Okay, all one really needs to do is watch the videos. Feel free to paw through the images, I could not help but be a bit demented/sentimental about the selection. At this year’s Geneva Auto Show, Land Rover showed the videos below and said that “Discovery will become a family of vehicles from 2015.”
Click here for more news on Land Rover
Land Rover say that they will be trying to diversify their lineup into three segments, which they have mostly already done with the Range Rover, Evoque and the Discovery as three reasonably separate categories: Luxury, Dual Purpose, and Leisure. Joining the Disco is the latest variant of the LR2/Freelander in the Leisure segment. It is really tricky to say what they will come up with next as there have not been too many specific hints.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Jaguar says the XK is “So alive, it’s the sting in your tail,” but it will not be alive for much longer as the automaker is shutting down sales of the car after eight years. The eight cylinder powered coupe and convertible are living in a shrinking GT car market, and are making jabs at their half siblings, the F-Types. Ian Callum, lead designer of the car, did quite well with the design, as did the folks working on everything underneath. Through a transition time at Jaguar and through the great recession, the XK sold a not so inconsiderable 54,000 units worldwide.
Click here for more news on the Jaguar XK
For a while though one will still be able to shell out anywhere from $79,000 for the Touring Coupe to $174,000 for the XKR-S GT, though the former might be a bit tricky to find unsold. Even if it’s the standard direct-injected 385 bhp V8 powered XK, it will be quite sad to see it go. Though the F-Type is not a direct equivalent to the XKR, it will likely be quite some time until we see a replacement with this designation, but do feel free to drown your sorrows in the roar of the GT’s 550 bhp V8 in the video below.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Jaguar has indicated at the Geneva Auto Show that they will be offering a shrunken XF sedan in the not-too-distant future. Equipped with a new range of efficient and suitably powerful Ingenium 2 liter inline four cylinder engines, the Jaguar XE sedan will serve as the British alternative to the BMW 3 and 4 series, the Audi A4 and the Mercedes C-Class. This is not the first time that the Brits have tried this out; launched in late 2001, Jaguar proffered a entry level luxury car called the X-type. This car was all too closely based on the Ford Mondeo, sold poorly, ran somewhat poorly and was no match for the German and Japanese competition.
The XE shows promise for the company, not just because Jag is hinting at a near 200 mph top speed, but because it demonstrates that Jag is willing to spend some R&D money on an entirely new range of powerplants, which is something that they have not done recently. The above photos give us a taste of the extensive use of aluminum and Jag’s continued devotion to an exoskeleton approach to building cars. Jaguar-Land Rover promises that they will be revealing the full specs of the new range of compact luxury models sometime this year and that the cars will go on sale in mid-2015. For more information, check out the brief press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Jaguar XE Confirmed As Name For Compact Sports Sedan With All-New ‘Ingenium’ Engine Family And Advanced Aluminum
- The Jaguar XE will be an all-new compact premium sports sedan that will arrive in the United States in 2016
- This sedan will expand the Jaguar lineup to reach a new generation of automotive enthusiasts and luxury buyers
- The Jaguar XE will be an advanced, efficient and refined design featuring an aluminum intensive unibody
- This will be the first Jaguar product built on the company’s new advanced aluminum architecture
- The Jaguar XE will be the first vehicle powered by the new Ingenium high-output, fuel-efficient two-liter four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines delivering exceptional performance and low emissions
- The Ingenium family of engines will be built at a new Jaguar Land Rover Engine Manufacturing Facility in the United Kingdom
(MAHWAH, N.J.) – March 4, 2014 – Today, Jaguar confirmed details of the brand’s all-new compact sport sedan, the Jaguar XE which will launch globally in 2015 and comes to the United States in 2016. The Jaguar XE will be the first product built on the new advanced aluminum architecture which was showcased in the C-X17 concept car in 2013. This aluminum intensive structure provides the benefits of lightness and strength for exceptional handling, performance, refinement and efficiency.
Power will be provided by a variety of engines with a wide range of capacities and output, all delivering inspirational performance and offering the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies. The new Ingenium engine line will also offer a flexible engine architecture that can be configured to suit in-line and transverse installations and can be used in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.
Speaking at the Geneva Auto Show, Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, confirmed: “We announced just a few weeks ago that our new Engine Manufacturing Center would produce a new family of premium, lightweight, low-friction, low emission four-cylinder gasoline and diesel units. The first of our Ingenium engine range will be used in our all-new compact Jaguar sports sedan. That car will be called the Jaguar XE, and it will be unveiled in production form later this year.”
Ian Callum, Director of Design, said: “The new Jaguar XE is every bit a modern Jaguar car; more compact in size but visually striking. Customers will expect a great deal from a compact Jaguar car – it must be practical but premium. We never forget we are designing a Jaguar car and that means it must be as exciting to look at and drive as it is brilliant to run and practical to own. We believe we’ve done just that with the Jaguar XE.”
“The all-new Jaguar XE compact sport sedan will bring Jaguar into the largest segment of the luxury car market with a dynamic new entry that will challenge the status quo of luxury car brands,” said Jeff Curry, Brand Vice President of Jaguar North America. “Jaguar is charting an exciting new path with the recent launch of the Jaguar F-TYPE and the introduction of the Jaguar XE, which completes our sedan line-up. We offer a more exclusive, distinct choice in the luxury car marketplace combining progressive British design, a high performance character and advanced aluminum technology.”
The name of the Jaguar XE follows the brand’s sedan progression, positioned alongside the XF and XJ sedans in the range.
For the full year 2013, Jaguar delivered its strongest full year global sales performance since 2005 retailing 76,668 vehicles, up 42%.
It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that automakers other than Lotus were producing lightweight sportscars capable of carrying the driver, the engine, a very small candy bar and one companion. With the release of Audi’s sub 3,000-lb TT and the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Concept, it seems that the automotive industry is no longer in a sugary coma of 65 airbags, massive engines, 400-lb heated and cooled seats, and voice-activated FaceTube access. Sure, there have been fits and starts of better behavior like the Lotus Elise/Exige, Toyobaru BRZ/FT-86/FR-S, ill-fated Toyota MR2, and niche automakers like Morgan offering small, quick cars designed for fun rather than statistics, but overall the sports car world has, until now taken a different approach.
Alfa may not introduce many copies of the 4C to the North American markets or any other, as they have only planned to send 1,000 copies of the coupe over here, but this cloth top cabrio should do well to bring traffic to a standstill wherever it goes. Unlike Alfas of old, the new model will likely only cause rubbernecking from its looks, and not from steam or smoke pouring out from under the hood. Specifications of the new Spider are pretty slim, but Alfa say that it only gains 130 lbs over the fixed-head coupe. This happens to be the same weight as the monocoque from the coupe. This makes for a 2,103 lb Italian sports car with 240 horsepower and 350 ft-lbs of torque coming from a 1750-cc turbo four. Not that it matters, but the coupe version does get 41.5 mpg on Europe’s combined cycle.
12-inch 4-pot Brembos stop the car up front, 0-60 happens in 4.5 seconds in the fixed-head with a top speed of 160mph, the torque curve is flat between 2,200 and 4250 rpm and the coupe pulls 1.1g on the skidpad. What more could a guy or gal ask for?
For more details on a car that will make you want to sell your plasma, a kidney, and anything else, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
ALFA ROMEO 4C SPIDER DESIGN PREVIEW DEBUTS AT 2014 GENEVA MOTOR SHOW
- Alfa Romeo 4C Spider “avant-prémiere” previews new soft-top scheduled to enter production in 2015
- True to the philosophy of the Alfa Romeo 4C, the Spider Design Preview remains an ultra-lightweight, high-performance driving machine
- Extensive use of carbon fibre and SMC*, as well as a lightweight canvas hood, ensures the Spider retains the Alfa Romeo 4C focus and purity
- Stunning evolutionary design sees the addition of new headlamps, new wheels and an advanced new central exhaust system by Akropovic®
The stunning Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Design Preview makes its world début at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, previewing a new model scheduled to go into production in early 2015. Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Design Preview takes full advantage of the ultra-rigid construction and distinctive design of the coupé to produce a Spider in the truest sense of the Alfa Romeo tradition – a car that brings the driving experience into even sharper focus by allowing the sounds and sensations of performance to fill the cabin and stir the driver’s soul still further.
Structural reinforcement required by safety regulations for open-top vehicles means that the Spider inevitably weighs slightly more than the Alfa Romeo 4C coupé, but thanks to the use of carbon fibre for the rollover bars, spoilers and windscreen frame, as well as the adoption of a lightweight canvas soft top and the replacement of the glass rear screen with a continuation of the SMC* bodywork, the 4C’s structural rigidity, mechanical purity and low weight philosophy are not compromised. As a result, the additional weight of the open-top transformation has been limited to approximately 60kg.
The purposeful stance and stunning form of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has been evolved to ensure the highest levels of aerodynamic efficiency and downforce, resulting in impressive high-speed stability, while at the same time minimising the open-top air turbulence in the passenger compartment.
Apart from allowing the driver to connect even more closely with their surroundings, bestowing the Spider treatment on the Alfa Romeo 4C also allows the world to get a better view of what is a truly special and unique interior. Carbon fibre dominates the cabin, but not as a decorative afterthought – the monocoque of the 4C Spider Design Preview is constructed entirely from this distinctive material and is clearly visible in the centre console, door sills and rear bulkhead, for example.
The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Design Preview also debuts a new dual-stage central exhaust system with titanium and carbon tailpipes by Akrapovic®, a company which produces competition exhaust systems for numerous motorcycle classes including Moto GP, Superbike, Supersport, Motocross and Enduro. A key feature of the new exhaust is an electrically-operated valve system which can improve performance and enhance the exhaust note at the push of a wirelessly-linked button.
Powered by Alfa Romeo’s new four-cylinder, all-aluminium, 1750 Turbo Petrol engine, which drives the rear wheels via a six-speed, dual dry-clutch Alfa TCT transmission, the 4C Spider’s performance is all but identical to that of the hardtop Alfa Romeo 4C: 0 to 62mph takes just 4.5 seconds and top speed is in excess of 155mph. In addition, the outstanding deceleration and lateral acceleration performance, and the balanced 40:60 front-to-rear weight distribution, remain unaffected by the evolution from coupé to Spider.
Complementing its show-stopping presence, new carbon fibre clamshell headlights have been fitted to the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Design Preview, as have new alloy wheels which have been milled from solid aluminium blocks and shod with bespoke Pirelli tyres. Finished in three-layer gloss white, which helps emphasise the car’s beautifully sculpted shape and masterfully resolved surfaces, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Design Preview is undoubtedly the highlight of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
AutoCar over in the UK recently learned through Bentley’s sales and marketing director, Kevin Rose, who said that the Flying Wing marque is consdiering a bottom-entry model.
Specifics weren’t shared, but Rose told the publication that the possibility of a model is entirely dependent on market demand. Though it’ shard to imagine what market there is below the Continental GT’s base price of $177,000 large. Does this mean Bentley could be interested in dipping their toes in the same market as the high-end executive sedans from Germany?
On a side note, a hint was given by Rose indicating the possibility of a range-topping model that sits above the $299,000 Mulsanne. Such a model would most likely go head-to-head with the $475,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom. And even then, Rolls has the Drophead and the Phantom Coupe. That could also trigger Bentley to come out with similar competitors.
But nothing is set in stone. Either way, only time will tell.
Since the 60s, Alpina has been offering upgrades to BMWs, initially for racing and now, largely for the consumer market; their latest offering making its debut at Geneva is not inexpensive, but it’s not slow either. Starting at $118,225 including a $925 destination fee, the ‘B6 offers up a stonking good 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and 198 mph is possible too thanks to 540 bhp and 540 ft-lbs of torque coming from a twin turbo 4.4 liter V8 mated to BMW’s 8-speed auto ‘box.
The scope of the upgrades is not limited to the powertrain though. Paint options are different for this car as well as the inclusion of Alpina’s Lavalina leather trim. They aren’t kidding when it comes to the brakes either, 14.7 inch rotors come as standard up front with 13.6 inch rotors for the rear. 21 inch Alpina Classic wheels come standard, so don’t expect the ride quality or the pothole surfing ability to be sublime. It’s delicious though, so take a look at the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
The 2015 BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe
ALPINA’s unique blend of super-high performance and individuality in a stunningly beautiful 6 Series Gran Coupe body and featuring xDrive.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 4, 2014 … Today BMW announced the launch of the new BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe. The 2015 BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe will make its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show in April and will go on sale immediately thereafter. Pricing will be $118,225 including $925 destination and handling.
The BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe delivers exceptional 0 to 60 mph acceleration in only 3.7 seconds. The 540-horsepower and 540 lb-ft output of the 4.4-liter ALPINA Bi-Turbo V8 is channeled through an 8 speed Sport Automatic Transmission with ALPINA Switch-Tronic and BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system.
A carefully tuned high performance stainless steel ALPINA exhaust system with twin elliptical tailpipes resonates with a deep but unobtrusive exhaust note.
Electronic Damping Control and Active Roll Stabilization technology work together with the fully variable torque distribution of the xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system. The seamless integration of chassis and powertrain enables agile and neutral driving dynamics that meet the highest demands for sportiness, comfort and all-weather traction.
With a top speed of 198 MPH, the BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe impresses not only through its effortless and confident super-high performance, but also with its finely balanced handling and smooth refinement.
Elegant and functional aerodynamic design
Typical ALPINA design features blend stylishly into the elegant lines of the B6 Gran Coupe, accentuating its dynamic and powerful appearance. The delicate and refined 20” ALPINA CLASSIC 21-spoke wheels complement the long and smooth contours of the B6 Gran Coupe.
As beautiful as the ALPINA design features are, the aerodynamic elements are also fully functional. The front apron with integrated, slightly protruding splitter elements directs airflow over and around the body rather than underneath the vehicle and thus contributes to increased high speed aerodynamic stability.
The front apron was carefully designed to provide sufficient airflow for the cooling needs of the powertrain, directing air to the intercooler, as well as to the different heat exchanger elements for coolant and oil. The 14.7 inch diameter front brake rotors and the 13.6 inch diameter rear brake rotors benefit from NACA ducts at the front of the underbody to direct cold air towards them.
Handcrafted interior with the finest materials
The ALPINA exclusive LAVALINA leather is used to cover the hand stitched steering wheel, door sill trims are highlighted with an illuminated ALPINA logo and exclusive ALPINA Myrtle wood or Piano Black trim finishes are available.
A wide range of individualization possibilities are available for ALPINA customers The BMW Individual and the ALPINA equipment ranges are available to create a truly unique vehicle using the Gran Coupe body as a canvas for the personal preferences of BMW Alpina B6 drivers. Exclusive ALPINA exterior colors available for the BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe include ALPINA Blue and ALPINA Green.
The ALPINA factory
As is the case with every other BMW ALPINA vehicle, the B6 Gran Coupe body is manufactured in the BMW 6 Series factory (Plant Dingolfing) and hand finished with select ALPINA powertrain components and interior equipment at the ALPINA factory in Buchloe, Germany. This production sequence extends the production schedule by approximately two weeks.
The BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe is available as a special order vehicle with capacity-limited production. European Delivery at the BMW Welt delivery center in Munich is available for the BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe as is delivery at the BMW Performance Center in South Carolina. Customers can even choose both, if they wish.
After its official North American preview at the New York International Auto Show, the 2015 BMW X4 will start being produced down in BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant. Slotting in just above the X3, the X4 will come with the option of the N20 2 liter turbo four chucking out 240 horsepower mated to an eight speed automatic with BMW’s xDrive all wheel drive system. The headline is of course the N55 3 liter turbo six putting out about 300 horsepower, responsible for the reasonably short trip to 60mph. Though the car is mechanically identical to the BMW X3, the Munich-based automaker wants to make it clear that this is not an X3, but a shrunken X6, capable of dishing out plenty of punishment to the likes of the Porsche Macan.
Starting at just over $45,000, the X4 xDrive2.8i is aimed squarely at those interested in making a styling statement that somehow doesn’t involve the X3, 3er GranTurismo, 4er GranCoupe or the 3er wagon. The 3 liter model, dubbed the 3.5i seems to be more about having a point and squirt ski trip car. As is the usual with BMW’s line of SUVs, BMW says that it has “all road capability” and that it’s not a Sports Activity Vehicle, but a Sports Activity Coupe. They BMW is also keen to point out that the roofline is highest above the driver and that the front seats have been lowered by 20 millimeters compared to the X3 seats to give the car some sporting pretensions. For more information, feel free to check out the press release after the jump.
By: Sawyer Sutton
The New BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe
A new dimension for the mid-sized premium Sports Activity Vehicle
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 5, 2014 6:00pm EST/3:00pm PST. . . BMW today confirmed the all-new BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe, a new dimension of the mid-sized premium Sports Activity Vehicle. Like the X6 before it, the BMW X4 combines the performance and capability of a premium Sports Activity Vehicle, with the style and elegance of traditional coupe. In the US, the X4 will be offered with a choice of two TwinPower Turbo engines. The X4 xDrive28i, with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $45,625 (including destination and handling), will feature BMW’s award-winning 240 horsepower 2.0-liter four cylinder while the top-of-line X4 xDrive35i, with an MSRP of $48,925 (including destination and handling) will feature BMW’s venerable 300 horsepower 3.0-liter inline six. Both models include an 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission with shift paddles as well as xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system.The 2015 BMW X4 will make its world debut at the New York International Auto Show in April and begin production this spring exclusively at BMW’s US production facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The new BMW X4 offers the premium mid-size segment its first taste of the Sports Activity Coupe concept. Like its larger sibling, the BMW X6, the X4 offers a unique and unmistakable presence on the road. The X6 has demonstrated the appeal of the Sports Activity Coupe concept with 250,000 sold to date.
A unique expression of The Ultimate Driving MachineTM.
Compared to its stable-mate, the BMW X3, the newest Sports Activity Coupe reveals a dynamic personality all its own and an even more ebullient character. At 184.3 inches (4,680 mm) in length, it is 0.6 inches (14 mm) longer than the X3, but is also 1.5 inches (37 mm) lower (height: 63.9 in./1,624 mm) and cuts a persuasive figure with its perfectly balanced proportions and distinctive character. The large air intakes positioned on the outer edges of the front facia and the precise character lines in the front apron lend the X4 a more muscular appearance. This lowers the car’s visual centre of gravity closer to the road, signalling its sharper dynamics. The effect is further enhanced by the LED foglights located below the signature twin round headlights, an arrangement that defines the striking face of every BMW X model.
The coupe-like roofline of the BMW X4 reaches its highest point over the front seats, reflecting the traditional driver focus of every BMW, before dropping gently down towards the trailing edge of the tailgate. These stretched lines underline the sporting coupe character of the X4. The unique design of the BMW X4 is further reinforced by the fresh interpretation of the signature swage line running along the flanks of BMW models which, for the first time, is split into two. The first section rises smoothly from the front wheel arches to the rear door handles, highlighting the dynamic ability of the new BMW X4, while the second part accentuates the powerful sculpting of the rear fenders. The contoured C-pillars – complete with muscular shoulders – represent a continuation of the theme, as does the broad and low-set rear end, which reminds the driver and passengers of the performance potential served up by the new BMW X4 before they even climb aboard.
Sporty and exclusive interior.
The interior of the new BMW X4 reveals a synthesis of sportiness and exclusivity. The X4’s body is mounted 1.5 inches (37 mm) lower than that of the BMW X3. The driver and front passenger sit 0.8 in. (20 mm) lower and the rear passengers 1.1 in. (28 mm) lower, creating the feeling of a classic sports coupe. It is a sensation reinforced by the rear seat bench, which comes with the type of continuously moulded side bolsters normally only provided by two individual seats, but still offers space for three passengers. Equally impressive is the load capacity available, 17.7- 49.4 cu. ft. (500–1,400 liters), which can be used in a wide variety of ways thanks to the standard 40:20:40 split rear seat bench. Everyday usability is enhanced even further by the standard power tailgate. It is available with the extra convenience of the optional Smart Opener, which allows it to be opened with a movement of the foot. All X4s include BMW’s iDrive Controller and central display. When equipped with the available on-board navigation system, the new BMW X4 receives the new iDrive Controller with touchpad, which allows drivers or passengers to use their finger to write letters for text inputs, such as a navigation destination, for example.
The premium quality and exclusivity of the interior are underlined by selected materials, subtle electroplated accents, a high-gloss black-panel look and aluminum trim strips in the wood panelling. The unmistakable character of the BMW X4 is further highlighted by a level of standard equipment even more generous than that found on the BMW X3. All X4s include the aforementioned power tailgate as well as a sports leather steering wheel with shift paddles, variable sport steering, Performance Control and rear Park Distance Control.
M Sport and xLine for extra individualization.
Available M Sport brings the outstanding dynamics of the BMW X4 into greater focus. One element of M Sport is the M Aerodynamics package, which gives the BMW X4 a particularly striking appearance. The High-gloss Shadow Line trim lends even greater emphasis to the unique character of the Sports Activity Coupe and the sporty suspension set-up raises driving pleasure another notch. Six selected paint finishes (including Melbourne Red metallic), four special interior trim strips, sports seats with various leather upholstery options, an Anthracite headliner, an M leather steering wheel, M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest and a choice of 19 or 20-inch M light-alloy wheels add the finishing touches to the car’s appearance.
In addition to the broad-based and high-quality selection of different colors, light-alloy wheels, upholstery variants, interior trim elements and trim strips for which BMW is renowned, the xLine equipment package gives BMW X4 customers the chance to shine an even brighter spotlight on the X character of their car.
Powerful and refined BMW TwinPower Turbo engines.
The state-of-the-art TwinPower Turbo engines available for the new BMW X4 boast High Precision Direct Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft control and Valvetronic fully variable valve timing. These technologies join forces to provide the high-revving character for which BMW is renowned, along with excellent power delivery, refinement – and impressive efficiency. Drivers with sporting ambitions will appreciate the top-of-the-line X4 xDrive35i. Its 3.0-liter inline six conjures up maximum output of 300 hp between 5,800 and 6,400 rpm and peak torque of 300 lb-ft (400 Nm) at 1,200–5,000 rpm. That’s enough to power the X4 xDrive35i from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. The 240 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder powering the BMW X4 xDrive28i produces peak torque of 260 lb-ft (350 Nm) and a 0 to 60 mph time of six seconds flat. Both engines are mated to BMW’s 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission.
BMW xDrive: the intelligent all-wheel-drive system with Performance Control.
All X4 models have a sporty suspension set-up and come standard with xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system. Performance Control is standard on the X4. It uses the Dynamic Stability Control system to direct power to the outside rear wheel when cornering which improves traction, turn-in and directional stability. Working in tandem with the standard variable sport steering, these systems allow the BMW X4 to deliver driving dynamics that one would expect of The Ultimate Driving Machine. An xDrive status display in the Control Display uses three-dimensional graphics to keep the driver informed of the car’s body roll and pitch. If the navigation system is specified, a compass display in the instrument cluster is included.
BMW EfficientDynamics: ECO PRO mode and coasting function reduce fuel consumption.
Further reductions in fuel consumption can be achieved courtesy of ECO PRO mode (selected using the Driving Dynamics Control switch), the ECO PRO Route option and the eight-speed Steptronic transmission’s coasting function. ECO PRO adjusts all of the on-board systems for maximum fuel efficiency. It includes a coasting function which shuts off fuel when the driver lifts off the accelerator. It also provides tips to the driver that would help to drive in a more efficient manner. The payoff is shown in the central display which shows how much further the BMW X4 can be driven on the gasoline available in the tank. With the available navigation system, the ECO PRO Route option prompts the driver to select and follow the route to the chosen destination that would use the least amount of fuel. The X4 also features BMW’s auto start/stop function which shuts of the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop in order to avoid wasting fuel when the X4 would otherwise be needlessly idling.
Proactive Driving Assistant offers recommendations.
The innovative BMW Proactive Driving Assistant offers additional potential for fuel saving. This technology uses route data supplied by the car’s navigation system to identify situations in advance which will require the car to slow down – e.g. on the way into towns and villages, speed limits etc. – and give suitable recommendations.
BMW ConnectedDrive: Driver assistance and services & BMW Apps.
Providing added safety and greater convenience in the BMW X4 is the optional full-color Head-Up Display, which projects all important driving information and assistance systems displays into the driver’s field of view in high resolution. What’s more, the latest-generation Navigation System with ECO PRO route guidance now teams up with the iDrive Controller with touchpad. Mounted on top of the controller, the touchpad allows texts – e.g. a navigation destination – to be easily input using a finger. Included with the Navigation System in the US is Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (ARTTI). ARTTI includes a full-color graphic that shows the flow of traffic on major roads and can offer route detours to help avoid traffic jams along the selected route.
The array of available driver assistant systems provides an added measure of active safety. Active Driving Assistant + Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go includes Pedestrian and Collision Warning with City Braking function as well as Lane Departure Warning. Also available as options are Active Blind Spot Detection and rearview camera with Surround View which provides a bird’s-eye view of the area around the BMW X4. The available Parking Assistant steers the X4 into parallel parking spaces after alerting the driver to a space large enough for the vehicle.
ConnectedDrive Services allow customers to access embedded service as well as select smartphone applications. The available Concierge Service connects the car with a BMW Call Center, providing real-time help with services as varied as making a restaurant reservation or finding the nearest 24 hour pharmacy. The BMW Assist eCall function, meanwhile, takes safety to another level. It is triggered automatically or can be used manually. As soon as the crash sensors report an airbag deployment, the system sends the precise vehicle location and all key information, including an assessment of the likelihood of serious injury, to the BMW Call Center via the built-in SIM card, thus enabling fast and effective assistance at the accident location. BMW Assist eCall as well as BMW Teleservice is standard in every BMW X4, with service included for ten years at no additional charge.
With BMW Apps, select third party apps may be accessed and operated using the iDrive Controller and display. Apps which are integrated today using an iPhone include Pandora, Stitcher, Audible, Rhapsody and TuneIn as well as the Amazon Cloud Player.
The BMW X4: The next Sports Activity Coupe
The BMW X4 offers the unique blend of style, driving dynamics and all-road capability that can only be offered by a BMW Sports Activity Coupe. Watch for it in authorized BMW centers beginning in spring 2014.
According to a report, Jeep is mulling the idea of ” simplifying” Wrangler ownership by relieving it of one of its redeeming features: the manually operated roof. Currently available with a fixed hard top or rag top, Jeep might be considering removing the car’s proclivity to removing one’s fingers.
Click here for more news on the Jeep Wrangler
Though Jeep has been using a manually operated top for all of its natural existence, this mostly seems like a pandora’s box of poor industrial design, added weight, and poor durability. Cheap, lightweight, and reliable, are all adjectives that describe electronically folding metal roofs, but generally only two of those adjectives can be used. It will be interesting to see if Jeep does go the automatic route and how well the systems last. Up for discussion too, evidently, is the fate of the folding front windshield and tailgate mounted spare tire. Let’s hope these are all just rumors. On the bright side, it would appear that Jeep is looking to smooth out the ride but retain the solid axles.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Source: Road and Track
For Geneva, Porsche has daylighted their newest racecars: the 911 RSR for the LeMans GT class and the 919 Hybrid Prototype. The fettled 911 features a 4 liter flat six chucking out 470 bhp and remains largely unchanged from the previous version. I think it is fair to say that the bulk of the upgrades made to the RSR are in aerodynamics and weight distribution, specifically lowering the car’s center of gravity compared to the previous variant. Service access to the car has been significantly revised, including quick release features for the nose, lid and front apron. For the driver, the biggest ergonomic and safety changes will likely be upgrades to the cornering lights fitted to the car and a redistribution of the controls.
The 919 is a fully functional science experiment, which looks as well as it goes. Conventional power comes from a two liter turbocharged gasoline engine that revs up to 9,000 rpm. Designed for the Premier class, this prototype uses an 8 megajoule energy recovery and boost system. Energy used in braking can be applied to the front wheels to provide additional power as it becomes available to the driver. This emerging hybrid function in racing is technology that is based off one of Porsche’s street legal cars, the 918 Spider. For more information, be sure to check out both press releases below.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Porsche 911 RSR
In its first appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Porsche 911 RSR shone 2013 with magnificent first and second place finishes (GT-Class). The GT racer from Weissach, which is distinguished by its systematic lightweight design and refined aerodynamics, has been further improved in many aspects for 2014. And with success: it started the 2014 season impressively as class victor at the 24-hour race at Daytona.
The 911 RSR, which is used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the new United Sports Car Championship in the USA and Canada as part of the WEC World Sportscar Championship series, made its appearance in 2013 as a successor to the successful 911 GT3 RSR. It is based on the seventh generation of the 911 sports car icon. As in its production car counterpart, its wheelbase was lengthened by a full ten centimetres. A new wishbone front suspension replaces the previously used MacPherson sprint strut suspension. The lightweight racing gearbox is also a special new development by Porsche Motorsport. Its six gears are shifted by shift paddles on the steering wheel. The 470 hp four-litre flat six engine was taken from the previous model and optimised in its details.
One of the central focuses in developing the 911 RSR was to attain a balanced weight distribution. The vehicle’s centre of gravity is also significantly lower than in the previous model. Carbon fibre material assumes a special significance here. The front and rear wings, front and rear lids, the doors, underbody, wheel arch panels, rear wing, dashboard and centre console are made of this exceptionally lightweight and strong material. In addition, all windows are made of very thin and lightweight polycarbonate. The familiar lightweight lithium-ion battery of the GT street models also makes a contribution towards weight savings.
More service-friendly for shorter pit stops
The look of the new 911 RSR is marked by broad flared wings and a deep cooling air channel at the front end. The new air flow system enables a centrally located radiator at the front end, which operates even more efficiently than in the previous model. Climate control of the interior was also made more efficient. For enhanced service friendliness and shorter repair times, a quick-change concept for body parts was tuned for long-distance racing. The nose, front lid and rear apron are attached with quick-action clamps and can be replaced within just a few seconds.
The static cornering lights that are positioned very low in the front end improve the driver’s view in bends. This improves night-time driving safety. The reflective labels on cockpit controls, combined with anti-glare interior lighting, provide for optimal legibility in darkness. The layout of switches on the new steering wheel was developed together with the Porsche factory drivers. From the outset, they contributed their wealth of experience in GT motorsport to the design of the 911 RSR.
The 911 RSR was systematically further improved for the 2014 season. The redesigned front end, for example, and the new rear wing provide for optimal aerodynamic balance and therefore for greater stability in fast driving through bends. Even more precise steering response, which leads to better vehicle handling in bends at slow and moderate speeds, was attained by optimising front suspension kinematics. Further improvements to the car’s structural rigidity result in more precise steering response. Also new is the engine air induction system, which was optimised in its details, such as in its air filter geometry, which contributes towards reducing the effects of contamination on power output. The new FT3 safety fuel tank with a lowered centre of gravity enables improved filling under race conditions.
Live telemetry that is permanently transmitted to the command station via the car’s roof antenna ensures that engineers are always well informed of all relevant vehicle data with over 200 measurement values. In addition, all data is stored on a memory card in the vehicle.
“The most spectacular 911 ever”
“The 911 RSR was further optimised in many aspects. The wide rear wheel rims and refined aerodynamics have improved consistency over a sprint,” says Porsche factory driver Jörg Bergmeister. “This is undoubtedly the best 911 that I have ever driven. It still always feels like a 911, but it can do practically everything better than the previous model. And on top of that, it is also in my eyes the most beautiful and most spectacular 911 ever.” His team-mate Patrick Pilet adds this: “Last season, we strove constantly to develop the car further. The better weight distribution, in particular, has had a positive effect on performance. The 911 RSR is now more stable over the rear axle and gives the driver a greater sense of trust. This allows the driver to probe performance limits faster.”
Porsche 919 Hybrid
Porsche is returning to the top category of the famous endurance race classic at Le Mans and the World Endurance Championships (WEC) for sports cars with its newly developed 919 Hybrid. The LMP1 prototype, which is designed for extreme efficiency, is the most complex race car that Porsche ever put on wheels.
It serves as a research platform for fundamental technology to be used in future production models, with its combination of two different energy recovery systems and a downsizing turbocharged engine. So the real winner of Porsche factory racing is already clear: it is the customer.
The World Endurance Championship (WEC) for sports cars launches into a new era, beginning on 20 April at Silverstone in Great Britain. The season highlight, Le Mans, follows in June. The newly formulated regulations for the top class of this World Championship has completely changed in focus. From now on, the sporty performance of the LMP1-H prototypes will be rated in direct relationship to their energy efficiency. While the allowable fuel quantity per lap was reduced by around 30 per cent compared to the prior year, the amount of energy of the obligatory hybrid systems that can be used in the race was dramatically increased. This shifts technologies into the limelight that are most significant for future production vehicles. From the perspective of Porsche, that is a decisive argument for a return to the top league of sports car racing.
Maximum efficiency of all elements as development goal
Porsche engineers are taking on the challenges of the WEC regulations with innovative solutions and all the creativity they can muster. The development of the Porsche 919 Hybrid began in mid-2011 – literally on a blank sheet of paper. As newcomers, the developers had to do without the greater experience that their competitors in the LMP1 category enjoyed. However, they were able to access the know-how that Porsche had acquired in its racing success with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid and the 918 Spyder super sports car, which is also hybrid-driven.
The exceptional efficiency of the highly complex technology of the Porsche 919 Hybrid is the result of a carefully balanced overall concept. From the combustion engine to the energy recovery systems, chassis and running gear, aerodynamics and driver ergonomics, the sum of all individual components forms an exceptionally effective unit. It all serves one goal: a maximum of sporty performance within tight fuel economy constraints.
In choosing a hybridised drive concept, the newly formulated WEC regulations gave Porsche developers great freedom. The drive system of the new LMP1 race car is based on a four-cylinder petrol engine that is as compact as it is lightweight. It performs load-bearing functions within the chassis based on its V-construction, which also offers thermodynamic advantages. The petrol engine, which reaches a maximum engine speed of around 9,000 rpm, is a frontrunner in terms of its downsizing philosophy with its 2.0 litres of displacement, direct injection and monoturbo charging.
It also features two different energy recovery systems. Fundamentally new and especially innovative is the recovery of thermal energy from exhaust gases. An electric generator is used here, which is powered by the exhaust gas stream. The functionality of the second hybrid system is known from the Porsche 918 Spyder. Here, a generator on the front axle utilises braking phases to convert kinetic energy into electric energy. It is also stored in highly-advanced water-cooled lithium-ion battery packs until the driver needs the extra energy. Then the front generator is operated as a single electric motor and drives the two front wheels via a differential in the acceleration phases. This gives the Porsche 919 Hybrid a temporary all-wheel drive system, because the petrol engine directs its power to the rear wheels in a conventional way.
Powerful hybrid drive for the 8 megajoule premiere class
Intelligent management of this additional available energy assumes a special role here. Of course, the strategic focus of the racing engineers is always on the most efficient use of available power. This means an optimal lap time. The driver can choose from several automated drive modes that have an effect on vehicle dynamics as a function of the traffic situation, course layout and weather conditions. At this point, the developers made use of knowledge gained by Porsche with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, including at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring.
The allowable petrol fuel consumption depends directly on the amount of electrical energy that the driver can call up per lap in what is known as the Boost function. Race rules distinguish between four levels ranging from 2 to 8 megajoules (MJ). Porsche is developing the 919 Hybrid for the “Premiere class” with an energy recover capacity of 8 MJ. This requires the use of high-performance energy recover and storage systems, which need to be sized larger and heavier. A flow meter device also limits the amount of fuel flow. Example of Le Mans: Here, the turbocharged petrol engine, which is driven at full load for 75 per cent of the 13.65 kilometre lap, only has 4.64 litres of fuel available. In the 2-MJ class, the figure is 5.04 litres.
Amidst all of the international media attention flowing through the channels of the Interwebs, Hyundai released a quick rendering and teaser that previews the next-generation Sonata sedan. And by simply judging the teaser, the Sonata takes on a far more elegant design that gets us really excited.
Not much information was shared, other than the new Sonata will be launched for the first time in April at the New York International Auto Show.
Check out the brief release after the jump.
HYUNDAI MOTOR CO. PREVIEWED THE SOON-TO-BE-LAUNCHED ALL-NEW SONATA
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., March 4, 2014 - On Tuesday, Hyundai Motor Co. previewed the soon-to-be-launched all-new Sonata with the release of its first official exterior rendering. The Korean version of Sonata is scheduled to make its world-premiere later this month in Korea, while the U.S. Sonata will be shown for the first time in April during the New York International Auto Show.
The last phrase in the headline still seems wrong, but at least the car comes in three new colors. Fiat is using their soapbox at Geneva to point out that they have managed to sell 1.2 million 500s since the car’s recent reinstatement. Equipped with a range of engines for Europe, the 0.9 liter Twin Air gets 105 horsepower and can do 99g/km of C02 emissions, a number achieved only by diesels and plug in hybrids such as the Toyota Prius.
The 2014 500 gets a 7-inch display which replaces the traditional instrument cluster and a significantly higher number of leather choices. The range-topping Cult trim level allows the user a great variety of colors, including a special white for the convertible and Cult-specific Mopar aftermarket accessories. Feel free to check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Geneva sees the début of the Fiat 500 MY 14 and its ultimate expression: the exclusive Cult version
Star of the Swiss Motor Show’s 84th edition, the Model Year 2014 of the iconic Fiat 500 introduces important new product features in terms of style and technological content
3 new body colours – Lattementa Green, Three-layer White and Italia Blue, the latter exclusive to the S trim level – 3 new alloy wheels, 15″ or 16″, as standard depending on the trim level
New interiors in fabric or leather, with specific combinations for each version
The début of the innovative instrument panel with 7″ TFT display developed with Magneti Marelli
5 engine versions: 105HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo, 95HP 1.3 MultiJet II, 69HP 1.2, 85HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo, the last two also with Dualogic robotized gearbox, and the 69 HP 1.2 dual-fuel (petrol/LPG)
The new 105HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo shows off the ‘metropolitan’ vocation of the 500 MY to best effect, recording top speed of 188km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100km/h in 10 seconds, together with low consumption (4.2litres/100km) and CO2 emissions (99g/km) in the combined cycle
MY 2014 innovations include the new top-of-the-range Cult version, in saloon and cabrio configurations, which offers an exclusive level of style, technological content and performance
New Lattementa green body colour and, on the cabrio version, also the brand-new Three-layer White
New chrome treatment for front ‘whiskers’, luggage compartment handle and mirror covers
New 16″ alloy wheels and new leather-upholstered seats
Exclusive Mopar® accessories available, as well as all the quality of the assistance services, warranties and maintenance plans offered by the Mopar Vehicle Protection range
The entire Fiat 500 MY 2014 range will be in showrooms starting from the second quarter of 2014
All the new features of the Model Year 2014 will consolidate the success of the 500 model: from 2007 to date, more than 1,200,000 units sold, 75% of which registered abroad, and heading up the sales ranking in Europe in 2013
The 2014 Geneva Motor Show sees the début of the new Fiat 500 Model Year 2014, which introduces important new product features in terms of style and technological content. Starting with the three new body colours – Lattementa Green, Three-layer White and Italia Blue, the latter exclusive to the S trim level – and the three new alloy wheels, 15″ or 16″, as standard depending on the trim level. What’s more, the renewal of the range sees the début of new interiors, in fabric or leather, with specific combinations for every trim level.
The passenger compartment has also been updated in terms of equipment, as demonstrated by the new and innovative instrument panel with 7” TFT display, developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli, the international group which operates in the area of designing and manufacturing high-tech systems and components for vehicles. Specifically, the device provides the driver with all the information needed and demonstrates, once more, the “trend-setting” spirit of this model, an icon that’s always one step ahead.
One of the many new features ushered in by Model Year 2014 is the brand-new Fiat 500 Cult, the top-of-the-range ‘collector’s’ version which encapsulates the best of 2014′s new features, offering an exclusive level of style, technological content – such as the Blue&Me hands-free system with Bluetooth and automatic climate control as standard – and performance to the most demanding and scrupulous customers of the Fiat 500 MY 2014.
The Model Year 2014 of the iconic Fiat 500 will certainly play its part in consolidating the global success of the Fiat model-icon. There is a genuine ’500 effect’, which has spread not only through the automotive sector, but has also become a source of inspiration in other areas: from the cinema to art and from fashion to design. The Fiat 500 has earned a place in the collective imagination as a powerful, unmistakable symbol, not merely a means of transport but a ‘vehicle’ for authentic emotion and unique experiences. To the extent that in some places, the Fiat 500 has become almost a ‘cult’ item for collectors and admirers. It’s up to the Fiat brand to fuel ’500ism’ constantly with new products, ever more up-to-date and contemporary, just like the exclusive Fiat 500 Cult version, which assumes its rightful place in the manifesto of ’500ism’.
The Fiat 500 is also the icon of Italian manufacturing par excellence, which establishes itself throughout the world thanks to Italian style, continuous innovation, respect for the environment and premium quality. Suffice it to say, it’s the Fiat model with the highest level of sales outside of Italy: more than 1,200,000 units sold from 2007 to date, 75% of which have been registered abroad.
Made since 2007 in Poland and since 2010 also in Toluca (Mexico), the Fiat 500 is marketed in over one hundred countries worldwide and has marked the return of the Fiat brand to the USA. A global model, which in 2013 alone repeated its record share (13.9%) of 2008 in Europe, its first full year on sale. And that’s not all. For the first time in its history, last month saw it reach another important landmark, becoming Europe’s best-selling A-segment car. A total of nearly 163 thousand were registered in the EMEA area in 2013, an increase of approximately 9% compared to 2012.
Among the secrets of its global success is without a doubt its capacity to evolve continuously with new interpretations – from the 500 Abarth (2008) to the latest arrival, the 500 GQ (2013) – but also to explore new territory, generating a family of fun, accessible cars that ensure the utmost choice and versatility: the 500L (2012), 500L Trekking and 500L Living (2013) are the result.
The new 500 Model Year 2014
The new Fiat 500 Model Year 2014 will be on display in European showrooms from the second quarter of 2014, revealing important new product features both in terms of style and technological content.
Starting with the three new body colours – Lattementa Green, Three-layer White and Italia Blue, the latter exclusive to the S trim level – and the three new alloy wheels, 15″ or 16″, as standard depending on the trim level. What’s more, the 2014 range sees the début of new interiors, in fabric or leather and with specific combinations for each trim level. But one of the most significant new features of the Fiat 500 Model Year 2014 is undoubtedly the innovative digital instrument panel, developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli.
New 7″ TFT display
For the first time in the segment, the Fiat 500 Model Year 2014 offers a 7″ TFT digital display which brings together all the information required for driving and controlling the car. An ideal marriage of retro aesthetics and technological modernity, the new instrument panel is standard on the S and Cult trim levels, on request on Lounge.
In detail, the driver can always monitor the data from the speedometer, rev counter and trip computer, all of which can be consulted immediately and simultaneously. Moreover, the central section of the display – displaying an image of the car – can be configured according to the driver’s wishes, by choosing from the various data provided by the trip computer, such as distance travelled, instant fuel consumption, range, etc.
An interesting feature is the integration with the tried and tested Blue&Me TomTom 2 LIVE navigation system for viewing navigation information on the 7″ TFT display of the Fiat 500 Cult and managing the media player, telephone and trip computer functions on the same screen. The real time traffic and speed camera information make travelling fast and safe.
There’s also high visibility for the warning messages – such as doors open, temperature, etc. and the “GSI” (Gear Shift Indicator) system indicator, which advises the driver to change gear by switching on a specific symbol.
Finally, if the vehicle is equipped with the TomTom satellite device, the 7″ TFT display also shows the navigation information. Additionally, the LCD screen shows the Sport button activation signal on the 105 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo engine version.
Fiat 500 MY 2014 is also synonymous with personality and fun behind the wheel, as demonstrated by a wide range of engine versions comprising the 69 HP 1.2 and 85 HP TwinAir Turbo petrol engines (both also available with Dualogic robotized gearbox) and the new 105 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo. Customers can also choose to fit their car out with the outstanding 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet II turbodiesel or the 69 HP 1.2 dual-fuel (LPG/petrol) engine.
In particular, among the engines that show off the car’s ‘metropolitan’ vocation to best effect is without a doubt the new 105 HP 0.9 TwinAir, the new power unit from the TwinAir family that combines the concept of downsizing – displacement and weight reduction – with sophisticated technologies, like supercharging with high-efficiency turbocharger, integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head and the totally new MultiAir 2 intake valve control system.
Combined with a six-speed manual gearbox, the new 0.9 TwinAir engine delivers 105 HP at 5,500 rpm with a maximum torque of 145 Nm at 2,000 rpm. This is the source of the Fiat 500 105 HP 0.9 TwinAir’s performance: 188 km/h top speed and 0 to 100 km/h in just 10 seconds. All in light of consumption and emissions among the lowest in the segment: in the combined type-approval cycle, 4.2 l of petrol every 100 km and 99 g/km of CO2 , respectively.
As on the previous Turbo TwinAir applications, ECO mode when starting is also available for the new Fiat 500: in this condition the maximum torque delivered is limited to 120 Nm and the power to 98 HP, allowing the power unit to function in the operating range which permits maximum efficiency and thus minimum emissions. Furthermore, the model comes with Start&Stop system as standard.
Finally, it should be remembered that the TwinAir engine has won the appreciation of the general public and the most important international juries in a very short time. Suffice it to say that as early as its début, it triumphed at the ‘International Engine of the Year Awards 2011′, winning 4 awards: the one for its displacement category (under 1,000 cm3), ‘Best New Engine 2011′, ‘Best Green Engine 2011′ and the ‘International Engine of the Year 2011′ award, the top award in the competition.
Last year this series of awards was enriched with the “Best Green Engine of the Year 2013″ title, awarded to the methane-fuelled 0.9 TwinAir Turbo dual-fuel. Not to mention that the Fiat 500 with 85 HP TwinAir engine, Start&Stop system and Dualogic gearbox was recognised as the petrol-fuelled car with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions last year as well: just 90 g/km of CO2 (source: “Guida al Risparmio di carburante 2013″ (Guide to Saving Fuel) produced by the Ministries for the Environment, for Infrastructure and Transport and for Economic Development).
Fiat 500 Cult, the new top-of-the-range version
The Fiat 500 Cult is the new top-of-the-range version offering an exclusive level of style, technological content and performance to the most demanding and scrupulous customers of the iconic Fiat. In particular, available in saloon or cabrio configurations, the new and exclusive trim level represents the perfect synthesis of distinctive look and innovation which, once again, highlights the Fiat 500′s ‘trend-setting’ spirit.
Fiat 500 Cult can come in one of the range’s body colours, including the new Lattementa Green, all teamed with the elegant roof: one part fixed glass and the other glossy black paintwork. The end result is a refined colour combination that confirms, once more, that for the iconic Fiat colour is not merely a question of aesthetics, but an integral part of a product philosophy founded on character, style and maximum scope for personalisation. Additionally, the new Three-layer White will be available on the cabrio version.
Customers can choose door mirror covers which are either chrome or glossy black: whatever the choice, the final effect is a contemporary, fashionable combination together with the body colour. All this is enhanced with elegant chrome for the characteristic front ‘whiskers’ and tailgate handle, in addition to the glossy black surround for the rear light clusters and the new 16″ alloy wheels.
The same style is found inside, where the new leather seats stand out – a choice of black leather (ivory or red inserts), tobacco leather or red leather (both with ivory inserts) – an attractive match with the dashboard painted the same colour as the body. The new upholstery was designed to offer the best possible ergonomics, guaranteeing comfort and character in a single solution.
The new 500 Cult is available with the 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet II turbodiesel, the 69 HP 1.2 and 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo petrol engines (both also available with Dualogic robotized gearbox) and the new 105 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo.
The Cult version of the Fiat 500 ensures high-value equipment, as demonstrated by some important content as standard: instrument panel with 7″ TFT display, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, fixed glass roof with sun blind, leather seats, leather steering wheel with Blue&MeTM controls and Dualdrive electric power steering.
Again as standard are the split (50/50) rear seat with height-adjustable head restraint, CD/MP3 radio and Blue&MeTM hands-free system with Bluetooth technology (voice recognition, steering wheel controls, digital audio file player with USB port).
The Fiat 500 Cult brooks no rivals in the field of safety either. This is demonstrated by ABS+ESD, driver and passenger airbag with dual stage system, side bags, window bags, knee bags, Isofix attachments, daytime running lights (DRL) and ESP system complete with ASR/MSR, HBA and Hill Holder.
Lastly, customers can count on an extensive collection of exclusive accessories created by Mopar®, the aftersalesdivision responsible for Parts & Service and Customer Care activities in the EMEA region. These also include products designed especially for the new Fiat 500 Cult, such as the elegant ‘chrome kit’ for the exterior, comprising droplet-shaped bonnet trim, A-bar on the front bumper, door mirror covers and valve cover caps for the tyres. What’s more, ‘Mopar Vehicle Protection’ is available for the 500 family as well. This exclusive service offer is designed to take care of the vehicle throughout its entire useful life, guaranteeing that all maintenance operations are carried out at authorised dealerships and workshops within Europe by highly qualified and specialised technicians, using original parts.
Due for its mid-cycle refresh the new Ghost II has been unveiled. Available only with a 6.6 liter V12, the car also gets Chrysler 300C headlamps. Why? We’re not sure, but it looks damn good on this car. Mated to a quick shifting 8-speed auto, power is fed directly to the rear wheels with a rather clever transmission. Though it’s not a new feature, it’s still worth mentioning that the transmission in this car uses GPS to set itself up for the next corner. Likely measuring things like the speed limit, approximate cornering angles and changes in elevation, the baby Rolls is pretty clever at navigating enjoyable roads, despite being a pretty massive sedan.
Priced in the $300,000 ish range, the smaller Roller offers some of the newer technologies available and some that exist in other cars as well. Like the Lexus RC coupe, a trackpad or touchpad is used to control the infotainment system in lieu of a touch screen or multifunction knob, the trackpad also allows the user to write rather than select letters. Like many cars today, the car offers onboard WiFi and a flat tire inducing range of wheels. 19s are standard, but 21s are optional too. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveiled Ghost Series II to the world. Offered in a discreet and considered update of this iconic car’s exterior appearance, Ghost Series II offers the latest technological advances to our growing base of highly-successful customers – the Captains of Industry, entrepreneurs and successful business men and women who are the wealth and job creators in our economies – consolidating Ghost’s position as the most popular car in the €200,000+ class and a cornerstone of Rolls-Royce’s success.
Ghost: Contemporary Rolls-Royce luxury
Since its launch in 2009, Ghost has become the ultimate symbol of success for leading entrepreneurs across the globe. Winning critical media and customer acclaim and driving the company to four consecutive historic sales records, Ghost has led a new, younger generation of highly successful men and women to Rolls-Royce ownership; a key pillar in the marque’s highly successful sustainable growth strategy.
Ghost is a thoroughly contemporary representation of Rolls-Royce luxury – perfectly balancing effortless dynamism and modern luxury in a car that is composed under all circumstances. Owners enjoy a quietly assured, exquisitely refined modern motor car with an interior ambiance that offers a sense of calm and serenity in an often frenetic and chaotic business world.
In essence, Ghost is a Rolls-Royce that meets its owner’s every need; an exquisitely appointed business tool for the business week and an engaging and effortless driving experience for leisure at the weekend.
The Power of Simplicity
A single defining principle came to characterise the Ghost design process – to harness the power of simplicity. The notion that no complication should ever distract from driver or passenger pleasure, informed every facet of the design and engineering process.
This bold new generation of Rolls-Royce customer seeks a motor car with a silent assurance – a cosseting, super-premium environment in which to conduct business and augment their leisure time. In Ghost Series II, tradition blends perfectly with this bold, contemporary direction.
An uncompromising approach to materials and craftsmanship remained and traditional visual tenets were re-imagined to express the car’s modernity and dynamism. For example, the stately presence of Phantom’s grille made way for a softer, less formal design – its subtle curvature more akin to a jet air-intake than traditional pantheon facia.
Flowing ‘yacht lines’ and powerful flanks hint at the car’s inherent dynamism, whilst traditional Rolls-Royce DNA is expressed in the elevated prow, large uninterrupted surfaces, long bonnet and short overhang.
Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II – design evolved
Ensuring Ghost remains at the very cutting edge of an ever-changing world is essential to satisfying Rolls-Royce’s demanding customers and Ghost Series II proves a showcase for the most recent technological advances from the marque. Clad in a subtle re-design, Ghost Series II ensures the timeless yet modern quality that the marque’s customers cherish.
The eye is immediately drawn towards the re-sculpted headlights, with unbroken daytime running lights framing a new, more dynamic shape, giving Ghost Series II a distinct visual signature from the front. This blends perfectly with revised surface treatments to the front of the car. A tapered ‘wake channel’ on the bonnet, emanating from the Spirit of Ecstasy’s wings, evokes the sight of a jet’s vapour trail, hinting at the car’s dynamism. Subtle re-sculpting of Ghost’s bumpers creates a stronger stance and a sense of extra width and height, whilst the contemporary aesthetic is further enhanced with the addition of chrome inserts to the front air intakes, which now feed more air cooling to the front brakes.
One of Rolls-Royce’s defining visual signatures is given an enhanced dynamic edge. The famous waft line has be re-designed on Ghost Series II to lean further forwards – with a view to emphasising the car’s effortless dynamism.
These features, married with new optional 21″ forged wheels and standard 19″ wheels, ensure Ghost remains a perfectly executed, contemporary expression of Rolls-Royce luxury.
New surprise and delight features such as the optional monogrammed stainless-steel fuel-filler cap enhance the car’s tactile and visual appeal.
Interior comfort and style are enhanced with re-designed seats. Electronically adjustable thigh supports for front seat passengers complement a new seat structure, enhancing Ghost’s unchallenged interior comfort levels. A revised rear seat design ensures absolute comfort for those wishing to conduct business or simply relax. In ‘lounge seat’ configuration, the seats are gently angled towards each other to create a more intimate setting, allowing passengers to communicate more easily.
The seats are available with three-level heating as standard with optional massage function and can be reclined for comfort. Chrome surrounds to the sun visor lights and a new soft-feel dashboard treatment enhance the car’s premium tactility, whilst sumptuous natural grain leather can now be optionally extended to the A and C pillars.
The instrument dials and clock have also undergone subtle enhancements with individually applied polished metal chaplets around the dials evoking the precision design of hand-made, luxury wrist watches, whilst the matt chrome centres ‘float’ in the middle of each instrument.
Finally, the scope for Bespoke customisation is widened with the introduction of two new, exquisitely crafted veneers; Paldao and Walnut Burr Crossband.
Discreet technology for a calm atmosphere
Throughout the marque’s storied history, engineers have sought to refine the experience for drivers and occupants by applying the very latest technologies. Ghost Series II is no different, presenting a full suite of the latest technological updates.
On opening the car’s coach doors, one is met with a calming, light and uncluttered space. Occupants can work, relax or simply enjoy the pleasure of driving in a cosseting, peaceful atmosphere, assured that they are fully connected to the outside world of business affairs through the car’s peerless connectivity suite.
Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II is the ultimate contemporary combination of luxury, technology and connectivity available to the successful entrepreneur on the move today. It is an oasis of calm in a busy connected world where he or she can do business in peace. It presents the driver and occupants with a comprehensive example of effortless Rolls-Royce connectivity, a network where communication between car, environment and driver helps lower the pulse, ease the journey and delight the occupants.
Key to this is the discreet placement of the car’s technological functions. Accessed through a one-touch call button or the Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller, on-board Wi-Fi facilitates email, file sharing, telephony and video-conferencing. The user is also able to watch televised business news in order to remain ahead of the game. Navigation assistance is summoned by the same one-touch call button. Then by simply saying “Navigate to Piccadilly in London” or wherever else the owner wishes to go, directions that anticipate and avoid unnecessary delays are offered.
Should a delay occur or our owner needs to talk to their business associates, Ghost Series II makes this as effortless as possible with the same one-touch system. The command “Call Giles” automatically connects the call. At the end of the conversation, a command such as “Play Radio” will return the driver directly to the in-car entertainment options.
Information from the significantly updated Multimedia Interface and Navigation system is displayed beautifully on a new 10.25″ high definition screen.
Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller
In 2014, the famous Spirit of Ecstasy figurine celebrates her 103rd birthday. More than any other symbol of luxury, the flying lady stands as a genuine icon, one whose beautiful image continues to adorn the grille, but is now also reproduced within Ghost Series II’s cabin depicted below the crystal glass surface of the new rotary controller.
This Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller presents a touch pad (rather than a touch screen which might leave unsightly fingerprints at driver and passenger eye level), with the ability to write characters by finger, as well as the ability to scroll through function menus by turning the chrome dial and pressing down to select its functions.
The system recognises English, Latin and Arabic characters as well as Mandarin, to assist drivers in China, where character selection can otherwise be a time-consuming process.
The Rotary Controller’s touch pad also allows ‘pull and pinch’ features, replicating intuitive smart phone functionality. These help the user pinpoint chosen areas on the screen or help to make them larger. For example, different areas of a map can be found by moving a finger across the touch pad, whilst street resolution can be made larger or smaller by pinching or pulling.
Rolls-Royce employs experts for all aspects of high-end craftsmanship, from hand-painted coach lines to finely-tuned audio systems. Finely tuned by expert Rolls-Royce audio engineers and naturally incorporating the finest hardware and latest advances in connectivity, Bespoke Audio is the most exhaustively designed automotive hi-fi system ever developed.
Ensuring perfect acoustic balance and performance was central to the design process of the car. Rolls-Royce’s in-house audio engineers were consulted on the effect proposed changes in the wider design of the car may have on the performance of the system – a practice unparalleled in the automotive world.
Eighteen individually-tuned speakers, with both theatre and studio settings, deliver a pure ‘larger than live’ sensation. Two bass speakers located in the boot complement seven speakers meticulously placed throughout the cabin. Two ‘exciter’ speakers in the roof-lining bring the sound to occupants’ ear level creating a completely unique listening sensation.
The system utilises a highly sensitive microphone to constantly monitor ambient exterior noise, subtly adjusting the volume and tone settings accordingly to ensure the system delivers consistent perfection. The technology complements this, with frequency and phase correction for individual speakers eliminating potential loud and dead spots caused by outside influences.
Supplementing this industry-leading audio engineering in the true spirit of Sir Henry Royce, Ghost Series II’s on-board hard drive holds 20.5 GB of storage, meaning it can host approximately 5,700 items of music downloaded via the USB port located within the centre console or glove compartment.
iPod and iPad connections allow the importation of music, but also podcast and audio book downloads. Bluetooth audio streaming is an option too, from one of two phones that can be paired with equal functionality.
A number of music searches can be made via the Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller, including a “play more like this” function while online Gracenote® access for CDs with hit selection make navigating music collections an effortless experience. But it is the sound quality itself that places Ghost Series II at the pinnacle of in-car audio.
Illuminating technology shows the way
The most recent developments in LED lighting technology have also been applied to Ghost Series II. The way this light is managed is significantly enhanced by adaptive technology. Electronically controlled reflectors move in the direction of travel in response to steering-wheel turns to give a greater depth of vision when cornering and a whiter, brighter light ensures effortless and safe driving on dark roads whilst helping reduce driver tiredness.
In addition, automatic dipping of full-beam headlights has been replaced with revolutionary new glare-free technology. When a car approaches, light is deflected to ensure the oncoming driver is not dazzled. Ghost Series II drivers therefore enjoy the safety benefits of constant full-beam visibility. A day-time running bar frames Ghost Series II’s contemporary light design, giving the car a distinctive signature whilst augmenting safety at the same time.
Satellite Aided Transmission
Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II’s effortless dynamism is augmented with the addition of Satellite Aided Transmission, a technology that made its debut on Wraith in 2013.
Satellite Aided Transmission utilises GPS data to allow the car to see beyond what the driver sees, anticipating their next move based on location and driving style. It uses this information to select the most appropriate gear from the Ghost Series II’s 8-speed ZF gearbox to ensure the driver is able to appropriately exploit the power from the Rolls-Royce 6.6 litre twin-turbo V12, ensuring an effortless and seamless drive experience.
For example when approaching a sweeping bend, the car will predict how you wish to drive through it. When the driver lifts the accelerator it will hold the lower gear to ensure maximum power is available on accelerating through the exit of a corner.
Satellite Aided Transmission comes as standard on all Ghost Series II cars.
Dynamic driving package and suspension enhancements
Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II presents the perfect blend of driving dynamics and hallmark Rolls-Royce comfort. Customers can specify a Dynamic Driving Package that offers a more involving driving experience with no compromise to ride quality.
Re-designed front and rear struts married to new steering gear and adjusted dampers significantly increase Ghost Series II’s cornering ability, whilst enhanced feedback levels can be felt through a thicker steering wheel.
In all specifications, ride quality and rear stability is further enhanced thanks to new rear hydraulic axle bearings.
Not too long ago, we mentioned this, and here it is. It’s as close as we are going to get to seeing the GranTurismo and Gran Cabrio replacement, for now. Maserati speaks of racing heritage and of nods to cars that came before this one. They refer to the floor as being finished in a pattern that mimics oxidized steel. This is likely as close as we are going to get to hearing Maserati say that it rusts right of of the factory, but let’s just ignore that for the moment. The car comes with a 2+2 layout, which means that, at some level it’s a proper GT car.
From the side, it becomes even more apparent that Maserati is going after the Jaguar F-Type and borrows successful techniques from other cars. The doors are small and get sucked in right in front of the rear wheels like a SRT Viper, the roofline and greenhouse are straight out of Jag’s playbook and the only worrying thing is the pronounced V-shaped contour on the hood which smacks just a bit of Hyundai Sonata. This is not a Hyundai though, it’s gorgeous and hopefully it shows up over in the US as Maserati’s new GT in not too long.
Powered by a 4.7 liter 460 bhp V8 with over 380 ft-lbs of torque, the car uses a six speed auto hooked onto a torque tube, eventually transferring power to the rear wheels. As indicated below, the powertrain is straight out of the GranTurismo including a special exhaust system and a limited slip diff.
For more details, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Maserati unveiled the Alfieri, a 2+2 concept car to celebrate the brand’s centenary at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The Alfieri is an exciting but realistic and 100% functional prototype that says much about the design DNA of future Maseratis; it could well be a door to the future of the Trident Marque.
The striking new concept bears the name of Alfieri, the most prominent of the Maserati brothers and the engineering genius who founded “Officine Alfieri Maserati” in Bologna a century ago. The Alfieri was created at the Maserati Centro Stile in Turin by a group of talented young designers, under the direction of Marco Tencone overseen by Lorenzo Ramaciotti.
The Alfieri is being unveiled at just the right time to re-establish Maserati’s orientation in terms of design and production. If the new Quattroporte and Ghibli gave the impression that Maserati was becoming oriented towards sporty, premium four door saloons, the Alfieri concept is a reminder that the brand has a remarkable racing heritage and a unique tradition in exotic GT cars.
There is no doubt that the Alfieri concept represents the true essence of the Maserati brand. It is a sleek, Italian style 2+2 like the 1957 3500 GT, the 1959 5000 GT and the 1969 Indy before it, and clearly affirms Maserati’s racing DNA. Sportier in character than the GranTurismo, the Alfieri boasts proportions that might well be archetypal for a future Gran Sport and are certainly a hint at the brand’s stylistic intentions for the near future. “Maserati doesn’t change. Maserati is always Maserati”, as Ramaciotti says.
The development process kicked off last summer When the designers were asked to start from a blank sheet to create a concept for Maserati’s centenary. Among various proposals, the sketches that would lead to what is now the Alfieri emerged.According to Lorenzo Ramaciotti, “The Alfieri is a transition point between 100 glorious years of history and the future that is opening up before us. I can’t honestly say that we’ll see this car in production in the next two years, but I’m certain we’ll see something very similar.”
One of the most fascinating cars of all time, the Maserati A6 GCS-53 designed by Pininfarina in 1954, proved a valuable source of inspiration for the designers. Far more than a rare racing machine for gentlemen drivers, the A6 GCS-53 was a masterpiece of design. It was also the last car that, at that time, the Carrozzeria Pinin Farina designed on a Maserati model before making a comeback in the first decade of the 21st century with the Quattroporte and the GranTurismo.
The A6 GCS-53 was an iconic piece of automotive technology and simply breath-taking for its proportions and design features: a diminutive cabin positioned almost over the rear wheels, a seemingly endless bonnet and long, sinuous wings stretching nearly to the rear wheels.
The Alfieri is obviously much more than a futuristic interpretation of the A6 GCS-53. Maserati has a diversified design history that encourages designers to look forward rather than back: “We wanted the Alfieri to test future design paths”, Ramaciotti explains. “The car is very aggressive yet subtle in style, forceful but understated.”
The acronym A6 GCS stood for Alfieri 6 cylinder, Ghisa, Corsa, Sport, epithets that characterise its long bonnet and rear-set 2 seat cabin.
While the inverted A pillars of the A6 GCS-53 were not adopted in the new Alfieri, their optical effect has been recreated by a sculptured line that starts from the bonnet and fades to the upper part of the doors, making the windscreen look larger.
The long, low nose is a stylistic evolution from contemporary Maserati models. The grille is divided vertically into two concave sections that seem to float in the air. The led DRLs are connected by a clear decorative line with a stylistic element in the centre. The aggressive headlights incorporate bi-xenon-LED bulbs and are rendered distinctive by a characteristic brow. The same decorative element is repeated on the twin exhaust tail pipes.
The tail lights are three dimensional with red external elements and white elements in the centre. Their shape harmoniously follows the rear shoulder of the car and complements the air ducts underneath to create an impressive, racing style rear view.
The Alfieri’s designers have developed a streamlined, uncluttered form where the only decorative elements – the restyled triple air ducts on the wheel arches – are finely integrated. This eye-catching silhouette almost entices you to caress it.
The wheels have been specially designed for the Alfieri concept. Forged from single aluminium elements, the 21″ diameter rear and 20″ front wheels feature integrated decorative spokes that are reminiscent of the classic spoke wheels of the 1950s.
Though form is the dominant element, colour and detail play a complementary role. A liquid metal colour called “Steel Flair” has been chosen for this Maserati 100th anniversary concept. This choice of finish gives the Alfieri’s elegant shape a refined, technical and contemporary look, as if a metallic veil has been draped over a naked body.
The decorative spokes of the forged wheels, brake callipers, grille, iconic triple air ducts, rear diffuser and the provocative brow of the exhaust tail pipes are all finished in Maserati Blue. In the same blue is the Alfieri signature, replicated from an old official Maserati document and sculpted on the rear of the car, in the number plate recess. The front bumper spoiler and rear diffuser are in carbon fibre with aluminium inserts.
In the 2+2 seat cabin, the design team have created a study in simplicity and minimalism. The suspended dashboard is conceptually inspired by that of the Maserati 5000 GT. The dashboard boasts a clean, organic, two-tone design built around a central TFT screen.
The instrument panel has a classic layout with two binnacle dials with two smaller ones in between. The edge of each is embellished with a small “Officine Maserati” label.
Rather than analogue binnacle dials, the instrument panel features TFT displays inspired by modern photographic camera menus in the way they indicate km/h and engine rpm. Instead of a rotating indicator, the numbers themselves rotate around the clocks. Current speed and RPM are highlighted by a magnifying glass effect.
There is even a touch of racing spirit inside the Alfieri. The floor is finished in a material that imitates oxidised steel, a material commonly found on racing cars of the 1950s.
Luna white and dark Basalt blue are the dominant colours inside the airy Alfieri cockpit. Aniline leather with a natural look and feel covers the seats, dashboard and central console. Copper subtly highlights the main lines that characterise the car and brings a retro feeling to an otherwise futuristic environment.
The interior has a classic 2+2 layout with an open space luggage compartment. The rear seat backrests have a unique, elongated design. Well visible from the outside, they add a sense of speed to the interior. The rear seats tilt forwards through 90 degrees and also serve as luggage bulkheads.
The seat profile inserts, gearbox lever and oval clock on the central console are milled from single piece aluminium billets, hand finished and anodised in a natural copper colour. All other aluminium components, including the pedals, gearbox paddles and steering wheel spokes are also hand finished and anodised in a palladium colour.
The passenger seats, though inspired by the racing bucket seats of the ’50s, look futuristic and have a modern structure with semi-integrated headrests and an arched profile that serves as main structural element.
The three-spoke steering wheel and the deep central crown form a three dimensional sculpture that seems to have been crafted in the workshop of an Italian artisan. Like the remainder of the Alfieri’s interior, it too is 100% handmade.
The oval clock with red-blue back plate incorporates two sub-dials and is obviously inspired by a classic chronograph.
The Alfieri is based on the GranTurismo MC Stradale chassis with a 24 centimetre shorter wheelbase, giving it the proportions of a genuine supercar. Alfieri is 4,590mm long with a 2,700mm wheelbase, 1,930mm wide and 1,280mm high.
Under the sleek body lies the transaxle platform of the Maserati GranTurismo. This 4.7 litre, naturally aspirated, V8 engine from Maranello develops 460bhp at 7,000rpm and 520Nm at 4,750rpm and gives the Alfieria real driving force. Thanks to a special exhaust layout, this thoroughbred V8 also produces a breath-taking sound.
A six-speed, electro-actuated gearbox (MC Shift) is mounted in a single unit with the limited slip rear differential and connected to the engine via a rigid torque tube. The transaxle layout gives the Alfieri an optimised front-rear weight distribution with a slight predominance to the rear axle.
The Alfieri’s carbon ceramic disc brakes come directly from the GranTurismo MC Stradale and are combined with blue Brembo brake callipers.
Is this the new TT-RS by another name? Powered by a TFSI turbocharged 2 liter four, the engine offers up 331 ft lbs of torque between 2,400 and 6,300 rpm. How does the 210 bhp/liter output happen? The turbo is not what one would call small; the engine’s exhaust spins this snail up to over 26 psi of boost. Mated solely to a three shaft S tronic transmission, this concept car comes only with Quattro all wheel drive.
For the TT Quattro Sport Concept, Audi kept the car’s weight reasonably low at 2,963 lbs, which allows it to take only 3.7 seconds to get to 60 mph. Weight distribution is typical Audi with the engine hanging way out in front: 54%/46% front/rear. Another feature included in the concept is wheel selective torque, which can gently redistribute torque when cornering to provide a bit of boost to the steering. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
The Audi TT quattro sport concept show car
- Four-cylinder 2.0 TFSI engine with 420 hp
- Impressive 210 hp per liter of displacement
- Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg: “An extreme driving machine for the motorsports enthusiasts among our customers”Audi TT quattro sport concept
Audi to present a truly special show car at the Geneva Motor Show. The Audi TT quattro sport concept embodies the dynamic potential of the new Audi TT in its purest form. Its two-liter TFSI supplies 309 kW (420 hp), which the car puts on the road via the quattro all-wheel drive.
“With our Audi TT quattro sport concept show car, we wanted to demonstrate what the new TT’s technology can do if you take it a step further,” explains Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development. “This car is designed for racing – an extreme driving machine for the motorsports enthusiasts among our customers.”
The engine in the Audi TT quattro sport concept makes a powerful statement. The 2.0 TFSI has a power output of 309 kW (420 hp) at 6,700 rpm – a new benchmark in the two-liter category. Its specific output is 155 kW (210 hp) per liter of displacement – that’s more than even 2001’s victorious Le Mans R18 racing car, which was the first time Audi combined turbocharging with FSI direct gasoline injection. The four-cylinder engine has 450 Nm of torque (331.90 lb-ft) available in the engine speed range from 2,400 to 6,300 rpm. with over 300 Nm (221.27 lb-ft) already available at only 1,900 revs.
At a curb weight of 1,344 kilograms ([2,963.01 lb] without driver), the Audi TT quattro sport concept is an athlete in peak condition. Each hp supplied by the two-liter TFSI, which itself weighs under 150 kilograms (330.69 lb), needs to shift less than 3.2 kilograms (7.05 lb). The four-cylinder engine catapults the show car from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 3.7 seconds.
Head of Powertrain Development Dr. Stefan Knirsch: “This high-performance power unit is an impressive demonstration of the power reserves available in our EA888 engine range. This power unit has received numerous awards all over the world and it already lives up to its claim in many Audi sporty models. In the TT quattro sport concept, it demonstrates its full power potential. The thirty-five years of experience we’ve gained in the field of turbocharging are manifested in this engine’s unique combination of maximum performance, dynamism, and fuel efficiency.”
The high-performance engine is once again based on the successful EA888 technologies such as the Audi valvelift system (AVS) variable valve timing, dual camshaft adjustment, and dual injection system (FSI plus MPI). A wide range of modifications are featured, including special aluminum pistons with integrated cooling channels and an ultra-high-strength forged steel crankshaft.
The cylinder head is a systematic further development tailored to the higher loads and increased gas throughput. To accommodate the higher output, the EA888’s familiar, highly compact thin-wall cylinder crankcase is here made of a high-strength cast alloy. The also newly developed exhaust-gas turbocharger features optimized mixed-flow technology and produces up to 1.8 bar of charge pressure.
When driving, the four-cylinder unit’s pronouncedly sporty character is breathtaking. The turbocharged direct-injection engine responds immediately to the throttle and revs eagerly right up to the fuel cut-off at 7,200 rpm.
The 2.0 TFSI transfers its torque to a compact, three-shaft S tronic. The dual-clutch transmission shifts gears in split-seconds, adding its share to the show car’s impressive acceleration.
The permanent quattro all-wheel drive delivers the power to the road. For optimum weight distribution, the hydraulically actuated, electronically controlled multi-disk clutch is located on the rear axle. The quattro drive actively controls distribution of the drive torque between the axles in milliseconds, thus adding to the car’s dynamic handling.
With its cutting-edge chassis – McPherson wheel suspension with aluminum components at the front and a four-link layout at the rear – the Audi TT quattro sport concept offers sharp, precise race car handling. The stiff setup brings the body closer to the road when compared with the series-production TT. 54 percent of the weight rests on the front axle, 46 percent on the rear. ESC electronic stabilization control, which can be partially or fully deactivated, complements the suspension’s sporty character.
When cornering, wheel-selective torque control kicks in. If necessary, drive torque is transferred from the wheels on the inside of the bend to those on the outside. Thanks to the distribution of torque, the car turns very slightly into the corner, helping the driver. This allows for precise and neutral cornering and the TT greatly increases its dynamism and stability.
A significant part in the Audi TT quattro sport concept’s lightweight design is played by the body, which is based on the MQB modular transverse matrix. Its hybrid concept represents the latest evolution of the Audi Space Frame (ASF) and further lowers the car’s center of gravity compared with the second-generation series-production TT.
The front end is made of steel. The passenger compartment floor comprises high-strength, hot-shaped steel components which, thanks to their extremely high strength, feature very low wall thicknesses and thus weigh accordingly little. The compartment’s structure, the entire exterior skin, and the doors and lids are made of the classic Audi semi-finished aluminum products cast node, extruded profile, and sheet metal.
The flat Matrix LED headlights and the broad Singleframe grill dominate the study’s front end. The grill’s striking frame displays the quattro logo and holds the dark diamond-pattern grill.
Through their pronounced edges, the substantial air intakes – which also feature diamond-pattern grills – appear almost like inserted airboxes. They thus illustrate a key element in the new Audi TT’s design language: elements like the greenhouse and wheel arches create the impression of being individual bodies, thus producing the typical tension. The show car rests on 20-inch wheels with a central locking mechanism and semi-slick tires.
A splitter made of carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) stretches toward the front to round off the front end at the bottom and increase the downforce on the front axle.
The silhouette of the Audi TT quattro sport concept – which features a paint finish entirely in Crystal White – is athletic and dynamic from every angle. Typical for a TT, the wheel arches form the classic semicircles. They extend 30 millimeters (1.18 in) further than on the series-production car on every side, giving the car’s stance on the road a decidedly confident air. They are connected by powerfully accentuated sill trims. Their lower segments are made of CFRP. Together with the splitter and the rear diffuser, which stretch all the way to the wheel arches, they form an aerodynamically effective contour.
On the rear, the wide CFRP diffuser that extends beyond the vehicle silhouette underlines the show car’s racing character. Delineated by vertical edges, the diffuser surrounds two large, fully circular tailpipes that are located further outward than on the series-production car; large air outlets are positioned on the sides beneath the taillights. A large, fixed wing increases the downforce on the rear of the Audi TT quattro sport concept.
The show car interior has been reduced to the essentials, doing away with numerous components that are dispensable on the race circuit.
The door panels have been stripped of armrests and speakers – the interior is characterized by Alcantara. A dominant diagonal strip of Alcantara acts as a door pull handle, the door openers feature a filigree design. Low-set racing buckets serve as seats, featuring black four-point seat belts with white accentuating stripes. The luggage compartment offers space for two racing helmets.
The same as in the series-production TT, the controls are designed purely for the driver. The Audi TT quattro sport concept’s pilot has his hands on a compact steering wheel with a pronounced rim that flattens out at the bottom. The steering wheel’s spokes house the red start/stop button alongside the keys and rotary buttons for operating the Audi virtual cockpit. Depending on what the driver sets, the fully digital instrument cluster’s 12.3-inch display shows different views.
Though it’s a far cry from the Daimler-influenced 2008 Jeep Renegade Concept, and it does not due the original car justice, the term seems appropriate for a small, upstart car. Aimed at the quickly growing Nissan Juke range of SUVs, this car will likely compete against the Juke, maybe the Mini Countryman and the 500X on which it is based, though Fiat has likely tried really hard to separate the two. Further separation will definitely be achieved if the buyer springs for the Trailhawk version, which offers the same near 9 inches of ground clearance that you get from a Subaru XV Crosstrek and a low range option, though, admittedly, it’s not a traditional two-speed transfer case, and the parking brake is operated by a switch, not a handbrake.
Without getting too bogged down in the past, a quick look over the original concept reveals some significant differences: the new one has a roof; it does not have a 40 mile electric range augmented by a Bluetec diesel engine to give it a 400 mile range, it does not have insane approach and departure angles; and it has a more conventional number of doors and seats. The interesting touches on this car are not scant though: if one looks closely at the photos, they will see small vignettes on Jeeps of yesteryear. The headlight assemblies have tiny Jeep grilles in them, the taillights have little jeeps in them, as does the windshield and the wheels. What has remained between this car and the concept car are the Xs in the taillights and the diminutively-sized front end with its bug eye headlights and signature Jeep grille.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
All-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade: Most Capable Small SUV Expands the Brand’s Global Portfolio
- All-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade marks the brand’s first entry in the small SUV segment
- Renegade Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class 4×4 Trail Rated capability with class-exclusive Jeep Active Drive Low, which includes 20:1 crawl ratio and Jeep Selec-Terrain system
- Designed to expand the Jeep brand globally, the all-new 2015 Renegade combines the brand’s heritage with fresh new styling to appeal to youthful and adventurous customers
- Nothing else like it: Renegade displays a powerful stance with aggressive wheel-to- body proportions, plus the freedom of two My Sky open-air roof systems
- Renegade’s all-new interior exudes an energetic appearance with rugged and functional details, crafted in high-quality materials and inspired colors
- All-new “small-wide 4×4 architecture” combines best-in-class off-road capability with world-class on-road driving dynamics
- Designed for global markets – with 16 fuel-efficient powertrain combinations for different markets around the world – including the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission in a small SUV
- Renegade will offer a best-in-class combination of fuel efficiency and off-road capability
- Technology once limited to premium SUVs: award-winning Uconnect Access, Uconnect touchscreen radios and the segment’s largest full-color instrument cluster
- Loaded with up to 70 available advanced safety and security features
- Designed in America, crafted in Italy, the 2015 Renegade highlights the Jeep brand’s global resources and dedication to meeting customer needs in more than 100 countries
The all-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade expands the brand’s global vehicle lineup, entering the growing small SUV segment, while staying true to the adventurous lifestyle Jeep is known for. Renegade delivers a unique combination of best-in-class off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission that contributes to outstanding on- road and off-road driving dynamics, fuel-efficient engines, world-class refinement, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings. The result is an efficient vehicle created to attract youthful and adventurous customers around the world to the Jeep brand.
The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade expands the brand’s product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment around the globe with benchmark levels of efficiency and driving dynamics, while at the same time delivering best-in-class 4×4 capability that customers expect from Jeep,‖ said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. ―Renegade symbolizes the brand’s renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe.
Best-in-class off-road capability thanks to two all-new 4×4 systems
Leveraging 4×4 technology from the all-new Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers two of the most advanced and intelligent 4×4 systems in its class, all to deliver best-in-class off-road capability. Both systems can provide up to 100 percent of the engine’s available torque to the ground, through any wheel, for optimal grip.
- Jeep Active Drive – full-time 4×4 system
- Jeep Active Drive Low – class-exclusive full-time 4×4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio
Innovation is also at the forefront of any new Jeep vehicle, and the Renegade is the first small SUV to feature a disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU) – all to provide Jeep Renegade 4×4 models with enhanced fuel economy. The system instantly engages when 4×4 traction is needed.
Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4×4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on- or off-road and in any weather condition.
Trail Rated: Renegade Trailhawk 4×4 model
For customers who demand the most off-road capability from their Jeep vehicles, the Renegade Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4×4 capability with:
- Standard Jeep Active Drive Low (20:1 crawl ratio)
- Selec-Terrain system with exclusive Rock mode
- Increased ride height 20 mm (0.8 inches)
- Skid plates, and red front and rear tow hooks
- Unique fascias deliver 30.5 degree approach, 25.7 degree breakover and 34.3 degree departure angles
- 17-inch all-terrain tires
- Up to 205 mm (8.1 inches) of wheel articulation
- Hill-descent Control
- Up to 480 mm (19 inches) of water fording
- Up to 1,500 kg (3,300-lb.) towing capability with MultiJet II diesel engine and 907 kg (2,000- lb.) towing capability with 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, with available tow package
A global Jeep design for a rapidly growing global brand
From the start, Jeep designers knew the Renegade would need to deliver best-in-class off-road capability with city-sized proportions that exuded the brand’s rugged style while at the same time enhancing versatility, maneuverability and style. Additionally designers were tasked to create an all- new SUV that would symbolize the brand’s renowned American design and ingenuity, as it would mark the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment in more than 100 markets around the globe. Last, Renegade had to offer the open-air freedom that dates back to its 1941 roots with the Willys MB Jeep.
The result is the all-new 2015 Renegade, a vehicle that builds on the Jeep Wrangler’s powerful stance, and features fresh new styling with rugged body forms and aggressive proportions that enable best-in-class approach and departure angles purposely designed to deliver best-in-class off- road capability. And for segment-exclusive panoramic views, two available My Sky open-air roof panel systems conveniently stow to provide passengers open-air freedom with ease.
All-new interior exudes a rugged and energetic appearance
The all-new Jeep Renegade interior features a rugged and energetic appearance that builds upon Jeep’s legendary brand heritage. Its precisely crafted detail, innovative and high-quality color and material appointments, state-of-the-art technology, and clever storage features draw inspiration from contemporary extreme sports gear and lifestyles.
The interior of the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade has a distinctive form language which Jeep designers have titled ―Tek-Tonic.‖ This new design theme is defined by the intersections of soft and tactile forms with rugged and functional details. Major surfaces such as the sculpted soft-touch instrument panel are intersected with bold functional elements like the passenger grab handle – indispensable for off-road adventures and borrowed from its big brother, the legendary Jeep Wrangler. Unique ―protective clamp fasteners,‖ anodized design accents and inspired colors are derived from extreme sports equipment, while the newly familiar ―X‖ shapes inspired by its roof and tail lamps add to Renegade’s Tek-Tonic interior look. And to make sure all of the needed passenger gear fits, the Renegade is designed with an efficient and flexible interior package that includes a removable, reversible and height-adjustable cargo floor panel and fold-forward front-passenger seat.
My Sky: continuing Jeep open-air freedom since 1941
Keeping the tradition of the legendary 1941 Willys MB Jeep, the all-new 2015 Renegade offers open-air freedom with two available My Sky open-air roof systems. With a manual removable, or removable with premium power tilt/slide feature, the segment-exclusive My Sky roof-panel systems quickly bring the outdoors inside. Designed for convenience, the honeycomb fiberglass polyurethane roof panels are lightweight and stow neatly in the rear cargo area. For added design detail, both My Sky roof systems feature a debossed ―X‖ stamped into the roof that exude strength and play on the brand’s utilitarian history.
Best-in-class off-road capability with world-class on-road driving dynamics
Designed and engineered to first and foremost deliver legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, the all-new 2015 Renegade is the first small SUV from Chrysler Group to use the all-new ―small-wide 4×4 architecture.‖
With its fully independent suspension capable of up to 205 mm (8.1 inches) of wheel articulation and 220 mm (8.7 inches) of ground clearance (Trailhawk), Renegade raises the bar in the small SUV segment with best-in-class off-road capability. Extensive use of advanced steels, composites and advanced computer-impact simulations enable the all-new 2015 Renegade’s architecture to deliver world-class torsional stiffness and Jeep brand’s durability required for Trail Rated adventures.
The all-new Renegade is the first Jeep to integrate Koni’s frequency selective damping (FSD) front and rear strut system. This damping system enables the Jeep Renegade to deliver world-class road-holding and handling characteristics.
Designed for global markets: 16 powertrain combinations
True to the Jeep brand, the all-new Renegade will offer customers in global markets maximum off- road capability and fuel efficiency. The Renegade will offer up to 16 strategic powertrain combinations – the most ever in a Jeep vehicle – customized to markets around the world to meet a range of performance and efficiency needs. Powertrain options include:
- Four MultiAir gasoline engine offerings
- Two MultiJet II diesel engine offerings
- Efficient and flex-fuel capable E.torQ engine
- Emissions and fuel-saving Stop&Start technology
- Segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission
- Two manual and one dual-dry clutch transmission (DDCT) offerings
World’s first small SUV with nine-speed automatic transmission
Like the new Jeep Cherokee, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade has raised the bar – this time in the small SUV class – with the first available nine-speed automatic transmission. When paired with either the 2.0-liter MultiJet II diesel engine, or 2.4-liter MultiAir2 gas engine, the nine-speed transmission delivers numerous benefits customers will appreciate, including aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and improved fuel efficiency versus a six-speed automatic transmission.
Segment-exclusive technologies once found only on higher classed SUVs
The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade offers technology features once found only in upper-segment vehicles, and makes them attainable to customers in the growing small SUV segment – including award-winning Uconnect Access, Uconnect touchscreens and the segment’s largest full-color instrument cluster.
- Uconnect Access: Utilizes embedded cellular technology to allow Jeep Renegade occupants to get directly in contact with local emergency-service dispatchers – all with the push of the 9-1-1 Assist button on the rearview mirror. Uconnect Access applies the same logic to roadside assistance. One push of the ―ASSIST‖ button summons help directly from Chrysler Group’s roadside assistance provider, or the Vehicle Customer Care Center. Further peace of mind comes from the system’s ability to receive text messages, announce receipt of texts, identify senders and then ―read‖ the messages aloud with Bluetooth-equipped cell phones. AOL Autos named Uconnect Access its ―Technology of the Year for 2013.‖ (Uconnect services may vary in different markets)
- Uconnect touchscreen radio systems: Award-winning in-vehicle handsfree communication, entertainment and available navigation. Key features available on the Uconnect 5.0 and 6.5AN systems include a 5.0-inch or 6.5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, single or dual-turner, radio data system capability (RDS), digital audio broadcast (DAB), HD Radio, digital media broadcasting (DMB), SiriusXM Radio, SiriusXM Travel Link, SiriusXM Travel Link, USB port and auxiliary audio jack input. (Uconnect services may vary in different markets)
- Segment’s largest full-color instrument cluster display: Filling the Jeep Renegade’s gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, full-color, premium multiview display, featuring a reconfigurable function that enables drivers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. The information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily.
Renegade features up to 70 advanced safety and security features
Safety and security were at the forefront in the development of the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade, setting the stage for up to 70 available safety and security features – including the availability of Forward Collision Warning-Plus and LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus.
In addition, engineers added both active and passive safety and security features, including Blind- spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines; electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and seven standard air bags.
Jeep brand’s global resources
Designed in America and crafted in Italy, the 2015 Renegade continues the Jeep brand’s dedication to the global marketplace and demonstrates the depths of its available resources. The final assembly location for the Renegade will be at the Melfi Assembly Plant. The Renegade’s global portfolio of powertrain production includes the United States, Italy and Brazil.
There’s not a whole lot to say other than this is a very attractive alternative to the Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type crowd. This is likely the GranTurismo successor that we’ve been looking for in the past. Based on the same platform underpinning the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte sedan, the Alfieri, as previously suggested will likely come with the option of a ‘six putting out 410 horsepower and an ‘eight putting out 530 horsepower.
Not shockingly, the car comes with LED headlights (no pun intended) because nearly every automaker is drinking that Kool-Aid lately. The name on the concept car says “Alfieri”,but don’t be fooled, Maserati will likely play it conservative and retain the GranTurismo name for the coupe as well as the GranCabrio name for the convertible version.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
For those who bemoaned that Audi had disappeared into a sea of Mercedes and BMW lookalikes, your words have been heard, and though Audi has not produced a brown, RWD shooting brake with a manual transmission, they have produced a blue sports car that weighs well under 3,000 lbs, looks astonishing and comes with a manual transmission. Power comes from a 2 liter TFSI turbocharged four chucking out 230 bhp for the TT and 310 bhp for the TTS with 272 ft-lbs between 1,600-4,300 rpm and 280 ft-lbs from 1,800-5,700 rpm, respectively.
The torque bands for both variants should make for a very road-friendly sports car. For the TT, 0-62 happens in 6 seconds for the manual version and 5.3 for the 6-speed S-Tronic. Equipped with butterfly valves in the exhaust, the TTS should sound pretty interesting and gets up to 62 in 4.7 seconds, though it is unclear which transmission was used in this figure. A manual ‘box is standard, and the S-Tronic is available too.
As has been the case in the past, the TT can be had with front wheel drive or Quattro all wheel drive. Most buyers will likely go for Audi’s well known Quattro system, which uses a new electro-hydraulically operated multiplate clutch on the rear axle, which weighs 3.1 lbs less than the last system. Revisions to the Quattro system include driver-adjustable torque vectoring (front-rear adjustment). This adjust-ability isn’t exactly new, the less expensive, first-gen US-spec Subaru WRX STI comes to mind when this tech is mentioned, but it’s a welcome feature in this car.
It is time to make a comparison that Audi will likely find vulgar, but that some of us may not: 2,700 lbs and change, around 200 horsepower, a manual transmission and a small trunk volume. What does this sound like? If the Subaru BRZ is a chocolate chip cookie, the Audi TT is an organic chocolate chip cookie with magnetic ride control and a hint of lavender.
For more details on the car, check out the press release below.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Emotion, dynamism and high-tech –
The new Audi TT
- Audi TT and Audi TTS celebrate world premiere at Geneva Motor Show
- Compact sports car impresses with its design and driving dynamics
- Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg: “Offering drivers a technology experience that is even more compelling”Audi TT Coupé
A completely revised edition of a modern classic is ready to take center stage: The Audi TT and Audi TTS will celebrate their world premieres at the Geneva Motor Show (these vehicle are currently not available for sale. they do not yet have a general type approval and are therefore not covered by Directive 1999/94/EC.). The third generation of the compact sports car is again captivating, with its emotional design and dynamic qualities. The new Coupé is characterized by the use of innovative technologies in its engine and in its control and display concept, including the Audi virtual cockpit.
“The Audi TT is the epitome of an authentic design icon and a top-performance driving machine,” explains Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Technical Development. “With the new generation, we are making this technology even easier for the driver to experience – just as they would expect from a real sports car.”
When the first-generation Audi TT came on the market in 1998 it was a design revolution – its strictly geometrical, formally coherent design language made it an icon with huge charisma. For the third TT generation, the Audi designers have returned to many of these ideas and placed them in a new context that is as dynamic as it is diverse.
The front of the new TT is dominated by horizontal lines. The Singleframe grille is much broader and flatter than that of the previous model, with a powerful line dividing it into two zones. Starting in the top corners of the grille, sharp contours run in a V across the hood, which bears the four Audi rings – as on the Audi R8 high-performance sports car (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 14.9 – 12.4 (15.79 – 18.97 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 349 – 289 (561.66 – 465.10 g/mile). The air intakes feature struts that direct part of the flow away from the front to the flanks.
The flat headlights give the new TT’s face a determined look. Xenon plus units are standard, and Audi can optionally provide LED headlights or ones in pioneering Audi Matrix LED technology, where the high beam is generated by controllable individual LEDs. On both versions, there is an unmistakable contour created by the separating strip in the headlights, which is illuminated by light guides.
The Matrix LED headlights consist of 12 LEDs and include another Audi innovation: dynamic turn signals that light up sequentially in the direction in which the driver is steering. The predictive cornering light uses navigation data to move the cone of light into the curve before the steering wheel is turned.
From the side, the new Audi TT is equally lean and muscular; it rests low on the road as if ready to pounce. At 4.18 meters (13.71 ft), the Coupé is almost exactly the same length as its predecessor, though its wheelbase has grown by 37 mm (1.46 in) to 2,505 mm (8.22 ft), making for especially short overhangs. It is 1,832 mm (6.01 ft) wide, and has the same height as the previous model at 1,353 mm (4.44 ft).
A lot of the details of the new Audi TT’s profile are reminiscent of the first-generation of the modern classic. The contour of the sill creates a striking refracting edge, while the broad wheel arches form their own geometric bodies. The front wheel arch breaches the line of the hood, which continues over the door as a tornado line and runs almost horizontally through to the tail as a strong body shoulder.
The flat greenhouse gives the impression of being an independent unit and the slight kink in the rear side window gives it additional tension. The fuel flap on the right side panel is the classic circle and surrounded by socket screws; a light tap on the TT logo and the flap opens. This shape is again reminiscent of the first-generation TT. What is new is that there is no tank lid beneath the flap. This means that there is nothing to be unscrewed and the pump nozzle slots straight into the tank neck, just like in motor racing.
Specifically at the tail, horizontal lines underline the impression of the new TT’s sporty width. Together with the LED and Audi Matrix LED headlights, the tail lights also have dynamic turn signals. Another parallel to the front headlights: the strip in the tail lights, which also form a daytime running light contour – another Audi innovation. The third brake light is an extremely narrow strip positioned under the edge of the rear spoiler. It plays an essential part in defining the tail light silhouette.
At a speed of 120 km/h (74.56 mph) a spoiler extends from the trunk lid to improve both air resistance and downforce. All models have two large round exhaust tailpipes. These are again reminiscent of the original TT. Like all Audi S models, the TTS exhales through four oval tailpipes.
The optional S line exterior package makes the design of the bumpers, air intakes, Singleframe grille, sills and the rear diffuser even sharper and sportier. And handling is even more dynamic, with 18” wheels and a body that rests 10 mm (0.39 in) lower.
Lightweight construction is one of Audi’s greatest areas of expertise. The second-generation Audi TT already featured an Audi Space Frame (ASF) body made from aluminum and steel. For the new TT, Audi has systematically taken this composite construction principle even further, in line with the idea: the right amount of the right material in the right place for optimal functions.
The Coupé’s underbody structure has optimized axle loads and is made of modern, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel alloys. In the sections of the passenger cell that are subject to the most structural stress, form-hardened steel panels, which are both ultra-high-strength and light are used – these constitute 17 percent of the body’s weight. The side sills and roof frame are made of extruded aluminum profiles that are integrated into the structure using cast aluminum nodes. This structural principle creates a very rigid and safe bodyshell. The aluminum side sections and roof complete the structure. The hood, doors and trunk lid are also made of this light metal.
All in all, the Audi engineers have, for the second time in a row, succeeded in significantly reducing the unladen weight of the Audi TT. At the first model change in 2006, up to 90 kg (198.42 lb) were saved, and the 2.0 TFSI engine variant of the new TT weighs just 1,230 kg (2,711.69 lb). This makes it around 50 kg (110.23 lb) lighter than its predecessor.
The low overall weight is further proof of Audi’s expertise in lightweight construction. It impacts positively especially on acceleration, handling and fuel consumption.
Clearly structured volumes with a taut surface and light, almost floating lines – the interior is the embodiment of the new Audi TT’s pure sports car character. As with the exterior, horizontal lines and surfaces emphasize the width of the interior. The center tunnel console, which supports the calves when driving fast through bends, and the door panels have similar flowing shapes.
The rule was once again: “less is more.” Clear, purist lines underscore both the lightness and the uncompromising sportiness of the Audi TT’s interior. Two other ingenious design and technically innovative tricks enabled the designers to create an instrument panel that is impressively slender: The instrument cluster and the MMI screen have been combined to form a central, digital unit – the so-called Audi virtual cockpit. In addition, the controls for the air conditioning system are positioned directly in the air vents.
Seen from above, the instrument panel resembles the wing of an aircraft; the round air vents – a classic TT feature – are reminiscent of jet engines with their turbine-like design. The vents also contain all the controls for the standard air conditioning system and the optional automatic air conditioning system (standard in the TTS). The controls for seat heating, temperature, direction, air distribution and air flow strength are located at their center; the setting selected is shown on small displays in the automatic air conditioning system. The horizontal control panel is located under the central air vents. The 3D-designed toggle switches activate the hazard warning lights, Audi drive select and the assistance functions.
The standard sports seats in the new Audi TT have integrated head restraints and are positioned lower than in the predecessor model. Compared with the seats in the predecessor model, they are more than five kilograms (11.02 lb) lighter. As an option – and as standard in the TTS – there are newly developed S sport seats with highly contoured and pneumatically adjustable side sections that are exceptionally comfortable and provide excellent support.
The new multifunction steering wheel has a flattened rim, and aluminum-look clasps encompass the spokes. It also has a driver airbag that takes up 40 percent less space without compromising safety, and hence emphasizes the sense of visual lightness.
Countless details demonstrate the high standards which Audi places on interior design and craftsmanship. They include the newly designed, split gear lever, the very precisely engaging MMI rotary pushbutton and the finely finished loudspeaker covers with light guides in the optional Bang & Olufsen sound system.
As a 2+2 seater, the new Audi TT is a sports car that is highly suitable for everyday use. The trunk has a capacity of 305 liters (10.77 cubic ft), which is 13 liters (0.46 cubic ft) more than before, and can be extended by folding the rear seat backrests forward.
Colors and equipment
The new Audi TT offers a far more distinct and colorful range of colors than its predecessor. There are 11 exterior colors, one of which is exclusively for the S line. Seven of the colors in the range are new for the TT, and two of these are completely new for Audi: Nano Gray and Tango Red. There are also two additional paints available for the TTS – crystal-effect Panther Black and the highly expressive Sepang Blue.
There is a completely new range of colors for the interior, too – the Audi TT and the TTS each offer three interior colors to choose from. For the first time, Audi is offering a two-tone interior including sporty contrasting stitching for S line models.
The equipment for the new Audi TTS includes extended interior elements that add individually selectable color accents to the S sport seats clasps, the sides of the center console and the rings of the air vents. Customers with exquisite taste have many options for customization. Upholstery in various cloths and leather grades are available for the seats, as well as three leather packages. The S sport seats have characteristic diamond quilting in the center section.
One special highlight is the exclusive design selection which comprises a combination of two fine leather colors: dark murillo brown on the seats and a slightly metallic shimmering stone-grey pearl on the armrests, knee supports and cowl. Alternating contrasting stitching, dark aluminum, matching paint for the extended interior elements and a special woven floor mat are further features of this elegant upholstery and trim.
For the TTS, the Audi designers have come up with an innovative technical laser texture for the wings of the instrument panel: It has a honeycomb-patterned, slightly raised surface that gives the Audi TTS a unique sporty feel.
Controls and displays
The operating concept for the new TTS has been revised from the ground up – in line with the consistent sports car character, all the elements focus on the driver. There are two variants of the multifunction steering wheel available. Drivers selecting the top version can activate almost all functions from the steering wheel without taking their eyes off the road.
The second control unit is the likewise newly developed MMI terminal on the console of the center tunnel. Two toggle switches activate the navigation/map, telephone, radio and media menus. There are two buttons on both sides of the central rotary pushbutton, supplemented by a main menu and a back button. The driver can easily enter destinations using the touchpad on the top of the rotary pushbutton (from the Connectivity package upwards) – the MMI touch recognizes your personal handwriting. It is also possible to scroll through lists or zoom in on maps.
The menu structure of the MMI resembles that of a smartphone, including the free-text search. All important functions can be accessed directly. One special highlight is the MMI direct search. This enables you to start writing immediately when navigating, without having to use a set form. In most cases, inputting four letters is enough for you to see relevant destinations throughout Europe. The two side buttons activate context-dependent functions (right button) and options (left button). The operating logic is easy to understand and conveys a completely novel “joy of use.”
Alongside the operations possible using the control panel, the Audi TT offers a further possibility: the voice control system. Audi is also breaking new ground in this area, too. For the first time in the Audi TT, natural voice controls are used that enable simple commands – such as “Take me to Munich” or “I want to talk to Sabine” – to control the vehicle systems without having to take your hands off the steering wheel.
Instead of the conventional analog displays, the new TT has the Audi virtual cockpit on board – this fully digital instrument cluster sets new standards with its dynamic animations and precise graphics. Drivers can choose between two display modes: In the classic view, the speedometer and rev counter are in the foreground; in “infotainment” mode the virtual instruments are smaller. The space that becomes free as a result provides ample room for other functions, such as the navigation map. In the Audi TTS there is a third, sporty mode. Here, the centrally positioned rev counter dominates the display.
With a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels, the 12.3” TFT screen boasts brilliantly sharp images. At work in the background is a Tegra 30 graphic processor from market leader Nvidia’s Tegra 3 series. At the lower edge of the Audi virtual cockpit, the displays for outside temperature, time and mileage are permanently visible. Warning or information symbols may also appear there.
(All consumption and output figures are provisional)
Audi offers the new TT and TTS with three different four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and direct injection. Their power output ranges from 135 kW (184 hp) to 228 kW (310 hp). The two TFSI gasoline engines and the TDI combine athletic power with trailblazing efficiency. The start-stop system is a standard feature.
For the launch of the TT, the 2.0 TDI will be available with manual shift and front-wheel drive. It delivers 135 kW (184 hp) and torque of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft). The new sports car can thus accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 235 km/h (146.02 mph). Standard fuel consumption is a mere 4.2 liters per 100 km (56.00 US mpg), which translates into CO2 emissions of 110 g/km (177.03 g/mile), a new record low level in the sports car world.
The 2.0 TDI features two balancer shafts in the crankcase, adjustable camshafts and a common rail injection system delivering maximum pressure of 2,000 bar. The Audi TT 2.0 TDI meets the Euro 6 standard and, thanks to its high efficiency, bears the “ultra” label.
The 2.0 TFSI is available in two versions – a 169 kW (230 hp) version for the TT and a 228 kW (310 hp) version for the TTS. In both versions it unites various ultramodern technologies – the additional indirect injection supplementing the direct injection of the FSI, the Audi valvelift system (AVS) to adjust the valve stroke on the exhaust side and thermal management, which uses a rotary valve module and an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head.
In the Audi TT, the 2.0 TFSI delivers torque of 370 Nm (272.90 lb-ft) from 1,600 to 4,300 rpm. It accelerates the Coupé – which has a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive – from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.0 seconds, and on up to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
On the version with six-speed S tronic and quattro all-wheel drive, the key figures are as follows: the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes 5.3 seconds; top speed is 250 km/h (155.34 mph); fuel consumption of 6.8 liters per 100 km (34.59 US mpg) and CO2 emissions of 159 g per km (255.89 g/mile). The dual-clutch transmission shifts through the six gears without any noticeable interruption in traction, and in manual model it can be controlled by paddles on the steering wheel. In the “efficiency” mode of Audi drive select, the S tronic selects freewheel as soon as the driver takes his or her foot off the gas pedal.
The Audi TTS is a peak performer. It covers the standard sprint in 4.7 seconds; its top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155.34 mph). The 2.0 TFSI produces 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque at an engine speed of between 1,800 and 5,700 rpm. Controllable flaps in the exhaust system modulate the sporty sound and make it even richer. A manual transmission is standard. The S tronic option includes launch control, which regulates maximum acceleration from a standstill.
In the new Audi TT, quattro permanent all-wheel drive delivers additional stability, traction and driving fun. It has been consistently advanced and optimized especially for the new TT. Its electro-hydraulically controlled multi-plate clutch is mounted on the rear axle. The special pump design reduces weight by around 1.5 kg (3.31 lb) compared with the previous model. The distribution of drive torque between the axles is controlled electronically within fractions of a second.
The intelligence of quattro drive – in other words, the software that determines precisely the possible torque distribution between the front and rear axles – is a completely new development especially for the TT. The innovative control philosophy continuously senses the ambient conditions, driving status and the driver’s wishes. This means that the ideal distribution of torque is calculated and the TT’s dynamic drive characteristics enhanced in every situation.
By networking quattro drive with Audi drive select, the driver of the new Audi TT can adjust the all-wheel-drive properties to suit his or her individual requirements. In “auto” mode, this produces optimum traction and balanced driving dynamics. In “dynamic” mode, torque is distributed to the rear axle earlier and to a higher degree, which means that driving dynamics are enhanced further, especially on surfaces with low friction coefficients.
Alongside optimizing the driving dynamics, the advances made to quattro drive also focused on the subject of efficiency. In the drive select “efficiency” mode the torque distribution is adjusted to optimize the level of efficiency. Determining driving conditions and driver type precisely allows for efficiency-optimized all-wheel-drive control – which can even result in the temporary shutdown of the quattro drive system. In this operating state, the intelligent software carefully monitors the driving situation and activates the all-wheel drive before torque is once again required at all four wheels. In this way, quattro drive provides optimum efficiency along with a level of traction and dynamic handling that is typically quattro.
The chassis also reflects the technological expertise behind the new Audi TT. The front suspension is based on a McPherson system; aluminum components reduce the weight of the unsprung chassis masses. The four-link rear suspension can process the longitudinal and transverse forces separately.
One particular highlight is the new third generation of the adaptive damper control system, Audi magnetic ride. Compared with the previous version, it has been improved in terms of characteristic spread, control dynamics and precision as well as user friendliness. Audi magnetic ride can be adjusted to three settings (comfort – auto – dynamic) via Audi drive select and, at the press of a button, either makes the compact sports car hug the road more tightly or lets it glide smoothly across the road irrespective of which mode the driver selects. Magnetic ride technology delivers ultra-swift wheel-selective control of the damper forces, which means that in all driving situations there is optimum contact between wheel and road.
In this way, the new Audi TT’s superb driving dynamics are further optimized, and body control also ensures good comfort behavior. The system is unique in this market segment. Audi magnetic ride is standard on the Audi TTS and is available as an option for all other TT versions.
Another highlight is the standard progressive steering – its rack is designed such that the ratio becomes more direct as the steering is turned. In this way, the new TT can be steered agilely and precisely with little movement of the steering wheel in downtown traffic and on winding country roads. The electromechanically driven and thus highly efficient progressive steering adapts its assistance to speed and forms the basis for the optional assistance systems – Audi active lane assist and park assist.
With its elaborate chassis design and firm setup, the new Audi TT handles superbly in all situations. The body is lowered by 10 mm (0.39 inch) on the TTS, with the S line sport package and with the adaptive damper control system, Audi magnetic ride.
The dynamic driving system known as Audi drive select is an option for the new Audi TT, but standard on the TTS. It controls the engine characteristics and the steering assistance. The driver can choose between comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual modes. In addition, Audi drive select influences several optional modules – the S tronic, quattro drive, the Audi magnetic ride system, which at the press of a button makes the compact sports car hug the road even more closely, and the engine sound. In efficiency mode, Audi drive select influences the air conditioning and the start-stop system accordingly.
There are 11 different wheel versions available. The TT 2.0 TFSI and the 2.0 TDI come as standard with 17” forged wheels in five-spoke design, each of which weighs only 8.7 kg (19.18 lb), and with size 225/50 tires. On request, Audi can supply other wheel designs with diameters of 17”, 18” or 19”, and tires up to 245/35 R19. quattro GmbH also offers wheels with a diameter of up to 20”.
The front discs are ventilated and, depending on engine version, have a diameter of up to 338 mm (13.31 in). The new electromechanical parking brake that the driver actuates by pressing a button is integrated into the rear braking system. The TTS uses newly developed aluminum fixed-caliper brakes to slow the front wheels; these are five kilograms (11.02 lb) lighter than on the predecessor model – another example of Audi’s expertise in lightweight construction.
The electronic stabilization control (ESC), which can be switched off either partly or completely, perfectly complements the car’s sporty handling. When driving through bends, torque vectoring takes effect. If required, the drive torque is distributed from the inside front wheel to the outside front wheel (front-wheel drive) or, on quattro models, to the rear wheels, too. Thanks to the difference in propulsive forces, the car turns very easily into the curve, which is helpful for the driver. In this way, bends can be navigated with great precision and neutrally. This significantly boosts the TT’s dynamism and stability. Sport mode supports particularly sporty driving, facilitating steering and control when drifting.
The way that all components interact and harmonize enhances agile handling and consequently the driving pleasure that an Audi TT offers – just as you would expect of a sports car.
All versions of the new Audi TT Coupé come with a generous range of standard equipment. Alongside those features already mentioned above, the MMI radio and the electromechanical parking brake deserve a special mention. The options include – alongside the S sport seat with numerous leather and trim variants – the convenience key, hold assist, high-beam assist, the LED interior lighting package, front seat heating, and the storage and luggage compartment package.
As regards infotainment, customers can choose from various options. The connectivity package boasts a touchpad, MMI touch. At the top of the modular range is the MMI Navigation plus with its large flash memory, two card readers, DVD drive, Bluetooth interface and voice control system. The T30 chip from market leader Nvidia’s Tegra 3 series, which is used in the new generation of the modular infotainment platform, controls all navigation and multimedia functions in the car and, together with the processor, presents all content in the Audi virtual cockpit.
The Audi connect system complements the MMI Navigation plus perfectly – it connects the new TT to the internet using the fast LTE transmission standard. The integrated Wi-Fi hotspot means passengers can surf the internet and e-mail as they please, while the driver can rely on the customized Audi connect services.
The infotainment package is rounded out by attractive components. The Audi Phone Box smoothly links a cell phone to the car. Its centerpiece is a universal planar antenna which is integrated into the storage tray in the center armrest. Thanks to close-range coupling, the phone communicates with the flat planar antenna, which uses an amplifier to transmit the signals to the car antenna.
The Bang & Olufsen Sound System features a 14-channel amplifier and 12 loudspeakers; the woofers in the doors gleam in the dark thanks to an adjustable, discrete light conductor.
Powerful assistance systems make driving the new TT an even more pleasurable experience. As an option the car can be equipped with Audi side assist, which uses rear-mounted radar sensors to help drivers change lane more safely; camera-based traffic sign recognition; Audi active lane assist, which helps the driver if required by steadily correcting steering or warning him or her if there is a danger of unintentionally drifting out of lane and the park assist system with display of surroundings, which independently guides the car into suitable spaces.
Just before the 65 back-to-back press conferences start tomorrow, Volkswagen has unveiled their latest T-ROC concept. Not just another soft roader for the masses, VW aims to take a bit of wind out of the Nissan Juke’s sails by offering something that looks just a little snarky, and more than a little capable off road. Currently rigged out with a 2 liter turbo diesel four, the T-ROC has its 181 horsepower and 280 ft-lbs of torque routed through a seven speed manual gearbox to all for wheels with VW’s 4Motion system.
Sporting a targa top, the T-ROC seems destined to set itself apart from other small utes. Though it’s not a Jeep, VW seem very intent upon the car’s status as an off roader. It offers a multi mode traction system with settings for off road, snow, and roads, which is coupled with a hill descent system. It does not offer a low range gearbox, so it’s probably safe to say that it’s good for short offroad jaunts that last as long as the brakes stay cool enough. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Volkswagen concept car provides preview of new SUV range
On the evening before the Geneva International Motor Show the Volkswagen Group traditionally presents its highlights. With the world première of the T-ROC concept car the Volkswagen brand is giving a preview of a possible SUV range. The striking features of the concept car include its progressive design, the front section with the LED headlights and two removable roof halves.
With the Tiguan and Touareg Volkswagen has in its model range two of the most successful SUVs (sports utility vehicles) of European origin. In the future, Germany’s largest car manufacturer will be expanding this spectrum appreciably with new models in a variety of classes. Coming up at the Geneva International Motor Show (4th to 16th March): the world première of the T-ROC, a Golf-format concept car positioned a step down from the Tiguan. Following the CrossBlue (USA), CrossBlue Coupé (China) and also Taigun (India) concept cars, Volkswagen is once again giving a look ahead to possible future SUV models.
The T-ROC follows a new design line and interior style, with the progressive design of the front section being particularly striking. The two-door vehicle also combines the talents of an all-wheel drive SUV – which doesn’t capitulate even when faced with rocky off-road tracks – with the summery airiness of a convertible. The middle section of the roof consists of two halves that with just a few flicks can be taken off and stowed in the boot. Front and rear cameras, which are backed up in the dark by LED headlights, extend the driver’s field of vision.
Powered by a 135 kW / 184 PS turbo-diesel direct injection engine, the T-ROC is equipped with three different driving modes: ‘Street’, ‘Off-road’ and ‘Snow’. The parameters of the 4Motion drive train, 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch gearbox), ABS, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control vary depending on the mode selected. The 2.0 TDI engine’s fuel consumption is a low 4.9 l/100 km, while maximum torque is 380 Nm.
The vehicle body has been designed based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB). Thanks to lightweight construction the SUV weighs just 1,420 kg. Visually striking features include the relatively short overhangs and the multi-part 19-inch alloy wheels with size 245/45 tyres.
The 2015 Audi RS6 Avant and the 2015 Audi A6 have been caught during winter testing. If you’re a sir, you can pretend you’re someone else by growing a beard, or face fungus, depending upon how one feels about it, and, if you’re not a sir, you can use expensive clown paint, or beauty care products to change your appearance. At the end of the day though, it’s still your face, attractive and fundamentally unchangeable, just like Audi’s design for the past ten years.
Audi has certainly been able to move more cars with their new, single front end design, selection of powertrains, and shockingly amazing interiors. It may be a case of the grass is always greener, but it seems that they may be resting on their laurels at this point. Audi is playing it conservative and the evidence is here in the above spy photos. While these cars are only due for a mid-cycle refresh, the exterior changes are so minor that it’s nearly impossible to discern them from the MY 2014 cars. Take a review of the photos and let us know what you think.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
As one of the first players in the entry level luxury crossover segment, Buick seems to have sent a compelling message about the segment and about the brand in general: the rebadged Chevy Trax sold 97,311 copies during 2013 and half of the buyers came over from another brand. Buick tries to cite exterior design as one of the reasons for the car’s sales, but I think that the significant selling points of this car are likely its 33 mpg fuel economy rating, sub-$25K starting price and $27,460 entry fee for a luxury SUV with leather. The car offers a very competitive price of $1,500 for an all wheel drive package, ideal for those either frightened by snowflakes, the use of anything other than all season or summer tires, or a combination of both.
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As indicated by the folks at Kelley Blue Book, the compact luxury SUV segment is a pretty hot market, and until BMW completely saturates it with their rainbow of competing entries, it will likely be an excellent source of profit for those engaged. Buick’s reign in this sector will likely last even longer if they choose to offer a greater selection of engines. For now, it’s only the 1.4-liter, turbocharged four making 140 hp and 148 ft-lbs of torque. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
DETROIT– Closing its first full year, the Encore became the Buick lineup’s fifth model and second crossover, ringing up sales success in one of the industry’s fastest-growing segments.
Entering the small SUV and small luxury SUV segment in the U.S. at the end of last January, the Encore helped boost sales in a rapidly expanding market that just last year alone, grew by 52 percent from 2012.
“Right out of the gate, demand for the Encore was high,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing. “It accounted for most of the segment’s growth last year and that’s because it offers the right safety, technology, and features in the right-sized vehicle for many customers.”
As one of the first luxury crossovers of its size, Encore’s U.S. retail sales reached 31,046 units during its first full year of sales. Globally, the Encore sold 97,311 vehicles in calendar year 2013, helping Buick set its global sales record of 1,032,056 last year.
“The small SUV segment looks like the next hot spot in the new-car market,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “The combination of functionality and fuel efficiency offered by models like the Buick Encore makes them a compelling value equation for consumers. We’re seeing rising research activity in these models from users of KBB.com, and we expect sales to grow in the coming months and years.”
Encore’s early entry to these segments is significant. Combined, the segments are expected to more than double in sales between now and 2018.
The Encore earned an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2013 Top Safety Pick and 5-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It also ranked highest in the Sub-Compact CUV segment in the 2013 J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySMand among others, was named the winner of Kelley Blue Book’s 2014 5-Year Cost to Own awards in the Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover category.
Encore customers cite good fuel economy, high quality and exterior design as the top reasons for purchase, with one in two buyers coming from a non-General Motors brand.