Lexus could finally be in the works with a GS F to compete against the likes of the BMW M5, the Jaguar XFR-S and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, according to a new find from AutoCar in the UK.
The Japanese luxury auto giant has been on a big branding trend, pushing their newly coveted F brand, following models such as the LF-A, the IS F, and their new F Sport models. To keep the ball rolling, the new Lexus RC F was just introduced and now, Lexus could be F-ifying the GS–it’s about time.
Numerous GS F test mules have been spotted over time, tackling the infamous Nurburgring a.k.a the Green Hell, further bolstering the fact that Lexus is definitely working on something GS F related. Although no confirmation exists at this time, speculation suggests the use of the RC F’s current 5.0L V8 with 500hp and 400 lb-ft of torque serving duty under the hood, while an eight-speed auto sits in between the rear-wheels and the mill. Of course, expect high-performance suspension, brakes, steering, and chassis tuning to complement the package and to handle the extra oomph.
On a separate note, AutoCar also heard of a possible four-door coupe version of the RC F, which could compete against BMW’s rumored M4 Gran Coupe.
- By: Chris Chin
Photo rendering by Thorsten-Krisch
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne recently confirmed to be introducing a new Alfa Romeo next year, specifically on June 24, 2015, just as the automaker turns 105 years old.
Specifics as to what model this exactly may be haven’t been released, though speculation suggests it could be the new BMW 5-Series competing Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan.
Nicknamed the “Tipo 952,” the new model sports Alfa’s latest Giorgio modular platform, built to also underpin future Chrysler and Dodge models, after being developed by Maserati. As for the Giulia, it’s anticipated to receive a new line of gas and diesel fours–though we Americans can wager to receive the gas versions only. Maserati’s 3.0L twin-turbo V6 should also find its way under the hood, donning around 480hp to 520hp for the rear-wheels to handle via a dual-clutch auto tranny and a limited-slip rear. Sounds great to us, on paper, to say the least.
We’re not quite sure what to expect visually, but if it looks anything like the rendering shared with the article, we’d imagine Alfa could have a serious winner.
- By: Chris Chin
General Motors’ CEO, Mary Barra, officially revealed Cadillac’s plans to begin introducing semi-autonomous cars and systems within two years, which is colloquially named, Super Cruise.
Due for a reveal sometime in 2017 on an undisclosed model, the Super Cruise system features similar tech to other models with semi-autonomous features, including an array of cameras, sensors, and lots of computers, enabling owners to be able to drive hands-free in various conditions while controlling lane tracking, braking, and speed on the highway.
In addition to the Super Cruise systems, Barra confirmed the 2017 Cadillac CTS is set to offer new vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology as a part of GM’s plan to make allow cars to talk to each other to boost on-road safety and awareness to other drivers.
For the press release, check it out after the jump.
Cadillac to Introduce Advanced ‘Intelligent and Connected’ Vehicle Technologies on Select 2017 Models
Super Cruise and V2V technologies slated for production in about two years
DETROIT – Cadillac will begin offering advanced “intelligent and connected” vehicle technologies on certain 2017 model year vehicles, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said Sunday during her keynote address at the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) World Congress in Detroit.
In about two years, an all-new 2017 Cadillac vehicle will offer customers an advanced driver assist technology called Super Cruise and in the same timeframe the 2017 Cadillac CTS will be enabled with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology.
“A tide of innovation has invigorated the global auto industry, and we are taking these giant leaps forward to remain a leader of new technology,” Barra said. “We are not doing this for the sake of the technology itself. We’re doing it because it’s what customers around the world want. Through technology and innovation, we will make driving safer.”
Super Cruise, the working name for GM’s automated driving technology, will offer customers a new type of driving experience that includes hands-off lane following, braking and speed control in certain highway driving conditions. The system is designed to increase the comfort of an attentive driver on freeways, both in bumper-to-bumper traffic and on long road trips.
V2V communication technology could mitigate many traffic collisions and improve traffic congestion by sending and receiving basic safety information such as location, speed and direction of travel between vehicles that are approaching each other. It will warn drivers and can supplement active safety features, such as forward collision warning, already available on many production cars.
As the world becomes more congested and new populations need access to personal mobility, accidents continue to be a global concern. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study estimated that the economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes in the United States is more than $870 billion per year.
“Advancing technology so that people can more safely live their lives is a responsibility we embrace,” Barra said.
- By: Chris Chin
AutomotiveNews reports Tesla recently announced possibly be working with Toyota on a new project despite the fact their first joint venture, the Toyota RAV4 EV, was a bit of a flop.
According to the report, Tesla’s Elon Musk recently hinted the two companies could reunite once again to work on a “significant project” in the next two or three years. However, there are currently no concrete plans in existence for a cooperatively built vehicle, yet.
Despite this, Musk did suggest the new project could be a more high-volume model than the RAV4 EV, though what could be in the works is anyone’s guess at this point.
- By: Chris Chin
Source: Automotive News
When one dollies up about $845,000 for a new car, expectations for perfection aren’t irrational. But it seems over-engineering and eye-watering price tags still don’t buy perfection as Porsche and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have just issued a recall for five US-spec 918 Spyder supercars over problems with the rear-axle control arms. A total of 45 units worldwide are affected.
There’s a risk of the arms just flat-out breaking under use, and that’s not good by any stretch of means, especially at the speeds the 918 Spyder is capable of. Should a control arm fail, one could immediately lose control of their precious 918. Porsche is obviously on call to repair and replace all affected cars, free of charge.
No incidents and accidents have been reported, though Porsche stumbled upon the issue in June during the 918′s heavy-duty durability testing at the Nardo test track in Italy, where the automaker found and began investigating problematic parts while issuing a stop-sale.
Check out the press release after the jump.
RECALL Subject : Rear Axle Control Arms may Break
Report Receipt Date: JUL 28, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V457000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 5
All Products Associated with this Recall close
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
PORSCHE 918 SPYDER 2015
Manufacturer: Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
Porsche Cars of North America, Inc. (Porsche) is recalling certain model year 2015 918 Spyder vehicles manufactured May 7, 2014, to June 18, 2014. The affected vehicles may have been manufactured with rear-axle control arms that may break, causing difficulty controlling the vehicle.
If the control arms break, the driver may lose control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Porsche will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the control arms, as necessary, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Porsche customer service at 1-800-767-7243. Porsche’s number for this recall is AE03.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
- By: Chris Chin
The automobile industry is already fast paced as is, in order to keep customers interested in new products since products that become stale lost interest–this is quite the given.
As a result, Volkswagen Group of America’s Vice President of Quality and Service, Marc Trahan, recently told Edmunds that the People’s Car maker is going to implement five-year product cycles for cars in the US. Currently, the average running time for a model generation lasts for anywhere between six to eight years.
The new move to introduce new model generations every five years should allow Volkswagen to “keep models fresh and attractive.” Trahan didn’t say which models would see shortened lives, first, though this should usher in a radical new change for anyone who directly competes with Volkswagen. If Volkswagen introduces a new model every five years, others will have to do the same in order to keep up.
Speculation suggests the next-gen Jetta and Passats are the first to last only five years, though confirmation hasn’t been published since Volkswagen Group of America’s CEO, Michael Horn, did still say facelifted versions would happen three years after a product gets launched.
- By: Chris Chin
Kia released specifications and pricing on their latest model, a compliance car, that like the standard Soul, resembles a milk carton when entirely white. Starting at $33,700 (before the $7,500) tax credit, the car’s price is inline with other EVs, save for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which starts at $22,995 before the $7,500 tax credit. Under the hood is a 109 bhp and 210 ft-lbs of torque producing
monster antelope; this output is midpack for the class but the 27kWh lithium ion battery pack is not. Kia claims that this car has the best combined range, short of a Tesla Model S (265 miles), at 93 miles. The Chevy Spark EV (82 miles), Fiat 500e (87 miles), Ford Focus Electric (76 miles), Honda Fit EV (82 miles), Nissan Leaf (84 miles), Mitsubishi i-MiEV (62 miles) and Smart ForTwo ED (68 miles) offer lower ranges.
Is there a cost to the extended range? Second only to the 66bhp i-MiEV ‘s 13-second trip to 60 mph, the Kia takes a lengthy 12 seconds to accomplish the feat. For reference, the Chevy Spark EV pulls this off in 7.9 seconds and a Prius takes just over 10 seconds. Furthering its street cred as a green car, Kia has decided to spring for 52 pounds of plant-based interior plastics, which use a cellulose and sugar cane base, which is a first in this segment. Given the distinctive smell of Kia’s interior plastic choices, this can only improve things.
Efficiency ratings for the Soul EV are midpack at 105 MPGe on the combined cycle and as this is a roomy five-door FWD hatch, rear passengers lose only 3 inches off their feet as a result of the battery packs. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
2015 SOUL EV OVERVIEW
Fun-and-Funky Goes Green: Soul EV Arrives as Kia’s First All-Electric Vehicle in the U.S.
Eco-friendly Soul EV positions brand as a true stakeholder in the growing green segment
The impressive 27kWh lithium battery delivers EPA estimated 93 miles of range1
Soul EV achieves EPA MPGe1 of 92 miles highway and 120 miles city for a combined mileage rating of 105 miles
IRVINE, Calif., September 11, 2014 – As the centerpiece of the Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ efforts, the Soul EV is the embodiment of the brand’s environmentally focused mission, transforming the hip urban crossover into Kia’s first mass-market, all-electric zero emissions vehicle to be sold in the U.S. Combining the iconic design of the Soul with advanced eco-friendly technology has landed the Soul EV in a class all its own. Honored with an industry-first automotive environmental validation by Underwriters Laboratory (UL)2 for its innovative use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV also earned an EPA estimated range rating of 93 miles with an MPGe of 92 miles highway and 120 miles city for a combined mileage of 105 miles.
“This is a momentous time for Kia as we venture further into the eco-friendly space with our first globally available all-electric urban crossover vehicle,“ said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, Kia Motors America. “The one-of-a-kind design of the Soul has proven to be a favorite with customers and when coupled with the state-of-the-art battery, providing top efficiency in range and regenerative energy, it becomes a winning combination of individualistic style, user-friendly functionality and eco-friendly capability.”
The Soul EV conveniently features two standard charging ports, a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). It can be charged to 80 percent in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 Kw–output fast charger (five hours using a 240v outlet). Set to launch initially in the ultra-EV-friendly state of California, the lively crossover will go on sale in additional select markets in 2015.
High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power
A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue with a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery enables an EPA estimated range of 93 miles, which is better than all other EVs on the market except the Tesla Model S luxury EV.
The 360-volt, 192-cell, lithium-ion polymer, gel-electrolyte battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a carbon graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight.
In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four drive mode combinations: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” or “B” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration).
The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120v outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240v outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved from empty in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output DC fast charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs.
Additionally, the 17 Kia retailers participating in the first wave of the Soul EV launch each will be equipped with multiple Level 2 chargers and a DC fast charger, bringing California’s DC fast charging network total to 215, a nearly nine percent increase statewide. KMA’s EV charging infrastructure plan provides Soul EV buyers with broad coverage, flexibility and excellent support, and Kia’s networking partnership with Greenlots will connect customers to DC fast chargers in convenient locations throughout California.
The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by a 109-hp (81.4kW) electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of instantaneous torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine common to most electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor results in a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul and offers protection to the battery.
Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Pedestrian Warning System (PWS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse.
Minimal Battery Intrusion
The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) versus the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space of 18.8 cu.-ft. (with rear seats up) is also unchanged from the internal combustion engine Soul, and the under-cargo tray provides convenient storage for the standard 120v portable charger.
Uniquely Designed Inside and Out
The Soul’s bold exterior design carries over to the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in four color choices: Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, Shadow Black lower body with Inferno Red roof, Titanium Gray and Clear White. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia includes a larger grille area to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range.
When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 52.7 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts.
The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are two-tone gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue or black (Shadow black model) piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching (grey stitching on Shadow Black models) is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. piping blue stitching on the cloth or seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather.
Standard Soul EV amenities include a Navigation with eight-inch screen, a 6.6kW on-board charger, CHAdeMO DC fast charge port, Rear Camera Display3, Bluetooth®4 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw.
Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: a standard heat pump, individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump efficiently combines the A/C and heater into one system while greatly reducing energy consumption. It also utilizes waste heat from the Soul EV’s electrical systems to help heat the cabin. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air.
Forward Thinking Technology
Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services5, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV to help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment.
Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®6, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art.
Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™7 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide.
The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly determine how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit.
IRVINE, Calif., September 11, 2014 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced pricing for the all-electric version of its hugely popular urban passenger vehicle, the Kia Soul. Offered in two trims, Base and + (Plus), the 2015 Soul EV MSRP will be $33,700 (not including federal tax rebate of $7,500) for the Base and $35,7001 for the Plus (not including federal tax rebate of $7,500). With an expected introductory lease price of $249 per month, the Soul EV boasts best-in-class EPA-estimated range of 93 miles and MPGe4 of 92 miles on the highway and 120 miles in the city (105 miles combined). The Soul EV has also been honored with an industry-first automotive environmental validation by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for its innovative use of bio-based materials.
“With our iconic urban passenger vehicle’s wildly popular style and functionality mated to eco-friendly electric-drive technology that delivers best-in-class range, we’re confident that the Soul EV represents a winning combination,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of sales and marketing, KMA. “And with a starting MSRP of less than $34,000 (not including federal tax rebate of $7,500) and an expected introductory lease price of $249 per month, it represents a compelling value as well.”
At $33,700 (not including federal tax rebate of $7,500), the Soul EV Base comes equipped with an array of standard features, including navigation, Rear Camera Display5, Bluetooth®6 hands free operation, power windows, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Also, every Soul EV comes standard with UVO EV Services7, which provide real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. From the UVO EV smartphone app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets.
The Soul EV Plus, priced at $35,700 (not including federal tax rebate of $7,500), adds EV-unique leather trimmed seats, which are tri-level heated and ventilated for front passengers, while the rear outboard seats are heated for added comfort. The Plus also includes projection-style fog lamps and power-folding outside mirrors, rounding out the thoughtfully packaged, value-conscious electric vehicle offering.
Though we’ve been promised the full specifications of the MX-5 at the Paris Auto Show next month, a couple of details have dribbled out: power will come from a 1.5 liter Skyactiv gasser producing 128 bhp and 106 ft-lbs of torque. Given that Mazda’s stable incorporates quite a few different power outputs for their small four, this will likely be the base engine with optional upgrades, though how big the jump will be to the next level is unclear. Mazda has 181 bhp and 155 bhp options in the ’3, but there could be more options coming out down the road.
Click here for more news on the Mazda MX-5
Further removed from the options list are things like a power operated hard top; the top on the prototypes that have been shown appear to be power operated soft tops and this likely has a lot to do with the car’s 2,200-lb curb weight and a weight savings of 220 lbs over the previous (NC) generation. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details on the best selling roadster in history that makes up one percent of Mazda’s global sales.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Last week, Land Rover foisted their 7 seater quazi Discovery replacement on us. The car depicted above and in the video after the jump should slot in just slightly below the current Disco. With a footprint that is similar to many five-seater SUVs and crossovers such as the Acura MDX etc., the new little Disco offers a two-liter turbo four with an unknown amount of power on tap and fording ability that is somewhere shy of a yard. It offers up approach and departure angles of 25 and 31 with a breakover angle of 21 degrees, nothing to write home about, but an improvement over many cars in this class; given the styling, LR will likely attract buyers who have little interest in these figures.
For those cross shopping offerings from the VW group, BMW, and Mercedes, only time and on road manners will tell if this car will be a viable Q5/Q7-fighter. Though there’s no word on whether it will come stateside, a 6-speed manual transmission is available along with a 9-speed automatic. To scoop one up, you’ll have to wait until early 2015 to pick up the Liverpool-built SUV. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
LAND ROVER LAUNCHES NEW DISCOVERY SPORT
Land Rover reveals the world’s most versatile and capable premium compact SUV
Bold and progressive design defines all-new Discovery family
Design leadership and engineering integrity have created the ultimate use of interior space with class-leading versatility and optional 5+2 seating
Discovery Sport revealed digitally at Spaceport America with news of Galactic Discovery competition to send four winners to space with Virgin Galactic
Whitley, UK, September 3, 2014 – Land Rover has revealed the new Discovery Sport, the world’s most versatile and capable premium compact SUV. The first member of the new Discovery family, Discovery Sport, features 5+2 seating in a footprint no larger than existing 5-seat premium SUVs.
Discovery Sport’s progressive new design approach defines the new Discovery family with optimised volume, proportions and stance. Its design leadership combines with engineering integrity to result in a dynamic profile, the ultimate use of interior space and 5+2 seating configurability.
“Our challenge has been to combine premium design with exceptional versatility; the two attributes must work in harmony,” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer. “I’m proud to say we’ve achieved that; Discovery Sport’s dynamic design will resonate on an emotional level with consumers, and this vehicle is more versatile than any other premium compact SUV on the market.”
Land Rover digitally revealed the new Discovery Sport at Spaceport America in New Mexico, USA, also launching the Land Rover Galactic Discovery competition. Four friends are set to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to space with Land Rover’s global partner, Virgin Galactic as part of an innovative digital competition at www.landrover.com/gotospace.
This spirit of adventure is reflected in Discovery Sport’s interior, which has been designed with customers at its core. It features high-quality materials and a strong vertical centre console graphic to reflect the premium design of the exterior, while the core Discovery value of versatility is evident everywhere. Storage solutions are integrated into the cabin and up to four 12V power points and six USB charging sockets can be specified for all three rows of seating, allowing multiple electronic devices to be charged simultaneously.
A host of innovations have allowed Discovery Sport to introduce the versatility of 5+2 seating into the premium compact SUV class for the first time. An all-new multi-link rear axle not only provides engaging driving dynamics but it also provides ample and flexible cabin space behind the second row.
Coupled with supple long-travel suspension, the innovative rear axle also ensures the Discovery Sport is comfortable, refined and rewarding to drive on-road, while retaining the breadth of all-terrain capability for which Land Rover is world-renowned. In fact, with approach, departure and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees respectively, Terrain Response® technology, and the ability to wade to 600mm, Discovery Sport offers class-leading capability in all conditions.
As with every new Land Rover, safety has been a key priority in the development of the new Discovery Sport, resulting in a first-in-class pedestrian airbag, autonomous emergency braking, and a state-of-the-art bodyshell featuring both ultra-high-strength steel and lightweight aluminium.
This represents a fraction of the advanced equipment available in Discovery Sport, which also includes Head-Up Display, an all-new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and tilt-and-slide row-two seating for maximum interior configurability.
At launch the Discovery Sport will be equipped with a range of four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. Both the all-alloy Si4 2.0-litre petrol engine and the 2.2-litre turbodiesel feature stop-start technology, high-pressure direct injection, low-friction internal components and smart regenerative charging for outstanding performance and economy.
Later in 2015, a highly efficient ED4 turbodiesel engine will join the range with CO2 emissions of just 119g/km*. Both 9-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmissions are available, along with a choice of two- or four-wheel-drive.
“Not only does Discovery Sport mark the introduction of the first new member of our expanding Discovery family, it also brings the versatility of 5+2 seating to the compact premium SUV market,” said Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover Group Marketing Director. “Discovery Sport’s versatility is a key differentiator. It is quite simply the most accomplished vehicle in its segment.”
Discovery Sport will be produced at Land Rover’s award-winning manufacturing facility at Halewood, Liverpool. It goes on sale in early 2015 alongside the existing seven-seat Land Rover Discovery in over 170 markets worldwide.
Though Tesla doesn’t seem to have any difficulty with selling its existing $70-90 Model S sedan, the company has an agenda to affect widespread change among the car-buying public. Though we’ve seen this through Elon Musk’s recent tweets about leaving their patents for all to use, the evidence that this is more than just an effort to raise capital comes in the form of comments during an interview with Nikkei.
For the price of a well-optioned family sedan, Tesla promises a more accessible electric car; though most of the compliance car market is floating around this price point, Tesla’s offering will likely offer greater range that the paltry 80 miles that seems to be the high water mark for most cars such as the Chevy Spark EV, Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, etc. Though the company will be partnering with Toyota to deliver batteries and share electronics know-how, Musk stated that “I think in the long term, all Tesla cars will have auto-pilot capability.” For those of us interested in being more than a piece of meat though, the word “capability” was bandied about, thankfully not suggesting that it would be a defining feature of the cars.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Little is known about this car, and given that the Z06 chucks out 650 bhp and costs just south of $80,000; anything turned up to 11 should cause quite a scene. The revisions to the chassis will not be updates to the C7, but major changes to be realized in the C8. For this highly tuned version, the price may start around $150,000 and production numbers will be limited to C6 ZR1 levels, somewhere around 1,500 copies.
As is tradition, the future car will use leaf springs and will go on a diet, likely a re-engineering of the existing aluminum frame and a preference to carbon fiber body panels over the tried-and-true fiberglass. According to Car and Driver, some of these weight saving and performance enhancing techniques have already been developed but the engineering required for mass production is still in process. Though we’re still in the nebulous phase of the next Corvette, one thing will remain unchanged: the use of a small-block V8.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Source: Car and Driver
AutoNation, America’s largest automotive retailer, has announced a partnership with Hennessey Performance to bring the tuner’s performance upgrades to it stores.
AutoNation operates a total of 273 franchises with 33 brands across 15 states.
“We’re excited and honored to team up with AutoNation,” said company founder and president, John Hennessey. “Now performance enthusiasts across the country can come see our specially built vehicles in person, take a test ride and order their new vehicle from AutoNation and then be sent to us for upgrades.”
In order to celebrate the new partnership, AutoNation and Hennessey will be going on a road show to offer customers an up-close look at Hennessey’s latest creations including the Supercharged Chevrolet Silverado and a Hennessey HPE650 Supercharged Chevrolet Corvette. The event will kick off at the AutoNation Chevrolet Fort Lauderdale store on September 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm.
“The Hennessey Performance vehicles have become the benchmark for high performing supercharged vehicles. We look forward to the kick-off of this program at AutoNation,” said Mike Jackson, Chairman.
BMW has yanked the wraps off their latest convertible, which starts out at just a tick over $38K; over here in the US, we probably will not be getting the diesel, but it seems that a manual transmission is standard equipment for these cars, which will come in the existing 2 series variants: the 220i, 228i, and M235i, each cranking out 184, 245, and 326 horsepower, respectively. Both the 228i and the M235i top out at 155 mph per German green party rules and the latter car should have no trouble getting to 60 mph in five seconds flat when equipped with the 8-speed automatic.
Representing some of the few cars in BMW’s lineup that are in keeping with their heritage, this will likely be the last entry-level rear wheel drive 4-seat convertible with a manual transmission that we will be seeing from the Bavarians for the foreseeable future. The next-generation 1 series has been designated as a front wheel drive car.
BMW touts this car as being the only car in the segment with rear wheel drive, which they say “ensures outstanding dynamics.” The company also desperately wants the consumers to think of this car as an updated version of the 2002, which along with the Isetta, was the salvo of the less-than-profitable company in the late 1960s. Given where the next model is headed, this could be a pretty sought-after car 25 years down the road. If you’re looking to scoop one up, you will have to wait until February of 2015. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Extension of the new BMW 2 Series range; maximum dynamics in the premium compact segment now also available in Convertible form; the BMW 2 Series Convertible is the successor to the world’s most popular open-top premium model in this vehicle class (more than 130,000 units sold); systematic development of hallmark strengths of the BMW 1 Series Convertible in terms of driving dynamics, efficiency, agility, athletic elegance, emotion, comfort, functionality and intelligent networking; open-top driving experience of unmatched intensity thanks to typical BMW seat position and wide-opening top; rear-wheel drive – unique in the segment – ensures outstanding dynamics; market launch from February 2015 including BMW M Performance Automobile BMW M235i Convertible.
Independent exterior design, developed in parallel with BMW 2 Series Coupe, sporting hallmark BMW Convertible features and clear visual differentiation from the compact models of the BMW 1 Series; elegantly stretched lines; flat silhouette with pronounced swage line; powerfully sculpted rear wheel arches pointing up rear-wheel-drive configuration; targeted personalisation through model variants Advantage, Luxury Line, Sport Line and M Sport, each with specific exterior and interior design as well as equipment features.
Typical BMW proportions with short overhangs, long bonnet, set-back passenger cell, broad wheelbase and wide track; significantly enhanced dimensions compared with its forerunner model, the BMW 1 Series Convertible; length increased by 72 millimetres to 4,432 millimetres, width by 26 millimetres to 1,774 millimetres, wheelbase by 30 to 2,690 millimetres, front track by 41 to 1,521 millimetres and rear track by 43 to 1,556 millimetres; extended interior specification including e.g. optimised entry and exit comfort for rear passengers; luggage compartment volume increased by 30 litres to 335 litres with the top closed or by 20 litres to 280 litres with the top open, as well as a 35‑millimetre-wider rear hatch compared to the predecessor model; rear seat backrest can be folded using a lever in the luggage compartment; through-loading aperture width increased by 150 millimetres to 450 millimetres and height of 246 (+28) millimetres.
Newly developed, electrically powered fabric top with additional insulation and optimised acoustic comfort; opens and closes in 20 seconds at the push of a button, even while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h (30 mph) if required; choice of three roof colours: Black (standard), Anthracite with silver effect and Brown with silver effect (optional).
Interior with signature BMW Convertible “boat deck” look thanks to harmoniously flowing shoulderline and soft-top compartment, along with rollover bar concealed behind rear head restraints when stationary; driver-focused cockpit; high-quality materials and finish with model-specific accents: centre console with high-gloss black surfaces around radio and climate controls, chrome surrounds for air vents and exclusively designed climate control display with white readouts on a black background.
BMW 2 Series Convertible (average fuel consumption: 8.5–4.4 l/100 km [33.2–64.2 mph]; average CO2 emissions: 199–116 g/km) with supreme dynamics and maximum efficiency for its segment; four-cylinder petrol engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in the BMW 228i Convertible (180 kW/245 hp) and BMW 220i Convertible (135 kW/184 hp); four-cylinder diesel from the new BMW Group engine family with TwinPower Turbo technology and 140 kW/190 hp for the BMW 220d Convertible; eight-speed Steptronic transmission as an option; BMW M235i Convertible as a new benchmark for agility, precision and emotionality in the segment; 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology and 240 kW/326 hp, M‑specific tuning for chassis components, aerodynamically optimised body features, individual cockpit design and eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission as an option.
Extensive BMW EfficientDynamics technology as standard: Air Curtains as well as Auto Start Stop function in conjunction with both manual and automatic gearbox; ECO PRO mode activated via standard-fitted Driving Experience Control switch, including coasting function in conjunction with automatic transmission and including Proactive Driving Assistant if Navigation system Professional is specified.
Outstanding agility and impressive ride comfort thanks to rear-wheel drive, longitudinally mounted engines, balanced axle load distribution and sophisticated chassis technology; double-joint spring strut front axle and five-link rear axle with model-specific tuning; Electric Power Steering and high-performance brake system as standard; variable sport steering, M Sport brakes and Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers optional; all models come as standard with the DSC stability control system including DTC and electronic locking function for the rear axle differential; M Performance mechanical limited-slip differential available for BMW M235i Convertible from the Original BMW Accessories range.
Torsional rigidity of the body increased by around 20 percent compared with predecessor model; best aerodynamic properties among the competition; optimised weight thanks to intelligent lightweight design; body structure with precisely defined load paths and generous deformation zones, based on the BMW 1 Series that was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating; extensive occupant protection through safety equipment including front and side/head airbags as well as integrated rollover protection system; pedestrian protection optimised by active bonnet and defined deformation zones at the front of the car.
High-quality standard equipment includes electrically powered and acoustically insulated roof, BMW Professional radio including iDrive operating system with Control Display in flatscreen design, automatic climate control with convertible mode; optional leather trim with SunReflective technology to reduce surface heating in direct sunshine; optional latest-generation Navigation system Professional including Touch Controller; first BMW model with the option of over-the-air navigation updates via the vehicle’s built-in SIM card.
Significantly extended range of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive: anti-dazzle High Beam Assistant, Adaptive Headlights, Parking Assistant, rear view camera, Driving Assistant, Speed Limit Info with No Passing Info display, cruise control system with braking function, extended integration of smartphones and music players, Real Time Traffic Information, Online Entertainment, extended functionality provided by apps for internet-based services such as Facebook and Twitter.
BMW M235i Convertible: Six-cylinder in-line petrol engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology (twin-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing, Double-Vanos).
Capacity: 2,979 cc, output: 240 kW/326 hp at 5,800 – 6,000 rpm, max. torque: 450 Nm / 332 lb-ft at 1,300 – 4,500 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h / 62 mph]: 5.2 seconds (automatic: 5.0 seconds),
top speed: 250 km/h / 155 mph.
Average fuel consumption: 8.5 (7.9) litres per 100 kilometres / 33.2 (35.8) mpg imp,
CO2 emissions: 199 g/km (184 g/km), exhaust standard: EU6.
BMW 228i Convertible: Four-cylinder in-line petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology (twin-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing, Double-Vanos.
Capacity: 1,997 cc, output: 180 kW/245 hp at 5,000 – 6,500 rpm,
max. torque: 350 Nm / 258 lb-ft at 1,250 – 4,800 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h / 62 mph]: 6.1 seconds (automatic: 6.0 seconds),
top speed: 250 km/h / 155 mph.
Average fuel consumption: 6.8 (6.6) litres per 100 kilometres / 41.5 (42.8) mpg imp,
CO2 emissions: 159 g/km (154 g/km), exhaust standard: EU6.
BMW 220i Convertible: Four-cylinder in-line petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology (twin-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing, Double-Vanos.
Capacity: 1,997 cc, output: 135 kW/184 hp at 5,000 – 6,250 rpm,
max. torque: 270 Nm / 199 lb-ft at 1,250 – 4,500 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h / 62 mph]: 7.5 seconds (automatic: 7.6 seconds),
top speed: 231 km/h / 143 mph (226 km/h / 140 mph).
Average fuel consumption*: 6.8 – 6.5 (6.4 – 6.2) litres per 100 kilometres / 41.5 – 43.5 (44.1–45.6 ) mpg imp,
CO2 emissions*: 159 – 152 g/km (149 – 144 g/km), exhaust standard: EU6.
BMW 220d Convertible: Four-cylinder in-line diesel engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology (turbochargers with variable inlet geometry, common rail direct injection with solenoid valve injectors, max. injection pressure: 2,000 bar).
Capacity: 1,995 cc, output: 140 kW/190 hp at 4,000 rpm,
max. torque: 400 Nm / 199 lb-ft at 1,750 – 2,500 rpm.
Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h / 62 mph]: 7.5 seconds (automatic: 7.4 seconds),
top speed: 225 km/h / 140 mph (225 km/h / 140 mph).
Average fuel consumption*: 4.7 – 4.4 (4.4 – 4.1) litres per 100 kilometres / 60.1– 64.2 (64.2–68.9 ) mpg imp,
CO2 emissions*: 124–116 g/km (116 – 108 g/km), exhaust standard: EU6.
“Turn Around, Don’t Drown” It’s cliched and sounds like something that OSHA might cough up, but as indicated in the video below, it’s decent advice. Thanks to a bit of a hurricane, both a Toyota Sienna and sections of roadway are now slowly making their way out to sea.
Though it’s never enjoyable to watch infrastructure and people getting washed away in weather events, less of California will likely be on fire as a result of this storm, which has claimed the lives of at least two people and has weakened significantly after heading inland. Feel free to check out the video after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Source: Road and Track
Though we’ve already seen its rough shape before, it’s here now. We know that the GT-S’ power comes from a 4.0 liter direct injected, twin turbo V8, and that 500 horsepower is on tap for the initial launch with a 456 bhp GT version following shortly. The ‘in-the-flesh’ debut comes as part of the Paris motor show in October, but for now, the media on display here will have to suffice.
Click here for more news on the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT.
Nestled within the two cylinder banks are two turbos, allegedly a world’s first for a sports car. (Feel free to let us know in the comments if this is, indeed true; given the sliding definition of a sports car, this seems unlikely) The engine is tied to an seven-speed automated manual gearbox and features dry-sump lubrication to cope with the purported face-distorting grip. Mercedes hasn’t stopped there; with a nod to the 911 it intends to irritate, the car features dynamic drivetrain mounts that mitigate drivetrain shifting and rolling during aggressive maneuvers. This optional system, dubbed the AMG Dynamic Plus Package is allegedly another world’s first, as mount adjustments for the engine and transmission are independent of each other.
193 miles per hour are available from the AMG GT-S and 189 from the AMG GT and typical passive and active safety systems found in most of the marque’s lineup are available. For more information, check out the video and the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
AMG racetrack performance combined with superb everyday practicality
September 09, 2014
Affalterbach. The first Mercedes was a racing car and its most recent successor carries this heritage forward. With the new Mercedes-AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG sports car brand is moving into a new sports car segment. The GT is the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG. Its front mid-engine design with a rear transaxle and use of intelligent aluminum lightweight construction form the basis for a highly dynamic driving experience. Its newly developed AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine underscores the hallmark of AMG driving performance. The first sports car engine from AMG with internally mounted turbochargers (‘hot inside V’) and dry sump lubrication is configured in two output ratings: as a GT with 456 hp (340 kW) and as a GT S with 503 hp (375 kW). The new GT combines driving dynamics and first-class racetrack performance with superb everyday practicality and efficiency that sets new standards in the segment.
It has everything you would expect from an authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car – from the characteristic styling, thoroughbred motorsport technology to the optimum weight distribution. The drive system tailored to consistently delivering driving dynamics perfectly complements this set-up. The centerpiece of the Mercedes-AMG GT is thethe new 4.0-liter V8 biturbo, which responds instantly with extreme power at low revs and delivers outstanding performance. Top figures such as 3.7 seconds from 0-60 mph (preliminary) and a top speed of 193 mph (310 km/h), combined with the outstanding driving dynamics will undoubtedly translate into extremely fast laps on the racetrack.
At the same time, this two-seater is a comfortable and reliable companion for everyday motoring thanks to its practical decklid, easily accessible luggage compartment, and high level of comfort on long journeys. It also features an extensive list of Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive assistance systems which ensure the high level of safety expected from Mercedes-AMG.
“With the new Mercedes-AMG GT, we are venturing out into a challenging sports car segment with its top-class competitive field. This is an incentive and motivation for us at the same time to prove to sports car enthusiasts around the world the kind of performance that AMG is capable of”, says Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
“With the new GT we are positioning Mercedes-AMG even more aggressively than to date as a dynamic sports car brand”, says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “With its technological substance, the Mercedes-AMG GT fulfils our high aspirations with regard to driving dynamics, agility and sportiness. The new GT is the second sports car developed fully independently by Mercedes-AMG. The car is manufactured according to the motto ‘Handcrafted By Racers’ – which perfectly encapsulates our heritage and our spirit.”
The models at a glance:
Mercedes-AMG GT S Mercedes-AMG GT Displacement 3982 cc 3982 cc Output 503 hp (375 kW) at 6250 rpm (6000-6500 rpm*) 456 hp (340 kW) at 6000 rpm Max. torque 479 lb. ft. (650 Nm) at 1750-4750 rpm (1750-5000 rpm*) 443 lb.ft (600 Nm) at 1600-5000 rpm Acceleration 0-60mph 3.7 s (preliminary) 3.9 s (preliminary) Top speed 193 mph (310 km/h)*** 189mph (304 km/h)***
* In conjunction with AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package; *** Electronically limited.
The combination of aluminum spaceframe, V8 biturbo engine with dry sump lubrication, seven-speed dual clutch transmission in transaxle configuration at the rear axle, locking differential, sports suspension with aluminum doublewishbone suspension and a low curb weight delivers racetrack performance. The front mid-engine design and rear transaxle configuration makes for a beneficial weight distribution of 47 to 53 percent between the front and rear axle. In conjunction with the vehicle’s low center of gravity this translates into extremely agile handling and permits high cornering speeds. With a favorable power-to-weight ratio, the Mercedes-AMG GT self-confidently lines up alongside the very best in its segment.
Exterior design: sporty emotion and sensual purity
“The new Mercedes-AMG GT is a sports car in its purist form”, says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG. “Breathtaking proportions, powerfully sculpted surfaces and flowing lines turn the new AMG into a contemporary sports car which embodies the spirit of the glorious Mercedes sports cars. The GT is a consummate combination of beauty and intelligence.”
The new Mercedes-AMG GT embodies pure sportiness and emotion. The two-seater is characterized by hallmark rear-wheel-drive proportions. The V8 biturbo front mid-engine ensures optimum weight distribution, which forms the basis for superb driving dynamics. The long hood with its pronounced powerdomes, the greenhouse which has been moved far back, the large wheels and broad tail end make up the distinctive looks. Additionally, the large deck lid conceals a practical luggage compartment.
Muscular and dramatic
Gracefully arched surfaces give the Mercedes-AMG GT its sensuous character and the appearance of artist’s sculpture. Viewed from the side, the domeshaped, arched roof line and the frameless doors are eye-catching features. A muscular element sculpted out of the side wall creates a sense of lightness and movement, even when the vehicle is at a standstill. The surfaces and lines of the side wall flow into the rear-end with a dramatic tapered effect. The GT deliberately avoids lines in the shoulder region in favor of one lower down extending into in the rear bumper, which stretches the body and makes it appear lighter. The side air outlets, each with two fins, represent a modern touch on a classic feature of Mercedes-Benz sports cars.
The creative interaction of diverse design elements lends the coupe a superior, Page 4 self-confident front: the three-dimensional diamond radiator grille with central Mercedes star, a broad single lamella and tastefully accented by the AMG logo stands in the center of the front end. LED High Performance headlamps with stylized “eyebrows” as daytime running lamps, side lights and indicators, as well as three separate high-beam reflectors lend the GT its characteristic look.
Large air intakes in the front apron optimize the flow of air to the cooling modules, while the the charictaristic A-wing design with a front splitter makes the sports car appear low-slung and wide. Finshed in high-gloss black on the GT S, the front splitter accentuates the aggressive look. Customers can also customize the exterior and options available include the Exterior Silver Chrome package, the Night package and the Exterior Carbon-Fiber package.
Broad shoulders for an emotional appearance
With its wide stance, broad shoulders, and narrow tail light design, the rear area creates an emotional appearance at any angle. The licence plate bracket is located in the lower part of the bumper, allowing the Mercedes star to be placed prominently on the smooth-surfaced rear deck lid. The rear features an electroncally retractable rear spoiler, which is concealed from view while the car is at a standstill. The black diffuser insert with integrated tailpipes is accented by a trim strip in matte iridium silver inspired by the A-wing design of the front, creates a visual sense of lightness across the entire rear end.
The tail lights underline both the sporty styling of the rear, as well as the attention to detail and sophistication – form and function combine in a unique way to create a perfect unit.
Interior: sensuality, emotion and perfection
The interior design also embodies maximum emotion and sensual purity. Radically low, sporty proportions create a unique sense of spaciousness. Clearly drawn components and their authentic materials underscore the dynamic character and create instant excitement: Anyone opening the door discovers an exciting interplay between the deep, sloping dashboard and a dominant, arched high center console; a design which evokes emotions and impresses with its perfection.
The central “aviation design” theme, which is the hallmark of Mercedes-Benz sports cars, has been restyled. The extreme emphasis on the width of the dashboard, which creates an impression of a powerful wing dominates the cockpit of the GT. Four central spotlight-style vents and the individual vents at each end of the dashboard reinforce this impression. The combination of high beltlines, concave-shaped door paneling, low seating position and a dramatic center console design, makes the GT feel like you are slipping into the cockpit of fighter jet.
The dominant center console with features lifted straight from motor racing by virtue of its styling that is reminiscent of a NACA air intake. Its surfaces are available with numerous trim options providing the customer ultimate stylistic choice of silver chrome, matte carbon fiber, high-gloss carbon fiber, black diamond and matte silver fiberglass. Positioned centrally, the free-standing display is easly and quickly seen while driving for minmimal distraction while providing modern stylistic flair. Attention to detail is also echoed in the AMG DRIVE UNIT controls: they are arranged like eight cylinders in a V layout, emphasising the powerful and high-tech impression made by the center console.
Outstanding precision and a superior quality feel thanks to the finest materials with superb workmanship are also apparent on the sports seats, the performance steering wheel and the instrument cluster. The most important control for sports car fans is located in the AMG DRIVE UNIT on the left-hand side: the button for starting the engine, which is aptly labelled “Engine Start Stop” and illuminates in red.
The newly developed AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine
The new high-performance engine springs to life at the push of a button. The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine was developed specifically for the GT. The innovative eight-cylinder engine boasts outstanding power delivery, performance figures on a par with motor racing, lightweight construction as well as high efficiency and environmental compatibility. It boasts the brand’s hallmark emotive V8 engine sound, along with an immediate response and high pulling power.
The new AMG V8 engine (internal designation M178) stands out with its precise power output, which is easily a match for a naturally aspirated engine. The linear power delivery makes it easy to handle the vehicle even at its limits.
As part of this process, the sophisticated ECU even factors in the current Page 6 driving condition and adjusts the accelerator response depending on the lateral forces generated.
With a displacement of 3982 cc, the V8 uses a range of technologies which are already being used in the 2.0-liter turbo engine in the CLA45 AMG — presently the most powerful, series-production four-cylinder engine in the world. Both engines have the same bore/stroke ratio, providing the basis for high revving ability. The piezo direct petrol injection used at Mercedes-Benz is responsible for the mixture formation. The spray-guided combustion process was further developed in the third generation to meet all future legal requirements.
First sports car engine with ‘hot inside V’ and dry sump lubrication
The new AMG V8 engine has two turbochargers which are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather inside the V configuration – experts call it a “hot inside V”. The benefits are a compact engine design, an optimum response from the turbochargers and low exhaust gas emissions thanks to optimum air flow for the close-coupled catalytic converters. The dry sump lubrication also ensures the oil supply even with high lateral forces and allows the engine to be installed lower, thus moving the center of gravity closer to the road and forming the basis for high lateral acceleration. The new Mercedes- AMG V8 biturbo engine is the world’s first sports car engine with ‘hot inside V’ and dry sump lubrication.
Performance exhaust system with fully variable exhaust vanes
The Mercedes-AMG GT S is equipped as standard with an AMG performance exhaust system with fully variable exhaust vanes. This allows the driver to vary the engine sound depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT mode. The driver may experience the V8 with a focus on comfort and relaxed, longdistance journeys or with a more powerful, emotive, motorsport-inspired touch. The AMG DRIVE UNIT includes a separate button to control the exhaust vanes directly. The exhaust note of the Mercedes-AMG GT has its own tonal characteristics which denote the car’s membership of the AMG family but that also distinguish it clearly from other high-performance cars.
A tradition of hand-built excellence: “one man, one engine”
The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine is being made in Affalterbach according to the “one man, one engine” principle. In the AMG engine shop, highly qualified master engine builders assemble the engines by hand according to the strictest quality standards. Once completed, this impeccable standard is clearly visible on the AMG engine plate, as it bears the engine builder’s actual signature. “One man, one engine” ties in with Mercedes-AMG’s unique motorsport genes, which exude innovative strength by virtue of the technology transfer from the racing series – from Formula 1, the DTM to the involvement in customer racing with the SLS AMG GT3.
Seven-speed dual clutch transmission in a rear transaxle configuration
When it comes to the power transmission of the new GT the Mercedes-AMG engineers rely on a combination of front mid-engine and seven-speed dual clutch transmission in transaxle configuration at the rear axle – this layout has already successfully established itself in the SLS AMG. The weight distribution with its ratio of 47 percent (front) to 53 percent (rear) is achieved in part from this configuration. The efficiency, speed and precision of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission were further optimized for the new sports car. Thanks to the larger gear ratio spread, the pronounced torque plateau of the new V8 turbo engine can be used optimally. The drivetrain’s overall design is ideal for an uncompromising sports car. At the same time, the exacting requirements in terms of everyday practicality, noise level, ride comfort and fuel consumption have been met.
To transfer the driver’s shift commands from the steering wheel mounted paddles even more directly; communication between the engine and transmission has been fundamentally revised. This means that the previous limits of shift performance have been increased while the response time has been substantially decreased. The driver can individually tailor the GT to their wishes with the aid of AMG DYNAMIC SELECT. Various modes are available: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport Plus) and – entirely new – “I” (Individual). The manual “RACE” drive program reserved exclusively for the GT S optimally adjusts the shift strategy of the dual clutch transmission to the needs of racetrack usage – including fastest shift speeds and highly emotive engine performance. By pressing the “M” button, the driver can activate the manual transmission mode in any drive mode.
Electronic rear-axle locking differential as standard in the GT S
The GT comes as standard with a mechanical rear-axle locking differential which ensures outstanding traction and superb driving safety in all driving conditions. The GT S is fitted as standard with an electronically controlled rearaxle locking differential, which is integrated into the compact transmission housing. The electronic function provides even more sensitive, faster control than the mechanical solution, thus pushing the limits of handling dynamics even further. Not only does it further improve the traction of the driven wheels, but also increases the cornering speeds at the limits. The system operates with a variable locking effect in acceleration and overrun mode, and is perfectly tuned to the various driving conditions and road surface friction coefficients.
Double-wishbone suspension derived from motorsport
Driving dynamics and comfort on long journeys with racetrack performance and everyday practicality; the new Mercedes-AMG GT delivers on all counts. A great deal of attention was paid to the seamless integration of all mechanical and electronic systems during the design, development and testing. Whether it is the suspension, 3-stage ESP®, locking differential, steering, aerodynamics, tires or brakes – with precision engineering the exhilarating sports car driving experience is characterized by superb precision and clear feedback.
The AMG GT offers the perfect combination of design and engineering to produce amazing peforomance on the road as it uses the technological DNA of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, one of the most successful sports cars in recent years. Thanks to the optimum weight distribution of 47 percent (front) to 53 percent (rear), the vehicle’s low center of gravity and the selected suspension layout, the driver benefits from precise steering response, formidable agility, low inertia when changing direction, and outstanding traction. Double-wishbone suspension is used at the front and rear – a technology adopted straight from motorsport.
Wishbones, steering knuckles and hub carriers on the front and rear axle are manufactured entirely out of forged aluminum in order to reduce the unsprung masses. The double-wishbone concept locates the wheel clearly with minimal elastic movements. The high camber and track rigidity not only results in high cornering speeds, but also provides the driver with an optimum road feel when cornering at the limit. An extremely direct connection of the shock absorber on the rear hub carrier reduces vibrations and undesirable wheel load fluctuations. Highly neutral behaviour and defined, predictable the dynamic handling experts at Mercedes-AMG.
Mercedes-AMG GT S with electronically controlled damping
The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping comes as standard on the Mercedes-AMG GT S. The driver can adjust the damping characteristics at the push of a button in the AMG DRIVE UNIT or by using the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive modes. Three stages are available: “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport plus”.
The speed-sensitive sports steering features a variable steering ratio: it enhances vehicle handling and agility at low speeds while maintaining driving safety at high speeds. The power assistance is a particular highlight: it not only responds depending on road speed, but also on the current lateral acceleration and the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive mode. As a result, the driver has a perfect feel for the vehicle thanks to the direct feedback from the road. The standard-fit 3-stage ESP® with the “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT Handling Mode” and “ESP OFF” functions works in perfect unison with the locking differential and is tuned optimally to the outstanding driving dynamics and safety.
AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package available as an option for the GT S
The Mercedes-AMG GT comes as standard with drivetrain damping. A specially tuned damper reduces undesirable rolling motion of the entire drivetrain including the transaxle transmission, thus substantially improving comfort and agility.
The AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package augments performance and agility even more. It is available exclusively for the GT S and includes dynamic engine and transmission mounts. The engine and transmission mounts assume an important function in the case of a transaxle design: soft mounts improve comfort since they provide more effective decoupling of noise and vibration. Handling and agility benefit, however, from an overall stiffer mount set-up.
Mercedes-AMG resolves these conflicting objectives using dynamic mounts, which adjust their stiffness continuously, and instantly to the respective driving conditions and handling. The special control electronics in the AMG CHASSIS CONTROLLER, (ACC), provide this function. The ACC detects driving situations on the basis of CAN data, is connected to the electronic rear-axle locking differential and thus ensures optimum, balanced driving dynamics. AMG has gone a step further when implementing this technology: the engine and transmission mounts are even actuated independently of each other. The advantage: this innovative solution provides an additional substantial improvement in driving precision and lateral dynamics.
Jochen Hermann, Head of Overall Vehicle Engineering AMG: “The combination of selectively variable mounts and a transaxle drivetrain is unique. Mercedes-AMG is once again promoting leading-edge technology, thus affirming our aspirations in terms of driving performance.”
A specific engine application in the DYNAMIC SELECT “RACE” drive mode and in the manual “M” transmission mode makes the GT S even more dynamic. The package also includes tauter suspension tuning thanks to raised spring and damping characteristics, more negative camber at the front axle as well as an adapted sports speed-sensitive steering. Thus the driver benefits from better performance with optimized handling. The performance steering wheel as well as yellow highlights in the instrument cluster round off the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package.
Optional ceramic high-performance compound construction brake system
Excellent deceleration characteristics and high resistance to fade come courtesy of the high-performance compound brake system – on the GT with internally ventilated, perforated 14.2” (360mm) brake discs all-round; on the GT S with discs measuring 15.4” (390mm) in diameter at the front, to cope with the higher performance, as well as red brake callipers. A ceramic highperformance compound brake system is available for both models as an option. Its advantages: lower weight, longer service life and even better fade resistance thanks to the ceramic brake discs with a diameter of 15.8” (402mm) at the front and 14.2” (360mm) at the rear.
Forged wheels and sports tires as an option
As standard, the GT is shod in 10-spoke light-alloy wheels, 9 x 19 inch (front) and 11 x 19 inch (rear), with 255/35 R 19 and 295/35 R 19 tires. On the GT S the dimensions are 9 x 19 inch (front) with 265/35 R 19 tires and 11 x 20 inch (rear) with 295/30 R 20 tires. A host of different design and color variants are available as options for both models, such as the ultralight forged wheels in cross-spoke design, painted matte black, with high-sheen rim edge and fully integrated wheel bolt covers.
In combination with the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package, specially developed sports tires (Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2) are available for the GT S as an option – ideal for aspiring racing drivers on closed-off circuits.
Aluminum spaceframe with intelligent material mix
Mercedes-AMG has gone for an intelligent material mix on the body of the GT. Chassis including greenhouse and body are made out of aluminum alloy, the trunk lid out of steel and the radiator core support is made from magnesium. This extremely light element at the front reduces the inertia ahead of the front axle, thus improving the vehicle’s agility. Over 90 percent of the weight-optimized spaceframe is made out of aluminum components.
The bodyshell weighs 509 lbs. – a benchmark figure in the sports car segment. There were three key objectives during the design and development of the bodyshell structure: optimum strength, low center of gravity and low weight. The high resistance to flex and torsional strength of the entire design enables extreme linear and transverse forces from the drivetrain and suspension to be absorbed and transferred. Unwanted flexibility is thus reduced, with the vehicle responding rigidly and directly. As a result, the driver experiences a sports car with maximum driving dynamics that responds with excellent precision. The aluminum spaceframe also provides the basis for outstanding passive safety.
The Mercedes-AMG GT is produced at Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen. The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine is manufactured at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach.
Aerodynamics for high balance and effective cooling
Vehicle proportions, weight distribution, drive configuration, handling stability, drag, cooling and wind noise: the aerodynamics of the GT fulfill complex requirements. The high-performance vehicle has been developed aerodynamically with one clear objective in mind: high forces must be transferred onto the road without limiting driving dynamics and performance. Thanks to the aerodynamic configuration, critical driving situations can be avoided – such as with a sudden evasive maneuver at high speed.
The design of the front apron with A-wing and front splitter not only increased Page 12 downforce to a desired level, but also helps route air directly to and from the cooling modules. The flow of cooling air from the aerodynamically shaped brake cooling ducts also specifically improves brake performance.
The design of the extensively encapsulated underfloor guarantees optimum airflow out of the oil cooler in the underfloor area and provides effective airflow for the rear diffuser. As an active component of the aerodynamics, the Mercedes-AMG GT comes with an electronically controlled rear spoiler that is integrated into the design silhouette. Depending on the drive mode, the spoiler extends and retracts at various speeds. In combination with the rear diffuser with no leading edges, the downforce on the rear is maintained in the aerodynamically relevant speed range.
Active and passive safety of the very highest caliber
The brand with the star boasts the hallmark active and passive safety of the very highest caliber. The Mercedes-AMG GT adopts numerous assistance systems that are familiar from the new S-Class. Standard equipment includes COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, ADAPTIVE BRAKE, ATTENTION ASSIST, PARKTRONIC, Rearview Camera, PRE-SAFE® system and the tire pressure monitoring system. Optional extras available include:
- Lane Tracking package including Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist
- Blind Spot Assist
The standard-fit restraint systems not only include three-point seat belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters, but also front airbags, combined thorax/pelvis sidebags, windowbags and kneebags, for the driver and front passenger respectively.
Interior with outstanding quality and superb everyday practicality
Upon opening the door, the driver is greeted by the AMG start-up screen as an animated GT appears on the TFT display in the instrument cluster. The sportily designed instrument cluster in carbon fiber pattern provides information with two classic circular instruments with a in a 2-tube look and a 220 mph speedometer scale. The performance steering wheel with its three-spoke design sits perfectly in the hand: it comes with aluminum shift paddles, 12 o’clock marking and a steering wheel rim in black nappa leather with flattened bottom section. The sports seats featuring the AMG logo come in Nappa leather as standard with integral head restraints and provide optimized lateral support when driving dynamically.
The DYNAMIC SELECT Controller, the buttons for the engine start, the 3-stage ESP® and, depending on the equipment, the electronic damper control are located on the left in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The volume control as well as the buttons for the manual transmission drive mode, the ECO start/stop function and, likewise depending on the equipment, the selectable exhaust system are fitted on the right-hand side. The innovative touchpad in the handrest above the COMAND Controller is integrated in front of the E-SELECT selector lever to operate the dual clutch transmission. A free-standing central display is located centrally above the four ventilation outlets. The vehicle comes standard with an 8.4-inch screen with COMAND. Seat heating, PARKTRONIC, hazard warning lights and the optional extendable rear spoiler can all be operated via buttons in the top control panel in the roof frame.
The GT S comes with even more sophisticated equipment and appointments, including:
- Instrument cluster with 220mph speedometer scale and red color highlights
- Performance steering wheel, black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber
- AMG Affalterbach Crest embossed in the center armrest)
- Nappa leather
Trim in matte silver fiberglass or in black diamond
As an alternative to the standard-fit Interior Silver Chrome package, the customer can choose from various other packages. Carbon-fiber trim elements are available in a choice of matte and high-gloss finish. Highlights include the trim in matte silver fiberglass and the Interior Black Diamond package, all offered for the first time. Here the ventilation outlets, the frame of the center console and the trim strips in the door armrests come in a sophisticated highgloss black finish, with its striking 3D look. The “black diamond” method uses the chemical CVD (chemical vapor deposition) gas phase process to deposit a precious metal on a high-sheen chrome surface at temperatures of 1000°C. The metal reacts with the surface to form a layer that is highly scratch-resistant and has a high adhesive strength.
The superb everyday practicality of the Mercedes-AMG GT is also expressed in the airy feeling of spaciousness. In addition, the good all-round visibility and the high headroom demonstrate that sporty dynamics and comfort on long journeys are not mutually exclusive – not necessarily a given in this segment. A large stowage compartment in the center armrest, a centrally positioned twin cup holder and a large, easily accessible glove compartment are further evidence of the outstanding everyday suitability of the GT. The luggage compartment capacity of 12.4 cu. ft. will hold two golf bags either lengthwises or crosswises. The large decklid makes loading easy and a retractable luggage cover comes as standard. The cross strut made out of aluminum behind the seats prevents luggage from sliding forward as the vehicle brakes and is available in various trims (such as carbon fiber) to match the trim on rest of the interior.
The US will launch first with the 2016 AMG GT S in the spring of 2015. The AMG GT will launch in the following year.
It should not be hard to win over hearts and minds with a 645 bhp two seat sports car that was recently developed in a non-American fashion, but sales of the shouty, vulgar, and visceral Viper have been pretty short. Dodge announced that they will be offering what they argue is the lowest price ever for a Viper. They even go so far as to graph the prices from previous examples of the Viper, adjusted for inflation.
It doesn’t end here, Dodge is so desperate to sell these cars that they are offering current model owners $15,000 vouchers for the purchase of a new copy in addition to the existing $15,000 price drop. For the 2015 model year, the Viper gets new colors including Y’Orange, Stryker Orange and Stryker Purple as well as interior seating surfaces upgrades, an aerodynamic package for the TA model, and the special Ceramic Blue Color for the GTS Ceramic Blue edition. For more information, check out the press release after the break.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Dodge Embraces Viper’s Roots and Revs Up Excitement, Delivering the Ultimate Hand-built American Exotic Supercar with a New Starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $84,995
- New for 2015, Dodge is reducing the Viper’s starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) by $15,000 to start at $84,995
- Adjusting for inflation, the 2015 model year Viper is priced competitively to the first generation Viper, which launched in 1992, as calculated by Kelley Blue Book
- The Dodge Viper was first introduced in 1992 with a starting U.S. MSRP of $50,700. Adjusted for inflation, the equivalent in today’s dollars would be $86,130
- Current Gen 5 Viper owners to receive a certificate worth $15,000 to be redeemed toward the purchase of a new Dodge Viper. This $15,000 certificate is in addition to the $15,000 price reduction
- All existing 2014 model year dealer inventory will be reduced by $15,000, effective immediately
- 2015 Dodge Vipers will be sold throughout the entire Dodge dealer network
- New for 2015, the Viper’s refined 8.4-liter V-10 engine and Tremec six-speed manual transmission delivers 645 horsepower and up to 20 miles per gallon on the highway
- Production of the 2015 model year Dodge Viper will begin at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit in the fourth quarter with vehicles arriving in dealer showrooms in the first quarter of 2015
September 8, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Dodge is reconfirming its commitment to the future of the Viper and repositioning the iconic Detroit-built supercar for 2015, giving the snake more horsepower, improved fuel economy and a new starting price $15,000 less than the 2014 model it replaces.For 2015, the hand-built American exotic now delivers an increased 645 horsepower, gets up to 20 miles per gallon and is offered at a new starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $84,995 (all prices exclude tax, title, license, destination and gas guzzler tax).Reaching back into its 100-year history, Dodge is using the formula that successfully launched the original 1992 Dodge Viper, but with even more power, refinement and craftsmanship. Adjusting for inflation, the 2015 model year Viper is priced competitively to the first generation Viper, as calculated by Kelley Blue Book. When Viper was first introduced, the U.S. MSRP was $50,700. Adjusted for inflation — that equates to $86,130 in today’s dollars.
“The Gen 1 Viper had 400 horsepower. It didn’t have air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, traction control or stability control. It didn’t even have real windows. It was the purest, rawest and most visceral American performance car of its time,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO — Dodge and SRT Brands. “The Gen 5 Viper maintains the purity of the original car, with its seductive design, perfect weight balance and all-aluminum V10 with an additional 245 horsepower. But the rawness has been tamed with state-of-the-art five-mode ESC, two-mode suspension, ABS, traction control, launch control and a lightweight structure comprised of carbon fiber, magnesium and aluminum. Despite the Gen 5′s massive leap forward in technology and performance, we’re pulling its starting price back to the equivalent of the original Gen 1 car.”Dodge is repositioning every Viper model with a lower starting price.
In addition to the new starting price, all existing Gen 5 Viper owners will get a certificate worth $15,000 that can be redeemed toward the purchase of a new Dodge Viper. This $15,000 certificate is in addition to the $15,000 price reduction.Effective immediately, all existing 2014 model year Vipers in dealer inventory will also be re-invoiced and receive a new Monroney label that highlights the $15,000 price reduction.Dodge is also expanding Viper sales beyond the current SRT network of dealers. More than 2,300 Dodge dealers will be able to sell the 2015 Dodge Viper.“We have a saying at Dodge: ‘If you know… you know,’ and if you know Viper, you know this is big news,” Kuniskis added, “and if you don’t know Viper, it’s time to check it out and see what makes owning and driving the iconic Viper so much more unique, exclusive and interesting than any other American performance vehicle.” New 2015 Dodge Viper models and features
For 2015 model year, Dodge is also introducing a number of product enhancements, new packages and new colors, including:
- SRT – new accent stitching on the seats and instrument panel, Alcantara accents on the doors and instrument panel and ‘Viper’ badged aluminum sill plates
- GT – new model with Nappa leather seats with Alcantara inserts, Alcantara accents on the doors and IP, ‘Viper’ badged aluminum sill plates, two-mode suspension, five-mode ESC, ‘GTS’ hood and two-piece StopTech slotted rotors
- GTS Ceramic Blue Special Edition with an exclusive Ceramic Blue exterior color and Black stripes
- TA 2.0 Special Edition with high-performance Aero Package
- High-impact Y’Orange, Stryker Orange and Stryker Purple exterior colors – arriving to dealers in early 2015Production of 2015 model year Vipers will begin at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit in the second half of the fourth quarter of 2014. Vipers will start arriving in dealerships in the first quarter of 2015.
Let’s get this out of the way quickly: it’s important to understand that the power to weight ratio, the weight, the engine, transmission and overall setup of the 25-year old MX-5/Miata name are its attraction for a huge portion of buyers.
I am not here to discount the sensation of sliding into anything from a 1989 Miata to today’s MX-5 and feeling the similarities. Like the Mini or Porsche’s 911, the basic package has remained the same for many years and the styling has been thinly revised over the model’s lifetime, until now. BMW slotted little hallmarks in like the Hoffmeister Kink and the kidney grille, and somehow managed to chuck out a very wide variety of designs throughout the years. It is the often risky and sometimes blind and blunt ambition to be different that has made the Bavarians look interesting.
If Mercedes were to introduce an all-new R-Class or M-Class, one would have to dig deep through the vast ‘interwebs to learn this. Why? Because Volvo’s designers have been consuming capsacin (not something offered in Scandinavian Cuisine), and spurning styling throughout each of their concept cars, and now, the XC 90. Who gets excited about a new soccer mom mobile? No one, unless there’s a compelling reason, and Volvo has made more than one reason for us to be interested. Though Mazda had not been languishing and picking through stale parts bins to build their cars like Volvo had, the constant insistence to keep the MX-5′s performance essentially the same and for the styling to have all of the carnal pleasure of a toll plaza kept anyone other than existing MX-5 owners uninterested.
Though this is one of the purest sports cars money can buy, if the same company is producing a more attractive car than the outgoing MX-5 like the Mazda3, something has to give and change. Without witchcraft or a wankel, it seemed inevitable that we would be getting an MX-5 with their latest KODO styling, capable of offending and attracting those of us with eyes.
In case you’re unaware, the new car, replacing the 940,000 copies that came before it, has rear wheel drive, a longitudinally-mounted four cylinder engine, a human (three-pedal) footwell, and 220 lbs less than the outgoing model. That’s all we know for now.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
While BMW slowly dribbles into luxurious obscurity with the front wheel drive 1 series, Motorsport edition SUVs, and a second round of the 4-door M3, Jaguar quietly popped out a traditional sport sedan at Earl’s Court. Though Jag made several half-hearted attempts at a second rung sedan, the poorly rebadged and built Ford Mondeo of the early aughts certainly didn’t suffice, and though the circa-1995 S-Type shape blew many ’90s cars out of the water, it disappointed in other areas. Lincoln’s LS used the same Ford DEW platform as the S-Type and emerged as a pearl in the dynamic arena, but Jaguar’s S-Type emerged as nothing more than a flaccid clam, echoing the traits of its remaining DEW sibling, the Ford Thunderbird.
To some, the last legitimate small sedan from Jaguar was the 1967 Mark II. 220bhp came out, 0-60 happened in just over 8 seconds, and weight was down around 3,000 lbs. BMW was known for airplanes, motorcycles, and the overpriced and soft 502 sedan. In 1968, BMW upchucked something that had been hinted at during the 1966 Geneva Auto Show: an entry-level luxury sports sedan. From this point on, BMW became known for meshing tight little sedans together with an eager four or six cylinder, while Jaguar, knitted beautiful but rapidly decomposing luxury cars. For those who measure a car not by its story and personality, but by the maths it makes, here are the stats on the 2015 Jaguar XE, the company’s 3-series fighter:
- 0-60: 4.9 seconds
- Drive wheels: Rear
- Engine (for the ‘Yanks): 3.0 liter V6, 335 bhp, 332 ft-lbs
- Transmission: 8-speed ZF Automatic
- Top speed: 155 mph (governed)
- Weight: 3,249 lbs
Inside, the story slightly falls apart; it’s not out of keeping with the existing Jaguar line, but the “bespoke” term that British marketers love to throw around is not a viable means to describe the attractive interior. Though the car-buying public may be slipping into a passive stupor and the color palette of the current luxury market can only be described as “fifty shades of gray”, enthusiasts and therefore the target market for a “driver’s car” as it is referred to by Jaguar’s own marketing machine, should be catered to. However, the XE does seem like a compelling effort in the $40-60,000 world of the sports sedan and, given a fairly crowded market, that’s not easy to say. Seat-of-the-pants testing though will be necessary to determine this. Feel free to check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
WORLD PREMIERE OF JAGUAR XE AT LONDON’S EARLS COURT
- First showing of the performance-orientated Jaguar XE S
- Range-topping Supercharged 3.0-litre V6; 340PS; 0-60mph: 4.9s
- High-efficiency 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel: 75mpg, 99g/km CO2
- Aluminium-intensive monocoque – the first in the mid-size segment
- Exhilarating performance, precise handling, supple ride
- Dynamic design, classic rear-drive stance
- Lightest and stiffest Jaguar saloon
- Most aerodynamic Jaguar ever made: Cd 0.26
- Intuitive new InControl infotainment system
- Intelligent Active Safety technologies to support the driver
- Low cost of ownership: highly competitive fuel economy, emissions, insurance ratings, service intervals and residual values
- Indicative pricing for the XE range: from £27,000
- Full details of the range announced at Paris motorshow on 02.10.14
London, 8th September, 2014 – The Jaguar XE has been revealed to the world during a star-studded event held at Earls Court, London.
A true driver’s car, the rear-drive Jaguar XE redefines the concept of the sports saloon thanks to its advanced lightweight construction, streamlined styling, luxurious interior, and outstanding ride and handling. The XE goes on sale in 2015, with the high-performance S model at the top of the range.
The XE S rewards drivers with the responsiveness and refinement of its supercharged 3.0-litre V6. Generating 340PS and 450Nm of torque, this high-revving engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift controls, giving the driver immediate access to the vehicle’s incredible reserves of power. Accelerating to 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds, the XE S has an electronically-limited maximum speed of 155mph.
“Jaguar’s position as the leading premium manufacturer of aluminium vehicles allowed us to develop a light, stiff body structure that is ground-breaking in its class. It enables the XE’s advanced chassis technologies to deliver an unprecedented balance of agility and levels of refinement previously found only in vehicles from the segments above.”
Kevin Stride, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar XE
The aluminium-intensive Jaguar XE is the first model developed from Jaguar Land Rover’s new modular vehicle architecture and will set the standard for driving dynamics in the midsize segment. The long wheelbase and low seating position enable perfect proportions and a streamlined, coupe-like profile.
The S model’s large front air intakes, chrome side vents, discreet rear spoiler and optional 20-inch forged alloy wheels hint at the performance potential of Jaguar’s supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.
The cabin offers outstanding levels of comfort and spaciousness. Exquisite materials and finishes, combined with traditional Jaguar craftsmanship make this an interior like nothing else in the class.
The XE S will be joined by other models powered by highly efficient 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines matched to smooth-shifting six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions. The diesels – part of Jaguar’s all-new Ingenium engine family – provide exemplary fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from 75mpg and 99g/km.
The XE is also the lightest, stiffest and most aerodynamic Jaguar saloon ever built. It is also the first Jaguar to be equipped with electric power steering, tuned to provide exceptional responsiveness and feel but with lower energy consumption than hydraulic systems. The XE boasts the lowest cost of ownership of any Jaguar and is also the most environmentally sustainable.
The aluminium-intensive Jaguar XE is manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant in an all-new purpose-built facility. Part of a £1.5bn investment, this highly flexible, state-of-the-art manufacturing site will create 1,700 UK jobs.
The XE now completes the Jaguar saloon car range sitting below the XF and XJ models.
Full details of the entire XE range will be announced at the Paris Motorshow in October.
Compelling design: Form and function without compromise
The Jaguar XE was developed in parallel with the new modular architecture. The architecture unlocks design possibilities that did not exist before because the core dimensions were determined by design and engineering working together from the very beginning, under a philosophy of ‘anything we can imagine, we can create.’
This makes it possible to realise perfect proportions: short front overhang, longer rear overhang and dynamic, cab-rearward stance. The architecture also enables the XE to feature both a low, sporty driving position and a sleek, coupe-like profile
The strongly-sculpted bonnet creates a taut, muscular appearance. The rising waistline adds to the sense of movement, while the form of the rear quarters takes inspiration from the F-TYPE Coupé. The signature J-Blade running lights are another instantly recognisable Jaguar design element. In the rear lights, a horizontal line intersecting a roundel is a powerful styling feature inherited from the iconic E-type.
Jaguar has a rich history of producing stunning, aerodynamically-efficient cars. The new XE continues the tradition of uncompromised form and function: its streamlined shape has the lowest drag coefficient of any Jaguar yet – just 0.26. This achievement is the result of 1,200 computational fluid dynamics simulations and more than eight million hours of processor time.
“Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE’s positioning as a serious driver’s car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’s standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-TYPE and will stand apart in the crowd.”
Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design
Expectations created by the XE’s exterior styling are more than met once inside. The spacious cabin cocoons front seat passengers with a deep centre console which creates a cockpit-like feel. The F-TYPE-style dials and the cluster needle sweep on start-up further emphasise the XE’s sports saloon attributes.
Front and rear seat occupants enjoy generous amounts of head and legroom – the XE proves that sleek, streamlined styling and interior space need not be mutually exclusive. Technical fabrics, fine-grain leathers and details such as contrasting twin-needle stitching give the cabin a bespoke quality. The choice of gloss black, textured aluminium, and contemporary wood veneers enhance the luxurious, hand-crafted feel. Ambient lighting in a range of up to 10 colours adds to the sense of occasion.
Aluminium-intensive monocoque: Light, stiff, safe
Jaguar is more experienced in the use of aluminium construction than any other vehicle manufacturer. The unrivalled expertise in working with this lightweight material has culminated in the revolutionary body structure of the new XE. It is the first model designed around Jaguar’s all-new modular architecture and is the only car in the class to use an aluminium-intensive monocoque.
Much of the aluminium is high-strength, 6000-series alloy. The bodysides are a perfect example: these complex pressings are formed in one piece, and what would once have been 1.5mm gauge sheet has been reduced to just 1.1mm – with no loss of stiffness.
The new XE has been engineered to meet the most stringent legislative and consumer crash test requirements worldwide, including US and Euro NCAP. The deployable aluminium bonnet ensures high levels of pedestrian impact protection.
Sustainability is a big part of Jaguar’s aluminium story. Recycling this highly valuable material delivers impressive savings in overall CO2 emissions and the new XE is the first car in the world to use RC 5754 – an aluminium alloy made predominantly from recycled material. Future models will also use RC 5754 and this breakthrough will help Jaguar towards its goal of using 75 per cent recycled material by 2020.
“The XE is as strong and light as it could possibly be thanks to exhaustive analysis and by bringing the latest engineering techniques to bear on its design. It has been challenging to accomplish but the XE’s structure is absolutely at the cutting edge of what is achievable today.”
Dr Mark White, Jaguar’s Chief Technical Specialist; Body Complete
Chassis: Agile, responsive, supple
The new XE has the most sophisticated chassis of any vehicle in its class and will set the benchmarks for ride and handling: it is a true driver’s car. Where most competitors use MacPherson strut front suspension, Jaguar’s vehicle dynamics team insisted on the superior double wishbone configuration. The aluminium front knuckles are as light as they are stiff and are forged from cast blanks using a patented production process.
Conventional multilink rear suspension couldn’t deliver Jaguar’s dynamics targets. The solution was Integral Link: a system usually found only in larger, more expensive vehicles and which delivers the ideal lateral and longitudinal stiffness values needed for the XE’s precise handling and supple ride. Aluminium has been used extensively, minimising weight.
Electric power steering (EPAS) offers incredible tuning potential and greater energy efficiency than traditional hydraulic systems but Jaguar’s engineers have not considered the technology sufficiently mature – until now.
Prototype development using larger vehicles convinced the dynamics team that the best EPAS technology could now deliver the advantages of fuel consumption reduction without any loss of feedback through the steering wheel. The XE is the first Jaguar to use EPAS. As well as reducing CO2 emissions by up to three per cent, the system offers the performance that Jaguar’s engineers demanded.
“The introduction of electric power steering was a big step but one we were able to take confidently. The almost infinite range of possibilities it provides in fine tuning has enabled us to achieve the responsive, connected steering feel we require in a Jaguar – without compromise.”
Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar
Active safety: Intelligent technologies to support the driver
The new XE’s light, stiff bodystructure has been engineered to meet the most demanding legislative and consumer crash test requirements worldwide. Complementing the outstanding levels of protection it offers is a suite of advanced driver assistance systems designed to help and support the driver, making every journey safer, more relaxing and even more enjoyable.
The XE is the first car in the world to be equipped with All Surface Progress Control (ASPC). This all-new system, developed with the input of decades of Jaguar Land Rover experience in off-road traction systems, works like a low-speed cruise control. ASPC functions between 3.6km/h and 30km/h: by precisely controlling the brake system and the powertrain it delivers optimum traction in the most slippery conditions without skidding and without the driver using the pedals.
Projecting high-contrast colour images onto the windscreen, the laser head-up display (HUD) technology provides the driver with information such as speed and navigation instructions with maximum clarity and minimum distraction. As well as superb image quality, the laser HUD is smaller and almost a third lighter than existing systems.
Jaguar is one of the first manufacturers in the segment to use stereo camera technology. This state-of-the-art sensor is the ‘eyes’ of the XE’s autonomous emergency braking system, providing highly accurate measurements of speed and distance of objects ahead, and can initiate full braking to avoid or mitigate a collision.
The stereo camera performs traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning functions too. The XE also offers systems such as adaptive cruise control, closing vehicle sensing, blind spot monitoring, semi-automated parallel and bay parking, and reverse traffic detection.
Better connected: All-new infotainment system
The XE’s all-new InControl infotainment system offers the latest technologies to connect car, driver and the outside world. At its heart is an eight-inch touchscreen featuring a clear, intuitive graphical interface and fast response times.
Voice control using plain speech gives access to any level of the system, without navigating through menus, so drivers can keep their eyes on the road. InControl’s SD card-based navigation allows easy upgrades of map data. The system also supports Bluetooth, audio streaming and USB connectivity.
Smartphones are changing the way people interact with the world around them so the new XE ensures that drivers always stay connected. The car functions as a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling multiple devices to connect to the internet – the vehicle antenna provides the best possible signal.
Jaguar InControl Remote functionality allows users of iOS and Android smartphones to connect to the car from wherever they are and control a range of vehicle functions. These include seven-day timed pre-setting of the XE’s climate control system, locking or unlocking the doors, or starting the engine. Jaguar InControl Apps allows users to seamlessly access smartphone apps through the vehicle’s touchscreen.
“For up-to-the-minute parking information, to conference calls, hotel bookings to traffic warnings, InControl Apps can all be accessed with a touch of the screen. Simplifying your connected experience without compromising your interactive options: the new XE is a technologically-advanced step you’ll want to take.”
Dr Mike Bell, Jaguar’s Global Connected Car Director
For drivers who just want to sit back and enjoy the music, the new XE brings Meridian audio technology to the segment for the first time. These superb systems are the latest product of the long-standing partnership between Jaguar and British audio experts Meridian and were developed specifically for the new XE. Unique algorithms guarantee the best possible sound reproduction and tailor the experience to the interior’s acoustics.
Powertrains: Smooth, refined, efficient
The new XE is powered by a range of four- and six-cylinder all-aluminium petrol and diesel engines offering an impressive blend of performance, refinement and fuel efficiency with a breadth of capability.
For customers demanding ultimate performance and an exhilarating engine note from idle right up to the redline there’s the XE S, which shares its supercharged 3.0-litre V6 with the acclaimed F-TYPE.
Spray-guided direct injection and fully variable valve timing optimise power and torque throughout the rev range. The 90° cylinder bank angle provides space for the twin-vortex Roots-type supercharger, a balancer shaft ensures smooth running.
Developing 340PS/450Nm, the V6 provides the XE S with exceptional acceleration and performance: 0-60mph takes just 4.9 seconds, and top speed is electronically-limited to 155mph.
Jaguar is launching the XE with a new family of world-class engines – Ingenium. This advanced in-house modular design began from a clean sheet and is manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s new £500 million UK Engine Manufacturing Centre.
Proven over 2 million miles of real-world testing, Ingenium is the cornerstone of Jaguar’s future low-CO2 powertrain strategy and is engineered to deliver benchmark fuel efficiency, refinement and performance. It will also meet the most stringent exhaust emissions legislation worldwide.
The first Ingenium engines to come off the line are 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesels. Clean combustion, variable exhaust valve timing and sophisticated exhaust gas aftertreatment ensure Euro 6 compliance and take the XE’s CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km in the case of the 163PS/380Nm variant. More powerful versions will be available too, combining exceptional fuel economy and even greater responsiveness.
“Ingenium is a new family of compact, lightweight, low-friction, low-emissions engines that will deliver both the efficiency and performance that our global customers desire. Ingenium will make the new XE the most fuel efficient Jaguar ever – and the greenest.”
Ron Lee, Jaguar Land Rover Group Chief Engineer, Powertrain
The 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection petrol engines are powerful and refined and generate strong torque from low speeds, ensuring excellent launch performance and mid-range response. Two ratings will be available in the XE, and both will be offered with a lighter version of the ZF 8HP automatic used in the rest of the Jaguar range: this benchmark eight-speed transmission is controlled using Jaguar’s unique rotary shift selector.
Ingenium diesels will also be available with a highly efficient six-speed manual – low viscosity oil and pseudo dry-sump lubrication cut parasitic losses. All of the XE’s transmissions are characterised by exceptionally smooth, quiet shifts.
An attractive business case: Sustainable, affordable
The new XE is not only the most fuel efficient Jaguar ever made, it’s also one of the most cost-efficient cars in its class. With CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km, the XE attracts low levels of vehicle taxation in many countries – and is even exempt in others.
Jaguar Land Rover is on track to meet its 25 per cent reduction in fleet average tailpipe CO2 emissions – and the new XE is an integral part of this strategy – but the focus on sustainability goes much further.
Riveting and bonding the XE’s lightweight bodystructure consumes less energy than traditional spot welding. And the use of recycled aluminium – in particular the new RC 5754 grade – reduces demand for primary aluminium, saving even more energy. The XE also contains 46kg of recycled plastics and renewable materials, reducing its environmental impact still further.
As well as exceptional fuel efficiency the XE’s Ingenium diesel engines also achieve a remarkable 21,000 miles or two years between services. From the very beginning, key components were designed to be easily accessible to minimise scheduled maintenance and repair costs. This helps the XE to be awarded highly competitive insurance group ratings.
Full details of the entire XE range will be announced at the Paris Motorshow in October.
JAGUAR XE: TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION*
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Engine capacity (cc) 2,995
Valves per cylinder 4
Bore/ stroke (mm) 84.5/ 89.0
Cylinder block Aluminium alloy
Cylinder heads Aluminium alloy
Fuel injection equipment 150bar spray-guided direct injection
Boosting system Twin-Vortex supercharger
Transmission ZF 8HP45 8-speed automatic
0-60mph (sec) 4.9
0-100km/h (sec) 5.1
Top speed mph (km/h) 155 (250)
Power PS (kW) 340 (250) @ 6,500rpm
Torque Nm (lb ft) 450 (332) @ 4,500rpm
Fuel consumption mpg (litres/100km)
EU combined cycle 33.9 (8.3)
CO2 emissions (g/km)
EU combined cycle 194
Length (mm) 4,672
Width excl. mirrors (mm) 1,850
Height (mm) 1,416
Wheelbase (mm) 2,835
Kerbweight (kg) From 1,474
*All figures are manufacturer’s estimates and subject to final confirmation ahead of production
The Cadillac SRX is nearing its point of replacement and CARandDRIVER recently spoke to Caddy’s chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, who apparently shared some future details.
According to the report, Cadillac is keen with not just introducing a new SRX, but a completely new SRX overall, one that may just be named as a different variant to the Escalade. Previous reports and rumors suggested Cadillac could be working on a large crossover with the Escalade badge, however, this has yet to be confirmed.
Alternatively, Cadillac could be working on a new entry-level compact crossover to compete against the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, the Mercedes-Benz GLA, and the Lexus NX. It’s backbone may be sourced from the same platform underpinning the Buick Encore.
As for the SRX, Ellinghaus did say the front-wheel drive layout will continue for the SRX because it’s been successful for the brand, versus the first-generation model’s rear-wheel drive setup. Additionally, there are advantages with packaging, boosting interior size and reducing cost. Expect the new SRX sometime in 2016.
Volvo was rumored in the past to be sending one of its first Chinese-made models to the US: the new long-wheelbase Volvo S60L and it’s apparently going to happen as early as next year.
Volvo Car Group’s CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, shared the news as production of the S60L began in Chengdu, China. The normal S60 still gets its assembly completed in Torslanda, Sweden. Now, this may or may not be a bad thing because Chinese quality control can be spotty at best, despite being under the supervision of the Swedish. So there’s a bit of an underlying fear that the S60L may not be built as well as its twin in Sweden.
Regional assembly does matter–remember the stories with Volkswagens made in Mexico versus their other market vehicles from Wolfsburg?
The Volvo S60L would also mark the US’s first ever China-built model sold in the US.
- By: Chris Chin