Monday, December 31, 2012

Fiat Strada, 2013

 
  • Fiat Strada, 2013

Fiat Strada will be available in Italian dealerships from the end of January 2012. Made in the FIASA plant in Betim (Brazil), the new model will follow in the footsteps of South America's leading light transport vehicle. With no fewer than 127,800 vehicles sold worldwide, the Fiat Strada was the second most popular Fiat Professional model after the Fiat Ducato in 2011.

The Fiat Strada comes in three outfits (Working, Trekking, Adventure) and three body types (Short Cab, Long Cab, Crew Cab) for a total of six different versions. The most important innovation is the introduction of the Crew Cab version (for Working and Adventure versions), which can comfortably carry four people while maintaining a loading capacity of up to 650 kg at the same time.

Equipped with a powerful 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet 16v Euro 5 engine, the model is both versatile and multifunctional. This is demonstrated by the Working single cab version for professionals who are looking for a "purely commercial vehicle". Interesting is the new crew cab version for mixed use allowing up to four people to be carried plus tools and materials.

For the most demanding uses, the E-Locker electronic locking differential is available to help tackle slippery terrain. All these features allow it to compete with larger pick-up trucks but with the added advantage of lower purchase price, running costs and fuel consumption.

Prices (before tax) range from 12,900 euros for the 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet 16v Working Single Cab version to 16,000 euros for the top-of-the-range 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet 16v Adventure Crew Cab version.

Style
The style conveys the image of a strong, dynamic and functional vehicle capable of good performance and extremely low running costs. The front end is one of the most noticeable innovations of the new model. The tougher, no-nonsense bumper has a renewed design with two air vents now grouped in a single rectangular box and the new headlights (single-lens for the Working outfit and double-lens for the Trekking). Much more assertive is the front of the Adventure version: painted in matching body colour it has a black grille and chrome-plated inserts framed by an insert which continues over the wheel arch protection. The integrated fog lights are fitted in the lower part.

The Long Cab and Crew Cab versions have lengthwise roof bars and spoiler with integrated third brake light in addition to plenty of room in the passenger compartment.

The overall dimensions of the vehicle are practically unchanged with respect to the previous series: length 4409 mm (4457 mm for the Adventure version), width 1664 (1740 mm for the Adventure versions) and a wheelbase of 2718 mm.

The Fiat Strada inside plenty of comfort inside for occupants and is very carefully designed throughout. This is demonstrated by the new upholstery, the brand-new dashboard and the original clear, easy-to-read instruments. Ergonomic, antisubmarining seats, the height-adjustable steering wheel (standard on Trekking and Adventure) and the climate control system (standard on Adventure) make travelling and working on the Fiat Strada even more pleasant, comfortable and safe.

Load compartment
A strong point of the Fiat Strada is its large rear box, which is 1685 mm long (1332 mm on long cab versions, 1082 on crew cab versions), and 1300 mm wide (1070 mm between wheel arches). Large and with a regular shape to make it easy to exploit to the full, it is provided with scratch-resistant protective lining designed to withstand extreme temperatures.

Robust hooks used to fix the transported objects in total safety are arranged on the sides and bottom of the box and intelligently placed, so as not to hinder loading and unloading operations. Access to the load compartment is also facilitated by the rear board, covered in non-slip material which can be folded by 90° and now even removable. It can bear a weight of 300 kg. The payload including driver ranges from 630 to 705 kg according to the version, while the gross vehicle weight is 1915 kg. The towable weight is 1000 kg.

Engine
The Fiat Strada is up for any challenge with its brilliant 1.3 MultiJet 16v Euro 5 engine, which delivers a maximum power of 95 HP and a torque of 200 Nm (20.4 kgm at 1500 rpm).

Equipped with variable geometry turbocharger and intercooler, the engine ensures excellent performance with low running costs. Consumption is virtually the same as the previous Euro 4 85 HP engine (up to 5.3 litre/100 km in the combined cycle). This is even more remarkable when compared to that of the bulky pick-up trucks made by competitors which all link high consumption to high power.

Range
The Fiat Strada offers plenty of standard equipment: new instruments with trip computer, height-adjustable steering wheel (on Trekking and Adventure), door mirror manually adjustable from the inside and ABS. Additional standard features of the Fiat Strada Adventure include climate control system, fog lights, alloy wheels with 205/65 R15 oversized, lug tread tyres.

For extra versatility on the most demanding missions, Adventure versions come with a new standard electronic locking differential called E-Locker to effectively assist tackling slippery terrain in general, where the extremely performance typically offered by a 4X4 is not needed.

In detail, the system can lock the front differential, providing all the available torque to the wheel with the best grip to get the vehicle out of tricky situations: "off-road-like" performance combined with all the winning features of a 4x2. The E-Locker is convenient because it does not imply the extra costs of four-wheel drive, it does not penalise tare and payload and it has no impact on consumption and running costs (because the vehicle consumes like a 4x2 when the system is off). Proof of the Adventure's off-road personality is the dashboard which, on E-Locker versions, is complemented by a supplementary compass and roll and pitch meter instrument.

Finally, when it comes to comfort, the Fiat Strada has a long list of optional equipment for customising your vehicle: radio with CD player, climate control system, sun roof, leather steering wheel (Adventure only) and alloy rims.
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Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG, 2013

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG, 2013

High tech for the AMG off-road classic: the new Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG impresses with state-of-the-art drive technology, expressive design and increased fuel economy. All this is largely attributable to the AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine delivering 400 kW (544 hp) and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission system. Even more exclusive is the new G65 AMG: its AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine delivers 450 kW (612 hp) and reaches a maximum torque of 1000 newton metres - a record in the off-road segment.

Every new AMG high-performance vehicle offers an outstanding mix of "more power from less fuel" - and the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG is no exception. The "strong man" in the AMG model range has been further enhanced with the state-of-the-art powertrain of the new ML63 AMG. The design has been comprehensively reworked, so that, for the first time in the 33-year history of the G-Class, AMG customers can enjoy a raft of future-oriented systems: spray-controlled petrol direct injection, the ECO start/stop function and generator management. The AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine develops a maximum output of 400 kW (544 hp) and a torque of 760 newton metres. This enables the new G63 AMG to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.4 seconds, with a new top speed of 210 km/h (electronically limited).

The new G63 AMG outperforms the G55 AMG Kompressor by 27 kW (37 hp) and 60 newton metres. Its direct predecessor was a clear favourite for G-Class purchasers, with a sales ratio of over 40 percent.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC and ECO start/stop function
The vehicle's driving performance features are matched by its impressive advances in the area of fuel economy. The fuel consumption of 13.8 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined) is a reduction of 2.1 litres on the predecessor model, representing fuel savings of 13 percent. This reduction can be attributed to the state-of-the-art biturbo eight-cylinder engine, along with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission system, the generator management system and the ECO start/stop function. The seven-speed automatic gearbox features three drive modes and an automatic double-declutching function for downshifting, creating an incredible range of variability. In "Controlled Efficiency" (C) mode, the ECO start/stop function is active, shutting down the eight-cylinder engine when the vehicle is stationary. "C" mode is also characterised by smooth accelerator and transmission characteristics and early gear changes; the vehicle is usually started in second gear in this mode. The AMG instrument cluster includes a green "ECO" symbol, indicating when the ECO start/stop function is on.

In the Sport (S) and Manual (M) modes, the ECO start/stop function is off, and the engine-transmission combination displays far greater agility. Short, precisely defined ignition and injection retardations mean shorter shift times when changing up at full load. The efficiency of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission system is further enhanced with a new fuel economy converter with centrifugal pendulum, friction-reducing bearing and transmission oil thermal management.

The fascination of the characteristic sound of a V8 AMG
A glance at the AMG sports exhaust system will reassure any doubters that all these efficiency advances have not been at the expense of emotional appeal. The twin tailpipes on both sides at the rear put out the hallmark AMG eight-cylinder sound that means so much to the vehicle's many admirers. The latest catalytic converter technology is used to ensure that the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG meets both the EU 5 exhaust emissions standard and the requirements for the US market (LEV-II standard, on-board diagnosis II and lambda probe diagnosis).

New chassis settings, optimised acoustic comfort
The suspension/damper settings in the AMG Sports chassis have been adjusted for the more dynamic handling characteristics of the new model. To reduce vibration and noise impacts, the design engineers at Mercedes-AMG have also implemented a wide range of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) measures. Optimised bearings for the automatic gearbox, transfer case and engine cut vibration and noise levels. All this ensures a more comfortable ride and helps to keep the driver fit and alert, particularly over long distances.

The wheels and brakes are also completely new. The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG runs on new AMG 5x2 spoke light alloy wheels as standard equipment. The 9.5 x 20 titanium-grey-painted wheels with high-sheen finish are fitted with 275/50 R 20 tyres. As an exclusive special equipment option, the vehicle can be fitted with matt-black-painted AMG light alloy wheels with high-sheen rim flanges. The new AMG high-performance brakes deliver top performance in terms of deceleration, adjustable feed and endurance. All-round ventilated, perforated brake discs with dimensions of 375 x 36 millimetres at the front and 330 x 20 millimetres at the rear provide optimum thermal capability and outstanding deceleration values. The front axle is fitted with a six-piston fixed-calliper brake system taken from the ML63 AMG, with a single-piston floating-calliper system on the rear axle. The brake callipers are painted red around the entire circumference, and are also available in silver.

Fully readjusted ESP® for with more comfort functions
The new generation of the G-Class also offers a range of exemplary safety features. For example, the luxury off-roader has a completely readjusted ESP®, with automatic control systems including the start-up assist and a HOLD function, both for easier hill starts. And in an emergency braking situation, when the driver suddenly releases the accelerator and hits the brake pedal, the brake system increases the pressure in the brake lines and applies the brake linings to the discs. This ensures maximum effect as soon as the brake is applied. This "pre-filling" function supports the brake assist fitted as standard.

For customers ordering the optional trailer coupling, the ESP® trailer stabilisation feature provides increased safety when the vehicle is pulling a trailer. This additional ESP® function detects the trailer as soon as the electric connector plug is inserted in the socket on the towing vehicle. The ESP® trailer stabilisation system uses the sensors of the ESP®, counteracting any fishtailing of the trailer at speeds higher than 65 km/h by alternating brake application to the left and right front wheels. This is generally sufficient to eliminate the problem and prevent any further risk. In very severe fishtailing situations, the engine torque is also reduced and the towing vehicle is braked on all four wheels, to get the vehicle back to within a safe speed range as quickly as possible.

Characteristic AMG styling with the new face of the brand
The appearance of the eight-cylinder top-of-the-range model is also definitely up with the times. Following the example of the SL63 AMG and SL65 AMG, the G63 AMG has also taken on the new face of the AMG brand. The high-gloss black "twin-blade" radiator grille with four chrome inserts makes the new G-Class model instantly recognisable as an AMG. The grille design is consistent with the car's classic contours, with an off-road look perfectly integrated into the vehicle's overall appearance.

Another completely new feature is the AMG bumper, with three generously dimensioned openings as airflow inlets for the cooling module. Vertical high-gloss chrome stainless steel inserts create a distinctively masculine look for the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG. New LED daytime running lamps are fitted below the bi-xenon headlamps. As before, only the AMG model has the characteristic wheel-arch flares, stainless-steel running boards and side protective strips with stainless-steel inserts. Other distinctive features include the "V8 BITURBO" logo on the front mudguard and G63 AMG type plate on the rear door.

Stylish new-look interior with increased comfort
The interior features even more innovations in comparison with the predecessor model. Along with the facelift changes provided as standard, including the new instrument panel and state-of-the-art infotainment and assist systems, the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG has an AMG instrument cluster with colour TFT screen, AMG main menu and separate gear display, plus white-lit AMG sills on all doors. The classy E-SELECT shift lever with the distinctive AMG medallion is a familiar feature from other models such as the SLS AMG. An exclusive on-board environment is created by the designo leather upholstery with ruffled leather door panelling. Options available for an even more stylish interior comprise the AMG carbon trim and the designo Exclusive package.

Exclusive twelve-cylinder performance: the new G65 AMG
Even more exclusive, and also the world's most powerful production off-road vehicle, is the new G65 AMG. With maximum output of 450 kW (612 hp) and maximum torque of 1000 newton metres, the top-of-the-range V12 model delights the connoisseur with its incomparably dynamic handling characteristics. The G65 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds, and has a top speed of 230 km/h (electronically limited). This is the first G-Class vehicle to be equipped with the AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine, which features new exhaust turbochargers with increased spiral cross-section, flow-optimised wastegate channels, multi-spark ignition with twelve double-ignition coils and a higher-power engine control unit. The result is enhanced combustion, leading to smoother running and power delivery. The high-quality carbon and aluminium engine cover adds a final visual touch to this extensive package of new features. As in the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmissionsystem is responsible for power transmission to all four wheels.

In terms of appearance, the G65 AMG is differentiated from its V8 sister model by the high-gloss chrome radiator grille, the 9.5 x 20 AMG five-spoke light alloy wheels, painted titanium grey with high-sheen finish, its 275/50 R 20 tyres and the V12 BITURBO logo on the mudguards. Interior features include the welcome display with exclusive AMG V12 BITURBO animation, the designo leather exclusive upholstery and the leather instrument panel trim. A unique special touch is the distinctively V12 diamond design of the seats, including the impressed AMG medallion on the headrests. This distinctive upholstery feature is repeated on the door central panels. A comprehensive range of standard equipment includes black piano lacquer designo trim features and designo foot mats with a V12 badge. An exclusive special option from the AMG Performance Studio is AMG light alloy wheels, painted matt black with high-sheen rim flanges.

Prices in Germany at a glance (including 19% VAT):
    Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 137,504.50 euros
    Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG 264,180 euros

Both AMG models are available only in the station-wagon long version. Market launch is as from June 2012.

The AMG G-Class: unmistakeable by tradition
The G55 AMG Kompressor has been a favourite since 2004, as a strong character, immune to passing fashions. The AMG 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine initially developed 350 kW (476 hp), increasing to 368 kW (500 hp) in 2006 and 373 kW (507 hp) in 2009. The maximum torque of 700 newton metres remained unchanged, along with the vehicle's supremely dynamic performance values. The G55 AMG Kompressor accelerated from zero to 100/km in 5.5 seconds, with a top speed of 210 km/h (electronically limited).
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street Concept, 2012






  • Volkswagen Polo R WRC Street Concept, 2012

From motor racing to the street is the motto of the VW Polo R WRC Street concept car. At 2012 W├Ârthersee, Volkswagen presenting for the first time a preview of an extremely sporty small series, which is due to be launched in late 2013. 

With its highly unique and distinctive design, this model cuts an impressive figure with its rear spoiler, diffuser, sports suspension and an inscription with R-WRC logos. A powerful 162 kW / 220 PS 2.0 litre TSI produces motorsport-like performance.

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Nissan Versa Sedan, 2012

 
 
 
 
  • Nissan Versa Sedan, 2012

Small on the outside, big on the inside. Smart technology with next-generation efficiency. A $10,990 starting M.S.R.P. and low cost of ownership. New dual injector system and sub-planetary CVT design. Expected combined city/highway fuel economy of 33 miles per gallon. New global "V" (for Versatile) platform. Sophisticated styling, high quality interior.

There are myriad ways the all-new 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan breaks new ground for entry-level compact sedans. And many ways to sum them all up. But perhaps a simple statement is best: Innovation Within Reach.

Small When You Need It, Big Where You Want It
Knowing that entry-level vehicles are used as "workhorses" - for commuting on weekdays, errand running on weekends and transporting family and friends all week long - the designers of the new Nissan Versa Sedan sought to combine five-passenger practicality with a high degree of comfort and refinement. It also offers an unexpected level of available entertainment and connectivity features, such as Bluetooth®, navigation system with 5-inch touch-screen display, Satellite Radio and an iPod®/USB interface.

The new Nissan Versa Sedan's interior volume of 90.0 cubic feet and trunk volume of 14.8 cubic feet (104.8 cubic feet total) are intended to not only look great on a specifications sheet - the passenger and cargo spaces have been configured for real-world use. Nissan Versa Sedan has, for example, more rear legroom than some mid-size sedans - trumping even luxury cars such as the Lexus LS460, BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. And the trunk design focuses on useable space, taking into consideration everything from the size of the hinges to the shape of the sidewalls. A 60/40-split fold-down rear seat is offered on SL models for even greater versatility.

Other available interior features include trip computer, power windows with driver's one-touch down, speed-sensing auto door locks, remote trunk release lever and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Two interior colors are available, Sandstone and Charcoal.

The Nissan Versa Sedan's new exterior design is also a departure from most current compact sedans, offering a fresh, refreshing design character that is both sophisticated and highly aerodynamic.

To achieve the new Nissan Versa Sedan's upscale look, the designers gave the exterior shape a strong sense of volume, with a wide shoulder width and a smooth silhouette. In front, Versa Sedan features Nissan's new signature sedan grille design and jewel-like headlights.

The front end blends smoothly into the cabin, which offers flowing curves, while design elements such as the shape of the trunklid help give the new Nissan Versa Sedan excellent aerodynamics, including a low coefficient of drag of just 0.31.

In addition, to help ensure superb functionality, fresh ideas were addressed in the initial stage between the designers and the engineering team. For example, the indented line in the middle of the Nissan Versa Sedan's sweeping roofline is not just a design feature, but a functional innovation that helps reduce the amplitude of the roof panel vibrations in order to create a quieter cabin interior without the use of reinforcement devices called "mass bumpers."

Other exterior features include a fixed roof antenna, body-color front and rear fascias and available chrome-accented grille, blacked-out B-pillar, chrome door handles and front fog lights.

The 2012 Versa Sedan is offered in eight exterior colors, including Metallic Blue, Blue Onyx, Super Black, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Red Brick, Fresh Powder and Titanium - which has previously been reserved for the Nissan GT-R among Nissan models.

Next-Generation Efficiency and an All-New V Platform
One of the biggest challenges in designing a compact sedan, of course, is where to put everything - people, cargo, engine, transmission and other mechanical components. Often the solution is to gather a fraction of an inch here, a fraction there and hope they add up to a usable benefit. For the new Nissan Versa Sedan, the approach was a little more radical - create a totally new global platform and drivetrain, reducing the size of engine and transmission, reducing the number of component parts and reducing platform weight.

"It's unusual to develop a totally new platform for a vehicle in only its second generation, yet when driven by a culture of innovation, such investments are easy to make," explains Castignetti.

The 2012 Versa Sedan's all-new front-wheel drive global "V" platform, designated "V" for Versatile, utilizes nearly 20 percent fewer platform components and weighs around 150 pounds less than the previous "B" platform. While retaining the same 102.4-inch wheelbase and 66.7-inch width as the previous generation Nissan Versa Sedan, the new model is 1.2 inches lower in height (59.6 inches) and 0.6 inches shorter in overall length (175.4 inches). The biggest dimensional gain, however, is in the visible gain in trunk length - provided by a more compact engine/transmission design that allows for a 2.7-inch increase in rear overhang (the distance from the center of the rear tire to the rear bumper).

The second-generation 1.6-liter HR16DE 4-cylinder engine includes a range of cutting-edge technologies, making it one of the most advanced powerplants in class. For example, while the average engine uses only one injector per cylinder to inject fuel, the new Nissan Versa Sedan engine is equipped with two streamlined injectors mounted near the inlet valve for each cylinder. This dual injector system allows a wider injection of fuel, with the smaller nozzles delivering a finer spray (approximately 57 percent finer than the previous generation single injector design's particle size) to help achieve stable combustion.

The new compact, lighter weight engine also utilizes a twin Continuously Variable Timing Control (CVTC) system mounted on both intake and exhaust ports (versus conventional CVTC systems which are mounted only on the intake port), similar to the system used on the flagship Nissan Maxima. Using a CVTC on the outlet port increases thermal efficiency, decreases inhalation resistance and offers an approximate four percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

Other enhancements include the addition of a piston oiling jet, tuning of the piston top shape and expansion of the exhaust manifold diameter.

The new 1.6-liter engine is rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm.
The Nissan Versa Sedan is available with a 5-speed manual transmission (1.6 S model only) and with a next-generation Xtronic CVT™ transmission. The CVT allows continuous change of the transmission gear ratio by connecting the two pulleys with a metallic belt and changing their diameter by using hydraulic pressure. The new CVT design adds an auxiliary gearbox using planetary gearing, helping improve efficiency.

The CVT also features a transmission ratio of 7.3:1, which is broader than those of conventional CVTs and even typical 7-speed automatic transmissions. Friction is reduced by about 30 percent, weight by about 13 percent and overall size by about 10 percent versus the previous Nissan Versa Sedan CVT design.

Nissan Versa also offers low rolling resistance P185/65R15 all-season tires with available 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Fuel economy for the 2012 Versa Sedan is estimated at 30 mpg City, 37 mpg Highway and 33 mpg Combined with the CVT transmission (27/36/30 mpg with the 5-speed manual transmission) (preliminary estimates).

All 2012 Nissan Versa Sedans are equipped with an independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension, with front and rear stabilizer bars. Other standard equipment includes Electric Power Steering and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes. An Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) is also standard on all Nissan Versa Sedan models.

In addition, the new Versa will be the first Nissan model in the United States branded with the PUREDRIVE™ designation. PUREDRIVE will be used on models utilizing Nissan's most advanced technologies to promote eco-friendly driving and lower CO2 emissions.

Standard safety features found on every 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags and front seat side-impact supplemental air bags for chest protection), seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.

Additional safety features include standard LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system, child safety rear door locks, child seat upper tether anchors and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).

Summer 2011 On-Sale Date
The all-new 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan will be available in three well-equipped models when it goes on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in summer 2011 - Versa Sedan 1.6 S (offered in 5MT and CVT versions), Versa Sedan 1.6 SV (CVT only) and Versa Sedan 1.6 SL (CVT only).

Along with the 1.6 S model's many standard features, the 1.6 SV adds cruise control, Fine Vision instrumentation, chrome grille accents, body-color dual power remote-controlled sideview mirrors, upgraded cloth seats, power windows and more.

Nissan Versa Sedan 1.6 SL models add 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lights, variable intermittent wipers, chromed inside door handles, 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel audio controls, USB/iPod® connectivity, upgraded audio system, door-linked map lights and more.

Just three options packages are offered: the Cruise Control Package (1.6 S CVT only); the SV Convenience Package (1.6 SV only) with Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded audio, iPod® control, map lights and front passenger vanity mirror. The SL Tech Package (1.6 SL only) adds the Nissan Navigation System with XM NavTraffic® (XM® subscription required, sold separately) and 5-inch color touch-screen display and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately).

The 2012 Versa Sedan will be manufactured at Nissan's Aguascalientes, Mexico assembly plant that also builds Nissan Sentra models for the United States market.
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ford Kuga, 2013

 
 
 
 
 
  •  Ford Kuga, 2013

The all-new Ford Kuga, unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, builds on the huge success of the current model and introduces new technologies as well as a more streamlined, stylish and spacious design.

Technological improvements include the introduction of a hands-free automatic tailgate which can be opened and closed simply by sweeping a foot under the rear bumper.

"Innovative technologies like the hands-free automatic tailgate clearly set new Kuga apart from its competitors," said Ford of Europe's chairman and CEO, Stephen Odell. "But more importantly they provide customers with everyday advantages. All-new Kuga is more spacious, dynamic and capable than the current model, which continues to be popular with our European customers."

Ford's advanced voice control, device integration and connectivity interface SYNC will also be available from launch. It will include Emergency Assistance, which upon detecting airbag deployment or activation of the emergency fuel shut-off within the car, uses the on board GPS locator and Bluetooth-paired device to set up an emergency call and provide GPS co-ordinates, in the local language, for the emergency response.

A range of driver assistance technologies including the parallel parking aid Active Park Assist, and sensor-based Blind Spot Information System, which indicates with a warning light in the door mirror that a potential hazard is in the driver's blind spot, will also be available.

The all-new Ford Kuga features 82-litres more boot-space than the current model, while the rear seats fold flat at the touch of a button.

Ford of Europe's executive design director, Martin Smith said: "We've evolved the vehicle to incorporate more space and a faster silhouette, a more precise execution and a higher quality feel."

The smart Ford Kuga AWD system pre-emptively reassesses conditions 20 times faster than it takes to blink an eye, readjusting the AWD power split to give the driver the best blend of handling and traction. Dynamics and cornering control are improved by the introduction of the Torque Vectoring Control (TVC) system first found on the new Focus.

Engines available from launch include 140PS and 163PS versions of Ford's popular 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine, with Ford Powershift automatic gearbox an option. Ford Kuga will also offer the 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, already available in Ford Focus and C-MAX and impressing with its strong torque delivery and high fuel efficiency.

The Ford Kuga aligns with the One Ford strategy as a global vehicle, on sale worldwide, including North America, where it is badged Escape. One of ten cars to be built on the same C-segment platform as the new Ford Focus, European customers can expect the all-new Kuga in late 2012.
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Audi A4 Avant, 2013

 
 
 
 
 
  •  Audi A4 Avant, 2013

A bestseller has become even more attractive: Audi has updated the A4 series. New solutions for efficiency, driving dynamics and infotainment, along with an even more attractive design, attest the "Vorsprung durch Technik" achieved by the A4 Sedan, the A4 Avant, the A4 allroad quattro and the S4.

Design
The A4 is Audi's bestseller - for 39 years now and in its eighth generation. The brand has sold ten million such models in total. The Audi A4, with its elegance, sportiness and emotional appeal, forms the centerpiece of the Audi brand. And now the design has become even more clearly defined and striking in all models - the Sedan, the Avant, the allroad quattro and the S4.

The new look further accentuates the horizontal lines at the front end. The engine hood is more arched, the upper corners of the single frame grille are tapered, and the cross ribs and the Audi rings are highlighted three-dimensionally. The grille is painted gray, with high-gloss black on the six-cylinder models or in combination with the S line exterior package. The redesigned bumpers are striking with their angular air inlets, their revised grilles and the flat front fog lights. The Audi A4 allroad quattro is distinguished by its grille's horizontal chrome applications and by the round fog lights.

The headlights have also changed, with a slight wave at the bottom edges, and a re-arranged interior. Xenon plus headlights are available from Audi on request. The LED daytime running lights form a narrow, optically homogeneous band that remains open in the vicinity of the xenon lens. The adaptive light together with dynamic and static cornering lights are available on request.

The tail lights reflect the shape of the headlights, and in combination with xenon plus have homogeneous strips of LEDs. The bumper with its diffuser insert has been redesigned, with the exhaust system always terminating in two tailpipes.

There is a selection of 15 paint finishes, including four new tones. The Sedan and the Avant offer the S line exterior package, while the Avant also includes a roof spoiler.

The modifications have changed the dimensions only by a few millimeters. The Audi A4 Sedan and the Avant each have a length of 4.70 meters (15.42 ft), while the A4 allroad quattro and the S4 are 4.72 meters (15.49 ft) long. The wheelbases for all models are 2.81 meters (9.22 ft), and the width is 1.83 and 1.84 meters, respectively (6.0 and 6.04 ft). The height varies between 1.41 and 1.50 meters (4.63 and 4.92 ft) depending on the body version.

Interior
The interior of the Audi A4 models has also been refined. Audi offers a wide selection of new steering wheels with chrome and high-gloss inlays, with the leather sport steering wheel also featuring a flattened lower rim. The steering arm and the ignition key have been modified. High-gloss applications and the slender chrome trim at the controls add elegance to the interior.

The elaborate finish makes operation even simpler and more intuitive. The MMI navigation plus system now features four instead of eight buttons, with a script function integrated in the volume control dial. Other improvements concern operation of the automatic transmission, the efficient air conditioning systems, Audi drive select and the multifunction steering wheel. The seat heating and air conditioning are now directly operated at the respective buttons.

The high level of workmanship is as much a matter of course for Audi as a sure touch in the range of colors. All interior colors - except black - have been re-coordinated. The upholstery range has also been revised, with Fine Nappa leather replacing Valcona leather. The new, single-part cluster trim has been adapted in color to the interior, while the inlays are available in Aluminum Trigon, walnut dark brown and fine grain ash natural. Especially eye-catching is the Beaufort oak plywood inlay.

The interior of the S line sport package comes in black, refined with high-quality applications. 18-inch wheels or the optional 19-inch wheels and an S line sport suspension that lowers the body by 30 millimeters (1.18 in) complete the package. Audi exclusive and Audi exclusive line offer further individualized options.

The Audi A4 Sedan's luggage compartment still has its 480-liter capacity - 962 liters with the rear seats folded down (16.95 and 33.97 cubic ft). The A4 Avant and the A4 allroad quattro have 490 and 1,430 liters, respectively (17.30 and 50.50 cubic ft), with Audi offering an optional electrically operated tailgate for both models.

Engines
The new Audi A4's drive system sets new standards. The consumption levels have dropped by 11 percent on average, despite the increased power and torque of many of the engines. In the Sedan and the Avant each, Audi offers any of six TDI and four gasoline engines, with 23 possible engine-transmission combinations. All engines are supercharged direct-injection systems; the start-stop system and the recuperation system are standard throughout.

The TDI engines combine pulling power with pioneering efficiency, with the four-cylinder versions presenting extensive modifications. A new centrifugal pendulum-type absorber (in the 2.0 TDI with 100 kW, 120 kW or 130 kW with quattro drive) in the dual-mass flywheel makes engine running even more refined and quieter at low revs, for even earlier upshifting and savings of up to 0.2 liters per 100 km.

The most economical variant in the model family is the Audi A4 2.0 TDI with 100 kW (136 hp). In the Sedan, this engine needs only 4.2 liters of fuel per 100 km (56.0 US mpg) on average - a CO2 equivalent of just 112 grams per km (180.25 g/mile). The new A4 2.0 TDI with 120 kW (163 hp), also optimized for maximum efficiency, manages with 4.4 liters of diesel per 100 km (53.46 US mpg). This equates to 115 grams CO2 per km (185.07 g/mile). Both engines are available for the Sedan and the Avant.

In addition, three other four-cylinder diesel engines are available - with 88 kW (120 hp), 105 kW (143 hp) and 130 kW (177 hp). They can also be ordered for the allroad quattro, apart from the entry-level version. Three V6 TDI units complete the line. The 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) (not for the allroad quattro) is the most efficient six-cylinder engine in its class worldwide; in the A4 Sedan it consumes an average of just 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (48.0 US mpg). The second variant, the 3.0 TDI, generates 180 kW (245 hp), with an especially clean diesel version.

The Audi A4 series also presents the latest state of the art in gasoline engine technology. A new highlight of the TFSI family is the new 1.8-liter engine, available for the Sedan and the Avant. The four-cylinder engine delivers sporty thrust, with a power output of 125 kW (170 hp) and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque. The average consumption in the Audi A4 Sedan is limited to 5.6 liters per 100 km (42.0 US mpg), or 134 grams CO2 per km (215.65 g/mile). That is a decrease in consumption of 19 percent compared with the predecessor engine.

The new 1.8 TFSI engine features many innovations: in the control of its valves and their lift, in the novel thermal management system, in the fuel injection system, in the turbocharger and in the integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head. The engine weighs 3.5 kilograms (7.72 lb) less and its internal friction has sharply decreased.

The entry-level gasoline engine is the 1.8 TFSI with 88 kW (120 hp). The 2.0 TFSI - as the only spark-ignition engine also available in the Audi A4 allroad quattro - delivers 155 kW (211 hp). At the top of the line is the 3.0 TFSI in two variants. In the Audi A4 the V6, to follow a bit later, affords 200 kW (272 hp). In the sporty Audi S4 top model its power is an impressive 245 kW (333 hp).

Drivetrain
The wide range of drivetrains is typical of Audi. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Sedan and Avant models with front-wheel drive; most variants offer continuously variable multitronic as an option. The quattro versions have either the manual transmission or (as of the 2.0 TDI with 130 kW (177 hp)) the seven-speed S tronic on board. The Audi A4 allroad quattro employs a manual transmission or S tronic with all engine versions.

The innovative thermal management system shortens the warm-up phase of the manual transmission, among other things, and thereby reduces friction loss. All transmissions are distinguished by convenient and precise operation, high efficiency and a wide spread of gear ratios - the long ratios in the higher gears reduces fuel consumption, while the short ratios in the lower gears benefit the dynamics.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive is standard on the Audi A4 allroad quattro, and available in the Sedan and Avant from the 2.0 TDI with 105 kW (143 hp). The A4 family uses the self-locking center differential here. In regular driving operation it primarily transmits the engine torque to the rear wheels in the ratio of 40 to 60. If necessary, redistribution occurs within the shortest possible time. The torque vectoring function supplements the work of the center differential with finely incremented brake applications, to make handling even more precise and safer.

In the V6 quattro variants Audi offers the sport differential as a supplement, lending maximum precision and high traction to the A4 when cornering at the handling limits. The high-end component actively distributes the power between the rear wheels as required.

Chassis
The chassis of the Audi A4 is striking with its sporty precision, high ride comfort and superior safety. The mounts of the rear suspension control arms and the characteristics of the shock absorbers have been even more finely tuned. Most of the components of the five-link front suspension and the trapezoidal-link rear suspension are made of aluminum.

The electromechanical power steering is new in all models of the series. The direct gear ratios convey precise road contact; slight brake applications counteract pulling to the side on unevenly slippery surfaces. The electromechanical power steering requires no energy for straight-ahead motion, thereby reducing fuel consumption by up to 0.3 liters per 100 km. This is equivalent to a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 7 g/km (11.27 g/mile).

Another high-end feature that gives the Audi A4 a special status in its class is Audi drive select. In the basic package, the driver can switch the characteristic of the accelerator, the shift points of the automatic transmission, the power steering and the automatic air conditioning between the four modes "comfort," "auto," "dynamic" and "efficiency." If there is an onboard navigation system, the additional "individual" mode is also included.

Further modules are optional - adaptive cruise control or the cruise control system, the sport differential, the suspension with damper control and dynamic steering. By means of a superposition gear, the gear ratio is adjusted in a continuously variable manner depending on the driven speed; at the handling limits small interventions compensate for understeering and oversteering.

All front-wheel-drive versions of the Audi A4 feature the electronic stabilization program (ESP) with electronic limited slip differential. In dynamic driving the system further improves handling and safety by initiating minimum brake interventions at the front wheel that is subject to a reduced load on the inside of the curve. The large wheel brakes - with ventilated front and rear disks in many variants - offer excellent stopping power and can be precisely modulated.

All Audi A4 variants roll off the assembly line on elegant aluminum wheels. Depending on the engine version, they are 16 or 17 inches in size; tires with optimized rolling resistance belong to the 205/60 and 225/50 series. The A4 3.0 TFSI has 18-inch wheels with 245/40 series tires. The line of options ranges to 19 inches with 255/35 series tires. Four of the 18 available wheels are new designs. The A4 allroad quattro offers four independent designs.

Assistance systems
Audi offers highly developed assistance systems for the A4 family, for making driving even more relaxed. Standard on all variants is the new driver information system with break recommendation - it detects and draws the driver's attention to deviations from typical driving behavior on the basis of steering motions and other parameters.

The adaptive cruise control assistance system keeps the Audi A4 at a constant distance from the preceding vehicle at speeds between zero and 200 km/h (124.27 mph). If the threat of a rear-end collision becomes imminent at speeds below 30 km/h (18.64 mph), the system will execute a full brake application. Audi active lane assist supports the driver in keeping to his lane. A camera detects the lane markings and the system makes slight corrections to the steering if necessary. Audi side assist monitors the space behind the Audi A4 by radar and detects any vehicles in the blind spot, for example.

Infotainment systemsAudi offers a whole kit of state-of-the-art infotainment systems for its A4 series. The chorus CD radio with eight speakers is standard, while the MMI navigation plus system with large hard disk, color monitor, 3D graphics and DVD player forms the top of the line. Voice control and the optional digital audio broadcasting are further improvements to the system.

The high-end supplement to the MMI navigation plus system is the Bluetooth online car phone. Via Audi connect the system provides special services in the car, such as voice-controlled Google searches for points of interest and navigation with Google Earth pictures, along with Google Street View. Audi online traffic information, another such service, gives the driver the latest news on congestion along the selected route. The WLAN hotspot, another feature of the Bluetooth online car phone, allows passengers in the Audi A4 to surf the internet and send e-mails as they please with their mobile devices.

The Audi S4
The Audi S4, available in the Sedan and Avant versions, employs the most powerful engine in the line - the 3.0 TFSI with 245 kW (333 hp) and 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) torque. The Sedan's average fuel consumption is a mere 8.0 liters per 100 km (29.40 US mpg) - with an impressive performance: The Audi S4 accelerates in 5.0 seconds from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and achieves an electronically limited maximum speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).

The modified Audi S4 is identifiable from the changes to the headlights, the bumpers, the air inlets and colors. The interior also contains subtle changes in appearance. The S sport suspension and 18-inch wheels featured on the S4 deliver outstanding road grip.

Prices
The prices of the A4 have changed only slightly, despite the extensive upgrading. For example, the Audi A4 2.0 TFSI costs just 475 euros more - the sporty Sedan is now listed at 35,425 euros.
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