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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 21:21

Call it what you like, but this long wheelbase coupe sold alongside Mercedes’ flagship S-Class sedan appears to be a sublime mix of luxury and overtaking power. With 585 horsepower and 663 ft-lbs of torque, a 5.5 liter twin turbo V8 is fettered by 143 fewer pounds than in the CL 65 that it replaces (somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,700 lbs). AMG’s variant of 4Matic all wheel drive is an option to nail the power down and, depending upon configuration, this two-ton bruiser can take a peek at 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. and is limited to 155 mph.

Pricing for the S-Class Coupe has not been announced, though it will not likely stray significantly from the $115K-$200K bracket, which served the outgoing CL-Class. Sales of the all wheel drive models start in April and the rear wheel drive models will follow in July. Feel free to check out the press release after the jump

-By: Sawyer Sutton


2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech

The new Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupé is the latest dream car to augment the Mercedes-AMG model range. Exciting lines underpin this two-door model’s design. Dominance and sensual purity combine to lend the vehicle irresistible presence and effortlessly superior sportiness. Equally impressive is the combination of high driving dynamics, ambitious lightweight construction and groundbreaking efficiency. As the most powerful member of the BlueDIRECT engine family, the AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine is a paragon of poise and assurance. Boasting an output of 430 kW (585 hp) and 900 Nm of torque, the S63 AMG Coupé delivers exceptional performance with remarkably low fuel consumption. Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive is available as an option. And there is a world first in the shape of the curve tilting function, part of the MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension system, to further enhance both driving pleasure and comfort.

Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “The new S63 AMG Coupé is another exciting AMG dream car in the luxury segment. Now the S-Class Coupé also comes with the option of performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive – as we rigorously pursue our all-wheel-drive initiative. Mercedes-AMG is putting the pedal to the metal again in the new year. Our model initiative is set to continue at blistering pace in 2014.”

65 kilograms lighter thanks to AMG Lightweight Performance

The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupé is the latest model to benefit from the systematic implementation of the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy. Lightweight construction has reduced the vehicle weight by 65 kilograms – even though the car has a higher output and more extensive standard equipment than the predecessor model. This weight saving was achieved largely thanks to the use of a lightweight lithium-ion battery, AMG forged light-alloy wheels and a weight-optimised AMG high-performance composite braking system. Furthermore, the entire outer skin and the front end of the body are madeof aluminium. The reduced weight improves driving dynamics and cuts fuel consumption, while the low power-to-weight ratio of 3.41 kg/hp results in effortlessly superior performance: the S63 AMG Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 to 4.3 seconds, depending on model variant, and goes on to reach a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited).

In terms of maximum output, torque and fuel consumption, the AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine remains one of the most efficient series-produced V8 engines of all. With an output of 430 kW (585 hp) and 900 Nm of torque, the AMG eight-cylinder unit from the BlueDIRECT engine family meets even the most demanding of requirements. Compared to the previous CL 63 AMG model, engine output has been increased by 30 kW (41 hp) and torque by 100 Nm. Yet the S63 AMG Coupé still consumes less fuel: The NEDC combined figure of 10.1 litres per 100 kilometres makes the two-door model the most fuel-efficient model in its competitive segment. This reduction of up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres and compliance with the EU6 emissions standard show that performance, efficiency and environmental compatibility are by no means mutually exclusive at Mercedes-AMG.

AMG sports exhaust system with automatic exhaust flaps

Emotive and sporty performance or restrained and relaxing cruising: the S63 AMG Coupé even has a choice of bespoke sounds. The AMG sports exhaust system meets individual driver requirements as it has automatic logic-controlled exhaust flaps in both rear silencers. When the transmission is in “C” (Controlled Efficiency) mode, the flaps remain closed in most situations, in which case the eight-cylinder biturbo engine’s sound is more understated. In “S” (Sport) and “M” (Manual) modes, the exhaust flaps open earlier and more spontaneously, especially if the driver prefers a dynamic driving style. The result is an even fuller, hallmark AMG emotive engine sound.

“One man, one engine”: a tradition of hand-built excellence

Like all AMG V8 and V12 engines, the eight-cylinder biturbo engine for the S63 AMG Coupé is assembled by hand at the AMG engine shop in Affalterbach. Highly qualified engine fitters assemble the engines in Affalterbach according to the strictest quality standards based on the “one man, one engine” philosophy. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative precision and production quality, the AMG engine plate bearing the engine technician’s signature also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance brand.

Individuality: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission combines perfectly with the V8 biturbo engine. Maximum agility and exciting dynamics are the two key strengths of this transmission, which is used exclusively at AMG. Drivers can configure their own personal set-up, depending on their driving style. There are three modes to choose from: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport) and “M” (Manual). The ECO start/stop function is fitted as standard.

Optional: performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive

There are two variants of the S63 AMG Coupé available: with rear-wheel drive or, for the first time, also with performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive. With permanent all-wheel drive, 33 percent of the engine torque is sent to the front axle and 67 percent to the rear axle. The rear-biased power distribution provides the signature AMG high driving dynamics and superlative driving enjoyment as well as boosting acceleration from a standing start. The all-wheel drive also enhances driving safety on wet or wintry road surfaces. Optimum traction is guaranteed by a multi-disc clutch with a locking effect of 50 newton metres, which exploits the frictional connection potential of all four wheels to the full on snow and ice in particular.

AIRMATIC air suspension or MAGIC BODY CONTROL

As with the transmission, customers also get a choice when it comes to the AMG sports suspension: the rear-wheel-drive S63 AMG Coupé is equipped with MAGIC BODY CONTROL, while the all-wheel-drive version of the two-door model features the full air-suspension system AIRMATIC with the adaptive damping system ADS PLUS. Specific front axle kinematics – including higher camber, a larger anti-roll bar and a stiffer subframe carrier on the rear axle – have been developed exclusively for the S63 AMG Coupé 4MATIC. These measures enhance the vehicle’s agility when driving dynamically.

Curve tilting function is a world first

The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupé with rear-wheel drive features AMG sports suspension based on MAGIC BODY CONTROL. There is also a world first for series-produced cars in the shape of the curve tilting function. This function allows the S63 AMG Coupé to lean into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting upon occupants is reduced in a way akin to when driving in a steep curve, and passengers sit more firmly. On country roads in particular, the new curve tilting function enhances motoring enjoyment and comfort. The object is not to reach higher cornering speeds, but to produce an even more pleasant motoring experience. The curve tilting function can be selected as one of three drive modes using the ABC switch; it is active in the speed range from 30 to 180 km/h.

In addition to the curve tilting function, the MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension system includes ROAD SURFACE SCAN and Active Body Control (ABC) as standard. With Active Body Control the suspension struts are equipped with hydraulic cylinders (so-called plungers), in order to adjust the force in each strut individually. Depending on the curve driven, the curve tilting function shifts the base point of each individual strut. This allows the vehicle to incline automatically and continuously in fractions of a second and to angles of up to 2.5 degrees in curves – depending on the road angle and vehicle speed. The innovative suspension system detects curves using both a stereo camera behind the windscreen, registering the curvature of the road up to 15 metres ahead, and an additional lateral acceleration sensor.

ROAD SURFACE SCAN is a technology that can detect surface undulations in advance with the help of a stereo camera. MAGIC BODY CONTROL then adjusts the suspension in advance to suit the situation. Both suspension modes – “Comfort” and “Sport” – are also available here. The AMG-specific elastokinematics also ensure more directness when adopting a dynamic driving style.

Systematic lightweight construction: AMG forged wheels as standard

The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupé is equipped with AMG forged light-alloy wheels as standard. This design reduces weight while at the same time increasing strength. The lower unsprung masses result in advantages in terms of handling and spring/damper element response. In the standard specification, the S63 AMG Coupé is fitted with multi-spoke forged wheels painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish – 8.5 x 19 at the front and 9.5 x 19 at the rear, with 255/45 R 19 and 285/40 R 19 tyres respectively.

Optional extras from the AMG Performance Studio include 10-spoke forged wheels painted in titanium grey with a polished finish – 8.5 x 20 at the front and 9.5 x 20 at the rear, with 255/40 R 20 and 285/35 R 20 tyres respectively. The forged wheels feature a high-quality, screwable and fully integrated wheel bolt cover made of forged aluminium. Its shape is reminiscent of a centre lock as seen in motorsport. The AMG logo is integrated into one of the ten spokes. As an option, these forged wheels are also available painted in matt black with a high-sheen rim flange. Alternatively, forged wheels of the same sizes in a 5‑twin-spoke design painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish and a black wheel bolt cover are available.

AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system as an option for the first time

Short stopping distances and rapid deceleration are a given for the S63 AMG Coupé, which is equipped with a weight-optimised, fade-resistant AMG high-performance composite brake system. An AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system is available as an option. The more than 20 percent lighter design ensures lower unsprung masses as well as enhanced driving dynamics, agility and ride comfort.

Design: AMG combines sensual purity with effortlessly superior sportiness

The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupé also boasts exciting looks to emphasise its sporty performance: it exudes dominance and hallmark Mercedes-Benz sensual purity. The design is a stage for the exciting technology at the heart of the new dream car. Numerous filigree aerodynamic elements underline the outstanding driving dynamics: the front end is dominated by the three-dimensional AMG “twin-blade” radiator grille in silver chrome. Whether the car is moving or not, distinctive AMG lettering on the side between the louvres leaves no doubt: this is a high-performance model from Affalterbach. The A-wing is located below the radiator grille. This three-dimensional air-ducting element is painted in the body colour, spans the entire width of the front apron and displays the stylised “A” that is a hallmark of AMG vehicles. Large, black flics surround the outer cooling air intakes. Down below, the front splitter in silver chrome optimises the flow of air to the cooling modules. This design feature, which is a familiar sight in motorsport, also reduces front-axle lift and optimises the vehicle’s aerodynamic balance.

All of the cooling air grilles exude high quality with their high-gloss-black paint finish. Keeping the A-wing and front splitter separate makes the car appear closer to the road. A similar effect is created by the AMG side sill panels with their high-quality, three-dimensional inserts in silver chrome. Together with the lower feature line, these inserts make the S63 AMG Coupé exude dynamism even when it is at a standstill. Further eye-catching features of the side design include the large AMG forged wheels. “V8 BITURBO” lettering in a new, contemporary typography on the front wings is another hallmark AMG design touch.

At the rear, the diffuser insert in high-gloss black also catches the eye straight away. The lower trim element in silver chrome is reminiscent of the A-wing at the front and provides an effective contrast. The two chromed twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with sports flaps are perfectly integrated into the diffuser insert. Stylised, vertical air outlets in the rear apron assume the role of a defined spoiler lip and optimise aerodynamics. The “S63 AMG” model designation in a new, contemporary typography below the tail lamps adds the perfect finishing touch to the rear-end design.

Interior: beguiling luxury, quality and sporty exclusivity

Opening the door reveals the beguilingly luxurious interior of the S63 AMG Coupé: the instrument panel almost seamlessly transitions into the doors in a wrap-around design. High-quality materials and fine workmanship are combined with a sporty, exclusive design idiom. The newly developed AMG sports seats with electrical adjustment, Memory function and seat heating offer the driver and front passenger optimum lateral support. Fine nappa leather in AMG V8 design with piping and AMG badges on all four seat backrests together with the embossed AMG emblem on the armrest of the front centre console create an exquisite atmosphere on board.

The new three-spoke AMG sports steering wheel with its distinctively contoured rim and perforated leather in the grip area allows perfect vehicle control. There is an AMG logo in the lower metal insert. New aluminium shift paddles shorten the reaction time when changing gear and enhance dynamism. Another feature displaying the hallmark AMG look is the high-resolution TFT colour display as an AMG instrument cluster with two animated round dials. In addition to the specific lettering and the needles in red/silver, further distinctive design features include the AMG start-up display, the AMG logo in the speedometer with 330 km/h scale (left) and the “V8 BITURBO” lettering in the rev counter (right).

The new, innovative touchpad, fitted as standard, makes it significantly easier to operate the radio, telephone and navigation system. The safety and assistance systems are the same as those for the S 500 4MATIC Coupé.

Even more exclusivity: the S63 AMG Coupé “Edition 1″

One particularly exclusive model in the range is the S63 AMG Coupé “Edition 1″, which will be available one year after market launch. The expressive arrangement of exclusive exterior and interior details arouses pure fascination. Swarovski crystals in the LED high-performance headlamps lend the car an irresistible look on the outside, while the Exclusive Interior package creates an even more exquisite ambience on the inside. The latter includes AMG sports seats upholstered in designo Exclusive nappa leather in crystal grey/black or bengal red/black with contrasting topstitching and piping. In keeping with this colour scheme, the upper section of the dashboard, the front and rear centre armrests, and the door linings are trimmed in nappa leather with contrasting topstitching, while the roof liner and the sun screens are in DINAMICA microfibre. Further features of the “Edition 1″ include AMG Exclusive floor mats with nappa leather edging, door sill panels with illuminated AMG lettering and a high-gloss black poplar wood trim. The AMG sports steering wheel has “Edition 1″ lettering. Night View Assist Plus is fitted as standard.

World premiere and market launch in 2014

The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupé will have its world premiere at the 2014 New York International Auto Show in April 2014. Sales of the 4MATIC variant commence in April, with the rear-wheel-drive variant following in July. The market launch of both models starts in September 2014.

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, Featured, Industry New..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 14:59

Though the shape is no stranger, it’s still nice to see Alfa’s booth here at the show. In the coming year, Alfa will offer up 1,000 copies of their 4C sports car as pictured above. Though much of this car’s appeal is in the aesthetics, even more is in its performance. 0-60 happens in 4.5 seconds, 1.1g gets pulled on the skidpad, the car weighs 2,103 lbs, and there are 240 horsepowers and 350 ft lbs of torques.

Everything is carbon fiber, and, like the BMW i3, that construction is very real and obvious, thanks to high, unpainted sills and other surfaces throughout highlighting the car’s construction. It’s not a bad place to sit, but six footers with a long torso will not enjoy entering and exiting the cabin. If you want one, seek out a large Fiat dealer as that is where Alfa has indicated they will be sold. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

 

2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech

‘Just drive’ is a clear invitation to experience those genuine sensations that only Alfa Romeo is able to offer. The new signature that will accompany the communication of the Alfa Romeo models originates with the presentation of the Alfa Romeo 4C, the small thoroughbred car that marks the return of the brand to the world of lightweight sports coupés.

Extraordinary performance, unique handling, extreme aerodynamics and design that takes up the stylistic features of the Alfa Romeo tradition. This in brief is the new Alfa Romeo 4C, a driving machine without compromise that beckons drivers to take to the road or track to experience the thrill of driving it.

The Alfa Romeo 4C is essentiality and light weight, a car where everything has been designed to provide total driving pleasure. That same essentiality shaped its design. The car expresses a “natural beauty” that results from a perfect blend of function and form. Its layout and size immediately brings one of the most beautiful coupés of all time to mind, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. Like the legendary 33 Stradale, the 4C is designed to meet extreme mechanical and functional requirements. Its body aerodynamically ‘covers’ the engine and chassis with clean and essential surfaces.

Designed by Alfa Romeo engineers and made at the Maserati plant in Modena, this captivating coupé with two racing bucket seats uses materials and design solutions like carbon, aluminium, and rear-wheel drive derived from the 8C Competizione along with technologies from Alfa Romeo’s latest models, all thoroughly revised to maximise the new car’s sporting appeal. Proof of that lies in the new 1750 Turbo Petrol with direct injection and aluminium block, the sophisticated latest-generation “Alfa TCT” dry twin clutch automatic transmission and the Alfa DNA driving mode selector with the brand-new Race mode.

A length of approximately 4 metres and a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres emphasise the car’s compact size while also accentuating its agility. The dynamic qualities of the Alfa Romeo 4C are confirmed by a weight to power ratio of less than 4 kg/HP; it’s a value worthy of a ‘supercar’.

This vehicle quite simply screams Alfa. Its sports car soul creates unique driving sensations, both on the road and when racing, where velocity and transverse accelerations offer even the most expert driver unrivalled driving thrills: from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds flat, 258 km/h of top speed, deceleration peaks in the range of 1.2 g and lateral acceleration peaks over 1.1 g. All this is also achieved with a balanced weight distribution, with 40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear.

If these figures attest to the outstanding performance and dynamic qualities of the 4C, there is one characteristic enduringly connected to every Alfa Romeo: ease in recognising one of the brand’s models through other senses. Not only is it eye-catching, but the sound of the engine has also been emphasised with low frequencies and the classic roar of the exhaust.

In the same way it has been studied with particular attention paid to an enveloping seat design so the car can be ‘felt’. ‘Body’ perceptions are felt inside and even more so – with an added thrill – at the wheel. The brake, for example, can be modulated when loaded to get the necessary feedback even in the most demanding braking situations. Steering, which has to convey as much ‘feel’ as possible, is unassisted, progressive and direct, and the accelerator is ready to handle exits from curves with as much acceleration as possible.

The annual availability of the 4C Alfa Romeo on the major world markets is limited to only 3,500 units – 1,000 units of which are earmarked for Europe. Starting in October 2013 it can be ordered at all Alfa Romeo dealerships in Europe.

The 4C marks the launch of Alfa Romeo’s global growth plan that, along with future models, is offered as a global brand that competes in the heart of the Premium market. This is the reason why it is developing synergies with the Premium brands of the Fiat-Chrysler Group, and Maserati in particular, which adds the strength of its history, its ability to innovate and its fame the world over. So in this sense the Alfa Romeo 4C supercar is a symbolic product with an extremely high level of quality and technological refinement that embodies the deepest values of the Alfa Romeo brand.

Design

The compact dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats truly unique among its competitors: it is just under 4 metres long, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres. These dimensions serve both to emphasise the car’s ‘supercar proportions’ and to accentuate its agility.

Designed by Alfa Romeo Centro Stile, the development of the 4C’s exterior was characterised from the start by the need to enhance the style of the car and the technical characteristics both from a dynamic and aerodynamic point of view. For this reason, all the style solutions adopted have been optimised in accordance with the ultimate goal of the car: performance.

To meet this end, the surfaces were treated as sculpture and engineers worked side by side with the designers to carve all the innovative aerodynamic solutions out of it. The result of this teamwork led to a car that conveys pure sports style through a union of technology and beauty, which is an essential requisite for any Alfa Romeo sports car, where form is always first and foremost function. Besides, every structural element has been conceived for maximum dynamic efficiency, and to help create the downforce needed to ensure maximum grip under fast cornering.

The rear volume, sinuous and enveloping, encloses and embraces the beating heart of the car: the mechanics and the engine, visible through the rear window. All this, thanks to the development of a marked musculature above the wheels, lends strength and power to the rear area.

The rear musculature supports its structure on round rear light clusters and on the side air intakes necessary to cool the intercooler and the air inlet for engine intake. From the energy-charged rear volume and the two side air intakes spring the two long muscles which lend speed and dynamism to the side, generating the necessary volume at the front end to house the headlights and, on the central part, the two robust ribs running along the bonnet, tracing the unmistakable “V” and coming to their natural conclusion around the shield. This, together with the two side intakes, forms the famous ‘Trefoil’, a distinguishing trait of all Alfa Romeo cars.

Even at the rear, what first appears to be an element of pure graphics actually serves a clear purpose. Look at the two lines alongside the number plate holder: aesthetically, these create two points of light that add movement and dynamism to the rear volume. Functionally, however, they also protect the light cluster from pendular weight in the event of rear impact.

The entire tail section – starting from the rear upper profile and the lower profile characterised by a large “diffuser” with aerodynamic spoiler and air outlets – was subjected to extensive wind tunnel testing to ensure the best possible aerodynamic performance.

Lastly, the exterior colour range reflects the spirit of the car and is essential as the Alfa personality demands: red, white, black and grey. However, special attention has been paid to technology with the introduction of three-layer colours. The by now consolidated and well-known Competizione Red is the essence of the Alfa Romeo spirit with its depth, shine and iridescence that shapes the volumes of the car.

Tradition and future

The Alfa Romeo 4C immediately brings to mind some of the traditional iconic models which have left a significant mark in the history of the Brand. Above all others, in terms of dimensional and layout similarities, one stands out in particular: the 33 Stradale of 1967, a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style which “clothed” the engine and chassis appropriately with unmistakable Alfa Romeo treatments.

The Alfa Romeo 4C has followed suit, and thus completes a journey which was embarked upon with the 8C Competizione, emphasising some particular concepts of the brand, such as compact size, dynamism and agility. The same search for the bare essentials has been applied to building one of the world’s lightest-weight cars, the Alfa Romeo 4C. A downright search for the ideal weight led to the formula to combine ‘lightness and efficiency’ while exploring new solutions and materials, not to mention meticulous development work involving highly advanced technologies, in many cases coming from the excellence of Formula 1 or the aviation sector.

The combination of ‘Lightness & Efficiency’ was the concept behind the design of some unforgettable Alfa Romeos of the past, such as the unforgotten star at Le Mans, the 8C 2900 B Touring of 1938 with full aluminium body, or the 1900 C52 “Disco Volante” of 1952 with a top speed of 230 km/h and weighing just 760 kg.

The captivating 4C is also the vehicle with which Alfa Romeo expresses its interpretation of ‘Technology’ – just like the 2010Giulietta, the first car in the world to develop and adopt the TCT – and of ‘Dynamism’, a value that immediately brings to mind the 8C Competizione of 2007, the fastest Alfa Romeo road car in history and produced in a limited series of 500 units.

Today these values – Technology and Dynamism, Lightness & Efficiency, Italian Style – take shape in the new Alfa Romeo 4C, an uncompromising though accessible sports car, a technological and sensual supercar that offers precision, agility and great performance. In short, it is a car to drive and enjoy both on the road and on the track.

Interior

The interior of the Alfa Romeo 4C is the result of an in-depth study of anthropometric and ergonomic parameters that established a relationship between the sports layout of the car and features that form a ‘continuity’ with the design of the body. It is a design concept in which the various elements – dashboard, instruments and seats – follow specific driver and passenger usability and comfort criteria.

Definition of the interior took on particular importance when configuring the carbon fibre ‘monocoque’ cell. This veritable ‘monolithic core’ led to a rational organisation of the main construction elements in keeping with the principle of integrating parts and optimising weights. Initially focused on arranging controls and instruments so they are turned toward the driver, this approach actually simplified construction in terms of assembly processes and separation into subassemblies when industrialising the project.

The climate control system ducts are integrated with the entire dashboard block, which contains a supporting ‘technical spider’ structure inside the mould. Consisting of a thermoformed shell like those found on limited edition supercars, the dashboard is designed to make using functions simple and reaches its zenith in the concept of extreme driver-orientation, thanks to digital instruments and gear shift controls located on the appropriately shaped steering wheel.

The cockpit, which powerfully suggests the world of motorcycle racing and race cars, brings together all information necessary to drive and control the car. All readings are visible on the instrument panel, comprising an original digital display, containing all the control functions for the Alfa Romeo supercar.

This formal construction simplification in terms of reducing the number of components and placing the various parts in clear view meets the goal of concentrating the relationship with the car’s interior on the experience of driving. User-friendly and formal importance was given to positioning the TCT transmission selector, activated by buttons on the tunnel console, the gear change levers on the steering wheel, and the DNA system selector for changing the operating parameters of the engine and the chief mechanical and electronic devices.

With regard to the selection of materials, the Alfa Romeo 4C project is a perfect synthesis of the brand’s values. It is a combination of advanced technology and dynamism, sportiness and performance, and tradition and modernity. The lines, shapes, materials and colours emphasise this desire to take centre stage: the pride of being an Alfa Romeo. The material is not intended as a covering, but as an enhancement of the external and internal skin, volumes and, where possible, as a visible structure. The material is the very essence of the structure.

The aesthetic choices are based on technical and natural materials, and not appearance, but substance. The interior space is minimal and ‘naked’ in its treatments and finishes. The environment is dark black, embellished only by a few metal details with an aluminium effect. The real protagonist is carbon. As it is a structure, it is found both inside and outside the car in an aesthetic continuum and conveys technicality and lightness at the same time.

The seats, with a composite structure, ensure the perfect feeling of the road that the driver gets, thanks to the possibility of finding an ideal driving position while guaranteeing comfort even in everyday use. In detail, the seat upholstery ranges from technical fabrics with high performance and robust nylon yarns to natural leathers in the colours of Alfa Romeo tradition: red for sportiness and “dinamica”, a polyester microfibre with a soft and adhesive touch to keep grip on the seat, as well as on the road. Also the internal ‘asphalt type’, 3D and ‘rough’ grains call the real subject matter to mind: contact with the road. Finally, the pedal unit and footboards for driver and passenger are made of aluminium, in this way highlighting its sports character down to the smallest detail.

Architecture

Driving pleasure is the result of carefully balanced design. Rear wheel drive and a centrally mounted engine: the architecture of the Alfa Romeo 4C is typical of competition cars in which perfect weight distribution is the primary objective.

The Alfa Romeo 4C has rear wheel drive to make full use of the dynamic advantages afforded by this configuration. Rear wheel drive gives better grip under acceleration, when engine power throws weight towards the rear of the car. Rear wheel drive also lets you enter curves at higher speeds, delivering a far more intense driving experience.

The aluminium engine is centrally mounted. This significantly reduces weight as it eliminates the need for a propeller shaft and optimises weight distribution – 40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear – by concentrating mass near the centre for crisper handling.

Aerodynamics

Having defined the 4C’s architecture, Alfa Romeo engineers started to search for the most suitable materials for this solution. Aluminium, steel, SMC and carbon fibre were chosen for their ability to combine lightness and efficiency. In this way a total dry weight of only 895 kg was achieved. This record makes the Alfa Romeo 4C one of the lightest cars in the world.

After choosing the materials, the designers worked on all external and internal flows of the car, paying close attention to every detail necessary to decrease the creation of vortices and at the same time to ensure cooling of the engine compartment. On top of this special design of the rear and lower underbody air intakes and over 200,000 hours of optimisation in the wind tunnel and on the track were added. The final result is a Cx equal to 0.34, the best value among cars with negative lift.

The Alfa Romeo 4C achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, guaranteeing a negative Cz which, as in racing cars, contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds thanks to the negative lift.

Materials

The Alfa Romeo 4C stems from a blank sheet of paper and an idea. The blank sheet of paper was a prerequisite for the conception, development and implementation of a new idea of a sports car: the “affordable supercar”. In fact, the 4C is designed to be not just an exclusive car in terms of content and performance, but also to become a dream that comes true for Alfa Romeo enthusiasts all over the world. So we had to think in terms of low production volumes – but still in the order of a few thousand cars a year.

So the blank sheet of paper, initially free from design and production restraints, became immediately enriched with new parameters and new challenges. The first is represented by a reference figure not to be ignored: a supercar must have a weight-to-power ratio of under 4 kg/HP. To achieve it, the Alfa Romeo engineers could focus on the horsepower – so much power, so much performance – but with consequent high purchase and running costs for a car that would have in this way become much less affordable. So they decided to take another route: reduce the car’s weight by choosing materials that combine lightness and efficiency, and improving – at times even creating – manufacturing processes that fuse high technology and craftsmanship. A total dry weight of only 895 kg was achieved in this way. It is a record that makes the 4C one of the lightest cars in the world.

To achieve this ambitious goal, lots of work was poured into the materials. They were chosen for their specific weights and for the chemical-physical, mechanical and technological properties that best meet the needs of performance and dynamic behaviour of a sports car. And this is the reason why the 895 kg of weight are mostly formed of aluminium, steel, lightened SMC and carbon fibre.

Carbon fibre

The secret of the lightness and dynamic behaviour of the Alfa Romeo 4C lies in the 10% of carbon fibre used, which represents as much as 25% on the entire volume of the 4C. Today carbon fibre is the material that guarantees the best efficiency between weight and stiffness. This is why it was chosen for the monocoque with a structural function that constitutes the central self-supporting cell of the chassis. It is a solution adopted by most advanced supercars. It combines savings in weight with excellent performance. In fact, the monocoque weighs only 65 kg.

Totally designed by the team of Alfa Romeo specialists, the monocoque is produced by Adler Plastic with an innovative production process that brings together the state of the art in terms of manufacturing technologies with the manual dexterity typical of Italian craftsmen. In this way it was possible to introduce the ‘pre-preg’ technology derived from Formula 1 into a series production. Alfa Romeo is the only brand able to do this, and its production rate tops 1,000 pieces a year.

‘Pre-preg’ carbon fibre, processed with a vacuum bag in an autoclave, has made it possible to move on from designing the piece to designing the material. In this way the monocoque reached levels of response to stresses and dynamic behaviour unthinkable with the adoption of other technologies and materials. The pre-preg carbon fibres can be arranged in the optimal structural direction with respect to the forces to achieve a result which only a metallic material could give with superimposed layers, different thicknesses and added reinforcements.

Moreover, polymerisation in the autoclave – ‘cocura’ in technical terms – allows box section structures normally coming out of multiple components (often of different materials) manufactured and assembled in several phases to be produced in a single process. This is what happens for the door pillar, for example. In the standard steel version, it is composed of about 6 pieces joined together and to the body in several stages of the production process.

With the ‘cocura’ process, the door pillar is a single object and part of the supporting structure.

In fact, the carbon fibre monocoque is a single piece – and as such it reacts to external stresses with obvious advantages in terms of dynamic behaviour.

Aluminium

The use of materials with high torsional stiffness and low specific weight distinguishes all the structural components of the Alfa Romeo 4C. As is demonstrated by the use of aluminium for the roof reinforcement cage and front and rear beams. Both the design of the components and the manufacturing process were altered in this case as well, in order to reduce its weight and increase its rigidity. More specifically, the designers created a new section for the struts that replaces the traditional rectangular section. In this way the beams are lighter and at the same time safer. They are also produced using the innovative ‘Cobapress’ process. This process combines the advantages of casting with those of press forging, which further compresses aluminium alloy to close any remaining porosity. All of this lightens the component to the benefit of its mechanical properties.

The continuous wire with cold metal transfer process is used for the welding. This results in extremely precise welding that does not distort the components and ensures optimum filling of all gaps.

Aluminium is also used in the hybrid type of front brake discs, with aluminium bell and cast iron ring gear. This is technology patented by SHW and it guarantees up to 2 kg of reduced weight per disc and improved braking. Moreover, the sophisticated brushed surface finish technology increases grip and feel of the pedal, while the innovative release system between disc and bell provides more comfortable and safer braking. Special steel radial pins handle the difference in thermal expansion between cast iron and aluminium and accurately transmit the braking motion.

SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound)

SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound) is used for the bodywork. It is a low-density, high-resistance composite which offers a 20% weight reduction compared to the traditional steel shell. The Alfa Romeo 4C is the first standard production vehicle with such a high percentage of low-density SMC: at just 1.5 g/cm3 it is significantly lighter than steel (~7.8 g/cm3) and aluminium (~2.7 g/cm3), as well as being more malleable. This feature granted that freedom in terms of style and design necessary to create a real Alfa Romeo recognisable at first glance. It is also a stable material which, in contrast to aluminium, does not deform in minor collisions, and is extremely resistant to chemical and atmospheric agents. It also disperses sound efficiently, increasing acoustic comfort.

Low-density SMC also ensures significant functional integration between parts, leading to a reduction in components, operations and assembly time, thus lowering production costs.

PUR-RIM (injected polyurethane)

PUR-RIM (injected polyurethane) was also chosen for the bumpers and mudguards for the reasons mentioned. It is a lightweight material (-20% compared to steel) suitable for creating even highly complex design elements like a 4C mud guard.

Windows

Not a single material, including glass, was neglected in order to get the lowest possible weight. In this specific case, weight was lightened by actually “slimming down” the silhouette. All the windows are on average 10% thinner than those normally used on a car so that the average weight is reduced by 15%. The windscreen is just 4 mm. This is an outstanding result, especially when we consider its particularly aerodynamic shape that is difficult to achieve with such a thin sheet of glass.

Engine

The new ’4 cylinder’ 1750 Turbo Petrol with direct injection at 200 bar that achieves performance of absolute excellence is making its début on the Alfa Romeo 4C. Torque and specific power set new records for this size of engine at over 200 Nm/l and 137 HP/l, respectively, while maximum power of 240 HP (176 kW) is reached at 6000 rpm. The maximum torque of 350 Nm ensures its extraordinary elasticity and sportiness since it is maintained constant between 2100 and 4000 rpm, but 80% of the torque is already available at just 1800 rpm.

Fitted out like this, the compact supercar registers exceptional results both during pick-up and when accelerating. The Alfa Romeo 4C goes from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds and develops a top speed of over 250 km/h. Driving pleasure is magnified by the full, rich sound of the exhaust, where the low frequencies and classic roar have been emphasised. This impressive level of performance has been achieved with minimum impact on the environment. Thanks to multiple injection control and advanced anti-friction and energy loss reduction systems, the emissions of the Alfa Romeo 4C fall well within the strict limits of Euro 6.

Aluminium block and specific intake and exhaust systems

The Alfa Romeo 4C 240 HP direct injection 1750 Turbo Petrol engine implements an innovative aluminium block and specific intake and exhaust systems which have been optimised to enhance the sports appeal of the car even further. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable valve timing system, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any turbo lag.

In line with the search to achieve as much lightness as possible, the 4C’s engine weighs 22 kg less than that of the Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde. Helping reach this goal is the aluminium block with die-cast inserts that not only is lighter, but also contributes toward improving the rigidity of the engine and reducing its vibrations (fewer vibrations were obtained also by using a crankshaft with eight counterweights, which allows the maximum rpm to be increased).

To optimise performance, emissions and oil consumption, the cylinder head intake ducts were redesigned, as were the cylinder liners, which today are made of a special cast iron that is thinner. The pistons have new segmenting with reduced load.

‘Scavenging’ technology

The Alfa Romeo 4C’s advanced ‘scavenging’ technology maximises torque at low engine speeds and delivers more power in response to driver input. The control unit determines valve overlap times and angles with great precision to create a through-flow of air from the inlet manifold to the exhaust manifold. By improving the scavenging of the combustion chamber, this direct flow increases combustion efficiency and turbine speed and reduces turbo-lag.

Turbocharger

To complement the ‘scavenging’ technology, the engine is also equipped with a new generation turbocharger and a pulse converter exhaust manifold that exploits pressure waves to boost torque at low engine speeds. The manifold and the turbine are made from microcast steel and designed to operate at very high temperatures (over 1000°) – a pre-requisite to low fuel consumption on medium-high speed motorway journeys. The wastegate valve is another helpful device for engine efficiency. This adjusts turbo pressure using control logic which varies to suit driving conditions, minimising pumping losses.

After-Run Pump

Like all top competition cars, the Alfa Romeo 4C uses an automatic cool-down system to protect its turbocharger. Switching off the engine would normally cause the immediate stoppage of oil circulation, leaving the oil in the turbocharger to stagnate at very high temperatures. The thermal stress suffered by the oil in this way causes a loss of lubricating capacity and also leads to the formation of residues that can damage the engine. To prevent this, Alfa Romeo has introduced an after-run pump. This electric pump is automatically controlled by the ECU and keeps oil circulating through the turbocharger until it has cooled sufficiently.

Gearbox

Power alone could never deliver the superb performance of the Alfa Romeo 4C. An advanced transmission system is needed to control it. The 4C is equipped with an Alfa TCT 6-speed gearbox with dual dry clutch, a solution that combines the instant power of a sequential shift with all the convenience of an automatic.

A true point of reference of the category due to its low weight and extreme speed of actuation, the gears can be changed in sequential mode using the shift paddles located behind the steering wheel. In detail, the transmission works like two gearboxes in parallel, each with its own clutch. The next gear is selected while the previous gear is still engaged, eliminating all discontinuity in power transmission.

The Alfa TCT gearbox has been optimised for the Alfa Romeo supercar. The 4C’s special clutch features all-new control software that ensures the fastest possible gear shifts under all conditions. Gearshifts are more aggressive in the sporting performance modes, and drivers can clearly feel the new gear engaging, as on a racing car. On bends, on the other hand, gearshifts are completed in the smoothest way possible to avoid reducing stability.

The Alfa Romeo 4C is also fitted with Launch Control for easy high performance standing starts. Launch Control is activated by pressing the brake pedal while pushing the accelerator pedal all the way down and squeezing the paddle on the left of the steering wheel. As soon as you release the brake, the system automatically controls the gearbox, traction and power to maximise acceleration.

Performance

You look at it and you like it: wide tyres, low ride and a well-balanced aggressive style. It is beautiful. But that’s not all. You hear the engine and it excites you with its full and convincing mechanical sound. So there is nothing left to do except sit down behind the wheel, engage first gear and give yourself time and pleasure, because that is what it is all about: becoming familiar with direct controls immediate responses.

The Alfa Romeo 4C offers even the most expert driver extraordinary performance and sensations: from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds flat, 258 km/h of top speed, deceleration peaks in the range of 1.2 g and lateral acceleration peaks over 1.1 g. All this is also achieved with a balanced weight distribution, with 40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear.

Something else that is essential is keeping the unsuspended mass as low as possible. In a hypothetical run around the track, it is necessary to ensure that the wheels grip the terrain for as long as possible, which is to the full benefit of road hold and the longitudinal and transverse accelerations.

If these principles bring about the excellent dynamic qualities of the 4C, there is one characteristic enduringly connected to every Alfa Romeo: ease in recognising one of the brand’s models through other senses. So it is not only eye-catching, but the sound of the engine – which has been emphasised with low frequencies and the classic roar of the exhaust – and the enveloping seat designed so that the driver ‘feels’ the car also create its unique identity.

‘Body’ perceptions are felt inside and even more so – with an added thrill – at the wheel. The brake, for example, can be modulated when loaded to get the necessary feedback even in the most demanding braking situations. Steering, which has to convey as much ‘feel’ as possible is unassisted, progressive and ‘genuine’, and the accelerator is ready to handle exits from curves with as much acceleration as possible.

Like all the latest-generation Alfa Romeos, the 4C as well is equipped with the DNA selector. This device lets the driver change the car’s temperament to adapt it to the conditions it is subjected to at the moment.

In addition to the three settings available up until today – Dynamic, Natural and All Weather – the device built for the Alfa Romeo supercar has a fourth mode: ‘Race’, designed to enhance the driving experience on a track even further.

Race is the most extreme performance mode, and is engaged by moving the mode selector to ‘Dynamic’ position and holding it there for 5 seconds. Alfa Race mode puts you in total control of your car under race conditions. By minimising the interventions of electronic systems, it leaves you, the driver, in complete control. In this situation, ESC stability control remains inactive and only intervenes to ensure stability under harsh braking. ASR does not intervene either on the acceleration or braking, leaving you to control traction through the accelerator pedal alone. Alfa’s Q2 electronic differential control system, on the other hand, remains active, as it is essential to permitting fast exits from bends.

Performance changes with the ‘Dynamic’ mode, which configures the car to deliver great driving performance. Engine control parameters are configured to respond quickly to accelerator input and the Alfa TCT gearbox selects a rapid action program to reduce gear shift times by up to 25%. The ESC system permits a certain angle of drift and only intervenes if steering wheel position and drift angle could put the car at risk.

Press the Alfa DNA selector to switch to ‘Natural’ mode, designed for everyday use. Gearshift parameters are configured for maximum comfort and smoothness. In manual mode, the Alfa TCT transmission makes up for loss of driver concentration. The Auto-Up function shifts up to the next gear when engine speed approaches the permitted limit, while the Auto-Down function shifts down as soon as engine speed falls below 1000 rpm. Finally, the Alfa Q2 differential operates in soft mode and only cuts in if one of the rear wheels suffers a significant loss of grip.

Finally, all you have to do is switch the selector to ‘All Weather’ mode to ensure maximum safety under adverse weather conditions. With this setting the car responds to accelerator input very gently. The ASR system selects special engine and brake control logic and, in the event of loss of grip, modifies power to match road speed and prevent skidding that could otherwise be difficult to control.

Mechanics

In addition to its absolute performance, the handling of the Alfa Romeo 4C makes it one of a kind. You can fully enjoy the car in all situations, and not only during extreme use on the track, thanks to its feel and ease of driving at top levels. Sport suspensions, self-ventilated brake discs, different diameter tyres and direct steering: an advanced ride control system able to keep weight down to a minimum has been designed for the 4C.

Sports suspension

The suspension adopts race-derived technical solutions to optimise performance and deliver unrivalled driving pleasure. A superimposed wishbone system is used on the front of the Alfa Romeo 4C. The wishbones are secured directly on the monocoque and comprise a coaxial spring-shock absorber assembly, tubular control arms and anti-roll bar, all lightweight and efficient.

An Advanced MacPherson geometry has been adopted on the rear to ensure superb road holding and driving fun, even in the most extreme manoeuvres. More specifically, hysteresis of the suspension has been improved with the side-load spring and the support plate of the shock absorber spring at the same time forming the upper constraint of the strut. In this way both height from ground and weight have been reduced, all to the benefit of grip and precision, even at high speeds.

Braking system

The braking system of the Alfa Romeo 4C excels in terms of effectiveness and reliability, even in the most extreme driving conditions. The car can be braked from 100 to 0 km/h in just 36 metres. Merit for this goes to the hybrid self-ventilating, perforated discs complete with Brembo caliper on the front with aluminium bell and cast iron ring gear. This is technology patented by SHW and it guarantees up to 2 kg of reduced weight per disc and improved braking. Moreover, the sophisticated brushed surface finish technology increases grip and feel of the pedal, while the innovative release system between disc and bell provides more comfortable and safer braking. Special steel radial pins handle the difference in thermal expansion between cast iron and aluminium and accurately transmit the braking motion.

Different diameter tyres

The search for the greatest possible grip also led to the selection of different diameter tyres, 17″-18″ or 18″-19″, larger on the back to satisfy the need for greater grip on the axle where the traction works.

Steering

As it is entirely mechanical, therefore without power steering, steering with plasticised links contributes to limiting the total weight of the car and ensures a direct driving feeling for the driver. The steering ratio (16.2) is also such as to allow 90% of bends to be taken without ever taking your hands off the steering wheel.

Production

Alfa Romeo decided to produce the 4C supercar at the Maserati plant in Modena, where it set up the 4C Workshops inside, areas dedicated to the ‘bodyshell’ and ‘assembly’ operations. The ‘testing’ and ‘finishing’ areas, on the other hand, are shared with Maserati production. Here, the focus is always on evolved technology and top quality craftsmanship, a combination that leads to the production of cars that are truly unique in technical solutions and attention to detail.

‘Gems’ of technology and styling like the Quattroporte, Granturismo and Grancabrio have come off these lines in just the last decade, as did the fascinating Alfa Romeo 8C even more recently. It was the first time that the Maserati plant opened up its doors to another brand, one particularly similar to Maserati in terms of tradition and ambition.

Considering the past and recent background, it was natural that the Fiat Group would look to Modena for the standard production of the Alfa Romeo 4C, too. It is a car that starting from its structure comes out of the blend of the highest technology and the most meticulous attention that only man can guarantee. This is a manufacturing philosophy that is an integral part of the DNA of the Maserati plant in Modena.

Craftsmanship

Here innovation first of all blends together with the passion of the people, which manifests itself in rigour and the determination to do a good job. It is precisely the operator’s touch that adds value to the product, and so much so that the operating methods of this plant are far removed from the logic of ‘mass production’ to enter into a definitely more handmade dimension. Suffice it to say that the minimum ‘takt time’ – the production speed necessary to guarantee delivery – is 20 minutes. This figure illustrates the peculiarity of this factory when compared to the “mass production plants” where the shortest ‘takt time’ is in the order of 50 seconds.

The fundamental role played by human talent, considered as the wealth of technical skills and craftsmanship, becomes clear at this point. They are all very young men and women, expert operators, with an average age of 29 and of whom 60% hold a diploma or university degree, and whose experience is on the average over 5 years on Maserati models. These people make up a true elite of production professionals who can work with full knowledge even on 40 different stations and perform activities requiring from 20 to 40 minutes. This means they are fully rounded mechanics who practically master the entire production flow.

‘Bodyshell’ area

This is where the primary structure of the Alfa Romeo 4C is assembled, first creating the body in white of the car, and then putting on the preliminary ‘skins’. In taking a closer look, the operators at station 10 of the line join the carbon fibre monocoque to the two chassis, front and rear, and to the crossmembers. It is an operation done by hand, and during the entire process compliance of parameters like the ‘angle torque’ of the tightenings, guaranteeing that the connected components stay forever joined even in the most demanding conditions of use, is checked.

Shortly further on, at station 30, the cell of the car is closed by fitting the windscreen frame and roof. The peculiarity of this operation lies in the special templates used to give the passenger compartment cell the right geometry. The joints are made of high-tech chemical polymer materials and are reinforced with mechanical joints.

Metrological room

Once the bodyshell stage is finished, the Alfa Romeo 4C body in white faces up to quality control in the metrological room. Every day a few bodies taken as samples undergo highly precise measurement. The dedicated team checks more than 400 measurement points to be sure that the body is perfect on the geometric and dimensional level. No room is left for tolerance in this process: the measurements have to give results compliant with the project.

Painting and Assembly

The stage following the bodyshell stage is painting. It is the only process that is performed outside the Maserati plant. Once they have been painted, the bodies in white return ‘to be circulated’ on the Alfa Romeo 4C. One point must be stressed: the new compact supercar is the only car that starts its assembly phase with ‘disassembly’. In fact, before assembling the internal components at station 1, the car returns to its primary structure by removing the already painting ‘skins’, like the bonnet and doors, and the structural parts, like the rear beams and dome bar. It is only at this point that it is fastened to the rotating carrier.

The professional expertise of the operator is at the heart of the entire process in this area. That is why the work station and the entire logistics system have been built around the operators’ activities. All the components needed to produce the 4C arrive at the various stations in the right quantities, at the right place, and at the right time. For example, there are no useless or unnatural movements at station 2. The car is lifted or turned to always offer the side where operations are carried out at the right height. All this is a guarantee of quality and offers the people the chance to practise their manual dexterity in the best possible way.

Also operations like window assembly, carried out by robots elsewhere, are given over to the care and attention of people. This as well is an exclusive peculiarity of the 4C production process. And that’s not all. Many of the subassemblies of the car – lights and dashboard, for example – are assembled here at the factory, unlike what takes place at other industrial sites where they arrive already pre-assembled by the suppliers. These are all aspects that make a profound impact on the perceived and real quality of the finished product.

Testing area, road testing and finishing

Testing is the only stage of the production process entrusted to technology since it is necessary to objectify the quality of performance. The systems rigorously check every single detail of the car, from optimum operation of the climate control system to the setting of the mechanical components and dynamic behaviour.

After they have passed the testing area, all the 4Cs produced undergo a 40-km road test driven by an expert test driver. This is another practice typical of the most prestigious supercars. The team of test drivers is a major point of pride for the plant. All team members are expert drivers, passionately about sports driving and racing, and are exemplary professionals.

The production flow of the Alfa Romeo 4C almost reaches the end when the cars arrive at the Finishing area, where they undergo the final set-up operations before moving on to commercial logistics to go onto the market.

Customisations

An unforgettable experience and driving pleasure will be the themes dominating the commercial launch of the Alfa Romeo 4C that, starting from October 2013, can be ordered in all Alfa Romeo dealerships in Europe.

An ‘essential’ model for ‘driving purists’ will be available in all markets to exalt the driving experience to the utmost. It will be offered standard with evolved DNA selector, instrument panel with TFT technology and turbo pressure, oil temperature and Gmeter gauges, sporty fabric seats, leather steering wheel with shift paddles, alloy wheels (17″ in front, 18″ in the rear), grey brake calipers and twin exhaust pipes.

Customers can then decide to further personalise their cars by selecting from either an exclusive collection of accessories made by Mopar®, the Parts & Service and Customer Care Division of the Fiat and Chrysler Groups, or a rich list of optionals including the Racing Pack (racing set-up, racing exhaust system, AR RACING tyres, 18/19” 5-hole wheels, sports steering wheel in leather with microfibre insert and red stitching) and the Luxury Pack (mixed leather and microfibre sports seats with red stitching, carbon fibre Bi-LED headlights).

Mopar accessories and merchandising products

Mopar has made a large number of accessories for the Alfa Romeo 4C that harmoniously blend with the technical and styling features of this supercar. To name just a few, there are the 17″ to 19″ black, grey or diamond black wheels, rear spoiler made of composite material or carbon fibre, black, red or yellow brake calipers, carbon fibre or chrome-plated door mirror fairings, carbon fibre dashboard and coloured engine cover. The optionals sold by Mopar in the aftermarket include the carbon fibre headlights, 18″-19″ larger wheels, racing exhaust tailpipe or racing set-up – including rear anti-roll bar and springs, shock absorbers and front anti-roll bar with specific calibration – that can be matched with race tyres specially developed with Pirelli.

Along with the collaboration of the Alfa Romeo Centro Stile, Mopar has come up with an exclusive merchandising collection inspired by the compact 4C supercar, presented for the first time at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show. Today this valuable series is joined by a number of new top-quality products such as the ‘long board’ with 100% carbon fibre structure designed on an exclusive basis for the brand and made using materials and lines typical of Alfa’s DNA; the sporty red 4C sweatshirt with hood personalised with rich embroidery work and the backpack sporting a unique design and made of a waterproof fabric, complete with roomy pockets and a special device that increases its capacity. We also find the pen designed exclusively for the 4C, inspired by its aggressive lines and made with the same materials used on the car, such as carbon and aluminium.

These new products join the already rich 4C collection that includes various types of item: these include the more iconic, able to express the brand’s image and the content of its DNA to the full, such as the aluminium luge and the carbon sunglasses. Then there are those designed with fashion and lifestyle in mind, such as the high-impermeability raincoat, the carbon-brushed sweatshirt with softshell inserts. A more technological area is occupied by the ski or snowboard goggles with GPS connection for augmented reality. The car-shaped USB drive and the carbon cover for iPhone or iPad, on the other hand, are more geared towards fun.

Authorised Alfa Care 4C Service Centres

Qualified and trained personnel, specific diagnosis and repair tools, plus high levels of service. The 4C Service Network is born. It is a specialised service structure that will be present with Authorised 4C Service Centres throughout the EMEA area that can be contacted by dialling a dedicated freephone number: 00 800 2532 4200.

The freephone number is available for providing technical and service information and for activating the roadside assistance supplied by the Authorised Centres, as are the routine maintenance and repair operations. And it is precisely repairs on which the chief new services focus.

The 4C is a ‘special’ car that is the fruit of innovative technologies and materials that require a targeted and highly professional approach, especially on the carbon fibre monocoque, aluminium components and SMC body.

More specifically, a special Diagnostics Centre has been created for the monocoque in Turin, which supports the 4C Service Centres in diagnosis and repair work. The facility boasts the professional expertise of a team of ‘flying doctors’ that can reach the 4C to be repaired at every Service Centre of the EMEA area if necessary, who analyse any damage the carbon fibre structure has sustained using radiographic and resonance technologies. In the case of slight or medium damage, they are equipped to make repairs on site. If, on the other hand, the damage is serious, the flying doctors opt to replace the monocoque at the Service Centre to which the customer turned.

The Alfa Care 4C Service Centres are also equipped to replace and repair aluminium beams. In detail, a repair system has been created for the rear beam, which is more complex to replace because it also houses the engine mountings. Repair requires that the damaged sections be cut and replaced, and that the parts be sealed with special adhesives that reproduce the cold welding effect.

Service Centre technicians are also able to repair slight or medium damages of the SMC parts of the body by using special instruments.

Interactive video configurator

The threshold of innovation in the field of online car configurators is moving even farther forward on the occasion of the Alfa Romeo 4C’s launch. The website 4c.alfaromeo.com contains an interactive video configurator that lets users personalise their supercars in a multimedia context filled with atmosphere.

In particular, the entire process of configuring the 4C is displayed in an interactive film clip in which the selections made by the users – like changing the colour of the body, selecting elements like wheels and headlights, for example – affect the contents in real time without interrupting the video. While changing its appearance during execution, the car plays the starring role in the film clip and offers users a 3D and dynamic visual perception of their choices.

What makes the Alfa Romeo 4C unlike all the rest is the presence of an actual virtual control booth that lets users personalise their experience and share it with their friends. They can freely select detailed video sheets on the car’s specifications that enrich the video with stimulating cinema-style cuts to turn every configuration into a personalised video edited as one likes.

It is an international project developed by Wedoo, the leading digital agency in the market and in online configurator innovation. By combining video shots, interactive computer graphics and the most innovative texture mapping and animation technologies, an experience of high visual and emotional impact has been created for the Alfa Romeo 4C. It is a blend of technological innovation and profound knowledge of the world and automotive culture, the ideal way for turning the brand’s values and the spirit of the new Alfa Romeo 4C supercar into online emotions.

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Alfa Romeo, Auto Shows, Featured, ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 21:05

Having increased the number of trim levels from 30-something to 80-something in the past 7 years, BMW has filled nearly every niche they can and, at the end of the day, decided to create a few more despite allegedly only selling about 5% more cars. With possibly the most attractive four-door coupe this side of the Audi A7, BMW tried a couple of times to get this design right: previous attempts include the 3 Series Gran Turismo, 3 Series sedan and the X4. Offered with the N20 2 liter turbo four putting out 240 horsepower and the N55 3 liter turbo six with 306 horsepower, the 4 Gran Coupe is a bit more dear than some of the other options starting at over $45 grand.

Though some of the aforementioned models above don’t have this option, the Gran Coupe does: a 6 speed manual transmission. A quick shifting 8 speed Steptronic Sport transmission is available as well as a lower end 8 speed Steptronic. Though technically a 5-seater, BMW refers to the space in between the rear seats equipped with a seatbelt as a “console surface”; that’s probably not the end of the world as this isn’t really purchased by the carpooling demographic anyway.

For more details, check out BMW’s press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton


2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech

BMW proudly presents the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé (combined fuel consumption: 8.1-4.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emission: 189-119 g/km), the first four-door coupé in the premium midsize class that represents a consistent extension of the model range. Following the launch of the BMW 4-Series Coupé and Convertible, the Gran Coupé is the third model to join the new BMW 4-Series, which is longer, wider and more dynamic than any of the previous midsize series due to the balanced proportions of the vehicles. The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé combines the sleek look of a two-door coupé with the functionality provided by four-doors and expansive spaciousness, including a wide-access luggage compartment.

New standard of elegance and extravagance in the midsize class

The BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé has exactly the same dimensions as the two-door coupé: a length of 4,638 millimeters, a width of 1,825 millimeters and a wheelbase of 2,810 millimeters. Up front, both models are identical and share the typical BMW design features like the double-kidney grille, dual round headlights and the large air intake in the front apron. However, the roof of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is twelve millimeters higher, 112 mm longer and gently stretched allowing it to flow smoothly into the rear quarter panels and boot lid. The typical BMW short overhangs, the long bonnet and the set-back passenger compartment complement the design of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé to express perfect balance combined with a bold presence.

This extended roofline highlights the elegance and sophistication of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé, while setting new standards for aesthetics in the midsize class that also have decisive practical advantages. For example, there is more headroom in the interior, not to mention added comfort. The boot volume of 480 liters is 35 liters larger than that of the two-door version for more convenience in meeting the challenges of everyday driving situations with the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé.

Dynamic and elegant concept with functional elements

When compared with a two-door coupé, the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé offers passengers easier access when entering or leaving the vehicle thanks to the four-door configuration. The doors are frameless, having the characteristic design features of BMW midsize coupés that emphasize the elegance of the vehicle concept. The functional elegance of the 4+1 seater is highlighted by prominent round instruments with a black panel look and the free-standing flat-screen iDrive monitor. The wide-access boot opening and spacious luggage area makes loading and unloading much easier. The 40:20:40 split folding backrest of the rear seat ensures added flexibility. The maximum volume of the boot is 1,300 liters and is best-in-class when it comes to the premium four-door coupés currently offered. The boot lid is equipped as standard with an automatic opening and closing mechanism for maximum convenience, and the Smart Opener feature can be ordered to open and close the lid with a movement of the foot.

Wide-ranging customizing options offered by three special equipment packages, the M Sport package and the BMW Individual program

The interior of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé represents elegance and sophistication combined with outstanding ergonomics. All controls are configured to give the driver optimal access to them. An approach known as layering – the intelligent utilization of space through the structuring of lines and surfaces into layers – expresses the hallmark BMW driver focus. Lines from the cockpit stretch along the front doors and the B column into the rear passenger compartment. They create a sense of unity encompassing the front and back seats, as do the seamless transitions formed by the interior door panels. The shape of the rear bench seat resembles the look of two individual seats, but the upholstered “console surface” between them can also accommodate a third passenger in the middle (4+1 seater). Extraordinary material combinations and unrivalled quality of workmanship define the premium ambience on board the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. The standard model variant, plus three optional equipment packages and the M Sport package, leave no wishes unfulfilled for drivers wanting a special look and feel. The BMW Individual program offered at market launch includes options for creating an exclusive vehicle with special leather interior packages, exterior colors and 19-inch light-alloy wheels.

Four and six-cylinder petrol engines, plus two four-cylinder diesel engines available at model launch

The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé offers a choice of five powerful, cultivated and efficient engines. The high-end is represented by the 435i’s six-cylinder in-line 3.0-liter petrol engine delivering 225 kW/306 hp (fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 11.4/6.2/8.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emission: 189 g/km). The BMW 428i Gran Coupé (fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 8.9/5.3/6.6 l/100 km; combined CO2 emission: 154 g/km)and the BMW 420i Gran Coupé (fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 8.7/5.1/6.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emission: 149 g/km) are equipped with light and powerful four-cylinder engines that deliver 180 kW/245 hp and 135 kW/184 hp, respectively. Like all BMW diesel variants, the two four-cylinder engines offered for the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé are known for their smoothness, torque and outstanding efficiency. The BMW 420d Gran Coupé (fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 5.8/4.1/4.7 l/100 km; combined CO2 emission: 124 g/km) delivers 135 kW/184 hp with an average fuel consumption, depending on tires, of only 4.7 to 4.9 liters per 100 kilometers (4.6 to 4.7 liters with sport automatic transmission) and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in only 7.7 seconds (7.5 seconds with sport automatic transmission). The engine in the BMW 418d Gran Coupé (fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 5.4/4.0/4.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emission: 119 g/km) has an output of 105 kW/143 hp and consumes 4.5 to 4.7 liters per 100 kilometers.

All diesel and petrol engines feature the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and comply with the EU6 emissions standard. The ultramodern engines combine impressive elasticity and dynamics with very low fuel consumption and emissions.

xDrive and two Steptronic transmissions are available

At model launch, the BMW 428i Gran Coupé and 420d Gran Coupé can be optionally equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive technology. (428i xDrive: fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 9.0/5.5/6.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emission: 159 g/km; 420d xDrive: fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 6.1/4.2/4.9 l/100 km; combined CO2 emission: 129 g/km) The standard variant of the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé features a six-speed manual transmission, but all engines can be combined with the optional eight-speed Steptronic or eight-speed sport Steptronic transmissions, which also feature manual shifting using paddles on the steering wheel.

BMW EfficientDynamics – sporty performance, low consumption

The elegant and dynamic character of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is accompanied by excellent economy and efficiency. The source of this low fuel consumption can be traced to the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy, with wide-ranging innovations for intelligent mobility. These innovations include the optimized fuel economy of the petrol and diesel engines, the lightweight construction concept and honed aerodynamics with features such as a smooth covered underbody and the use of Air Curtains and Air Breathers. Brake Energy Regeneration, the Auto Start Stop function, the gear shift indicator and ancillary components that are activated on-demand also contribute to fuel savings and reduced emissions. Automatic transmissions (Steptronic) can also reduce consumption with coasting mode, and even more is possible with ECO PRO mode.

BMW ConnectedDrive – 100 percent connectivity

The entire range of BMW ConnectedDrive options can be ordered for the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. Among the highlights are the Navigation System Professional, the full-color BMW Head-Up Display, Driving Assistant, the glare-free High Beam Assistant, Active Protection and the latest development stage of the Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. Innovative interface technology also permits easy integration of smartphones in the vehicles. This supports the use of the dynamically growing selection of apps available, for example, from Audible or Deezer, for various purposes in the vehicles.

Concept and design

The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé extends the model range of vehicles available in the premium midsize class. It combines the sleek look of a two-door coupé with the functionality provided by four-doors and expansive spaciousness, including a wide-access luggage compartment. The sporty and premium character of the BMW 4-Series is combined with intelligent functionality and refined elegance in the Gran Coupé. While this model shares the same length, width, wheelbase and track with the extremely dynamic two-door version, the roofline of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is 112 millimeter longer and slopes gently to the rear of the vehicle. What’s more, the silhouette is twelve millimeters higher to offer more headroom and comfort in the rear passenger compartment. This contributes to increased headroom on all seats and the overall feeling of interior spaciousness. At the same time, the short front and rear overhangs, the long wheelbase relative to the vehicle length, and the set-back passenger compartment are typical BMW touches that add to the perfect balance of the body design and the noble appearance of this car, which is derived from the elegant BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé.

Elegant coupé with saloon car and touring qualities

Like the two-door version, the sporty dimensions of this vehicle are a reflection of its bold and dynamic handling characteristics. The stretched roofline, four frameless doors and a wide, electrically operated boot lid offered as standard provide the functionality of a saloon car within the silhouette of a coupé. The volume of the boot is 480 liters, which is the same capacity provided by theBMW 3-Series Saloon. The back of the rear seat can be folded down in the configuration 40:20:40 as desired to increase the load capacity to 1,300 liters. The flat floor and a two-part loading strip made of stainless steel are practical convenience elements that are combined with premium materials. Thus the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé can easily transport a pram, two golf bags or six crates of bottled water without using the folding function.

In contrast to a two-door coupé, the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé offers passengers easier access when entering or leaving the vehicle thanks to the four-door configuration. The doors are frameless, having the characteristic design features of BMW midsize coupés. The wide-access boot lid harmonizes perfectly with the overall silhouette. When closed, the precise flow of the lid seams simulates the look of a typical coupé boot. The electric drives that help move the boot lid reflect perfection in detail. They are installed vertically and require very little space. Thus the area of the rear windscreen is much larger and provides a very good view, without limiting the space available.

At first glance, the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is an expression of extreme dynamics and refined elegance. With a length of 4,638 millimeters, a width of 1,825 millimeters and a wheelbase of 2,810 millimeters, the four-door variant has the same dimensions as the two-door coupé. The track dimensions of both models – 1,545 millimeters front and 1,594 millimeters rear – are identical and highlight the dynamic potential of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. The silhouette of the four-door model is twelve millimeters higher than the two-door version. The stretched roofline flows gently across both rear doors and blends into the slightly raised and short rear section of the car.

Athletic, elegant and powerful from any perspective

The BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is instantly recognizable by classic BMW design features such as the iconic kidney grille and dual round headlight clusters. The body contours are executed with precision, with multifaceted surfaces that distinguish the eye-catching look up front. Full LED dual headlights can be ordered as options to bolster the dynamic aura of the vehicle. The three-part, wide air intakes in the front apron emphasize this effect. The extreme left and right apron corners reveal vertical air channels for the so-called Air Curtains. They generate a veil of air around the front wheels thereby enhancing the aerodynamic efficiency of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé.

The sides of the vehicle are distinguished by a bold swage line and a subtle light-catching edge that create the impression of forward movement in the design of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. Stretched lines and expressively contoured surfaces generate a dynamic interplay of light and shadows. The extremely gentle slope of the roofline stretches the appearance of the sides even more and visually strengthens the imposing presence of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. The taut and smooth appearance of the side windows, with a B column finished in high-gloss black that is nearly invisible, makes a homogeneous and high-quality impression. The rear third window in the ensemble is a modern interpretation of the Hofmeister kink that is characteristic of BMW vehicles. This extended window surface allows more light into the interior and improves the overall visibility in the rear passenger compartment.

The rear of the car features clear horizontal lines that accentuate its athletic elegance. The taillights are positioned at the outer edges to receive the swage lines, thus serving as transitional design elements that join the body side panels with the rear section of the automobile. At the same time, they highlight the wide track and powerfully flared wheel arches. When viewed from the rear, the roof of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is somewhat wider than that of the two-door version and thus emphasizes the noble road presence of this premium vehicle.

Stylish elegance and sportiness dominate in the interior

The interior of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé presents a stylish fusion of sporty allure and exclusivity. An approach known as layering – the intelligent utilization of space through the structuring of lines and surfaces into layers – expresses the hallmark BMW driver orientation without compromising the passenger experience. The stylish and functional elegance of the interior is highlighted by prominent round instruments with a black panel look and the free-standing flat-screen iDrive monitor. The cockpit and rear passenger compartment are visually joined by trim strips originating in the instrument panel and extending along the upper sections of the door panels into the rear, and embellished by dual-color window sills. The B column blends into the side panel design and includes flowing graphic effects across the entire surface. The side supports and slender head restraints in the rear seat are contoured for a modern, seemingly molded one-piece look that adds to the sporty character of the 4+1 seater.

The backrest can be folded in 40:20:40 configurations to create more luggage and stowage space as required – with a flat floor for easy loading and unloading. When the seat is completely folded down, the maximum volume capacity is 1,300 liters. If only the center segment is utilized, four people can ride comfortably while transporting long and bulky items like snowboards, skis, etc. When not folded down, this middle section provides space for two cup holders. An optional feature is the Smart Opener, which automatically opens the boot lid via gesture control – namely a foot movement underneath the rear bumper when arms are full carrying groceries, packages, etc.

Exclusive: three equipment packages, the BMW Individual program and the BMW M Sport package

The premium ambience of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé results from exclusive colors, high-quality and rich material combinations along with special equipment packages for a customized look. In addition to the standard equipment, which highlights the classic character of the vehicle, three equipment “lines” as well as the exclusive BMW Individual program and the M Sport package are available. These optional packages endow each BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé with a particular character and identity by embellishing the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Modern, Sport and Luxury lines offer various renditions of the following elements in contrast to the basic standard equipment: appearance and color of the kidney grille and air intakes, Air Breathers and mirror covers, side window design, front and rear apron trim, door sill finishers, side emblems and an interior center stack finished in high-gloss black.

For an extraordinary appearance, the BMW Individual program offers fine leather for the interior and instrument panel, exclusive wood trims and special door sill finishers. Four special exterior colors, in addition to the Individual program features, as well as 19-inch light-alloy wheels complete the list of options in this package.

To make the strongest dynamic statement, the M Sport package is also available at model launch with special body elements, exterior colors, light-alloy wheels, and interior variants in both cloth and leather.

Sport Line

In this optional equipment line, special body elements are highlighted in black. The subtle B column and the nine slats in the chrome-colored kidney grille have a high-gloss black finish, whereas the side window elements are finished in matt black. The air intakes in the front spoiler and the Air Breathers in high-gloss black draw attention to the aerodynamic elements of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. The sporty look is enhanced even more with 18-inch or 19-inch light-alloy wheels with a dynamic double-spoke design. The rear is also distinguished by dark elements. A black trim strip and a tailpipe embellisher finished in black chrome stand for sporty dynamics. The interior, by contrast, expresses sporty flair with red accents. For example, the inner rings of the dash instruments and contrast stitching on the steering wheel are red. This character can be highlighted even further in the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé with additional options such as Coral Red leather sport seats, red exterior mirror covers and a red instrument cluster.

Luxury Line

Bright chrome that highlights subtle accents contributes to the exceptionally elegant character of the vehicle. The 11 grille slats with chrome-colored fronts and the bright dual crossbar in the front apron’s air intakes are very classy touches. The Air Breathers and high-gloss chrome window details add to the appealing look. Light-alloy wheels – 18-inch or 19-inch – with an intricate multi-spoke design reflect pure extravagance. From the rear, the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé can be identified by the tailpipe, horizontal trim strip in the rear apron and the Luxury Line emblem all finished in high-gloss chrome.

Chrome accents also harmonize with the luxurious interior. The enclosure surrounding the audio system and air conditioning controls, as well as the circular rings highlighting the instrumentation, are eye-catching touches. Premium leather, finely crafted with precise stitching, with a choice of two upholstery variants in four classic and elegant colors such as Saddle Brown, underline the exclusivity of the Luxury Line.

Modern Line

High-quality, satin-finished aluminum exterior trim elements define the contemporary aesthetics of the Modern Line. The 11 slats in the kidney grille, the edges of the outer air intakes in the front apron, the window trim, the Air Breathers and the horizontal trim line at the rear are composed of satin-finished aluminum that stands for understated, harmonious elegance. The modern body style is complemented by optional 18-inch or 19-inch light-alloy wheels having a turbine-like appearance. The light-colored dashboard coupled with a steering wheel in Dark Oyster creates a very special feeling of luxurious space. Contrasting materials, with leather upholstery or cloth combined with leather accents in Oyster or Black, and a choice of four trim surfaces with accent strips in Pearl Gloss Chrome, add to the appeal of the interior.

BMW Individual program

At model launch, the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé can be delivered with fine leather interiors, exquisite wood trims and a choice of wheels that address the exclusive tastes of every owner.

Upholstery options in seven colors for seating and the dash, with special contrasting stitching, are offered in this equipment package along with a leather steering wheel in Merino Black and special door sill finishers with “Individual” lettering. The Individual program also includes four exclusive exterior finishes and 19-inch light-alloy wheels that enhance the vehicle from all angles.

M Sport package

The technology, functions and extraordinary driving dynamics that distinguish every BMW automobile are also evident in the DNA of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. Of course, these can be augmented with the M Sport package which is available at model launch. This equipment package is comprised of elements that emphasize street performance – for example, aerodynamic features like the large air intake up front, the diffuser insert in the rear bumper and rocker panel trim matching the color of the vehicle. The characteristic M styling of the 18-inch and 19-inch light-alloy wheels adds to the bold impression. Six exterior colors are offered in the M Sport package, including Carbon Black Metallic and Estoril Blue Metallic, which are exclusive choices for this package of options.

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 dynamic-looking and elegant sport seats upholstered with a Hexagon/Alcantara combination with M piping and Royal Blue contrast stitching. Full leather upholstery can be ordered for even more interior refinement.

Technical features of this package include M Sport suspension and the optional M Sport brakes in contrasting blue paint finish.

Powertrain

The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé offers a choice of five powerful, cultivated and efficient engines. All diesel and petrol engines feature the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and comply with the EU6 emissions standard. The range includes the high-end engine ‒ the six-cylinder petrol engine in the BMW 435i Gran Coupé ‒ as well as two light and powerful four-cylinder power plants in the BMW 428i Gran Coupé and in the BMW 420i Gran Coupé. In addition to these petrol engines, diesel engines with two liters of displacement are offered for the BMW 418d Gran Coupé and the BMW 420d Gran Coupé. Both of these diesel engines are remarkably dynamic, powerful and efficient when it comes to fuel consumption.

The power from the engines is delivered to the rear wheels via the precision six-speed manual transmission as standard. BMW also offers all engine variants with an eight-speed Steptronic or an eight-speed sport Steptronic transmission as options. All transmissions feature the Auto Start Stop function.

At model launch, the BMW 428i Gran Coupé and 420d Gran Coupé can be optionally equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive technology.

Petrol engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology

The performance and torque delivered by ultramodern BMW petrol engines is due in large part to TwinPower Turbo technology. This technology includes innovative solutions such as high-precision direct injection, a turbocharger operating according to the Twin-Scroll principle, double VANOS variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve control. The low-friction engines are also equipped with an aluminum crankcase. This technology package is unrivalled worldwide and combines high performance with utmost efficiency.

BMW 435i Gran Coupé: six-cylinder petrol engine with bold performance, powerful torque and silken smoothness

The large-displacement, six-cylinder engine in the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé delivers cultivated power with high-revving characteristics and extraordinary smoothness. The 3.0-liter power plant delivers 225 kW/306 hp between 5,800 rpm and 6,000 rpm, thus contributing to the sovereign dynamics of the new Gran Coupé. Peak torque of 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) is generated as low down as 1,200 rpm and remains on tap up to 5,000 rpm. The new BMW 435i Gran Coupé sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The six-cylinder unit belies its impressive performance with extremely low fuel consumption and emissions figures. Average fuel consumption is between 8.1 and 8.3 liters per 100 kilometers, and CO2 emissions range from 189 to 193 grams per kilometer (ECE test cycle, depending on the tire format specified). In conjunction with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, the new BMW 435i Gran Coupé is very thrifty: The combined fuel consumption is just 7.5 – 7.6 liters per 100 kilometers, while CO2 emissions are pinned to between 174 and 178 grams per kilometer. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes 5.2 seconds.

BMW 428i Gran Coupé: four cylinders and the ideal balance between sportiness and efficiency

Superior performance, spirited power development, high-revving characteristics and low weight: These are the qualities of the innovative four-cylinder petrol engine in the BMW 428i Gran Coupé that ensure a perfect balance between dynamic performance and efficiency. The BMW TwinPower Turbo engine combines high-revving characteristics and high-performance output with low fuel consumption and reduced emissions. The 2.0-liter engine delivers a maximum power output of 180 kW/245 hp, which is reached between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm. Peak torque of 350 Nm (approx. 258 lb-ft) is generated between 1,250 rpm and 4,800 rpm. The new BMW 428i Gran Coupé sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.1 (6.1) seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Average fuel consumption is between 6.6 and 6.7 liters per 100 kilometers, and CO2 emissions range from 154 to 156 grams per kilometer (ECE test cycle, depending on the tire format specified). When equipped with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, the BMW 428i Gran Coupé is even more frugal, consuming only 6.3 to 6.4 liters per 100 kilometers at CO2 emission levels of 147 to 149 grams.

BMW 420i Gran Coupé: standard petrol engine with high performance and low consumption

Like the BMW 428i, the engine in the BMW 420i Gran Coupé is a low-friction 2.0-liter power plant. This four-cylinder petrol engine generates maximum output of 135 kW/184 hp at 5,000 rpm and peak torque of 270 Nm (approx. 199 lb-ft) at 1,250 rpm. Thus the new BMW 420i Gran Coupé sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.5 (7.6) seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 236 km/h (approx. 146 mph). Average fuel consumption is between 6.4 and 6.6 liters per 100 kilometers, and CO2 emissions range from 149 to 153 grams per kilometer (ECE test cycle, depending on the tire format specified) – even better results are achieved with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission: 6.1 to 6.3 liters per 100 kilometers and 142 to 146 grams per kilometer.

Diesel engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology

All the diesel engines available for the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé feature ultramodern BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The latest-generation common rail direct injection technology, turbochargers with variable turbine geometry, precise solenoid valve injectors and an aluminum crankcase ensure impressive punch and smoothness, combined with outstanding efficiency. In their design and quality, these BMW diesel engines set the latest standards in engine technology and development.

BMW 420d Gran Coupé: four-cylinder diesel with high output and smooth performance

The new BMW 420d Grand Coupé with the latest-generation four-cylinder diesel engine is impressive with its imposing torque, exceptional smoothness and outstanding efficiency. With maximum output of 135 kW/184 hp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque reaching 380 Nm (approx. 280 lb-ft) between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm, the new BMW 420d Gran Coupé displays an extremely dynamic turn of pace. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 7.7 seconds (automatic transmission: 7.5 seconds), and the top speed of this agile diesel engine is clocked at 236 km/h (approx. 146 mph). Combined fuel consumption (ECE test cycle) of between 4.7 and 4.9 liters per 100 kilometers and CO2 emissions of 124 – 128 grams per kilometer represent the compelling economy delivered by the BMW 420d Gran Coupé. The optional eight-speed Steptronic transmission adds more comfort and convenience and reduces consumption even further: 4.6 to 4.7 liters per 100 kilometers and CO2 emissions of 121 – 124 grams per kilometer.

BMW 418d Gran Coupé: a diesel that is agile and very economical

High performance and torque characterize this basic standard diesel, which shares the same design with the 2.0-liter engine that powers the BMW 420d. In the BMW 418d Gran Coupé, this diesel engine generates maximum output of 105 kW/143 hp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 320 Nm (approx. 263 lb-ft) between 1,750 rpm and 2,500 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 9.2 seconds (automatic transmission: 9.1 seconds), and even with a top speed of 213 km/h (approx. 132 mph) the BMW 418d Gran Coupé is very thrifty when it comes to fuel – equipped with manual or automatic (Steptronic) transmissions, the engine consumes an average of 4.5 to 4.7 liters per 100 kilometers (depending on tire format). The corresponding CO2 emissions are between 119 and 124 grams per kilometer.

BMW xDrive: intelligent all-wheel drive for two engine variants

At model launch, the BMW 428i Gran Coupé and 420d Gran Coupé can be optionally equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive technology as an alternative to classic rear-wheel drive. In addition to the typical all-wheel drive benefits, such as optimal transmission of engine power to the road, outstanding traction and maximum safety, BMW xDrive reduces understeering and oversteering in curves and thus contributes to agile and precision handling, especially when entering into and accelerating out of curves. The all-wheel system even compensates for sudden load shifts with ease – drivers will immediately feel the dynamic qualities of the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé.

New engine variants in summer 2014: BMW 435d xDrive Gran Coupé, BMW 430d Gran Coupé and more BMW xDrive options

For 2014, BMW is extending its range of engines for the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé by adding two powerful diesels to the lineup. The top diesel variant is the six-cylinder engine in the BMW 435d xDrive Gran Coupé, delivering 230 kW/313 hp and maximum torque of 630 Nm (approx. 465 lb-ft). The eight-speed Steptronic transmission and intelligent xDrive all-wheel drive are standard equipment on this model and are ideally suited for harnessing the performance and enormous power output of this engine to ensure smooth and comfortable mobility. The six-cylinder engine in the BMW 430d Gran Coupé has an output of 190 kW/258 hp and develops a maximum torque of 560 Nm (approx. 413 lb-ft). Here, too, gear changes are the work of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. BMW xDrive all-wheel drive can be ordered as an option. In the summer of 2014, this will also apply to the BMW 435i Gran Coupé and 420i Gran Coupé.

Six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment

The six-speed manual transmission easily handles sporty driving styles as well as relaxed cruising. Smooth and precise shifting, along with optimal gear ratios, is typical of BMW automobiles and adds to the joy of driving the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. What’s more, the low-friction design of the transmission reduces fuel consumption.

Eight-speed Steptronic or eight-speed sport Steptronic as options

Fast gear changes and outstanding shift comfort are qualities delivered by the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. Extra shift phases keep increases in rpm small between gear changes, and that contributes to optimal transmission of engine power in every driving situation. Numerous technological innovations and a remarkably high degree of internal efficiency ensure that fuel consumption and emissions do not rise, even in comparison with a manual transmission. In combination with petrol engines, these eight-speed Steptronic transmissions reduce emissions even more. The intelligent management and control technology also results in extremely short shifting and response times, along with direct gear engagement.

Also available for the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is the eight-speed sport Steptronic transmission for even more dynamic performance. This optional transmission is aimed at drivers who prefer a sporty, “hands-on” experience – they can rely on automatic shifting or manually change gears themselves by using shift paddles on the steering wheel. Normal Mode and Sport Mode are selected with the Driving Experience Control on the center console.

Driving dynamics / BMW EfficientDynamics

The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé owes a perfect balance between supreme driving dynamics and outstanding comfort first and foremost to its finely tuned suspension technology. Moreover, a weight-optimized and exceptionally stiff body structure ensures that the new four-door model variant also fulfils the highest demands in terms of precision and agility, hence offering a brand-typical, active driving experience.

Elaborate suspension technology for the highest degree of comfort, typical BMW handling characteristics, steering and driving precision

Rear-wheel drive, steering free from drivetrain influences and well-balanced 50:50 axle load distribution create the ideal preconditions for dynamic performance, excellent directional stability and agile handling characteristics. A low center of gravity, a meticulously tuned suspension setup and an intelligent lightweight construction concept result in a first-class overall package that combines seemingly contradictory qualities such as maximum dynamics and outstanding riding comfort in a unique way.

The BMW 4-Series Coupé provides the basis for sporting performance

The suspension of the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is modeled on that of the two-door model variant and has the corresponding dimensions. The wheelbase measures 2,810 millimeters, the track width 1,545 millimeters at the front and 1,594 millimeters at the rear (418d: 1,557/1,605 millimeters front/rear; xDrive variants 1,544/1,590 millimeters front/rear). Whilst the axle and elasto kinematics correspond to that of the BMW 4-Series Coupé, suspension and damping were aligned exclusively to the four-door version.

Lastly, specific car body reinforcement measures and an innovative strut concept within the front and rear sections of the vehicle help to enhance steering precision and response. Nevertheless, the four-door coupé is only marginally heavier than the two-door variant and even lighter than its competitors. Consequently, the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is characterized by supreme driving dynamics, agile handling characteristics and a high level of precision. Notwithstanding this, riding comfort does not suffer in any way, so the dynamic four-door car presents itself as a vehicle that is completely suitable for everyday use.

Aluminum double-joint spring-strut axle at the front

The front axle of the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé is based on the tried and tested double-joint spring-strut aluminum construction, which combines maximum stiffness with minimum weight and significantly reduces unsprung masses. Furthermore, a torsion bar located between the front axle support and the sill creates an overall stiffer connection between the front wheels and the vehicle. Models with BMW xDrive all-wheel drive technology feature a special combination comprising a load-bearing strut and transverse brace. Moreover, a further strut connecting the suspension domes and the bulkhead significantly enhances the stiffness of the front end. Therefore, the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé responds very directly to the driver’s steering inputs, resulting in sporty and agile handling and allowing the car to corner effortlessly and with the highest degree of precision.

All-rounder: five-arm rear axle for comfort and active driving

The rear axle of the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé plays a critical role in boosting the car’s dynamic ability and motoring comfort. The proven five-arm concept, extra-wide mounts and supports on the wheel carriers for track and camber, slightly repositioned pivot points, ultra-stiff control arms and axle subframes, and the use of thrust arms to connect the suspension with the body all provide an excellent basis for an extremely sporty overall set-up combined with excellent comfort characteristics. On models with a sunroof, additional torsion bars ensure increased body stiffness at the rear. As a result, the rear axle guarantees precise wheel guidance, maximum directional stability and exemplary comfort characteristics.

Servotronic as standard, variable sports steering as an option

The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé features as standard EPS Electric Power Steering including a Servotronic function. The system provides speed-sensitive power assistance and the clearly defined mapping results in sharper steering feel and feedback. The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé can be equipped with variable sports steering as an option. This uses different steering ratios depending on the amount of lock applied. Only a small amount of steering effort is required for maneuvering, for example, while unbeatable tracking and straightline stability at high speeds are guaranteed.

High-performance and lightweight brake system

The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé comes equipped with powerful swing-caliper or fixed-caliper brakes and large, inner-vented brake discs. The calipers on the front axle are made of aluminum. As well as boasting low unsprung masses, the brakes also stand out with their superior heat tolerance, excellent wet braking performance, ease of use and excellent feel. A brake pad wear indicator and the Brake Drying function are standard on all models.

Intelligent lightweight construction: reduced weight, maximum stability

The weight optimization of all components significantly influences the dynamic performance of the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. Intelligent lightweight design, a complex bodywork construction and the innovative strut concept all provide a level of body stiffness that is on par with that of the two-door model variant. This is why the four-door Gran Coupé impresses with unmatched levels of agility and precision. The use of high-strength and extra-high-strength multi-phase steel as well as tailored blanks – customized precision components for specific applications – maximizes the degree of stability at an optimized weight. Crucial, stiffness-enhancing components are made of micro-alloyed steel. As a result, the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé features an extremely torsion resistant body that matches that of the two-door model variant.

Aerodynamics: clever detail solutions for reducing consumption

The reduction of air resistance enhances driving dynamics and reduces consumption. Optimization measures on the front apron and at the rear as well as the streamlined, smooth-surfaced underbody help the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé achieve a remarkable aerodynamic drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.274. For example, the BMW Air Curtains in the front apron generate a veil of air that reduces turbulence – and therefore drag – around the front wheels. In order to further optimize driving dynamics, the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé features aerodynamically designed wheel arches and air lips positioned in front of them. The Air Breathers positioned rearwards of the front wheel arches divert some of the air flowing through the wheel arches, thereby reducing air resistance.

Adaptive suspension, M Sport suspension and M Sport brakes

An M Sport suspension with a firmer spring/damper set-up and more robust stabilizers for the front and rear axles is available as an option for the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé, and can also be ordered separately from the M Sport package. 18-inch or 19-inch M light alloys are also included in this particular case. Alternatively, customers may prefer to specify adaptive suspension – with its focused sporting set-up and electronically controlled dampers – which adjusts the damper mapping to the road surface and driving situation at hand. Moreover, BMW offers an extra-light M Sport brake system for the new Gran Coupé. The team of aluminum fixed calipers (four-piston at the front, two-piston at the rear) and generously sized discs provide ideal preconditions for very short stopping distances.

Sportier, more comfortable or more efficient at the push of a button

In addition to superior driving dynamics, the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé convinces with a high level of motoring comfort. Using the ECO PRO mode, the driver can change the vehicle’s overall characteristic according to each driving situation or personal preference to either a sporty or comfortable setting. Accelerator pedal progression, engine response, power steering characteristics and response thresholds of DSC Dynamic Stability Control are influenced by this. The system also interacts with the Steptronic transmission and the optional Dynamic Damper Control. Drivers can select their desired mode – ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT or even SPORT+ when they opted for at least one of the following options: 8-speed sport Steptronic transmission, M Sport package, Sport Line, adaptive M suspension or variable sports steering. Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and suspension components.

BMW EfficientDynamics: better performance, better fuel economy

Impressive performance coupled with exemplary efficiency is based on the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy, the results of which are implemented in almost all areas on the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. The optimized fuel economy of the petrol and diesel engines, transmissions delivering a high level of efficiency, the intelligent lightweight construction concept, honed aerodynamics and other efficiency-enhancing technologies incorporated into the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé all help to optimize driving dynamics, whilst at the same time reducing consumption and emissions.

Package of measures to consistently reduce emissions and increase the pleasure of driving

The new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé features as standard an Auto Start Stop function to bring about additional economy advantages. Brake Energy Regeneration, which is also a standard feature, ensures that the generation of electric current for the onboard electrical systems concentrates on the overrun and braking phases. ECO PRO mode in particular helps the driver of the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé to achieve the best possible fuel efficiency. ECO PRO influences the engine control unit and the characteristic curve of the accelerator pedal. In addition, it contributes to intelligent energy and climate management. The driver is also provided with tips on how to reduce energy consumption even further for the best possible motoring efficiency.

In conjunction with the Steptronic transmission, the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé also features a coasting mode. At speeds of between 50 and 160 km/h (31 and 99 mph), in ECO PRO mode, the drivetrain is disconnected as soon as the driver lifts his/her foot from the accelerator pedal. As a result, the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé vehicle is able to ‘sail’ without engine power, thereby also achieving maximum fuel efficiency. In conjunction with the optional Navigation System Professional, the driver is supported, if desired, by the anticipation assistant. This system provides timely information on the road ahead at an early stage and takes into account speed limits, bends in the road, built up areas and roundabouts. On the basis of this data, the system can give the driver tips on fuel-efficient driving and adjust the shift program of the automatic transmission accordingly.

The ancillary units are also incorporated into the intelligent energy management system of the new BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé. Examples include the demand-controlled coolant pump, the map-controlled oil pump as well as electromechanical power steering, whose electric motor only uses energy when power steering is required. The same is true for the disengageable air-conditioning compressor which reduces the system’s power loss to a minimum.

Intelligent lightweight construction reduces consumption and CO2 emissions

Systematic lightweight construction plays a major part in increasing efficiency and agility. This concept is applied in all areas of development and comprises all components. The targeted utilization of plastics, state-of-the-art composites and the increased deployment of aluminum components in the manufacture of engines and suspensions have helped reduce the weight of the corresponding assembly groups. All these measures have a very positive effect on the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé’s driving dynamics.

BMW ConnectedDrive

The networking of driver, vehicle and the outside world with new assistance systems and information and entertainment features is increasingly enhancing safety and comfort within the vehicle. BMW was early in recognizing the significance of networking and began integrating the digital world in its cars many years ago. The BMW ConnectedDrive systems offered in the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé either as standard or as an optional extra underline the technological leadership. The extraordinarily high level of development in mobile automotive communication is reflected in the fact that even after purchasing a BMW, customers can, for a limited period of time, flexibly order and subscribe to a wide range of technologies and services.

Navigation System Professional: operation with touch controller

The latest generation of the Navigation System Professional has a significantly greater breadth of functionality and a high-resolution, contrast-rich, color display. The graphics of the previous user interface have been completely revised and the navigation system’s maps now have 3D elements. The central Control Display is operated in the familiar way using the ergonomically perfectly positioned iDrive touch controller in the center console, which now has an integral new, touch-sensitive surface and proximity sensor technology for even more convenient use. Users can use their finger to write characters or to enter destinations in the navigation system. They can now choose between using their handwriting or conventionally entering the destinations by rotating and pressing the controller.

Head-Up Display: full-color, high-resolution

In the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé, all information relevant to the driver is presented by the Head-Up Display directly in the driver’s line of vision. The information from the assistance systems, the navigation system or information pertaining to speed is projected onto the windscreen in a particularly brilliant resolution using the full color spectrum. The wide variety of driver assistance systems now available brings the amount of information that can be shown in the Head-Up Display to a whole new level.

Real Time Traffic Information: the smart way to avoid congestion

The quality of traffic management depends on the quality and currentness of traffic data available. The optional RTTI (Real Time Traffic Information) system from BMW transmits data fast and accurately via the mobile phone network. A SIM card integrated in the vehicle receives traffic data in real time and then calculates routes or detours instantly. RTTI covers motorways and dual carriageways, as well as country roads and main and side roads in urban areas. Data is additionally obtained from local authority traffic management systems to provide precise information on traffic density.

Driving Assistant warns the driver of potential collisions – including those involving pedestrians

The Driving Assistant Plus uses intelligently networked camera-based assistant systems and image processing to detect any people or vehicles within its field of vision. The movements of pedestrians are difficult to anticipate – they stop or suddenly change direction. Therefore, they impose much higher demands on the detection capabilities of assistant systems than vehicles driving ahead. When the system recognizes a looming risk of collision, it produces an acute audible warning and a visual signal appears in the instrument cluster or the Head-Up Display to alert the driver that he or she is drawing too close. The system ideally avoids a collision or, should the worst come to the worst, significantly reduces the consequences of an impact.

Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function: a system of many talents

More active safety and more comfort are provided by the latest version of BMW’s Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function (ACC Stop&Go). It uses the data provided by the full-range radar sensors, continuously measures the proximity of the vehicle ahead and warns the BMW driver if necessary. Active Cruise Control with automatic distance control is now available at speeds between 30 km/h and 210 km/h (approx. 18 and 130 mph).

Lane Change and Lane Departure Warning systems use sensors and camera monitoring

Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning are convenience and safety-enhancing assistance systems. These systems employ radar sensors and use the data from the front camera to alert drivers to potential collision risks when changing lanes or if they veer out of lane unintentionally and also issue a warning when driving too close to the vehicle ahead. The Lane Departure Warning system is only available as part of the Driving Assistant option.

Speed Limit Info: always up to date

In conjunction with the Navigation System Professional and the Navigation System Business, Speed Limit Info helps to keep the driver informed of the speed limit for the current stretch of road. The front-mounted camera ensures that additional signs or variable overhead gantry signs are taken into account. In addition, the system is able to reliably identify and react to temporary speed limits. When the window wipers are active, the system also detects signs that are valid in wet conditions only. In conjunction with the exact onboard time, speed limits are presented which are only in force at certain times of day or night.

Improved sight at night: full LED headlights with glare-free High Beam Assistant

The bright white light emitted by full LED headlights illuminates the road ahead with an exceptional intensity. With high beam activated, the High Beam Assistant partially masks the headlights as required in order to eliminate the danger of dazzling vehicles as they approach. The High Beam Assistant can also adapt to the traffic situation by switching to low beam on one or both sides. In conjunction with the front camera, the system reliably detects well lit stretches of road and switches to low beam when passing through cities, for example. The LED headlights with glare-free High Beam Assistant significantly increase the usage of high beam and therefore provide for better sight and increased safety when driving at night. When full LED headlights are fitted, the optional fog lights are also implemented in LED technology, which further accentuates the premium character of the car’s features and equipment.

Superb overview and convenient parking

In addition to the rear view camera and PDC Park Distance Control, customers can also opt for the Surround View function with Side View and TopView, which provides a bird’s eye view of the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé and the area around it, enabling the driver to carry out precise maneuvers in tight spaces. If the car is moving at under 20 km/h (approx. 12 mph), the Side View function can additionally be activated to allow the driver to keep an eye on cross traffic. Convenience is further enhanced by the BMW Parking Assistant system which is able to maneuver the car into parking spaces parallel to the direction of travel. Ultrasound sensors detect possible parking spaces while driving by and the system perfectly maneuvers the car into the parking spot if desired. All the driver has to do is to change between the forward and reverse gear, use the accelerator and the brake pedal, respectively. This way he or she can fully focus on the parking process.

Active Protection: increased safety in all situations

The Active Protection safety package with extended protection measures and the Emergency Call function with automatic vehicle location help to mitigate the consequences of an accident, should the worst come to the worst. Active Protection is activated shortly after the journey begins, ready to pull the driver and front passenger belts tight and close the side windows if the car enters a critical pre-crash scenario. If the system detects an impending collision and senses that a crash is unavoidable, the car will be decelerated automatically and held at a standstill with its brakes locked. This significantly reduces the likelihood of – or entirely forestalls – a second collision. The Active Protection safety package is now even more extensive thanks to the addition of the Attentiveness Assistant. The system’s electronics analyze driving behavior on the basis of various onboard signals. If the system detects an increased frequency in the tell-tale signs of fatigue build-up, the Control Display prompts the driver to take a break by displaying a coffee cup symbol.

Services and apps: innovative services and infotainment in its purest form

Due to the ever-increasing popularity of smartphones and other digital devices, Internet, apps and digital services have been an integral of everyday life for some time now. BMW ConnectedDrive offers high-performance interface technology and provides top-of-the-range infotainment and entertainment capability that enables the driver and passengers to make extensive use of external mobile phones and music players. Through the optional ConnectedDrive Services, the world of apps can be integrated into the vehicle. Browser-based BMW online applications are loaded directly into the vehicle via an embedded onboard SIM card. These applications put at the driver’s disposal online services such as weather, news or office functions. Smartphone apps allow in-car use of innovative services like Audible, Aupeo!, Deezer, Twitter or Facebook.

The latest-generation Navigation System Professional features a full speech recognition function and an optimized voice control system to complete the portfolio of office functions offered by BMW ConnectedDrive. The full speech recognition system enables drivers to dictate text freely and compose short text-based messages by voice. In addition, Internet-based services, as well as calendar entries and text-based messages, can still be viewed in the Control Display of the iDrive operating system and read out via the Text to Speech function.

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, BMW, Industry News, 20..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 18:16

Borrowing heavily from the Ford Explorer, the new Disco concept is a mass of softened edges, and fuel economy boosting curves. With a C-pillar that vaguely resembles the 1st generation Mercedes M-Class, Land Rover is playing quite conservative and while a rounded Discovery is a nascent concept, the design language shown here is an evolution of what we have already seen on the newer Range Rover.

Click here for more news on the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept

The concept is not smoke and mirrors, and not only is Land Rover experimenting with an invisible hood, but they are also experimenting with semi-autonomous remote control of the car. Though the system is limited to very low speeds, the intent is to allow the operator to hook trailers up in an easier fashion and to negotiate off road challenges that require external spotting.

For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton


2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech

Land Rover revealed its Discovery Vision Concept SUV in New York. It is a vision of Land Rover’s future family of Discovery vehicles, the first model of which is due in 2015. The concept car previews dynamic new design language and an array of innovative versatility and capability features, while also showcasing pioneering technologies from Jaguar Land Rover’s advanced research division.

The Discovery Vision Concept was unveiled alongside a scale model of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft at a spectacular event aboard the USS Intrepid – a sea, air and space experience centre – in Manhattan, a day ahead of the opening of the New York Auto Show 2014.

With the Discovery poised to transition from a single model to a new family of vehicles which will redefine the leisure SUV category, the Discovery Vision Concept offers an exciting preview of Land Rover’s vision for the range, and the modern, premium design language of future models.

Phil Popham, Group Marketing Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March that the Discovery family is set to evolve. And it is apt that in the 25th anniversary year of the original Discovery that we preview how this evolution will take us forward into a daring new era. The Discovery Vision Concept gives us the first stunning glimpse into this hugely exciting future.”

Designed for the future

The Discovery Vision Concept alludes to its unique lineage with design elements such as the stepped roof and alpine lights. Far greater attention than ever before has been given to creating relevant versatility combined with compelling design. This is a radical and sharply focused approach to embodying Land Rover’s vision of the ultimate leisure SUV.

Gerry McGovern, Design Director and Chief Creative Officer, Land Rover, said: “The Discovery Concept vehicle represents a Vision of our future family of leisure SUVs. Its modern, relevant and compelling design is a significant shift from Discovery as we know it, while well considered practicality, configurability and Land Rover’s capability seamlessly blend to create a highly desirable vehicle that connects on an emotional level.”

The advanced interior is both spacious and versatile with a whole array of innovative features; this multi-lifestyle versatility is epitomized by highly reconfigurable seating.

By folding the seats flat or sliding them forward or back, via the touchscreen menu, the vehicle can be converted from its standard seven-seat layout to a six-seat, five-seat or even a four-seat ‘limousine’ mode. Detachable, carry-away stroller-style luggage is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle doors, while accessories cleverly integrated into the seatbacks offer high levels of convenience to the passengers seated behind.

A versatile evolution of the Discovery’s tailgate incorporates a powered, single-piece design; in conjunction with a deployable rear sill step and a folding bench seat in the loading area, it creates a flexible event platform with social seating for active lifestyles. On its own, the sill step can also be fitted with a bike/ski rack.

The theme of versatility continues with the materials used in the Discovery Vision Concept interior. The cabin is finished in two innovative types of washable and water- and oil-repellent Foglizzo premium leather that can be cleaned in seconds. Wood veneer on the floors and instrument panel and bespoke accessories lined in Harris Tweed help to create a warm, uniquely British feeling of quality and craftsmanship.

Pushing the boundaries through technology

The Discovery Vision Concept offers a window into the advanced research projects which are underway at Jaguar Land Rover. They illustrate how future Land Rovers could evolve, and the direction of development of technology geared towards the needs of the customers of the future. These include:

  • Next-generation Human-Machine Interface (HMI) technology creates a rich and truly immersive multimedia experience for all occupants, including video calls between passengers through the seatback infotainment screens, Smart Glass bringing the power of augmented reality to the entire glasshouse, and various functions, including the doors, indicators, headlamps and seatback screens, operated by Gesture Control.
  • Remote Control Drive enables the driver to manoeuvre the car at very low speed while not actually seated inside it. Remote Control Drive has various useful applications both on- and off-road, from coupling a trailer, to external spotting during extreme off-roading.
  • Visibility is greatly enhanced in all conditions with the powerful, day-like light of the laser headlamps, which feature intelligent object tracking and beam-dipping to improve driver safety.
  • Navigating tight gaps is made easy with the visual assistance of Laser Referencing, which utilises visible lasers to project markings, symbols and imagery onto ground surfaces.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The Discovery Vision Concept demonstrates where Jaguar Land Rover’s pioneering technology and great, modern design could take the SUV in future. It showcases the innovative approach that continues our leadership of the off-road segment. Smarter, more connected, more desirable and more capable – the Land Rovers of tomorrow will be fully and perfectly integrated into everyday life.”

No terrain left unconquered

Advanced technologies under development make their debut on the Discovery Vision Concept, taking SUV capability to the next level. Land Rover’s vision of next-generation Terrain Response is a system that can proactively utilise a variety of intelligent HMI and capability technologies, giving the driver the confidence to tackle virtually any terrain with ease.

The innovative Transparent Bonnet head-up display system offers an unimpeded view of the ground immediately ahead, greatly enhancing driver ability and confidence. Cameras fitted below the grille are paired with the Head-Up Display integrated into the windscreen. While traversing challenging terrain, the imagery can be projected onto the windscreen, so that it appears as if the vehicle’s bonnet is, in effect, transparent.

Laser Terrain Scanning utilises infrared lasers emitted from the front fog-lamps to continuously scan the terrain being traversed, and renders a contour map on the high-definition instrument cluster display. This mapping can be paired with the All-Terrain Coach guidance system to chart out a path and assist the driver in navigating it.

Lasers are also used by the next-generation Wade Aid sensory system to measure the depth of water even before the car enters it, and inform the driver of the feasibility of the intended wading manoeuvre.

All-Terrain Progress Control enables semi-autonomous off-road driving at a steady speed across varying terrain.

Altogether, these technologies ensure that the Discovery Vision Concept not only honours Land Rover’s ethos of all-terrain capability, but takes it to a whole new dimension.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As a true pioneer, Land Rover is committed to constantly pushing the boundaries to redefine what SUV capability and versatility is all about. The Discovery Vision Concept shows the breadth of innovative, intelligent technologies being developed in order to offer our future customers unprecedented capability across any kind of terrain

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, Industry News, Land Ro..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 18:05

20% stiffer than the fixed-head previous generation C6 Z06, the convertible version of America’s sports car is no longer just designed to draw 11s on the pavement, bite you if you don’t drive it on the track, and fold in half under the twist found in the 625 bhp and 635 ft-lbs from the car’s 6.2 liter supercharged LT4 V8, which can be hooked up to an 8-speed automatic or a 7 speed manual with automatic rev matching.

Though the power may be straightforward, the strengthening and weight savings may not be. The body is a beautiful hodge podge of carbon fiber and sheetmetal. The frame is aluminum, and somehow GM saves weight even though there is lots of sound deadening and a glass backlight for the convertible top. At the moment, there are no plans for a ZR1 or other OEM power upgrades; on the handling and appearance end, a Z07 package is available, which includes Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, and adjustable front and rear aerodynamics. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton


2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech

“The most impressive aspect of the Z06 Convertible may be its performance bandwidth,” said Juechter. “Very few cars on the market can match its combination of extreme, supercar levels of performance; the flexibility for daily driving and long-distance commuting; and the 360-degree, open-air driving experience only true convertibles can offer.”

All-aluminum, high-tech foundation

The Corvette Z06 Convertible represents the culmination of more than four years developing an all-new, all-aluminum structure for the seventh generation Corvette. That structure, built at General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly plant, was designed to the specifications of the Corvette Stingray, Corvette Z06 and the Corvette Racing C7.R.

“We wanted a frame that was lighter than the steel frame of the previous Corvette, yet strong enough for both a 600-horsepower convertible and a 24-hour endurance racer,” said Ed Moss, engineering group manager for Corvette structures. “That would not have been possible without improvements in computer-aided engineering software, which allowed us to model more than 17,000 frame iterations, with each iteration improving strength and stiffness, while reducing mass.”

The team used nearly 186,000 computational hours of modeling to develop the frame. It features main rails composed of five customized aluminum segments, including aluminum extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points. The gauge of each segment varies in thickness from 2mm to 11mm, tailored – along with the shape – to meet the strength and stiffness requirements for each frame section with minimal weight.

These components are assembled using many advanced manufacturing processes, including:

  • 439 spot-welds using a GM-patented process that uses a unique electrode designed specifically for aluminum
  • 188 Flowdrill-machined fasteners installed by a high-speed drill that extrudes the frame material to create a strong, integral collar tapped for bolt-on fasteners
  • 113 feet of structural adhesives used in conjunction with welding and fasteners to increase overall frame stiffness
  • 37 feet of laser welds, which join frame sections via a precise beam of high energy that minimizes heat beyond the weld area for improved structural accuracy.

The only structural differences between the Z06 Coupe and Convertible are provisions for mounting the power-folding top, and repositioned safety-belt mounts.

High-performance aerodynamics

Like the structure, only minor design changes distinguish the Z06 Coupe from the Convertible. The Z06 convertible features an electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car’s key fob. The top can also open or close on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h).

With the top up, the Z06 Convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick fabric top, offered in four colors along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, contributes to a quiet cabin and premium appearance.

Behind the seat backs, dual accent panels – either Carbon Flash-painted or available with exposed carbon fiber – enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray’s signature “waterfall” design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior.

The power-operated tonneau cover necessitated moving the air intakes for the differential and transmission coolers from the rear quarter panels on the Z06 Coupe to the underbody of the Z06 Convertible.

Otherwise, both models share the same, performance-driven aesthetic.

“Practically every exterior panel serves a functional purpose to meet the performance goals of the Z06,” said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, “The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability.”

Both Z06 models are fitted with Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package): P285/30ZR19 front, and 335/25ZR20 rear.

The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which contribute to the design:

  • The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively
  • The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap. They collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors.

Both Z06 coupe and convertible will be available with one of three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:

  • The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and rear spoiler
  • An available carbon-fiber aero package delivers aerodynamic downforce four times greater than the standard Z06. It adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce. The package is available in black or a visible carbon-fiber finish
  • The available Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler enabling customers to tailor the aerodynamics to their preference.

Compared to the Corvette Stingray, the Corvette Z06 fenders are 2.2 inches (56 mm) wider at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. Those extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body.

The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger’s intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.

The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. A larger hood vent allows air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.

Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes.

The Z06 benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.

Like the Stingray, the Z06 comes with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. A magnesium frame structure for both seats provides greater rigidity and strength compared with steel frames.

Unprecedented attention to detail and build quality complements the Corvette Z06′s performance. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, with every surface covered by premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.

The interior also features a flat-bottom steering wheel with a carbon fiber center spoke. The Z06 comes in five interior colors, including two that are unique to Z06 – blue and dark gray.

Supercharged, efficient performance

The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.

These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient.

“The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette,” said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. “It is one of the world’s only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve.”

The supercharged LT4 comes with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance performance and efficiency. The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. A new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.

The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times. Smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.

“There’s no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement,” said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. “It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car.”

Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.

Track-proven technologies

The 2015 Corvette Z06 Coupe and Convertible leverage the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.

“Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every ‘g’ of grip and every pound of downforce,” said Juechter. “It’s a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that’s even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call.”

The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers, adjustable for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector, are standard on Z06.

Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver’s environment, including:

  • Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
  • Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
  • Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving
  • Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, balancing steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.

The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard. It features a hydraulically actuated clutch capable of infinitely varying clutch engagement. The system enhances all aspects of performance by constantly tailoring the clutch-pack engagement based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, Chevrolet, Industry Ne..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 17:54

Yes, this is the Chevrolet version of the Buick Encore, and no we are not joking that it’s coming over to the US. Like a stoner at a cannoli buffet, GM has been overcome with indecision as to where to sell this car. Now that it’s here at the New York International Auto Show, GM has confirmed that the Gamma-based crossover is coming Stateside.

Weighing in at just over 2,800 lbs with 16-inch steelies and front wheel drive, the base LS model comes with cloth seats and the 1.4 liter 140 horsepower four cylinder engine, which is the only powertrain offered, though at a penalty of 400 lbs, an all wheel drive system can be fitted. With optional 4G LTE data plans, Siri Eyes Free, backup cameras, full leather, 18 inch wheels, and keyless entry, the Trax may start near $20,000 ($5K south of the Buick’s base price) and will have to fight off the Buick, the Kia Soul, Mini Countryman, Nissan Juke, and Jeep Renegade. Though 0-60 happens in 9.1 seconds, that, I suspect is not the point here. If you want one, they will be available at the end of 2014. Check out the press release after the jump for further information.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech

NEW YORK – At the New York International Auto Show today, Chevrolet announced it will add the Trax, a new small SUV, to its portfolio. The 2015 Trax will offer versatility, connectivity and turbocharged performance in an efficient package. 

Sporty and modern, Trax blends small-car agility with the utility of an SUV, including up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of cargo space. It’s Chevrolet’s seventh small-vehicle launch in less than four years. During that time, the brand’s share of the small-, compact- and mini-car segments has more than tripled – up 221 percent.

“Trax offers customers another option in the Chevrolet family and will be a strong competitor in the emerging small-SUV market, which is expected to grow more than 80 percent by 2016,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “Trax also leverages our global resources and builds on Chevrolet’s strong SUV heritage.”

When it arrives in dealer showrooms early next year, Trax will accommodate customers’ increasingly connected lifestyles with available OnStar 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as MyLink technology featuring the segment’s only seven-inch color touch screen. Trax also will be the first in its class to offer Siri Eyes Free.

Trax technologies also enhance passenger safety, with more standard air bags than its competitors, a standard rearview camera and available rear park assist.

Additional vehicle highlights include:

  • Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine that delivers the efficiency of a small-displacement engine with the power of a larger engine on demand
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Electric power steering
  • Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink
  • Ten standard air bags, including side-curtain and knee air bags – and the segment’s only rear seat-mounted thorax air bags
  • Clever and convenient storage areas, including upper and lower glove boxes – with a USB port and auxiliary jack in the upper glove box for plug-in media
  • 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat and fold-down front passenger seatback for storing and transporting items up to eight feet long
  • Standard remote keyless entry and available remote start.

Trax will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.

A Chevy inside and out

With its signature dual-port grille, prominent bowtie emblem and swept headlamps, the Trax is immediately identifiable as a contemporary Chevrolet. Its grille design – with chrome accents – emulates other Chevrolets and provides a more cohesive appearance across the brand’s lineup of crossovers and small cars.

Available cues such as front fog lamps and simulated front and rear skid plates lend a sportier presence, while vertical tail lamps flank the tailgate, accenting taught body lines and pronounced wheel arches that give the Trax a confident stance.

The 10 exterior are: Brilliant Blue Metallic, Orange Rock Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, White Pearl Tricoat, Black Granite Metallic, Summit White, Silver Ice Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic, Deep Espresso Metallic and Blaze Red.

Inside, Trax’s distinctive styling carries over to a dual-cockpit instrument panel. In the center, it houses a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color display for the standard MyLink voice-activated infotainment system. It also features displays for available SiriusXM satellite radio and standard rearview camera, as well as the available GPS-enabled app navigation system that customers can download.

The instrument cluster is inspired by the bold design in the Sonic, featuring a large, performance-style analog tachometer combined with a prominent digital display for the speedometer and other readouts. A small-diameter, thick-rimmed steering wheel enhances the sporty ambience. The wheel is leather-wrapped on LTZ and some LT models.

LS models feature standard cloth seating, with deluxe cloth standard on LT, along with an available cloth/leatherette seating trim. LTZ models feature standard full leatherette trim. Interior colors are Jet Black, Jet Black/Light Titanium and Jet Black/Brownstone.

For versatility, the 60/40 flat-folding rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders, storage in all four doors, four bins in the dash, pockets in the seatbacks and bins under the rear load floor and a hidden storage drawer under the front passenger seat. It also offers 18.7 cubic feet (530 liters) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) with the rear seat folded. The front passenger seat also folds flat to extend the cargo length and accommodate items up to eight feet long.

Connectivity and infotainment details

Available Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users enhances connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity so customers can keep phones stored and their hands on the wheel.

Additional standard and available features include:

  • Seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen and additional USB ports
  • Available Chevrolet connected by OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink
  • Available BringGo navigation app
  • Available SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of trial service), SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Tune Select (requires XM subscription)

·         Supports playback of MP3 files stored on USB flash memory drives.

With Chevrolet’s connected by OnStar 4G LTE connection, Trax provides an available Wi-Fi hotspot that allows passengers to connect multiple personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet.

Turbocharged performance

Trax is powered by a power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine backed by an efficiency-enhancing six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is expected to be rated at an SAE-certified 138 horsepower (102 kW) and 148 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm.

The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a more confident driving experience, with a strong feeling of power across the rpm band. The turbocharger’s on-demand performance also contributes to efficiency because it enables greater power when needed with the lower fuel consumption of a small-displacement engine when it’s not.

The turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A solid cast crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional durability to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque.

A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift control is matched with the 1.4L turbo engine. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight.

A “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows Trax to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds.

Refined ride and handling

Trax is built on a robust global platform and engineered with precise suspension tuning to deliver one of the segment’s quietest and most refined driving experiences. Available all-wheel drive seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling.

A 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,539 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a confident driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quiet ride.

A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar and side-load-compensated front strut modules.

The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Noise-damping urethane spring isolators improve ride isolation and dampen noise.

Trax also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system that saves fuel compared to a conventional engine-driven power steering pump.

Sixteen-inch wheels are standard on LS and LT (aluminum wheels on LT). LTZ has standard 18-inch aluminum wheels.

Built to protect

Trax incorporates technologies that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Crash-avoidance technologies include:

  • Standard rearview camera
  • Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, incorporating traction control and rollover mitigation features
  • ABS and electronic brake force distribution
  • Cornering brake control and brake assist

The body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment, with 66 percent of the structure composed of high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. That structural protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags:

  • Driver and front passenger frontal air bags
  • Driver and front passenger knee air bags
  • Front and rear thorax air bags for all outboard positions – including the segment’s only rear-seat-mounted thorax air bags
  • Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers.

Trax’s safety and security features also include exclusive OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.

Global Trax

Chevrolet Trax was launched in late 2012 in Mexico and Canada as a 2013 model; about 90,000 have been sold in more than 60 global markets. In addition to the United States, the 2015 Trax will also go on sale in China, adding the small SUV to Chevy’s two largest markets. Trax is named after a 2007 concept vehicle.

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, Chevrolet, Industry Ne..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 17:32

Back in the earlier aughts, Jeep coughed up a pipe dream of repackaging the cheap and cheerful Dodge Caliber as a Jeep product. Sold as the Compass, this entry-level model bit at the ankles of the Nissan Rogue before it was born and caused Jeep enthusiasts to writhe in pain. Though the 2015 Renegade may or may not be deserving of the heritage indicated (this name referred to an upgraded copy of the CJ5 and CJ7 Jeeps of the 70s and 80s), it packs a higher level of effort than the Compass.

For starters, there’s a low range option with a 20:1 crawl ratio as part of the automatic transmission and 4 wheel drive system, Jeep makes a Trailhawk version, which they have designated “Trail Rated” for what it is worth, and the car gets a 30.5/25.7/34.3 approach/breakover/departure angles. Standard equipment includes a manual transmission and a 2.4 liter Fiat Tigershark four cylinder engine and an available Fiat Multijet II diesel engine that cranks towing capacity up to 3,300 lbs. The options list also includes a 9-speed automatic for those tricky grocery-getting adventures.

Even though most owners will likely not use this feature, the car is capable of fording up to 19 inches of water. Though a strict ragtop is not available, Jeep is making a version with removable roof panels in a nod to the CJs that came before it. Apart from Fiat’s readily available platform and engines, why is Jeep offering something that can do light off roading and still fight off the likes of the Mini Countryman and the Fiat 500X on which it is a based? Jeep can probably make money on this, but more importantly, they can also reduce the mean level of CO2 emissions from their current stable. Thus far, it looks like a win-win for Fiat-Chrysler and potential customers, who will start getting their Renegades in December of this year. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech
 

The all-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade expands the brand’s global vehicle lineup, entering the growing small SUV segment, while staying true to the adventurous lifestyle Jeep is known for. Renegade delivers a unique combination of best-in-class off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission that contributes to outstanding on-road and off-road driving dynamics, fuel-efficient engines, world-class refinement, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings. The result is an efficient vehicle created to attract youthful and adventurous customers around the world to the Jeep brand.

“The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade expands the brand’s product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment around the globe with benchmark levels of efficiency and driving dynamics, while at the same time delivering best-in-class 4×4 capability that customers expect from Jeep,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO — Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Renegade symbolizes the brand’s renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe.”

Best-in-class off-road capability thanks to two all-new 4×4 systems

Leveraging 4×4 technology from the all-new Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers two of the most advanced and intelligent 4×4 systems in its class, all to deliver best-in-class off-road capability. Both systems can provide up to 100 percent of the engine’s available torque to the ground, through any wheel, for optimal grip.

  • Jeep Active Drive – full-time 4×4 system
  • Jeep Active Drive Low – class-exclusive full-time 4×4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio.

Innovation is also at the forefront of any new Jeep vehicle, and the Renegade is the first small SUV to feature a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU) – all to provide Jeep Renegade 4×4 models with enhanced fuel economy. The system instantly engages when 4×4 traction is needed.

Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4×4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on- or off-road and in any weather condition.

Trail Rated: Renegade Trailhawk 4×4 model

For customers who demand the most off-road capability from their Jeep vehicles, the Renegade Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4×4 capability with:

  • Standard Jeep Active Drive Low (20:1 crawl ratio)
  • Selec-Terrain system with exclusive Rock mode
  • Increased ride height 20 mm (0.8 inches)
  • Skid plates, and red front and rear tow hooks
  • Unique fascias deliver 30.5 degree approach, 25.7 degree breakover and 34.3 degree departure angles
  • 17-inch all-terrain tires
  • Up to 205 mm (8.1 inches) of wheel articulation
  • Hill-descent Control
  • Up to 480 mm (19 inches) of water fording
  • Up to 1,500 kg (3,300-lb.) towing capability with MultiJet II diesel engine and 907 kg (2,000-lb.) towing capability with 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, with available tow package

A global Jeep design for a rapidly growing global brand

From the start, Jeep designers knew the Renegade would need to deliver best-in-class off-road capability with city-sized proportions that exuded the brand’s rugged style while at the same time enhancing versatility, maneuverability and style. Additionally designers were tasked to create an all-new SUV that would symbolize the brand’s renowned American design and ingenuity, as it would mark the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe. Last, Renegade had to offer the open-air freedom that dates back to its 1941 roots with the Willys MB Jeep.

The result is the all-new 2015 Renegade, a vehicle that builds on the Jeep Wrangler’s powerful stance, and features fresh new styling with rugged body forms and aggressive proportions that enable best-in-class approach and departure angles purposely designed to deliver best-in-class off-road capability. And for segment-exclusive panoramic views, two available My Sky open-air roof panel systems conveniently stow to provide passengers open-air freedom with ease.

All-new interior exudes a rugged and energetic appearance

The all-new Jeep Renegade interior features a rugged and energetic appearance that builds upon Jeep’s legendary brand heritage. Its precisely crafted detail, innovative and high-quality color and material appointments, state-of-the-art technology, and clever storage features draw inspiration from contemporary extreme sports gear and lifestyles.

The interior of the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade has a distinctive form language which Jeep designers have titled “Tek-Tonic.” This new design theme is defined by the intersections of soft and tactile forms with rugged and functional details. Major surfaces such as the sculpted soft-touch instrument panel are intersected with bold functional elements like the passenger grab handle – indispensable for off-road adventures and borrowed from its big brother, the legendary Jeep Wrangler. Unique “protective clamp fasteners,” anodized design accents and inspired colors are derived from extreme sports equipment, while the newly familiar “X” shapes inspired by its roof and tail lamps add to Renegade’s Tek-Tonic interior look. And to make sure all of the needed passenger gear fits, the Renegade is designed with an efficient and flexible interior package that includes a removable, reversible and height-adjustable cargo floor panel and fold-forward front-passenger seat.

My Sky: continuing Jeep open-air freedom since 1941

Keeping the tradition of the legendary 1941 Willys MB Jeep, the all-new 2015 Renegade offers open-air freedom with two available My Sky open-air roof systems. With a manual removable, or removable with premium power tilt/slide feature, the segment-exclusive My Sky roof-panel systems quickly bring the outdoors inside. Designed for convenience, the honeycomb fiberglass polyurethane roof panels are lightweight and stow neatly in the rear cargo area. For added design detail, both My Sky roof systems feature a debossed “X” stamped into the roof that exude strength and play on the brand’s utilitarian history.

Best-in-class off-road capability with world-class on-road driving dynamics

Designed and engineered to first and foremost deliver legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, the all-new 2015 Renegade is the first small SUV from Chrysler Group to use the all-new “small-wide 4×4 architecture.”

With its fully independent suspension capable of up to 205 mm (8.1 inches) of wheel articulation and 220 mm (8.7 inches) of ground clearance (Trailhawk), Renegade raises the bar in the small SUV segment with best-in-class off-road capability. Extensive use of advanced steels, composites and advanced computer-impact simulations enable the all-new 2015 Renegade’s architecture to deliver world-class torsional stiffness and Jeep brand’s durability required for Trail Rated adventures.

The all-new Renegade is the first Jeep to integrate Koni’s frequency selective damping (FSD) front and rear strut system. This damping system enables the Jeep Renegade to deliver world-class road-holding and handling characteristics.

Designed for global markets: 16 powertrain combinations

True to the Jeep brand, the all-new Renegade will offer customers in global markets maximum off-road capability and fuel efficiency. The Renegade will offer up to 16 strategic powertrain combinations – the most ever in a Jeep vehicle – customized to markets around the world to meet a range of performance and efficiency needs. Powertrain options include:

  • Four MultiAir gasoline engine offerings
  • Two MultiJet II diesel engine offerings
  • Efficient and flex-fuel capable E.torQ engine
  • Emissions and fuel-saving Stop&Start technology
  • Segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Two manual and one dual-dry clutch transmission (DDCT) offerings

World’s first small SUV with nine-speed automatic transmission

Like the new Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade has raised the bar — this time in the small SUV class — with the first available nine-speed automatic transmission. When paired with either the 2.0-liter MultiJet II diesel engine, or 2.4-liter MultiAir2 gas engine, the nine-speed transmission delivers numerous benefits customers will appreciate, including aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and improved fuel efficiency versus a six-speed automatic transmission.

Segment-exclusive technologies once found only on higher classed SUVs

The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers technology features once found only in upper-segment vehicles, and makes them attainable to customers in the growing small SUV segment – including award-winning Uconnect Access, Uconnect touchscreens and the segment’s largest full-color instrument cluster.

  • Uconnect Access: Utilizes embedded cellular technology to allow Jeep Renegade occupants to get directly in contact with local emergency-service dispatchers – all with the push of the 9-1-1 Assist button on the rearview mirror. Uconnect Access applies the same logic to roadside assistance. One push of the “ASSIST” button summons help directly from Chrysler Group’s roadside assistance provider, or the Vehicle Customer Care Center. Further peace of mind comes from the system’s ability to receive text messages, announce receipt of texts, identify senders and then “read” the messages aloud with Bluetooth-equipped cell phones. AOL Autos named Uconnect Access its “Technology of the Year for 2013.” (Uconnect services may vary in different markets)
  • Uconnect touchscreen radio systems: Award-winning in-vehicle handsfree communication, entertainment and available navigation. Key features available on the Uconnect 5.0 and 6.5AN systems include a 5.0-inch or 6.5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, single or dual-turner, radio data system capability (RDS), digital audio broadcast (DAB), HD Radio, digital media broadcasting (DMB), SiriusXM Radio, SiriusXM Travel Link, SiriusXM Travel Link, USB port and auxiliary audio jack input. (Uconnect services may vary in different markets)
  • Segment’s largest full-color instrument cluster display: Filling the Jeep Renegade’s gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, full-color, premium multiview display, featuring a reconfigurable function that enables drivers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. The information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily.

Renegade features up to 70 advanced safety and security features

Safety and security were at the forefront in the development of the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade, setting the stage for up to 70 available safety and security features – including the availability of Forward Collision Warning-Plus and LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus.

In addition, engineers added both active and passive safety and security features, including Blind-spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines; electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and seven standard air bags.

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, Industry News, Jeep, 2..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 16:01

People movers are appliances, dull at best and downright irritating when they don’t work properly. The new Sedona pledges to be none of those things, though in a climate riddled with crossovers, this sort of approach is a survival tactic. Can you fit a 4×8 sheet of plywood in it? That may be the standard by which American minivans are judged, but in the Kia, life is a bit more upmarket than that on the copy pictured here.

Up front, there’s a new 3.3 liter, direct injected V6 (276 bhp/248 ft-lbs) (likely the only port in this storm) mated to a 6-speed automatic and in the middle are optional captain’s chairs, which slide back, recline and offer lower leg rests. Kia continues the discussion of luxury by borrowing the leather from their flagship K900 sedan for the top of the line SXL trim. A 60/40 split bench serves as the third row and the kid-friendly options don’t stop there. As part of further attempts to make their autos safer, Kia is offering parental controls for the car, which come in the form of Geo Fencing, Curfew Alert, Driver Score and Speed Alert. These new nannies are just for the Sedona at the moment, but it would not surprise us if they made their way into other Kias too if the company deems it economically attractive.

For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton


2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech

Kia Sedona

Set against the backdrop of one of the world’s premier urban playgrounds, Kia Motors America (KMA) took the wraps off the all-new 2015 Sedona midsize multi-purpose vehicle in New York City. As the final chapter in Kia’s design-led transformation story – which began in 2009 and has seen a comprehensive makeover of Kia’s entire model line under the direction of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – the all-new Sedona’s CUV-like styling and proportions offer all of the functional convenience of the segment while defying its design limitations. In addition to innovative European-inspired design, the 2015 Sedona also delivers the exceptional interior volume buyers expect in the segment with ample passenger and cargo room and a quiet and comfortable cabin. Following the philosophy that has guided Kia’s recent succession of highly successful redesigns, the Sedona advances value to new levels of sophistication with a host of segment-leading new technology and upscale features, all of which will be offered in a new premium trim level – SXL – which will be available when U.S. sales are scheduled to begin in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the Sedona’s launch date.

“Throughout the development process, our engineers in the U.S. and Korea focused on adding the element of desire to the all-new Sedona with improved driving dynamics and power and the incorporation of modern styling cues, premium materials and technology,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. “Combined with a host of active and passive safety features and technology, the completely redesigned Sedona retains the functionality the nameplate has always been known for, while rising to meet the diverse needs – and tastes – of today’s consumers.”

Modern, Confident Exterior

Transcending mundane functionality, the Sedona’s wide stance exudes a modern, CUV-like exterior appearance highlighted by a front fascia and cab-forward design that project confidence and strength. The Sedona’s muscular face and clean, smooth look is highlighted by a fully integrated version of Kia’s signature grille and headlamps with LED positioning lights. The wheelbase is 1.6-inches longer than its predecessor, and the side profile, with its reduced front and rear overhangs, combines with the deeply swept windshield and available 19-inch alloy wheels to create a distinctive look. Meanwhile, the rear design layout, with LED taillights, integrated bumper guard and standard roof spoiler, presents a broad, stable bearing.

Open, Relaxed, Configurable Interior

Despite its overall width and height remaining virtually unchanged, the all-new Sedona provides more front shoulder room, greater leg room in the front, second and third rows, as well as a slightly higher hip-point, improving outward visibility for the driver. The horizontal design cues across the instrument panel create a greater sense of width, and the generous use of soft-touch materials adds to the all-new Sedona’s premium ambiance. The Sedona’s proportions provide flexible seating in both seven- and eight-passenger configurations and a multitude of storage options. The front center console is unique to the segment and allows for generous and cleverly convenient storage space between the front seats. Second row Slide-n-Stow tracked seating slides and folds upright to allow for “on-the-go” cargo hauling while eliminating the hassle that comes with removing heavy and cumbersome middle seats. The all-new Sedona also offers the choice of second row “First Class” lounge seating that can be positioned rearward for astonishing legroom and provides retractable lower leg rests. And while some configurations feature segment-unique second-row seat cushion heaters for added comfort, all 2015 Sedona models offer a third-row that provides the convenience of a split folding 60/40 in-floor retractable design.

The Sedona also is the only vehicle in the segment outfitted with standard YES Essentials™ fabric technology to provide anti-microbial protection from spills, anti-static protection from irritating electrical shocks as well as stain-repelling and stain-releasing fabric characteristics appreciated by anyone who leads an active lifestyle.

The Sedona’s sophisticated interior design theme is brought to life with a modern color palette featuring solid or two-tone color options in beige, gray and burgundy for a warm and inviting atmosphere. The top-line SXL trim features standard ultra-soft Nappa leather seating surfaces throughout the cabin, the same Chromium-free leather found in the K900 luxury sedan.

Next-Generation UVO

Building on the next-generation UVO Infotainment & Telematics system, the all-new Sedona will be the first Kia vehicle to offer four new eServices features: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score. Additionally, with the introduction of the Kia App store, select apps can be downloaded for free from iTunes® or Google Play. The Kia app connector is now available for partnership with the content community, including Pandora®, iHeart Radio and Yelp®. Many more new technologies for comfort and convenience are featured in the new UVO system, including Siri “Eyes Free” and Local Search – powered by Google – for finding locations, addresses and points of interest. Sirius XM Travel Link, offering access to traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores, stock information and movie times, makes the Sedona the perfect companion for those who live their lives on the road with family and friends.

Driving Dynamics and Safety

The 2015 Sedona is built on an all-new chassis with static torsional stiffness that is 36-percent greater than its closest segment competitor. The body is 76 percent Ultra High Strength Steel (press hardened) or High Strength Steel, which provides exceptional rigidity, durability and collision protection in a lightweight design. For enhanced roof strength, the Sedona has been engineered with reinforced pillars that distribute impact loads with ultra-high-strength steel tubes that run inside the A-pillars. Extensive use of adhesives and large diameter welds also add to Sedona’s overall structural integrity and strength. Together with Kia’s patented technology, the 2015 Sedona is targeted to earn the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 5-Star overall vehicle safety rating.

The rigid and durable chassis provides a solid base for road-trip readiness. The 2015 Sedona utilizes Amplitude Selected Dampers (ASD) to strike an optimal balance of ride comfort and handling. The platform also has revised rear cross-member bushings, an isolated rear sub-frame with longer trailing arms and added rear strut reinforcement, all of which combine for improved dynamic ride characteristics. Additionally, the 2015 Sedona is expected to be among the quietest in the segment thanks to wheel-house padding, double seal sliding doors and an expanded use of sound-deadening foam in the engine compartment, reducing noise and perceived harshness over rough pavement.

Under the hood, a new Lambda Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 3.3-liter V6 engine replaces the 3.5-liter V6 found in the previous generation Sedona. The 3.3-liter engine, which is also found in the Sorento CUV and Cadenza premium sedan, delivers more power than its predecessor, boasting 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and it has been tuned for enhanced mid-range torque, offering 248 lb.-ft. at 5,200 rpm.

A three-step Variable Induction System (VIS) improves engine “breathing,” automatically adjusting the volume of the air pulled into the combustion chamber to create the optimal air-to-fuel mix under different engine load conditions. Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) combined with a piston-cooling oil jet improves engine cooling efficiency, while engine components, including piston rings, piston skirts, valve tappets, timing chain guide and valve springs are all of a low-friction design.

Finally, the new 3.3-liter V6 engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission tuned for balanced control, power and efficiency.

Abundant Safety Features and Driver Technology

Throughout the design and development process a high priority was placed on active and passive safety features as well as technology, resulting in one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the segment. All Sedona models come standard with active safety features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist System (BAS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Antilock Braking System (ABS). Additional technologies such as Roll Over Mitigation (ROM) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC) also were added as standard equipment for improved dynamic control and safety.

New optional driver technology, including Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS), Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, help provide Sedona drivers with a more convenient and secure daily driving experience.

Comfort & Convenience Features

From front to back the Sedona offers numerous convenience features, including Kia’s first application of the newest high-power (2.1 AMP) USB charging port and a 115-volt AC outlet to charge small electronics as well as a dual glove box that offers a cooled lower storage area. For easier parking and vehicle maneuvering, the Surround View Monitor8 provides real-time images from cameras placed around the vehicle. Smart Welcome, automatically illuminates the door handles and unfolds the power retractable side mirrors when a vehicle key fob is detected. A hands-free “Smart Tailgate” opens the rear lift gate automatically when the key fob is sensed for three seconds, and its programmable function can be tailored to the user’s height preference.

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, Featured, Industry New..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 15:52

We can’t help but get a bit sentimental too. 40 years is a long time, especially in the life of a car. VW has managed to keep the aesthetics fresh with their entry level hatch that, on paper is a Beetle successor, but has never really served that purpose. For many and most models, 8 years is a pretty good rule of thumb; VW has managed to liven things up a bit more frequently than that, offering 7 versions instead of 5 in that time period.

Interestingly, VW has supplied only current Golfs at their display here at NYIAS, unlike Mazda, who happen to be celebrating their 25th anniversary of the MX-5. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.


2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech

VOLKSWAGEN CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF THE GOLF AT THE NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

Apr 16, 2014

The most successful European car of all time turns 40

  • More than 30 million Golf models have been sold worldwide
  • Car went on sale in Europe in May 1974, was sold in the U.S. from December that year as the Rabbit
  • Seventh-generation Golf GTI goes on sale in June in the U.S., with Golf TDI® and TSI® models arriving at dealerships in August

Herndon, VA  — The most successful European car of all time turns 40 this year. More than 30 million Golf models have been sold since the car went on sale in May 1974 in Europe and in December of that year in the U.S (as the Rabbit). Seven generations later, the successful formula remains the same: crisp, elegant styling; space-efficient packaging; frugal yet powerful engines; and entertaining front-wheel-drive handling.  

When debuted, the Golf marked a revolution for Volkswagen. The car’s water-cooled inline engines were placed transversely, driving the front wheels, whereas the Beetle’s air-cooled, horizontally-opposed engine lived at the back, driving the rear wheels.  

The car was very successful in the U.S., selling more than 100,000 units in its first full year from February of 1975, the best of any new import. From 1978, Volkswagen built the Rabbit in its Westmoreland plant in Pennsylvania, selling 215,000 vehicles in 1979, an increase of 44 percent over the previous year, in a market that shrank overall by six percent.

Before Golf production was relocated to the in 1988, the Jetta sedan had assumed the role of sales leader in the U.S. market. The Golf, however, remained technically and visually related to the Jetta and has thus always been a part of the sedan’s success in this market. And the GTI—which invented the term “hot hatch” when it was launched in Europe in 1976—has remained one of the most popular compact sporty cars on the market. In fact, the U.S. is the largest single market for the iconic hot hatch.

BY THE GENERATIONS

Golf I: 1974-1983 (U.S.: 1975-1984 model years)

The first full-production Golf rolled off the line in Wolfsburg in March 1974 and was in German Volkswagen dealerships that May. The Golf wasn’t the first VW to have a transversely mounted engine driving the front wheels, however: the K70, a design taken from NSU, was first, followed by the Scirocco and the Passat. With the launch of the Golf, the new technology found its way into Europe’s highest volume vehicle class.

The Golf had a big task to fulfill: taking over from the Beetle, the world’s most successful car at the time. However, the combination of Giorgio Giugiaro’s design, the spacious interior, the car’s practicality, and its enjoyable handling won the market over to such an extent that the one-millionth Golf was produced in October 1976.

In the United States, a total of 58 Golf models—marketed under the Rabbit name—were sold in December 1974. In 1975, the first full year of Golf sales, 98,215 found buyers, with sales going over the 100,000 mark in 1976. The U.S. Golf was longer and heavier than the German versions—155.3 inches overall and more than 1900 pounds—because of its U.S.-market bumpers, but it was still built on the same assembly line in Wolfsburg, West Germany. Initially, the cars came with a 1.5-liter engine that made 70 horsepower, but a diesel model was added to the lineup for 1977. This 1.5-liter diesel four-cylinder engine produced just 48 hp, but also delivered stellar EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of nearly 50 mpg on the highway and nearly 40 mpg in the city

In July 1978, production of the Rabbit started in a new plant in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. The Rabbit models produced in the U.S. differed from their German Golf cousins in having square instead of round headlights, larger taillights, color-matched interiors, and a softer suspension.

The Golf was an innovative force in the compact hatchback class. The original GTI invented the hot hatchback in 1976, while the later Golf GTD turbodiesel marked a breakthrough for diesels in this segment. In 1979, the Golf convertible brought a breath of fresh air into the category, debuting in the U.S. as a 1980 model, powered by a new fuel-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 76 hp and mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional three-speed automatic.

While the convertible was made in Germany, virtually all other 1980 Rabbit models were now made in America—including the pickup. Over time, the Rabbit received a larger 1.7-liter engine rated at 74 hp and a 1.6-liter, 52 hp diesel. And, of course, the GTI made its debut in the US in 1983, featuring a 90-hp, 1.8-liter version of the fuel-injected four-cylinder engine.

The global sales figures added up: Volkswagen sold 6.99 million first-generation Golf models. In the U.S., about 1.5 million Golf derivatives found buyers. The Golf had proved itself a worthy successor to the Beetle.

Klaus Bischoff, Chief Designer for the Volkswagen brand since 2007, says: “The step from Beetle to Golf was truly revolutionary. Creatively, the Volkswagen designers changed from a round to an angular form, thanks to Giorgio Giugiaro’s legendary design. The main design elements of the Golf I, such as the silhouette of the upright, massive C-pillar, the prominent wheelarches, and the horizontal front with a slim grille and downwardly protruding headlights are in every Golf to the present day.”

Golf II – 1983 to 1991 (U.S.: 1985-1992 MY)

The baby-boomer generation learned to drive on this car in Europe. It was a bit bigger than the previous Golf, having grown by 6.7 inches in length, 3.0 inches in the wheelbase, and 2.2 inches in width. According to the media release: “The level of comfort, measured by the space between accelerator pedal and rear seatback, has increased by 1.5 inches to 72.3 inches, while elbow room in the front is now 3.6 inches wider and in the back is up by 4.4 inches.”

“The most important decision in Golf history in the late 1970s was taken by the board members,” explains Marc Lichte, Senior Head of Volkswagen Exterior Design. They decided “to take the Golf I styling further, and to design the Golf II on the basis of its visual DNA. That’s where it all began, and that’s how Volkswagen created a basis for the continuous development of the series.”

The second-generation Golf introduced the catalytic converter (1984), anti-lock braking system (1986), and power steering to the compact class. An all-wheel-drive system appeared in the Syncro in 1986. As far back as 1989—some 26 years ago—Volkswagen unveiled prototype Golf models with an electric drivetrain and a hybrid drive system.

In the U.S., the market developed differently, with the emphasis on sedans rather than hatchbacks. So, from the 1980 model year, Volkswagen sent the Jetta to the U.S. market and, in the years since, it has been the most popular German car sold in the North American market. Even so, the Golf has been an important component in Volkswagen’s lineup and has been generally marketed under that name since the second-generation car went on sale in the 1985 model year.

The standard engine in the U.S. Golf II was a revised version of the GTI’s fuel-injected, eight-valve1.8-liter four cylinder, rated at 85 hp. The GTI engine had a slightly higher compression ratio and made 102 hp, while there were two versions of the 1.6-liter diesel: naturally aspirated (52 hp) and turbocharged (68 hp).

The convertible continued on the Golf I platform , but was renamed Golf Cabriolet. For the 1987 model year, the GTI received a power boost to 123 hp with the introduction of a new dual-overhead-cam, 16-valve version of the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine; however, the diesel side lost power because the turbocharged version was discontinued. The previous GTI, using the 102-hp, single-overhead-cam, eight-valve engine, was rebadged as a “GT”.

The Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, assembly plant was shut down after the 1988 model year and the diesel Golf was dropped from the U.S. lineup. For 1989, production was split between Germany and the Puebla plant in Mexico, but the only major change during the Golf II’s remaining time in the U.S. was the introduction of a 2.0-liter engine in the GTI that produced 131 hp.

In June 1988, 14 years after its debut, the Golf had surpassed the magical production milestone of 10 million vehicles. And by the summer of 1991, a total of 6.3 million second-generation Golf models had been produced, of which around 400,000 had been sold in the US.

Golf III – 1991 to 1997 (U.S.: 1993-1999 MY)

The roots of the third Golf go back to 1985 when the “A3” project—third-generation Golf, A-class—was initiated in Wolfsburg. In February 1987, Chief Designer Herbert Schäfer submitted nine different models of the next Golf to the Board, with the best design being chosen in December of that year. Schäfer said at the time: “In the first step from Golf I to II we made the car bigger, installed more powerful engines, and improved its handling. Now, in the third generation, the design takes precedence. We have found a look that is typical of the Golf: it radiates quality and safety.”

When the new generation was launched in 1991, its distinguishing features were a slight wedge shape, making it stand out from its predecessor, and a continuous chamfer underneath the window sill.

This third-generation Golf brought a new level of passive safety to the compact class when it was launched in August 1991. The Golf III was the first of the series to have front airbags, starting in 1992, while major advances in the car’s body construction resulted in improved crash safety.

There were numerous other Golf milestones with the car: the first six-cylinder VR6® engine , the Ecomatic transmission, cruise control, the first oxidation catalytic converter for diesel engines (1991), the first direct-injection diesel engines (TDI® in 1993 and SDI in 1995), and the first side airbags (1996). Also, ABS became a standard feature on all Golf models in Europe in September of 1996.

In 1993, Volkswagen also introduced a new convertible, a new all-wheel-drive model (Syncro II), and the first Golf Variant station wagon. A year later, in May 1994, Volkswagen celebrated production of the 15-millionth Golf. Including all derivatives, a total of 4.83 million third-generation Golf models were produced, with 153,613 finding buyers in the U.S.

In the U.S., the 1993 Golf base engine was a 2.0-liter, eight-valve four cylinder rated at 115 hp. The Cabriolet continued unchanged, still based on the old Rabbit chassis, but was replaced by a new car based on the third-generation Golf bodyshell for 1995. That same year, the latest iteration of the GTI went on sale, fitted with the unique 2.8-liter VR6 engine, making 172 hp and 177 pound-feet of torque.

Golf IV — 1997 to 2003 (U.S.: 1999-2005 MY)

The Golf IV was pioneering in terms of its looks and its engineering—and it transcended traditional perceptions of quality in this class. The car also continued to improve safety, with the debut of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in 1998. The first all-wheel-drive Golf with a Haldex® clutch—the Golf 4MOTION®—also debuted in 1998. ESC became standard in Germany the following year, when the first Golf with a six-speed transmission debuted.

This Golf was created under the direction of Hartmut Warkuss, then Head of Design at Volkswagen Group, and is generally accepted as a classic. Nothing was copied from the Golf III; the windshield was flatter, the rear window steeper, and the roof extended even farther back. Giorgio Giugiaro, creator of the first Golf, expressed his admiration for the new car: “The original DNA of the Golf remains evident in its fourth generation.”

The innovations kept coming. In 2001, the 180-hp GTI was launched to mark the GTI’s 25th anniversary, while Side Curtain Protection® airbags and FSI® gasoline direct injection bowed in 2002. The same year, Volkswagen launched the R32; with a top track speed of 155 mph,  it was the sportiest Golf ever and the first one to be fitted with a DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission in 2003. The Golf IV was also the first to be fully galvanized, to feature a navigation system, and to offer Xenon headlights. Including all derivatives, a total of 4.99 million fourth-generation units were produced, of which around 180,000 were sold in the U.S.

The fourth-generation Golf didn’t go on sale in the U.S. until the 1999 model year. The base Golf’s power remained at 115 hp, while a 1.9-liter 90-hp turbodiesel joined the lineup. The VR6 returned in the GTI GLX and was now rated at 174 hp and only available with the five-speed manual transmission. The GTI GLS model was fitted with the regular 2.0-liter engine. The Cabriolet retained the 115 hp engine and lasted until the end of the ’02 model year, when it was effectively replaced by the New Beetle Convertible.

In the middle of the 2000 model year, the GTI GLS was fitted with the turbocharged, 20-valve, 1.8-liter,150-hp four-cylinder engine as standard equipment. For 2002, the 1.8T engine’s power was boosted to 180 hp and a six-speed manual transmission was added with the “337” special edition. In 2003 the VR6 engine was revised to produce 204 hp and a six-speed manual transmission was also added. More excitingly, the all-wheel-drive R32 came to the U.S. for 2004, boasting 240 hp from its 3.2-liter VR6 engine. A limited-edition model, the R32 laid the groundwork for later Golf R32 and R variants.

Golf V — 2003 to 2008 (U.S.: 2006-2009 MY)

The Golf V upped the comfort, performance, and quality to a level that left many of its competitors in its wake. The new, laser-welded bodyshell was fully 35 percent more torsionally rigid when the Golf V made its debut in 2003.

In numerous other areas, the Golf V was a huge advance over Golf IV. There was a new four-link rear suspension; a seven-speed DSG transmission; Bi-Xenon headlights; rain-sensing windshield wipers; the first turbocharged and direct-injection gasoline engine in the GTI (2004); and the 2005 GT Twincharger model featured the world’s first supercharged and turbocharged engine.

The Golf V’s characteristic C-pillar, powerful rear styling, and sporty front end combined to make the car more dynamic than its predecessor. Marc Lichte, current Head of Exterior Design, remembers the development stage: “The car was higher to get more interior space, but it also became more dynamic as it has even more of a wedge shape than the Golf III. The front end with the integral lighting was a big step.” For the first time, the hood followed the contour of the headlights, which were pulled laterally into the fender. Another first were the two-part taillights that extended into the tailgate.

New variants of the Golf made the brand attractive to a wider range of drivers. In Europe, the Golf Plus was launched in 2006, the CrossGolf hit the market in 2007, and the Golf BlueMotion® set a new benchmark for fuel efficiency. Including all derivatives, a total of 3.4 million fifth-generation Golf models were produced, of which 144,047 were sold in the U.S.

When the car was introduced in the U.S. as a 2006 model, it was marketed as a Rabbit, using a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine making 150 hp. The GTI went on sale during the 2007 model year, powered by a 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engine. For 2008, the Golf R32 was re-introduced, with 250 hp and a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Golf VI — 2008 to 2012 (U.S.: 2010-2014 MY)

Walter de Silva, Chief Designer of Volkswagen Group, described the Golf VI thusly: “It’s more accentuated, more three-dimensional than its predecessor, with precisely defined lines and edges, and with finely proportioned flared surfaces and recesses.”

Generally, this Golf marked a further refinement of the Volkswagen design DNA with its consistent horizontal alignment of front and rear elements. The roof section was now resting on a prominently contoured shoulder section, due to a prominent curving line that runs from the headlights to the taillights. This “character line” gave the Golf VI a heavier and lower profile on the road. Up front, the Golf VI adopted the horizontally aligned radiator grille between the headlights, just like Golf I.

Even if the Golf VI has now been topped by the Golf VII, its outstanding features and design ensure that it will be regarded as one of the most successful compact cars of all time. Including all derivatives, a total of 2.85 million sixth-generation Golf models were made, with 137,003 being sold through March 2014 in the U.S.

The U.S. models were offered with three powertrains initially: 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine making 170 hp and 177 lb-ft; a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with 140 hp and 236 lb-ft, with an EPA estimated 42 mpg highway; and the turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 200 hp and 207 lb-ft for the GTI. For 2012, the Golf R was introduced as a limited-edition model with 256 hp from its turbocharged four.

Golf VII — 2012- (U.S.: 2015-)

One of the key aspects of the new Golf, which is based on Volkswagen’s innovative Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture, is that its weight has been reduced compared with Golf VI, reversing the so-called upward weight spiral. According to manufacturer preliminary estimates, highway fuel economy has improved by up to 23 percent on European models, depending on the engine. In addition, Volkswagen has equipped the Golf with an entire armada of new driver assistance systems. This innovation was rewarded in May 2013 when the Golf was given the prestigious European “Car of the Year” award.

The obsession with weight saving hasn’t been at the expense of better performance or comfort:

  • Golf VII has more rear-seat legroom and a trunk that is approximately 30 percent larger compared to outgoing model.
  • New technology includes the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.
  • A new variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering system sharpens the handling.
  • A standard touchscreen is now fitted in all models and the completely redesigned infotainment systems incorporate a proximity sensor.

The latest Golf incorporates elements from past designs, such as the grille crossbar and side window graphics from Golf I and the familiar C-pillar and wheelarches of the Golf IV. This DNA is characterized by functionality, ruggedness, honesty, and reliability. The MQB architecture has allowed for a change in proportions, too. Klaus Bischoff, Chief Designer of Volkswagen Brand, says: “The vehicle cab is shifted backward in visual terms, resulting in the so-called ‘cab backward impression’. That’s what the proportions of premium vehicles are called, where the hood is long and the cab is located far toward the rear. The new Golf therefore has the type of proportions usually only seen in higher segments.”

 

A TIMELINE OF INNOVATION

 

Golf I debut, 1974

  • Transverse engine location
  • Front-wheel drive

1976

  • First Golf GTI
  • First Golf D (diesel)
  • 1 million Golf models produced

1978

  • 2 million Golf models produced

1979

  • First Golf convertible
  • 3 million Golf models produced

1980

  • 4 million Golf models produced

1982

  • First Golf GTD (turbodiesel)
  • 5 million Golf models produced

1983

  • 6.99 million Golf I model models produced

Golf II – debut

  • Power steering
  • Three-point safety belt
  • Limited warranty against corrosion perforation

1984

  • Second Golf GTI
  • Catalytic converter offered

1985

  • U.S. Golf II debut
  • 7 million Golf models produced

1986

  • First Golf Syncro (all-wheel drive)
  • First Golf GTI with 16V engine
  • Anti-lock braking system for Golf Syncro

1987

  • Anti-lock braking system for all Golf GT and GTI vehicles

 

1988

  • Rallye Golf G60
  • Golf Limited G60
  • 10 million Golf models produced

1989

  • First Golf City plug-in (electric)
  • First Golf hybrid concept car
  • 11 million Golf models produced

1990

  • First Golf Country
  • First Golf GTI with G60 engine
  • Catalytic converter standard for all models
  • 1 million Golf GTI models produced
  • 12 million Golf  models produced

1991

  • 6.3 million Golf II models produced

Golf III – debut

  • First Golf with VR6® six-cylinder gasoline engine
  • First Golf Diesel with oxidation catalytic converter
  • Immobilizer system
  • Cruise control system

1992

  • Driver and front passenger airbags
  • 13 million Golf models produced

1993

  • U.S Golf III debut
  • First Golf TDI (turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine)
  • First Golf station wagon
  • Second Golf convertible
  • Second Golf Syncro

1994

  • 15 million Golf models produced

1995

  • First Golf SDI (naturally aspirated diesel/direct injection engine)

1996

  • ABS standard for all Golf models
  • Side airbags
  • 17 million Golf models produced

 

1997

  • 4.83 million Golf III models produced

Golf IV – debut

  • First Golf V5 (five-cylinder engine)
  • Fully galvanized body

1998

  • First Golf 4MOTION (with Haldex clutch)
  • Third Golf convertible in Europe
  • Fourth Golf GTI
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

1999

  • First Golf 4MOTION with six-speed gearbox
  • Second Golf station wagon
  • Brake assist
  • U.S. Golf IV debut
  • 19 million Golf models produced

2000

  • 20 million Golf models produced

2002

  • First Golf FSI direct-injection gasoline engine
  • First Golf R32
  • First Golf with natural gas drive (BiFuel in the station wagon)
  • After front and side airbags, the Side Curtain Protection airbags are introduced
  • 21,517,415 Golf models produced, overtaking the Beetle

2003

  • First Golf with six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DSG in the R32)
  • 4.97 million Golf IV models produced

Golf V – debut

  • Automatically dimming rearview mirror
  • Available with Bi-Xenon headlights
  • Laser seam welded bodywork
  • Available with Park Distance Control
  • Available with Rain sensor
  • Four-link rear suspension

2004

  • Fifth GTI (with TSI®/turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine)
  • 23 million Golf models produced

2005

  • First Golf TSI with turbo- and supercharged engine
  • Second Golf R32

2006

  • U.S. Golf V debut
  • First Golf Plus in Europe

2007

  • First Golf BlueMotion in Europe
  • First CrossGolf in Europe
  • Third Golf station wagon in Europe
  • 25 million Golf models produced

2008

  • First Golf with seven-speed dual-clutch DSG® transmission
  • 3.4 million Golf V models produced

Golf VI – debut

  • First Golf with common-rail TDI® Clean Diesel engine
  • Dynamic cornering light
  • DCC adaptive damping system
  • Keyless access
  • LED reversing lights
  • Navigation system with touchscreen
  • Reversing camera

2009

  • Second Golf Plus
  • Fourth Golf station wagon
  • Sixth Golf GTI
  • Comeback of the Golf GTD

2010

  • U.S. Golf VI debut
  • Third Golf R model

2011

  • Fourth Golf convertible

2012

  • 2.85 million Golf VI models produced

Golf VII – global debut

  • Ambient lighting
  • Driving profile selector
  • Lane Assist
  • Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Progressive steering
  • Proximity sensors for touchscreen
  • Torque-sensing electronic limited-slip differential

2013

  • New Golf station wagon
  • New Golf TDI BlueMotion in Europe
  • First Golf TGI BlueMotion in Europe
  • New Golf GTI
  • New Golf GTD in Europe
  • New Golf 4MOTION
  • New Golf R
  • New Golf Sportsvan in Europe

2014

  • U.S. Golf VII debut
  • First e-Golf
  • First plug-in hybrid Golf in Europe
Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, Featured, Industry New..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 15:43

It could be following its foremothers’ footsteps as well, or instead. Aimed at folks willing to spend 30 or 40 large on a 5-seater SUV that’s not a Pathfinder, Nissan has not broken new ground with the all new Murano crossover, but they are offering an appropriately updated product. Power comes from a 3.5 liter DOHC V6 plugged into an XTronic CVT transmission.

Nissan is not advertising any particularly new features, and much of the switchgear while not looking outdated, fails to color outside the lines. There is an 11-speaker Bose sound system, an 8-inch infotainment touch screen interface, and the option of AWD or FWD for each of the trim levels (S, SV, SL, and Platinum). For a few more tidbits, check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton


2014 NYIAS Logo egmCarTech

Nissan provided an early look at the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano prior to its world debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The official reveal takes place on Wednesday, April 16th at a press conference at New York’s Jacob Javits Center. The dramatic new Murano will be on display to the public at the show from Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 27, 2014.

While the Nissan Murano has always stood out from ordinary crossovers with its refined yet daring and futuristic design, the new third-generation Murano kicks it up many notches with its concept car-like styling, premium interior and advanced, purposeful technology.

“Murano owners live in an environment – home, work and car – that is beautiful, well-designed and efficiently run. They are social and embrace technology,” said Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President, Chief Planning Officer (CPLO) of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “The new Murano had to embrace all of these values, while also taking a major leap forward in terms of its ‘Wow’ factor.”

As the halo vehicle for Nissan’s expanding range of bold crossovers and SUVs, the latest Murano also expresses a new Nissan design direction – including its V-motion front end, LED boomerang lights and the unique “floating” roof.

The breakthrough exterior design carries into the interior, which offers an engaging social lounge feel through features such as the refined lower-height instrument panel, wide center console, advanced NASA-inspired Zero Gravity front and outboard rear seating, and the airy atmosphere created by the large windows and oversized Power Panoramic Moonroof.

Available technology features include NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps, 8-inch color display with multi-touch control, 11-speaker Bose® premium audio system, and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System.

Responsive driving is provided by a standard 3.5-liter DOHC V6 connected to an advanced Xtronic transmission. Murano is available in front-wheel drive or Intuitive All-Wheel Drive.

Available safety and security systems include Moving Object Detection (MOD), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) and Forward Emergency Braking. The new Cross Traffic Alert (CTA) system utilizes radar to detect a moving vehicle behind the Murano approaching from either side of the parking space.

The 2015 Nissan Murano will be offered in four grade levels when it goes on sale in late 2014: S, SV, SL and Platinum. Each is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, Featured, Industry New..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 03:56

Germany publication Auto und Sport reported stumbled upon some interior photo leaks of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, which is due to debut at the Paris Auto Show this year.

Supposedly a mix between the SL and the SLS AMG, the new AMG GT is also destined to be a direct competitor to the Porsche 911 and the Jaguar F-Type. Interior wise, the AMG GT looks to host some fine touches like soft leather aplenty, Alcantara, carbon fiber, and aluminum trimmings.

A new touch-sensitive COMAND controller looks to be a part of the package along with AMG’s drive selector modes.

The new AMG GT will supposedly get the brand’s latest 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 good for 520hp with a lesser variant expected to make 480hp.

Source: Auto Motor und Sport

Author: "admin" Tags: "2014, Industry News, Mercedes-Benz, 2015..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 03:39

Ford is doing it big for their 50th anniversary and to celebrate, the Dearborn automaker will be reliving a major moment of theirs.

Not too long ago in 1964, when Ford revealed the Mustang for the world to see, they propped one up on top of the Empire State Building in New York City. Roughly 50 years later, Ford is repeating the stunt and has thus, shared exactly how they planned to do it.

Big helicopter? Giant crane? Superman? Teleportation? By chopping one up.

Find out how in the video after the jump.


Apr 15, 2014 | Dearborn, Mich.

Displaying a 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible 1,000 Feet Above Manhattan – Some Assembly Required

  • Six weeks of preparation needed to bring a Ford Mustang convertible to the top of the Empire State Building
  • Ford and Empire State Building honor 50 years of Mustang with a car display 1,000 feet above the streets of Manhattan
  • Ford partners with longtime supplier to build the Mustang that will be displayed in New York

As the world honors 50 years of Ford Mustang, what better way to celebrate one of the most iconic car brands than putting one back on top of one of the most iconic buildings? When Ford and the Empire State Building decided to display a new 2015 Mustang convertible on the 86th floor observation deck, Ford turned to a longtime supplier for the unique expertise required to make this happen.

In a world where tiny startups are regularly swallowed up by established behemoths, Ford Motor Company and Romulus, Mich.-based DST Industries have been collaborators for nearly six decades. In 1965 – the only other time in the Empire State Building’s 83-year history a car was displayed on its open-air deck – a DST crew was on hand to show off that Mustang convertible.

“This week, the band is getting back together as Ford and DST bring the all-new Mustang to the Empire State Building to honor 50 years on sale,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “We’ve taken the new Mustang to new heights of technology and refinement, so we decided to take it to new heights literally for this celebration.”

The all-new Mustang may be more advanced than ever before, but sometimes physical limitations demand old-school techniques to get a job done.

“When our engineers sat down with the DST team to start plotting this out in mid-February, everyone quickly realized that some old-school craftsmanship would be needed to successfully place this car more than 1,000 feet above the crowded streets of Manhattan,” said George Samulski, manager, Ford North America design fabrication. “The deck is too high to reach with a portable crane from the street, and the spire that towers more than 400 feet above that narrow deck makes helicopter delivery impossible.”

The only other car display on the Empire State Building observation deck happened in October 1965, when a crew from DST, including retired technician Claude Cochran, sectioned a Mustang convertible so that it could be fit into the elevators of the building.

Following a site inspection in New York to meticulously measure all of the elevators and doors, the engineering team in Dearborn sat down with a scale model of the new Mustang and started drawing lines on it with a marker to represent where it should be cut. The Empire State Building is a historic landmark, with original art deco wood and brass trim in the elevators, so it was crucial to ensure everything have plenty of clearance

“The only real problem we had in 1965 was the steering wheel,” said Cochran. “When we tried to roll the middle section of the car with the windshield removed into the elevator, the top of the wheel stuck out a bit too far through the door, so we had to tip the cart a bit to get it in.”

In preparing for the 2014 event, the team at DST worked with two early prototype Mustang convertible body shells. The car that would ultimately make the trip to New York was completely stripped down and the surface cleaned up to make sure everything looked perfect before it was sectioned and painted.

The second body was used as a donor by DST metal fabricators to determine where to make the cuts and to fit a custom-built tubular steel subframe that would hold all the sections together. The fabricators built custom rolling carts and wooden crates for each section.

Getting from the loading dock to the observation deck requires riding a freight elevator and two separate passenger elevators. A wood mockup of the smallest elevator was built in the DST shop in Romulus to verify everything would fit. Each of the loaded carts was then weighed to ensure everything stayed within the weight limits of the elevator and the observation deck.

“The observation deck is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., leaving our crew of six with only a six-hour window to get everything out onto the deck and get the car assembled,” said Pericak. “Before we shipped the crates to New York, the crew spent several days practicing the entire assembly process – timing everything down to the minute – much like a NASCAR or Formula One pit crew.”

With several weeks of fabricating and practice behind them, and the crates on a truck and headed to New York, the DST crew is resting up ahead of some long nights this week assembling and disassembling the Mustang.

The Triple Yellow 2015 Mustang convertible will be on display for visitors to the Empire State Building observation deck April 16-17. When the deck closes to the public at 2 a.m. April 18, the crew will descend on the display car to reverse the entire process and remove it before visitors return at 8 a.m.

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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 01:49

This shouldn’t come to any surprise…but Nissan will be discontinuing the ill-fated Murano CrossCabriolet once the new, completely redesigned 2015 model launches.

AutoBlog got the scoop after exclusively speaking with Nissan’s sources in a recent inquiry about their Pontiac Aztek moment.

“There is no plan for a next-generation Murano CC,” was the response.

And while the CrossCabriolet won’t be missed by too many, AutoBlog’s Chris Paukert did make a valid point–that cars which “make a point of coloring outside the lines are too rare in this business.”

Sort of reminds us that experimentation doesn’t really happen all too often on the production level.

Source: AutoBlog

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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 00:07

This sounds more like an April Fools joke than anything else, but Volvo is pretty serious, and, given their history, they don’t mess around when it comes to safety. The designs you see above are in the concept stage, but when ickle Jimmy needs to go for a ride in Granny’s car, this is going to be a hell of a lot easier to carry around when compared to negotiating what may become the car seats of yesteryear.

Volvo Inflatable Child Seat Concept: three stages

Volvo hints at the advantages posed not just for traveling to the in laws, but, for instance, in taxis, rental cars or buses. For some of us, having children is an absolute must not, but for those inclined to acquire a noisy, sticky and expensive bundle of love, don’t get one of these inflatable seats just yet. Volvo may be quite up on safety, but their press release mentions nothing of washability. Until I’ve had an ‘accident’ and Volvo makes one of these that can go into the washing machine, I’m not buying it. For more info, check out their press release below.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

Volvo Cars unveils the revolutionary Inflatable Child Seat Concept and explores the future of child protection

Children’s car seats are historically bulky, hard to move and tedious to mount. This is why Volvo Cars has designed a lightweight and inflatable rearward-faced child seat concept using groundbreaking technology. The seat is safe, easy to pack and carry and will enable parents to use it in many situations not practical with the seats on the market today.

Lawrence Abele, Design Manager at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles and the designer behind the new seat, had his two children in mind while designing the concept seat: “For me child safety is always the number one priority and when we lived abroad with two toddlers we had to haul bulky child seats through airports and then into taxis. For many, traveling with young children is a challenge; any assistance to simplify the parents’ life with young children is a great thing.”

The concept presents new opportunities, for example grandparents and friends who take care of your kids and need an ultra mobile child seat. It is also very convenient when travelling by taxi, rental car or bus, situations where you historically had to rely on the safety measures available.

Inflates in 40 seconds
The seat has an innovative pump system that is silent and efficient in its construction. The seat inflates in less than 40 seconds and deflates with an integrated pump. The total weight of the seat less than 5 kg, half the weight of a contemporary seat, and it is constantly online via Bluetooth enabling a wide range of features, including remote controlled inflation. It fits into a weekend bag together with other necessities for your child.

Unique drop-stitch fabrics

“We used a unique material called drop-stitch fabric when creating the prototype of the seat. This fabric is very strong when inflated as it can be brought to a very high internal pressure. It is a quite common technology in the boating industry and was originally developed by the military in an effort to develop inflatable airplanes”, says Maria Hansson, Project Manager at Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles.

Rear-faced safest

The Inflatable Child Seat Concept faces the rear of the car, as it is the safest way for children to travel. A child’s neck is under development and not as strong as an adult’s neck. In a frontal impact collision, the head of a forward-facing car occupant is thrown forward inducing great strain on the neck. Children therefore need special restraints and to face the rear of the vehicle until at least 3-4 years of age.

“Actually, it would be better for all of us to travel facing the rear but given how cars are designed nowadays it’s not feasible. Young children, however, can and should travel facing the rear of the car as long as possible”, says Lawrence. “The goal was to design a seat as safe, or safer, than anything on the market right now but second to that I want everyone, including kids to be exposed to great design every day.”

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Industry News, Volvo, life safety ..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 12:30

CarAdvice reports that Mitsubishi may be replacing the now defunct Lancer Evolution with a crossover, contradicting previous reports that the small Japanese automaker may reintroduce the 3000GT.

Should this route be chosen, a high-performance crossover will take the stage, according to Mitsubishi’s President, Osamu Masuko.

Either way, Masuko did conclude by saying the Lancer Evolution is “not a high priority” and the next model needs to be something people will buy.

Source: CarAdvice

Author: "admin" Tags: "2014, Industry News, Mitsubishi, Crossov..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 12:00

Porsche’s tailoring Exclusive branch recently made an example of a Macan S, which hints at some of the things prospective owners can do should they decide to personalize their car more.

Previously, Porsche previewed some changes one can do to the 911 Turbo with a modified coupe and convertible. This particular Macan S comes with the brand’s new bespoke 21-inch wheels with shadow-trimmed bi-xenon headlights, SportDesign exterior mirrors and other body parts, like the front and rear fascias and side skirts.

The inside also receives some updates that mimic the exterior’s funky blue color. Under the hood sits Porsche’s latest twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6 good for a potent 333hp with power being sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. 0-62 happens in just 5.2 seconds making for one quick grocery getter.

Check out the photos in our gallery.

Source: Porsche

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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 02:13

Though it may only be for China, one can always hope that a shouty descendant of the legendary Group B rally Escort that spawned the RS 200 can see the light of day again. For now though, we’ve got this, it’s a cheap and cheerful looking sedan that appears to be some sort of Fiesta derivative. The car pictured above is shown at the Shanghai Motor show, but will be sticking its slightly pinched nose into the Bejing Auto Show as well.

Made locally in China, the econobox slots in below the existing Ford Focus, of which China has been supplied both the second and third generations thereof. Though the shiny (17 inch?) rims may seem aspirational, the car doesn’t look bad overall, and, given some attention from Ford’s SVT division, could be a fun alternative to the Civic Type R, should Ford ever choose to bring it over here. That is pretty unlikely, given the disparity in emissions regulations and safety regulations between the US and China.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

Source: Autocar

Author: "Sawyer Sutton" Tags: "2014, Auto Shows, Ford, Industry News, C..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 01:45

Land Rover officially let the cat out of the bag surrounding the all-new Discovery Vision Concept. Set to debut at New York in a few days, the Discovery Vision Concept provides a preview of the next generation Discovery, or LR4, as it is currently sold here in the states.

Land Rover describes the new Discovery as a 2015 model , meaning production should be due within the coming year. It will also be the first car to usher in a “distinct range of vehicles” under on solitary name.

It utilizes many modern design cues equating to a very clean-cut and tones design–but one that oddly resembles the latest Ford Explorer. With the opposing C-pillar, the Discovery Vision is definitely unique. Though its floating roofline and raked shoulder, makes it as if a Saab and a Ford Explorer mated and gave birth to this concept. And the front, of course, incorporates Land Rover’s latest corporate front end with the rounded hood and swept-back headlights.

The new Discovery will also feature Land Rover’s latest innovation with the “disappearing” engine hood.

For full details, check out the press release after the jump.


Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

(MAHWAH, N.J.) – April 14, 2014 - The Land Rover Discovery has carved an enviable reputation for itself – from deserts, jungles and barren peaks, where its extraordinary capabilities have seen it through the harshest terrains.

From 2015 onwards, the Discovery nameplate will be born by not just a single model but a distinct range of vehicles that symbolize the essence of the premium SUV: modern, versatile, practical and desirable, with the unmistakable DNA of Land Rover at its core. The future Discovery range is set to take on the adventures of life. 

Discovery Vision Concept: Designing the Future 

The Discovery Vision Concept is a window into the future of Land Rover’s new Discovery family. It is a distinctive new interpretation of an iconic nameplate, with a focus on practicality and compelling design that truly resonates with customers and respects the established values of the unique Discovery heritage. 

With its optimized volume and proportions, dramatic silhouette and modernity, this concept is a radical re-imagining of the Discovery. Its unique DNA is evident, with the stepped roof, alpine windows, command driving position and stadium seating all working in harmony to create a vehicle that acknowledges its roots as it firmly looks forward. 

Though a full-size SUV, the Discovery Vision Concept looks remarkably compact.  This has been achieved through a combination of well-considered design elements such as wrap-around headlamps and tail lamps and the short front and rear overhangs serving to reduce the visual length. The headlamps utilize advanced laser technology to generate incredibly bright, far-reaching beams of light, paired with LED daytime running lights. Slim foglamps are capable of emitting both infrared and colored lasers, which assist in the Laser Terrain Scanning and Laser Referencing functions discussed below. 

The prominent Discovery badging is mounted flush with the surface of the hood. The smooth, clean lines of the hood meet the hidden wipers – which are concealed under a flush panel that deploys when they are inactive – and rise quickly over the windshield, towards the panoramic roof. 

In side profile, the raised beltline of the Discovery Vision Concept demonstrates the incredible levels of space available inside. The concept has four coach-style doors: the rear doors are hinged at the rear for easier, more spacious entry and exit. The doors are operated by an electronic gesture recognition system. This system eliminates the need for door handles, resulting in clean, beautifully crafted surfaces and flush tight gaps between their interfaces. 

The slim, aerodynamic door mirrors have embedded cameras, which augment the view of the driver through the windows, providing an extended field of vision while parking and reversing. Just below the doors, steps on either side automatically deploy to facilitate entry and exit, with LED lighting to illuminate the ground. There are body colored C-pillars, a stepped roof flowing into the alpine windows and a distinctive asymmetrical design element on the rear license plate panel also references its Discovery heritage. The split tailgate has evolved into a flexible new tailgate design incorporating a social seat system in the vehicle’s luggage area. 

The gesture-controlled, electrically powered, single-piece tailgate is paired with an event platform, which electrically deploys from within the rear bumper. The Vision Concept has sleek horizontal tail lamps and vertical foglamps, and as at the front, the rear window also features hidden wipers, neatly concealed under the rear spoiler. 

The concept car, which is painted in a Tribeca Grey finish, is fitted with bespoke 23-inch split-five-spoke Aero Viper alloy wheels with a bright silver turned finish. 

Interior: Innovating and Versatility Combined

The interior of the Discovery Vision Concept is a dynamic blend of form, color and material, striking in its clean visual simplicity. It has been carefully crafted to deliver spaciousness and an open, airy feel for all occupants, while cocooning them in an environment that feels cozy and secure. Land Rover’s design team has created a warm and welcoming interior, crafted in Nimbus white and Navy blue premium leather, open pore grey wood veneer and polished and brushed aluminum finishes. The large glasshouse and panoramic roof let in plenty of light and afford clear views out, while the vehicle’s high beltline creates a feeling of security. 

The Discovery Vision Concept seats seven adults in comfort, with a 2/3/2 layout in three rows. Every passenger space was designed to offer ample headroom and legroom and access to storage, infotainment and accessories. 

The Discovery Vision Concept maintains the command driving position that gives excellent visibility. Flowing lines and warmly textured materials tastefully complement clean, futuristic technology interfaces. The steering wheel incorporates two small OLED touchscreens to operate the infotainment system, and with turn signals and headlamp functions operated by gesture recognition control, indicator stalks are absent, creating more visual space and less clutter around the driver. This also affords a clear view of the instrument cluster, which features a high-definition screen with a 3-million-pixel resolution for incredibly vivid, sharp imagery. 

The top of the dashboard has a leather-wrapped airfoil-shaped structure for a light, minimalist appearance. The swooping form of the central ‘arm’ encases two high-resolution touchscreens, which display the vehicle’s system menus. The lower touchscreen flips up to reveal a storage space with an inductive charging pad for cable-free recharging of smartphones. Further down along the console is a rotary gearshift control, which deploys and rises into the driver’s hand as it approaches, and a secondary rotary which controls functions such as Terrain Response and Tow Assist. This secondary rotary control can be detached and taken out of the vehicle to operate Remote Control Drive. 

The seats have a sculpted, wrap-around design, with bolstered leather wrapped around the frame for a solid structural appearance. The third-row seats get their own color: Navy blue leather, in contrast to the other five seats, which are made from Nimbus white leather. This visual separation helps create a personalized ambience for the third-row passengers. All seven seats feature Sky Blue contrast stitching. 

Built to take the demands of family life, the cabin in the Discovery Vision Concept is finished in Foglizzo H20w, an innovative premium leather that is specially treated to make it completely washable, while the Nubuck inserts on the first- and second-row seats feature Foglizzo H203 treatment that makes them totally oil- and water-repellent, to protect against spills. Soft and beautiful, yet highly durable, the Foglizzo leather is very easily washed and cleaned, making it the perfect solution for an uncompromisingly active lifestyle. 

A SkyLight cabin light is incorporated into the structural cross-beam that spans the panoramic roof. Providing an even, warm spread of light, it can be activated and brightened or dimmed with a gesture. Gentle orange lighting in the doors and floors further enhances the ambience of the interior. 

Innovative Versatility 

Versatility and practicality have always been fundamental aspects of the Discovery, and every facet of the carefully considered design of the Discovery Vision Concept reflects a sense of thoughtful innovation. The seats in the second and third rows are able to slide backwards and forwards fully, both independently and as a complete row, fitting flush with the seat ahead or behind them (‘theater-fold’). The seat can also fold down flat, with the seatback effectively becoming a table surface (‘table-fold’). Thus, with varying combinations of theatre-fold and table-fold seats, it is possible to create differing configurations for convenience and comfort – all easily selected from the menu on the console touchscreen. Possible configurations include:

  • 7-seat mode: Standard seating for seven adults in three rows
  • 6-seat-mode: Second row middle seat in table-fold; more convenience for the second-row outboard-seat passengers
  • 5-seat mode: Both second-row outboard seats in table-fold (more convenience for the middle-seat passenger) or both third-row seats in theater-fold with the second row (plenty of extra load space)
  • 4-seat mode: Second row outboard seats in full theatre-fold with the front seats, and the second row middle seat in table-fold. Two passengers seated in the third row seats enjoy huge amounts of legroom 

The back of each seat contains a gesture-controlled infotainment screen with a wide variety of functions, and also has convenience features such as integrated pop-out coat hangers, fold-out tray tables and tablet docking ports. 

The Discovery Vision Concept features detachable travel luggage integrated into the doors, so that passengers can pack luggage without needing to have it take up space in the luggage area. The high-quality hard cases clip into the inside of the doors, and once detached, can be used as a regular roller bag with wheels and extendable handles. 

Accessories such as picnic blankets, sleeping blankets and cushions, are included to for outdoors activities. They are handcrafted by Sula and made with material woven by Harris Tweed, exuding British quality and workmanship. 

The social seating platform of the Discovery Vision Concept is another elegant manifestation of the Land Rover designers’ mission to maximize versatility. The social seat is deployed from under the luggage space floor. When initially extended, it forms a tailgate platform. When further folded out, it becomes a bench seat. 

Used in conjunction with the powered single-piece tailgate, which opens overhead to serve as a canopy, and the tailgate platform, which can serve as a viewing platform to stand on, the social seating system supports a variety of outdoor activities, from picnics, to watching a polo match, and for changing out of muddy clothing. With accessory conversion attachments, the sill step can also be used as a mounted bike/ski rack when the vehicle is on the move. 

Pioneering Technology 

The Discovery Vision Concept is equipped with pioneering technology that is being developed by Jaguar Land Rover. 

Laser headlamps

The headlamps on the Discovery Vision Concept feature laser diodes in combination with LED running lights. Laser light is the next generation of automotive lighting technology. These lights utilize laser-activated phosphor projection to emit a very bright and even beam of pure white light. The power of the laser light beam adds a distance of over 984 ft (300 meters)  to the range of the headlight, and the quality of the light itself is closer to daylight than any other type of artificial light, it is smooth and clean, with no patchiness or speckling all of which makes for excellent and greatly enhanced visibility on the road. 

Jaguar Land Rover intelligent headlight dipping and tracking technology uses hi-definition cameras to automatically detect and assess oncoming traffic, instantly dipping the relevant parts of the light beam to avoid glare to other road users, and adjusting the rest of the beam to maintain perfect visibility in all driving situations. 

By immensely boosting driver confidence and decreasing fatigue, reducing glare and avoiding the need to take one’s hands off the wheel to operate the dip function, laser headlamps aim to make a huge difference to the automotive landscape by vastly increasing road safety. Additionally, laser lights have the added advantage of also being very compact – a tenth the size of LEDs – which opens up numerous design and engineering possibilities. 

Smart Glass & Passenger HMI

The Discovery Vision Concept also previews a truly futuristic technology that will transform the user experience for drivers and passengers alike: smart glass. This new glass is capable of displaying imagery, like a computer screen – but is otherwise entirely transparent, like regular glass. Smart glass is used in the entire greenhouse of the Discovery Vision Concept – in all the windows, the panoramic roof and, allied to Head-Up Display (HUD) technology, in the windshield – and opens up a world of exciting possibilities. 

Augmented reality involves overlaying real-time information onto the view of the surroundings as seen through the windows by the driver or passengers. The smart glass in the window can work in conjunction with eye-tracking sensors and the vehicle’s navigation system to identify that, for instance, a passing landmark is being observed by one of the vehicle’s passengers – and displays relevant information, such as navigation or tourist data, to that passenger. That information can then be swiped from the window directly into a passenger’s seatback infotainment screen, or even to a docked tablet or smartphone, 

The image projection properties of smart glass also enhance the view through the windows; for instance, parking, reversing around corners or parking a trailer is made easier by projecting camera feeds onto the driver’s view out of the smart-glass window, broadening the field of vision. 

The graphical properties of smart glass enhance ambience and privacy controls; the window can be dimmed with infinite gradation or completely blacked out with the swipe of a finger, while the panoramic roof also has the option of displaying screensaver-style ‘mood screens’. From a soothing starry night sky as you drive through a city to a clear blue summer sky on a winter’s evening – the smart glass on the panoramic roof lets you set the mood. 

The Discovery Vision Concept emphasizes a great infotainment experience for all passengers. Individual 10-inch high-resolution screens are fitted into four of the seat backs, with the console screens serving the first-row right-hand-side and second-row middle passengers. Each passenger has not only full video and internet access via the vehicle’s secure in-car WiFi network and the ability to link up to the smart-glass data from the windows, but can also, thanks to embedded cameras above each screen, video-call any other passenger seated in the Discovery Vision Concept, and talk in a natural face-to-face manner without having to twist rearward. A tablet dock integrated into the seatback folding trays also allows personal smartphones and tablets to connect to the vehicle’s system. The screens can be operated with hand gestures – for instance, swiping a hand left or right to change the mode, or rotating a finger to increase or decrease the volume. 

Gesture Recognition Control

A number of other functions in the Discovery Vision Concept are also controlled by intuitive gestures, which is the next generation of interface technology. Jaguar Land Rover researchers have developed calibrated motion sensors that precisely recognize designated hand or finger movements, thus eliminating the chance of unintentional triggering of functions. In addition to the passenger infotainment systems, gestures open and close the vehicle’s doors and tailgate, operate the lights and turn signals, activate the rotary gearshift, and dim and brighten the cabin lighting. 

Exceptional All-Terrain Capability

The Discovery, proven on rutted roads and trails across the world, has a proud history of successfully tackling grueling overland expeditions. Most recently in 2013, the Land Rover Expedition America used factory equipped Land Rover Discovery vehicles (Sold as the LR4 in the US) to drive across the United States off-road from North Carolina to Oregon. 

The Discovery Vision Concept carries forward this tradition:  it was designed and built with maximum capability in its technical systems, and offers the most advanced capability of any Land Rover. The Discovery Vision Concept shows the direction of all-terrain technologies developed by Land Rover, which from highways to mountain tops, deliver the best drive experience, whatever the terrain. 

Remote Control Drive

This feature enables the driver to maneuver the car at very low speed while not actually seated inside it, via the removable secondary rotary on the center console, as well as via a smartphone or tablet. Applications include:

  • Extreme off-roading, where it is sometimes safer and easier to inch the vehicle over obstacles from an outside vantage point
  • Coupling to a trailer
  • Driving through gates, where the driver can avoid repeatedly getting in and out of the vehicle by simply opening the gate and letting the vehicle drive through via Remote Control Drive, before shutting the gate and re-entering the vehicle 

Remote Control Drive has a simple, easy-to-use interface, encrypted access and operation only via the vehicle’s localized WiFi, putting the power of autonomous vehicle control safely and securely in the driver’s hands. 

Laser Terrain Scanning

Another enhancement to the driver’s capability is Laser Terrain Scanning. The  foglamps on the Discovery Vision Concept are capable ofemitting infrared lasers, and these are used to scan the ground ahead, map the terrain and display the mapped imagery on the hi-definition cluster screen, providing the driver a vital visual reference and helping him understand the lay of the land while driving in challenging off-road conditions. 

Laser Referencing

Both on and off the road,the laser technology capability of the Discovery Vision Concept offers an additional resource: Laser Referencing. Here, the laser light is tuned to specific colors in the visible spectrum and used to project visible images onto the road. This has numerous useful applications, including projecting warning triangles onto the pavement behind the car for other motorists to see in the event of a stoppage, or projecting reference points onto roads, walls, or any terrain, in order to help the driver to judge tight gaps and to park or drive in congested spaces. 

“Transparent Hood” HUD Video System

The innovative “Transparent Hood” head-up display system offers an unimpeded view of the ground immediately ahead, greatly increasing visibility. Cameras fitted below the grille feed video to the Head-Up Display integrated into the windshield. While traversing challenging terrain, the imagery can be projected onto the windshield, so that it appears as if the vehicle’s hood is, in effect, transparent. 

Terrain Response

The next generation of Land Rover’s iconic multi-mode terrain response system links up and networks all these advanced capability technologies, as well as Hill Descent Control, wet grass traction control, auto hi/lo range, Low Speed Steering Assist and Wade Aid. 

Terrain Response not only analyzes the type of surface and terrain being traversed – snow, ice, mud, grass, water, rocks, ruts, tarmac, gravel, sand, inclines and so on – but also proactively anticipates upcoming terrain via Laser Terrain Scanning and forward-facing camera sensors, and instantly engages the appropriate system to best respond to that type of terrain and situation. 

Wade Aid is a new water depth sensing system that uses lasers to judge the depth of water ahead before the vehicle even begins to cross, and informs the driver of the feasibility of the intended water fording maneuver1

The all-terrain capability of the Discovery Vision Concept enables differing levels of driving enhancement:

  • All Terrain Progress Control:A low-speed all-terrain cruise control that vectors torque to enable semi-autonomous off-road driving at a steady speed
  • All Terrain Coach: for the more manually inclined. Here, the driver chooses from a menu the type of terrain being traversed and then gets a recommendation as to which off-road systems ought to be activated for the best response
  • Enhanced All Terrain Coach: marks a specific route across a terrain map rendered on the console display via Terrain Scanning, and suggests the appropriate systems to help navigate it step-by-step

The systems on the Discovery Vision Concept offer multiple levels of autonomy, so that the driver always has the choice to be engaged and involved with the terrain just as much as desired or needed. 

These systems aim to provide the driver with accurate and timely information, helping the vehicle progress through difficult terrain, for more confidence, security, and enjoyment on any terrain. 

Follow the excitement as the story continues to unfold over the next two weeks on Land Rover’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and join the conversation using #ReadyToDiscover. 

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