Saturday, March 9, 2013

Brabus Mercedes-Benz A-Class, 2012

  •  Brabus Mercedes-Benz A-Class, 2012

Powerful engine tuning, elegant and efficient aerodynamic-enhancement components, alloy wheels with diameters of 17, 18 and 19 inches, sporty-comfortable suspensions, exclusive interiors: Right on time for the market launch of the new Mercedes A-Class, BRABUS presents an exclusive tuning program backed by the peerless BRABUS Tuning Warranty® of three years, up to 100,000 kilometers/62,000 miles.

Sporty elegance characterizes the BRABUS bodywork program for the new Mercedes A-Class. It not only sets attractive visual highlights, it also further optimizes the car's aerodynamics. All components are manufactured in OEM quality from high-grade polyurethane.

The BRABUS front spoiler for the AMG Sport equipment line is designed to be attached to the lower part of the fascia. It gives the A-Class an even more dynamic appearance. But that's not all: The shape of the spoiler was optimized in the wind tunnel and further reduces aerodynamic lift on the front axle. A BRABUS rear spoiler for further reducing lift on the rear axle is under development.

The BRABUS rear-fascia insert for the AMG Sport bumper is shaped like a diffuser. Its custom-tailored cutouts provide the perfect backdrop for the four tailpipes of the BRABUS stainless-steel sport exhaust system.

BRABUS alloy wheels in OEM quality add even more fascination to the new A-Class and give it even more agile handling. For this purpose the BRABUS suspension engineers and test drivers have developed custom-tailored tire/wheel combinations with diameters of 17, 18 and 19 inches.

The largest option for the Mercedes compact class features BRABUS 8.5Jx19 wheels that come in five striking designs: Monoblock E, F, Q, R and S. The BRABUS technology partners Continental, Pirelli and YOKOHAMA supply the matching high-performance tires up to size 255/30 R 19 on the rear axle.

The BRABUS sport springs for the Mercedes A-Class were developed specifically for use with sporty low-profile tires. Extensive driving tests resulted in an optimal symbiosis of sporty handling and a high level of ride comfort. What is more, the ride-height lowering by about 25 millimeters also benefits the car's looks.

The BRABUS offers the world's largest engine tuning program for Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The top priority in all BRABUS engine developments is the symbiosis of high performance, excellent running smoothness, exemplary eco-friendliness and durability beyond reproach. BRABUS recommends high-performance lubricants from MOTUL. Performance tuning for the gasoline and diesel engines of the new Mercedes A-Class is in the final stages of development.

The fully stainless-steel BRABUS sport exhaust system with two chrome-plated tailpipes on the right and left side of the vehicle is available for all A-Class engines. The exhaust system produces a sporty but never obtrusive exhaust note.

BRABUS also offers numerous refinement options for the interior of the new A-Class. The portfolio includes bi-color stainless-steel scuff plates with BRABUS logo, matt anodized BRABUS aluminum pedals and door lock pins.

Especially soft yet extremely durable BRABUS Mastik leathers and the finest Alcantara are transformed by the BRABUS upholsterers into the dream cockpit of the A-Class owner with loving attention to detail. The choice of upholstery color and design is as limitless as the scope of the transformation: The options range from a completion of the ex-factory leather upholstery to an exclusive BRABUS all-leather interior.
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Friday, March 8, 2013

BMW 750Li, 2013

  •  BMW 750Li, 2013

The new BMW 7-Series is set to reinforce its position as the most innovative sedan in the luxury segment. The flagship model series of the BMW fleet embodies sporting elegance, refined powertrain technology and luxurious comfort in equal measure. And now, by making a clear step up in terms of product substance, the Sedan is set to underline its leadership. New LED headlights, an upgraded interior with optimised soundproofing, markedly improved ride comfort, a comprehensive selection of optional equipment and state-of-the-art safety technology combine to create an in-car experience from the top drawer. A line-up of either new or optimised drive systems, including the world's most powerful six-cylinder in-line diesel engine and the second-generation BMW ActiveHybrid 7, set new performance and efficiency benchmarks.

The Design: Stylish presence, unique equipment features, an unforgettable way to cover the miles

The BMW 7-Series meets the highest global standards when it comes to aesthetic appeal and innovative technology. In the luxury sedan segment it represents the epitome of athletic elegance and a supreme driving experience. The upgraded BMW 7-Series reaffirms its stylish presence and sporting prowess in 2012 through expressive new design features at the front and rear. Its dimensions have changed only marginally, but its eight-millimetre drop in overall height imbues its sweeping lines with extra expression and emphasises the perfect balance of the car's dynamic proportions.

All-new headlights sharpen the presence of the BMW 7-Series
From the front, the long, broad bonnet of the BMW 7-Series gives it an elegant and expressive profile. The precise contour lines of the bonnet draw the eye to the upright new BMW kidney grille as they extend forward. The grille's chrome surround is now larger, a change which - together with a new slat arrangement (nine slats instead of 12) - gives it greater prominence and reinforces the car's presence on the road. With their elegant accent strip and hallmark BMW corona rings, the optional new full-LED headlights accentuate the unmistakable appearance of the BMW 7-Series.

The large, full-width air intake dominating the lower section of the modified front apron is now split into three sections, a pair of chrome bars marking its outer sections and adding further depth to the car's sporty looks. Two narrow vertical air intakes sit beyond even the LED foglamps to the left and right of the wide intake. These are included as part of the "air curtain" technology, which lowers fuel consumption at higher speeds by forcing the air to flow more aerodynamically around the front wheels. The design of the air curtain therefore represents a fine technological advertisement for the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy.

Hallmark BMW proportions, such as a long wheelbase, short front overhang, long, sweeping bonnet and set-back passenger compartment with a coupe-like roofline, define the sporting and elegant silhouette of the BMW 7-Series. A new design feature that stands out from the side is the indicator integrated into the lower section of each exterior mirror, which makes the car easier to see and therefore safer to drive.

The powerful rear of the BMW 7-Series exudes a feeling of sporting assurance. The horizontal lines and subdivision of the rear into several levels visually lowers the height of the car. The design of the brand's familiar L-shaped rear lights, linked by an eye-catching chrome strip, remains unchanged. They are, however, richer in contrast thanks to differing shades of red. A second, delicately sculpted chrome strip draws a visual connection between the two slim reflectors in the rear apron and gives the rear view a more exclusive and solid feel overall. Another slim chrome bar between the four chromed tailpipe embellishers in the rear apron is a distinguishing feature of the 12-cylinder flagship model.

Exclusive design for the new Rear Seat Entertainment package
The picture of stylish exclusivity and luxurious character is painted with equal clarity inside the new 7-Series. The interior possesses an undeniable air of quality and harmoniousness. Smoothly flowing forms, exquisite materials and stylish colour combinations determine the car's luxurious overall impression. Dakota leather and Nappa leather can now be ordered in Ivory White with the world colour Black and Veneto Beige with the world colour Veneto Beige. The outstanding build quality of the BMW 7-Series reflects the attention to detail of the car's creators, and evidence of the precise craftsmanship at work is striking.

A typical feature of BMW interiors is their unflinching focus on the driver - the way in which they gravitate ergonomically towards the person behind the wheel. In the new 7-Series, this includes the addition of newly designed, more slender front seats offering the best possible ergonomics, optimum lateral support and ultimate long-distance comfort. Sports seats and multifunction seats are also available in place of the standard items. The latter can be ordered with a folding table in the backrest or with the Rear Seat Entertainment package as an option. A brand-new feature are the 9.2-inch screens which, instead of being integrated into the front seats, appear to be "floating" on them. Their exclusive design takes its inspiration from the latest breed of flatscreen monitors, which gives them an extremely slight and lightweight look.

The new BMW 7-Series can be specified as an option with individual rear seats that can be adjusted to suit individual requirements. The backrest angle and seat position can both be varied, as can the position of the head restraints. The controls are the same as those for the front seats with memory function.

The long-wheelbase version of the BMW 7-Series provides the ideal platform on which to maximise long-distance comfort. All of the 140 millimetres added to the wheelbase of the standard-length 7-Series are used to lay on a calm and relaxed journey for the rear passengers in a first-class environment. Indeed, changes to the roofline of the long-wheelbase version create 10 millimetres of extra headroom in the rear.

Extending centre speaker adds to the audio experience
The optimum interior soundproofing of the BMW 7-Series takes the on-board experience another step towards perfection. Additional insulation materials in the B and C-pillars, skirts and boot area team up with intricate sealing around the window frames and exterior mirrors to minimise driving noise. All of which brings the sound experience generated by the new Bang & Olufsen High End Surround Sound System even more powerfully to the fore. The 1,200-watt music system is hooked up to 16 speakers, some of which are positioned behind illuminated, satin-finish aluminium grilles sited in the mirror triangles of the doors and the parcel shelf. The most attention-seizing member of the speaker line-up is the illuminated centre speaker which extends out of the instrument panel and uses B&O Acoustic Lens Technology. Its distinctive form guarantees perfect sound quality in every seat. When the music system is switched off, the centre speaker retreats back into the instrument panel almost without trace. Meanwhile, the new ambient lighting for the interior creates a pleasant ambience, especially at night. Footwell lights for the driver and front passenger and indirect roof liner illumination via lights integrated into the B-pillars further enhance the feeling of well-being. The colour of the ambient light can be altered according to taste.

New screen experience: the multifunctional instrument display
A particular highlight of the BMW 7-Series is the multifunctional instrument display, which makes its debut appearance on the options list. In place of the traditional instrument cluster - in which four circular analogue dials keep the driver informed of the car's speed, engine revs, fuel level and oil temperature -an almost seamlessly integrated 10.25-inch display provides a totally new and appealing screen experience consciously inspired by the looks of the latest electronic devices.

While the familiar format of four circular instruments is retained here, the extended black-panel technology hands the driver a whole new set of display options. For example, the display shows varying information and different colour and mood worlds in the COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO driving experience modes, ensuring greater safety and efficiency and demonstrating an exemplary focus on the driver. The information shown is tailored to the driving mode currently engaged and therefore changes accordingly. All of which means the display the driver sees in the instrument cluster is always the optimum one for the driving situation at hand.

While COMFORT mode brings a classic layout with four solid circular instruments, in ECO PRO and SPORT modes the rings open to offer additional space for extra information between the two instruments. In ECO PRO mode the display turns blue in colour and the rev counter morphs into an Efficient Dynamics display to show how efficiently the car is being driven. Here drivers can monitor how hard they have their foot on the accelerator, how much fuel the car is currently using and whether any energy is being recovered through recuperation. If they are pressing too forcefully on the accelerator, the full display turns grey and alerts them to the amount of fuel they are burning unnecessarily. A speedometer zoom function can also be activated in ECO PRO and COMFORT modes. This enlarges the position of the speedo needle as if a magnifying glass were being passed over it, making it even easier to see.

In SPORT mode the display takes on a signature BMW orange hue. This display mode purposefully retains a very puristic look and only shows the driver the most essential information, so that he can maintain maximum concentration on the road ahead. The speedometer shows the car's speed in digital form only with a large, centrally positioned figure, while the gear currently engaged is boldly displayed in the middle of the rev counter if the driver is shifting manually using the steering wheel paddles. As well as the changes in colour, the displays in the instrument cluster also deliver additional information tailored to the situation at hand - such as status and function updates, Check/Control messages and navigation instructions - which drivers can call up as and when they wish.

Control Display
The introduction of the new multifunctional instrument display is accompanied by a technical and stylistic update for the central Control Display positioned between the driver and front passenger. A black surround lends the recessed 10.25-inch display additional visual depth, which has the effect of making it look even larger. Vertical electroplated bars border the screen to the sides and add extra visual flourishes which the electroplated surrounds for the cupholder lids carry over into the centre console.

Powertrain and chassis: Even more ways to enjoy refined power delivery, enhanced efficiency and a step up in comfort

The new BMW 7-Series is poised to strengthen its position even further as the most innovative sedan in the luxury segment. New and comprehensively revised engine variants set new standards in terms of performance and efficiency. All the engines available for the new 7-Series team up with an intelligent eight-speed automatic transmission and distinguish themselves with significantly reduced fuel consumption and emissions. The Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration and the second-generation Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode offer additional potential for fuel-saving. Carefully optimised suspension and Electric Power Steering for all rear-wheel-drive models also take driving comfort to a new level, while self-levelling air suspension for the rear axle likewise comes as standard on all models.

Alongside the flagship BMW 760i with 12-cylinder powerplant and the entry-level engine in the BMW 730i (not available in all markets), customers can choose from the new six-cylinder in-line unit powering the BMW 740i and the revised V8 petrol engine in the BMW 750i. The six-cylinder diesel engines in the BMW 730d and BMW 740d also offer drivers the combination of increased output and lower fuel consumption. Making its debut, meanwhile, is the new BMW 750d xDrive. Under its bonnet lies the new TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder diesel engine - the world's most powerful diesel engine of its kind. Rounding off the range is the second-generation BMW ActiveHybrid 7 with new six-cylinder in-line engine and significantly reduced emissions.

BMW 760i: refined 12-cylinder engine still top of the tree
The V12 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, direct petrol injection and continuously variable camshaft control represents the pinnacle of the BMW 7-Series engine range - no change there. The all-aluminium powerplant generates output of 400 kW/544 hp from its 5,972 cc displacement and makes peak torque of 750 Newton metres (553 lb-ft) available as low down as 1,500 rpm. That's enough to propel the BMW 760i effortlessly from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). With average fuel economy of 12.8 litres per 100 kilometres (22.1 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 299 g/km, this most cultured of power merchants achieves unprecedented efficiency for its output class.

BMW 750i: eight-cylinder engine develops more power but burns less fuel
The revised V8 petrol engine under the bonnet of the BMW 750i is making its debut. The 4,395 cc eight-cylinder powerplant retains the impressively smooth assurance and spirited power delivery of its pre-update days. However, optimised high-pressure direct injection and reduced charge cycle losses - thanks in the main to the seamlessly variable control of intake valve lift - have pushed its performance potential to a higher level than its predecessor and substantially reduced its fuel economy and emissions. In its latest development stage, the engine generates peak output of 330 kW/450 hp (+ 10 %) and unleashes peak torque of 650 Newton metres / 479 lb-ft (+ 8.5 %) between 2,000 and 4,500 rpm. The engine teams up with the eight-speed automatic transmission, allowing the BMW 750i to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.8 seconds and progress on to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The eight-cylinder engine belies its improved performance with better efficiency than ever; with overall fuel consumption of 8.6 litres per 100 kilometres (32.9 mpg) and CO2 emissions recorded at 199 g/km, the BMW 750i trumps its less powerful predecessor by a clear 25 per cent. In the Chinese market, the BMW 750i is powered by a 4-litre variant of the engine offering 300 kW/408 hp and 600 Newton metres (443 lb-ft) of torque.

BMW 740i: new six-cylinder petrol engine boasts outstanding efficiency
The 3-litre six-cylinder in-line engine stands out with its majestic power and unparalleled high-revving character. The state-of-the-art powerplant is one of the first wave of highly efficient petrol engines to bring together BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, twin-scroll turbocharging, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing. Peak output of 235 kW/320 hp and a maximum 450 Newton metres (332 lb-ft) of torque on tap as low down as 1,300 rpm make this ultra-refined engine the performance equal of the outgoing BMW 740i. However, fuel economy in the EU test cycle is an impressive 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres (35.8 mpg) while CO2 emissions of 184 grams per kilometre represent a 21 per cent reduction in its predecessor's output.

BMW 730i: entry-level engine variant with reduced fuel consumption (not available in all markets)

This proven 3-litre straight-six petrol engine develops, as before, 190 kW/258 hp and maximum torque of 310 Newton metres (229 lb-ft) at 2,600 rpm. Linking up with the new eight-speed automatic transmission allows the BMW 730i to exploit additional fuel-saving potential; average fuel economy stands at 8.6 litres per 100 km (32.9 mpg), while CO2 emissions of 199 grams per kilometres are 13 per cent below the level recorded by its predecessor working with a six-speed transmission.

BMW 750d xDrive: new range-topping TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder diesel engine with intelligent all-wheel drive

The brand-new top-of-the-line diesel powerplant under the bonnet of the BMW 750d xDrive provides fresh evidence of BMW's pre-eminence in the area of engine technology. The world's most powerful six-cylinder in-line diesel engine grabs the headlines with its innovative and unique technology, and imbues the luxury sedan with impressive dynamics and outstanding efficiency.

The remarkable TwinPower Turbo technology at the heart of the six-cylinder unit works with three turbochargers and a further developed common rail injection system for the first time in order to optimise the engine's output, torque and responsiveness. The precisely coordinated management of the turbochargers ensures that the 3-litre high-performance diesel engine develops imposing pulling power across the full rev range - and all with an exceptionally high level of efficiency. The first charger starts work at just over idle so the combustion chambers can be supplied at an early stage. At 1,500 rpm a larger high-pressure turbo kicks in to help the engine reach its maximum torque. Finally, the third turbocharger joins the fray at 2,700 rpm and ensures particularly impressive power delivery until maximum revs are reached. Piezo injectors spray the fuel into the combustion chambers at up to 2,200 bar, with three pre-injections, one main injection and four post-injections of fuel during each power stroke ensuring efficient and clean combustion.

This enviable engine technology enables the six-cylinder in-line powerplant to produce maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp and impressive peak torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft) from as low down as 2,000 rpm, endowing the BMW 750d xDrive with extraordinary thrust. Indeed, the Sedan races from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in only 4.9 seconds. The engine's vast reserves of power also give it a compelling elasticity. Equally impressive as its performance capability, however, are the efficiency benefits of the BMW diesel technology on board; the Sedan posts fuel economy of 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres (44.1 mpg) in the EU test cycle, which means CO2 emissions are also suitably low at 169 g/km. Plus, BMW BluePerformance technology enables the new flagship diesel to meet the EU6 exhaust gas standard comfortably ahead of time.

The permanent, electronically controlled all-wheel drive of the BMW 750i xDrive ensures the power from this range-topping diesel finds its way safely onto the road at all times by dividing engine power between the front and rear wheels in response to the situation at hand. The system's precision and rapid responses help give the Sedan stable and dynamic driving characteristics even under demanding conditions.

BMW 740d: further reduction in fuel consumption and emissions
The rigorous further development of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology has also given the dynamics and efficiency of the familiar six-cylinder in-line diesel engine a boost. At 230 kW/313 hp, the maximum output of the 3-litre six-cylinder diesel is five kilowatts higher than its predecessor's, while peak torque of 630 Newton metres / 465 lb-ft (+ 30 Nm / 22 lb-ft) comes on stream at 1,500 rpm. Added to which, thermodynamic optimisations sharpen the diesel model's responses and enhance its agility. Linking up with the new eight-speed automatic transmission, the more powerful BMW 740d manages to record even lower fuel consumption of 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres (49.6 mpg) to go with CO2 emissions of 149 g/km. That's a 17 per cent improvement on its predecessor.

BMW 730d: cleanest diesel in the luxury segment, emitting just 148 g/km
Another round of fuel consumption and emissions reductions sees the BMW 730d building on its position as the world's most economical luxury sedan with the lowest emissions. Peak output of the 3-litre six-cylinder diesel engine, whose construction mirrors that of the engine in the BMW 740d, has increased by 10 kilowatts to 190 kW/258 hp. And its maximum torque has also risen to 560 Newton metres / 413 lb-ft (+ 20 Nm / 15 lb-ft). However, average fuel economy of 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres (50.4 mpg) in the EU test cycle and CO2 emissions of just 148 g/km allow it to outperform its predecessor - married to a six-speed automatic transmission - by 17 per cent. Specifying the engine with the optionally available BluePerformance technology equips it to meet the EU6 standard.

The BMW xDrive: available as an option for the BMW 750i, BMW 740d and BMW 730d
BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive makes the BMW 7-Series Sedan an even more attractive proposition. In addition to the typical benefits of all-wheel drive, the electronically controlled xDrive system - which can vary the power distribution between the front and rear wheels with split-second speed - ensures top-class traction, safety and handling, and optimal power management whatever the weather and road conditions. The system has been set up to deliver greater agility and precision through corners as well, offers an ideal combination of dynamism and comfort, and provides the perfect basis for a refined driving experience.

BMW ActiveHybrid 7: second generation with six-cylinder petrol engine
As BMW continues to push ahead with the development of intelligent hybrid drive systems, the second generation of the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 is set to celebrate its premiere in 2012. The updated model sets itself apart with lower fuel consumption and emissions, as well as innovative auxiliary functions. This latest evolution stage uses a six-cylinder in-line engine displaying impressive high-revving characteristics, torque and efficiency. The cutting-edge petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology is the 235 kW/320 hp variant of the unit fitted in the new BMW 740i and replaces the eight-cylinder engine used up to now. Other hybrid components include the 40 kW/55 hp synchronous electric motor, the hybrid-spec eight-speed automatic transmission, a lithium-ion high-performance battery and power electronics underpinning intelligent energy management. The various components come together into a powerful and harmonious whole, giving the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 exceptional dynamics and an outstanding balance between performance and fuel economy - and not only in relation to its predecessor.

With system output of 260 kW/354 hp and peak torque of 500 Newton metres (369 lb-ft), the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.7 seconds. At the same time, the Sedan posts average fuel economy of 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres (41.5 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 158 g/km. That means the more powerful hybrid technology uses some 14 per cent less fuel than a BMW 740i with a conventional drive system.

A host of innovative functions are involved in enhancing the car's dynamics and achieving the excellent efficiency of the overall system. For example, the electric motor hands the six-cylinder an extra 210 Newton metres (155 lb-ft) of torque through the boost function, should the driver need to nail a quick sprint or call on some hard mid-range acceleration. In addition, Brake Energy Regeneration, the Hybrid Start Stop function, ECO PRO mode with coasting function and proactive analysis - to prepare the car's drive system in advance for upcoming situations on the road - ensure the available energy is used as efficiently as possible (more details in the "BMW EfficientDynamics" chapter). The new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 can also run purely on electric power. If the hybrid battery has sufficient charge and the driver goes easy on the accelerator, the car can cover a distance of up to four kilometres (just under 2.5 miles) almost silently and without producing any tailpipe emissions. The top speed possible using electric power alone is 60 km/h (37 mph).

Innovative eight-speed automatic gearbox now fitted as standard
For the year 2012 BMW is fitting all 7-Series models with the extremely effective eight-speed automatic transmission previously reserved for the BMW 760i, BMW 740d xDrive and BMW ActiveHybrid 7. Its additional ratios allow the gearbox to combine unbeatable shift comfort and efficiency, while at the same time aiding the dynamic qualities of the BMW 7-Series Sedan. With its intelligent control technology, the eight-speed transmission boasts extremely fast shift and reaction times and direct downshift capability. The electronic transmission controller can also alter the shift characteristics as required, to cater either for a more sporty or for a more relaxed, fuel-saving driving style.

Despite a larger overall spread, eight ratios mean that the spacing between them is smaller, so that the optimal ratio is available in virtually all situations. The close ratios deliver refined and powerful acceleration as well as smooth and fuel-efficient low-rpm operation. Altogether, then, as well as providing dynamic acceleration and smooth shifting, the new eight-speed automatic also allows drivers to maintain a very economical driving style.

The chassis: optimised set-up and extended standard specification noticeably enhance comfort levels for the driver and passengers

Dynamic performance, ride comfort and active safety are again among the stand-out qualities of the BMW 7-Series Sedan in the year 2012. Sophisticated chassis technology plays a key role here, providing the ideal partner for the refinement and power of the drive systems. A host of measures give the ride comfort of the Sedan a noticeable boost. Complementing the optimised chassis set-up - with modified rubber bearings and new dampers - and the self-levelling air suspension for the rear axle, Electric Power Steering is a standard feature of the models with rear-wheel drive. State-of-the-art electronic control systems with likewise retuned software help to enhance the long-distance attributes of the BMW 7-Series Sedan and ensure that the new edition of the car makes travelling on board even more pleasurable in terms of both dynamics and comfort.

Dynamics made even more comfortable: double-wishbone front axle and integral-V rear axle with self-levelling air suspension

The front axle of the BMW 7-Series Sedan is based on the familiar aluminium double-wishbone construction combining maximum rigidity and minimised weight. The patent-protected integral-V rear axle of the BMW 7-Series Sedan is also made from aluminium. The use of modified ball joints, stiffer hydraulic dampers, new rubber bearings and carefully tuned elastokinematics has allowed the engineers to minimise vibrations and therefore bring about a perceptible improvement in onboard comfort levels. By effectively cutting the link between the road surfaces and the drive system, the rear axle also allows the driver and passengers to enjoy excellent acoustic comfort and impressively low vibrations.

All BMW 7-Series models are now kitted out with high-comfort rear axle air suspension, which keeps the car riding at a constant height no matter what kind of driving conditions it encounters and regardless of the loads you have on board. This automatic self-levelling suspension responds to any change in load by adjusting the suspension at the relevant wheel. This means that only small interventions are required in response to spring movements caused by road imperfections and cornering tilt.

Always on the safe side: the lightweight braking system and advanced electronic control systems

The compound braking system with lightweight, inner-vented swing-calliper disc brakes provides outstanding deceleration in any situation and brakes the Sedan to a standstill in a very short space of time, even from high speeds. In so doing, the system also offers extremely high resistance to fade as well as unbeatable braking comfort. The braking system is backed up by various state-of-the-art electronic safety systems which are integrated into the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) package and assist the dynamic performance and active safety of the luxury sedan to equal effect. DSC incorporates the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), along with Start-Off Assistant, brake drying and an electronic limited slip function for the rear differential, which can be activated using the "DSC Off" button.

Dynamics and ride comfort to suit the occasion: Dynamic Damper Control, Dynamic Drive and the Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode

The BMW 7-Series is the world's first car to come with an electronically controlled damping system whose dampers are adjusted at each wheel individually according to the condition of the road surface and driving style. The compression and rebound settings are adjusted continuously and independently from one another. For example, a stiff chassis setting can be combined with comfortable responses to unevenness in the road surface. The damper settings can be pre-set by the driver using the Driving Experience Control switch. Optimised software tuning improves ride comfort while also giving agility an extra boost.

The Dynamic Drive roll stabilisation system available for the BMW 7-Series reduces, among other things, body roll in high-speed corners and under sudden changes in direction. Sensors calculate the amount of body roll and this is then counteracted quickly and precisely by rotary actuators in the front and rear axle stabilisers. The Sedan's steering behaviour and load alteration effect are also adjusted as required in this way. This system allows drivers to thread the car through corners with even greater agility and precision.

Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode and extended functions: extra sporty, comfortable or economical at the touch of a button

The new BMW 7-Series not only sets a new dynamic benchmark for luxury cars, it also raises the bar in the class when it comes to ride comfort. The driver can alter the overall character of the Sedan towards greater sportiness or comfort using the Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode. The distinction between the different driving modes is now even more pronounced. The Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode is part of the standard specification for all models, with the exception of the BMW 760i.

Using the Driving Experience Control switch, the driver is able to customise accelerator response characteristics, engine response, power steering characteristics and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) thresholds. Added to which, the Servotronic function, Integral Active Steering, the automatic transmission and Dynamic Damper Control are integrated into the system too. Using the simple-to-operate rocker switch on the centre console, drivers can choose between ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes. Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and chassis components. The clear ground between the various modes means the differences between them are now more easily perceptible. If the Integral Active Steering option has been specified, COMFORT+ mode is also available. This mode gains rear passengers, in particular, another noticeable increase in ride comfort.

Another button allows the driver to change the DSC settings. Selecting TRACTION mode, for example, makes it much easier to pull away on loose surfaces or in deep snow. In this mode, as well as in SPORT+, the Dynamic Stability Control thresholds are raised and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is activated. It is also possible to switch off DSC altogether.

The new ECO PRO mode, meanwhile, helps the BMW 7-Series driver to maintain an extra-efficient and economy-conscious driving style. It does this by changing the accelerator mapping so that the same pedal travel delivers less power than in the standard mode. Also in this mode, the transmission control strategy for the automatic gearbox is modified to bring forward upshifts and delay downshifts, while intelligent energy and climate management reduces mechanical power consumption and also the energy consumption of electrical systems such as heated mirrors and seats.

But the biggest factor influencing fuel consumption figures is the driver's own personal driving habits. That is why electronic systems provide tips and incentives on how to develop a more economy-conscious driving style for the situation at hand. Special displays in the instrument cluster let the driver know by how much the driving range is being extended and indicate his fuel consumption history. In ECO PRO mode, average fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 20 per cent, with a corresponding increase in driving range. Extended functions include the new coasting mode (with ECO PRO selected), plus proactive analysis of the driving situation and the subsequent advance preparation of the drive components (in the BMW ActiveHybrid 7). Both functions offer additional potential for fuel saving and are described in greater detail in the "BMW EfficientDynamics" chapter.

Premiere: Electric Power Steering included as standard
All new BMW 7-Series models - with the exception of the xDrive variants - come equipped with Electronic Power Steering (EPS), which uses an electric motor to provide steering assistance. EPS only operates when steering assistance is actually required: no electrical power is consumed during straightline driving or steady-state cornering. Noticeable attributes of this system include not only its high efficiency and low weight, but also high steering precision with good feedback, and comfort-enhancing self-centering and anti-roll characteristics. BMW 7-Series drivers also have the benefit of the steering system's standard Servotronic function, which has a more direct set-up overall and requires less steering effort.
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Peugeot 208 R5 Rally car, 2013

  •  Peugeot 208 R5 Rally car, 2013
The Peugeot Sport is opening a new chapter in the sports variants of the Peugeot 208, and not least with the 208 R5. It is a true 'competition wildcat', and will supersede the 207 Super 2000, benchmark of the S2000 category as much for its technical performance as for its sporting and commercial performance.

Its contours and its technical assets continue Peugeot's rallying tradition. 'Body built' for asphalt (tarmac) and loose-surfaces (gravel), the Peugeot 208 R5 will compete in its first rallies and go on sale in the 2nd half of 2013 in order to be able to conquer the national and international championships the following season.

In the footsteps of success
As a pioneer, the 207 Super 2000 won everything and has without doubt had the greatest record in the category. It has accumulated six Intercontinental Rally Challenge titles, many crowns in various national championships and numerous victories worldwide including San Remo, the Tour de Corse and the Monte Carlo. One hundred and seven of these vehicles have been sold, run by private customers, importers or on behalf of Peugeot subsidiaries: South Africa, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic and in the UK. Drivers like Thierry Neuville and Kris Meeke were 'discovered' and defined their skills at its wheel. So the Peugeot 208 R5 will have to demonstrate that it is a worthy successor to the 207 Super 2000.

The Peugeot 208 R5 benefits from all the expertise and experience of Peugeot Sport, acquired and recognised over many years. Under the direction of Alexis Avril, Technical Manager of Peugeot Sport, Bertrand Vallat, formerly responsible for the 207 S2000, is the Project Leader for the Peugeot 208 R5.

Performance and cost reduction
The R5 category consists of group A vehicles derived from a production model, of which at least 25,000 must have been produced. Launched for 2013 by the FIA, among its objectives is a noticeable reduction in costs, including operating expenditure. Therefore, the technical regulations will adopt the major assets of the S2000 category: four-wheel drive, five-speed sequential gearbox, no central differential and long travel suspension. This is also the case externally with widened tracks, a spoiler, the increase in the wheel arches to fit 18" wheels without forgetting the minimum weight set at 1200kg for the gravel (loose-surface) and asphalt (tarmac) version, as for the WRC.

"Based on an optimisation of costs", explains Bertrand Vallat, "the regulations impose, among other things, a maximum price for certain parts and technical limitations such as a minimum weight of components of the chassis and engine. In addition, a certain number of components of the vehicle must be similar. The hub carrier is a perfect example. All four must be identical. This makes operation considerably easier and limits costs and stocking."

Another major difference: the engine, the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit is replaced by the 1.6-litre turbo. The Peugeot 208 R5 will adopt the EP6 CDT as standard. "We are aiming for performance which is slightly higher than that of the S2000", emphasises Bertrand Vallat.

"We start with the 1.6-litre THP engine that is already a competition winner. We know that it is both reliable and powerful, and can achieve 280bhp. We have serious foundations with this engine as it is the same as that of the RCZ Racing Cup which currently develops 260 horsepower in its endurance version. We are also aiming for a very high level of durability and reliability in competition with a potential 5000 kilometres (according to the components and conditions), which also reduce the operating costs." Finally, the FIA has also set the maximum price for the 'R5s' at €180,000 excluding taxes.

The 208: an asset
The Peugeot 208 R5 benefits from the product developments of the 208 production car, particularly in regards to the weight. The shell of the 208 has benefited from a weight reduction of approximately 40 kilos compared with its predecessor the 207. Its dimensions are an advantage for the Type R5 with its long wheelbase which provides excellent chassis stability. Also, being more compact, the 208 more agile and efficient as a result, key factors that are sought after in a competition car. All of these dynamic qualities of the 208 combine to give the R5 excellent road holding."

Commitments from 2013
The Peugeot 208 R5 has big ambitions. Designed and assembled in the workshops of Peugeot Sport in Vélizy, it begin a vast test programme from the end of 2012, both on asphalt and on loose surface (gravel). This continue throughout its life in order to constantly evolve developments for customers and subsidiaries in order to guarantee chances of victory in a very competitive sector. On sale during the second half of 2013, the 208 R5 compete at the highest level in key championships:

    Intercontinental Rally Challenge
    European Rally Championship
    National Championships
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

PGO Hemera, 2011

  •  PGO Hemera, 2011

Comfortable, luminous and dynamic, the PGO Hemera is a mix of a "coupé" and shooting break. Elegant, refined, with its dazzing design and distinct urban style, the PGO Hemera perpetuates the grace and beauty of the previous models, the Speedster II and the Cévennes. Based on the same technical specifications, the PGO Hemera features a spacious open interior, accentuated by its unique glass bubble, creating a new driving experience.

The overall volume promotes generous curves, without unnecessary lines which give the car an aesthetic "retro futuristic" and curved which highlights the sophistical nature of the vehicle. Receiving the same technical developments, PGO Hemera now offers the comfort of a closed vehicle and it can be daily used. For enthusiasts of cars with an uncommon aesthetics, there is no more barriers to use a PGO. Taking advantage of its look "shooting brake", it provides extra storage space on the rear, doubling luggage rack capacity.

The teams of technical development and design have designed the car around a simple and common idea: to develop the brand acknowledgment with the creation of a vehicle having a unique identity.

At first modeled and carved by hand, the body was subsequently developed entirely by computer, thus combining the tradition and the french craftsmanship art to most advanced technology.

Technical Specifications
        Position: transverse mid engine
        Number of cylinders: 4 aligned
        Cubic capacity: 1997 cm3
        Bore x stroke: 85 x 88 mm
        Number of valves: 16 (twin overhead camshaft)
        Maximum power: 103 Kw (140 PS; 138 hp) @ 6000 rpm
        Maximum torque: 195 Nm @ 3000 rpm
        Compression level: 10.8:1

        Gear box: manual, 5 speed + reverse (automatic gear box 4 speed in option)

    Frame and body
        Frame: multi-tubular and crash test structure
        Body: composite moulded bodyshell
        Suspension: Mc Pherson system
        Brakes: 4 ventilated discs
        Wheels: 7x17 alloy wheels
        Tyres size: 205/40 ZR 17
        Steering: assisted rack-and-pinion
        Turning circle between kerbs: 9.40 m

    Weight and dimensions
        Kerb weight: 980 kg
        Fuel tank capacity: 42 litres
        Trunk capacity: 240 dm3
        Length: 3735 mm
        Width: 1735 mm
        Height: 1307 mm
        Wheelbase: 2261 mm
        Front / rear track: 1440 mm / 1430 mm

    Performance and consumption
        Maximum speed on track: 215 km/h
        Acceleration 0-100 km/h: less than 7 s

    Fuel consumption (According to EEC directive 80/1268 modified 004/100/CE)
        Manual gear box
            Urban: 11.0 l/100km
            Extra urban: 6.5 l/100km
            Combined cycle: 8.2 l/100km
        Automatic gear box
            Urban: 11.5 l/100km
            Extra urban: 6.6 l/100km
            Combined cycle: 8.4 l/100km
    CO2 emission (According to EEC directive 80/1268 modified 2004/3/CE)
        Manual gear box: 185g/km
        Automatic gear box: 199g/km

        Leather interior trim: seats, inside of doors, dash-board and control lever
        Air conditioning
        Radio CD/MP3, 2 FOCAL loudspeakers
        Analogical instrumentation, retro enlightened, 8 meters (speedometer, RPM indicator, fuel gauge, water temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge, oil temperature gauge, voltmeter, clock)
        Electrically operated side windows
        Remote control central locking
        Electrically operated outside mirrors
        Leather trimmed steering wheel
        Height adjustable steering column
        Aluminium trimmed gear knob and pedals
        Aluminium thresholds doors
        Matched front carpets
        Rolling code transponder immobiliser
        Varnished Paint
        17" Alloy wheels
        Dual chromed exhaust outlet
        Electrically locking Hatchbach

        Leather interior trim in the expanded range of colour
        Nappa leather interior trim
        Alcantara interior trim
        Two-tone leather interior trim
        Special leather interior trim
        Expanded leather interior trim: steering column box, dash-board under boxes
        Differentiated coloured overstitching
        Differentiated dashboard colour
        Embroidered matched front carpets
        Metallic varnished Paint
        Pearly varnished Paint
        Differentiated roof color
        Specific paint (except colour chart)
        17" alloy wheels "SpeedsterII"
        17" alloy wheels "Cévennes"
        17" alloy wheels "classic"
        17" alloy wheels "sport"
        Automatic gear box
        Parking aid

        Aero Kit
        "club" exhaust (not for highway use)
        Cover of protection
        Double stripes
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Monday, March 4, 2013

Opel Cascada, 2013

  • Opel Cascada, 2013

The most intense automotive experiences: cruising along with the sun softly warming your skin; feeling the air thickening in your open hand as speed increases; tipping back your head and finding no limit to your view, just diving into the deep blue sky. These are typical Cascada moments. The Cascada, Opel's new all-season convertible due to be launched in early 2013, is a classy four-seater with an elongated silhouette and a high-quality soft top. Heading to the top of Opel's line-up, the Opel Cascada is a midsize convertible not only by its size (length: 4,697 mm; width 1,840 mm excl. mirrors) but also by its allure and the premium technologies and features it offers.

After several generations of compact Kadett and Astra cabriolets, Opel returns to an older tradition of prestigious and rare midsize, four-seat soft-top convertibles from the fifties and sixties - like the Kapitän and the Rekord - but in a new, refreshing way and with the best of modern technologies. The Opel Cascada provides a sharp driving experience thanks to its super-rigid body, HiPerStrut front suspension and FlexRide adaptive damping system. Its driver and passengers can enjoy the open-air feeling thanks to the premium soft top that can be opened at the touch of a button in 17 seconds while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h. Electric seat belt presenters, exclusive Nappa leather and ventilated, ergonomic seats as well as invisible, watchful safety systems make life serene and safe.

Attitude: Pure soft-top elegance enables full open-air enjoyment
With its broad stance and a flowing continuity of sculptured shapes that is typical for Opel, the Cascada design reflects the classic and timeless elegance of the "Grandes Routières" of a bygone and glamorous age. With the top down for open-air drives, the Opel Cascada has a perfectly clean profile: behind the fast and gracefully raked A-pillar, no roof top cover or visible rollover protection disturbs the silhouette. Below this clarity and to add some drama, the subtle Opel blade on the lower body side is mirrored in its upper part by a sharp crease that swings upward to the rear end, into the wraparound rear lights. The gently upswept waistline is highlighted by a horizontal chrome strip that elegantly sweeps around the cockpit, fluidly and elegantly marking the boundary between the roof top and the body.

Tastefully sculpted in a purposeful power bulge, the bonnet tops a deepened front grille with bold chrome applications. The fog lights are carried in two overturned shark fin elements, which are visually enhanced and balanced by chrome inserts. Both using LED technology, the daytime running lights in the headlamps and the rear lights incorporate the Opel-typical wing signature. In the rear, the LED lighting modules are diffused for giving a solid and sharp light signal - a typical feature of premium class cars. A proud chrome strip linking the lighting units set into the boot lid balances the front chrome trim.

Top quality materials selected from suppliers of the most prestigious premium cabriolets are used to build Opel Cascada's soft top. It benefits from superior acoustic and thermal insulation thanks to a special layer of polyester fleece between the outside layer and the interior lining. An electro-hydraulic mechanism activated via a switch located between the front seats opens the roof in 17 seconds at driving speeds of up to 50 km/h - placing the Opel Cascada among the benchmarks in roof-top operation. In addition, key-operated remote control for opening and closing the top is standard in all Cascada models. Three soft top colors are available at launch. They can be coordinated with ten different body colors.

Indulgence: Crafted cockpit with outstanding comfort and functionality
The Opel Cascada's cockpit offers a striking, sculptural yet sporty design highlighted by precise, handcrafted details. The lines of the wing-shaped instrument panel, which features real stitching on soft, wrapped surfaces, flow into the doors, dynamically embracing the front-seat occupants. All new richly trimmed seats are offered in several elegantly embossed fabrics and leathers. The up-level AGR certified ergonomic seats are wrapped in rich, soft Nappa leather and benefit from heating and ventilation systems: on hot, sunny days, fresh air is drawn through the holes in the perforated leather to increase front occupants' comfort. Securing them is easy and comfortable due to the electric seat belt extender which brings the seat belt within close reach using a telescoping arm. An electric Easy Entry system makes access to the rear seat swift and comfortable.

The Opel Cascada benefits from great storage and stowage capacity for a convertible, allowing comfortable, all-season daily use. Several useful, large storage spaces have been placed around the driver: in the door, in and under the instrument panel and, thanks to a standard Electric Park Brake, in the center console - just where you need storage space the most. The minimum load volume with the roof open is 280 liters, and up to 350 liters are available when the soft top is closed. To extend its load volume or transport exceptionally long objects, the Opel Cascada benefits from the FlexFold system that electrically releases and folds down the 50:50 split rear seat back rests - a feature that cannot be offered in hard-top cabriolets.

Excellence: Superior body stiffness combines with outstanding chassis technology
Body stiffness is a key criterion for open-roof vehicles; it has a high impact on their driving behavior, steering precision, acoustics, safety and comfort and also conveys a clear feeling of their genuine quality. The Opel Cascada provides an superior balance between torsional and bending stiffness thanks to several measures including impressive underbody crossed steel bars and reinforced rocker profiles. Compared to Opel's previous generation cabriolet, the Astra TwinTop, the Cascada's body is 43% stiffer in torsion and 10% in bending. This layout provides a solid basis for the suspension and contributes towards significant reduction in noise, vibrations and harshness.

The new midsize Opel Cascada naturally has a more impressive footprint than the 2006 compact Astra Twin Top. The wheelbase is 71 mm longer, the front tread 56 mm and the rear tread 70 mm wider. That benefits handling and stability. The front axle of the Cascada features as standard the best of Opel chassis technology with the HiPerStrut layout that was initially developed for the Insignia OPC. HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) separates the functions of damping and steering and provides highest traction and cornering precision as well as reduced torque steer and improved grip under all circumstances. The Opel Cascada has electrically powered rack-and-pinion steering with speed sensitive assistance. For more direct steering feel and precision, the electric motor is mounted on the rack, as opposed to the base of the steering column. FlexRide, Opel's integrated, fully adaptive chassis control system is of course available in the Cascada. It enhances its ride and handling performance and safety as it adapts to the driving situation, driving style as well as the drivers' preferences. The Opel Cascada can be equipped with 17" to 20" wheels. Brake discs have sizes of up to 326 mm in front and 325 mm in rear.

Performance: New generation direct Injection 1.6 Turbo gasoline engine
A broad powertrain line-up will be available in the Opel Cascada convertible. The 1.4 gasoline Turbo opens the portfolio; it is combined with a manual 6-speed transmission and is available in two output versions of 88 kW/120 hp and 103 kW/140 hp, both delivering up to 220 Nm thanks to an overboost function. On the diesel side, the 2.0 CDTI with 121 kW/165 hp comes with either a manual or an automatic 6-speed transmission. This engine delivers up to 380 Nm when its overboost is active.

The highlight in the Opel Cascada powertrain line-up will be the 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC gasoline engine. This midsize direct injection unit is part of a fully new generation that makes its debut in early 2013 and is geared to very smooth ride and torque delivery and great fuel economy. It delivers 125 kW/170 hp, between 1,650 and 3,200 rpm - and 280 Nm thanks to an overboost function. This engine will be available with manual and automatic 6-speed transmissions. The new, low-friction 6-speed automatic transmission in the Cascada features an Active Select function that allows manual shifting for a more sporty driving experience.

More powerful versions of both gasoline and diesel engines will be launched in the Opel Cascada at a later stage.

Serenity: Sophisticated technology and safety features
The Opel Cascada combines an open-air driving experience with the best of Opel technology. This includes the AFL+ Adaptive Forward Lighting system with up to 11 automatic functions, the second generation Opel Eye front camera with its new, extended functionalities (enhanced Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning, new Following Distance Indication and Forward Collision Alert), a rear-view camera and an Advanced Park Assist that eases parking maneuvers, an ultra-sonic based Side Blind Spot Alert, ergonomic front seats, a heated steering wheel, and Hill Start Assist.

The Opel Cascada's extremely rigid passenger cell is mainly fabricated from high-strength steel for the least deformation and largest possible survival space in crash conditions. Doors have diagonally mounted ultra-high strength steel beams and beltline reinforcements. The A-pillars supporting the windscreen are in press hardened steel. In case of roll-over, pyrotechnically activated spring-loaded high-strength bars automatically deploy behind the rear seats. These pop-ups are also triggered during other severe impacts - when airbags are deployed - in order to prepare the vehicle for possible secondary impacts and resulting roll-over. Front seats both benefit from two-way active headrests and double seat belt pre-tensioners and even the two rear seats have seat belt pre-tensioners.
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Nissan TeRRA Concept, 2012

  • Nissan TeRRA Concept, 2012

The Nissan TeRRA Concept, to be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show on Sep 27, combines two outstanding Nissan strengths - SUVs and EVs - in a vehicle that is equally in its element off-road in the wild or gliding silently through a sophisticated urban setting. With an innovative 4x4 fuel-cell electric powertrain and an athletic exterior that projects an unforgettable presence beyond its compact dimensions, TeRRA takes sustainable motoring into exciting new territory.

Envisioned as "the one and only Zero Emission SUV," TeRRA builds on Nissan's success with urban-relevant SUVs and crossovers like Murano and Qashqai and asserts that its zero-emission expertise extends all the way to fuel cells. Designed as a functional and flexible choice for tomorrow's youthful, "always on" consumers, TeRRA answers their aspiration for eco-friendliness along with a secure driving feel under any road conditions.

Tough on the outside, warm and welcoming within
"We took our inspiration from the lifestyles of youthful customers in Northern Europe," said Shiro Nakamura, Nissan senior vice president and chief creative officer. "We heard their aspiration for sustainable mobility that can take them anywhere they want to go."

"Exploring our imagination of that natural space with the exterior, we have redefined the power of the SUV heritage in a much more athletic way, one that expresses our vision of the zero emissions future," Nakamura said.

"You have the big tires, high belt-line, thick pillars and thin side windows of the SUV vocabulary. But with a slender waist between pronounced fenders above the wheel arches, and a sculptured hood, we've created an 'Implied Structure' of musculature under the skin. Sharp corners, short overhangs and sculptured lamps contribute to a clean, confident stance. An aerodynamically flat body pan in an eye-catching color, protecting the full length of the underside, completes the image of what we call 'Modern Toughness.'"

Open the door and exterior toughness gives way to a surprisingly warm and welcoming interior. The door panel is a sculpted fusion of blond wood trim and colored acrylic, layered in an intriguing pattern. Ringing the cabin at shoulder height is a metal frame that gives Nissan TeRRA Concept's occupants a feeling of security. The wood/metal contrast continues across the dashboard, a beechwood-acrylic fusion that exudes a soft warmth. On the driver's side, the steering and instrument console gently tapers out toward the driver, barely interrupting the clean lines of the dash.

Seamless digital space offers a fresh perspective on the road..
Facing the driver is a unique instrument cluster. It's an electronic tablet - just like today's popular portable devices - that serves as an "intelligent key." The driver docks it when entering the car and removes it when leaving. When docked in Nissan TeRRA Concept, the tablet's default view displays speed and other key performance indicators. But the driver can easily toggle to entertainment, communications, navigation and other views. Outside the car it provides all the functions we expect from a tablet, plus it stays continually in touch with the vehicle.The idea is seamless information and communication, on the road and everywhere else.

The Nissan TeRRA Concept's seamlessly connected driver sits front and almost center in a unique diagonal layout that positions rear passengers over the shoulders of those in front, rather than directly behind.

"For the driver to be nearly centered, not seated off to one side, provides a fresh, enlightened perspective with exceptional visibility," Nakamura said. "The diagonal layout allows all passengers to share the vision of adventures up ahead."

The seats themselves express a hexagonal motif that is carried through various aspects of the design. Fold the three passenger seats down and you notice that Nissan TeRRA Concept's cabin deck is completely flat, presenting no obstacles to carrying bikes, kayaks or assemble-yourself furniture from Scandinavia. This flat surface is a function of the remarkably compact powertrain package that creates the possibility of this zero-emission concept.

Power, four-by-four; emissions, zero

Though Nissan TeRRA Concept is presented as a design concept, not a technical exhibit, its proposed 4x4 fuel cell electric powertrain is far from imaginary.

Powering the front wheels is the electric propulsion system currently featured in the Nissan LEAF. In each back wheel, providing all-wheel power as needed, is an in-wheel electric motor, based on the working prototypes featured in three successive PIVO concepts. As no drive shafts are required to power the rear wheels, there is no hump in the cabin floor or on the underbody. This allows for the flat cabin deck and the underside bodypan.

Under the hood is ample space for Nissan's proprietary hydrogen fuel cell stack: a flat, highly compact unit that features world-leading power density of 2.5kW/L. The latest in a series of Nissan fuel cells since 1996, the stack costs just one-sixth of its 2005 predecessor as the need for expensive precious metals has been slashed to one-quarter of the previous level.

TeRRA is purely a concept car, but it signals that Nissan is ready to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles whenever hydrogen becomes widely available.
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