Saturday, December 22, 2012

Honda Accord, 2013

  • Honda Accord, 2013

Honda revealed the first images of the much anticipated all-new 2013 Honda Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe, set to go on sale in fall 2012. The most sculpted Accord ever delivers an even more spacious and luxurious passenger cabin wrapped in an upscale, sophisticated exterior designed to stand the test of time.

The 2013 Accord's styling is expressive, sophisticated and premium. Starting in the front, a bold new grille imparts a distinctive and dynamic tension that complements the powerful look of the hood's multiple styling lines. A strong side character line flows through the door handles and flares upward toward the rear of the vehicle to further convey a sense of motion. A deep contour in the rocker panel firmly grounds its visual presence to the road and smartly turns upward to convey a sporty attitude. In the back, the inward slope where the fenders taper into the trunk and C-pillars is designed to convey a powerful, athletic stance from the rear.

True to the spirit of Honda and every Accord before it, the ninth-generation embraces a customer focus from the inside out. Smart interior packaging allows for increased passenger and cargo space in both the sedan and the coupe, while the overall exterior lengths are noticeably shortened, contributing to a sportier driving character and easier parking. An expansive greenhouse and generous rear seating area provide excellent levels of visibility and comfort for the driver and all passengers.

On the road, an overall aerodynamic shape combined with low-drag exterior surfaces including nearly flush windshield glass, flush-mounted windshield wipers and careful under-body tailoring promise enhanced fuel efficiency. Premium details like available LED daytime running lights, headlights and taillights hint at the sophisticated technology and luxury available inside.
Read More

Hyundai i30 Wagon, 2013

  •  Hyundai i30 Wagon, 2013

At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Hyundai has unveiled the wagon derivative of the New Generation i30 family, further broadening the model's appeal across Europe.

The New Generation i30 wagon will maintain Hyundai's reputation for producing visually-appealing, quality vehicles. The company expects the wagon bodystyle to significantly contribute to market share growth in Europe, with 30% of all New Generation i30 sales expected from the wagon derivative.

The stylish wagon shares engines and running gear with the New Generation i30 five-door, and has a longer body to create a useful increase in trunk space without compromising the model's dynamic styling.

Overall height of the wagon has increased by 30 mm compared to the New Generation i30 five-door, increasing the practical attributes of the car, while optional silver roof rails add further carrying capacity.

Adding to its practicality, the wagon's rear seats fold fully flat, boosting carrying capacity to 1.642-litres. With rear seats up, the New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon features one of the largest cabin capacity of any C-segment model at 528-litres.

Similar to the five-door hatchback, the New Generation i30 wagon was designed and engineered at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany. Developed under the company's global brand slogan, 'New Thinking. New Possibilities.', the New Generation i30 family was developed specifically for the European market.

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, commented: "The New Generation i30 has been widely praised for its style, quality, and value. Our new wagon offers all of those attributes plus even greater load-carrying capacity. We expect it to appeal strongly to those looking for stylish and flexible practicality, especially active families."

The New Generation i30 family is produced in Europe at Hyundai's manufacturing facility in Nošovice, Czech Republic. The new model continues the Hyundai tradition of delivering vehicles of the highest quality to European motorists.

New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon offers buyers the same class-leading powertrain line-up as the five-door derivative, with more powerful diesel (128 ps) and gasoline (135 ps) units, and six-speed transmissions for every model, plus CO2emissions starting at 109 g/km - making the i30 range one of the most efficient in the European C-segment.

Demonstrating its strong self-belief in the durability and quality of its products, Hyundai offers its customers in Europe the industry-best, fully-transparent Five Year Triple Care warranty. This award-winning package provides five years of unlimited-mileage warranty, five years of roadside assistance, and five years of vehicle health checks.

The New Generation i30 wagon will be available across Europe from July 2012.

Worth successor to best-seller
The original i30 range has defied the industry norm in terms of life-cycle sales fluctuations by recording increased annual sales over its first three years in the marketplace. Since launch in 2007, the i30 has recorded over 400.000 European sales, including more than 115.000 units in 2010 - the highest-ever annual sales figure for an individual Hyundai model on sale in Europe - and nearly 100.000 units during 2011 as the overall market declined dramatically.

So great was the success achieved by the original i30 that it climbed to number six in the C-segment sales rankings - securing a 4,8% share of the sector.

Hyundai expects the New Generation i30 family - enhanced by the wagon bodystyle - to restore its growth trend, contributing to future sales success, growing brand awareness and enhancing perceptions of Hyundai among European consumers.

The fortunes of the New Generation i30 family will also be helped by the anticipated market recovery. Motor industry analysts forecast that, despite numerous economic

uncertainties, the mainstream C-segment in Europe will grow by 7% over the next two years - reaching sales of 2,4 million vehicles per year by 2014. Hyundai is planning to sell more than 120.000 units of the New Generation i30 annually, helping to raise the brand's total sales to 500.000 units and challenging established competitors.

The wagon was developed alongside its five-door counterpart from the earliest stages, enabling designers to fashion a coherent form that bears a strong family resemblance inspired by Hyundai's fluidic sculpture form language.

Since its introduction on the Hyundai ix-onic concept at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, fluidic sculpture has been the form language for all new Hyundai models launched in Europe.

As with the five-door variant, the front is distinguished by Hyundai's hexagonal-shaped grille and jewel-like headlamps, but from the B-pillar backwards the wagon differs significantly.

The roofline extends rearwards over the flexible passenger / cargo area, sloping to add dynamism to the car's stance in keeping with the fluidic sculpture ethos of a stationary car appearing to be in constant motion.

The overall height of the New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon has been reduced by 20 mm compared to the original i30 wagon, ensuring an athletic profile. The length has increased by 10 mm compared to the original model.

Further enhancing the wagon's dynamic appearance, a pronounced swage line runs horizontally along the sides of the body and rises all the way to the rear lights. The rear windscreen wraps around the C-pillars, increasing interior luminosity and benefiting visibility. The deep tailgate gives the car a clean look and opens to bumper-level for easy loading.

Similar to the hatchback bodystyle, the New Generation i30 wagon benefits from an increased track. The bodyshell is 5 mm wider, and the front and rear tracks have also been increased, moving the wheels and tyres outwards to become flush with the wheel arches - simultaneously heightening the car's aesthetics and improving its road holding.

The profile of New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon is given added finesse by the satin chrome beltline moulding beneath the glass house and by the new five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels featuring chrome inserts.

The visual impact of New Generation i30 wagon on the road is also raised by the inclusion of standard LED daytime running lights flanking the grille and HID headlamps. The new model also bears Hyundai's signature frontal feature - the hexagonal-shaped grille, with a choice of single or twin chrome horizontal trim bars.

New Generation i30 wagon will be manufactured in Europe in a range of 11 exterior colours - two solid, seven metallic and two pearl. Seven popular colours from the previous model are carried over (Steel Gray, Blue Berry, Sleek Silver and Ice Blue metallics, Phantom Black and Cashmere Brown pearls and Creamy White solid).

Four new colours (Aqua Blue, Satin Amber and Hazel Brown metallics, plus solid Cool Red) will ensure an even fresher appearance for Hyundai's latest C-segment challenger. Inside, the New Generation i30 wagon seat and cabin trim is available in a choice of three colours - Black, Beige and Blue - in cloth; cloth and leather; or full leather variations.

Since going on sale in 2007, the original i30 has played an important role in expanding Hyundai's sales and reputation in Europe's fleet sector. Hyundai expects the New Generation i30 to be even more popular with fleet managers and company car drivers than its predecessor.

From the sales target of 120.000 units per year, Hyundai forecasts a split 50/50% between the fleet and private sectors.

Hyundai's Five Year Triple Care will continue to be a valuable point of differentiation for New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon in a highly competitive class. The five-year warranty has no mileage limit, roadside assistance is included for five years, and vehicle health checks are performed annually, providing peace of mind for fleet buyers, fleet operators, company car drivers and private motorists.

Compared to the original i30, total cost of ownership for the New Generation i30 wagon model will be reduced, helped by improved fuel efficiency, lower CO2emissions and a lower insurance classification.

The quality and generosity of standard specification on the New Generation i30 wagon have been inspired by the high standards established by Hyundai's All New i40, demonstrating the company's desire to make its technology available to all European motorists.

Available new features that will appeal to New Generation i30 drivers include a Smart Key with engine start/stop button, 10-way powered driver's seat adjustment, heated front seats, an electric parking brake and cruise control with speed limiter function. Enhanced instrumentation with a TFT LCD Supervision cluster (executed to the same high quality as found on i40) provides a wide range of additional information to the driver in high-resolution clarity.

Located atop the centre stack, the optional navigation system is displayed via a 7-inch touch-screen. The system is a highly sophisticated and convenient GPS tool, offering real-time information, multi-media support and speech recognition in 10 European languages.

New features that will enhance the New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon experience for passengers include dual-zone climate control, rear air ventilation ducts for second row occupants, and a panoramic glass sunroof which allows greatly increased natural light to flood the cabin. The sunroof has been designed to open fully or tilt open, offering flexibility and functionality, together with an adjustable full-length shade. Heat-reflecting solar glass is also available as an option for the front, side and rear windows.

Depending on model, New Generation i30 wagon's standard equipment also offers buyers a height-adjustable driver's seat, fully-folding rear seat, RDS radio/CD with MP3, iPod, Aux and USB support, six speaker audio system and a multi-mode trip computer.

Please note: Some markets may select particular powertrains and levels of equipment to suit the preferences of their local consumers - perhaps offering some 'options' as standard on New Generation i30 wagon in their country. Please check the final technical specification and model-by-model equipment details with your national Hyundai PR staff.

Depending on individual market preferences, the New Generation i30 wagon will be available with an expanded choice of six engines - up to three diesel and three gasoline units - with a broader range of power outputs, from 90 to 135 ps.

New, more powerful engines are introduced to top both the diesel and gasoline line-ups delivering 128 ps and 135 ps respectively.

The upgraded diesel engine - the highly-efficient 1,6-litre variable geometry turbo (VGT) 'U-II' unit - will be the most popular powertrain in the line-up. Generating 110 ps at 4.000 rpm and 260 Nm from 1.900 rpm, the upgraded 1582 cc engine will accelerate the New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon from standstill to 100 kph in 11,8 seconds, and go on to reach a top speed of 185 kph - while emitting only 113 g/km of CO2.

The gasoline engines also offer an excellent balance between performance and economy. The New Generation 1,6-litre 'Gamma' GDI engine features technically advanced 'gasoline direct injection' to maximize power and torque generation while minimizing fuel consumption and emissions. This 1.591 cc unit produces 135 ps at 6.300 rpm and 164 Nm of torque at 4.850 rpm. With this engine, i30 accelerates to 100 kph in 10,2 seconds and up to a top speed of 192 kph top speed.

Both diesel and gasoline engine types play a significant role in the European

C-segment, with diesel representing 56% and gasoline 40% of total sales. Overall, Hyundai is expecting a 50:50% split between sales of diesel- and gasoline-powered New Generation i30 wagon models.

The addition of Hyundai technologies developed under the company's Blue Drive™ sub-brand optimizes efficiency and lowers emissions for the New Generation i30 wagon. These technologies, which are available on both diesel and gasoline models with manual transmission, include Integrated Stop & Go (ISG), low-rolling resistance tyres and an alternator management system (AMS).

Six-speed transmissions for every model
Buyers of New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon will be given a choice between manual and automatic six-speed transmissions, depending on model, with both units providing a refined driving experience and enhanced fuel efficiency. The automatic transmission will be an option on all 1,6-litre engines, while the 1,4-litre units will be available exclusively with a manual gearbox.

As part of its improved dynamics, New Generation i30 wagon offers Hyundai's C-segment car buyers the new option of its innovative FLEX STEER system. This introduces three operating modes - Comfort, Normal and Sport - and allows the driver to vary the level of steering support and feedback in order to best suit the current driving conditions.

The Comfort mode gives greater electrical support, offering a 'lighter' steering wheel and minimal effort to reach full steering lock. The improved maneuverability makes city driving and pulling in and out of a parking space easier than ever.

Normal mode is intended to be used most frequently. Offering the perfect support across all road types, its flexibility offers a relaxed, yet engaging drive.

Finally, Sport mode offers drivers the most direct feedback from the road with reduced electrical support. The steering feels more weighted, offering the most driver-focused experience. The direct control and feedback of Sport mode benefits use on highway routes.

The steering system employs electric power-assistance and requires 2,85 turns lock-to-lock for a 10,6-metre turning circle.

Fully-independent, all round, New Generation i30 wagon's suspension features subframe-mounted MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link set up at the rear - both with optimized geometry to exploit the wider track of the new model for enhanced handling and improved road holding.

Occupants of New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon benefit from more spacious interior dimensions compared to the five-door variant, while greater trunk volume offers increased luggage capacity and practicality.

Front seat occupants enjoy headroom of 1.033 mm (+12 mm compared to five-door), legroom of 1.067 mm and 1.420 mm shoulder room. Rear passengers enjoy significantly increased headroom (+38 mm to 1.005 mm) compared to the hatchback and improved access to and across the rear seats by lowering the floor's central tunnel by 59% (from 133 mm to just 54 mm).

Trunk capacity in the wagon bodystyle is increased to 528 litres with rear seats up, an increase of 113 litres compared to the original i30 (27%) and one of the segment-best figures. The trunk extends to 1.642 litres when the seats are folded fully flat (18% increase). New Generation i30 wagon owners can also utilise an underfloor storage compartment, boosting the carrying capacity.

Wheelbase remains the same as the hatchback model, at 2.650 mm.

The dashboard glovebox is enlarged by 48% to 8,0 litres (up from 5,4), bottle storage in the front door trims is doubled in size to 1,5-litres and new 0,75-litre storage pockets are provide in the rear doors, similar to its hatchback sibling.

In terms of cabin refinement and NVH, Hyundai's New Generation i30 wagon engineering team targeted the segment leaders, and was determined to achieve significant improvements over the original model.

Measures adopted to improve NVH included vibration damping engine mounts, fitting hollow drive shafts, stronger bodyshell joints between the sills and B-pillars, double-layer door seals, increased foam-filling in the A-pillars and re-shaped exterior door handles.

Safety is a top priority for Hyundai and the New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon features the latest active and passive safety technologies to ensure maximum protection for its occupants and other road users. Active safety features include ESC (Electronic Stability Control), VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), ABS (anti-lock braking system), BAS (emergency Brake Assist System), HAC (Hill Assist Control) to prevent roll-back and ESS (Emergency Stop Signal) which flashes the brake lights when an emergency stop is detected.

Good visibility is a key factor in safe driving and New Generation i30 wagon features LED daytime running lights to ensure it is seen - plus HID (High-Intensity Discharge) headlamps with AFLS (Adaptive Front Light System) to optimise the driver's night vision. To maximise safety when reversing, a wide angle rear view camera is available, showing a clear view of obstructions behind the car.

Personal security is also enhanced with New Generation i30 wagon by the 'welcome lighting' package which features puddle lamps beneath the door mirrors and illuminated door handles - triggered by the proximity of the Smart Key as the owner approaches the parked car.

In terms of passive safety, the New Generation Hyundai i30 wagon's bodyshell structure employs a high percentage of ultra high tensile steel and features three new cross-members which link to the front or rear suspension mounts for maximized rigidity. The front door anti-intrusion beams have been strengthened, the joint between the B-pillar and roof is enlarged and the inner and outer side sill panels are manufactured in high tensile steel.

Over 400 metallurgists are employed at Hyundai's steel plant in Korea to develop optimised steel recipes for every part and panel in our vehicles. As a result, the New Generation i30 wagon body-in-white has higher quality, higher tensile strength and lower weight than ever before. Hyundai is the only car manufacturer in the world to have its own fully integrated steel mill.

Each New Generation i30 wagon is fitted with six airbags as standard - front, front side and full length curtain - while an innovative driver's knee airbag is optional.

The safety features available on the New Generation i30 wagon reinforce Hyundai's excellent record on safety, and the company anticipates the new car will follow the outgoing model and five other recent Hyundai models, in attaining the maximum 5-Star rating in Euro NCAP's impact assessment programme.
Read More

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fiat Panda UK Version, 2013

  •  Fiat Panda UK Version, 2013

The third generation Fiat Panda, Europe's best-selling supermini, is bigger, roomier, safer and more fuel efficient than its predecessors. On sale from February 2012, it's the latest version of a well loved car that's become legendary for its use of space, compact dimensions, fun style and functionality. With its five doors and flexible interior, the new Fiat Panda is set to build on an enviable reputation for convenience and durability that's been growing ever since the original was unveiled in 1980.

With the continued popularity of downsizing, the concept of an attractive, sophisticated city car with room for five, an advanced range of economical engines and a host of large car features has never been more appealing. The all-new Fiat Panda is such a car thanks to an interior boasting greater flexibility and higher quality materials than its predecessor, with some clever cutting edge technology being made available on a small car for the first time. All this is cloaked in a stylish yet friendly new design and powered by some of the most economical engines available today.

Three engine options will be offered at launch, headed by Fiat's award-winning Twin Air Turbo. This 875cc unit has the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any quantity production petrol engine in the world, and won International Engine of the Year 2011 courtesy of its unique combination of power, flexibility and economy. With 85hp, 67.3mpg economy (Combined Cycle), and a characterful throaty sound track, this engine has cemented Fiat's position at the forefront of modern combustion engine development.

The Twin Air Turbo is to be joined later in the year by a normally aspirated version for the very first time. There is also the latest evolution of the dependable 1.2-litre FIRE engine. With 69bhp it employs variable valve timing technology to blend power with economy. The new Fiat Panda is also available with a 1.3-litre MultiJet2 turbo diesel. This second generation, compact unit features faster injectors than its predecessor, making it quieter, more economical and cheaper to run.

The Twin Air Turbo and Multi Jet will come with Start&Stop and a Gear Shift Indicator (GSI), which suggests to the driver when to change gear in order to achieve the best economy.

As well as new engines, the Fiat Panda has revised dimensions that make it longer, wider and taller than the car it replaces, with more space for passengers and their luggage. But it still maintains sufficiently diminutive exterior dimensions to sit firmly in the city car category. Most of the Panda's growth in length is in the rear overhang to increase the new car's boot space as well as offer more legroom to rear passengers, who will also benefit from a rear sliding seat option for the first time. The new Panda is also 66mm wider, which means it can seat three passengers comfortably in the rear. Most class rivals have room for only two passengers in the back.

For improved passenger comfort and driver enjoyment there is all-new suspension and a body that's significantly more rigid than its predecessor. These attributes further improve the Fiat Panda's already impressive safety credentials. With up to six airbags (four of which are standard), ABS anti-lock braking, optional ESP (Electronic Stability Program), and an active anti-whiplash head restraint system standard equipment throughout the range, the Panda will be one of the best-equipped cars of its kind in safety terms. Unusually for a car of this size, it will also feature a new innovation as an option, the Low Speed Collision Mitigation system. This reads the road ahead and when it detects an obstacle in the car's path it applies the brakes automatically.

The Fiat Panda's helpful features aren't just reserved for the driver. To maximise space inside, the all-new interior is packed with useful equipment. There are 14 storage compartments including an open one on the dashboard. The rear seat bench can be specified to slide backwards and forwards. Other options include a front passenger seat that folds into a table, while access to the interior has been further improved.

As with every other Fiat in the current range, the new Panda can be ordered with the Blue&Me connectivity system to allow owners to sync music players and mobile phones with the car. This enables hands-free control of devices using either voice activation or steering wheel-mounted buttons. The new Fiat Panda also offers the latest Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE as an option. This navigation device has a 4.3-inch touch screen, and as well as routing, this includes up-to-the-minute weather and traffic information.

The new Fiat Panda is available in three trim levels: Pop, Easy and Lounge. Even the entry level Pop model is well equipped for this city car class, while features such as Low Speed Collision Mitigation, which is available on medium and high grade cars, is new to this segment.

The Fiat Panda has long been seen as an embodiment of rational and emotional values and its 'friendly' design has reflected that. Now entering its third generation, the new Panda combines the best of the first and second generation models with a character of its own that allows Fiat to move the Panda legend forward once again.

Centro Stile Fiat designers claim the new design portrays an even stronger vision of the combination of utility and personality than the car it replaces. In creating this evolution of the existing model, designers wanted to emphasise that the Panda is a timeless classic while also being an integral member of the Fiat Automobiles family.

Comprehensive restyling has resulted in the Fiat Panda's lines being made more rounded than the model it replaces. This softening combined with the absence of corners conveys solidity and sophistication and makes the car appear bigger than its city car dimensions might suggest. The sleek new look has also been designed to give the passenger compartment a welcoming and protective feel, and an additional benefit is a drag coefficient of 0.32, one of the lowest in the class.

The softening of lines continues within the overall shape. Side windows have been shaped to maximise outward visibility for added safety, while giving the cabin a perception of airiness. All windows have rounded-off corners and the third window at the sides, a signature of the second-generation Panda, remains but is less angular. These also merge with the rear light clusters, which are set higher to reduce the possibility of damage from minor knocks, while making them more visible.

Bumper strips that follow the rounded motif have been added for extra protection from parking knocks. And in a nod to the first generation car, there are optional side mouldings (standard on Lounge versions) to give a rugged look. This is further accentuated by flared wheel arches and roof bars on Easy and Lounge versions.

The Fiat Panda has always been synonymous with style, practicality and usability, and this latest version builds on those 'pillars'. Although just 365cm long with a wheelbase of 230cm, the newcomer can comfortably seat five people and has one of the biggest boots in its class.

Functionality is another of the Fiat Panda's hallmarks and the new model is no different. The five-door design makes cabin access easy. Internal space is 26mm wider at the front and 5mm wider at the rear, while overall, the cabin is 20mm longer compared with the model it replaces. New slim seat technology yields 23mm more entry space at the front and 6mm at the rear which allows back seat passengers more leg room while those in the front benefit from improved seat travel which is now an impressive 21cm fore and aft. Allied to vertical adjustment of 6cm for the driver's seat, the front passenger's can be specified with a backrest that folds down like a table on Easy and Lounge models.

Two rear seats are standard while a middle seat, head restraint and seat belt can be specified as an option. The sliding back row is optional from September 2012. This moves by 16cm, increasing boot space from 225 to 260 litres in its fully forwards position. And the rear backrest folds down to create 870 litres of boot space, 36 litres more than the second generation model, and a platform that's more than 2m in length. On top of that, a rear backrest that splits 60/40 can be specified. If the sliding rear seat is ordered, the backrest splits 50/50.

The seat material is new too. This employs squares that are electronically welded to the backrests in order to improve airflow between the occupant's back and the seat, improving comfort in warm weather.

Further improving cooling when temperatures are high, the new Panda has an improved climate control system. This centres on a revised control unit that ensures the required temperature is reached as quickly as possible, a particularly desirable feature in extreme weather conditions. Life on board has been further improved by working to reduce all types of noise. This has resulted in a 4dB noise reduction compared to the previous generation model. This effectively means road noise has been halved.

The dashboard has undergone a radical rework. Harking back to the first ever Fiat Panda, it boasts a roomy storage pocket ahead of the front passenger. There's also a more conventional locking glove box in the lower part of the dash.

Other clever internal innovations include redesigned door panels, allowing the speakers to be positioned higher, which improves sound quality while also enabling the door pockets to be made wider and more usable. The hand brake has been redesigned too. Making it shorter has released storage space in front, behind and underneath the lever. In total, there are 14 storage spaces including a mix of open and closed, and there's even an optional glasses holder above the driver's side window.

Modern cars are about so much more than getting around, and as with every current Fiat the new Panda is big on communication. Consequently it features the award-winning Blue&Me infotainment system.

Based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile for Automotive, Blue&Me allows Bluetooth equipped devices such as phones and MP3 music players to be linked into the car. Occupants can then take control using voice activation via a display panel that works with a microphone in the roof, or steering wheel mounted buttons.

It's easy to use and therefore safe as drivers can keep their hands on the wheel, and their phones in their pockets/handbags. The latest generation voice recognition system allows immediate interaction because it doesn't have to go through a learning phase. And phonebook contents can be transferred to the car's display panel. Music that's stored on a USB device, media player or the latest Apple systems can be played via the car's sound system with track information shown on the display panel.

Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE opens the doors to connectivity further still. The connector and accompanying unit for this can be specified as an option on Easy and Lounge models. This has all the features of the regular Blue&Me system combined with satellite navigation and accurate traffic information that updates in real time.

This portable navigation device slots into a holder in the middle of the dash. There are no unsightly wires but the device can be removed for safe keeping. It features a 4.3-inch touch screen display, stores detailed maps of 45 European countries and has the same LIVE services as the latest generation TomTom navigation devices. This includes mobile and fixed speed camera locations, points of interest updated by Google Local Search, current weather forecasts and detailed traffic information, updated every two minutes. A year of free LIVE services is included when the vehicle is purchased.

Teamed with Blue&Me is Fiat's widely acclaimed eco:Drive system. It enables users to download information about their driving to a USB stick. This can then be uploaded to their computer and by accessing Fiat's eco:Drive website, acceleration, deceleration, gear shifts and speed are analysed to give drivers a personal eco:Index of between 1 and 100. The eco:Drivers then receive tips on how to improve their performance and can become part of the eco:Ville on-line community. This has so far enabled 64,000 users to save 4300 tonnes of CO2 by improving their driving styles.

Fiat is at the cutting edge of combustion engine design and as a result the new Panda comes with a choice of engines that lead their class in terms of performance, fuel consumption and emissions.

0.9-litre TwinAir Turbo
At the forefront of the line up is Fiat's International Engine of the Year 2011, the TwinAir Turbo. The first in a new range of engines, this two-cylinder unit combines Fiat's revolutionary Multi Air technology with two cylinders and a turbocharger. The results are stunning with its 85hp power output 10 per cent up on a regular engine of the same size, peak torque of 145Nm up 15 per cent, and the 99g/km of CO2 emissions improved by 10 per cent.

As with every other Multi Air engine, at the heart of this unit there's a new electro-hydraulic valve management system. This reduces fuel consumption to a remarkable 67.3mpg (Combined figure) by controlling the intake of air directly via the inlet valves rather than the throttle. It enables airflow to be managed cylinder by cylinder, cycle by cycle, phase by phase, according to the driver's and therefore the engine's requirements. By rigorously controlling the combustion process, pumping losses of around 10 per cent are eliminated, while valve control strategies can be optimised to reduce emissions and boost driveability through improved throttle responses.

Fitting in perfectly with the Fiat Panda's small size, the Twin Air takes downsizing to a new level by combining a small capacity engine with a turbocharger. This improves performance and flexibility, particularly at very low revs where it's far more responsive than a conventional normally aspirated engine.

1.2-litre Fire EVO II
More than 10 million units of the FIRE family have now been produced, and this durable, reliable engine is still going strong. With continuously variable valve timing now optimising valve opening and closing at all speeds, consumption in the new Panda is a frugal 54.3mpg (Combined Cycle), while emissions are 120g/km, yet torque is still a healthy 102Nm at 3000rpm and maximum power output, 69hp.

1.3-litre MultiJet 2
Fiat's latest small turbo diesel engine has been described as a masterpiece of technology in miniature. And it certainly has compact proportions, measuring 60cm in length by 70cm high and tipping the scales at 140kg. But it's big on performance with a power output of 75hp at 4000rpm and torque of 190Nm at 1500rpm, meaning excellent flexibility.

Its economy is big news too as it can manage a remarkable 72.4mpg (Combined Cycle) in the new Fiat Panda with CO2 emissions of just 104g/km. It offers this combination of performance and economy thanks to second generation MultiJet technology. Faster injectors allow up to eight injections per cycle, meaning greater speed, flexibility and precision in the various combustion phases. The improved injection rate also permits two injections that are so close together that they generate a continuous but modulated supply of fuel to the cylinders.

By improving the combustion process in this way, engine operation is quieter while particulate and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are sufficently improved, enabling the engine to meet strict Euro 5 standards. The injectors are also simpler and with 40 per cent fewer components, are more reliable than their predecessors, promising cheaper running costs.

Clever thinking
To further boost economy, engines apart from the 1.2-litre FIRE are equipped with Fiat's Start&Stop system. Specifically designed for city driving, this switches the engine off when traffic requires the vehicle to stop, while keeping all functions such as lights, climate control and the sound system operating. When it's time to move off again, releasing the brake pedal (Dualogic) or operating the clutch triggers the engine to fire up.

All cars with Start&Stop are fitted with a Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) too. This offers a discreet prompt to drivers to change gear at the optimum point to minimise fuel consumption.

The TwinAir Turbo model also features an ECO button on the dashboard. Pushing this changes the engine electronics to a specific map that reduces torque to 100Nm and focuses on minimising consumption.

When drivers do need to visit the pumps, the Smart Fuel System is another large car feature designed to make city car life as easy as possible. The classic fuel cap has been replaced by a fuel filler pipe that opens and closes automatically when the pump is inserted and withdrawn. It reduces unpleasant gas emissions, any chance of fuel overflow, and doesn't allow petrol to be pumped into a diesel car, or vice versa.

In the second quarter of 2012, the new Panda will become available with Fiat's Dualogic Transmission. This is an automatic gearbox that can also be used as a manual. There is no clutch pedal, so to prompt gearchanges in manual mode, the lever is pushed forwards or backwards to shift either up or down. It's a system that's simple to use, gives the option of relaxed automatic gear changing round town, and more involving driver-prompted changes on the open road. And because the software that tells the gearbox when to perform automatic changes is economy orientated, it saves fuel too.

The new Fiat Panda has been designed to be rewarding for all sorts of drivers in all kinds of conditions. In addition to being practical, comfortable and capacious inside, it's also been built to put a smile on the face of keen drivers, and despite compact car dimensions it'll offer large car protection to all its occupants.

The new Panda has an exceptionally rigid body. This is thanks to 70 per cent of it being built out of high resistance materials. The car also features a third load path. This provides more effective control of deformation during frontal impacts and reduces the chance of penetration to the passenger compartment by transferring energy to the lower, more resistant parts of the vehicle.

The improved rigidity combines with the latest technology to ensure comprehensive protection in the event of an accident. Four airbags come as standard (front and window bags) while front seatbelts feature pretensioners and load limiters. Front seats are also equipped with an anti-whiplash system while those in the rear have head restraints (optional on Pop versions) and Isofix attachments for child seats.

ABS anti-lock brakes are standard and have Brake Assist for quicker more powerful braking to ensure drivers maximise the performance of the braking system. Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is also available and comes with Hill Holder. On inclines, this applies the brakes for two seconds after the pedal has been released, enabling the driver to make effortless hill starts.

Later this year, Low Speed Collision Mitigation (LSCM) will become available. This large car safety feature is set to raise the bar in terms of what drivers can expect from city cars. The LSCM can recognise obstacles in the path of the car and apply the brakes if the driver fails to do so. Depending on speed, the system can either avoid obstacles altogether or minimise the consequences of an impact.

The LSCM combines Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Prefill and Brake Assist. The AEB is triggered by a windscreen mounted laser sensor which assesses whether the obstacle poses a threat. The sensor employs the same principles as those used in astronomy to measure the distance between satellites. The obstacle must be more than 40 per cent of the width of the vehicle and the angle of impact must be less than 30 degrees. In addition to applying the brakes automatically, engine torque is reduced if the accelerator pedal hasn't been released. The AEB works in tandem with Prefill. This primes the braking system for a more prompt response either when the AEB system takes over or in a regular emergency stop.

The new Fiat Panda features all-new suspension that's been designed to improve comfort, handling, and crash safety performance. It's been lightened using a lower arm which for the first time on a European-made car has been constructed using ultra high-strength material. This combines with a modular cross member made of low thickness, high resistance steel sheets that works in conjunction with the third load path.

There's a new split shock absorber mounting too. By transmitting loads to the body through two different routes, road vibrations are filtered out better and acoustics improved compared to the previous model. The front suspension also has a new anti-roll bar that's had its weight reduced without compromising its rigidity, and it has been connected to the shock absorber to maximise the anti-roll effect.

New suspension bushes have been added front and rear to improve noise insulation without detracting from road holding.
To enable the new Panda to perform on the open road and in the tight confines of the city with equal aplomb, Dualdrive electric power steering features a 'City' function. Push the dash-mounted button marked 'City' and assistance to the steering is increased to facilitate parking manoeuvres and enable drivers to employ the tight 9.3m turning circle more easily. The default setting, returned to when the City button is pressed again or when speeds exceed 22mph, ensures the greater driving precision and steering wheel response that's more suited to higher speeds.

One of the fundamental aims with the new Fiat Panda has been to raise product quality for city cars. This has been achieved by concentrating on the three fundamentals of materials, production and people. With an investment of 800m Euros, the Giambattista Vico plant in Pomigliano d'Arco on the outskirts of Naples has been transformed to technological and organisational excellence in just 12 months, eventually resulting in up to 260,000 Pandas being produced annually.

Sheet metal components are now sourced internally, meaning that Fiat has far greater control over their quality. A department with 10 drawing and three cutting lines uses 377 moulds to transform sheet metal into parts such as side panels, doors, roofs and floors that make up the Fiat Panda.

The factory has also been equipped with the largest plastic pressing unit in the company. More than 100 parts are made from melted polypropylene granules that are injected into 35 ultra-modern moulds under high pressure. Components made like this include bumpers, centre console and dashboard. The latter is produced by a single machine that uses a triple-injection system to form the external part first of all, followed by the middle one in four available colours.

Fiat has invested more than 15m Euro in the paint department over recent months. This enables the water-based paints to be applied by robots, eliminating awkward manual internal sealing operations.

State-of-the-art machinery has been housed in one of the most modern factories in the world. The new Pomigliano d'Arco facility has undergone a complete production revolution including a sheet metal working department where 99 per cent of jobs are automated and 600 robots are in operation. Rather than doing the lifting and welding work, humans now run the systems and manage the controls in a spacious, clean and well-lit environment.

One of the most advanced systems is welding, where latest generation 'hollow wrist' robots apply 520 spot welds in 30 minutes. There are two side panel production lines that run at the sides of the main line, and the line itself is made up of modules which can be removed or added according to production requirements, allowing up to four different models to be made at once.

Bodies are moved from one part of the factory to another by overhead train while small, safe and quiet electrical trains have replaced forklift trucks for transporting parts on the ground. Even the pallets that move the cars around as they're being built have been modernised. Bodies are now clamped to these, so key couplings are maintained throughout the build. And as the cars progress through the factory, opto-electronic control stations along the production line check quality compliance and geometric precision.

Investment hasn't just been in the factory. Workers at Pomigliano d'Arco have undergone a total of 200,000 hours of training and a well-structured assessment programme has been developed to ensure the correctly trained person is working at the right station at the right time.

The workers were also asked to contribute to setting up the new factory by defining the organisation of production cycles and work stations. In total, workers contributed around 8500 suggestions to how work station safety, ergonomics and product quality could be improved by eliminating errors.

The staff at Pomigliano d'Arco accepted that the only way to move forward was to modernise. The result was a sheet metal department that started from scratch, an improved paint department, a new plastic processing department and a redesigned assembly department. And in each, workers' suggestions were implemented along with world-class manufacturing standards.

To achieve this, workers were encouraged to reconstruct assembly lines virtually, and break them down into stations and operation sequences. It wasn't until each department had found the best solution for each activity that the line was physically built. As a result, work stations are designed so that the car rises up or turns on hooks to offer the correct side at the right height, meaning employees don't have to reach more than 60cm to perform their tasks. Line workers aren't the only ones who benefit in the new factory. Glassed-in offices are located right in the middle of the factory so as to be close to the production lines and workers.
Read More

Nissan Sunny, 2012

  • Nissan Sunny, 2012

The Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled an all-new sedan model at the 8th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition. Using the famed 'Sunny' name in China, this new model will go on sale first in China in January 2011 and then progressively across 170 countries worldwide under different vehicle brand names.

The Nissan Sunny was first introduced in China in 2003 and was significant as the first locally built model from the new Dongfeng Nissan partnership. Acclaimed by consumers for its combination of quality, space and driving performance, the Nissan Sunny quickly help establish a foundation for the Nissan brand in the passenger vehicle market in China.

A projected class leader in fuel economy, the all-new Nissan Sunny is expected to appeal to young families in their 30s looking for a medium sized sedan that combines a dynamic upscale design with the space, quality and features associated with the Sunny and Nissan brand.

Combining the proven Nissan 1.5-liter HR15DE engine with dual injectors and a new-generation Xtronic CVT with an auxiliary transmission, both of which are newly introduced in China, Nissan Sunny delivers ease in handling for city driving where there's frequent acceleration and deceleration, and superior environmental performance as a projected class leader in fuel economy.

Mac Pherson struts are used for the front suspension and a torsion beam for the rear suspension, making for sporty and agile driving at low speeds, and steady and stable driving at higher speeds.

The new Nissan Sunny produced in Dongfeng Nissan's Huadu Plant in Guangzhou and will be priced from RMB 82.8K to 112.8K (1.04 million - 1.41million yen).
Read More

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nissan Qashqai, 2012

  • Nissan Qashqai, 2012

In line with its Pure Drive strategy, Nissan continues to innovate to improve CO2 and fuel economy performance to deliver no compromise, real benefits for consumers. As part of this strategy Nissan is introducing a new Pure Drive version of the top selling Nissan Qashqai equipped with a new state-of-the-art 1.6 dCi engine.

The new engine is the perfect example of Nissan's Pure Drive strategy, replacing the previous 2.0 dCi with a more efficient engine that not only delivers lower emissions and considerably improved levels of fuel economy but which offers the same level of performance as the bigger engine.

Best of all, when coupled with Nissan's Stop / Start system CO2 emissions tumble to just 119 g/km.

At the same time, innovative new options become available on the Nissan Qashqai range, including a new CVT gearbox and, for the first time on a C-segment car, Around View Monitor. AVM uses a series of small cameras located on the exterior of the vehicle to make parking and manoeuvering as safe as possible by giving the driver a real-time helicopter view of the environment around the car.

The moves underline Nissan's leadership of the booming Crossover market and keep Nissan Qashqai one, or even two, steps ahead of its opposition.

The new engine and Stop / Start System has been a joint development between Europe and Japan with Alliance Partner Renault concentrating on the engine and Nissan perfecting the automatic cut off system. It had been originally hoped to introduce the two elements at the same time.

Unfortunately the tragic earthquake which affected Japan so badly at the start of the year has led to a short delay in the manufacture of the Stop / Start System's electronic components. As a result, Nissan Qashqai models built between now and December and powered by the new engine will not have Stop / Start. But even without the system, CO2 emissions are a still impressive 129g/km. From January production, however, Stop / Start System will become a standard feature.

The Pure Drive designation is given to every Nissan product that emits 130g/km of CO2 or less. On its introduction the 'cut off' point was 140g, but as part of the Nissan Green Programme membership of this exclusive club gets tougher all the time. The programme will instigate a further drop to 120g in 2013.

Nissan's Pure Drive champion is, naturally, the zero emission 100% electric Nissan LEAF but the recently introduced Nissan Micra DIG-S heads the conventionally-powered cars. Its technically advanced three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine uses direct injection and a supercharger to deliver brisk performance but with excellent fuel economy and CO2 emissions of just 95 g/km.

The Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi
Available on both Nissan Qashqai and Qashqai +2 models, the new dCi engine has been jointly developed with Alliance partner Renault.

Its arrival in Qashqai is in line with Nissan's policy of 'penalty-free' engine downsizing: the 1.6-litre direct injection diesel engine gives the fuel economy and emissions expected from an engine of its size, but with power and torque figures anticipated from a 2.0-litre engine.

Notably compact, the engine, which displaces 1598cc, is a state-of-the-art unit with more than 30 patents registered representing an investment of €230 million.

Thanks to its 130PS, it is the most powerful of its size in the world while its peak torque figure - an exceptional 320Nm: exactly the same as the 2.0-litre dCi it is replacing - is developed at only 1,750rpm with some 80 per cent available from a mere 1,500 rpm. The resulting dynamic performance lifts the latest Nissan Qashqai well above the 1.6-litre class norm: top speed is 190 km/h, with 0-100 km/h taking 10.3 secs.

But this performance gain is not at the expense of the environment. Its combined cycle fuel consumption (NEDC) is 24 per cent better than the 2.0 dCi - 4.5 l/100km as against 5.9 l/100km - while it produces much lower CO2 emissions - 119 g/km rather than 155 g/km.

These figures refer to the 2wd manual version of Nissan Qashqai: the equivalent Qashqai+2 with Stop / Start System produces 123g/km, while figures for 4wd versions are 135g and 139g respectively.

High Technology Inspiration
The starting point for the engineering team was 'square' architecture, allowing large-diameter valves to be housed in the cylinder head for more efficient filling of the combustion chambers. It's a technique inspired by motor racing and seldom seen in modern diesel road car engines.

Reducing the weight of the cylinder block, cutting mechanical losses and reducing dynamic forces have resulted in the best balance between fuel consumption and performance.

Stop / Start System
The 1.6 dCi features Stop / Start System. Reducing CO2 on a mass-market car to 119g/km brings real economic as well as environmental benefits for many consumers.

Smart Energy Management
Stop / Start System is combined with alternator regeneration, using deceleration energy to charge the battery. The regenerative braking system alone is responsible for a 3% reduction in CO2

Cold-Loop, Low-Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)
The dCi engine is the first to have been developed in Europe using cold-loop, low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation. By recycling the exhaust gas at a lower temperature, emissions of nitrogen oxides and CO2 are reduced.

Thermo Management
The system uses a valve located in the cooling circuit upstream of the cylinder head and cylinder block. When the engine starts from cold, the valve is closed and prevents water from circulating around the combustion chambers. This allows the engine to reach its ideal working temperature more quickly, optimizing combustion efficiency.

Internal friction is also reduced thanks to the quicker warm-up of the oil. The result? More power, lower fuel consumption and lower emissions.

Variable Displacement Oil Pump
Unlike a conventional oil pump which has a fixed capacity, the Variable flow pump delivers only the right amount of oil to avoid unnecessary energy loss. The power needed to drive the oil pump is minimized and varies with engine speed.

Variable Swirl Technology
'Swirl' describes the phenomenon of air rotating inside the cylinder, much like a cyclone. As a result the air-fuel mix is optimised for engine speed conditions reducing fuel consumption, while also minimising the emission of CO2 and other pollutants like nitrogen oxides and particulates.

Among many other refinements, considerable attention was paid to the new engine's acoustic performance thanks to advanced work on combustion in order to deal with noise generation at source. Customers get a smooth, quality, refined ride experience.

Around View Monitor
Qashqai will be available with Nissan's Around View Monitor: it's the first time such an innovative feature has been available on a C-segment car.

In fact, Nissan was the first manufacturer to introduce Around View Monitor anywhere in the world - made available in Japan on the Nissan Elgrand in 2007. In Europe the system has most recently been seen on the Infiniti EX and iconic FX

Combining the feeds from small cameras mounted on the front grille, tailgate and both door mirrors, the system projects an overhead 360° 'helicopter view' of the area around the vehicle onto the Nissan Connect satellite navigation and infotainment screen.

A natural progression from the rear facing parking camera pioneered by Nissan - its first application was on the 2002 Nissan Primera - Around View Monitor makes parking or slow speed manoeuvres simple and safe. The 360° helicopter view gives the driver a clear indication of obstacles around the car. The system switches on automatically when the car is placed in reverse or, while driving up to 10 km/h, by pressing the "camera" button on dashboard; then it switches off once the car has reached a set speed.

If preferred the feed from each camera can be displayed individually and the system can operate as a simple reversing camera which incorporates course lines on the screen to guide the driver to the correct path into the chosen parking spot.

Around View Monitor will make it first appearance on equipment laden special versions of Nissan Qashqai and Qashqai+2 due early 2012. As well as Nissan Connect and AVM - the two systems are interlinked - the special versions will also feature a full-length panoramic glass roof and smart dual tone black and silver 18inch alloy wheels. AVM will also be optionally available on Acenta and Tekna versions (depending on markets).

New CVT gearbox
The latest generation of Nissan developed continuously variable transmission will be introduced on 117PS 1.6-litre petrol-powered Nissan Qashqai models early 2012. The CVT version will increase Qashqai's market coverage.

The Nissan Qashqai range
Since its launch in March 2007, the Nissan Qashqai has redefined Europe's mid-size hatchback market. Designed and built in Europe, Qashqai - the original Crossover - adopted a genuinely fresh approach to a traditional, conservative sector of the market... and Nissan's bold stance has been a resounding success.

In under five years, European sales of Nissan Qashqai and its seven-seat sister Qashqai+2 have exceeded 1,000,000 units, with more than 80 per cent of sales going to first time Nissan buyers. The longer Qashqai+2 arrived in the autumn of 2008 to expand the appeal of the range still further.

March 2010 saw the first major change to Nissan Qashqai as a refreshed model was introduced to help it maintain its class-leading sales performance, a move that surprised many competitors who, at the time, were still playing catch up and had yet to bring their own crossovers to market.

There were visual changes including a new bonnet, grille, wings and new headlamps at the front and new rear lights and a re-profiled tailgate at the rear. The changes were set off by fresh designs of alloy wheel. Discreet aerodynamic improvements, including the adoption of full-length underbody panels, saw the CD figure fall to 0.33. As well as smoothing the airflow under the car, the panels helped reduce noise intrusion into the cabin.

Inside there were easier to read instruments and a great emphasis on quality with new materials, new colours and other subtle touches for a feeling of increased sophistication. Mechanically a number of small changes enhanced the vehicle's dynamics still further. Dampers were retuned for improved body control, reduced noise and better bump-thump absorption while the steering feel was also improved.

The basic mechanical layout remained unchanged with front- or ALL MODE four-wheel drive and fully independent suspension by sub-frame mounted struts at the front and a multi-link rear.

With the arrival of the new 1.6 dCi engine, the range line-up now encompasses two petrol and three diesel offerings. The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol develops 117PS while the 2.0-litre petrol produces 140PS. The entry-level diesel is the 110PS 1.5 dCi, while the 150PS 2.0-litre dCi unit remains to power the automatic 4WD version only. As before, the range runs through Visia, Acenta and Tekna specifications with the special version featuring a high level of equipment as well as reinforced exterior Crossover design.
Read More

Land Rover Range Rover, 2013

  • Land Rover Range Rover, 2013

The all-new Range Rover is the most capable and most luxurious Land Rover yet. Lighter, stronger and with new levels of refinement, the Range Rover reinforces its position as the world's finest luxury SUV.

The fourth generation of the unique Range Rover line, the all-new model has been developed from the ground up, capturing the innovative spirit and iconic design of the original model which changed the world of motoring when it was launched over 40 years ago.

The world's first SUV with a revolutionary lightweight all-aluminium monocoque body structure is 39 per cent lighter than the steel body in the outgoing model enabling total vehicle weight savings of up to 420kg.

The lightweight aluminium platform has delivered significant enhancements in performance and agility, along with a transformation in fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

In addition to the strong and rigid lightweight body, an all-new aluminium front and rear chassis architecture has been developed with completely re-engineered four-corner air suspension. While the luxurious ride has been retained, the vehicle's handling and agility have been significantly improved. The new suspension architecture delivers flatter, more confident cornering, with natural and intuitive steering feel.

The all-new Range Rover has a clean and elegant shape which is derived from a fresh new interpretation of Range Rover design cues. While instantly recognisable as a Range Rover, the new vehicle takes a significant step forward with a bold evolution of the model's iconic design language.

With Land Rover strength at its heart, the new model has been engineered from the ground up to be the most capable, most refined Range Rover ever.

Amongst the industry-leading innovations is a ground-breaking next-generation version of Land Rover's Terrain Response® system, which analyses the current driving conditions and automatically selects the most suitable vehicle settings for the terrain.

To ensure exceptional durability and reliability, the new model has been subjected to Land Rover's punishing on- and off-road test and development regime, with a fleet of development vehicles covering millions of miles over 18 months of arduous tests in more than 20 countries with extremes of climate and road surfaces.

Within the cabin, the all-new Range Rover provides occupants with a sensation of serene isolation, meeting the highest luxury car standards for refinement.

Measures like the rigorously optimised body structure and acoustic lamination of the windscreen and side door glass have significantly reduced noise levels, while the new suspension architecture has enabled engineers to achieve even more luxurious ride comfort and refinement.

The sumptuous interior incorporates distinctive Range Rover design cues, but executed with a very contemporary treatment, and clean, elegant surfaces which are flawlessly presented using the finest leathers and veneers. With over 118mm more legroom, the rear occupants benefit from vastly increased space and comfort, with the option of a new two-seat Executive Class seating package for the ultimate in rear-seat luxury.

To deliver the model's characteristic effortless performance, customers have the choice of refined V8 petrol engines and TDV6 and SDV8 diesel engines combining responsive performance with outstanding CO2 emissions.

The all-new Range Rover has been engineered with the latest developments in vehicle technologies, from interior luxury features such as exclusive Meridian surround sound music systems and power upper and lower tailgates, to advanced chassis and driver assistance technologies.

Designed and engineered at Land Rover's development centres in the UK, the new Range Rover will be produced in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Solihull, UK - employing the latest low-energy aluminium body construction technologies.

On sale from September 2012 [market dependent] with customer deliveries scheduled to start from early 2013, the all-new Range Rover will be a truly global car, available in over 160 markets worldwide.
Read More

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Toyota GT 86, 2013

  •  Toyota GT 86, 2013

The anticipation is over: the new Toyota GT 86 sports car makes its world debut at the 2011 Tokyo motor show. The compact 2+2 model, one of the most keenly awaited new cars of the coming year, will go on sale in the UK in June 2012.

The Toyota GT 86 has been conceived as an entirely driver-focused machine, designed to deliver the core qualities of the classic sports car experience. That means precise, instant response to the smallest throttle and steering inputs and the kind of performance that appeals to those for whom driving is a passion, not a necessity.

The Toyota GT 86 is built on a new platform, with a highly aerodynamic bodyshell stretched tight over the car's mechanical elements. Rather than fitting a heavy, large capacity powertrain, Toyota has opted instead to go back to its sporting roots, installing a compact, front-mounted, free-revving petrol engine that drives the rear wheels.

This four-cylinder "boxer" unit generates 197bhp at 7,000rpm and maximum torque of 205Nm at 6,600rpm, giving the Toyota GT 86 brisk, engaging performance.

The powertrain is matched to the world's most compact four-seat design to create a car that benefits from light weight, low inertia and a low centre of gravity to achieve the best possible power-to-weight ratio. For the driver that means lively, accessible performance and dynamic character with minimal intrusion from electronic systems.

The Toyota GT 86 measures 4,240mm long, 1,285mm high and 2,570mm wide, dimensions which make it the most compact four-seater sports car available today.

Both the powertrain and the driving position have been set as low and as far back as possible to achieve the best balance: the car has a near-perfect 53:47 front-to-rear weight distribution. The flat-four engine format and the driver's hip point - the lowest of any current Toyota production model - together give the Toyota GT 86 an ultra-low centre of gravity, at just 475mm.

The Toyota GT 86 makes the most of a light kerb weight, making it easy for drivers to exploit its nimble handling and cornering poise. The suspension features MacPherson struts at the front and double wishbones at the rear. The car rides on 17-inch wheels and is fitted with ventilated disc brakes fore and aft.

World's first horizontally opposed engine with D-4S
The Toyota GT 86's engine is the result of a joint Toyota and Subaru development programme that brings together their technical know-how and mutual passion for sports cars.

Toyota has added its D-4S injection technology to Subaru's new, horizontally opposed, naturally aspirated 1,998cc four-cylinder boxer engine. This system features separate twin injectors for both direct and port injection, and a high 12.5:1 compression ratio, increasing power and torque across a wide range of engine speeds without sacrificing fuel efficiency and environmental performance.

The flat-four engine has equal bore and stroke of 86.0mm and drives through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The manual offers quick, precise shifts using a tactile, short-throw lever; the automatic transmission can be controlled using paddle shifts mounted on the steering wheel.

Power is distributed to the rear wheels via a limited slip differential to give the best possible grip in all driving conditions. The ABS and switchable vehicle stability control systems have been tuned specifically to deliver dynamic stability at the limit of the car's performance envelope with minimal electronic intervention to help preserve the purity of the driving experience.

The design of the Toyota GT 86 successfully works within the technical constraints of achieving the most compact dimensions possible, a low centre of gravity and aerodynamic performance inspired by motorsport technology, while also displaying evocative, sweeping styling that recalls Toyota's sports car heritage.

Toyota's new design language informs the styling, as in the way attention is focused on the lower part of the car with the large lower grille. Elsewhere the "keen" approach can be witnessed in the clear, expressive lines.

The lower grille's "scorpion" look gives the Toyota GT 86 a more powerful appearance, with further sporting details including the model-specific 17-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, twin exhausts and the "86" piston logo that denotes the car's special powertrain configuration.

On board, the ergonomics and function of every element the driver interacts with have been scrutinised to make driving the car as natural, instinctive and rewarding as possible. For example, the steering wheel has a 365mm diameter, making it the smallest ever fitted to a Toyota, and it is trimmed in buckskin, developed from exhaustive feedback from test drivers on how to achieve the best steering performance and grip.

The three-meter instrument cluster is arranged around a large tachometer, its design benefiting from close attention to the positioning of the displays, markings and typeface. The result is the best possible visibility and readability. The driver-focus of the cockpit is further reinforced by the carbon-effect trim, all-black roof lining, red stitching on the upholstery, aviation-style rocker switches and lightweight, aluminium pedals.

Toyota's 50-year sports car heritage
The Toyota GT 86 may be launched as the world's only current sports car to feature a front-mounted, horizontally opposed engine and rear-wheel drive, but it cannot claim to be the first. That honour is held by Toyota's two-cylinder boxer-engined Sports 800, which the company began developing in 1962. Since then, Toyota has established a long history of producing exciting, driver-focused sports cars with a front-engine, rear-wheel drive format that have proved as popular with the public as they have been successful in competition.

The beautiful 2000 GT, a coupe powered by a 2.0-litre straight-six engine, was first displayed at the 1965 Tokyo motor show and helped establish Toyota's global reputation as a sports car manufacturer.

Launched in 1971, the first Celica models featured rear-wheel drive powertrains and were praised by enthusiasts for their agility. All four Supra generations came with straight-six engines and rear-wheel drive, while from 1984 the MR2 won recognition as one of the best handling sports cars in motoring history.

The inspiration for the Toyota GT 86, however, is the Corolla GT (or Levin) AE86, a car with an enduring reputation for delivering sheer excitement and capturing the fundamental joy of driving. Its front-engine, rear-wheel drive package, compact dimensions, light weight, impeccable balance and superior power-to-weight ratio made it a must-have choice for rallying and circuit driving throughout its production life, from 1983 to 1987. Here in the UK the GT claimed two British Touring Car Championship titles and a series of top-level rally victories.

The Toyota GT 86 is a genuinely lightweight machine that offers the intimacy and involvement of a car that can be driven as though an extension of the driver's body. In this way, it perfectly recaptures the exhilarating spirit of the last of the AE86. And, with numerous customisable parts, its shares its predecessor's aim to be an affordable car that will evolve with its owner.
Read More