Saturday, February 5, 2011

Maserati GranCabrio, 2011

Maserati GranCabrio, 2011


The Maserati GranCabrio - four proper seats, comfortable, inviting and all-enveloping. Never before had an open-top Maserati offered so much. Never before had a car with the Trident badge allowed an entire family or four friends to enjoy a journey in the open air. The Maserati GranCabrio's magical chemistry starts when you look at it: it is shockingly beautiful, with the soft top up or down. Indeed it features a sophisticated canvas top, for very precise reasons, which can be summed up in three words: «centre of gravity». Fabric, ultra-high tech fabric, weighs very little, infinitely less than metal and helps the car's road-holding: the overall system weight is just 65 kg. And then fabric is pliant, it complements the palette of the car's exterior colours six times over, the number of shades in which it is available, from a solid black to a high-tech titanium grey, to a warm chocolate colour.

28 seconds, that's the time it takes for the Maserati GranCabrio to go back to being a secure cocoon. A flying one too, thanks to a Cx of 0.35 with the roof up, which increases by a mere trifle, to 0.39, with the top down.

Design is at the service of comfort. The times when anyone travelling in the back of a sports car were resigned to suffering physical discomfort are well and truly over: rear passengers in the Maserati GranCabrio are not supporting actors, but co-stars of the journey. The legs, even for those who are more than six feet tall, are no longer crammed in, the spine is no longer forced into an unnatural erect position, but comfortably and physiologically supported on backrests designed so that sportiness does not need to compromise on comfort.
Maserati GranCabrio

The Maserati GranCabrio's Design
Dynamism, sensuality and passion have always been the features that transform Pininfarina's creative genius into masterpieces to be admired on roads the world over. The latest work of art to leave the Maserati factory, the Maserati GranCabrio, has the design of a dream car, but it is a real masterpiece that's just asking to be driven by lovers of beautiful cars who want to travel cocooned in a refined and comfortable ambience.

The challenge for Pininfarina was an intriguing one: never before had a proper four-seater convertible, capable of accommodating four adults comfortably without stealing even the tiniest bit of the incomparable pleasure of travel, been produced by Maserati. Now that the craftsmen have completed their work, it all seems obvious: the Maserati GranCabrio could only ever have been like this. An expert eye, however, understands how much power lies behind the front, imposing and dynamic at the same time, the sinuous and feline flanks and a rear that speaks a high-tech language with a wide aerodynamic diffuser tested in a wind tunnel, crowned by large, twin oval-section chrome tailpipes.

A sculpture that speaks to connoisseurs the ancient language of the great Italian coachbuilders, a beautiful car to admire when it is open, but also when it is moving with its roof up, something that isn't always the case for cars of this type. The canvas soft top was chosen over a rigid folding roof as, with its complicated closing system, would have imposed on engineers and designers unacceptable constraints for anyone seeking beauty in its purest form. And so the "all-clear" was given to supremequality materials and state of the art engineering, to a structure with a backbone consisting of five steel and aluminium spokes and covered with a triple-layer canvas available in six colours, meeting every single customer's requirement. The whole system weighs only 65 kg but, at the same time, guarantees maximum aero-acoustic efficiency and allows the Maserati GranCabrio to be enjoyed in all seasons, thanks to the most stringent tests conducted at 30 degrees below zero and at 40 degrees in the shade.

When the soft top is up the drag coefficient is 0.35, while with the soft top down 0.39. Extraordinary figures, the mark of a perfect chemistry between aesthetics and functionality. Without forgetting another absolute imperative, the comfort of those travelling in this open-top granturismo. The optional wind stop was designed precisely to fulfil this purpose, to provide passengers with excellent protection, even at high speed. So, with the wind stop on, the volume of air from outside falls by 70%, whilst the air speed inside the cabin is down 50%.

The Maserati GranCabrio's Voice
The voice of the Maserati GranCabrio, the musical notes of its V8 are powerful but subdued when travelling at a modest pace, but they can reach the strength of a tenor's high tones when the driver demands the maximum. The secret of such flexibility lies with the pneumatic control valves that manage the exhaust: normally they remain closed, to ensure that the car travels within the bounds of discretion, but if the Sport mode is selected, they open above 3000 rpm and the sound becomes a powerful roar, especially with the roof down.

The eight-cylinder orchestra is a chorus that sings about the pleasure of driving, harmoniously conducted by the 6-speed automatic gearbox. This transmission is the result of a close working relationship between Maserati and ZF, which has successfully interpreted the exciting combination between the 323 kW (440 HP) of the V8 engine and the fluidity of the automatic gearbox. And if the driver wants to feel even more like an orchestra conductor, all he has to do is select the Manual mode, and modulate the sound of the engine to the rhythm of the manual shifts, better still when using the steering wheel paddles.

The Maserati GranCabrio demands to be heard, also through the voice of its hi-fi system, developed by Maserati and Bose. Keeping even the most demanding audiophiles satisfied was not an easy task: without the roof to act as a resonating chamber the layout of the speakers had to be completely redesigned. In the end 12 were fitted: one speaker in the middle of the dashboard, two tweeters and two woofers set into each door, one front bass box under the front passenger seat, two tweeters and two woofers on both rear panels and a rear-mounted bass box containing two woofers. It is the woofers, speakers which reproduce the lowest tones and give the right depth to an orchestral crescendo or the rhythmic base of a jazz trio, the keystones behind the perfection of the "GranCabrio concert hall". The rear bass box, for example, has an unusual shape, extending behind the backrest and under the rear armrest so that it can perform at its best.

The Maserati GranCabrio's Dynamics A must-have feature for a car that is as much fun to drive as the GranCabrio is a great sense of balance, achieved with a well thought out weight distribution. The latest Trident creation is unrivalled on this level as well: with the soft top up 49% of the weight is over the front axle and 51% over the rear, whilst the rates with the soft top down become 48 and 52% respectively.

The Skyhook suspension system features continuously adjustable gas dampers which adapt to the ever changing road conditions. In practical terms, this means that every irregularity is "concealed" to the driver, who can then enjoy an incredibly smooth driving experience in true comfort.

On board the Maserati GranCabrio
Sleek and sporty from the outside, comfortable and cosy from the inside. This formula was refined with the expertise of the designers who were put to the test with the Maserati GranCabrio concept. A concept which envisaged, first of all, two adults being able to use the rear seats even on long journeys, without suffering from cramps or fatigue.

Integrated systems
Twenty five degrees centigrade and dehumidified air: this is what the experts reckon is the ideal situation for the wellbeing of people at home, in the office or when travelling by car. A rule that is certainly not set in stone, given that each of us has our own ideal temperature and, during car journeys, uses the on-board climate control system to find it.

On the Maserati GranCabrio the driver is just required to set the desired temperature in a range falling between 16 and 32 degrees and the electronics will start to mix the air and meter with micrometric precision the intensity of the flows until the target is quickly reached. The climate control system has been finetuned to offer maximum comfort both with the soft top up and down, adjusting itself accordingly. It knows that it has to perform quite differently on an early summer's evening or on a blisteringly hot day and it is also very well aware that it mustn't be too invasive in acoustic terms so that the engine can be left to sing to its heart's content.

The Maserati GranCabrio's Interior
The Maserati GranCabrio embodies the essence of Italian craftsmanship, which has its roots in historic workshops from the Renaissance era and has gradually evolved, without losing sight of its own noble origins. The seats are the first thing one appreciates when getting behind the wheel: upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather, they feel plush, naturally soft and cosy in Winter, fresh and airy in Summer. Leather bound to improve with the passing of time, just like a great vintage wine.

The palette of colours includes no less than 10 shades, which can be blended together for seats, dashboard, tonneau cover, steering wheel and gear knob in an infinite number of combinations to create a tailor-made ambience to suit one's own taste. Each button on the steering wheel and dashboard is embellished with a fine chrome surround, an elegant stamp of an unquestionable superiority of style. The Trident logo is embossed by hand on the headrests and the exposed stitching on the armrest is hand-sewn.

More hands have crafted the precious woods that take pride of place in the Maserati GranCabrio's cabin. These hands have smoothed these woods with infinite patience, removed even the slightest impurities and polished them again to obtain an eye-catching end-result. The Carbalho wood comes from Brazil. Maserati sought it out in its distant lands of origin because it has inimitable credentials: each part of it has a different weave, a sort of fingerprint that guarantees that each car is unique.

Maserati open-top Heritage
The Maserati GranCabrio is the first open-top four-seater Maserati but this doesn't mean that it is without noble ancestors. On the contrary, entire chapters of the history of the motor car have been written by open top Trident cars, although they were strictly two seaters.

The first is the legendary A6G Frua Spyder, produced in a very limited series in the 1950s: it is in the details that the individual cars are distinguished from one another, details, which in the unique Frua, soar to the level of a masterpiece. To have a better understanding, one has to look no further than the front end with the chrome surround and the sunken fog lights, which a few months later, in the A6G 2000, would be transformed into the oval-shaped radiator grille, typical of the Maserati, with the large trident in the middle.

The same blood flowed through the mechanical veins of the A6G Frua Spyder that would then ennoble cars such as the 3500 Gt Spyder by Vignale, a matchless source of inspiration for the great Italian coachbuilders of the 1960s, who made a competition out of dressing them with elegant suits hand-forged by master panel beaters. The 3500 Gt Spyder was so beautiful that it even turned heads in Hollywood: it was used countless times in major studio films, it «acted», for example, with Lee Marvin and John Cassavetes in The Killers and together with Kirk Douglas in Two Weeks in Another Town, in both cases wearing "stage outfits" signed by Vignale.

As we run through Maserati's general ledger we also meet one of the cars that could be considered to be a direct descendant of the Maserati GranCabrio: the 2001 Spyder, the car that gave rise to the carmaker's renaissance that can be seamlessly linked back to legendary names and denominations such as the A6G 2000 GT, 3500 GT, Mistral and Ghibli. Understatement, passion and elegance. These are the distinctive traits of the new Spyder, which is more than a simple dream car with a great temperament, endowed with a technology adding greater prestige to Maserati. The transmission, for example, is located in the rear axle in unit with the limited-slip differential. The effect is balanced on-road performance, enhanced by an automatic suspension system that adapts to the road with a speed ten times higher than the systems employed to date.
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Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, 2011

Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, 2011


The Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, the latest jewel in the Maserati range, made its official debut at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.

Six years after its birth, the car that created the luxury sport sedan segment continues to receive accolades from the general public, automobile enthusiasts and the press. Maserati has decided to celebrate its success with a superlative version, blending the elegance and sporty stylishness of the brand's flagship, thanks to the combination of highly refined details, handcrafted finishes and features with a decidedly sporty flair.

During its six years of life, the Maserati Quattroporte has received no less than fifty six awards from the most prestigious automotive and lifestyle publications in fourteen countries over in four continents: a global approval for a car that has known how to recreate itself over the years, never failing to maintain the appeal of the lines and purity of the forms created by the hand of Pininfarina, which defined it an instant classic.

The Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, based on the Quattroporte Sport GT S, aims to combine in one car all the features that have made the Trident flagship a benchmark for its segment:
    * the unique and elegant styling, mixed with a hint of sporting flair due to the eye-catching features adopted on both the exterior and interior fittings;
    * driving enjoyment, because the "Awards Edition" is based on the Quattroporte Sport GT S, which boasts dynamic and top-class performance;
    * the craftsmanship of the hand-finished details which make each car a unique product.

The new Quarzo fuso finishing - a pearlescent metallic grey with golden nuanced colour - exclusive to this model, makes the exterior immediately recognizable, and highlights the body's elegant lines. The burnished treatment used on the exterior chrome parts, as well as on the side air vents and radiator surround, also blends with the 20" Multi Trident dark grey rims with satin finish.

The brake system, which replicates the system fitted to the Quattroporte Sport GT S and uses dual-cast technology, is further enhanced by the hand-polished calipers both at the front and rear. With the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition, Maserati and Brembo are introducing on the market for the first time polished calipers, treated with precision mechanical processes and featuring a hand finish which gives them their special mirror-like appearance and enhances their sporty credentials at the same time.

The interior also bears witness to the combination of sporting flair and craftsmanship that has always characterized the Maserati flagship sedan. The Poltrona Frau leather of the seats is combined with perforated Alcantara with a new undulated pattern, and the headlining still in Alcantara. Completing the interior space are the special brushed aluminum door sills and Piano Black satin-finish wood moldings.

The boot with a full black trim has been embellished further with chrome details and a leather side pocket. The attention to details has even been extended to the mats, which are made of even richer and softer material.
A special exterior "Awards Edition" series plate completes the car's look and makes an already unique car even more unmistakable.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

BMW 3-Series Convertible, 2011

BMW 3-Series Convertible, 2011



BMW has announced substantial enhancements to the 2011 BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe, including outstanding style updates for 328i and 335i models and a new engine for 335i models. The 2011 BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe models will go on sale in Spring 2010, and pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

All-new is the engine for the 335i model. Internally designated the "N55," this turbocharged, all-aluminum engine features essentially the same "short block" and 3.0-liter displacement of its predecessor, but benefits from five additional years worth of development and refinement. The result is an engine that is more responsive, more fuel efficient, and cleaner-running than its outstanding predecessor, but preserves the previous engine's output and soul: 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, and a 7,000 rpm redline. The 6-speed manual gearbox - beloved by North American enthusiast drivers - remains standard, and the well-known 6-speed Steptronic automatic is optional, now featuring "pull-style" shift paddles on the multifunction steering wheel.

Design. Reflecting the legendary distinction of BMW Coupes and Convertibles
The profile of the BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe is instantly recognizable at first glance. Beyond the basic shape of the car and its classic lines, the new design of the headlights, the enhanced depth and detail of the taillights, the interior, and even the exterior mirrors were specifically created for the Convertible and Coupe. These unique design elements reflect the sporty character of the car. The driver who chooses a two-door vehicle desires a car with dynamic looks as well as driving performance. With this in mind, BMW engineers and designers set out to create a unique, unmistakable blend of design features and most importantly, driving pleasure.

In addition to the classic proportions, three design lines—the shoulder, character and lower sill lines— enhance the sleek appearance. Both the shoulder line and character line stretch uninterrupted to the back of the car, allowing one's eye to move quickly and smoothly from front to rear along the entire length of the car. The sill line of the lower edge of the door flows into the front and rear air dams, reinforcing the dynamic nature of newest BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe.

The combination of lines flowing into one another elegantly emphasizes the vehicles' performance potential. While the shoulder line rises slightly but consistently from front to rear, the character line flows in a long, stretched arch all the way from the front fender to the new taillights. As the sill line, by contrast, moves up slightly to the rear in a slow and gentle curve, the distance between the character and sill lines becomes smaller near the rear wheel arches. The fender flare around each rear wheel also serves to give the character line extra tension in both an upward and outward direction.

Attractive new innovations at the front, side, and rear - integrated precisely into the overall look of the car- give greater emphasis to the sportiness of both models. At the same time, these modifications slightly extend the overhangs front and rear (now 1.14" and 0.12" longer, respectively), which adds a sleeker and even more athletic appearance.

The new, widened kidney grille, a signature feature of every BMW, suits the broad new hood and stands out from the surfaces around it. Interaction with the three-dimensional kidney frame creates a look of power and unique style. The frame around the kidney grille now features a chrome band precisely twisted within itself.

The BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe come standard in the U.S. with Xenon Adaptive Headlights, accented by BMW's signature corona light rings. At the top, the new headlights merge into a trim bar cutting off the light beam to create that concentrated, focused look typical of a genuine BMW. The corona rings, now powered by super-bright LED light sources, can serve as daytime running lights (if that feature is activated), and also as evening city lights, making the Convertible and Coupe instantly recognizable as a BMW, day or night. The upper edge of each headlight fixture is also illuminated by an LED light source.

The new design of the taillights is unique to the BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe. The rear light cluster feature two-piece L-shapes and are further accentuated by a new color scheme. With two rows of light tubes that illuminate simultaneously, they create a night design with depth and dimension. Integrated flush into the body of the car, the lights are split into two sections and extend up the trunk lid, blending with the character lines from the side profile. Horizontal LED tube taillights give the car an unmistakable look at night. The horizontal flowing lines accentuate the wide track and low stance of the Convertible and Coupe.

An additional horizontal contour line has been added to the rear air dam to further accentuate the width of the Convertible and Coupe. It creates light-and-shade effects to give the entire rear end a flatter and smoother appearance.

The exterior mirrors also receive a new design, adding further innovation to the unique looks of the BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe. They blend harmoniously into the side view and silhouette of each new model.
Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Vermillion Red Metallic, and Mineral White Metallic exterior colors will each become available for the new BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe this spring.

Interior: a truly stylish ambiance
The emphasis on individual style, dynamic performance and exclusivity continues within the interior. Here again, the focus is on the driving experience, as announced by the standard leather multifunction steering wheel. Horizontal lines dominate the surfaces on and around the instrument panel which blend with the lines of the center console door panels to give the interior a light but dynamic feel. In true BMW fashion, all operational and informational elements essential to driving are grouped on and around the steering wheel. Climate controls, as well as those for the audio and navigation systems, are within easy reach of the front passenger.
The BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe come standard with Dark Burl Walnut wood trim. As a choice, Bamboo Anthracite wood, Light Burl Walnut wood, and Aluminum trim are optional. Like the standard Dark Burl Walnut, these materials appear on the dash, front and rear consoles, doors and rear side panels.

The standard leatherette upholstery is available in Black and Creme Beige. For the optional leather upholstery, luxurious Dakota leather can be chosen. Here too, the buyer may choose Creme Beige, Oyster, Coral Red, Saddle Brown, Gray, or Black. Upholstery leather appears on the seat facings, door inserts and door handle surrounds; other leather-trimmed items include the gear shift boot, handbrake grip and steering wheel.

In other items of trim that don't change with upholstery or trim options, the interior door handles, gearshift surround trim, steering wheel spokes, instrument dial and engine Start/Stop button surrounds, dash air-outlet adjusting tabs and the optional iDrive controller are in pearl-gray galvanic material.

An elegant ambiance is further created in the interior by special lighting and switches with a premium look and feel. Ambiance lighting, streaming down from under the ledge on the door and side panels, and running from the A pillar all the way to the rear passenger area, creates a particularly warm, indirect lighting effect.

Through its design and configuration, the cabin emphasizes the sporting and driver-oriented character of the BMW 3-Series Convertible and Coupe. Taking a seat behind the steering wheel, the driver's eyes will immediately focus on the instrument cluster.
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BMW-1 Series M Coupe, 2011

BMW-1 Series M Coupe, 2011


BMW-1 Series M Coupe, 2011

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BMW Z4, 2010

BMW Z4, 2010


The latest in BMW's long and successful roadster family has been revealed.

The BMW Z4 is the first to come with a two-piece, electro-hydraulically operated Retractable Hard-Top roof that can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds. The new roadster is also the first vehicle to be offered with Adaptive M Suspension. Electronically controlled dampers offer three different configurations and lower the ride height by up to 10mm for a more dynamic drive. By way of comparison, the Sport+ setting of the new car is comparable to the outgoing Z4's standard ride comfort level.

The standard Drive Dynamic Control function is another first and allows the driver to alter, depending on model specification, the throttle and steering response, level of ride comfort, Dynamic Stability Control response and, on automatic or Double Clutch Transmission cars, gear change times.

Powering the new BMW Z4 is a choice of three six-cylinder powerplants. The range flagship is the current International Engine of the Year-winning 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine. Producing 306hp at 5,800rpm, the BMW Z4 sDrive35i powers its way from zero to 62mph in 5.2 seconds (5.1 seconds for a Double Clutch Transmission-equipped car) and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. The twin-turbocharged 2,979cc engine with high-precision direct injection technology produces 400Nm of torque from just 1,300rpm for effortless in-gear acceleration. The strong performance credentials are matched in terms of economy and emissions. The Z4 sDrive35i records a combined consumption figure of 30.1mpg (31.4mpg) and CO2 emissions of 219g/km (210g/km).

Joining this model in the launch line-up are the Z4 sDrive23i and the Z4 sDrive30i. Both use the same magnesium aluminium alloy engine with Double VANOS and VALVETRONIC technology, but with varying capacities. The 2,497cc entry-level Z4 sDrive23i produces 204hp at 6,400rpm and 250Nm of torque from 2,750rpm. This equates to a zero to 62mph time of 6.6 seconds (7.3 seconds for the Sport Automatic) and a top speed of 151mph (149mph). In contrast the Z4 sDrive23i is capable of 33.2mpg (34.4mpg) on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 199g/km (192g/km) respectively.

All three six-cylinder powerplants surpass the latest strict EU5 emissions standards.
The BMW Z4 sDrive30i comes with a 2,996cc powerplant offering 258hp at 6,600rpm and 310Nm of torque from 2,600rpm. The six-cylinder engine records a zero to 62mph time of 5.8 seconds (6.1 seconds for the Sports Automatic) and an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Like the Z4 sDrive23i, the Z4 sDrive30i posts impressive combined consumption and CO2 emissions figures, recording 33.2mpg (34.0mpg) and 199g/km (195g/km). Transmitting the power to the road in all three Z4s is a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.

The efficient dynamics
All of the latest BMW Z4s come as standard with facets of BMW's award-winning EfficientDynamics programme. Technologies that improve engine performance while enhancing economy and cutting emissions include Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering with Servotronic, Reduced Rolling Resistance Tyres, on-demand control of the engine's ancillaries and Optimum Shift Indicator on manual transmission cars. The BMW Z4 also adheres to a philosophy of lightweight construction with the front suspension and subframe being largely made from aluminium.

The enhanced packaging
The new BMW Z4 is larger than its predecessor measuring 148mm longer at 4,239mm and 9mm wider at 1,790mm, and this results in greater interior space and luggage capacity. With the roof up, headroom has been increased by 44mm while the greater car width and design enhancements have led to 20mm more shoulder room and 43mm more elbow room.

For the first time on a BMW Z4 there is a bespoke storage facility located behind the driver and passenger seats. This approximate 15.5-litre single compartment stretches the width of the car's interior and features netting to hold the contents in place. It can be complemented by an optional Storage Package that adds further stowage capacity. BMW's latest generation of iDrive makes its first appearance on a Z4. The BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation system features a hard disc drive capable of 12Gb of audio file storage and BMW ConnectedDrive functionality. The system also comes with eight programmable Favourite buttons as system shortcuts.
The unique roof construction of the BMW Z4 creates a boot that varies in capacity from 180 to 310 litres - large enough to stow a full set of golf clubs. For the first time on a BMW Z4 customers can specify a through-loading system for additional storage capability. A hatch between the two seats permits a second full set of golf clubs to be carried.
Driver visibility in the BMW Z4 has also been improved. All round visibility is up by 14 per cent while, courtesy of the four electric windows creating a larger glasshouse, side visibility is up 40 per cent. The Retractable Hard-Top roof features a glass rear window and this too improves visibility by 52 per cent.

Technical specifications
    * BMW Z4 sDrive23i
          o Power: 204 hp
          o Torque: 250 Nm
          o 0-100 km/h: 6.6 s
          o Top Speed: 243 km/h
          o Fuel Consumption: 33.2 mpg
          o CO2 Emissions: 199 g/km
          o Price: 35,900 EUR
    * BMW Z4 sDrive30i
          o Power: 258 hp
          o Torque: 310 Nm
          o 0-100 km/h: 5.8 s
          o Top Speed: 250 km/h
          o Fuel Consumption: 33.2 mpg
          o CO2 Emissions: 199 g/km
          o Price: 42,900 EUR
    * BMW Z4 sDrive35i
          o Power: 306 hp
          o Torque: 400 Nm
          o 0-100 km/h: 5.2 s
          o Top Speed: 250 km/h
          o Fuel Consumption: 30.1 mpg
          o CO2 Emissions: 210 g/km
          o Price: 47,450 EUR
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lexus GS 460, 2010

Lexus GS 460, 2010

The 2010 Lexus GS 350 and Lexus GS 460 deliver a unique combination of luxury and sport performance to the Lexus vehicle lineup. Several technology enhancements continue to keep GS models at the top of their segment for 2010.

New exterior colors are offered to complement the advanced technology added to the 2010 GS 350 and GS 460. Deep Sea Mica replaces Black Sapphire Pearl and Satin Cashmere Metallic replaces Golden Almond Metallic. In addition, Parchment leather interior takes the place of Cashmere.

The GS gas luxury sport sedan comes in three models - GS 350 RWD, GS 350 AWD and GS 460 RWD. Optimized for low internal friction, the GS 350's 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 303 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 274 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. A direct fuel-injection system provides much finer fuel-mixture control to improve both power and fuel efficiency. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) acts on both intake and exhaust valves to further enhance performance through a wide rpm range. A smooth-shifting six-speed transmission allows sequential shifting when desired.

The Lexus GS 460's V8 produces 342 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 339 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,100 rpm. The GS 460, like the Lexus GS 350, meets the EPA's Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II) certification. Lexus has been setting standards for powertrain smoothness since its inception, and the GS 460's V8 and eight-speed automatic transmission continue that tradition. The transmission, like the six-speed automatic in the Lexus GS 350 models, allows manual shifting for a more engaging driving experience, and helps to maximize performance in certain driving situations. The Lexus GS 460 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, the Lexus GS 350 in 5.7 (5.8 for AWD).

The Lexus GS combines proven chassis systems with advanced dynamic handling technology to provide both agile handling and the Lexus trademark smooth ride. The double-wishbone front suspension and multilink rear suspension virtually eliminate unwanted wheel-angle changes during suspension movement. The result is a natural, confident feel that's also spirited. A 34.1-ft. turning circle (35.4 ft. for GS 350 AWD) is comparable to that of smaller cars and helps make the GS highly maneuverable.

Aluminum-alloy 18-inch wheels are standard on the Lexus GS 460 and available for the rear-wheel-drive Lexus GS 350, which features standard 17-inch wheels. For maximum handling capability, the Lexus GS 350 comes standard with 225/50R17 W-rated summer tires. The all-season 17-inch run-flat tires that are standard on the Lexus GS 350 AWD model are available on the GS 350 RWD. The GS 460 is equipped with 245/40R18 Z-rated summer tires or available all-season run-flats.

The Lexus GS 350's available all-wheel-drive system helps to enhance handling in diverse driving conditions. A planetary-gear center differential and a wet-type multi-disc clutch control front-to-rear power distribution. The system normally sends 70 percent of available power to the rear wheels to provide the traditional performance advantages of a rear-drive car and will vary the torque-split ratio from 30:70 to 50:50 in response to driving conditions and driver input. The AWD system's electronic-control strategy takes inputs such as steering and throttle angle from driver activity combined with vehicle signals from wheel speed and yaw rate sensors.

In the GS 460, the Lexus Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system integrates and manages a host of handling technologies, including VSC. Combining input from a variety of sensors, VDIM is designed to anticipate the onset of a vehicle skid or slide and then help correct the situation with a combination of braking, throttle, and steering control. VDIM integration helps to provide precise management for the Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), Electric Power Steering (EPS), VSC, ABS, BA, EBD, and engine torque via the electronically controlled throttle.

The Lexus GS 460's ECB is a brake-by-wire system. ECB translates brake pedal pressure into electric signals that, via computer control, help provide precise and optimized braking. Electronic control provides quick brake response when needed, helping the Lexus GS 460's VDIM system to anticipate and help correct skids before they occur. The ECB system is backed by conventional hydraulic brake control in the unlikely event of electronic failure.

Safety/Security Features
The Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), standard on the Lexus GS 460 and optional for the GS 350, helps illuminate a curve as the driver steers into it. A Tire Pressure Monitoring system can detect a critical loss in pressure in one or more tires and alert the driver. The available Intuitive Park Assist (IPA) system uses ultrasonic sensors to detect objects close to the car's front and rear bumpers and alerts the driver accordingly. A steering-input sensor helps to better judge changes in distance to objects.

The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) in the GS sedans includes variable-force front airbags for both the driver and front passenger. The GS features standard seat-mounted side airbags for the front seats, knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, and front and rear side-curtain airbags.

The standard Regency leather-trimmed, heated, 10-way power front seats (perforated leather trim on Lexus GS 460) are comfortably contoured for support on long trips. Ventilated front seats are standard for the GS 460 and available for the Lexus GS 350. A power-tilt and telescopic steering wheel helps ensure a comfortable driving position. The standard dual-zone climate-control system filters the air. An optional rear power sunshade may add to passenger comfort on warm days.

All four windows offer one-touch up-and-down operation with jam protection. Both electrochromic auto-dimming side mirrors are power-retractable and feature automatic tilt-down to aid in parking when reverse gear is selected. A power trunk closer provides an added convenience on this extremely well-equipped car.

Luxury Options
Within the ultra-quiet Lexus GS interior, all styles of music come to life with the optional Mark Levinson® Premium Sound system. Featuring 11 channels of amplification with a total of 330 watts playing through 14 speakers, the system allows users to play both CDs and DVDs. DVD movies can be viewed on the color seven-inch touch screen when the parking brake is engaged.

Exterior Design
The current generation GS sedans introduced the brand's L-finesse design language. A 112.2-inch wheelbase, long hood, pulled-back cabin and short rear deck create a confident, powerful stance for the GS. A sloped, vertical grille surrounded by four independent headlamps visually connects the current GS sedans with the previous-generation models while signaling the brand's design progression. The lower valance features integrated fog lamps, and a low 0.27 coefficient of drag (Cd) helps to minimize wind noise and maximize highway fuel efficiency.

Interior Design
Ultra-premium wood, polished-metal accents and leather trim endow the GS interior with a lavish yet high-precision feel. Touch points convey quality and controls that respond fluidly. The customer can choose from among three interior leather color combinations: Light Gray leather with Dark Gray Bird's-eye maple wood trim, Parchment leather with Golden Bird's-eye Maple wood trim, or Black leather with Red Walnut wood trim. Each combination includes a matching wood and leather-trim steering wheel and shift knob that is standard on Lexus GS 460 and optional on GS 350.

Lexus designers strive to keep controls simple and intuitive, avoiding needless complexity. The SmartAccess keyless entry and push-to-start ignition allow the driver to keep the access fob in a pocket or purse. Audio and climate-control systems are easy to understand and operate. The unique instrument panel lighting system relies on variable-transparency glass to minimize reflections from the gauge faces and to help optimize visibility in all lighting conditions.

F-Sport Performance Accessories Available for GS
The available F-Sport Performance Accessories for Lexus GS 350 and GS 460 include performance enhancing parts such as 19-inch forged alloy wheels, brake upgrades, suspension systems, air intake, exhaust systems and more. F-Sport Performance Accessories by Lexus U.S.A. are engineered by Toyota Racing Development (TRD). When installed by an authorized dealer, the accessories are fully warranted for 12 months or for the balance of the new car warranty, whichever is greater.

Lexus Enform with Safety Connect
Safety Connect, the cornerstone of the services, is available on both non-navigation and navigation-equipped GS and offers four safety and security features: Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and Enhanced Roadside Assistance, which adds GPS data to the already included warranty-based Lexus roadside service.
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Lexus GS 450h, 2010

Lexus GS 450h, 2010

The Lexus GS 450h hybrid luxury sport sedan enters the 2010 model year with stylish exterior changes. Several exclusive design features, including grille, clear taillamp covers and 18-inch alloy wheels, were updated for 2010 and add to the existing advanced technology, high performance and indulgent luxury of the rear-wheel-drive Lexus GS 450h. Unique, blue hybrid badging is shared across the Lexus hybrid line-up and also distinguishes the Lexus GS 450h from the gas-powered GS 460 and GS 350.

Based on the GS platform and featuring Lexus Hybrid Drive technology, the Lexus GS 450h offers V8-like performance with greater fuel efficiency. In addition to boosting performance and fuel efficiency while lowering emissions, Lexus Hybrid Drive technology also further accentuates the brand's renowned smooth, quiet operation.

The Lexus GS 450h model's version of the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain combines a powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine with a compact, permanent magnet electric motor - all driving the rear wheels. The hybrid powertrain collectively produces 340 horsepower and can effortlessly accelerate the Lexus GS 450h from zero-to-60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.

Power from the gas engine and MG2 is distributed to the rear drive wheels via a planetary gear-type Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT). This special transmission, which eliminates specific gear ratios, features a two-speed torque-multiplication device that allows drivers to select from among three driving modes: Power, Normal and Snow. "Normal" provides the smoothest operation and is ideal for city or suburban driving; "Power" sharpens accelerator pedal response, and "Snow" mode softens accelerator pedal response making it easier to travel on slippery road surfaces.

The Lexus GS 450h matches its powerful acceleration with responsive handling while maintaining the ultra-comfortable ride that is synonymous with the Lexus brand. Instead of attempting to mask noise, the engineers designed fans and motors to significantly reduce cabin-noise intrusion. Fluid-filled front-engine mounts, additional sound-absorbing asphalt sheets behind the instrument panel, and a sound-absorbing windshield further enhance the quiet ride that redefines the term "Lexus-like."

Double-wishbone front and multilink rear suspension systems endow the Lexus GS 450h with engaging handling performance. Like the V8-powered GS 460 gas model, the GS 450h is equipped as standard with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), a driver-selectable shock absorber damping system.

The standard 18 x 8-inch aluminum alloy wheels are unique to the 2010 GS 450h and equipped with 245/40R18 Z-rated summer performance tires; all-season run-flat tires are available. An optional Active Power Stabilizer system helps to further reduce body sway during cornering. The system uses an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to calculate the force needed to counter excess body sway, which is then applied to the stabilizer bars by front and rear electric-powered actuators.

The Lexus GS 450h is equipped with the brand's highest level of dynamic handling technology: the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system that goes beyond the capability of other stability and traction-control systems. VDIM is designed to anticipate the onset of a vehicle slide while cornering and then help to automatically correct the situation with a combination of braking, throttle and steering control in a way that is essentially transparent to the driver. VDIM integrates Electric Power Steering (EPS), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB), and Traction Control (TRAC).

Safety/Security Features
All Lexus GS models implement a wide array of advanced safety systems. The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) includes variable-force front airbags for both the driver and front passenger. Sensors are designed to determine the severity of an impact and in turn the airbag deployment force, helping to provide an appropriate level of occupant restraint. The GS features a total of eight standard airbags including seat-mounted side airbags for the front seats, knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, and front and rear side-curtain airbags.

The Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) helps illuminate a curve as the driver steers into it. Intuitive Park Assist (IPA) uses ultrasonic sensors to detect the presence of objects close by and warn the driver of their proximity.

As the top model in the GS line, the Lexus GS 450h features the highest level of standard luxury equipment and includes features that are optional on other GS models: 10-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers, rear back-up camera and headlamp washers. Controls are simple and intuitive, avoiding needless complexity.

Luxury Options
All styles of music come to life in the ultra-quiet Lexus GS interior with the optional 7.1-channel Mark Levinson® Premium Sound system. Featuring a total of 330 watts playing through 14 speakers, the system allows users to play both CDs and DVDs. DVD movies can be viewed on the color seven-inch touch screen when the vehicle is in "park" and the parking brake is engaged.

Exterior Design
The current generation GS sedans introduced the brand's L-finesse design language. A 112.2-inch wheelbase, long hood, pulled-back cabin and short rear deck create a confident, powerful stance for the GS. A low 0.27 coefficient of drag (Cd) helps to maximize highway fuel efficiency and minimize wind noise. Subtle visual differences distinguish the Lexus GS 450h from other GS models. These include a blue hybrid designation on the side rocker moldings, aluminum-and-blue enameled rear model designation, front grille, special 18-inch light-alloy wheels, a Lexis Hybrid Drive engine cover, blue front and rear "L" logos, a blue tint to the headlamps, clear tail lamp covers and a power meter that replaces the tachometer.

Interior Design
Ultra-premium wood, polished-metal accents and leather trim endow the GS interior with a lavish yet high-precision feel. Touch points convey quality, and controls respond fluidly. Regency leather-trimmed seats are available in Light Gray, Parchment or Black leather matched with wood trim in Dark Gray Bird's-eye Maple, Golden Bird's-eye Maple or Red Walnut, respectively. The wood and leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel - featuring audio and multi-information display controls - is complemented by a matching shift knob. The three-pod analog instrument cluster features an electrochromic display and variable-transparency glass for high visibility in a variety of light conditions.

Lexus Enform and Safety Connect
The Lexus GS 450h offers an all-new telematics system, Lexus Enform with Safety Connect, available by subscription. Complimentary one-year trial subscriptions are included on all purchases of new Lexus vehicles equipped with these features. Both the Lexus Enform and the Safety Connect response center operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—every day of the year.

Safety Connect, the cornerstone of the services, is available on both non-navigation and navigation-equipped Lexus GS 450h and offers four safety and security features: Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and Enhanced Roadside Assistance, which adds GPS data to the already included warranty-based Lexus roadside service.

Lexus Insider, a complimentary, opt-in service is also available without a subscription on all Lexus Enform-equipped vehicles. This feature offers in-vehicle audio casts that provide owners access to useful vehicle tips and event information, and insights into exclusive owners' benefits - all designed to further enhance the Lexus experience.
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GM EN-V Concept, 2010

GM EN-V Concept, 2010


 By 2030, urban areas will be home to more than 60 percent of the world's 8 billion people. This will put tremendous pressure on a public infrastructure that is already struggling to meet the growing demand for transportation and basic services.

General Motors and its strategic partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC), share a common vision for addressing the need for personal mobility through a radical change in personal urban transportation. They are exploring several solutions for tomorrow's drivers. Among the most promising is a new vehicle form called EN-V.

A Promising Solution
EN-V, which is short for Electric Networked-Vehicle, maintains the core principle of personal mobility - freedom - while helping remove the motor vehicle from the environmental debate and redefining design leadership. EN-V is a two-seat electric vehicle that was designed to alleviate concerns surrounding traffic congestion, parking availability, air quality and affordability for tomorrow's cities.

Three EN-V models were unveiled in Shanghai. They represent three different characteristics that emphasize the enjoyable nature of future transportation: Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh). The concepts will be showcased from May 1 through October 31 at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai. Shanghai is expected to become one of the epicenters for the establishment of personal mobility solutions for the future.

Breakthrough Technology
GM EN-V Concept's platform has evolved from the platform of the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (P.U.M.A.) prototype that was developed by Segway and debuted in April 2009. Segway has worked collaboratively with GM to develop and deliver multiple copies of the drivetrain platform that seamlessly connect to and power the various EN-Vs.

GM EN-V Concept is propelled by electric motors in each of its two driving-mode wheels. Dynamic stabilization technology empowers EN-V, giving it the unique ability to carry two passengers and light cargo in a footprint that's about a third of a traditional vehicle. It can literally "turn on a dime" within its own operating envelope. In addition, everything in EN-V is drive-by-wire, supporting its ability to operate autonomously or under manual control. The motors not only provide power for acceleration, but also bring the vehicle to a stop.

Power for the motors is provided by lithium-ion batteries that produce zero emissions. Recharging can occur from a conventional wall outlet using standard household power, allowing EN-V to travel at least 40 kilometers on a single charge. EN-V can also improve the efficiency of the public electric infrastructure since the vehicle can communicate with the electric grid to determine the best time to recharge based on overall usage.

By combining the Global Positioning System (GPS) with vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing technologies, the EN-V concept can be driven both manually and autonomously.

Its autonomous operating capability offers the promise of reducing traffic congestion by allowing EN-V to automatically select the fastest route based on real-time traffic information. The concept also leverages wireless communications to enable a "social network" that can be used by drivers and occupants to communicate with friends or business associates while on the go.

This combination of sensing technology, wireless communication and GPS-based navigation establishes a technology foundation, pieces of which could migrate from the EN-V concept and potentially lead the way to future advanced vehicle safety systems.

The ability to communicate with other vehicles and with the infrastructure could dramatically reduce the number of vehicle accidents. Using vehicle-based sensor and camera systems, EN-V can "sense" what's around it, allowing the vehicle to react quickly to obstacles or changes in driving conditions. For example, if a pedestrian steps out in front of the vehicle, EN-V will decelerate to a slower and safer speed and stop sooner than today's vehicles.

GM has been a leader in developing autonomous vehicle technology, having worked alongside students and faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This collaboration created "The Boss" Chevrolet Tahoe, which brought autonomous vehicle operation to life in 2007. EN-V takes the lessons learned in "The Boss" and offers mobility to people who could not otherwise operate a vehicle.

GM EN-V Concept has been designed for the speed and range of today's urban drivers. It weighs less than 500 kilograms and is about 1.5 meters in length. By comparison, today's typical automobile weighs more than 1,500 kilograms and is three times as long. In addition, today's automobiles require more than 10 square meters of parking space and are parked more than 90 percent of the time. EN-V's smaller size and greater maneuverability mean the same parking lot can accommodate five times as many EN-Vs as typical automobiles.

Smaller, Smarter Design
While EN-V leads the way in terms of efficiency and technology, it also sets a new benchmark for vehicle design. For its debut, GM had design teams around the world provide their vision of what future mobility will look like. Xiao (Laugh) was designed by GM Holden's design team in Australia, while the look of Jiao (Pride) was penned by designers at GM Europe and Miao (Magic) was designed at the General Motors Advanced Design Studio in the U.S. state of California.

Each EN-V has a unique design theme to showcase the flexibility of the propulsion platform. The design gives each EN-V its own personality, with a unique opening, elegant interior and innovative color, lighting and seat technology. Xiao offers a more lighthearted appeal, with its "gumball blue" paint and nautical-inspired design. Miao takes most of its design cues from the consumer electronics industry, as evidenced by its sleek, masculine looks. Designers also used Miao to display innovative lighting solutions, including extensive use of LED accent lighting. With its clean lines and bright paintwork, Jiao takes its design influence from bullet trains and Chinese opera masks.

The body and canopy of GM EN-V Concept are constructed from carbon fiber, custom-tinted Lexan and acrylic, materials that are more commonly used in race cars, military airplanes and spacecraft because of their strength and lightweight characteristics. The ability to work with such innovative materials provided a learning opportunity for GM's design teams to study the feasibility of future traditional automotive applications.

EN-V's compact size makes it ideal for use in densely populated cities thanks to its use of advanced safety and propulsion technologies. But good things come in small packages, as witnessed by EN-V's innovative interior design, which provides maximum visibility to the world outside. A simple interface for activating Wi-Fi-based technologies keeps occupants connected to the outside world.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Infiniti FX Limited Edition, 2010

Infiniti FX Limited Edition, 2010

 The Infiniti FX Line of performance crossovers might already be one of the rarest and best equipped cars in its class but this has not stopped customers demanding an even more exclusive version. Infiniti is responding with a very special, limited run of the FX37S and FX50S called, simply, the Infiniti FX Limited Edition.

The Infiniti FX Limited Edition will be rare indeed. Availability has been strictly limited to just 100 units across Western Europe. Based on the already dramatic looking FX37S and FX50S, the Limited Edition features striking Black Obsidian 'Scratch Guard' paintwork as standard, with equally distinctive Moonlight White pearl metallic available as an option. Unique 21 inch 'Turbine' design alloy wheels are finished in dark Graphite, as are the radiator grille, air vents and roof rails.

Exterior styling
With its breathtaking combination of sports car proportions and muscular SUV stance, the FX is an unmistakable performance luxury crossover. The Infiniti FX Limited Edition accentuates these unique design qualities with a choice of standard Black Obsidian 'Scratch Guard' paint or optional Moonlight White pearl metallic, together with dark smoked headlight surrounds that give the Infiniti FX Limited Edition a more distinctive 'face'.

Further drama comes courtesy of the Infiniti FX Limited Edition's 'Turbine' design alloys wheels, so called because the spokes of the wheels are shaped in such a way as aid the flow of cooling air to the sports brakes. Uniquely finished in dark graphite grey - together with the distinctive 'double-wave' radiator grille, air vents and roof rails - they are fitted with 265/45 R21W tyres and fill the wheel arches to perfection.

Interior environment
The Infiniti philosophy of Modern Luxury is exemplified in the Infiniti FX Limited Edition's stylish and comprehensively appointed interior. From the supple Graphite leather upholstery complete with quilted stitching, to the opulent Alcantara trimmed headlining and roof pillars and wool carpets, only the finest natural materials are used. Illuminated 'Infiniti' door entry guards are also unique to the Infiniti FX Limited Edition.

The extensive use of genuine carbon fibre across the dashboard, centre console and door panels provides an appropriately high-tech contrast to the soft-touch natural materials and provides a fitting backdrop to the Infiniti FX Limited Edition's standard Connectiviti+ infotainment system. Employing the very latest Hard Disk Drive (HDD) technology it features a fully integrated satellite navigation system with 42-country, Europewide coverage and, in a world-first collaboration with Michelin Green Guide, a database of some 22,000 addresses, which enables the location and booking of leading hotels and restaurants while on the move.

The Connectiviti+ multi-media system also includes a powerful 11-speaker Bose Premium Sound System, a 10GB direct record Music Box that can store up to 300 albums' worth of your favourite music, plus a DVD player, USB port for MP3 players and Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity.

Additional standard equipment includes electrically adjustable, heated and ventilated front seats, an electric sunroof, Infiniti's keyless entry and start system, and magnesium paddle shifts that work in conjunction with the seven-speed automatic gearbox. Also included is startling performance that sees the V8 powered Limited Edition speeding to 62mph in just 5.8 seconds with the V6 version only a second behind. Traction in all weathers is assured by intelligently controlled, all-wheel drive.

Infiniti FX technical highlights
    * Fusion of sports car and SUV
    * Choice of 320PS 3.7-litre V6 or potent 390PS 5.0-litre V8
    * Standard seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift
    * Intelligent All-Wheel Drive
    * Suspension with active Continuous Damping Control (CDC)
    * Class leading handling
    * Standard Rear Active Steer (RAS) on V8-engined model
    * Lightest SUV in its class
    * Advanced features including Around View Monitor
    * EuroNCAP 5 star safety rating
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Italdesign Emas Country Concept, 2010

Italdesign Emas Country Concept, 2010


The Emas Country interpretation portrays the Emas as an urban SUV, keeping to the length of 3550 mm but switching to a three-door architecture.
Access to the car is still easy due to generous doors measuring no less than 1350 mm in length and the ergonomic and rational position of the rear seats, that are set 120 mm further forward than in the five-door version.

In particular, the amount of passenger room rises from 4 to 5 seats by replacing the two independent rear seats with a sliding three-seater bench seat. This means that the amount of foot room for passengers in the rear can be adjusted according to requirements.

The bench seat can also be folded completely flat to increase the load volume: this boosts the luggage space from 390 to approximately 780 litres.
A few telling touches create a distinctive off-road exterior look: wheel arches, side-sill perimeter base, bumpers toughened by radial ribbing and the lower part of the tailgate are highlighted by a bronze metallic finish. The roof features a rollbar/roof-rack.

The front-end differs from the urban, five-door version due to its more aggressive look: the Proton shield is now fitted at the top of a grille surmounting a large longitudinal air intake. The two fog lights are round and sunk into the body.
The lower part of the front and rear bumpers and the side-sills are toughened by metal inserts.

A glance at the interiors
The first aspect that strikes you, even before you discover the car interiors, is the door handle: an ergonomic design that incorporates a set of secondary controls that vary from place to place.

The driver can use the handle grip to control all four power windows, door locking and unlocking, the courtesy lights, side mirror adjustment and electrical lowering of the rear head restraint to improve visibility while reversing.
The front passenger can also adjust the hi-fi system as well as his or her own window. The rear passengers can also adjust their seats from the handle grip.

Two TFT panels dominate the dashboard. They are housed side by side in the centre of the dashboard, at a concave angle.

The right-hand monitor shows the speedometer and the main car operating indicators in addition to hybrid system energy flows.
The left-hand monitor shows secondary information such as screens for the hi-fi system, telephone and internet access browser plus personalised car set-up parameters.

A third display, located beneath the central console, is a touch screen that controls all the car's main and secondary functions. The right part of this TFT screen permanently displays the climate system temperature and air flows.

The lower part of the central console, housing the ignition button and gear selector, extends towards the tunnel and can be folded down. When parking in a tight spot, forcing the driver or front passenger to leave the car from the opposite side, this central element can be lowered and the seat moved back so that they can get out on the other side without hindrance.

The central console also houses two USB ports to connect digital music players and mobile phones, plus an SD card slot for satellite navigation maps.
The central part houses a dock specially designed for the Apple iPhone. This dock is interchangeable and can house other phone and smartphone models. It can recharge the phones and connect them automatically to the car without the need to use other coupling systems.

Powered by Lotus Engineering
The drive system is a series hybrid plug-in developed by Lotus Engineering, a Proton Group company. It includes a 3 cylinder 1.2 litre internal combustion engine developing 51 horsepower (38 kW) at 3500 rpm that can run on petrol, ethanol, or methanol.
The front transverse internal combustion engine is coupled to a generator and serves exclusively to recharge the 11.5 kWh capacity lithium ion batteries.

Drive is assured by an electric motor with continuous power of 45 kW and 75 kW peak power.
The high maximum torque, 240 Nm, does not require the use of a gearbox.
Acceleration 0-100 km/h takes place in 14 seconds, top speed is 170 km/h and battery range in the hybrid configuration is 50 km. Full recharging of the battery pack takes three hours using a traditional 240-volt outlet.
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