Friday, March 18, 2011

Lexus IS250C, 2010

Lexus IS250C, 2010


The new Lexus IS250C.
The new model combines the award-winning design of the IS sports saloon with outstanding open-top engineering ingenuity.
The IS250C displays Lexus quality and attention to detail in every aspect of its construction and is designed to exceed customer expectations with its fusion of top-down driving pleasure and uncompromised dynamic performance.
It also boasts the fastest opening time for a three-part roof design, with its lightweight aluminium structure folding away in just 20 seconds.

The Lexus IS250C builds on the elegant proportions, sweeping, sculptural lines and contrasting convex and concave surfacing of the IS saloon range to combine the muscular appeal of a sports coupe with the stylish lines of a convertible.
Only the bonnet, headlamps, door handles and mirrors are shared with the IS saloon, all other body panels have been redesigned to ensure they harmonise perfectly with the three-part folding roof.

The Lexus IS250C offers the same high levels of luxury and practical innovation as the IS saloon, with a number of bespoke technical revisions designed to ensure the on-board comfort and entertainment systems operate effectively when the roof is down.
The instrument panel, surrounding elements and the steering wheel are the same as on the IS saloon, but the instrument binnacle in front of the driver has been extensively revised to ensure good visibility is maintained during top-down driving.
The climate control system has been configured for top-down motoring, with the addition of speed sensitive control, which automatically increases air flow when the roof is lowered and further increases it in line with vehicle speed.

The Lexus IS250C uses the proven front double wishbone and multink rear suspension format from the IS saloon range to give sporting, agile performance. Significant chassis revisions promote greater ride comfort suitable for a convertible and ensure consistent dynamic performance in both coupe and convertible guise.
Extensive temperature, vibration and shaking tests were carried out to ensure the changes to the bodyshell and chassis maintain NVH characteristics almost identical to those of the IS saloon. Class-leading low wind noise levels are achieved with help from acoustic glass for the windscreen and painstaking design of the roof, door and window panel seals.

The Lexus IS250C has been designed to achieve a five-star frontal impact rating in Euro NCAP crash testing, with world-class safety performance in both coupe and convertible configuration. Numerous changes in the body structure enhance collision strength, roll-over protection and torsional rigidity, minimising cowl shake and optimising chassis control.

For added protection when driving with the roof down, the Lexus IS250C is equipped with new-design larger side airbags that provide head protection in the event of a side impact. The bodyshell also features additional energy-absorbing side impact pads for both front and rear seat occupants.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, 2011

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, 2011


Debut in Switzerland, the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be tested in long-distance races around the Nürburgring, Germany. The highlight of this test programme will be the 24 Hours race around the 14-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit on 15/16 May 2010. However, the focus is not on the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid winning the race but rather serving as a spearhead for the technology and a 'racing laboratory' that will provide invaluable knowledge and insight on the subsequent use of hybrid technology in road-going Porsche sports cars.

110 years since Ferdinand Porsche - the company's founder - developed the world's first car with hybrid drive, the Lohner Porsche Semper Vivus, it is entirely appropriate that Porsche is once again employing this visionary drive concept in a production car-based GT racing programme.

The hybrid technology featured in the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid has been developed especially for racing, and is set apart from conventional hybrid systems in its configuration and choice of components. Uniquely, an electrical front axle drive with two electric motors each developing 60 kW supplements the familiar 480 hp (353 kW) four-litre flat-six 'boxer' petrol engine at the rear of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid. Consequently, the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid has four driven wheels, offering even greater traction and agility.
Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid

A further significant point is that instead of the usual batteries of a conventional hybrid-powered road car, this 911 features an electric flywheel power generator - mounted inside the cockpit beside the driver - that delivers energy to the electric motors on the front axle.

The flywheel generator itself is an electric motor - with its rotor capable of spinning at speeds of up to 40,000 rpm - and stores energy mechanically as rotation, or kinetic, energy. The flywheel generator is charged-up whenever the driver applies the brakes, with the two electric motors reversing their function on the front axle and acting themselves as generators.

The driver is able to call upon this extra energy from the charged flywheel generator at his command for competitive advantage, such as when accelerating out of a bend or overtaking. The flywheel generator is slowed down electromagnetically in the generator mode and able to supply up to 120 kW to the two electric motors at the front axle from its resource of kinetic energy. This additional power is available to the driver after each charge process for approximately 6 - 8 seconds.

Energy formerly converted into heat, and thus wasted, upon every application of the brakes is now converted highly efficiently into additional drive power.

Depending on racing conditions, hybrid drive is used in this case not only for extra power, but also to save fuel. This again increases the efficiency and, accordingly, the performance of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, by reducing the weight of the fuel tank or making pit stops less frequent, for example.

Porsche Intelligent Performance

The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid is a perfect example of the Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy, a principle to be found in every Porsche and defined as more power on less fuel, more efficiency and lower CO2 emissions - on the race track and on the road. Already, customers can buy a Porsche 911 coupe with a six-cylinder 345 bhp engine which can return nearly 30mpg Combined and produces just 225 g/km CO2; a feat unrivalled in its performance class and just one example of the application of Porsche Intelligent Performance to maintain outstanding driving dynamics yet lower running costs and environmental impact.

Devising smart, individual engineering solutions to combine performance and efficiency with everyday usability is something for which Porsche is renowned, and is evident in such developments as lightweight body construction methods, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) and the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetreibe (PDK) double-clutch gearbox.
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