operates automatically when the air conditioning is turned on. It releases 20 to 50Nm diameter nanoe particles -negatively charged ions wrapped in water molecules- into the cabin via the driver's side dashboard air vent.

By attaching themselves to airborne particles and molecules, the nanoe ions have been said to have both an air purifying and odour eliminating effect. They also deodorise vehicle seats and ceiling to create a cleaner cabin environment.

In addition, because nanoe moisture content is approximately 1,000 times that of conventional ions, the emission of ions bonded to water molecules is said to have a moisturising effect on skin and hair, acting to enhance occupant well-being.

Audio Systems
The new GS range may be equipped with a choice of two audio systems.
The standard system represents the next generation of realism and clarity in Lexus sound. It features a fully digital Class-D amplifier capable of creating virtually distortion-free sound with minimal voltage losses. The natural sound dynamics and rich harmonies generated by the high definition amplification are faithfully reproduced by an enhanced, 12-speaker layout which features a new, front three-way system.

The new top of the range 17-speaker Mark Levinson® Premium Audio system creates sound based on the concepts of Effortless Dynamics and Effortless Transient Response, which combine natural dynamics with high response and tracking performance to offer sound quality equivalent to that of a live, concert hall performance.

Using the same technologies as those found in top-end home audio systems, it features a newly developed, Generation III ML5 amplifier. Far outstripping the performance of the current GS sound system, the new amplifier generates 125 Watts per channel and a total of 835 Watts (75W and 505W more power respectively than the current system), whilst consuming just 6.5 Amps -less than a quarter of the power consumed by the current generation system.

Developing twice the volume for the same power consumption, GreenEdgeTM power-saving technology has been incorporated into each of the 17 speakers. GreenEdgeTM technology covers a wider frequency band than conventional systems, giving an enhanced dynamic range.

The new Mark Levinson system features five, newly-developed, 90mm GreenEdgeTM Unity speakers with a coaxial structure which integrates mid- and high-range units within the same structure. The all-round cabin positioning of the five Unity speakers gives consistent timbre for both front and rear seat occupants, resulting in a whole new level of surround sound, definition, atmosphere and quality.

The new GS has been designed to offer customers a much more engaging and pleasurable driving experience. It combines sharp, responsive steering and excellent body control with outstanding high speed stability and all the ride comfort expected from a Lexus performance sedan.

The significant improvements to the next generation GS's driving dynamics have been achieved on three levels:
  • A re-engineered bodyshell with a 14% increase in rigidity, new suspension to promote optimum agility and stability whilst maintaining ride comfort, and more powerful brakes for enhanced stopping power and control.
  • Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) to further enhance ride quality, stability, body control and steering response.
  • The Lexus Dynamic Handling system; leading edge platform technology which offers the world's first integration of Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Electric Power Steering (EPS), to coordinate every aspect of front and rear wheel control and provide agile, sharp and confident driving behaviour with a more direct response to the driver's actions.
Body Rigidity
Extensive computer aided design has been used to optimise body rigidity, ensuring precise vehicle movement in response to steering input.

The next generation GS features new underbody, rear suspension member and front end module components. Increased spot or laser welding has improved rigidity to the door openings, rear under body and rear partition. Additional reinforcement or thicker gauge sheet metal has been employed in the cowl panel, front and rear underbody and rear partition. And the design of the front suspension member, rocker inner and dash panel has been made stronger.

In combination, these enhancements have increased bodyshell torsional rigidity by 14%, allowing the new GS to respond with much greater accuracy to the driver's commands.

The new GS marks the introduction of a completely new approach to the management of airflow over the vehicle body - aerodynamic damping. The basic concept involves bringing the flow of air closer to the vehicle body, using it to help control the vehicle's movement to enhance handling stability.

Allied to smooth, flowing bodywork boasting exceptionally narrow panel gaps and minimal protrusions, the addition of numerous aerodynamic under-body elements and aero-stabilising fins further promotes vehicle stability and helps reduce wind noise to a minimum.

Particular attention has been paid to rectification of the airflow along the vehicle sides to provide body movement damping. The smoothing of airflow in and around the front and rear wheel arches, and the reduction of air pressure within the wheel arch itself contribute to improved steering response, a flat ride and enhanced road holding. In addition, the rear lamp clusters feature aero-stabilising fins which generate a vortex to the rear of the vehicle, helping to improve handling stability.

Acting in combination, these elements give the new GS optimum aerodynamic performance, and a drag coefficient of only Cd 0.26.

The new GS features a double wishbone front and multilink rear suspension system which combines legendary Lexus ride comfort with excellent agility, optimum steering feel and a particular focus on rear stability.

The front, high-mount, double wishbone suspension set-up incorporates newly designed, unequal length upper and lower control arms in forged aluminium, to both reduce system weight and improve ride comfort. The rigidity of upper and lower arms, the hub bearing unit and the steering knuckle has been increased to enhance steering responsiveness. Caster trail has been increased to enhance straight line stability and steering feel.

Optimising roll attitude, the stabiliser arm ratio has been improved, the stabiliser system spring rate increased, and the shock absorber rebound spring rate substantially increased. In addition, lower bushing has been enlarged to minimise the transmission of vibrations.

To the rear, an advanced multilink set-up with toe control bars and an aluminium rear axle carrier has been completely redesigned. The spring and shock absorber have been separated to increase their efficiency and create a more compact design which improves the vehicle's luggage capacity.

Rear stability has been significantly improved through the addition of a rebound spring; increased stabiliser shock absorber arm ratios; the replacement of suspension ball joints with bush joints; the positioning of the toe control arm at the rear and the minimisation of toe change during the suspension stroke.

In addition to greatly increasing rear stability, these components also combine to improve the new GS's roll posture, ride comfort and straight line stability, whilst reducing harshness. Ride comfort has been further improved by the adoption of low-friction oil in both front and rear shock absorbers.

F Sport Suspension
F Sport models feature retuned front and rear suspension to further enhance the efficiency of the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system, maximising body control and steering response for improved vehicle agility.

Both front and rear shock absorber characteristics have been modified to optimise AVS damping control, and the adoption of low-viscosity oil reduces friction for improved shock absorber efficiency. In addition, the rear suspension shock absorber has been inclined further to the rear, and the lower bushing enlarged and stiffened.

In combination, these modifications maximise the AVS system's control of body roll and, hence, improve the vehicle's response to steering inputs for increased agility and a more engaging driving experience.

Featuring 334 x 30mm ventilated discs to the front and 310 x 18mm solid discs to the rear, the GS's braking system has been designed to offer drivers enhanced power and control, with improved pedal feel and a consistently fade-free performance. Simultaneously, tyre friction characteristics and ABS control have also been enhanced to minimise stopping distances.

Brake booster power has been increased, and the pedal shape, angle and ratio changed to provide instant response to changes in applied pedal force and greater controllability. Brake cooling performance has also been improved through an increase in ducted cooling airflow volume, minimising brake fade even under protracted use.

The GS 450h's Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) system characteristics have also been modified to provide greater responsiveness from the first touch of the pedal.

All GS models fitted with the F Sport package are equipped with larger, 356 x 30mm ventilated front discs. A world-first, the hat section of the two piece rotor has been fabricated in aluminium to both reduce weight and suppress heat deformation.

Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system
The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system allows the driver to fine tune the GS's ride characteristics with a choice of two damper settings; 'Normal' mode, for everyday driving comfort, and 'Sport S+' mode, for improved body control and precise responses to steering input whilst cornering.

In response to driving operation, vehicle body motion and road surface conditions, AVS automatically adjusts the performance of the suspension at all four wheels independently activates the adjustable damping force shock absorbers to fulfil a wide range of specific control functions.

Selecting the AVS system's 'Sport S+' mode automatically increases the difference between inner and outer shock absorber damping through corners to further reduce vehicle roll. Simultaneously, VGRS automatically reduces the steering gear ratio by approximately 10% whilst the Electric Power Steering (EPS) increases steering assist torque by some 4%. These measures combine to minimise body roll, sharpen vehicle handling and optimise steering feel for the ultimate in sports sedan driving.

Drive Mode Select System
The next generation GS features a Drive Mode Select function that allows the driver to choose between ECO, NORMAL, SPORT S and SPORT S+ driving modes, maximising either the vehicle's environmental efficiency or its dynamic abilities.

In ECO Drive Mode, engine power output, throttle opening and air conditioning are controlled automatically to maximise fuel economy. In addition to moderate drive force changes, the air conditioning functions are also adjusted, limiting ventilation losses. At temperatures below 10°C (for GS 450h) and 3°C (for petrol version) the seat heater switches on automatically. The air-conditioning changes to recirculation as from 20°C and the airflow volume is lowered when in 'high'. Additionally, the air-conditioning stays switched off until engine cooler water reaches 30.5°C.

The ECO mode can be selected by turning the dial anti-clockwise. Once selected, the meters and the 'ECO mode' indicator are illuminated blue.

In SPORT S mode the powertrain is adapted to increase acceleration response. In the petrol version this results from a shift timing change; in the hybrid version it is achieved through drive force and engine responsiveness enhancements in the partial and full throttle range respectively. SPORT S mode can be selected by turning the dial once clockwise. When selected the meter illumination turns red and the SPORT S mode is indicated on the 12.3'' screen.

Available on GS models equipped with the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), SPORT S+ mode combines the SPORT S mode's enhanced powertrain output with coordinated control of the Vehicle's Dynamic Integrated Management (Step 5 VDIM) including Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and Electric Power Steering (EPS). When equipped with Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH), also Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) are included.

All these enhance the new GS' stability and steering rewarding the driver with the ultimate in sporting driving dynamics. The SPORT S+ mode can be selected by turning the dial twice clockwise illuminating the meters red and the SPORT S+ mode is indicated on the 12.3'' screen.

In addition, a new Sport-D Control system, activated when SPORT S and SPORT S+ modes are engaged, enhances the performance of the GS 350AWD's automatic transmission. With the gear shift level in D-range, Sport-D Control automatically shifts down the appropriate gear when the vehicle approaches a corner and maintains the gear when cornering, making maximum acceleration available to the driver as he exits the bend.

When M-range is selected, the driver benefits from the total control of fully manual gear changes via steering wheel mounted shift paddles. With rapid up shifting and throttle blipping on down shifts, customers can enjoy the most direct, sporting driving experience the new GS has to offer.

Enhancing the enjoyment of the new GS's expanded breadth of driving style preferences, the ambient illumination of the driver's instruments changes to a tranquil blue in ECO mode, whilst switching to red in both SPORT S and SPORT S+ modes. Switching to SPORT S and SPORT S+ modes in the GS 450h automatically changes the system power indicator into a tachometer.

The Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) System
The Lexus GS 450h F Sport can be equipped with the Lexus Dynamic Handling system, making it the world's first hybrid vehicle to feature an integrated four-wheel steering system.

The leading edge platform technology of the Lexus Dynamic Handling system offers an integration of Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Electric Power Steering (EPS), to coordinate every aspect of front and rear wheel control and provide agile, sharp and confident driving behaviour with a more direct response to the driver's actions.

Monitoring vehicle speed, steering direction and driver inputs, LDH calculates the optimum angle for all four wheels. Using VGRS to the front and DRS to the rear, the system can independently control both front and rear wheel steering angles to greatly improve turn-in response, rear grip, vehicle stability and overall agility when cornering.

The LDH system monitors vehicle speed and yaw rate, steering angle and speed, and lateral G to calculate the required rear wheel steering input, to a maximum of 2.0 degrees. At most speeds below 80km/h the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions. In certain conditions at speeds over 80km/h, front and rear wheels turn in the same direction.

Further coordinating DRS with VGRS and EPS, the Lexus Dynamic Handling system will automatically customise the adaptive suspension tuning and active safety systems to suit road conditions, vehicle speed and driving style, giving customers the confidence to fully exploit the new GS's exceptional driving performance.

In Europe, the new GS model range is available with a choice of three powertrains; the GS 450h full hybrid, featuring a second generation Lexus Hybrid Drive system; a revised GS 350AWD, with increased power and greater efficiency; and the Lexus GS 250, featuring a 2.5 litre V6 which is new to the GS model range.

GS 450h
Reinforcing the company's commitment to the future of full hybrid drive technology, the new GS 450h is equipped with a second generation Lexus Hybrid Drive system.

Incorporating comprehensive improvements to every aspect of its full hybrid powertrain, the new GS 450h offers significant reductions in fuel consumption and CO2, NOx and PM emissions, with no loss of performance.

With a total system power output of 254kW/345DIN hp, the GS 450h will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds and has a maximum speed of 250km/h. Conversely, fuel consumption has been reduced by 23% to 5.9l/100 km, and CO2 emissions have fallen to 137g/km.

Lexus Hybrid Drive System Architecture
As with every Lexus hybrid vehicle, the new GS 450h is a full hybrid capable of operating in petrol or electric modes alone, as well as a combination of both. Its Lexus Hybrid Drive system features an ultra-smooth running, 213kW/290DIN hp, 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine mated to a compact, high-output, water-cooled permanent magnet electric motor, the two powerplants driving the rear wheels both independently and in tandem, as appropriate.

In addition to the petrol engine and electric motor, the new GS 450h's hybrid drive system further comprises a generator, a high-performance nickel-metal hydride battery, a power split device which, via planetary reduction gears, combines and re-allocates power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to operational requirements, and a compact power control unit to govern the high speed interaction of the system components.

3.5 Litre Atkinson cycle V6
Adapted specifically for the hybrid powertrain, the 3.5 litre, DOHC, V6 petrol engine benefits from several technical improvements. It adopts the Atkinson cycle to optimise the fuel-efficient benefits of Lexus Hybrid Drive.

With conventional four-cycle petrol engines, there are times when 'fuel enrichment' becomes necessary, cooling exhaust gases to prevent degradation or destruction of the catalytic converters. Because the intake valves close late in an Atkinson cycle engine, compression is delayed. This creates a high expansion ratio for less compression, reducing intake and exhaust energy losses and converting combustion energy to engine power more effectively. As a result, the exhaust temperature is lower than that of conventional engines.

Further reductions in fuel consumption have been achieved through a high physical compression ratio of 13:1, a new, mid-port intake tumble generator and the adoption of next generation D-4S direct injection technology.

D-4S is the latest evolution of Lexus' stoichiometric, 4-stroke, direct injection technology. With one injector installed in the combustion chamber and a second mounted in the intake port, it combines the strengths of both direct and port injection, realising optimum engine efficiency throughout the power band and improving torque across the rev range, whilst minimising fuel consumption and emissions.

The new GS 450h's next generation D-4S system features new slit-type injector nozzles with a modified port shape, a higher fuel pressure for more efficient combustion, and idle port injection for improved NHV characteristics.

Engine noise, vibration and friction has been lowered through the adoption of lightweight chain technology, a piston pin offset change and a reduction in the number of drive belt reinforcement ribs.

In addition, engine durability has been improved through the removal of all external oil lines, and environmental performance enhanced by a new-specification catalyst which contains greatly reduced levels of precious metal.

Additional Hybrid System Component Improvements
The cooling performance of the hybrid system's Power Control Unit (PCU) has been improved through the adoption of dual cooling paths and a single-piece, integrated DC/DC converter.

System control has been enhanced. The PCU boosts motor drive voltage to a maximum 650V in SPORT S mode and limiting it to a maximum of 500V in ECO mode to provide a more environmentally-friendly driving performance.

The electric motor features lighter mounts and a reduction in friction. And the system's regenerative braking operation range has been expanded, contribution to further improvements in fuel efficiency.

In addition, the battery layout has been redesigned; a new stacked configuration maximising luggage space.

GS 250
Expanding the powertrain line-up to offer further improvements in fuel economy and emissions, a 2.5 litre V6 petrol engine is available for the first time in the Lexus GS model range.

The V6 features D-4S direct injection, and Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) to both intake and exhaust camshafts, enhancing engine performance.

It develops 154 kW/209 DIN hp at 6,400rpm and 253Nm of torque at 4,800rpm, accelerating the Lexus GS 250 from 0-100km/h in 8.6 seconds and giving a maximum speed of 230km/h. Fuel consumption is 8.9l/100 km, and CO2 emissions 207g/km.

The new 2.5 litre V6 is mated to Lexus' '6 Super ECT' close-ratio 6-speed automatic transmission, which features a sequential manual shifting mode. As with the 3.5 litre engine, it incorporates numerous technologies including faster shift speeds, earlier torque converter lock-up and downshift throttle blips- to support the range of driving modes available through the Drive Mode Select system.

The 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine of the new GS 350AWD has been revised to lower both fuel consumption and emissions.

The advanced V6 features D-4S direct and port injection, and Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) to both intake and exhaust camshafts, significantly enhancing engine performance and reducing fuel consumption.

It develops 233 kW/317 DIN hp at 6,400rpm and 378Nm of torque at 4,800rpm, accelerating the GS 350AWD from 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 190km/h. Fuel consumption has been reduced to 10.2 l/100 km, and CO2 emissions are 237g/km.

The '6 Super ECT' close-ratio 6-speed automatic transmission features a sequential manual shifting mode. It incorporates numerous technologies including faster shift speeds, earlier torque converter lock-up and downshift throttle blips- to support the range of driving modes available through the Drive Mode Select system.

The GS 350AWD's electronically controlled all-wheel drive system is designed to improve traction and grip by automatically varying front-to-rear torque balance from 50:50 to as much as 20:80, providing exceptional stability under all driving conditions.
Read More

Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, 2012

  • Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, 2012

With the completely newly developed Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, one of the most exciting and successful sports cars ever built is entering its third generation. The new roadster uncompromisingly takes driving pleasure and open-air enjoyment to a new level. It blends light-footed sportiness with stylish comfort, a striking sports-car design with total suitability for everyday use, top performance with exemplary ecology. What's more, the Mercedes-Benz SLK is proud to present the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which switches to light or dark at the touch of a button. Exemplary efficiency and sporty flair come courtesy of powerful new 4- and 6-cylinder engines featuring the standard-specification ECO start/stop function. With their superb levels of performance they are up to 25 percent more economical than their predecessors. And a unique set of safety equipment bestows role-model status on the SLK in this segment. With its wealth of technical innovations the Mercedes-Benz SLK is once again the benchmark in its class.

Innovations are part of the successful history of the Mercedes-Benz SLK:
  •     In 1996 the first generation caused a furore with the vario-roof, which transformed the wide-open roadster into a coupĂ© with a fixed roof at the touch of a button in just a few seconds
  •     The second generation placed the warm AIRSCARF around the neck and shoulders of the occupants as needed, ensuring pleasurable open-top motoring even in cooler temperatures
  •     Now the third generation is presenting one of its unique highlights - the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. It can be quickly switched to light or dark at the press of a button

But the new Mercedes-Benz SLK offers more than merely individual highlights. It assumes a leading position in every discipline and offers fun at the wheel in every respect, with no half-hearted compromises. It impresses with characteristics which are generally deemed to be irreconcilable: it succeeds in uniting excellent comfort and high-quality equipment and appointments with a decidedly sporty flair, for instance. At the same time the new roadster is the most economical and thus the most environmentally friendly in its class, also setting new safety standards. And all-weather driving enjoyment - open and closed, in leisure-time and everyday use - is firmly anchored in the SLK's genes.

Timeless aesthetics embodies hallmark sports-car sensuality
The designers have tailor-made a body for the new SLK which emphasises its classic roadster proportions and puts them in the spotlight to thrilling effect. Behind the long bonnet is a compact passenger compartment positioned far back, and a short tail end. The Mercedes-Benz SLK will tempt potential customers with the key attributes that characterise all the classic roadsters from Mercedes-Benz and that have also made many of them automotive icons of the brand.

The first feature to catch the eye is an upright radiator grille that stands proud and confident in the wind and bears the new Mercedes-Benz brand look. It facilitates the long and well-proportioned bonnet and with its rearward light-catching contours it already hints at the roadster's dynamic qualities. The wide radiator grille bears the Mercedes-Benz star in a prominent central position and displays a powerfully contoured fin, chromed at the front. The clearly defined headlamps complete the look for the new SLK's face, which resembles that of the legendary 190 SL from the 1950s, which is regarded by many as being the original "SLK". But it was certainly not just the past that the designers were focusing on; with the new SLK's front end they also intentionally created a close visual link with the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG "gullwing model" and the new CLS.

The amazing and measurable proof of the meticulously detailed work that has been carried out is that in spite of the more striking, steeper front and the larger frontal area, the Cd value has been cut to just 0.30 - a brilliant achievement (the predecessor model's Cd value was 0.32).

The timelessly classic shape of the side view with the classic roadster proportions embodies aesthetics of the highest calibre and is a visual promise of the sporti-ness and driving pleasure in store. Fine details and quotes show the care that has been taken by the Mercedes-Benz designers. For example, a fillet conceals the boot joint, so that the side line cannot get in the way, as it usually does with similar roof designs. The ventilation grilles in the front wings with a chromed fin are reminiscent of the famous Mercedes-Benz roadsters of the 1950s. In the new Mercedes SLK they form the perfect starting point for a feature line which flows to the muscular rear wing, using light and shadow to add style and timeless aesthetics to the sides. Meanwhile the upper edge of the wide headlamps - which boast all-LED technology for the first time - also appears to flow into the feature line.

Interior with style and puristic good looks
With the most compact dimensions in its class, the new Mercedes-Benz SLK has an interior whose generous size is exemplary. To achieve this, the designers have developed interior appointments which offer the driver and passenger the highest degree of perfect perceived quality and puristic precision. The interior is characterised by stylish sportiness and high-quality, authentic materials which have been processed with perfect precision and skilled craftsmanship. Even in the base version the centre console and other trim parts gleam in brushed aluminium. Wood can be selected as an option in high-gloss dark brown walnut or high-gloss black ash. Four round, galvanised air outlets integrated in the dashboard emphasise that this model well and truly belongs to the Mercedes-Benz sports car family, their shape being a nod to those in the SLS.

The SLK's generous round dials are flanked by a display for the information generated by the online computer. The colour display for the communications and entertainment functions is housed in the centre of the dashboard, and can be easily read by both the driver and passenger. On the top of the dashboard, also in the centre, sits a fine analogue clock - an unusual detail which subtly underlines the roadster's stylish character.

Other high-quality items of equipment include a multifunction sports steering wheel with a flattened bottom section and a thick leather crown, plus optional sun-reflecting leather which noticeably reduces the degree to which the surfaces it covers heat up, impressive ambient lighting and the innovative neck-level heating system AIRSCARF, familiar from the predecessor.

Unique item of equipment: MAGIC SKY CONTROL
For the first time Mercedes-Benz is offering a choice of three variants of the lightweight-construction vario-roof for the new SLK: In just a few seconds this feature transforms the roadster into a coupé with a "fixed" roof at the touch of a button - and vice versa:
    The base version is a roof painted in the vehicle colour
    Alternatively there is the option of a panoramic vario-roof with dark-tinted windows
    The third variant is a world premiere - the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. This glass roof switches to light or dark as you wish at the press of a button. When light it is virtually transparent, offering an open-air experience even in cold weather. In its dark state the roof provides welcome shade and prevents the interior from heating up when the sun's rays are very intense. In other words: a feel-good atmosphere at the touch of a button

Innovative draught-stop system AIRGUIDE
A comfortable alternative to the conventional draught-stop is a new pivoting draught-stop for the new Mercedes-Benz SLK which has been invented by Mercedes-Benz aerodynamics engineers. It consists of pivoting transparent plastic layers which are attached to the reverse of the roll-over bars. The driver or passenger can swing them to the centre of the vehicle in a flash, thus taming turbulent air flow.

Spirit and efficiency
There will initially be three models of the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class available at its market launch, all of them powered by new engines with direct injection. The four-cylinder engines in the SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY and SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY develop 135 kW (184 hp) and 150 kW (204 hp) respectively from a displacement of 1796 cubic centimetres. The SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY is the most economical roadster in its segment. With the enhanced, optional seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC PLUS it consumes just 6.1 litres of premium petrol (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres (that corresponds to 142 g of CO2 per kilometre). The frugal model sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.0 seconds, and achieves its top speed at 237 km/h (240 km/h with manual transmission).

The SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY is equipped as standard with the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and consumes only 6.2 litres (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres (144 g of CO2 per kilometre). From a standstill it reaches 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds, and it has a top speed of 243 km/h.

The V6 engine in the SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY draws 225 kW (306 hp) from its 3498 cubic-centimetre displacement, using this power to accelerate in 5.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (top speed 250 km/h). Its consumption is 7.1 litres (NEDC, combined) over 100 kilometres (167 g of CO2 per kilometre). The V6 engine has been completely newly developed. Its most important hallmarks are its 3rd-generation direct injection, piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition.

The exemplary efficiency, with fuel consumption reduced by up to a quarter compared with the predecessor models, is also due to the ECO start/stop system which is fitted as part of the standard specification in all models.

Suspension for the closest link with the road

There are also three suspension versions to choose from:
  •     A conventional steel suspension comes as standard
  •     A sports suspension with harder springs and dampers ensures a systematically sporty driving experience
  •     As an alternative a Dynamic Handling package is available. Its merits include a suspension with continuous adjustable damping. It has an electronically controlled fully automatic damping system, so the vehicle rolls away gently even on poor road surfaces, but still offers high driving dynamics
Also included in the Dynamic Handling package are a Direct-Steer system and the Torque Vectoring Brakes developed by Mercedes-Benz. The Direct-Steer system offers more handling and agility than the standard steering, whilst also reducing the amount of physical effort required when parking. In critical conditions the Torque Vectoring Brakes produce a defined rotational movement of the vehicle about the vertical axis in fractions of seconds through selective brake actuation at the rear wheel on the inside of the bend. This results in the Mercedes-Benz SLK stabilising without any compromises where dynamism is concerned, and it steers into the bend precisely and under full control.

Ingenious material mix and high levels of safety
The new SLK's bodyshell structure has been further refined, with the bonnet and wings now made of aluminium.

The new Mercedes-Benz SLK also sets new benchmarks in terms of safety. The third generation of the powerful trend-setter will make use of a whole host of the latest assistance systems to support the driver, including the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST, developed by Mercedes-Benz and fitted as standard; the optional anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, which is unique in the world; and the PRE-SAFE® Brake, which can apply the brakes autonomously in the event of an impending rear-end collision. As such, with the SLK too Mercedes-Benz is consistently and significantly exceeding the requirements imposed by safety standards.

Those wishing to do so can extend the host of assistance systems in the new SLK even further:
  •     The Intelligent Light System provides five lighting functions (cornering light function, country mode, motorway mode, active light function and enhanced fog lamps), which are activated depending on the driving conditions
  •     The Speed Limit Assist is able to detect speed limit signs using a camera on the inside of the windscreen and indicate the respective detected speed limit on a display in the instrument cluster

The new Merceses SLK can be ordered from 17 January 2011. The prices including VAT are as follows:
  •     SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY: 38,675 euros,
  •     SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY: 44,256.10 euros,
  •     SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY: 52,300.50 euros.

To mark the launch of the new SLK, Mercedes-Benz is offering an "Edition 1" special model with the special paint finish SHAPE in glacier grey. The "Edition 1" is opulently appointed and its standard specification includes the panoramic vario-roof, the Dynamic Handling package, AMG bodystyling, two-tone designo nappa leather with contrasting topstitching, AIRSCARF, ambient lighting and more. The additional charges range from 8490 to 8990 euros, depending on the base model.
Read More

Friday, November 2, 2012

Chevrolet Spark, 2013

  •  Chevrolet Spark, 2013
The 2013 Chevrolet Spark mini car, introduced at the 2011 Los Angeles International Auto Show, is the only car in its segment to offer a seven-inch color touch screen radio capable of displaying smart phone-based navigation, media and contacts for hands-free calling.

A sporty 4-passenger, five-door hatch updated for United States and Canadian consumers, Chevrolet Spark is designed to excite first-time buyers and city dwellers with its bold styling and colors, affordability, the safety of 10 standard air bags, fuel efficiency and maneuverability.

Though compact, Chevrolet Spark offers more passenger and cargo room than other mini cars such as the Fiat 500, Smart fortwo and the Scion iQ. Equipped with the 1.2L four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission, Chevrolet Spark will offer competitive fuel economy.

Chevrolet's exclusive My Link infotainment system, which features the personalized connectivity of Pandora and Stitcher internet radio, will be offered on 1LT and 2LT models when Chevy Spark goes on sale in the United States and Canada in mid-2012.

In addition to My Link, Chevrolet Spark is the only car in its segment to provide the added value of a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and the safety and security of On Star.

The original version of the Spark is already on sale in Europe, Asia, Australia, Mexico and South America, where it has received several styling and safety awards.

Designed for those who live large and loud
Just as the Cruze helped strengthen Chevrolet's position in the small car segment with its more-than-expected value, the Chevrolet Spark is designed to challenge preconceived notions of how an affordable mini car can look, feel and drive.

While the Chevrolet Spark looks like a three-door hatch, designers cleverly disguised the rear doors by integrating the handles into the C-pillar area. The technique gives Spark its sporty appearance without sacrificing four-door comfort and utility. An integrated spoiler over the rear hatch door enhances Spark's dynamic appearance while also improving the car's aerodynamics, for fuel efficiency.

Chevrolet Spark's wheels-at-the-corners stance is further emphasized by standard 15-inch alloy wheels. Other exterior styling enhancements include a new grille and front fascia, a longer rear fascia, and modified headlamps and tail lamps. Redesigned outside rear view mirrors also improve aerodynamics.

Uplevel features include matching rocker panel moulding, chrome brightwork at the beltline and liftgate handle trim, detail around the poke-through exhaust outlet and around the fog lamps.

Attention-grabbing exterior finishes include Salsa, Jalapeno, Denim, Lemonade and Techno Pink, as well traditional hues such as Grey Area, Black Granite, Silver Ice and Summit White.

The inside of Chevrolet My Link infotainment system, included on 1LT and 2LT Spark models, provides a seven-inch color touch screen. With My Link, Spark buyers can bring their customized music libraries into the vehicle and use their smart phones and Bluetooth connectivity to access both Pandora and Stitcher internet radio and navigation. When the vehicle is stopped, owners can project video and even personal photo albums onto the screen.

Sirius XM Satellite Radio also is available on up level Spark models.
Air conditioning and power windows are standard across the Spark lineup. Color-coordinated interiors feature a lower instrument panel - with a motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster - and lower center console for maximum visibility and storage. Decorative inserts in the front door and instrument panel add a premium touch, as does the ice blue ambient lighting and face plates across the door pockets and dash. Heated leatherette seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel are included on Spark 2LT.

Efficient powertrain saves fuel, money
In the United States and Canada, the Chevrolet Spark will be powered by a 1.2L dual-overhead cam four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing that delivers an estimated 85 horsepower (63 kW). It is mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission for competitive city and highway fuel economy. A four-speed automatic transmission will also be available.

The dual-overhead cam 1.2L was developed using best practices from GM Powertrain technical centers.

It combines competitive performance with sophisticated technologies such as dual continuous variable cam phasing, electronically controlled thermostat and low-friction engine oil to give customers an engine that is low- m aintenance, with reduced emissions and outstanding fuel economy.

Ride and handling
Spark's body-frame integral structure is tight and stiff for improved driving dynamics. The electronic power steering, Mac Pherson strut-type front suspension and anti-lock braking systems are designed to deliver taut, tight handling characteristics that better connect the driver with the road and provide outstanding overall stability. Stabili Trak electronic stability control is standard.

Spark is equipped with vented front disc and rear drum brakes with low-compressibility brake pads for optimal stopping performance and good pedal feel. Low-rolling resistance tires use a silica compound and revised tread design for a solid road feel and improved fuel efficiency.

Safety features include 10 air bags
Chevrolet Spark was designed with occupant safety in mind, and has won safety awards in both Europe and Korea.

Its safe design begins with a structure composed of 60 percent high-strength steel.

In addition to crash-avoidance technologies such as Stabili Trak and ABS, Spark is equipped with 10 standard air bags, including both driver and passenger front knee air bags to reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries in frontal crashes. Dual-stage frontal air bags, seat-mounted side air bags and side curtain air bags that extend over the front and rear seating rows are also standard.

Other safety technologies include rollover sensing system; three-point safety belts in all four seating positions; seat belt pretensioners in the front driver and passenger seats; the LATCH child seat attachment system; releasable pedals; adjustable head restraints; and a collapsible steering column.

Chevrolet Spark also is equipped with the On Star safety and security system, which uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash.
Read More

Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2013

  • Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2013

The All-new Ford Fusion brings alive the next generation of more expressive vehicles from Ford and is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions - each expected to deliver top fuel economy and an engaging driving experience.

Featuring a sleek silhouette and fresh face, the all-new Fusion is the latest in a series of vehicles from Ford - following the 2011 Fiesta subcompact and 2012 Focus small cars - developed to satisfy customers everywhere who want leading fuel efficiency, helpful technologies and game-changing looks.

Ford Fusion is revealed in North America in S, SE and range-topping Titanium series and points to the next Ford Mondeo for world markets.

Triple-crown fuel efficiency
The new Fusion is expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy across customers' choice of gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid sub-segments, following through with the commitment by Ford to be the fuel-efficiency leader - or among the leaders - with each new model brought to market.

Ford Fusion brings the broadest selection of fuel-efficient powertrains in the midsize car segment. It offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid alternatives, a pair of EcoBoost™ four-cylinder engines, a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine, an automatic start stop system to shut off the engine at stationary idle, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive applications, and a choice between automatic and manually shifted six-speed transmissions.

The 1.6-liter EcoBoost is expected to deliver best-in-class four-cylinder non-hybrid fuel efficiency of 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine - paired with a paddle-shifted six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, available 19-inch wheels and tires, and all-wheel drive with the ability to send additional torque to the rear - is the Fusion performance option.

The Fusion Hybrid - 2010 North American Car of the Year - continues to innovate and evolve with all-new lithium-ion batteries that save weight and generate more power than previous nickel-metal hydride batteries, while raising maximum speed under electric-only power from 47 mph to 62 mph.

Ford Fusion Hybrid also features an all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, significantly downsized from the previous 2.5-liter unit while maintaining performance standards. This innovative powertrain is anticipated to deliver best-in-class fuel economy of 47 mpg in city driving and 44 mpg on the highway.

Ford Fusion Hybrid fuel economy stands to outperform the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid by 4 mpg city and 5 mpg highway and the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid by 12 mpg and 4 mpg, respectively.

Topping the fuel-efficiency ladder is the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, aiming to be the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world. Arriving this fall, Fusion Energi is anticipated to deliver more than 100 MPGe, a mile per gallon equivalency metric for electrified vehicles. This is 8 MPGe more than the Chevrolet Volt and 13 MPGe more than the projected efficiency of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid model.

The next-generation Fusion 1.6-liter is the first automatic-transmission Ford product offered with an automatic start stop system. It shuts off engine power smoothly when the car is stopped and seamlessly restarts as the driver releases the brake pedal, helping Fusion to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by approximately 3.5 percent.

Ford Fusion looks out for you
The all-new Fusion offers an unprecedented portfolio of driver assistance and convenience technologies based on sensors, cameras and radar that enable the car to see and respond.

Ford Fusion can help drivers maintain proper lane position, adjust vehicle speed to changing traffic conditions, identify suitable parking spaces and help park, even aiding drivers backing out of parking space where visibility is obstructed. Specific technologies:
  •     Lane Keeping System: This class-exclusive technology consists of three elements to help a driver maintain proper lane position. Using a small, forward-facing camera behind the inside rearview mirror, the system "looks" down the road, monitoring lane lines to determine that the car is on course. The system will alert a driver if drowsiness or erratic lane-keeping is detected. The second element warns a driver with a steering wheel vibration if the Fusion drifts too close to lane markings. Finally, lane keeping aid will actually apply pressure on the steering to help bring the car back into proper lane position
  •     Adaptive cruise control: Using forward-looking radar, this system "looks" down the road when activated, slowing the Fusion when slower traffic is detected ahead. Adaptive cruise control enables collision warning with brake support to help slow the car if the potential of a crash is detected
  •     Active park assist: Employing sensors, this technology can identify a suitable parallel parking space, calculate the trajectory and steer the car to properly position it within the spot. All a driver need do is operate accelerator and brake pedals
  •     Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert: Sensors in both Fusion rear quarter-panels are able to detect traffic in a driver's blind spot, providing both audible and visual warnings if traffic - unseen by the driver - is detected. BLIS technology enables cross-traffic alert, warning the driver of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space with obstructed views, such as between two large vans

The power of voice
The all-new Fusion offers the latest iteration of Ford's award-winning, industry-exclusive SYNC communications and entertainment system, which enables voice-activated communication through a driver's mobile phone and interaction with the car's audio system.

Fusion also offers the latest version of MyFord Touch®, allowing a driver to interact with vehicle systems through voice control, a touch screen tap or a conventional button.

Both SYNC and MyFord Touch - powered by SYNC - help reduce the potential for driver distraction through voice-controlled functionality, allowing drivers to keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Different, by design
These five elements provided direction for the design team behind the all-new Ford Fusion:
  • Silhouette innovation: Fusion's sleek profile sets it apart from the powertrain/cabin/trunk "three-box" designs synonymous with midsize sedans
  • Perceived efficiency: Fusion character lines sweeping to the rear and thin roof pillars suggest the car is nimble and light on its feet
  • Refined surface language: Fusion demonstrates that a tasteful, well-executed design does not require add-ons or visual clutter
  • Technical graphics: Fusion's functional design elements such as headlamps, LED taillamps and polished exhaust tips communicate enhanced technological capability
  •     New face: Fusion signals the next evolution in Ford global design language for midsize cars and smaller

Inside, the new Fusion offers a sporty, driver-oriented environment with next-generation seating that brings expanded functionality. A higher center console supports the driver-centric theme and yields clever storage for items a driver wants to keep handy.

Additional passenger space was designed-in by moving the instrument panel toward the windshield, contributing to the cabin's airy, open environment. Thinner, lighter frames support the comfortable next-generation seats trimmed with fabric using recycled sustainable yarns.

Craftsmanship plus dynamics equals feel
Ford Fusion design delivers on the promise of high visual quality, with improved materials, elevated levels of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Interior surfaces are softer to the touch and interior and exterior gaps are minimized, while extra care has been taken to upholster or cover each edge and every surface a customer can touch. When the trunk lid is opened, for example, a spring-loaded cover automatically conceals the trunk latch hardware.

Key contributors to how the Fusion feelsare the ride and handling components that maximize vehicle dynamics.

Careful tuning by Ford's vehicle handling and ride team has yielded a Fusion with a dynamic character that will please a well-seasoned enthusiast while increasing the confidence level of less-experienced drivers.

Ford Fusion interior quiet reaches a new level with acoustic underbody shields and weight-saving sound-absorption material; both minimize road and powertrain noise while boosting aerodynamic efficiency to help save fuel. The all-new model adds content such as a full-perimeter hood seal to be among the midsize sedan segment leaders in giving drivers a quiet ride.

Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi models also are equipped with active noise control. This feature uses the audio system to mitigate extraneous road noise while enhancing powertrain sounds.

Strength and safety
Fusion is designed with customer safety in mind. Engineers increased its body strength by 10 percent, using more high-strength steels such as boron, and added dual first-row knee airbags and adaptive front airbags that vent and tether to conform to a specific occupant's size, position and seatbelt usage.

The Fusion safety team targeted top-of-the-line ratings in each public domain safety benchmark, including National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ratings, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick and top ratings in world markets where the car will be sold.

The most prominent example is Ford Fusion's front-end architecture, as the same car must face simultaneous - and seemingly conflictive - standards across regions. The car's front end is equipped to meet head-on and offset barrier standards for North America while still conforming to European standards for pedestrian protection - thanks to hours of computer modeling and 180 validating crash tests.

Ford Fusion will be produced at Ford's Hermosillo, Mexico, manufacturing facility, soon adding production at AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The car will appear in Ford showrooms in North America and South America later in 2012. Mondeo will be introduced in 2013 in Asia and Europe.
Read More