Saturday, September 11, 2010

Porsche Cayenne Magnum, 2008

Its predecessor the new TECHART Magnum sets itself apart with a spectacular aerodynamic-enhancement package that fits all versions of the Porsche SUV. All body components are manufactured from PUR-RIM plastic in OEM quality.

The curved TECHART fender flares add eight centimeters to the width of the Cayenne. The Magnum rocker panels provide a fluent transition between the wider wheel arches.

The new aprons for front and rear that replace their production counterparts were designed to correspond visually to the more pronounced contours of the wheel arches. The TECHART Magnum front apron lends the latest Cayenne generation an even more striking appearance. Its large air inlets feature elegantly styled slats and provide ample cooling air for radiators and front brakes. A total of four auxiliary headlights and daytime running lights improve active safety.

The TECHART Magnum rear apron with integrated diffuser reduces lift on the rear axle and provides the perfect backdrop for the TECHART stainless-steel sport exhaust system with two chrome tailpipes on either side.

The body conversion can be rounded out with moldings for front and rear lights, as well as with a new hood that features two air outlets that optimize heat balance in the engine bay.

The Magnum also features custom-tailored wheels and tires. The largest possible version features TECHART Formula II light-alloy wheels in size 10.5Jx22 in front and in size 11,5Jx22 in the rear. For optimal tires TECHART chose Conti Cross Contact UHP tires in sizes 295/30 ZR 22 and 335/25 ZR 22, which are approved on the Cayenne for a top speed of 300 km/h.

These tires also make the Magnum a prime candidate for the engine tuning of the Cayenne Turbo that is currently under development and in its most powerful incarnation will produce up to 620 hp / 456 kW.

The air suspension of the Cayenne Turbo is modified with the TECHART sport module that lowers the ride height for enthusiastic on-road driving by 30 millimeters. The entire range of adjustment from the lowest ride height (loading level) to the highest (special off-road level) measures some 110 millimeters.

The TECHART Magnum repertoire also includes countless interior options. The range of products starts with exclusive accessories such as an ergonomically shaped sport steering wheel and carbon-fiber applications for the cockpit, available in a number of different colors.

Requests for an even higher degree of customization can be fulfilled with exclusive TECHART fully leather interiors in any color and design imaginable.

The TECHART interior line de Sede of Switzerland, created in cooperation with the Swiss furniture manufacturer, represents an especially exclusive option. The high-quality de Sede leather skins are transformed by the company-own TECHART upholstery shop into meticulously finished upholstery for seats, door and side trim, dashboard, roof pillars and headliner.
Read More

Pontiac G3, 2009

Rapidly growing small car segment, Pontiac announced plans to bring the sporty, 5-door hatchback Pontiac G3 to U.S. showrooms early next year. When it arrives, the G3 will provide Pontiac with a total of four vehicles capable of more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

Successful in Canada (as the Pontiac G3 Wave) and Mexico (as a sedan model), the Pontiac G3 offers an EPA estimated 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway while providing the best shoulder and hip room in the segment for seating five adults.

The 2009 Pontiac G3 will join the all-new 2009 Pontiac Vibe (32 mpg) and recently enhanced 2009 versions of the G6 sedan (33 mpg) and G5 coupe (37 mpg) in Pontiac's "Over 30" club.

Generating 106 horsepower (79 kW), the Pontiac G3's 1.6L Ecotec four-cylinder engine is mated to a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission. It will feature an unusually rich mix of standard features for an entry-level car, including air conditioning, a CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input jack, fog lamps, rear spoiler, On Star, and a host of standard safety features, including four airbags, that gain the Pontiac G3 a five-star frontal crash rating.

Interior space is optimized to comfortably seat five adults, including "theater"-style seating for rear seat passengers. The rear seats also feature a 60/40 split to offer up to 42 cubic feet of cargo space.
Read More

Friday, September 10, 2010

Peugeot 908 V12 HDi DPFS, 2007

Peugeot announced its decision to accept a new technological challenge: to win one of the world's most prestigious and demanding motor races, the Le Mans 24 Hours, with a car powered by an HDi diesel engine equipped with a diesel particulate filter system (DPFS).

The monocoque body
The monocoque body is made of carbon and presents a truly closed structure, contrary to the 905, which was a "racing car" with a detachable tubular rollover bar. This type of structure offers strong natural rigidity (the "eggshell" effect) and allows the weight of the monocoque body to be optimised.

Body and aerodynamics
Created from scratch at the beginning of 2006, Peugeot Sport's aerodynamics department had the difficult task of designing in just a few weeks an exterior body that was both original and aerodynamically efficient.
3 months after the appointment of the aerodynamics project team leader, a model of the car was undergoing the first tests in the wind tunnel!
The car's profile results not only from the necessary compromise between aerodynamic efficiency and drag, but also the need to provide optimum airflow to the different radiators and intercoolers located within the generously dimensioned bodywork.

Suspension, steering, brakes
Given the challenge of designing a complete car in record time and the particular constraints of the HDi DPFS engine, the Peugeot Sport team relied on proven solutions for the front and rear suspension design, the electric power steering and the brakes.

The gearbox
This is positioned longitudinally and will allow the fitment of up to 6 gear ratios, the limit laid down by the regulations.
It has been designed to withstand the enormous torque of the engine, while ensuring optimum weight and size characteristics.
The gearbox is controlled electro-pneumatically.

The engine
The chosen engine architecture is a 100° V12 with a capacity of 5.5 litres. This is the maximum capacity permitted by the regulations and was chosen due to its greater internal airflow at low engine speeds. It also gives potential future development opportunities to use different grade fuels.
The choice of a twelve cylinder engine helps keep the cylinder bore diameter very close to that of a production series engine. In doing so, Peugeot can call on its extensive knowledge of diesel combustion and also ensure the engine has a reasonable piston stroke. The V12 architecture, well known for its good balance, also reduces vibrations to a minimum.
The 100° V angle, like the V12 architecture, makes it possible to lower the height of the centre of gravity without affecting the engine's torsional rigidity.
Two diesel particulate filters are located at the end of each exhaust system and guarantee "smoke-free" operation of the engine under all conditions.

The two exhaust systems are as short as possible. On each side a 6 into 1 exhaust manifold is connected to a Garrett turbocharger, then to a very compact diesel particulate filter before ending in a side exhaust pipe, located in front of the rear wheel.
The expected level of performance - a power of more than 515 kW (700 bhp) and a torque in excess of 1200 Nm, which is unprecedented for a diesel engine - is a direct results of Peugeot's diesel engine expertise, combined with the mechanical specification of the V12 engine.

The 908 will benefit fully from Peugeot Sport's considerable expertise and knowledge in electronics, acquired as a result of its extensive experience with WRC cars - which are generously equipped with electronic systems - and in particular with respect to their experience of electronically controlled differentials.

* Rear central longitudinal position
* All-aluminium with one-piece aluminium cylinder block
* 12 cylinders, V angle 100°
* Capacity: 5.5 litre
* Common rail direct injection
* Engine management: Bosch MS17
* Power: 700 bhp
* Torque: 1200 Nm

* Gearbox: longitudinal with a maximum of 6 gear ratios. Electro-pneumatic gearbox control
* Differential: self-locking

Suspension, steering, brakes
* Linked front and rear suspension
* Electric power steering
* Michelin tyres
* Wheels: BBS, magnesium
* Length: 4,650 mm
* Width: 2,000 mm
* Minimum weight: 925 kg
Read More

Peugeot 308 RC Z Concept, 2007

The 308 RC Z concept car is a new Peugeot interpretation of driving pleasure. The car is a 2+2 coupé, with true versatility and at the same time a style that is modern, original and well-balanced.
Attention initially focused on making the vehicle as light as possible by the use of numerous aluminium components, for example the two roll over protection bars that separate the passenger compartment and give shape to the exterior styling, and the use of a polycarbonate rear windscreen and a large number of carbon fibre body parts.

Using the 308 as a blueprint offered a number of benefits:
  • to adopt a particularly stylish front design;
  • to share a large number of components already developed for the hatchback, therefore simplifying the production of this coupé;
  • to capitalise on the hatchback's strong points, which become even more effective in the 308 RC Z concept car (for example, suspension components, wheels, certain equipment items and the fl owing design of the fascia panel).
Exterior styling
The particularly stylish design of the front of the 308 blends brilliantly with the proportions of this concept car.
The Peugeot "Lion" badge is mounted to what can truthfully be called the «nose of the bonnet». From here, the style lines fl ow upwards back over the bonnet and into the two polished aluminium roll-over protections bars. This fl owing «V» profile gives the vehicle its shape and creates an impression of movement in all positions.

Visually, the fl uidity of the design is further enhanced by the way the large tinted front windscreen, the carbon fibre roof panel and the polycarbonate tinted rear window are combined together.
The "feline-like" front headlights extend along the line of the bonnet. They contain four «cylindrical lights» each which create a bright and piercing beam of light. These "cylindrical lights" are clearly visible due to the clear glass headlamp lenses. The lower front panel differs from that of the 308 hatchback. It has a sharper and sportier shape with a single air intake and integral front fog lamps, while the front grille features chrome detailing.

From the side, the vehicle displays a strong profile with its prominent front wings, deeply sculpted sides, and particularly generous rear wings. The doors raise the visual profile, creating a link between the sloping front design and the curvaceous rear design.
The end result, firmly sitting on 19 inch wheels, suggests power, strength and dynamism, like an animal ready to pounce.

The specific shape of the rear window required the use of polycarbonate instead of glass. The two curved sections emerging from the roof give the vehicle an original appearance and contribute greatly to its aerodynamic efficiency. The design of the tailgate assists the airfl ow over the rear of the vehicle, while the shape of the rear of the vehicle provides sufficient down force onto the rear suspension to eliminate the need for a rear spoiler, thereby preserving the purity of the vehicle's lines.
The Peugeot Lion badge is displayed in a U shaped panel in the centre of the tailgate, and is backlit at night. In addition, simply by pressing the lion badge, opens the tailgate.

The rear lights are mounted fl ush with the car's wide rear wings. Fitted with light emitting diodes (LEDs), they have a ruby red finish combined with a stylised translucent section which contains the direction indicator.
Two centrally mounted exhaust pipes are integrated into the wraparound lower rear panel. To achieve this, the rear exhaust silencer has been located in a transverse position where it also serves as an aerodynamic diffuser, but still allows sufficient space for the storage of a spare wheel.

The rich metallic grey exterior body colour is created by a special process using finely milled metallic particles. This gives the impression that the vehicle has been formed from a single block of metal, enhancing the purity of the car's lines and the styling of the bodywork to remarkable effect.

The interior
The fascia panel in 308 RC Z concept car has been taken directly from the hatchback. A pure, elegant and fl uid design, it allows a particularly clear view of the outside thanks to its sloping design which complements the vehicle's large front windscreen. It offers a high level of interior brightness, improved visibility and an overwhelming feeling of space.
Refl ecting the hatchback, no effort has been spared in terms of the finishing touches and meticulous attention to comfort and convenience inside the car. This is evident in the care given to the styling of each component and the quality of materials used, both in terms of visual appearance and tactile appeal.

The entire fascia panel is trimmed in leather, while the use of chrome, aluminium and black lacquered fittings creates a sporty, upmarket impression. With this in mind, a Bell&Ross® clock has been placed in the centre of the fascia panel, between two air vents, its typography perfectly matching the background of the instrument panel located in the driver's line of sight.
Another sign of the vehicle's exclusive nature are the bucket type front seats with polished aluminium eyelets, the style of which is also refl ected in the design of the inner door panels. The ergonomically designed driver's seat ensures the driver is firmly in control of the vehicle.

The engine
The 308 RC Z concept car is powered by a 1.6 litre THP engine developed from the EP6DTS engine designed and developed via the collaboration between PSA Peugeot Citroën and the BMW Group, where it is fitted to the 207 RC, with a power output of 128 kW (˜175 bhp).
However, the 1.6 litre THP engine, as a result of new engine management software specially developed for the concept car, now produces a maximum power of 160 kW (˜218 bhp).
It is characterised by incredible fl exibility, thanks to its maximum torque of 280 Nm produced at a low engine speed (300 Nm in overboost). These values ensure remarkable responsiveness under all driving conditions.

Its innovative Twin-Scroll turbocharger optimally pairs the exhaust gases fl owing from two cylinders to ensure maximum fl ow onto the turbine, while its high-pressure direct petrol injection system improves combustion and overall engine efficiency.
The engine is coupled with an entirely new 6 speed manual gearbox.
This unit helps to give the 308 RC Z a particularly efficient compromise between performance and fuel consumption. For example, its maximum speed of 235 km/h is attained in sixth gear and it takes only 7.0 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h. In gear acceleration is impressive: only 7.5 seconds in 5th gear from 80 to 120 km/h. At the same time, fuel consumption is very reasonable with 6.7 litres/100 km in the combined cycle, or just 160 g/km of CO2 emissions.

Wheels and suspension
In the tradition of Peugeot concept cars there is a linked front suspension employing the widespread use of aluminium to reduce the vehicle's overall weight.
This set up ensures exceptional road holding, excellent steering accuracy and great feedback intensifying the overall driving sensation.
The rear suspension, derived from the hatchback, consists of a torsion-beam, two rear suspension arms and an integral anti-roll bar. It has been specially modified to take account of the wider vehicle tracks. Indeed the front and rear tracks have been increased by 59 mm compared to the hatchback, and also the fitment of wider tyres, ensures maximum body rigidity, precision and vehicle stability.
Braking relies on large (360 mm) diameter ventilated discs at the front with four piston calipers.
Polished split rim 19'' alloy wheels are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 245/40 R19 tyres.

Even for a unique model, Peugeot's designers do everything they can to make their dreams become a reality and leave nothing to chance. Safety is also made a top priority.
While the exceptional road holding of the 308 RC Z concept car forms the basis of its primary safety, it is supplemented by safety equipment borrowed from the 308 hatchback, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and the directional bi-Xenon headlamps.
Read More

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pagani Zonda C12-S Roadster, 2003

The Pagani Zonda is a supercar made by Italian car maker Pagani. It debuted in 1999 and continues through the present, with production proceeding at roughly 25 cars per year. As of December, 2005, 60 Zondas had been built. It is a mid-engined 2-seat coupe and convertible. Construction is mainly of carbon fiber.

Zonda engineering was done by Formula One champion, Juan Manuel Fangio. The car was originally to be named for him, the "Fangio F1", but the name was changed upon his death in 1995.
The Zonda is often compared to other supercars such as the Enzo Ferrari, the Koenigsegg CCR, the Lamborghini Murcielago and the Porsche Carrera GT.

Zonda C12, 1999
The C12 debuted at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show. It was powered by a 6.0 L (5987 cc) Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 engine and could reach speeds of 185 mph (297 km/h). The engine produces 408 PS (300 kW/402 hp) at 5200 rpm and 421 ft·lbf (571 N·m) at 3800 rpm.

Just five of the original 6.0 L Zondas were built, though it was still available in 2002 when the C12 S debuted. One was used for crash testing, while another was a demonstrator and show car. The rest were delivered to customers over the next three years, priced at US$320,000.
The C12 could accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.2 seconds and hit 100 mph (161 km/h) in 8.2 seconds. Acceleration through the quarter mile was 12.1 seconds at 124 mph (200 km/h). Lateral acceleration on the skidpad was .93g, and the car could brake from 60 mph (97 km/h) in 110 ft (34 m).

Zonda C12 S, 1999
The C12 S used a 7.0 L (7010 cc) AMG tuned version of the engine producing 550 PS (404 kW/543 hp). It can accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.7 s, to 100 mph in 9.5 s and complete the quarter mile in 11.9 s. Lateral acceleration on the skidpad is 0.98 g (9.6 m/s2). The car is 10 kg (22 lb) lighter than the normal Zonda C12. Top speed is 220 mph (354 km/h) for the coupe and 215 mph (346 km/h) for the roadster. The car's price tag was US$350,000.

The C12 S features an elongated nose and flaps at the rear for improved aerodynamics. New light clusters and exhausts are also used. Fifteen 7.0 L C12 S cars were produced.

Zonda C12 S 7.3, 2002
The 7.3 L (7291 cc) C12 S 7.3 of 2002 used one of the largest V12 engines ever made. The engine was designed and manufactued by Mercedes-Benz AMG. Traction control was added to handle the 555 PS (408 kW/547 hp) and 750 N·m (553 ft·lbf) that this engine produces. As of 2005, only five coupes out of an expected 100 have been produced.

A roadster version is also built, with production limited by the company to 40 examples. As of 2005, nine roadsters had been built. According to Road & Track magazine, three more C12 S 7.3 cars had been built as of June, 2005, but it is unclear whether they were roadsters or coupes. Motor Trend reported that 60 Zondas of all types had been built in their January 2006 issue.

Zonda GR, 2003
Development of the Zonda GR started in December, 2002. At this stage the Zonda was nearly four years old, but had yet to be entered in major motorsports. Tom Weickardt, owner of American Viperacing, Toine Hezemans, owner of Carsport Holland, and Paul Kumpen, owner of GLPK, created a new company, Carsport Zonda, to build a racing version. They secured exclusive rights to develop, build and sell competition Zondas from Horacio Pagani, and the first GR was completed at Carsport's facility in Modena within months.

The Zonda GR is based on the Zonda C12 S. It was built on the same carbon fiber chassis, with tube frames in front and back. The bodywork was modified to include front and rear diffusers and louvers for improved aerodynamics. The car was 2 m (6.6 ft) wide, in accordance with the regulations of the FIA and ACO. The car's weight was reduced to 1100 kg (2425 lb), and a new suspension was designed. New wheels and brakes were also specified. The engine was equipped with an enlarged radiator, and the engine and gearbox also have new oil coolers.

The performance of the Zonda GR is well beyond that of the stock car. The car sprints from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.3 seconds and the engine produces around 600 PS (around 440 kW) at 5800 rpm and 580 ft·lbf (786 N·m) of torque at 4300 rpm with a redline increased to 7500 rpm. The added power and improved aerodynamics allow the car to hit 215 mph (346 km/h).

C12 S Monza
The Zonda C12 S Monza debuted at the 2004 Paris Motor Show as a track-day version of the Zonda for private use. Borrowing its appearance cues from the Zonda GR, the Monza included many features which could also be applied to other Zonda models. A dry sump engine tuned to more than 600 PS (more than 440 kW) was used, and the cooling was improved. Modified aerodynamics, including a different wing and front diffuser, allowed greater speed, as did optimized gearing. The car was lighter, with polycarbonate side windows, and an unmuffled exhaust is fitted. The revised interior includes different pedals, steering wheel, and seats, as well as a reinforced roll cage. Larger brakes and a stiffer suspension also improve performance. Finally, an external fire extinguisher is included for safety.

Zonda F (C12 F), 2005
The Zonda C12 F debuted at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. It is the most extensive reengineering of the Pagani car yet, though it shares much with its predecessors including the 7.3 L V12. Power is increased to 602 PS (443 kW/594 hp) with a special clubsport model producing 650 PS (478 kW/641 hp). The company promises a 3.2 second sprint to 60 mph (97 km/h, a top speed over 350 km/h (218 mph) and it will be the queen in braking from 300 km/h to 0 (186 mph to 0). The Zonda F clubsport has a power to weight ratio of 521 bhp/ton (384 W/kg) . Compare, for example, the Enzo Ferrari which has a power to weight ratio of 483 bhp/ton (356 W/kg).

Production of the Zonda F will be limited to 25 cars, still not US compatible. The next model, due to be unveiled in 2008, will be fully EPA/DOT compatible.

The Zonda F, named after F1 pilot Juan Manuel Fangio, comes with an extra head light and different fog lights at the sides, new bodywork (revised front end, new rear spoiler, more aerodynamic vents all around) that improves the cars aerodynamics and different side mirrors. Further enhancements over the 'S' centre around optional carbon/ceramic brakes developed in conjuction with Brembo, magnesium wheels, inconel titanium exhaust system, hydroformed aluminium intake plenum and a redesigned 'Z preg' weave in the crash structure to improve rigidity and reduce weight.

Zonda Roadster F
The Roadster F is able to maintain chassis rigidity without any gain in curb weight by eschewing conventional thinking by not strengthening the sills - a process which would have needed more than 35kg of reinforcement. Pagani instead uses racecar thinking, materials and construction techniques, strengthening the firewall structure of the chassis tub together with billet alloy braces that connect the points where the roof rails would have joined. The windscreen is also strengthened for safety reasons. These techniques enable the Roadster to have virtually the same weight as the coupe - 1230kg.
Read More

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Opel Agila, 2008

The front boasts typical Opel styling. With its round headlamps integrated into almond-shaped lamp units that echo the new Corsa, the Opel Agila sees the world through wide eyes. The tapering of the front and rear bumpers are also typical Opel elements, just like the crease in the hood. The rear also features several rounded details. The positioning of the narrow vertical light units, which are accented by the spherically styled rear lights, allowed designers to create a large, easy load-through tailgate.

The same is true for the interior: the boring days are over. A wide selection of fresh colors and modern styles create an ambience that's enhanced even more by the spacious headroom. The versatile five-seater's high seating position ensures good visibility, while the high placed gear stick and height-adjustable steering wheel with radio remote controls ensure easy operation. The rev counter is housed separately on the instrument panel. All other information readouts are given on large, distinctive, round instruments.

Not just car essentials that the new Opel Agila stows away easily. Despite its compact exterior dimensions, the new Opel urban car boasts a surprisingly large luggage compartment. Its standard capacity up to the luggage compartment cover is 225 liters, large enough for a stroller, for example. One turn of a handle drops the rear bench seat back, increasing the load volume to an impressive 1050 liters - a top value in this segment. The rear bench seat and back also splits 60:40 for even greater versatility.

All Opel Agila models have a wide range of standard equipment, including safety features such as ABS, front and side airbags for driver and front passenger, front passenger airbag deactivation and mountings for the ISOFIX child seat system. And thanks to the five doors as standard, small children can be secured into a child seat quickly and safely.

Two gasoline engines make their world premiere in the new Opel Agila. Supplied by cooperation partner Suzuki, they share the same design - aluminum cylinder block and head, as well as two overhead camshafts.

The entry-level unit is the almost one-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine. The four-valve unit produces 65 hp (48 kW) and has a top speed of 160 km/h. The 1.2-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine produces 86 hp (63 kW), accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in less than 12 seconds and has a top speed of 174 km/h (values for five-speed manual version). This engine is now optionally available with a four-speed automatic transmission - an especially attractive alternative for city driving.

The fuel-saving master among the Opel Agila engines is the 1.3-liter common-rail turbo-diesel. Developed by GM Powertrain, the diesel engine is a true multi-talent and also offers an especially efficient alternative in the Corsa and Astra model lines. In the new Opel Agila it produces 75 hp (55 kW), has a top speed of 162 km/h and a zero to 100 km/h sprint of 13.5 seconds. The powerful diesel unit with a maximum torque of 190 Nm is very economical: on average it consumes less than five liters per 100 km, which represents a CO2 per kilometer value of under 130 g.

Make the Opel Agila even more agile - that was the aim during chassis development. The new dynamic look is reflected in the car's responsiveness. The Opel Agila's chassis, which features A-arms and McPherson struts in front and a torsion beam axle in the rear, is tuned for driving fun. Depending on the market and equipment variant, the Opel Agila also features an Electronic Stability Program (ESP).
Read More

Opel GTC Concept, 2007

The GTC Concept embodies the confident, emotional direction we're taking with Opel. Its exciting lines combined with its high driving dynamics and interior flexibility reflect what the Opel brand trademark characteristics will be in the future.

The four-seat coupé is powered by a 220 kW/300 hp, 2.8-liter V6 turbo gasoline engine and features an intelligent, electronically-controlled four-wheel drive system, which provides optimum traction and stability as well as excellent agility in all driving conditions.
Brand-typical on-board flexibility is ensured by the thoughtful "Flex4" system (patent application submitted). The backs of both rear seats can be docked separately to the front seats by remote control, creating a spacious three or two-seater with flat load floor and up to 1020 liters of luggage compartment capacity. As is typical of Opel cars, the seats do not have to be removed or installed.

Dynamic design: Visually communicating the Opel brand promise
The GTC Concept reveals the next-generation of Opel styling. Much like the Opel Speedster did in 1999, or the GTC Genève Concept did in 2003 this car marks a break in the evolution of Opel's design language and signals that the next chapter is about to be written.

Key elements of the silk grey-lacquered Coupé concept car finished with a matte grey paint (length/width/height: 4830/1867/1432 millimeters, wheelbase: 2737 mm) begin with an aggressive front end performance face emphasized by large aluminum vertical intakes that intersect the headlamps. These vertical elements are mimicked in the rear exhaust elements, proposing an unmistakable down-the-road signature performance graphic, coming or going.

The proud front is highlighted by a prominent, trapezoidal grille with signature Opel bar and Blitz, executed in polished aluminum, and gracefully finished with a bolder Opel Blitz emblem concept. The centerline crease coupled with the distinctive aluminum vertical intakes and outboard LED vertical driving lamps choreograph in harmony to visually communicate power and strength. The distinctive design continues with LED technology, enabling creative headlamp inner shapes that propose a night time signature illumination graphic in the front and rear lamps.

The GTC Concept's rear visual solutions strategically echo the design language of the nose with an integrated rear bar and blitz emblem resting on the distinctive Opel rear center crease. Sophisticated surface development sculpturally integrates the rear spoiler into the sheetmetal to visually communicate performance. The rear appearance features Opel signature shaped rear lamps, uniquely displaying a LED night lighting graphic showcasing the exterior brand identity. The smart exterior shape and aerodynamic characteristics are rewarded by the cD value of 0.25.

The Interior design: Warmer and more inviting
Opel's interior designs have progressed to become warmer and more inviting in products like the new Corsa, Antara and Opel GT. However, the Opel GTC Concept significantly represents the next chapter of Opel's interior brand identity. Echoing the exterior, the interior shapes and surfaces are sculpturally-crafted to visually articulate a dynamic driving experience. The dashboard's top-pad wraps around from the instrument panel to the door, embracing the occupants. The sweeping décor dynamically stretches one's eye from the surfaces of the door and instrument panel, creating a memorable environment. The horizontal theme is secured with a large integrated centerstack design floating above the décor surface, an appearance reminiscent of premium audio equipment.

Intelligent packaging: Compact exterior with spacious, flexible interior
With the lower seating position and vertical hip point ? known as the H-point? , both front occupants sit perfectly integrated in the car. Thanks to the lower-set instrument panel, outward visibility remains excellent. This also provides a generous sense of space, an effect strengthened by its color: the instrument panel's upper section is dark, while the lower section is light.

Powerful engine and intelligent four-wheel drive system
The Opel GTC concept car is powered by a turbocharged, 220 kW/300 hp, 2.8-liter V6 gasoline engine with two variable camshafts, which is combined with a six-speed manual transmission. Maximum torque of 400 Nm is available from 1850 up to 4500 rpm, and accelerating from zero to 100 km/h is calculated to take around six seconds. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h.

The power from the high-tech turbo engine is channeled via an advanced, electronically-controlled four-wheel drive system, which is fully integrated into the car's adaptive IDSPlus chassis management system. An electronically-regulated torque transfer device seamlessly distributes power between the front and rear axles for optimum traction and driving performance. The high-speed control allows more power to be provided to the rear axle before any traction loss can occur, for example during quick acceleration. This creates a driving feel similar to a sporty rear-wheel drive car. An electronically-controlled limited slip differential at the rear axle provides additional stability and traction thanks to torque distribution between the rear wheels.

Major benefits of the Opel GTC Concept's intelligent four-wheel drive system are: optimum traction and stability in all driving conditions as well as excellent agility and an active driving feel.
Read More

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Noble M14, 2004

Having conquered the specialist sports car market over the last five years, Noble Automotive is now launching an all-new model, which will firmly establish it at the quality end of the supercar market.

The British Noble M14 is set to take on rivals, such as the Porsche 911 Turbo and Ferrari 360 Modena, with a tantalising mix of class-leading dynamics, prodigious performance, a finely crafted and well equipped cabin, and levels of practicality that will appeal to owners who wish to use their car every day.

The 2004 British Motor Show will see the Noble M14 unveiled for the first time. Far from being a mere concept, the show car's styling, interior, drivetrain and chassis represent what will reach production when the car goes on sale in October this year.

Noble has chosen again to adopt a highly-modified version of Ford's 3.0-litre V6, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, for use in the M14. The unit, which in base form also powers certain Jaguar cars, has proved particularly durable in five years of Noble M12 development and production.

Like the GTO-3R and M400 models, the engine employs twin turbochargers, but uses an engine map developed specifically for the M14. In common with the 425bhp M400 model, the M14 will gain forged pistons to ensure durability. Maximum power will be 400bhp at 6100rpm, with a wholesome 385lb ft of torque at 4750rpm. Estimated performance will be 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds, 0-100mph in 9.5 seconds and a top speed of 190mph.

One of Lee Noble's design briefs was to create a cabin for the M14 that conveyed a feeling of expensiveness, by paying special attention to textures, finish and feel.

Trimmed in the finest Italian leather (Noble uses the same supplier as Ferrari for the M14) there is no mistaking the M14 cabin's aura of quality and luxury. The padded leather extends throughout the cabin, and is complimented by grey Alcantara roof lining and a gear tunnel and centre console formed in a gunmetal-coloured composite material. The floor and some lower sections of the cabin are trimmed in deep, 80 per cent wool carpet. There are even leather sill pads, incorporating the 'Noble' logo, for drivers to lean against while exiting the car.

The stunning and sumptuous seats, which will be standard in all M14s are manufactured specifically for Noble. They feature a carbon fibre frame, for strength and lightness, and are trimmed in the same top-grade leather seen elsewhere in the cabin. Both seats incorporate fore and aft adjustment, as well as reclining backrests and tilt adjustment.

More occupant space has been created in the cabin by reducing the width of the gear tunnel and re-designing the floorpan. As a result, the M14 has a maximum 1160mm of legroom for driver and passenger (up 30mm on that found in the current M12) and 950mm of headroom (M12 + 20mm). We would expect occupants of up to 6' 5" to sit comfortably in the M14's cabin.

Equipped like no other Noble, the M14 will come with:
  • Electric windows
  • Electric/heated door mirrors
  • Air conditioning
  • Heated windscreen with integral aerial
  • Satellite Navigation (option)
  • Multi-function dashboard display
  • Central locking
  • Alarm/immobiliser
The M14's chassis has been adapted from that used on the highly praised Noble M12. Despite the change in design emphasis with the M14, it was felt that the inherent suppleness in the M12's ride, combined with its class leading levels of grip and composure, would lend itself perfectly to the new car's design philosophy. Consequently, the existing chassis has been refined - rather than significantly changed - to suit the M14.

All M14 bodies will be made from vinylester GRP composite (Noble may also consider carbon fibre in future), built over a steel spaceframe, which is reinforced with bonded and riveted alloy panels. A full roll over cage extends around the inside of the M14's cabin, adding strength to what will be our stiffest production structure to date.

Suspension is by double wishbones all round, with coil springs and alloy uprights. Rack and pinion steering, with hydraulic power assistance is geared to 2.5 turns from lock to lock, offering a far tighter turning circle than the current M12.
Read More

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nissan Nuvu Concept, 2008

The Nissan Nuvu is a concept vehicle with unique 2+1 seating. It is easy to drive, even easier to park. It is the key solutions for tomorrow's city car."
The Nissan Nuvu is described as a moving oasis, a haven of green tranquillity in the urban jungle. To underline this message, Nissan Nuvu incorporates a witty representation of its green credentials: across its all-glass roof are a dozen or so small solar panels. Shaped like leaves on a branch, the power they generate is fed to the battery using a 'tree trunk' within the car as a conduit.

The interior package
The dimensions provide all the interior room needed for the vast majority of city journeys. Nissan Nuvu has two regular seats and a third occasional chair that can be folded down when required. But, unlike some two-seater city cars currently on the market, it is a thoroughly practical proposition with an integral luggage area providing sufficient space for a typical supermarket or shopping expedition.

The Solar panels
The energy tree is shaped like a thin trunk. As it reaches daylight it branches out under the glass roof providing occupants with protection from bright sunlight, just like a real tree. And providing a visual reminder of Nissan Nuvu's green credentials, covering the branches are dozens of small solar panels shaped like leaves.
The panels absorb energy from the sun which is then fed back down the energy tree and used to help recharge the battery and provide an extra power boost for the electric motor. As well as being genuinely green energy, it is estimated that the power generated via the solar panels will save the equivalent of one full overnight charge from mains electricity each month.

Driver controls are as simple as possible. All the major functions - steering, braking, transmission and throttle - are 'By-Wire' while the steering is controlled by an aircraft-style steering yoke: with just one turn from lock to lock, the steering is very direct for agility and manoeuvrability in the city. Nuvu's turning circle is just 3.7 metres.
There are two pedals - for stop and go - stalks for minor controls and a digital instrument panel with dials for speed, distance covered and battery range.

The exterior and interior design
Nuvu's design is further clear evidence of Nissan's continued desire to challenge convention and to explore all the possibilities that the EV could bring us. In many ways it was inspired by our two most extreme EVs of recent times: Mixim and Pivo 2.
Significantly, though, Nuvu delivers a more realistic interpretation of two of the most important aspects of its forerunners - the 'Friendly Innovation' found in Pivo 2 and the 'Sports Dynamics' central to Mixim

EV drivetrain
Nissan Nuvu is more than a styling concept of a future EV. It is a fully working mobile test bed for much of the technology that will be used in Nissan's production EV to be launched in 2010. For this reason elements of its technical specification are being kept secret for the time being.
The electric motor used in Nissan Nuvu is mounted at the rear of the vehicle and drives the back wheels, though neither its exact specification nor the power and torque figures are being released at this stage. A driving range of 125 kms and top speed of 120 km/h are being made public, however.

Li-Ion battery
Similarly although it can be revealed that the batteries used are of the latest laminated lithium-ion type and have a capacity of 140 Wh/kg (watt-hours per kilogram), the total capacity of the batteries and number of modules are not being disclosed at this stage.
Read More

Morgan Roadster 3.0 V6, 2004

The Morgan Roadster is a car produced by the Morgan Motor Company.
It was introduced in 2004.

* Length : 4010 mm
* Width : 1610 mm (standard wheels) / 1720 (optional wheels)
* Height : 1220 mm

* Fuel Tank Volume : 55 litres (12 imperial gallons)
* Fuel Consumption :
o Urban: 20.3 mpg imperial (13.91 l/100 k
o Extra Urban: 38.17 mpg imperial (7.40 l/100 km)
o Combined: 28.9 mpg imperial (9.77 l/100 km)
* CO2: 231.8

* Configuration: 3.0 litre V6 24 valve
* Bore x stroke, mm: 89 x 79.5
* Engine capacity, cm³: 2967
* Max output EEC: 166 kW (226 hp) at 6150 rpm
* Max torque EEC: 206 N·m 280 (lbf·ft) at 4900 rpm
* Power-to-weight ratio: 240 hp/t, kW/t
* Torque to weight ratio: 199 lbf·ft/short ton, 297 N·m/t

* 0 - 100 km/h (62 mph) 4.9 s
* Top speed 134 mph (215 km/h)
Read More

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mitsubishi Colt CZT, 2008

With 205,561 cars (3-door, 5-door and coupé-cabriolet included) sold between the initial launch of Spring of 2004 and May 2007 - therefore covering three successive fiscal years - Mitsubishi Colt has successfully re-established the "Colt" nameplate in many a major European market, like Italy (9,122 units for CY2006 / + 8% in Europe's largest B-segment market) or Germany (20,129 sales for CY2006 where it commands a 3.5% market share in the segment).

With most of these sales being conquest - since Mitsubishi Motors did not have any model in this sector before - Colt's performance (81.504 sales for CY2006 or +12.7%) is even more remarkable. More so as the B-segment is one the toughest in Europe, involving all the mega-budget big players and driven by the introduction of new models.

As a further evidence, in B-segment-orientated Southern Europe, Mitsubishi Colt sales increased in Spain by 24.3% during CY2006, with the sporty 3-door variant representing 45% of the total.

The Mitsubishi Colt family equipment and color changes:

* 15" and 16" alloy wheels
* Metallic colors (Sparkling Black, Cranberry Red, Glamour Grey)
* Seat fabrics (black/red -3-door only-, grey -5-door only- or black)
* Translucent elements colour (grey instead of blue)
* Shift boot colour (black instead of blue)
* Auto light and rain sensor available for high grades

A new pan-European special action model with both the 3 door and 5 door body style.
Sporty in spirit, as it suits Mitsubishi Motors products, these latest limited editions:

* Black headlamps
* Darkened rear combination lamp reflectors
* Blacked-out A-, B- and C-pillars
* Privacy glass (5-door only)
* Black side sills and lower section of bumpers (5-door only)
* Rear roof spoiler (3-door only)
* New 16" alloy wheels
* Front fog lamps
* Rain sensor
* Auto headlamps
* MP3 functionality
* Unique seat fabric
* Black dashboard and door trim panels
* Black perforated leather for steering wheel and M/T shift knob

Read More