Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible, 2010

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible, 2010



The Ford's Special Vehicle Team used the gains made on the 40th anniversary edition Shelby GT500KR "King of the Road" Mustangs as the performance starting point and built from there. The design team, with a nod to the original Shelby Cobras from the 1960s, takes those design cues even further with nuanced improvements in both the coupe and convertible, each of which boasts a more-refined interior.

More horsepower, more refinement, more functionality
The combination of added horsepower, refinement and functionality makes the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 a unique high-performance car. The Shelby GT500 delivers more horsepower and more torque than the outgoing model, thanks in part to advancements pioneered on the GT500KR.

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is powered by a supercharged and intercooled 5.4-liter dual overhead cam V-8 engine expected to produce 540 horsepower and 510 foot-pounds of torque. The redline is 6,250 rpm. The car's aluminum power dome hood not only adds to the Shelby's appearance, it helps cool the engine through a hood extractor.

The Shelby's open-element air induction system features a conical air filter instead of a flat-panel closed system to reduce air restriction. This approach allows more air to be pumped through the engine, producing more power and increasing the engine's efficiency.
A cold-air intake feeds the coolest air possible directly into the air box, helping further increase horsepower.
The intake necessitated moving the Cobra snake badge to the other side of the grille to enable maximum airflow.
The twin-disc clutch on the six-speed manual transmission has been significantly upgraded, improving drivability and NVH. The discs on the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 are larger - 250 mm in diameter compared with 215 mm in diameter on the outgoing model - and made of copper and fiberglass to make them more robust.
A unique component of the twin-disc system is the control of the intermediate disc. Rather than floating, it instead has six straps that control the engagement of the clutch, improving drivability.

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 improved straight-line acceleration, plus fuel savings when cruising on the highway in the top gears. Gears 1-4 remain the same, but fifth gear changes from .80 to .74 while sixth gear goes from .63 to .50, meaning that the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will turn lower engine RPMs in those gears and deliver improved fuel efficiency. The new final drive ratio, from 3.31 to 3.55, enables the improved acceleration in lower gears while complementing the revised fifth and sixth gear ratios.
The Shelby's distinct sounds will be apparent as always, though with new refinements, thanks to the work of the Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) team. A patented resonator placed between the air filter and engine throttle body helps keep unwanted noise in check.

Driving dynamics also are improved, thanks to SVT's signature chassis tuning as well as new 19-inch Goodyear F1 Supercar tires and forged aluminum wheels on the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 coupe and 18s on the convertible.
Spring and dampers have been optimized for better roll control, giving customers more confidence when braking, accelerating or turning. The new chassis tuning takes its philosophy from the KR program, with a greater emphasis placed on primary body control.

Directing the air so it's used most efficiently was a painstaking process that ultimately will be rewarding to customers. The design of the front fascia and the car's "flush" hood helps focus air flow. The top grille focuses air into the radiator, with a rubber flap inside the engine compartment helping to seal the system. The lower grille helps cool the intercooler. SVT engineers also went as far to block off specific diamonds in the front of the Shelby GT500's distinctive grille to help maintain the correct cooling and aerodynamic balance.
What's inside counts with the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
The base Mustang received a powerful new interior design. For the GT500, the interior design team members challenged themselves to raise the bar even higher to create the ultimate Shelby Mustang interior.

The genuine aluminum finish panels have a unique-to-GT500 three-dimensional dimpled texture pattern inspired by racing clutch plates, braided hoses and cross-drilled racing brake rotors. The pattern has been painstakingly tuned to compensate for the compound curvature of the instrument panels. In addition, the "GT500" logo has been discretely engraved into the aluminum in front of the passenger as a nod to classic Shelby Mustangs of the 1960s.
The unique aluminum finish panel is fully encapsulated by an exquisite soft seamless TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) instrument panel with a shape that resonates with Mustang's powerful heritage. The center stack flows into the console and features a sub-flush shifter trim ring, flush cup holder door and lockable console stowage featuring the word "SHELBY" engraved in its Satin Liquid Chrome release button.

The Mustangs and Shelbys feature bright 360-degree rings surrounding the gauge cluster, uninterrupted by the steering column. These rings will come in chrome for the Mustang and a Satin Liquid Chrome finish for the GT500. This finish is featured throughout the interior. An intricate cobra is etched into the center of the aluminum steering wheel badge. The Shelby Cobra appears at startup on the navigation screen, and the familiar red "SVT" logo utilizes new ambient lighting to illuminate the door scuffplate.
Even the classic white shift knob - an icon of Shelby Mustang DNA from years past - received special attention. First, it had to be the traditional white. It also had to be specific to the Shelby. The answer was to combine the racing-stripes theme with the traditional "H" pattern found on shifters to create a one-of-a-kind knob. Like the exterior, the racing stripes wrap from end to end, encircling the knob.
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Ford Ranger, 2010

Ford Ranger, 2010

 The new Ford Ranger, combining sleek and modern exterior design with genuine toughness and durability. Ford Ranger plays as hard as it works, both on and off-road.

Contemporary and sporty new exterior and interior design details make new Ford Ranger a credible lifestyle choice, while its versatility and 'tough truck' underpinnings make it a robust and reliable work partner.

Bold New Ford Ranger Face and Profile
In design terms, the new front styling gives Ford Ranger a sleeker, more modern look, but also shows it means business.

A large horizontal three-bar grille dominates, and is proudly embossed with RANGER lettering. Two black vertical nostrils either side of the grille plus the extended opening below the bumperline and large headlamps that wrap around each front corner create an instantly recognisable design statement. The lower bumper fascia also includes integrated foglamps.
New Ford Ranger's tough contemporary style is supported by solid, modern engineering. The sweeping, tapered front is more aerodynamic and sweeps rearward at its edges to incorporate Ford Ranger's bold front wheel arches. This key design detail communicates Ford Ranger's solid, confident stance and grippy handling character, whether in 4x2 or 4x4 configuration.

The Design features influenced by extensive wind tunnel testing also include the door mirrors. Increased in size for better visibility, the mirror's shape - incorporating the LED turn indicator on Wildtrak - was specifically designed to reduce air turbulence and wind noise.

Style, Space, Craftsmanship and Comfort
Despite its tough load lugging and off-road capabilities, the new Ford Ranger's interior offers car-like comfort and low noise levels, thanks to ergonomically crafted seats, climate control and MP3-compatible audio and a bodyshell engineered to isolate road noise from the cabin.

Ford Ranger's large centre console features a two-level design. Its top bin is ideal for accommodating smaller items such as a mobile phone, while its lower bin can house larger objects, including up to 10 CD cases.
Power window and mirror controls are a standard feature in all four Ford Ranger series. The driver's window has a one-touch down feature and the switch is backlit for better night visibility.

Ranger Tough
Ford Ranger isn't just about tough style. It's about proven 'truck toughness'.
Ford Ranger's toughness starts with a purpose-built truck backbone. Its unique overlapped, cross-braced ladder frame delivers clear strength superiority and the frame is engineered for greater rigidity than H-beam or open-beam configurations.
The frame structure is the foundation of Ford Ranger's load-carrying capacity, towing capability, durability, handling performance and driving quality.

The Load Ranger
The heart of Ford Ranger's truck capability is its extra-deep-sidewall pickup box. This design maximises load capacity and cargo flexibility.
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Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2010

Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2010

For the 2010 model year, the Ford Fusion adds an all-new hybrid model. The Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid join the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids, doubling both the size and volume of Ford's hybrid lineup.
The Ford Hybrid team has developed a powertrain system that combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver the optimal experience for the customer in terms of driving performance and fuel economy. Additionally, the propulsion system for the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid transitions between gas and electric power and back more efficiently and seamlessly.

The overall system upgrade allows the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid to operate longer at higher speeds in electric mode. The hybrid vehicles can operate up to 47 mph in pure electric mode, approximately twice as fast as some competitors. Plus, the city driving range on a single tank of gas is expected to be more than 700 miles.

The next-generation hybrid system features:
  • New 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (155 horsepower/136 lb.-ft. of torque) running the proven Atkinson cycle mated to an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission or e-CVT.
  • Intake Variable Cam Timing (iVCT), which allows the vehicle to more seamlessly transition from gas to electric mode and vice-versa. The spark and cam timing are varied according to the engine load to optimize efficiency and emissions.
  • Enhanced electronic throttle control reduces airflow on shutdowns, reducing fueling needs on restarts.
  • Wide-band lambda sensor analyzes the air-fuel ratio and adjusts the lean/rich mixture accordingly to keep the system in balance and to minimize emissions.
  • A new smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery has been optimized to produce 20 percent more power. Improved chemistry allows the battery to be run at a higher temperature and it is cooled using cabin air.
  • An added variable voltage converter boosts the voltage to the traction battery to operate the motor and generator more efficiently.
  • A new high-efficiency converter provides 14 percent increased output to accommodate a wider array of vehicle features.
  • Smarter climate control system monitors cabin temperature and only runs the gas engine as needed to heat the cabin; it also includes an electric air conditioning compressor to further minimize engine use.
  • The regenerative brake system captures the energy normally lost through friction in braking and stores it. Nearly 94 percent energy recovery is achieved by first delivering full regenerative braking followed by friction brakes during city driving.
  • A simulator brake actuation system dictates brake actuation and delivers improved brake pedal feel compared to the previous generation braking system.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid also offers drivers a way to be more connected to the hybrid driving experience thanks to Ford's SmartGauge with EcoGuide, a unique instrument cluster execution that helps coach them on how to optimize performance of their hybrid.
SmartGauge with EcoGuide features two, high-resolution, full-color liquid crystal display (LCD) screens on either side of the analog speedometer that can be configured to show different levels of information, including fuel and battery power levels, average and instant miles-per-gallon.

EcoGuide uses a multi-layered approach to coach the driver to maximum fuel efficiency.

A tutorial mode built into the display that helps the driver learn about the instrument cluster and the hybrid in a whimsical way that does not overpower. Technical enthusiasts will love the detailed gauges that will help them learn to become more efficient in their driving. Everyday drivers will love another new feature in this same gauge cluster. Called "Efficiency Leaves," the system "grows" leaves and vines on-screen to reward customers for efficient driving.

Drivers can choose one of four data screens to choose the information level displayed during their drives. They are:
    * Inform: Fuel level and battery charge status
    * Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer
    * Engage: Adds engine output power and battery output power
    * Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption

All levels can show instant fuel economy, fuel economy history, odometer, engine coolant temperature, what gear the car is in and trip data (trip fuel economy, time-elapsed fuel economy and miles to empty). The engine coolant temperature indicator turns green when engine conditions are warm enough to allow engine pull-down.

Several other elements help differentiate the Ford Fusion Hybrid from its gas-powered sibling, including unique hybrid "road and leaf" badging on both sides and the rear of the vehicle; unique 17-inch, eight-spoke wheels; eco-friendly seat fabric made from post-industrial 100 percent recycled materials; and a standard 110-volt power outlet.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Morgan Aero SuperSports, 2009

Morgan Aero SuperSports, 2009


Designed and engineered in house, the Morgan Aero SuperSports is a lightweight aluminium sports car with a luxurious specification. The interior features a comfortable combination of polished hardwoods, hand stitched leather and electronic technology to create a driving environment that is efficient, ergonomic and sumptuous. In spite of all this opulence the overall weight of the car is still minimal so the car is responsive to driver inputs and economical to run. The unique way Morgan can achieve this is down to our use of aircraft style superformed aluminium outer panels and the skills of our craftsmen to hand finish the assembly of each car. This technology debuted in the 100 AeroMax coupes built by the factory in 2008 and 2009.

Such was demand for this model, that Morgan have taken the decision to produce the Morgan Aero SuperSports. A limited edition, the car makes use of two aluminium detachable roof panels. These can either turn the car effectively in to a coupe or when detached bring fresh air and the aromas of the seasons to the driving experience without undue wind disturbance to spoil the journey. The panels can be stored conveniently in the boot.

The car of course benefits from the lightweight aluminium Aero chassis which is adhesively bonded for class leading rigidity. Exceeding global crash protection standards, this is also the platform used by the Morgan Aero Eight GT3 currently competing successfully in the 2009 International FIA GT3 Championship. This chassis combined with the aluminium 4.8 litre BMW V8 engine and a choice of 6 speed automatic or manual gearboxes offers an unrivalled driving experience. No other automatic car offers such dynamic power transmission.

Drawn by Matthew Humphries, and engineered for production by the experienced "Morgan Design" team, the new Morgan Aero Super Sports is due to enter production in early 2010. A deposit of £25,000 is required to ensure the supply of one of these exciting new models. It is anticipated to cost around £127,000 including VAT.
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Infiniti FX50, 2009

Infiniti FX50, 2009


In keeping with Infiniti's well defined product strategy, the new FX is inviting in every dimension, from the nimble feel of its quick and controlled response to driver input, to the ride comfort provided by its Dual Flow Pass shock absorbers and quick response to body motion inputs, to the unique "Infiniti feel" under acceleration and braking.

Infiniti's designers and engineers' overall goal in the development of the second-generation FX crossover was to enhance its "sports car ability" while adding refinement - without compromising either side of the equation. The new FX's creators also wanted to give the vehicle a more "human" feel, despite its mechanical strengths, by integrating the latest technology with owners' lifestyles.

The new Infiniti FX50 is designed to be highly adaptive to both the driver and driving conditions, utilizing a long list of Infiniti technologies and systems, including Variable Valve Event & Lift (V-VEL) engine technology, Adaptive Shift Control, Suspension with active Continuous Damping Control (CDC), Rear Active Steering, Around View Monitor, Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range) and Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA).

The new Infiniti FX continues with the breathtaking exterior styling and "sports car proportions" that helped the original stand out from all other performance luxury crossovers on the market. The FX blends the substantial lower body of an SUV with the long hood, stretched wheelbase, short front and rear overhangs, low overall height and elegant upper body more commonly found on sports cars - conveying its strong performance personality and breakthrough design architecture at a single glance.

For the new FX generation, distinctive side air vents have been added behind the front wheels. Also, the front wheels have been moved 35 millimeters forward (from the previous generation FX) and the front track has been widened by 50 millimeters - providing an even more pronounced performance stance.

The FX's design starts with a new front end appearance, led by a lustrous Infiniti signature double-arch front grille, standard fog lamps and Bi-Xenon headlights. The Infiniti FX50 also includes an automatic-on feature that switches on the headlights automatically on at dusk and a standard Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS). This system automatically controls the lighting pattern and directional aim, based on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed (the headlights can swivel headlights up to 17 degrees).

The FX's new flat blade windshield wipers and wiper arm design optimize aerodynamic performance - helping improve wiping performance at high speeds and reducing wind noise at high speed. A new rain-sensing feature automatically tunes the wiper pace and speed according to the frequency of the precipitation (as detected by sensors).

The new side air vents are also functional, allowing air to flow from inside the engine compartment to outside the vehicle, reducing high under-hood air pressure. The side vents reduce front end lift by five percent for improved high speed stability.

The Infiniti FX's aggressive silhouette is highlighted by a strong front-to-rear shoulder line, "taut canopy" greenhouse with chromed window frames, rearward-sloping roofline, integrated rear spoiler and polished roof rails. In the rear, the FX's simple, bold appearance features LED taillights that extend beyond the body to help create aerodynamic down force and large dual exhaust outlets with chrome finishers.

The FX's coefficient of drag has been improved to 0.35 from 0.37, with the engineers finessing even the smallest details to help manage airflow, including the front bumper sides, rear spoiler angle and taillight shape.

Under the FX's polished, assertive styling is an equally advanced body structure. FX utilizes the rigid FM (Front Midship) platform architecture used on the Infiniti G 37, G37 Coupe. The FM platform offers sports car-like front-to-rear weight balance - 54/46 - for exceptional handling.

Additional development was undertaken to reduce weight and enhance body strength. For example, the FX's aluminum front and rear door panels, which have the same strength and stiffness of conventional steel doors, are 20 kilograms lighter (total for all four doors), allowing the FX to maintain a power-to-weight ratio that is among the best in class. The FX weights 90 kilograms less in body structure weight alone. The new FX's body is also 1.6 times more resistant to twisting and 3.4 times more resistant to bending than the previous generation FX design.

The new FX utilizes Infiniti's advanced "Scratch Shield" paint, a special "self-healing" clearcoat paint designed to maintain its gloss-level over time. The paint "repairs" fine scratches, such as fingernail scratches under door handles, restoring the FX's surface close to its original state. The Infiniti FX50 is offered in seven exterior colors.

The Infiniti FX's sporty interior is designed to combine a driver-oriented cockpit/command center with a warm, modern, comfortable passenger environment - all wrapped in rich, natural materials. The high-tech interior design includes an Infiniti signature "double-wave" instrument panel and white-and-violet electroluminescent gauges.

The Infiniti FX50 comes with a new front sport seat design with an adjustable air-type side support system for added lateral support during "sporty" driving sessions. The driver's seat features 10-way power-adjustability with lumbar support and a 2-position Driver's Seat Memory system, while the passenger's seat is an 8-way power-adjustable design. Covered in a special quilted leather sew pattern, the front sport seats include adjustable thigh extensions, which add an extra level of comfort for drivers and passengers with long legs or for long distance travel. Whereas the front seats include an enhanced climate controlled system with heating and cooling functions for maximum comfort.

Standard on the Infiniti FX50 is a new Automatic Driving Position System, which moves the seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors adaptively into the correct position. This system allows the driver to change the seat position while driving and keep the same viewpoint and relationship between the steering column and driver's shoulder position.

The FX interior offers white-and-violet "Fine Vision" electroluminescent gauges with "gear-like" rings on the instrument cluster meters, standard 8.0-inch multi-information display monitor and signature Infiniti analog clock. The center console/shifter area is available in a black quartz finisher or special Curly Maple wood trim, inspired by classical violins, giving a sense of warmth throughout.

The FX interior also offers a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, along with front door pockets, front seatback pockets, dual front and rear cup holders, locking glove compartment and four assist grips. Other standard equipment includes four 12-volt power outlets, all power windows with one-touch up/down function and power door locks, cargo area tonneau cover and cargo multi partition net, along with aluminum pedals, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, Infiniti Intelligent Key with push button start and a special 12-point "welcome lighting" system.

The thoughtful design behind the interior of the Infiniti FX extends to the available custom-engineered Bose sound system. The acoustic effect of nearly every interior detail was analyzed. Then, the 11-speaker system was customized for the unique acoustic environment inside the FX. As a result, each listener can enjoy music that approaches the power and emotion of a concert hall performance."

The Infiniti FX50's advanced Infiniti Navigation System features a 7-language media display and coverage of more than 30 European countries, along with an advanced RDS-TMC system with real-time traffic information system. A Voice Recognition system comes with the navigation system and includes voice activation for common climate control, navigation, audio system and phone functions.
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Hyundai i-flow Concept, 2010

Hyundai i-flow Concept, 2010


Making its global debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the Hyundai i-flow Concept car carries forward the company's evocative new form language, 'fluidic sculpture'. The flowing, elegant lines not only create a bionic, futuristic shape, but also contribute to exceptional aerodynamics, helping to reduce the car's CO2 output to just 85g/km and fuel consumption to only 3l/100km.

Hyundai's first diesel hybrid powertrain is also a key factor in delivering such an environmentally-conscious return, as is the application of next-generation materials and technologies developed in cooperation with leading chemical company BASF.

Previewing a future D-segment contender
With an overall length of 4.780mm and a 2.800mm wheelbase, the Hyundai i-flow Concept brings new ideas and a pioneering form to the traditional European D-segment. The dramatically-sculpted forms of the interior and exterior make for a striking sports sedan, and its width and height (1.850mm and 1.420mm respectively) give it an athletic stance.

The name i-flow reflects the exceptionally aerodynamic shape and the flowing lines of the concept car's eye-catching styling, and retains the 'i' prefix of Hyundai's established alphanumeric nomenclature for Europe. In 2011 Hyundai will bring into production a new challenger in the segment, drawing on the Hyundai i-flow Concept's sleek styling and innovative technology.

Inside: minimum weight, maximum space and a bionic feel

The interior of Hyundai i-flow Concept redefines the perception of space in a sedan bodystyle. Fundamental elements, such as the seats and center console, were crafted for minimal weight and volume using cutting-edge materials from BASF - one of the world's leading automotive suppliers.

The seats, for example, were developed in conjunction with BASF using advanced stress analysis, which highlighted the unnecessary mass areas and pointed towards an optimized lightweight seat structure. 'Steron', a BASF material, gives the seats a highly-resilient quality, excellent breathability and a high-tech touch.

The upper dashboard, meanwhile, is treated with Elastoskin, a sprayed skin from BASF for a sophisticated, shimmering finish.

This technical, meticulous approach combines with an abundance of natural materials to engender a bionic feel in the cabin, further symbolized by the green color tones and the leaf-like shadows projected from the roof's semi-transparent dye-sensitized solar cells.

The cockpit's main interface centers around an expansive, contoured screen, which recognizes not only touch but also gestural inputs along its fascia-wide display. The fluidic forms of the exterior are echoed in the Hyundai i-flow Concept's cabin, where continuous lines sweep from the dashboard, through the doors to the open storage area at the rear.

The innovative, B-pillarless doors allow comfortable ingress and egress for passengers. The front door is hinged at the A-pillar, and the rear door swings backwards on an intelligent hinge arm system to allow unrestricted access to the rear seats. Additionally the front seats can be turned 30° towards the outside, to invite the driver and co-driver to enter the ultramodern lightweight seats.

An eco-technological test bed
The Hyundai i-flow Concept is a test bed for new energy harvesting ideas, ranging from flexible solar panel roofing to a thermo-electric generator. The key technical components of the vehicle have been developed by Hyundai under the Blue Drive™ banner in cooperation with BASF. Blue Drive™ remains at the heart of Hyundai's product development strategy, and continues to drive the company towards its target of global leadership in environmentally-sensitive technologies.

Energy Conservation
BASF and Hyundai R&D engineers have developed thermal engine encapsulation, which ensures that the engine reaches optimum operating temperature more quickly, by retaining heat when the car is at idle. Where a non-insulated engine would take three hours to drop to 40°C, the Hyundai i-flow Concept will stay above that temperature for 14 hours. This translates into fuel savings and emissions cuts of 5 per cent during summer and up to 9 per cent during winter.

Energy Harvesting
Another pioneering technique introduced in collaboration with BASF is thermo-electric waste heat recovery. This process equates to further reductions in fuel consumption, 5% at highest driving. In fact, up to half of the electrical energy consumed by Hyundai i-flow Concept at 80kph - 250 watts - can be recovered through the work of a thermo-electric generator. Harvested energy from hot exhaust gases is recaptured by this generator which is fitted into the exhaust manifold. The thermal electric generator then converts the wasted heat into useful electrical energy to help power auxiliary systems.

Liquid Metal, a coating with the appearance of a glossy skin made of liquid metal, has been developed by BASF Coatings. Special effect pigments in this eco-friendly waterborne coating system let the surface appear as polished metal with targeted mirror like reflections - this gives a liquid skin appearance to the car's exterior and increases the tension of the surface in the same time. The high color saturation on the Hyundai i-flow Concept adds an energizing charisma to the Hyundai concept car. The typical high contrast between highlight and flop underlines the sculptural impact of the Hyundai i-flow Concept.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus Concept, 2009

Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus Concept, 2009


The near-series Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus Concept electric car combines environment-friendly electric mobility in the city with unrestricted suitability for long-distance driving. This is made possible by the combination of the battery-electric drive with a combustion engine. The range extender gives the Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus Concept a total range of up to 600 kilometres, with 100 kilometres thereof solely under electric power and thus free of local emissions.

The Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus Concept is part of a family of modularly constructed electric cars, which will enable Mercedes-Benz to meet all customer requirements for sustainable mobility in the future. In this variant of the concept vehicle, the electric motor of the purely battery-powered BlueZero E-Cell is combined with an additional three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine. Putting out 50 kW, the compact combustion engine is installed in the area of the rear axle and can charge the battery while the car is being driven. The CO2 bonus for the battery-electric driving mode reduces the vehicle's emissions to only 32 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The range extender enables the Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus Concept to drive for up to 600 km, of which up to 100 km can be driven in electric mode with zero local emissions. The long combined range makes the BlueZero E-Cell Plus fully suitable for everyday use and assures that the customer will reach his or her destination even with a depleted battery. After all, the car can be refuelled quickly and easily at any normal filling station.

Battery with superior lithium-ion technology

During rapid charging with a charging capacity of 20 kW, the high-performance, 18 kWh lithium-ion battery of the Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus Concept can store enough power within around 30 minutes for a 50 kilometre cruising range. The complete electric range of 100 kilometres requires a charging time of somewhat more than an hour. Charging time with a standard charge cycle at a conventional household outlet with 3,3 kW is approximately 6 hours. Special on-board electronics support the intelligent charging stations and billing systems used by electric fuelling stations. Advantages of lithium-ion batteries compared to other battery technologies include their compact dimensions, high output and energy density, high charge efficiency and long service life.

BlueZero Concept - the triad of electric mobility
Mercedes-Benz is showing the way to environmentally compatible electric mobility with the near-series Mercedes-Benz BlueZero Concept. The vehicle's intelligent modular concept enables a single vehicle architecture to be used to create three models with different drive system configurations.

The Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus Concept is equipped with an electric drive and a supplemental combustion engine with an electrical generator (range extender). The car has a total range of up to 600 kilometres, of which up to 100 kilometres can be covered solely on electricity.

Originally presented in Detroit at the beginning of the year, the BlueZero E-Cell is propelled exclusively by a battery-powered electric drive that allows the car to travel up to 200 kilometres on a single battery charge and completely free of local emissions.

The third drive version is the fuel cell powered BlueZero F-Cell, with a range of about 400 km on electric power and therefore also without any local emissions.

All three BlueZero models feature front-wheel drive, which is typical for this class of car. The drive components have been modularly organised by the Mercedes engineers and can be combined as needed. These include state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries with up to 35 kWh capacity, and a compact electric motor with a maximum output of 100 kW (sustained output: 70 kW). The maximum torque of 320 Nm is available from the electric motor's first revolution, and it surpasses the value attained by today's V6 petrol engines at 2,500 rpm. Like its two sister models, the BlueZero E-Cell and the BlueZero F-Cell, the BlueZero E-Cell Plus can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than eleven seconds. To ensure optimum range and energy efficiency, the top speed is electronically limited to 150 km/h.

BlueZero Concept: Modular architecture for flexibility and efficiency
The three BlueZero variants were developed on the basis of the unique sandwich-floor architecture known from the A-Class and B-Class. The advantage of the enhanced design is that the key drive components are installed in the vehicle's underbody in such a way that they take up little space, ensure a good centre of gravity, and are maximally protected. The BlueZero models therefore differ considerably from conventionally designed electric cars, which have heavy and voluminous storage batteries installed in the boot, for example, or in the area of the backseat. All three BlueZero variants share key technological components and have identical designs and vehicle dimensions. Even though they have compact exterior dimensions, the 4.22-meter-long BlueZero models have a spacious and versatile interior and cargo space. The vehicles' five full-size seats, approximately 450 kilograms of payload, and more than 500 litres of cargo capacity make them suitable family cars.

Electric powered vehicles are fun to drive

Mercedes-Benz vehicles will continue to combine environmental awareness and driving fun in future. One way in which the Mercedes-Benz designers have emphasised this aspiration is by introducing paint finishes in three new ALU-BEAM colours. Each of the three variants makes its individual mark: Confident ALU-BEAM Copper was chosen for the Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus Concept. The BlueZero E-Cell is painted a fresh ALU-BEAM yellow; the BlueZero F-Cell appears in ALU-BEAM green.

Mercedes-Benz feels it won't be just one technology that paves the way to sustainable mobility in the future, however. Instead the company is responding with solutions that are every bit as varied as the demands. The individual technologies are being used in specific applications where they can provide the greatest advantage with respect to optimal consumption and emission values. Mercedes-Benz views the development of electric cars with battery and fuel cell drives for local zero-emission driving as a means of supplementing the extremely clean and economical BlueEFFICIENCY and hybrid vehicles already available today. However, the unrestricted and convenient operation of electric cars still faces a series of challenges, including high system costs, insufficient infrastructure and short cruising ranges. Advanced diesel and petrol engines will remain the driving force for automobiles for a long time to come - not only for individual mobility in passenger cars (especially over long distances), but, more importantly, for freight transport in trucks. Despite all the progress that Mercedes-Benz has once again so emphatically documented with the BlueZero Concept, electric cars will not be replacing vehicles with combustion engines any time soon. The electrification of modern, high-tech engines will, however, play an increasingly important role in the drive system mix of the future.

Technical specifications
    * Electric drive
          o CO2 emissions: 0 g/km
          o Range: up to 100/600 km
          o Battery: Lithium-ion
          o Rated output: 100 kW/136 hp
          o Max. torque: 320 Nm
          o Top speed: 150 km/h
          o Acceleration 0-100 km/h: < 11.0 seconds
    * Range extender
          o Cylinders: 3
          o Displacement: 1.0l turbo
          o Output: 50 kW at 3500 rpm
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Mercedes A-Class Coupe, 2009

Mercedes A-Class Coupe, 2009

With more than 500,000 units produced within three and a half years, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is among the bestsellers in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range. Now the latest generation of this compact car is showing itself to be more youthful, attractive and environmentally compatible than ever before. This is ensured by a completely revised design, high-grade appointments and new technical developments which further improve safety, comfort and economy. A convenient ECO start-stop function which reduces urban petrol consumption of these BlueEFFICIENCY vehicles by up to nine percent is now available for the high-volume models A 150 and A 170, for example. For the three-door A 160 CDI Mercedes-Benz has developed an additional BlueEFFICIENCY package which lowers the fuel consumption of the Coupé by more than eight percent, to 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres. Independent experts have acknowledged these great advances in the environmental field with an internationally valid environmental certificate, which the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the world's first compact car to achieve.

In spring 2008 Mercedes-Benz is presenting the five-door Saloon and the three-door Coupé in completely upgraded versions. Viewed from the front, this compact Mercedes-Benz now appears more youthful and self-confident than before. The sweeping lines of the newly designed headlamps harmoniously combine the front end and flanks, which literally appear to be cast from a single mould. The redesigned front bumper reinforces this impression; its lower air intake is now much larger, emphasising the width of the body. The radiator grille is also in a new design which underlines the progressive aura of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Lines: ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE with an even more pronounced styling emphasis
Design features at the front end provide more distinctions between the design and equipment lines of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. While the louvres in the radiator grille of the basic version are painted in dark-grey, they are respectively in metallic atlas grey and high-sheen iridium silver in the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE lines, and are also visually upgraded by additional chrome strips. Discreet chrome trim strips further reinforce this impression. In the AVANTGARDE line, the front bumper also has a distinctive design which emphasises the arrow-shape of the front end and suggests greater agility.

When viewed from the side the different lines in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class are distinguished by wheel designs. While the basic model is equipped with 15-inch wheels and seven-spoke wheel embellishers as standard, ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE are fitted with individually designed 16-inch light-alloy wheels. The new, larger exterior mirror housings and door handles are now painted in the vehicle colour for all model variants. The previous side rubbing strips have been replaced by discreet chrome trim strips, which provide additional visual highlights in the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE models.

Interior: upgraded with larger stowage compartments and new fabrics
Mercedes designers paid particular attention to enhanced value when redesigning the interior, choosing new, high-grade upholstery fabrics and door linings. In the ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE lines the seats are upholstered in an attractive combination of ARTICO man-made leather and fabric, which is available in three colours. In addition new decorative trim of smoke-grey, diagonally brushed aluminium enhances the interior of the AVANTGARDE line, while the dignified aura of the ELEGANCE models is heightened by wood trim. All variants of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class share a larger stowage compartment in the centre console and a newly designed cupholder between the front seats.

Fuel economy: the A 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY consumes 4.5 litres
With fuel consumption figures between 4.9 and 8.1 litres per 100 kilometres, the new-generation A-Class is a model of fuel economy. Thanks to detailed improvements, the fuel consumption of the state-of-the-art direct-injection diesel engines has been reduced by more than eight percent or 0.5 litres per 100 kilometres compared to the preceding series. From autumn 2008 Mercedes-Benz will introduce a standard BlueEFFICIENCY package for the three-door A 160 CDI with a manual transmission, with further improvements in engine efficiency, aerodynamics, rolling resistance, energy management and weight. The sum of these measures achieves a fuel saving of 0.4 litres, which means that the A 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY has an NEDC consumption of just 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres. As a result the CO2 emissions of the 60 kW/82 hp Coupé are 119 grams per kilometre.

The BlueEFFICIENCY package also includes an aerodynamically optimised radiator grille. This has a closed-off interior face to reduce the airflow to the engine, though the CDI engine is still cooled effectively at all times. The suspension has also been lowered by ten millimetres to reduce the drag coefficient even further.

Start-stop function: the engine switches off automatically when idling
In the case of the petrol engines, Mercedes engineers have achieved NEDC fuel savings of up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres with a newly developed ECO start-stop function. From autumn 2008 this system will be available for the high-volume models A 150 and A 170 on request. It automatically switches off the engine when the driver shifts the manual transmission to neutral at a low speed while applying the brakes. If the conditions for engine switch-off are met, the driver is informed by a special display in the instrument cluster.
Economy: nine percent lower fuel consumption in city traffic

Ecology: the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the first compact car with an environmental certificate
Practical trials such as this are of immense importance to Mercedes-Benz when it comes to evaluating new technologies. The environmental compatibility of vehicles is not only assessed on the basis of standardised emissions and fuel consumption measurement, but also taking into account the entire vehicle lifecycle - from production and many years of operation to eventual recycling and disposal. An analysis of more than 40,000 individual processes provides an overall picture and enables the development work to be objectively assessed.

Safety: flashing brake lights warn following traffic
The adaptive brake light introduces technology from the luxury class into the compact segment, which therefore benefits from a further accident prevention system as a standard feature. Under emergency braking from a speed exceeding 50 km/h, the brake lights flash rapidly to warn following traffic, enabling drivers to respond quicker and prevent a collision.

Flashing brake lights are the result of extensive practical research covering the braking behaviour of drivers. Mercedes engineers found that the braking responses of drivers are on average 0.2 seconds faster in emergency braking situations if a flashing red warning is given in place of conventional brake lights. The stopping distance can be reduced by around 4.40 metres from a speed of 80 km/h, and even by around 5.50 metres from a speed of 100 km/h. If the A-Class is brought to a rapid stop from a speed exceeding 70 km/h, the hazard warning system is switched on in addition to the flashing brake lights.

Parking assist: ultrasound and electric steering for easier parking
When finding and reversing into a parking space, drivers of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class will in future be aided by an active parking assist feature which is available on request for all model variants. Using side-mounted ultrasonic sensors, this system identifies suitable parking spaces on both sides of the road in passing, then informs the driver by means of a display. The sensors are active up to a speed of 35 km/h, and monitor the area to the left and right of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. They measure the length and depth of possible parking spaces, indicating that the search is in progress with a " P " in the instrument cluster.
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Volkswagen Golf Variant, 2010

Volkswagen Golf Variant, 2010

The Volkswagen begins accepting advance orders for the new Volkswagen Golf Variant. In the sixth generation of the world bestseller, after the 2-door and 4-door VW Golf and the latest Volkswagen Golf Plus, this is the fourth body version to be launched. The estate is one of the most successful models on the market, particularly in the company car market. The extensive redesign of this Estate should ensure that the all-around talent further extends its position as a business estate car and as a first car for families as well. The base price of the new Volkswagen Golf Variant in Germany, including ESP, six airbags, daytime running lights, roof railing, power windows all around, upshift indicator, power and heated outside mirrors, 1/3 to 2/3 split folding rear bench seat and seatback, central locking with RF remote control, climate control and 1,495 litres of cargo capacity is € 18,500.

The front end of the Volkswagen Golf Variant was completely redesigned. Its visual appearance follows today's Volkswagen "Design DNA". From now its appearance is defined by clear horizontal lines and bold headlight styling. The car's engine lineup was adopted directly from the Volkswagen Golf 2-door and 4-door models. In the interior, the high-end instruments of the current Volkswagen Golf set the tone. In Europe, first units of the new VW Golf will be delivered in September 2009.

Features and engines
At its market launch - in parallel to advance sales that are now starting - the successful Estate (more than 95,000 new vehicle registrations in 2008) will be offered in the three equipment versions Trendline, Comfortline and Highline. The latter replaces the previous Sportline version as the top equipment line. Engines available for selection when advance sales begin are a TSI (boosted gasoline direct-injection engine) with 90 kW / 122 PS and two very quiet common rail turbo-diesels (77 kW / 105 PS and 103 kW / 140 PS). Other engines will follow in stages: two Multipoint engines (59 kW / 80 PS and 75 kW / 102 PS) and another TSI gasoline engine (118 kW / 160 PS). All six engines fulfil the new Euro-5 emissions standard.

Exterior details of the new Volkswagen Golf Variant
In front, the new VW Golf Variant can be recognized by its new bumper, radiator grille and engine hood styling and its modified fenders and headlights, which were all adapted 1:1 from the estate's 2-door and 4-door counterparts. In contrast to the previous model, the front-end design is no longer defined by a chrome radiator grille, rather by a black, horizontally layout of the grille and front bumper painted in car colour. In the lower area, the Estate has an additional large air inlet too. Starting with the mid-level equipment version (Comfortline), chrome inserts are integrated in the radiator grille and the lower air inlet. In the top Highline version, this also applies to the frames for the front fog lights with new static turning light function that are a standard feature here.

At the rear, the independent design of the previous model has been upgraded in the new generation by modified, more elegant taillights and bumpers fully painted in car colour in the lower area. From now on, TDI and TSI versions can also be recognized by their tailpipes, which are no longer covered by the bumper. In addition, Volkswagen developed a new wheel lineup for the new Volkswagen Golf Variant.

Interior details of the new VW Golf Variant
At the time of its presentation last fall, the sixth generation VW Golf received excellent marks, especially for its high-end quality. In the interior, it was especially in the styling of the gauges that the Golf crossed boundaries to the next higher class and still does. The same gauges and instruments, including a standard multifunctional display and upshift indicator, are now being used in the new Volkswagen Golf Variant too. Also adopted from the Golf was the new generation of three-spoke steering wheels, which celebrated their debut in the Volkswagen Passat CC in 2008.

In this context, controls for the new Golf climate control system were integrated in the VW Golf Variant as well. Volkswagen also adapted its line of different seat covers (Trendline: "Roxy"; Comfortline: "Scout"; Highline: Alcantara/fabric "Merlin") to the entire model series. The same applies to features ranging from the radio and navigation systems up to the interfaces for MP3 players and Bluetooth mobile telephones. Two driver assistance systems are also available as options for the first time in the Volkswagen Golf Variant: "ParkAssist" (automatic parking assistant) and "Rear Assist" (rearview camera). Another feature being offered is the panorama sunroof that is popular among many Volkswagen Golf Variant buyers.

Euro-5 engines of the new Volkswagen Golf Variant in detail
Volkswagen is launching the new VW Golf Variant on the market with four gasoline and two diesel engine options; they all meet the limits of the new Euro-5 standard. The entry level continues to be marked by an 80-PS gasoline engine, followed by a 102-PS version. The two most powerful gasoline engines (TSI with 122 PS and 160 PS) and the two turbo-diesels (TDI with 105 PS and 140 PS) may be ordered with an optional automatic DSG dual clutch transmission.

Entirely new to the Volkswagen Golf Variant's engine lineup is the 105 PS common rail TDI. Like the larger 2.0-liter TDI, the 1.6-liter four cylinder is also characterized by noticeably comfortable noise levels, low emissions (119 g/km CO2) and an extremely low average fuel consumption (4.5 litres per hundred kilometres). Compared to the previous model of the same power, fuel consumption was reduced by 0.7 litre.

The 2.0 TDI was adopted from the previous generation of the VW Golf Variant; it also has a highly advanced common rail direct injection system. The 140 PS strong and 210 km/h fast Volkswagen Golf Variant 2.0 TDI consumes 5.0 litre (132 g/km CO2), which is impressively low considering its power. The TDI engines may be ordered together with any of the three equipment versions.
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