Monday, March 3, 2014

Audi A3 Sportback S-Line, 2014

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 Audi, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture Audi, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture
 Audi, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture
Audi, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture Audi, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture

Audi A3 Sportback S-Line, 2014

Sporty, versatile and functional - Audi presented the new A3 Sportback. The compact five-door model with the spacious luggage compartment is groundbreakingly light thanks to ultra lightweight technology. The engines are powerful and highly efficient. The infotainment with the intuitive connect technology and the driver assistance systems available in the new Audi A3 Sportback set new standards in the premium compact segment. The overall design language concentrates on the essentials, with each individual design element making a confident aesthetic statement.

A lightweight car is a prerequisite for sportiness and efficiency. ultra lightweight technology from Audi reduces the weight of the new Audi A3 Sportback by as much as 90 kilograms (198.42 lb) compared with the previous version. Equipped with the 1.4 TFSI engine, the five-door model has a curb weight (without driver) of just 1,205 kilograms (2,656.57 lb). Hot-shaped steels are used in the occupant cell of the new A3 Sportback to reduce the weight. The complete occupant cell is 37 kilograms (81.57 lb) lighter overall than in the previous model. Significant weight reductions were also achieved in the interior and with the engines. Audi, worldwide pioneer in lightweight construction, has reversed the weight spiral and once again set a new record.

The body of the new Audi A3 Sportback is long and lean. While the length (4,310 millimeters [14.14 ft]), width (1,780 millimeters [5.84 ft]) and height (1,425 millimeters [4.68 ft]) of the new model are only slightly greater than on the previous model, the wheelbase is now significantly longer at 2,636 millimeters (8.65 ft), an increase of 58 millimeters (2.28 in).

The front end is low; the roof arch spans a dome that extends beyond the subtle roof spoiler to the muscular tail end. The design with the three side windows is taut, with every detail precise and expressive. The large wheel wells underscore the sporty aspirations of the new Audi A3 Sportback.

The distinctive, Stone Gray single-frame grille with the angled upper corners is the distinguishing element at the front of the vehicle. Its horizontal slats and the Audi rings are highlighted three-dimensionally. The flat headlights are works of art and give the new Audi A3 Sportback a determined gaze. Full LED headlights will be offered at a later time.

The interior of the new A3 Sportback is elegant, airy and cleanly designed. It carries over the dynamics of the exterior. The instrument panel with its curving front is slim and low. Together with the center console oriented toward the driver, it appears to float slightly.

Large, round air nozzles in jet design, the elegant user interface panel for the climate control system and sculpturally styled trim set the tone - with their polish they bring the quality of the full-size class into the new Audi A3 Sportback. The seats and steering wheels are new developments, and the car's user controls are clear and intuitive - as they are in every Audi. The compact five-door model offers a generous luggage capacity of between 380 and 1,220 liters (13.42 and 43.08 cu ft).

Audi ultra lightweight technology
ultra lightweight construction has long been a main pillar of the brand. Audi recorded a pioneering achievement in the use of aluminum as a body material back in 1994: The first A8 had a full-aluminum body in ASF (Audi Space Frame) technology.

ultra lightweight technology reduces the weight of the new Audi A3 Sportback by as much as 90 kilograms (199.42 lb) compared with the previous version. Equipped with the 1.4 TFSI engine, the compact five-door model has a curb weight (without driver) of just 1,205 kilograms (2,656.57 lb). Audi, worldwide pioneer in lightweight construction, has reversed the weight spiral and once again set a new record.

ultra lightweight construction in the body
The broad-based expertise of the Audi body development engineers is by no means restricted to a certain material, but rather encompasses all relevant materials. The multimaterial construction of the new Audi A3 Sportback is entirely in keeping with the motto "The right material at the right place for optimal function."

High-end components of hot-shaped steel in the occupant cell form a strong, yet lightweight structure. Before deformation, they are heated in a continuous flow furnace to nearly 1,000 degrees Celsius and are then cooled to about 200 degrees in a water-cooled stamping press.

This extreme temperature jump creates an iron-carbon structure with extreme tensile strength. Hot shaped steels are able to perform with relatively thin walls, and this makes them lightweight.

Hot-shaped steels represent a roughly 25 percent share of body materials. They are used in the transition from the front of the vehicle to the occupant cell, in the A-pillars, roof arch, center tunnel, side sills and floor panels. What is known as a tailored rolled blank forms the transition from the floor to the rear body section - its eleven individual segments are rolled into five different thicknesses.

The B-pillars also consist of this high-end steel; their lower sections are more flexible than above, since the energy of a side-impact collision must be absorbed here. All together, the hot-shaped steels in the new Audi A3 Sportback reduce the weight of the vehicle by 37 kilograms (81.57 lb) compared with the previous model.

High-strength and ultra-high-strength steel grades are used in many other body areas such as in the side members and in the floor of the passenger cell. The engine hood, fenders, the subframe of the front axle and the sections mounted behind the front bumper as crash absorbers are made of aluminum. Together the aluminum components save around twelve kilograms (26.46 lb), thus improving axle load distribution.

Processing aluminum components in body construction and joining these components with steel components are challenging tasks. The same is true of welding hot-shaped components, which are coated with a corrosion-inhibiting aluminum-silicon alloy. Audi benefits here from its extensive know-how in ultra lightweight construction - the joining technologies have been practice-proven for years now in models such as the TT. A number of very different joining technologies are used to assemble the new A3 Sportback, including bonding, clinching and punch riveting.

Between the side wall and the roof, which are both made of steel, a Plasmatron brazed seam produces the joint, where the allowable tolerance is just a few tenths of a millimeter. The finished seam is smoothed with brushes - the practically invisible zero-joint that is produced is an expression of the stringent precision thinking at Audi.

Unlike the previous model, the doors and window frames are stamped in one piece, and this also saves weight. The door hinges integrate a convenient new type of clamping mechanism.

Safety and aerodynamics
The new Audi A3 Sportback is tops when it comes to passive safety. In a frontal collision, the front cross-member distributes the forces to the two side members, which undergo defined deformation to dissipate these forces. The structural members for the engine and front suspension, as well as the sections in the upper area of the fenders, act as additional load paths. If necessary, the pedals are decoupled from the firewall; the steering column absorbs energy and is not displaced into the occupant cell.

In a side impact, the occupant cell offers excellent protection with its hot-shaped steel components such as the sills and B-pillars. In a rear-end collision, the bumper's cross members redirect loads to the large side members made of high-strength steel.

ultra lightweight construction in the interior
The Audi ultra lightweight principle is not limited to the body or to specific subassemblies and parts - developers always consider the vehicle as a whole, and in their work every gram counts. This is the only way the car's curb weight could be reduced by up to 90 kg (198.42 lb) compared with the previous model.

The engineers have internalized the Audi ultra lightweight principle, and in the interior of the new Audi A3 Sportback they also succeeded in eliminating every superfluous gram. The redesigned seats contribute a one kilogram (2.20 lb) weight savings; lightweight plastic inserts replace the steel wire used previously in the frame of the rear bench seat.

A new control unit arrangement requires fewer wires, thus reducing the weight by 1.5 kilograms (3.31 lb). The blower motor requires fewer coils, and the air conditioning system shed four kilograms (8.82 lb) of weight. The housing of the passenger airbag is made of polymer; the mounting for the MMI monitor is made of magnesium. Together these two solutions save 640 grams (1.41 lb). In the previous model, many linings in the interior were fastened with steel screws. In the new Audi A3 Sportback, polymer expanding rivets were used here for a weight savings of four grams (0.01 lb) per fastening point. When it comes to the Audi ultra lightweight construction principle, every gram counts.

ultra lightweight construction in engines and chassis
The engines of the new Audi A3 Sportback have shed a significant amount of weight as well. The engines of the new A3 have shed a lot of weight as well. The 1.8 TFSI, for example, weighs just a little over 130 kilograms (286.60 lb), while the 1.4 TFSI weighs in at just 107 kilograms (235.89 lb) - 21 kilograms (46.30 lb) less than the previous engine. With a weight difference of 15 kilograms (33.07 lb), the aluminum crankcase accounts for the largest share of reductions, but progress has also been made in many small engine details - e.g. in the new aluminum pistons and the hollow-bored connecting rod pins.

Environmental footprint
In developing the new A3, Audi conducted an environmental assessment of two of the engine versions. The 1.4 TFSI and the 2.0 TDI - both with a manual transmission - were subjected to a detailed analysis. Both versions offer clear benefits compared with their respective previous models. Greenhouse gas emissions, for example, are reduced by roughly two metric tons per model. This corresponds to roughly seven to nine percent of the greenhouse gas emissions over the entire life cycle. This is due in large part to the substantially lower fuel consumption and low weight of the new models. At the end of its life, about 95 percent of the new Audi A3 Sportback can be recycled.
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Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, 2014

Aston Martin, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture Aston Martin, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture
 Aston Martin, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture Aston Martin, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture
 Aston Martin, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture
 Aston Martin, Automotives Review, Luxury Car, Auto Insurance, Car Picture
Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, 2014

Aston Martin unveiled the Vanquish Volante - a stunning new luxury sports car that brings the thrill of open top motoring to the super GT class.

Instantly becoming one of the most beautiful cars in its class, Aston Martin Vanquish Volante crucially retains the coupe's dynamic character and sporting capability. It boasts the same new AM11 6.0-litre V12 engine as the coupe and the same blistering performance figures, meaning the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint is despatched in just 4.1 seconds (estimated) while the top speed stands at 183 mph (294 km/h).

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante is the first fully carbon fibre-skinned Volante in the brand's 100-year history, while also being the stiffest Volante body structure yet created by the engineering team at Aston Martin's global HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. The new car's triple-skin lightweight fabric roof takes just 14 seconds to fold.

The design of Aston Martin Vanquish Volante represents the latest take on Aston Martin's iconic visual language. Styling cues such as the elegant waist, elongated side strakes and LED rear light blades are derived from the One-77 supercar while the folding fabric roof sits beneath a tonneau and decklid that have been aerodynamically tuned for optimum performance.

The windscreen, meanwhile, is now full height - a first for Aston Martin - which means that the glass runs up to meet the fabric roof, thereby achieving a particularly clean transition.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Volante's 'suit' of carbon fibre panels cloaks a cabin that is both sophisticated and comfortable. The 2+2 cabin is elegantly attired in authentic and luxurious materials: full grain Luxmil leather with optional quilting, metal controls and satin chrome trim underscore the car's well-appointed nature.

The facia trim now stretches down the whole centre stack and is manufactured from a single piece of material giving a uniform finish.

The user interface boasts a simple, ergonomically efficient layout as well as technological updates that make it the brand's most advanced in-car system available today.

Capacitive glass buttons with illumination and haptic feedback feature in the rest of the centre stack's switchgear. Haptic feedback is more commonly found in touch-screen mobile phones and Aston Martin became among the first significant luxury car manufacturers in the world to use the technology in a series production model when it debuted on Vanquish coupe in 2012.

Aston Martin Design Director Marek Reichman explained: "Vanquish Volante is a sports car, of course, but more even than that it is the ultimate Volante. A car which follows a long line of elegant Aston Martin convertibles, this super GT is sculpted to convey sophistication as much as raw power.

The V12's power peak of 573 PS (565 bhp) arrives at 6,750 rpm while the torque peak of 620 Nm (457 lb ft) is available at 5,500 rpm. These numbers translate into performance that matches the Vanquish coupe's and ensures the new car supports its Super GT billing.

The dynamics have been tuned precisely, with new springs and damper settings calibrated to deliver the same crisp handling yet compliant ride as the coupe.

Strenuous efforts have been made to limit the new car's weight; contributing to its impressive performance, agile handling and compelling power-to-weight ratio. The combination of controlled weight, near-perfect 51:49 weight distribution, a powerful V12 engine and a performance-honed six-speed transmission unite to make the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante as rewarding on the move as it is beautiful standing still.

Like its coupe counterpart, the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante uses the latest generation of Aston Martin's class-leading VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture, a lightweight bonded aluminium structure that provides outstanding strength and rigidity. In this iteration, the Vanquish now includes the addition of significant semi-structural carbon fibre components, as well as the use of bonding derived directly from the latest aerospace technologies.

As well as being light, strong and flexible in its application, the gen4 VH architecture is also extremely rigid. The new Vanquish Volante is, in fact, 14% torsionally stiffer than the DBS Volante which preceded it, making it highly resistant to flex and allowing for responsive and predictable handling.

This rigid structure also provides an ideal foundation from which the suspension can control the vehicle effectively, further highlighting the importance of the body structure and the effect it has on the dynamic performance of the car.

Aston Martin's engineering teams have worked particularly hard to minimise the weight outside the wheelbase of the new car to reduce yaw inertia. As a result, carbon fibre has been used extensively in the rear structure and the weight of the aluminium front structure has been limited.

To take full advantage of its precise and rigid architecture, the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante employs a battery of sophisticated technologies including Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Positive Torque Control (PTC).

Aston Martin's Adaptive Damping System (ADS) allows the driver to switch between three distinct damping modes: Normal, Sport and Track, delivering instant adjustment of the car's ride and handling characteristics.

The ADS automatically alters the suspension settings to ensure the driver has high levels of control at all times, with the ability to respond quickly to different driving conditions. The different damping modes available help significantly broaden the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante's character, adapting its set-up to suit the driver's mood and requirements. Thus it can be a cruising GT car in Normal mode with the capacity to morph into an assertive sports car in Sport and Track modes.

The damper settings are determined by an electronic control unit which takes sensor readings from the car's systems including throttle position, brake position, steering wheel rotation and vehicle speed. This data establishes the prevailing driving conditions and the demands the driver is making on the car.

Steering, too, is crisp, precise and communicative. The rack's quick 15:1 ratio - 2.6 turns lock-to-lock - is allied to speed sensitive power assistance that's tuned to deliver optimum assistance.

The car's braking system features third generation Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) parts to deliver shorter stopping distances with resistance to fade in even the most demanding driving conditions. CCM brakes are also lighter than a conventional system, reducing the weight of the car overall and, in particular, the unsprung weight and rotational masses, further enhancing the performance of the suspension.

The front brakes use 398 mm x 36 mm CCM discs with larger front pads and six-piston callipers from the One-77, while the rear brakes use 360 mm x 32 mm CCM discs with four-piston callipers.
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