Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nissan GT-R, 2014

  •  Nissan GT-R, 2014

Standard safety equipment includes a Nissan Advanced Air Bag System for driver and front passenger, front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags for driver and front-passenger and standard roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front seat occupant head protection - along with front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and three-point ELR/ALR rear seat belts.
Considered by many to be the perfect "street-able" supercar at its launch, the team behind the creation of the Nissan GT-R has never slowed down. The relentless ongoing development of the GT-R has been driven by the fact that the GT-R competes in a rarified supercar segment against vehicles costing more than twice as much - and where bragging rights can be won or lost by mere fractions of a second. The new 2014 Nissan GT-R continues the tradition. Set to go on sale at select certified dealerships in the United States in January 2013, the latest iteration of the GT-R is another step forward in the effort to deliver passion and emotion to customers through "extreme development."

Much of that development has taken place on the world's most challenging racing circuits, including the famed Nurburgring where the Nissan GT-R set production car lap records in both 2008 and 2009. The most grueling of these ongoing track tests was staged in May 2012 with the entry of an essentially stock Nissan GT-R in the Nurburgring 24 Hour sports car endurance race, where it finished 1st in class and 30th overall. More than just a test of the Nissan GT-R's durability and reliability under the most extreme conditions, the around-the-clock race was also a development trial for key GT-R senior engineering staff members that were involved in every stage of the project from vehicle prep to pit stops to post-race teardown and analysis. The experience is expected to have a long-ranging impact on the growth of the GT-R and the core development team.

Nissan GT-R: The Development Continues
Following a major change to Nissan GT-R's renowned engine for the 2013 model year - including improved intake efficiency, reduced airflow resistance, improved exhaust emissions efficiency and a 15-horsepower increase to 545 hp (along with a 15 lb-ft increase in torque to 463 lb-ft) - the development of the engine continues for the 2014 model year.

New fuel injectors are adopted for enhanced torque response in the 4,500 - 6,000 rpm range, improving throttle and acceleration feel at mid- and high-rpm ranges. Also, an oil pan baffle has been added to stabilize oil behavior and oil pressure under high performance driving conditions. The baffle reduces rotational friction, which contributes to the increased responsiveness. As in previous years, each engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room by a single specially trained technician, a process similar to racing powerplant construction. For 2014, an aluminum nameplate is added to each engine showing the name of the engine constructor.

The GT-R's advanced VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 engine again features innovative plasma-sprayed bores (versus cast iron liners) for reduced friction, lighter weight, enhanced cooling, power output and fuel efficiency; a symmetrical independent intake and exhaust manifold system featuring twin high-performance IHI turbochargers; a secondary air management system for improved cold-start emissions performance; a thermostatically controlled oil-cooling system; an oil scavenger pump to maintain oil flowing to the turbochargers; and a lateral wet and dry sump oiling system. Fuel economy is again rated at 16 mpg City and 23 mpg Highway.

The VR38DETT V6 is backed by an advanced paddle-shifted sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission, which can be driver selected to shift at race car-like speeds. The sequential-shifting transaxle features separate wet clutches for the odd (1,3,5) and even (2,4,6) gears and pre-selects the next highest and next lowest gear for quick shifts. It also features Hill Start Assist for easy starts on uphill inclines. High performance differential oil, used in Nissan GT-R motorsports competition, is standard.

The Nissan GT-R's unique Premium Midship platform, created expressly for use with the GT-R, enables the use of a world's first independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system, which optimizes weight distribution and handling capability. The rear drive-biased system can vary torque split from 0:100 to 50:50 depending on speed, lateral acceleration, steering angles, tire slip, road surface and yaw rate. Of note is a special GT-R-specific yaw-rate feedback control, which measures the differences between the target yaw rate calculated from steering angle and actual yaw rate detected by the yaw-rate sensor and G sensor to adjust torque bias.

The Premium Midship Platform layout places the transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, without the use of traditional torque tubes, allowing the suspension to operate independently and optimizing tire grip at each corner. Contributing to overall vehicle balance and low center of gravity, the unique offset input and reaction shaft design of the rear transaxle enables a shorter design profile versus a typical manual transmission, moving the concentration of powertrain weight lower in the vehicle.

Chassis development also has been continued for 2014, enhancing the sense of "grabbing the road" and enhanced high-speed handling. The front suspension link bush location has been changed and with a new anti-roll bar the front roll-center height has been reduced, along with a change in spring and shock absorber specifications to lower the center of gravity. Maintenance of front suspension alignment has also been improved.

Handling duties are again managed by a sophisticated 4-wheel independent suspension system mounted to high-precision six-point front and rear subframes. A special Bilstein® DampTronic driver adjustable shock absorber system utilizes multiple vehicle information systems to provide appropriate damping forces and high level of control for a variety of driving situations.

The DampTronic system features three driver selectable settings - Normal; Comfort, for maximum suspension compliance; or R. The same three-stage adjustability is also available for the VDC system and transmission shift operation.

In 2014, the Nissan GT-R runs on Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT ultra high performance run-flat nitrogen-filled tires designed to match the suspension characteristics. Standard tire sizes are 255/40ZRF20 front and 285/35ZRF20 rear. Optional Dunlop® SP 7010 all-season run-flat tires are again offered as part of the Cold Weather Package.

Stopping power is again provided by Brembo® monoblock six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers with 15.35-inch front and 15.0-inch rear Brembo® full-floating cross-drilled two-piece rotors and low-steel high-stiffness brake pads that minimize fade and provide intense stopping performance. The calipers utilize race car-style radial mounting to minimize caliper flex during extreme braking.

The Nissan GT-R's rigid forged aluminum 20-inch wheels, manufactured by RAYS®, utilize knurling inside the wheels helps keep the tires from slipping around the wheels under heavy acceleration or braking. The wheels feature a premium dark (near black) finish, which provides a high quality, high-performance look. The Black Edition features special metallic black six-spoke RAYS® forged lightweight wheels in place of the Premium model's 10-spoke design.

Functional, High Performance Aerodynamics and Style
The Nissan GT-R's dramatic styling is unchanged for 2014. Every aspect, from the overall design to the smallest details, is created to maximize the vehicle's driving experience - as well as to suggest Nissan GT-R's supercar level of performance.

The Nissan GT-R's hybrid body construction is again a combination of steel, carbon fiber and die-cast aluminum, providing a unique combination of stiffness, precision and lightness.

The body features a low coefficient of drag of 0.26, achieving high front and rear downforce. GT-R's front fenders express power and stability, while the "aero-blades" on the fenders' edges provide optimum airflow around the tires and along the body. The vents in the fenders' trailing edges assist in providing front downforce and optimizing side airflow. The aggressive front end, with a large hood bulge and enlarged central air intake, provide a sophisticated style as well as undisturbed airflow for power and cooling. The "super wide beam" headlights feature three additional sub-reflectors (compared to conventional lights) to give a wide illumination spread.

The Nissan GT-R's four-passenger cabin features a sloping "aero blade canopy" roofline and a curved C-pillar "sword edge," which expresses the distinctive GT-R identity, as well as facilitating air flow around the rear of the vehicle. The signature rear view of the GT-R is provided by its hallmark four-ring taillights, while air flow above and below the vehicle is managed by the functional rear carbon fiber underbody diffuser, rear venting, rear spoiler and large, integrated quad exhaust tips.

The Nissan GT-R Black Edition's unique rear spoiler is designed to be as slippery to the wind as it is attractive to the eyes. Handmade in a limited monthly production run, a special coating allows carbon fiber "weave" to be felt by the touch. The lightweight dry carbon fiber material is also incredibly strong, contributing to increased aerodynamic downforce.

GT-R's advanced technology is present even in the vehicle's paint, which utilizes a durable anti-chip paint and "double clear coat" process. The 2014 color palette includes Deep Blue Pearl, Jet Black, Solid Red, Gun Metallic, Pearl White and a limited production 4-stage metallic Super Silver.

A New Premium Interior for 2014
Just as GT-R reflects a constant pursuit of performance improvements, driver and passenger needs and desires are also continuously reviewed. Takumi, the Japanese word for artisan, has always been reflected in the GT-R, which features a great amount of hand craftsmanship. The Premium model interior features a change in color and stitching for a higher quality look and feel.

In addition, the Black Edition model's steering wheel features new coordinated red accents, providing a sportier appearance. The biggest interior change for 2014 is availability of a new optional Premium Interior Package with exclusive Red Amber color semi-aniline leather appointments with hand-stitching on the front seats, along with Red Amber accents on the instrument panel, steering wheel, door trim, armrests and shift knob.

"Comfort and a sense of luxury refinement are never out of place, even in car with the ultra performance levels of GT-R," said Castignetti. "The new Premium Interior Package, which will be available in limited numbers, adds a great new look and really accents the high levels of craftsmanship found throughout each and every GT-R."

As in previous years, the key to the Nissan GT-R's usability as both a daily driver and a high-performance machine is its balance of functionality and comfort. It provides comfortable four-passenger seating and trunk capacity of two golf bags or suitcases. Sculpted performance bucket seats give the driver and passenger a comfortable driving experience, and soft pads are utilized on the dash in front of the passenger and both doors to give an extra level of comfort. The rear transaxle layout of GT-R, with a flat floor and narrow center tunnel, allows Nissan GT-R to have an optimal driving position. The GT-R Black Edition adds a unique red and black interior color treatment and Recaro® leather-appointed seats.

The Nissan GT-R's cockpit-style instrument panel surrounds the driver, with all meters and multi-function meter at a uniform height to minimize the driver's head movement. A large center-mounted tachometer, with gear display on its upper right, as well as the easy-to-read graphics of the display, gives the driver instant detailed information, essential for the performance nature of the GT-R. Each meter features a dial plate design that evokes the idea of engaged gears, as well as a three-dimensional metal-like ring, suggesting the multi-dimensional performance of GT-R. A large, metallic-framed center console features an ergonomically designed shift lever and a red "engine start" button. Carbon fiber interior trim is offered for all models.

The centerpiece of the instrument panel is a video game-inspired multi-function display that was created in collaboration with Polyphony Digital, makers of the Gran Turismo electronic game. Eleven pages of information are available on this system, including mechanical and driving information, acceleration, brake pedal pressure, steering angle and a recording function with playback.

Additional on-screen information includes a Navigation system and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. The navigation system includes NavTraffic Real-Time Traffic Information and NavWeather capabilities (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).

All 2014 GT-R models again include a specially designed 11-speaker Bose® audio system features two forward-facing woofers in the rear center armrest area. Rigid aluminum die cast panel-mounting of all speakers allowed Bose® engineers to perfect the acoustical performance of the GT-R sound system. Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® is standard.

Models and Options
The 2014 Nissan GT-R is available in two models: GT-R Premium, which comes fully equipped with a 545-horsepower engine, dual clutch rear transmission, Nissan Navigation System, custom-designed 11-speaker Bose® audio system, premium near-black finish wheels and heated front seats; and the GT-R Black Edition, with special lightweight metallic black aluminum-alloy forged RAYS® wheels, unique red and black interior, Recaro® leather-appointed seats, dark headliner and dry carbon fiber rear spoiler.

Just two options are available: a Cold Weather Package, which includes Dunlop® all-season tires and unique coolant/water ratio; and the Premium Interior Package.
Read More

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mercedes Benz CLA45 AMG, 2014

  •  Mercedes Benz CLA45 AMG, 2014
The new four-door high-performance coupé offers an exceptional combination of an excitingly sporty driving experience, extravagant design and exclusive individuality. With the CLA45 AMG Mercedes-AMG is establishing a completely new segment - as it did previously with the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake (2012) and the CLS 55 AMG (2004). At the time of their launch, neither of these AMG models had any direct rivals, but went on to inspire other automotive manufacturers. Turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission - the CLA45 AMG features the same drive system that is already powering the A45 AMG to deliver highly dynamic and efficient performance.

The basis for these impressive figures is provided by the high-tech package which has been put together by Mercedes-AMG. As a high-performance engine belonging to the BlueDIRECT family, the four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection via piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition improves fuel utilisation and increases thermodynamic efficiency substantially, leading to lower exhaust emissions. Other highlights include the gravity-die sandcast all-aluminium crankcase, weight-optimised crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimised piston rings, NANOSLIDE cylinder wall technology, air-water charge air cooling, generator management and ECO start/stop function.

Mercedes-AMG kicks off the automotive spring of 2013 in the "Big Apple" in dynamic style as the CLA45 AMG celebrates its world premiere at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. The philosophy behind this four-door mid-series coupé matches that of the successful CLS 63 AMG, the trendsetter among four-door high-performance coupés. A glance at this high-tech package suffices to show that the CLA45 AMG also has all the typical DNA to make it a perfect representative of the AMG's Driving Performance brand claim: with a peak output of 265 kW (360 hp) and maximum torque of 450 Newton metres, its turbocharged engine is not only the most powerful four-cylinder unit in series production anywhere in the world but also a highly efficient one that meets the EU6 emissions standard. With fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 km according to NEDC combined figures, the CLA45 AMG meets even the most exacting requirements. The performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive of the CLA45 AMG similarly sets a new benchmark in its competitive segment.

Typically AMG: the most powerful series-production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world

A glance at the technical data for the CLA45 AMG shows: the AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine, with a maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque, is the most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine in series production anywhere in the world.

The combination of high performance and torque, together with the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, gives the CLA45 AMG driving characteristics almost on a par with those of a sports car. The performance coupé accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds and its top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited). But the AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine is impressive not only in terms of its dynamic performance but also with regard to its efficiency and environmental compatibility. The CLA45 AMG achieves a fuel consumption level of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres according to NEDC combined figures, while it already meets the EU6 emissions standard that only comes into effect in 2015 as well as the limit for the particle count per kilometre of 6 × 1011 part./km that will become mandatory in 2017.

Twin-scroll turbochargers and AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap
Mercedes-AMG addresses the essential challenges concerning the response of small-displacement turbo engines by means of a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum derestriction of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. The twin-scroll technology provides for a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure, making effective use of exhaust gas back pressure, exhaust gas temperature and exhaust gas impulse. This results in a swifter build-up of torque right from the lower rev range. As a positive side-effect, the twin-scroll technology also benefits fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. With a maximum charge pressure of 1.8 bar, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine leads the field in this respect, too.

The AMG sports exhaust system features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled exhaust flap. This technology, which is familiar from the SLK 55 AMG, reconciles the two apparently conflicting aims of tangible dynamism and hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys. The flap is continuously adjusted by map control according to the power called up by the driver, load status and engine speed. The AMG sports exhaust system emits a fascinating, full engine sound that is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration.

An AMG Performance exhaust system with exhaust flap is available as an option for the A 45 AMG. This provides for an even more emotional and striking engine sound when the throttle is open and during gear shifting. The double-declutching function during downshifting and the interruption of ignition and injection during upshifting under full load produce a particularly throaty sound with the AMG Performance exhaust system and create a level of emotionality which is otherwise the preserve of engines with more than four cylinders.

High-performance cooling system with components from the SLS AMG
The high driving dynamics of the CLA45 AMG call for a highly effective cooling system. On the basis of the components from the SLS AMG, a low-temperature circuit is additionally deployed for air-water charge air cooling of the four-cylinder turbo engine. The cooler extending across the complete front level of the cooling module is supplemented by an additional cooler in the wheel arch. Together with the charge air cooler, which is connected in series, a high-performance electric pump ensures the required flow through the water coolers located behind the large intake ports. This provides for ideal cooling of the highly compressed charge air, thereby contributing towards optimum engine performance.

The cooling of the transmission oil is integrated into the water cooling circuit for the engine. The water cooler positioned behind the front apron is supported by the heat exchanger which is fitted directly on the transmission and supplied with cooling water as required by means of an auxiliary pump.

"One man, one engine": a tradition of hand-built excellence
As is the case with all eight- and twelve-cylinder engines, the new AMG four-cylinder turbo engine is hand-built according to the traditional AMG philosophy of "one man, one engine". An exclusive assembly line has been set up for the new AMG engine at the Mercedes-Benz engine production plant in Kölleda - where all BlueDIRECT four-cylinder engines are built for the A-Class and B-Class models. A characteristic feature of the "one man, one engine" production process is the AMG engine plate bearing the signature of the responsible engine fitter. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine plate also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz's high-performance brand.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
Dual clutch transmission and all-wheel drive - the drive package on board the new CLA45 AMG is a demonstration of high-end engineering prowess. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is directly flange-mounted on the transversely installed engine. Key software modules have been adopted from the SLS AMG super sports car with its inspirational power transmission concept. The dual clutch transmission of the CLA45 AMG features seven gears, three driving programmes, a double-declutching function and RACE START for optimum acceleration. The strengths of the AMG DCT sports transmission include spontaneous gear shifting without any interruption in tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy, extremely smooth and easy gear shifting and a high level of efficiency. Reinforced gear wheels provide for maximum stability. Synchroniser rings with carbon-fibre friction linings improve durability while also optimising the response time during manual gear-changing - the ideal basis for ambitious laps on cordoned-off race tracks.

"Momentary M mode" for even greater dynamism and driving enjoyment
Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving enjoyment is the so-called "Momentary M mode". In C and S mode, this enables the driver to activate manual mode ("M") without having to remove a hand from the steering wheel, by pressing the "up" or "down" shift paddle once. In Momentary M mode the driver experiences the dynamism and performance of gear-shifting in manual mode in all the automatic driving programmes, with automatic up-shifting on meeting the rpm limit into the bargain. This allows the driver to devote his full attention to the vehicle's impressive performance.

The shift times in manual mode "M" and in Sport mode "S" are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car. Briefly and precisely interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts in "M" and "S", with a more emotional sound than ever. In "C" mode (Controlled Efficiency), tangibly soft transmission and engine characteristics support a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style. In addition, in "C" mode the ECO start/stop function is active.

Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive
The CLA45 AMG comes with variable, performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard. In developing this all-wheel drive, the focus was firmly on performance and dynamism. The power flux to the rear powertrain is provided by a compact power take-off unit (PTU) which is fully integrated in the 7-speed sports transmission. It does not possess an oil circuit of its own. Instead, it is supplied with lubricant from the oil circuit of the sports transmission. This configuration gives rise to substantial weight advantages in comparison to rival systems which branch off power by means of an add-on component with its own oil circuit. Together with the friction-minimised tapered roller bearings, the PTU achieves an excellent level of efficiency. As an additional bonus, the system weight of the new AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive is up to 25 percent lighter than the all-wheel-drive versions offered by the competition.

A two-part propeller shaft transfers the power from the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine to the rear axle. In the interests of favourable weight distribution, an electrohydraulically controlled multiple-disc clutch is integrated with the rear axle differential. The multiple-disc clutch immediately detects slip at the front axle. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this takes place virtually without the driver noticing. To enable particularly fast response, the pump is always active and does not require to be started up each time it is needed, as is customary with other systems. Power distribution is fully variable: in normal driving, the CLA45 AMG uses front-wheel drive in the interests of optimum efficiency. When the driving dynamics so require, the variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive splits the torque between front and rear axle up to a ratio of 50:50 percent. The variables influencing the power distribution ratio are vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, speed difference between the individual wheels, selected gear and accelerator position.

3-stage ESP® with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist
An exclusive feature is the interaction of the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive with the 3-stage ESP® and the ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist. The three ESP® stages enable the driver to vary the dynamics of the CLA45 AMG according to his individual wishes at the push of a button. The safety-oriented "ESP ON" mode supports the driver in maintaining neutral handling characteristics. The system initiates braking intervention on one or more wheels and reduces the engine torque on detecting that the operating conditions are becoming unstable.

Briefly pressing the ESP® button activates "ESP SPORT Handling" mode. This dynamically oriented driving mode applies appropriate control strategies for later ESP® intervention and increased drive torque at the rear axle. This means more fun at the wheel for drivers who are keen to exploit the vehicle's dynamic potential. Pressing the ESP® button longer activates "ESP OFF". In this mode, the ESP® functions are not available. ESP OFF should only be used by experienced drivers on cordoned-off race tracks. If the driver steps on the brake pedal in "SPORT Handling" mode or "ESP OFF" mode, all the safety functions of the ESP® system become available during braking.

ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist complements the ESP® system to perfection: during dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the inside wheel gives rise to a defined yaw moment around the vertical axis, resulting in precise cornering by the CLA45 AMG and ensuring that the vehicle remains under control at all times. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is adapted according to the selected ESP® mode. In "ESP SPORT Handling" mode and "ESP OFF" mode it supports the driver's wish for increased agility and driving dynamics. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is an additional function of the Electronic Stability Program which noticeably improves not only agility, but also active driving safety in critical conditions.

AMG sports suspension with independent front and rear axle
Like every AMG high-performance automobile, the new CLA45 AMG also incorporates sophisticated axle technology. For enhanced driving dynamics, the three-link front suspension is provided with stiffer steering knuckles and totally new elastokinematics. Newly developed, more rigid bearings are employed in the lower link plane. These provide for more agile cornering properties and more precise and direct feedback from the road surface. The more rigid bearings also lead to higher camber stiffness, enabling higher cornering speeds. In developing the complete front axle, great importance has been attached to attaining the best possible traction in highly dynamic driving.

The four-link rear axle of the CLA45 AMG is also a totally new development. In the course of optimising the elastokinematics, the strut bearings were duly adapted for maximum driving dynamics and control. The rear axle carrier is provided with more rigid bearings for increased driving stability; the subframe is rigidly connected to the body. The AMG sports suspension with specifically tuned spring/damper units and larger stabilisers provides for high lateral acceleration and a reduced rolling tendency in fast double bends. The CLA45 AMG comes as standard with AMG light-alloy wheels fitted with 235/40 R 18 tyres.

AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and AMG high-performance braking system
The electromechanical Dual Pinion AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with AMG-specific, speed-dependent power assistance and a constant steering ratio (14.5 : 1) enables high steering precision and agility. The electric motor is installed in space-saving configuration on the steering gear. The AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated and perforated brake discs all round in size 350 x 32 millimetres at the front and 330 x 22 millimetres at the rear provides for spontaneous and reliable deceleration.

Unmistakable design
Just a glance at the new CLA45 AMG makes it very clear: any resemblance to the CLS 63 AMG is absolutely intentional. The expressive design idiom of the CLA has been enhanced by Mercedes-AMG with some characteristic AMG elements - and the result is a new design icon. The sporty proportions of the CLA were there from the start , but its dynamic look is reinforced by the AMG "twin blade" radiator grille and the cross strut in the AMG front apron, both painted in matt titanium grey. The generously proportioned cooling air intakes are framed by black flics, which improve the airflow over the cooling modules positioned behind them. Bi-xenon headlamps are included as standard.

An eyecatching view from the side is ensured by the sill panels with inserts in matt titanium grey. Further elements typical of a top-of-the-range AMG model include the AMG twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted grey and with a high-sheen finish, plus the "TURBO AMG" lettering on the wing. Seen from the rear, the CLA45 AMG displays a distinctive AMG rear apron: this not only reveals the presence of the air outlet openings at the sides, but also incorporates a large diffuser insert and a trim section in matt titanium grey. The two chrome-plated twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system, including an exhaust flap, serve to emphasise the car's dynamic appeal. The striking LED tail lights are a standard feature.

Dynamic, exclusive and top-quality interior
Impressive quality, high-grade materials and all the dynamism and exclusivity commonly associated with Mercedes-AMG - the interior of the CLA45 AMG leaves nothing to be desired. Sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting topstitching, red seat belts, the multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, the AMG DRIVE UNIT and AMG door sill panels all come as standard. Coordinating perfectly with one another are the brushed aluminium trim of the instrument panel and the five galvanised ventilation outlets. Information is provided by the AMG instrument cluster with its central colour display, the AMG main menu and the RACETIMER.

Numerous individualisation options are available for the CLA45 AMG (selection):
  •     AMG carbon-fibre exterior mirror housing
  •     AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre package: front splitter, side sill panel inserts and trim on rear apron in genuine carbon fibre
  •     AMG carbon-fibre interior trim
  •     AMG Exclusive package
  •     AMG floor mats
  •     AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels in 8 x 19 fitted with 235/35 R 19 tyres, in two variants: painted in titanium grey with high-sheen finish or in matt black with high-sheen rim flange
  •     AMG Night package: privacy glass, black anodised beltline trim strip, black tailpipe trims in chromed finish, radiator fins in silver chrome, high-gloss black painted finish for front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel inserts and rear apron trim
  •     AMG Performance exhaust system
  •     AMG Performance suspension with tauter spring/damper tuning
  •     AMG Performance steering wheel and E-SELECT lever, electronic main key with AMG emblem
  •     AMG Performance seats
  •     AMG wheel bolt covers in black with hub caps in central-locking look (for standard AMG light-alloy wheels only)
  •     Intelligent Light System
  •     Red-painted callipers

The sales release date for the CLA45 AMG is in July 2013; market launch will start in September. Sales price in Germany, incl. 19 percent VAT, is 56.078,75 EUR.
Read More

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Honda Accord PHEV, 2014

  •  Honda Accord PHEV, 2014

The Accord Plug-in Hybrid is powered by Honda's first two-motor hybrid system, and uses a new Earth Dreams TM 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine producing 137 horsepower, teamed with a powerful 124-kilowatt (kW) electric motor. Electric driving is supported by a 6.7 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery, and total system output is 196 horsepower.
The Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will provide the athleticism and craftsmanship of the all-new Accord platform, charged with a remarkable dose of hybrid efficiency and electric torque. Set to go on sale in early 2013, the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan will offer premium technology, exceptional cabin space, the ability to run in an all-electric mode for 10 to 15 miles and a calculated1 total driving range over 500 miles.

The Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan features one of four efficient new powertrains for the all-new Accord. The Accord Plug-in Hybrid will also serve as the basis for a conventional hybrid version of the Accord Sedan, which will join the Honda Accord lineup in the summer of 2013.

To maximize driving efficiency, the uniquely designed two-motor hybrid system allows the Accord PHEV powertrain to move seamlessly between all-electric EV Drive, gasoline-electric Hybrid Drive; and direct Engine Drive. Fuel efficiency for the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid is expected to exceed 100 MPG-e, and it's also expected to receive an Enhanced AT-PZEV rating from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Beyond its function as a full-electric vehicle, owners of the 2014 Honda Accord PHEV will be able to choose two additional driving modes to manage battery capacity and tailor the capabilities of the plug-in Accord to their own commute. In its default upon start-up, the Accord PHEV acts as a pure electric vehicle and will continue on in full-electric mode until battery capacity necessitates the automatic switch to gas/electric hybrid operation. At higher speeds or under high demand for acceleration, the gasoline engine can kick in to provide additional power.

In "HV" mode, the plug-in Accord acts as a conventional hybrid, blending motor power between gasoline and electric to maximize fuel efficiency while maintaining the battery charge level. In "HV Charge" mode, the Accord PHEV blends gasoline and electric power while also augmenting the battery charge level.

The 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan will feature an electric servo braking system similar to the setup on the Honda Fit EV, which allows for exceptionally natural brake pedal feel, while extending the range over which the regenerative braking can take place. In addition to its efficient powertrain, the Accord PHEV features remarkably swift charging times. The plug-in Accord can be fully charged from a low-charge indication point in less than three hours using a standard 120-volt household electrical outlet, and in less than one hour using a 240-volt "Level-2" charger. The free Honda Link™ EV smartphone application will allow owners to easily monitor the charging state of the Accord PHEV.

Based on the Touring trim level of standard Accord Sedan, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will feature three exterior color choices, including two standard Accord shades (White Orchid Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl) plus a model-exclusive Burnished Silver Metallic exterior color choice. The Accord PHEV will also feature a weight-saving aluminum hood, 17-inch forged alloy wheels, a unique front bumper along with enhanced underbody aerodynamic treatments.

A host of visibility technologies are standard on the 2014 Honda Accord PHEV, including a rearview camera, an expanded-view driver's mirror, Honda's new LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRL), and LED mirror-mounted turn indicators.

The Earth Dreams technology used on the Accord PHEV includes an i-VTEC 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine coupled with a two-motor hybrid drive system. The hybrid system features a 124-kW electric motor powered by a 6.7-kWh Li-Ion battery pack. The gasoline engine produces a maximum 137 horsepower (hp) at 6200 rpm. In conjunction with the two-motor hybrid-drive system, the total power output peaks at 196 hp, which surpasses the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, Chevrolet Volt and projected output of the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. The EarthDreams engine horsepower alone surpasses the total gas-electric output of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

Although not finalized at press time, anticipated fuel economy ratings for the 2014 Accord PHEV are expected to exceed 100 MPG-e in full-electric mode, provide a 10- to 15-mile EV driving range and a calculated1 total driving range over 500 miles. When in gasoline-only mode, it is expected to return one of the top EPA fuel economy ratings among mid-size sedans, and is also expected to earn an Enhanced AT-PZEV rating from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The two-motor hybrid system in the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid allows power from the gasoline engine to flow directly to the front wheels, power the generator to supply electrical propulsion or even charge the battery pack. The Accord PHEV hybrid system moves seamlessly and automatically through its three powertrain states to maximize performance, efficiency and range.

From a low-charge indicator point, recharge time for the Li-Ion battery pack when plugged into a standard 120-volt wall outlet is less than three hours, among the fastest in the Accord PHEV's class. And when plugged into a Level-2, 240-volt charger the recharge time is less than one hour - the quickest in the class. This is about half the required charge time of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid. The battery pack is mounted above the rear suspension, which helps maintain interior and trunk space and provides protection for the battery pack in a collision.

The Accord body received further improvements in weight reduction, aerodynamic efficiency and rolling resistance in its transformation to Accord PHEV. All are designed to help Accord PHEV drivers maximize their driving range from every watt of electrical energy and every gallon of gasoline. Weight reduction features:
  •     All-aluminum front subframe
  •     17-inch forged aluminum wheels
  •     Aluminum brake pedal
  •     Aluminum hood
  •     Aluminum rear bumper beam
  •     Puncture repair kit (in place of gasoline-engine Accord's spare wheel and tire)
Aerodynamic advancements:
  •     Powertrain undercover
  •     Cabin floor undercovers
  •     Rear decklid spoiler
  •     Aerodynamic wheel covers
Reductions in rolling resistance:
  •     Low rolling-resistance tires
  •     Low-friction wheel bearings
The Accord PHEV chassis begins with the core engineering of the Accord Sedan, but then adds an all-aluminum front subframe (replacing the steel and aluminum version on the gasoline-engine Accord). The Accord PHEV uses proprietary 17-inch forged-aluminum wheels with a special low-aero drag design, fitted with 225/50-17 tires.

As with the gasoline-engine Accord models, the Accord PHEV uses an electric power steering (EPS) system that automatically adjusts the amount of steering assist for conditions. The EPS system is more efficient than a traditional hydraulic system, and it operates consistently whether the vehicle is using electricity, gasoline, or both.

The Accord PHEV features a braking system similar to the system in the Honda Fit EV, which provides fully electronic control of the hydraulic brake system. This system results in an improvement in regenerative braking efficiency compared to a hydraulic booster system used in other hybrids.

Sophisticated and contemporary, the redesigned 2013 Accord Sedan interior serves as the ideal basis for the 2014 Accord PHEV interior. Like the Fit EV, the Accord PHEV features a next-gen Honda Bio Fabric seat material, a new fabric that offers conventional softness and durability, but with reduced manufacturing environmental impact. The interior features several brighter trim accents and is available in gray to compliment the choice of three exterior colors.

With the Accord PHEV's free and convenient HondaLink™ EV smartphone app, owners can remotely schedule charging of the Li-Ion battery pack (taking advantage of "off-peak" electricity rates), monitor the state of charge, and even pre-warm or pre-cool the vehicle's interior while charging before they drive. This suite of capabilities is similar to those offered on the new 2013 Fit EV. HondaLink EV features:
  •     Charge scheduling
  •     Charge status
  •     Charge complete notification
  •     Drive range display
  •     Charge station locator
  •     HVAC pre-conditioning

Like the all-new Accord, the new Accord PHEV offers a greater range of standard active and passive safety features than any other vehicle in Honda history. These include Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). The Accord PHEV also has an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) to audibly warn pedestrians when it is approaching in EV Drive mode. Based on internal testing, the 2014 Honda Accord PHEV is expected to earn a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and 5-Star ratings in federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests.

Standard Features
The Accord PHEV is available in a single highly equipped trim level, based on the standard features of the premium Accord Touring model. Standard Accord PHEV features:
  •     Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
  •     USB/iPod® connectivity
  •     Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •     Pandora® internet radio compatibility
  •     Smart Start and Smart Entry
  •     Honda LaneWatch™
  •     Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition
  •     Multi-view rearview camera
  •     HondaLink™ EV telematics system
  •     Heated front seats
  •     Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •     Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •     Driver's 10-way power seat with 2-position memory
  •     HomeLink®
  •     Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID)
  •     Audio with touchscreen interface
  •     Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  •     Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  •     Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  •     Bio-Fabric seating surfaces
  •     Expanded-view driver's mirror
  •     LED mirror-mounted turn signals
  •     LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  •     LED headlights
  •     Fog lights
  •     Chrome-plated door handles
  •     Decklid spoiler
Read More

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Porsche 911 GT3, 2014

  •  Porsche 911 GT3, 2014

With the GT3, Porsche is marking this 911 anniversary year by opening a new chapter in the area of high performance sports cars for circuit tracks. Both engine and transmission, as well as body and chassis are entirely new, and extend the 911 GT3 concept with an impressive performance leap. This is due to the new active rear-wheel steering, and the GT3-specific Porsche dual-clutch transmission with the characteristics of a sequential gearbox used in motor racing. Following the total production of 14,145 GT3 cars since 1999, the fifth generation of the 911 GT3, an all-round redevelopment, is set to take on the pole position among the thoroughbred Porsche sports cars with naturally aspirated engines.Porsche has a race car at its heart. And never was the close relation to car racing so tangible. The new Porsche 911 GT3 stands for a redefined, even more emotional driving experience. The sports car that was developed from scratch offers even more dynamism and refined everyday practicality at the highest level.

The mission of the Porsche 911 GT3 is unmistakable: driving dynamics. Each and every relevant detail has been fine-tuned to that. The result is impressive: the new 911 GT3 laps the Nürburgring Northern Loop, indisputably the most challenging race track in the world, in a mere 7:25 minutes. A benchmark of great significance for the sportiest 911 with a naturally aspirated engine. Because around 80 percent of all 911 GT3 vehicles are also driven on race tracks.

Drive system and chassis of the new 911 GT3 have been systematically developed to even better performance, precision and transverse dynamics. Additionally, Porsche is using active rear-wheel steering for the first time. Depending on the speed, the system steers in the opposite or the same direction as the front wheels, thereby improving agility and stability. Among the other new driving dynamics features are the electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock, and the dynamic engine mounts. The height, toe and camber of the newly developed all-aluminium chassis are still adjustable. The new, 20-inch forged alloy wheels with central locking are used for optimal road contact.

New high-performance drive system with cutting-edge technology
Porsche has developed an entirely new engine for the 911 GT3. For the first time, the classical six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine has direct petrol injection in the racing car-like 911, combined with high-performance elements such as dry sump lubrication, titanium connecting rods and forged pistons.

In combination with valve control by rocker lever, an extremely high-revving engine capable of reaching up to 9,000 rpm emerged. For the driver, this means an even broader engine speed range that can bring decisive time advantages on the race track. The speedy response of the drive system is enhanced by the new power transmission without any interruption in propulsive power. As the first 911 GT3, the new model has a Porsche Doppelkupplung dual-clutch transmission (PDK) that had been originally developed for racing and has now made a comeback in a perfected form. The PDK is another feature specially developed for the 911 GT3, with characteristics directly inspired by the sequential gearboxes used in motor racing, thus granting the driver further benefits when it comes to performance, dynamics and driving fun.

Fascinating sports engine with high-revving concept
The new engine of the Porsche 911 GT3 is based on the six-cylinder used in the current 911 Carrera generation. The structural changes to the base engine had one principal goal: to develop the characteristic 911 GT3 high-revving concept further. High speeds enable high performance and gear changes, whereby the revolutions remain in the range of maximum power after shifting up. Thus the six-cylinder reaches its maximum performance of 475 hp (350 kW) at 8,250 rpm; the nominal torque of 440 Newton metres (Nm) is available at 6,250 rpm. The consistent development focus made it possible to increase the maximum speed to 9,000 rpm. This enables the 911 GT3 to reach peak performance values among street-legal vehicles. The result is a drive system that ventures even further into the racing range than ever before with a litre performance of 125 hp per litre.

With its low moving masses, the engine develops high speed dynamics. Thus the new 911 GT3 does not only feature an enormous revving capacity but also an excellent response across the entire engine speed range. These features ensure a particularly sporty driving experience in all conditions.

Special cylinder heads with rocker arm control from motor racing
The focus of the new development were the cylinder heads, which differ fundamentally from those of the base engine, and were specifically developed for the 911 GT3. To enable peak performance values and engine speeds, the new cylinder heads are equipped with large intake and exhaust ports, large valves, and separate valve control with rocker arm. Cooling and oil supply are also particularly powerful to account for the high loads.

The valve actuation via rocker arms with hydraulic valve clearance compensation is another unique feature. The concept embodied in the Porsche 911 GT3 engine originates from racing and allows very high engine speeds on the one hand, while the other cams with performance-oriented profiles permit for large strokes and long valve opening times. The advantage of the rocker arm control is mainly in the low moving masses that allow high engine speeds, and the large contact area between the cam and rocker arm.

Advanced dry sump lubrication ensures the oil supply
The typically high and frequent lateral acceleration occurring with an ambitious driving style on the race track makes high demands on the oil supply. That's why the 911 GT3, as previously, has dry sump lubrication, i.e. the oil is siphoned permanently from the oil pan and is stored in a separate receptacle. In addition, the new 911 GT3 engine has for the first time an oil separator, a construction that also originates in racing. The oil separator consists of a cover between the crankcase and the oil pan featuring 18 single holes (three per cylinder) with crescent-shaped blades. Especially with high torques, the splash oil stirred up by the crankshaft is separated at the crescent-shaped blades ("planed") into the oil pan. Thus the amount of splash oil in the crankcase is lessened and as a consequence the so-called splashing losses of the engine are reduced. Alongside the demand-controlled oil pump, the new 911 GT3 also has two splash oil nozzles per piston that are opened in tandem depending on the temperature, load and torque. This guarantees an intensive cooling of the pistons, which are subject to high thermal loads.

More torque at the press of a button
As was the case with the predecessor, the new 911 GT3 also offers the driver the possibility of increasing the torque in the mid range at the press of a button. When activated, the backpressure in the sports exhaust system is further reduced, improving gas exchange, thus increasing the torque in the 3,000 rpm to 4,000 rpm range considerably again.

Dual-clutch transmission PDK with special 911 GT3 layout
The dual-clutch transmission (PDK) originates from Porsche racing. With the Porsche 911 GT3, it returns to the racetrack: the motor sports engineers have revised the PDK extensively both in terms of mechanics and control technology for the new high-performance sports car.

The resulting transmission provides the driver with all the essential driving dynamics of the previous manual transmission, complemented with the performance benefits of the dual-clutch transmission. During racetrack use, it can therefore be driven much like a sequential manual gearbox - with even more performance and emotional driving fun.

Two modes are available to the driver: manual shifting or the adaptive shift programme. Manual shifting is done using two paddles on the steering wheel, the right for upshifts and the left for downshifts. Shorter shifting travel and optimised actuating force result in even faster gearshifts with concise feedback, similar to the operating characteristics of the 911 GT3 Cup race cars. Alternatively, the driver can also shift using the selector lever, with a shift pattern based on that used in professional motor sports: shifting up is done by pulling the lever back, shifting down by pushing it forward.

Ready for the racetrack: "lighting shifts" with extremely short reaction and gearshift times

Gearshifting strategy and response times of the 911 GT3 PDK were consistently designed for maximum performance, and are fundamentally different from the other Porsche sports cars. This becomes apparent to the driver during manual upshifts in the form of a "lightning shift," which permits reaction times of less than 100 milliseconds. To enhance driving performance, lighting shifts are implemented with a torque overshoot, and the gear change is conducted with a highly dynamic adaptation of the engine speed to the newly selected gear. The switching times are in a range that was previously reserved for the world of motor sports.

Paddle-neutral: de-clutching function in the 911 GT3 PDK
The dynamics of a sports car driven to optimum lap times is also determined by the clutch. That's why the PDK comes with a "paddle-neutral" feature. If the driver pulls both shift paddles simultaneously, the clutches of the PDK are opened, and the flow of power between the engine and drive is cut off. Once both shift paddles are released, the clutch engages at lightning speed if the PSM is switched off. With PSM switched on, the clutch is closed quickly, but in a less pulsed manner.

This function offers two principal advantages: the driver can, for example, neutralise the driving behaviour of the vehicle when oversteering in a wet curve by pulling the paddles, thus redirecting additional cornering force to the wheels of the rear axle. The second aspect relates to individual influence of the driving dynamics due to the pulsed onset of the driving force when engaging the clutch. Comparable to a traditional coupling with a manual transmission, the rear of the vehicle can be consciously destabilised for dynamic leaning into the curve. Furthermore, the driver can use the paddle-neutral for accelerating from a standstill. As is the case with manual transmission vehicles, the driver alone decides on how to accelerate using clutch and accelerator foot, without any assistance from drive and dynamic handling control systems.

Adaptive shifting with sports strategies
or the first time, the PDK provides the driver of the new 911 GT3 with the alternative of leaving gearshifting to the adaptive transmission control. In principle, the PDK of the new 911 GT3 comes with two gearshifting strategies: Normal and PDK Sport. This means that the gear changes of the new Porsche 911 GT3 are always fast. Gear shifts and shift points are adapted to the dynamics of the driver.

The PDK Sport mode is activated by pressing the correspondingly labelled button on the centre console. In this mode, the PDK uses shift maps that are tailored to the requirements of pure circuit race track operation. Gears are held longer, and upshifts occur at higher engine speeds. The circuit race track optimisation also entails that the shifting programme is still performance oriented, even at a moderately sporty driving style. The high-performance sports car is therefore always running at the performance-oriented operating points, and increased traction is available at any time without the driver having to shift gears.

Like the latest 911 Carrera models with PDK, the new 911 GT3 possesses the dynamic "Launch Control" start up function for maximum acceleration from a standstill. In the new 911 GT3, this function can be accessed at any time without having to activate another button. Analogous to the 911 Carrera models, the readiness for the acceleration start is displayed in the tachometer of the instrument cluster ("Launch Control").
Read More

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

BMW 4-Series Coupe, 2014

  •  BMW 4-Series Coupe, 2014

Athletic elegance, impeccable proportions
The dynamic proportions of the new BMW 4-Series Coupe differ significantly from those of the outgoing BMW 3-Series Coupe. Although only 26 millimetres have been added to the car's length (4,638 mm), a 50-millimetre longer wheelbase (2,810 mm) and a roofline that now runs 16 millimetres lower than before (1,362 mm) shine a particularly vivid spotlight on the dynamically stretched coupe outline. These dimensions combine with the BMW 4-Series Coupe's BMW-typical short overhangs, long bonnet, set-back passenger compartment and flowing roofline to produce a silhouette boasting impeccable visual balance. The athletic appearance of the BMW 4-Series Coupe is rounded off by the 43-millimetre increase in the Coupe's width (1,825 millimetres). For the first time, the rear wheel arches mark the car's broadest point - a clear statement of dynamic intent. The resultant 45-millimetre-wider front track (1,545 mm) and full 80 millimetres of extra width at the rear axle (1,593 mm) promise - before so much as a wheel is turned - further improvements in the already superlative sporting characteristics for which BMW is renowned.

The launch of the new BMW 4-Series Coupe marks the arrival of the fourth generation of BMW's sporty premium mid-size Coupe. The BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept, which celebrated its world premiere at the NAIAS 2013 in Detroit, previewed the evolutionary development of BMW's design language. And now this progression is enshrined in the series-production model. The BMW 4-Series Coupe represents the epitome of aesthetic appeal and sporty dynamics in the premium segment and reinforces the company's claims to leadership in the international marketplace. Its stylistic features carry the promise of a powerful presence on the road, stand-out dynamic ability and unbeatable driving pleasure. Indeed, the new BMW 4-Series Coupe represents a paragon of balanced proportions and the final chapter in a story of development. The "4" in its title headlines this new era for the Coupe and emphasises not only its stand-alone design, but also its even sharper sporting dynamics, increased exclusivity and clear technical differentiation from the BMW 3-Series range. At the same time, BMW is using the new nomenclature to latch onto the fine tradition established by the large BMW 6-Series and BMW 8-Series Coupes.

Eye-catching front end with prominently sporting contours. Signature BMW front-end design features, such as the double-kidney grille and twin circular headlights, identify the BMW 4-Series Coupe as a BMW without the need for a second glance. Indeed, it is undeniably keen to show off its close family ties with the BMW 3-Series. However, the BMW 4-Series Coupe displays a more sporting approach to its work, underlining its dynamic convictions. The car's head-turning front end is a demonstration of precise contours and multifaceted surfaces. The eye-catching full-LED twin headlights (optional), with their hexagonal design, team up with the slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille to form a single stylistic unit and strengthen the athletic presence of the BMW 4-Series Coupe on the road. Below the headlight line, the BMW 4-Series Coupe features a large air intake in the front apron. Its extremely width-accentuating design creates the impression of a sporty three-way split. On the far left and right-hand edges of the air intakes are the additional, aerodynamically motivated small vertical apertures for the Air Curtains. These vents improve the airflow around the outside of the front wheels and lead to a reduction in fuel consumption at higher speeds.

Flowing lines shape the elegantly sporty silhouette
Powerfully taut surfaces and precise, sweeping lines define the athletic outline of the BMW 4-Series Coupe. The gently sloping roofline - a hallmark coupe trait - creates a smooth transition into the rear, stretches the car's overall appearance and elegantly accentuates the sporting profile of the flanks. Added to which, the shallow, homogeneous side window graphic with frameless glass and the signature slimline BMW Hofmeister kink at the trailing edge of the C-pillar generate a dynamic visual tension. Below the windows, the double swage line - made up of two character lines running alongside each other - familiar from the BMW 3-Series teams up with the striking door sill line to strengthen the body's dynamic wedge shape. The small, shrinking shadow below the swage line above the rear wheel accentuates the flared rear wing, emphasising the car's dynamic potential and hallmark BMW rear-wheel drive.

Located just rearwards of the BMW 4-Series Coupe's front wheels are Air Breathers designed to reduce drag around the wheel arches. Together, the Air Breathers and Air Curtains underline the sporting character of the car's design and provide tangible evidence of the innovative aerodynamic solutions devised by BMW as part of its BMW Efficient Dynamics development strategy.

Prominently flared wheel arches offer a clear window into even greater sporting ability
The sporting character of the BMW 4-Series Coupe extends into the powerful design of the rear. The prominent horizontal lines and broadly stretched tail lights positioned at the outer edges of the rear draw extra attention to the muscular wheel arches and wide track. The sharply angled rear window has a lowering effect on the car's tail and gives the body as a whole an even more powerful look. It also shows off the car's broad shoulders with satisfying clarity. The L-shaped rear lights of the BMW 4-Series Coupe blend harmoniously into the car's overall design. They continue the path of the swage line from the flanks, creating a seamless link to the rear end.

Exclusivity and dynamic intent dominate the interior
The interior of the BMW 4-Series Coupe blends sporting intent and exclusivity to stylish effect. In the front of the cabin, an approach known as layering - i.e. the clever utilisation of space through the structuring of lines and surfaces into layers - provides a natural canvas for the hallmark BMW driver focus, but is careful not to exclude the front passenger from the action. All the controls central to driving are arranged ergonomically around the driver and give him or her optimum access to all functions. Automatic belt feeders, a Sports steering wheel, crystal-clear circular instruments in black panel look and the freestanding, flatscreen iDrive monitor underline the sense of functional elegance. The iDrive Touch Controller - within easy reach on the centre console - and the optionally fore-and-aft sliding/folding armrest between the front seats add the finishing touches to the cabin's exceptional usability and comfort.

The dynamic horizontal lines of the instrument panel extend into the optional two-tone door and side panel trim, wrapping around the driver and front passenger in an unbroken sweep and lending the interior an engagingly dynamic feel. The interplay of surfaces and lines in the car's side sections also provides an effective showcase for the typically long coupe doors and, through the continuation of the accent strip, creates a visual connection between the front and rear of the interior. In the rear compartment powerfully contoured seats lend further emphasis to the sporting credentials of the BMW 4-Series Coupe. Recessed head restraints and broad, continuously moulded side supports give the rear bench the appearance of two separate seats.

In the interests of maximising the car's variability, the backrest of the BMW 4-Series Coupe's rear seat bench can be folded down, as an option, in a 40:20:40 split and adapted extremely effectively to suit the requirements of the situation at hand. Folding down the centre segment alone creates a large through-loading facility, which can accommodate several pairs of skis or snowboards while still allowing space for four people on board. (A suitable BMW ski and snowboard bag is available from the BMW Accessories range.) The boot can also be opened remotely using the optional Smart Opener as part of the Comfort Access feature. Here, a short movement of the foot under the centre of the rear bumper is all it takes to raise the tailgate.

Individual equipment variants
High-class material combinations, exclusive colours and individual equipment variants boasting unbeatable quality of workmanship define the premium ambience on board the new BMW 4-Series Coupe. As well as the basic trim level, whose material and colour concept accentuates the more classical side of the car's character, customers have a choice of three other equipment combinations and an M Sport package with which to add individual stylistic touches to the car's exterior and interior. The Sport Line, Modern Line and Luxury Line embody different takes on the car's character, adapting the design and colour scheme for the kidney grille and air intakes, exterior mirror caps, Air Breathers and side window graphic, trim strips in the front and rear apron, door sill strips, model badges on the front side panels, and range of wheel rims to set the car apart externally from the basic trim level.

Sport Line
The Sport Line adds extra depth to the dynamic repertoire of the BMW 4-Series Coupe with a selection of eye-catching exterior body features in high-gloss black. Added to which, the standard high-gloss black B-pillars and black wrap-around window strip lend the car's sporting character even greater punch. Nine strikingly moulded high-gloss black kidney grille slats in a chrome-coloured surround lend the front end a particularly sporty and alert look. The three black air intakes in the front apron and the likewise gleaming black Air Breathers, meanwhile, draw the eye to the car's aerodynamic features. 18-inch or 19-inch (optional) light-alloy wheels - depending on the model - in twin-spoke design provide an extra dose of sporting theatre. From the rear, the BMW 4-Series Coupe with Sport Line can be identified by the black trim strip level with the rear apron and the black exhaust tailpipe embellishers. Inside the car, the contrast between black and red accents, such as the red trim rings in the inner circle of the instrument dials and red contrast stitching on the sports steering wheel, provides the requisite sporting flair. An optional extended equipment variant including coral red leather sports seats, red door panel trim and a red lower section for the instrument panel can be specified exclusively for the BMW 4-Series to take its sporting ambience to another new level.

Luxury Line
Discreet high-gloss chrome touches lend the exterior of the BMW 4-Series Coupe a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. 11 intricate kidney grille slats with chrome-coloured fronts and matt black sides, two high-gloss double bridges in the front apron's outer air intakes and chrome-coloured Air Breathers all offer classy touches. The gleaming chrome window surround is another visual highlight, while special 18-inch or (optionally) 19-inch light-alloy wheels in multi-spoke design emphasise the extravagance of the Luxury Line. The BMW 4-Series Coupe Luxury Line can be recognised from the rear by a stylish, high-gloss chrome strip in the rear apron and the chrome exhaust tailpipe embellishers. The interior also stands out with various chrome elements, such as the surround for the audio and air conditioning system. High-gloss wood strips, leather seats with distinctive stitching and a choice of two upholstery variants in four classically elegant colours highlight the exclusivity of the Luxury Line. Exclusively available as an option for the BMW 4-Series, Ash Grain anthracite fine wood trim surfaces and a Pearl Gloss Chrome metal inlay round off the Luxury Line features.

Modern Line
High-quality matt chrome exterior trim elements define the contemporary aesthetic of the Modern Line, while the BMW kidney grille with 11 slats in matt chrome, the satinated aluminium Air Breathers, the surrounds for the outer air intakes and the trim strip in the rear apron continue the theme. The standard window surround in satinated aluminium draws attention to the window graphics and blends in seamlessly with the trim elements at the front and rear. 18-inch or (optionally) 19-inch turbine-style light-alloy wheels lend a fresh angle to the exterior design, while the light-coloured dashboard coupled with a steering wheel in dark oyster (both also available in black) create a very special feeling of space. Leather upholstery or cloth-leather combinations in oyster or black, and a choice of four trim surfaces with accent strips in Pearl Gloss Chrome, ensure an appealing interplay between materials.

M Sport package
Customers keen to shine a particularly bright spotlight on the stand-out dynamic qualities of the new BMW 4-Series Coupe will find the M Sport package a tempting proposition. As well as an aerodynamic package, including numerous body components (front apron with large air intake, rear bumper with diffuser, side skirts), and BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim, the exclusive optional exterior paint shade Estoril Blue metallic ensures an unmistakably sporty appearance and unbeatable road presence - an effect underpinned by 18- or (optionally) 19-inch light-alloy wheels in hallmark M design. Inside the car, features such as M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver's footrest shape the sporty yet elegant ambience. The driver and front passenger can settle into the Hexagon/Alcantara sports seats with M piping and royal blue contrast stitching offered exclusively as part of the M Sport package. Technical features of this package include M Sport suspension and the optional M Sport brakes in contrasting blue paint finish.

Driving dynamics: Sporty handling properties underpin an involving driving experience

The keen dynamics and supreme handling of the new BMW 4-Series Coupe are dominant themes in its engaging driving experience. To satisfy even the most demanding expectations of a sporty coupe, the BMW chassis engineers have pulled out all the stops, allowing the sporty two-door car to give full rein to its talents at any speed and under a variety of conditions. This required another round of improvements to the recognised qualities of its predecessor in terms of precision, lightness and agility, further sharpening the car's profile as a pure driving machine. The new BMW 4-Series Coupe is therefore one of the sportiest series-produced models in the BMW line-up, setting new dynamic standards in its segment.

Hallmark BMW set-up makes the difference
The new BMW 4-Series Coupe benefits from BMW's customary approach of splitting steering and drive forces between the front and rear axle, which creates the ideal platform for dynamic driving characteristics, impressive directional stability and agile handling. It also has 50:50 weight distribution, which likewise sets it apart from its rivals. When you add to the mix its extremely low centre of gravity, bespoke chassis set-up and intelligent lightweight construction concept, the result is an exceptionally dynamic overall package which will even sate the appetite of customers with a passion for sporty driving.
Read More

Monday, November 11, 2013

Maserati Ghibli, 2014

  •  Maserati Ghibli, 2014
The Maserati Ghibli's design team was challenged to produce a saloon that emphasised its more dynamic driving characteristics through a more aggressive visual personality, yet still maintained discernible visual links with the Quattroporte.

The all-new Maserati Ghibli marks a turning point in Maserati's history. Unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show and arriving just months after the new Quattroporte, the Ghibli gives Maserati two four-door saloon models for the first time in its history.

The Maserati Ghibli is smaller, shorter, lighter, more dynamic, less expensive and more economical than the flagship Quattroporte and provides a cornerstone in Maserati's plans to build 50,000 cars a year by 2015.

Its petrol range provides high performance from both of the power outputs from the Twin Turbo-charged, 3.0-litre V6 petrol engines.

The Maserati Ghibli has a more-focused, sportier philosophy than the larger Quattroporte and its most powerful model, the Ghibli S, has 301 kW (410 hp) of power, races to 62mph in 5.0 seconds and stretches out to a top speed of 177mph (285km/h).

The Maserati Ghibli is the first Maserati in history to be powered by a diesel engine, with a turbo-diesel V6 producing all the sound, refinement and driving pleasure typical of Maserati while delivering fuel consumption over 47mpg (below 6 l/100km) on the NEDC combined cycle . The Ghibli diesel will also become the first Maserati with Start-Stop technology.

It shares much of its core architecture, including its crash safety, chassis, suspension architecture, engines and LED headlight technology, with the larger Quattroporte, though it is 50 kg lighter, 173 mm shorter in the wheel base and 291 mm shorter overall.

The outline of the body reflects a coupe-like philosophy for the four-door saloon, while there are strong feline hints around the Ghibli's grille and headlights. The grille takes its inspiration from the current GranTurismo and it can draw a line back to the classic 1950s A6 GCS.

It also maintains Maserati's distinctive C-pillar treatment, which delivers much of the coupe-like stance and carries the classical Saetta Maserati logo, carrying on a tradition dating back to 1963.

The side profile is dominated by a swage line that runs from the traditional Maserati grille vents behind the front wheels and finishes in the rear lights themselves.

Inside, the Ghibli sets itself apart from the Quattroporte with a unique dashboard design that perfectly matches its sportier and more youthful character without losing any of the luxury expected from Maserati. The Ghibli also delivers a sporty design combined with all the spaciousness expected in an executive saloon from Maserati.

The Maserati Ghibli, Ghibli S and Ghibli Diesel all utilise an eight-speed automatic transmission to deliver their performance, providing seamless comfort with fast gear shifting for hard acceleration.

All Ghibli models deliver exquisite handling thanks to their perfectly balanced weight distribution, a double-wishbone front suspension and a state-of-the-art five-link rear suspension. It can now deliver the added security and all-weather assurance of all-wheel drive as well.

It also delivers new standards in quality in every area from design, development, fabrication and process controls. It is produced in a new plant that combines Maserati's traditions of craftsmanship with cutting-edge technologies that are able to guarantee outstanding quality by controlling even the tiniest of details.

The Maserati Ghibli has entered the E-segment sports premium market with a marked advantage in cabin craftsmanship and detailing, offering luxury features like the Maserati Touch Control screen, reversing camera, Poltrona Frau leather interior and the 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, as well as WLAN-based WiFi and compatibility with most modern mobile phone systems.

The original 1963 Quattroporte invented the concept of the luxury sports saloon, the new Quattroporte continues to be the genre's benchmark and now the Ghibli offers all of the Quattroporte's qualities in a more dynamic, and more affordable package.

A new range of completely innovative petrol engines,designed entirely by Maserati and manufactured by Ferrari, form the beating heart of the Ghibli. New proprietary Maserati V6 engines - all of which Twin Turbo, latest GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) technology developed in strict cooperation between the Maserati powertrain development team and the Ferrari powertrain development team - are built in Maranello for exclusive use of Maserati.

They are being produced in the Ferrari plant in Maranello that is famous for its 60 years of passion and cutting-edge technology.

This new generation of Maserati engines is more powerful, more exciting to drive and more eco-friendly than ever.

The Maserati Ghibli will be available with two versions of its twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine.

The most powerful of the V6 petrol engines will be fitted to the rear-wheel drive Ghibli S. This engine produces 301 kW (410hp) of power at 5500 rpm and 550 Nm of torque from just 1750 rpm.

The Ghibli S will reach 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds. It has a quoted top speed of 285 km/h (177mph).

The more affordable V6 petrol engine variant not only has an impressive 243 kW (330 hp) of power and 500 Nm of torque, but also delivers a combined fuel economy figure of just 9.6 litres/100km (29.4mpg). It is much more than a fuel saving car, though, and is capable of accelerating to 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

The Maserati Ghibli Diesel becomes the first car in Maserati's near-100 year history to use a diesel power unit. In keeping with Maserati traditions, it is the most powerful single-turbo 3-litre engine on the market with its 275 Hp and 600 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm.

It is capable of sprinting to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds and hitting a top speed of 250 km/h (155mph), even though it emits just 158 grams of CO2/km and uses just 5.9 litres/100 km (47.8mpg) on the NEDC combined cycle.

In another first for the Maserati brand, all Ghibli models will have an Active Speed Limiter function as standard equipment. Activated (and deactivated) via a button on the steering wheel, the Active Speed Limiter function lets the driver set a maximum speed for the car, which can be over-ridden by pushing the accelerator pedal through the "kick down".

The most powerful version of the Ghibli's 2987 cc V6 shares much of its technology with the Quattroporte's flagship 3.8-litre V8 engine.

With 301 kW (410hp) of power at 5500 rpm, the downsized V6 TwinTurbo delivers big V8 performance with 550 Nm of torque between 4500 rpm and 5000 rpm.

The V6's maximum engine speed of 6500 rpm, yet it delivers 90 percent of its 550 Nm of torque from 1600 rpm and its specific torque is actually higher than the V8's, at 183 Nm per litre. It also has an overboost function that is capable of providing the engine's maximum boost between 1750 rpm and 5000 rpm.

It uses the V8's petrol direct injection technology, cylinder architecture and combustion technology along with two low-inertia parallel turbochargers and four continuous camshaft phasers. It uses high-pressure fuel injection to deliver its fuel at around 200 bars of pressure.

The Maserati Ghibli S accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds, a tenth of a second faster to 100 km/h than the corresponding Quattroporte S.

It has a top speed of 285 km/h (177mph) top speed almost matching the Quattroporte S.

The engine is also efficient, given its powerful performance numbers. The Ghibli S posts 10.4 (27.2mpg) on the NEDCcombined cycle.

The Ghibli S emits 242 grams of CO2/km.

The V6 engine's parallel turbochargers are slightly different to the twin-scroll units on the V8, but it retains the V8's core dimensions with its bore measurement unchanged at 86.5 mm.

It uses high-tumble cylinder heads and two continuous cam phasers for each cylinder head; it can advance or retard the inlet and exhaust valve timing independently in real time four-phase variators for optimal combustion control for high performance and low consumption.

Another characteristic feature of the new Maserati engine family is the 200 bar direct fuel-injection system. This very high pressure helps atomise the fuel, thus improving the fuel-air mixture and optimising combustion at higher engine speeds.

The Maserati Ghibli S has two intercoolers - one to feed each of the turbo chargers -mounted low on either side of the main radiator to catch a constant supply of fresh, cool air.

The engine also uses a state-of-the-art ECU, with integral high-speed processors, which handle an array of shifting functions in real time.

Maserati Powertrain has also switched to on-demand ancillaries, with a variable displacement oil pump that works under electrical control for improved consumption and performance.

It also uses an innovative, computer control of the alternator, which monitors the vehicle's electricity consumption and manages the alternator's workload to suit.

The engine also operates in both Normal and Sport modes, along with Manual versions of either mode, operated by elongated shift paddles fixed to the steering column.

The new Maserati Ghibli also makes available the I.C.E. (Increased Control and Efficiency) strategy, a function aimed at reducing consumption, emissions and noise. This is a user-select strategy that delivers a softer throttle pedal response for smooth driving, cancels the turbocharger's over-boost function and keeps the exhaust's Sport flaps closed until 5000 rpm. It also adjusts the gear changes to make them softer and slower and reduces torque at each gear's take-up point.

Like the Quattroporte's engine family, the Ghibli V6 engines were developed by Maserati Powertrain, in partnership with Ferrari Powertrain, and will be built by Ferrari in its world-leading engine construction facility in Maranello.

The second turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine available on the Ghibli has 243kW (330hp) of power at 5.000rpm, This engine has been designed to offer an outstanding driving experience and versatile utilisation with low fuel consumption. Not only has it got an impressive power of 243kW and a torque of 500Nm, but it delivers a combined fuel economy of just 9.6 litres/100km (29.4mpg) with 223 grams of CO2 emissions/km, and is capable of accelerating to 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

The Maserati Ghibli's highly advanced V6 diesel engine will be the first of its kind in Maserati's history.

The 2987 cc V6 turbo-diesel develops 202 kW (275 hp) of power and a crushing 600 Nm of torque, both of which help it from rest to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds. Critically, its NEDC combined fuel economy figure is 5.9 litres per 100 km (47.8mpg) and it emits just 158 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

It uses highly advanced Common-Rail direct fuel injection with 2000 bar of injection pressure and it also features reduced-dwell-time injectors. This helps it to deliver sequential multiple injections for highly responsive performance and cleaner emissions.

It uses a single, variable-geometry turbo charger and the fabricated exhaust manifold includes air-gap.

It is also the first Maserati to use Start-Stop technology, which can lower the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions by up to six percent, depending on the route and the traffic density. The system turns the engine off when the car comes to a stop and turns it on again almost instantly whenever the accelerator pedal is depressed.

Every Maserati can be identified instantly by its engine note and, thanks to its new Maserati Active Sound system, the Maserati Ghibli Diesel is no different.

Two sound actuators, fitted near the exhaust tailpipes, accentuate the engine's most distinctive tones and modulate them precisely to suit the way the car is being driven. When the driver presses the Sport button on the central tunnel, the sound becomes even more resonant and utterly inspiring.

In the best Maserati tradition, the sound and performance of the Ghibli's exhaust system is controlled by pneumatic valves in the pipes emerging from each bank and passes through the unique Maserati Sound Tank to maintain the rich aural tradition of the brand.

In the default Normal mode, the bypass valves are closed to give a comfortable and discreet engine sound, which emerges through four sport exhaust tips.

In Sport mode, not only does the car adjust a variety of handling parameters, but also the exhaust valves are opened, giving the shortest possible, high-energy route for the exhaust gases, which gives the Ghibli its maximum engine performance and the unique Maserati engine sound.

All versions of the Maserati Ghibli are fitted with the same ZF AT8 - HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission that has already proven itself in the new Quattroporte.

The transmission delivers in every parameter, from comfort to fast gear shifting, and from minimised fuel consumption to low NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness).

As befitting Maserati tradition, it is capable of being in five dedicated shift modes: Auto Normal, Auto Sport, Manual Normal, Manual Sport and the extreme weather I.C.E mode.

Auto Normal is the Ghibli 's default setting and performs its gear changes with fluid shifts at low engine speeds to emphasise the car's comfort and to minimise fuel consumption.

The Auto Sport mode sees the transmission switch character to change gears with greater alacrity at higher engine speeds and deliver a distinct gear engagement to enhance the powertrain's sporting feel.

In both of these modes, the car recognises a variety of conditions, such as whether the car is travelling up or down hill, is braking hard or is driving through a corner, and selects the best gear and the best gear-shift style accordingly.

The transmission can also be controlled manually by selecting the M button on the transmission tunnel.

In Manual Normal mode, the driver can change gear with either the elongated gearshift paddles attached to the steering column or by using the transmission lever. The driver is in charge of the gear selection, though the system will intervene and change to a lower gear if the engine revs drop too low, or change to a higher gear if the engine revs climb too high.

In Manual Sport mode, however, the gearshifts are at their fastest and crispest, giving the driver full control of the powertrain. The system will not intervene, even if the driver strikes the engine's rev limiter. It will only intervene if the engine's revs drop too low to be effective in a given gear.

The I.C.E (Increased Control Efficiency) mode is designed for remarkable fuel economy, relaxed driving and extremely low grip conditions. The transmission changes gear as softly as possible, both going up through the gears and returning back down.

All gearshift modes can be selected via buttons on the left of the gear knob.

As has become expected of Maserati, the Ghibli also utilises a mechanical limited-slip rear differential as well, in both its rear- and all-wheel drive versions.

The Ghibli is the only car in its class to use a standard mechanical limited slip differential in all its versions in order to deliver the best inherent traction in all driving situations.

The bevel-drive, asymmetric unit offers 35 percent lock-up under power and 45 percent under release.

The rear differential is driven via a two-piece, 80 mm-thick light-weight steel prop shaft with two constant velocity joints and a head rubber coupling, which runs through a cross member-mounted rubber bearing for lower NVH levels without compromising rigidity.
Read More