Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mercedes B55 Concept, 2011

 Mercedes B55 Concept, 2011

Spacious, innovative and safe, the compact models of the Mercedes A and B-Class score with their high practicality, and have found favour with more than 2.5 million customers as a result. An extraordinary one-off example has now been built at the Rastatt plant, and shows the B-Class in a completely new light: a B55 with a V8 engine and rear-wheel drive.
  •     The spatial concept of the B-Class was to remain unchanged.
  •     On the outside too, there were only to be minor indications of the conversion work.
  •     The interior was to be upgraded in line with the new vehicle class being aspired to.
  •     And the result of the conversion was to be in large measure suitable for day-to-day driving.
The exhaust system was a clever combination of various replacement part items, and took the form of a twin-pipe system emerging at the centre of the rear end. This is where the one-off, christened the B55 gets its typical, burbling sound - once the ignition key has been turned, all heads in the vicinity are guaranteed to swivel simultaneously in the direction of the B-Class.

Intensive perusal of parts catalogues also solved the second major transplantation problem, namely the drive axle at the rear. It emerged that the rear axle of an older W 210 series E-Class would be a very good geometrical fit.
For the brakes the team also struck gold in the replacement parts catalogue, this time in the C32 AMG listing. Perforated and internally ventilated disc brakes in size 345 x 34 mm were implanted at the front, with perforated and internally ventilated disc brakes in size 300 x 30 mm at the rear. The system was combined with striking 8.5 x 18 AMG sports wheels in a five-spoke design shod with 235/40 ZR 18 Y tyres at the front and 9 x 18 wheels with 255/35 ZR 18 Y tyres at the rear. The maximum steering angle at the front axle was limited to suit. The team had recourse to a typical item from the tuner's toolbox for the suspension, installing a coil-over suspension by K&W.

The seats in a leather/Alcantara combination were provided by the specialists at Johnson Controls, who are located on-site in Rastatt. The finishing touches were added to the B55 in the paint shop of the Rastatt plant. In trendy white with dark-painted radiator louvres and smoked headlamp lenses, the B-Class cuts an imposing figure but only gives a discreet indication of the powerpack concealed beneath its bonnet.
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Dodge Avenger RT, 2012


Dodge Avenger RT, 2012

The new 2012 Dodge Avenger R/T makes its worldwide auto show debut at the 2011 New York International Auto Show.
With exceptional V-6 fuel economy, the new Dodge Avenger is the perfect sedan for the customer who wants an enthusiastic driving performance at a great value. With a stiffened suspension, best-in-class 283 horsepower engine, center-mounted tachometer and performance-inspired interior and exterior design, the 2012 Dodge Avenger R/T ups the driving fun factor.

In 2011, Dodge introduced the new Dodge Avenger mid-sized sedan. With more standard features than other vehicles in the segment - an all-new interior, a new powertrain, including one of Ward's "10 Best Engines," the best-in-class 283 horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle, a significantly updated suspension that results in exceptional driving dynamics and an updated design - the Dodge Avenger is a vehicle packed with value and a style all its own.

The new for 2012 Dodge Avenger R/T model builds on all the improvements made to the 2011 model giving mid-size sedan customers an unmatched driving experience along with Dodge attitude.

Dodge engineers amplified the driving experience by giving the Dodge Avenger R/T a superlative powertrain and performance-tuned suspension. The 2012 Dodge Avenger R/T is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle, which has an EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

To make it stay true to the Dodge R/T DNA, engineers tuned the Avenger's suspension specifically to the R/T model. They increased roll stiffness by 18 percent, and spring rates by 17 percent in the front and more than 12 percent in the rear. Front strut damping rates are increased 15 percent, rear strut damping rates are increased almost 20 percent and the rear stabilizer bar diameter is 2 mm larger, increased from 19 mm to 21 mm. The suspension changes result in a spirited, performance sedan driving experience. With best-in-class 283 horsepower, and still delivering 29 miles per gallon on the highway, the Dodge Avenger R/T is unmatched in its class.

The Dodge Avenger R/T model exterior has unique exterior design elements, including a unique body-color grille with the Dodge badge, menacing black headlamp background, the "war paint" R/T decal on the front quarter panel and unique 18-in. painted aluminum wheels. The performance elements carry through to the rear of the vehicle with a spoiler and the "R/T" badge.

The interior of the 2012 Dodge Avenger R/T sports distinctive Aunde fabric with Z stripe fabric inserts, red stitching and aggressive leather-trimmed bolsters that hold drivers and passengers firmly in their seats when they put the Avenger to the test. The front seats are heated and sport an "R/T" graphic stitched in red on the front headrests. Drivers will notice a cockpit unlike other Avenger models. It features a unique gauge cluster with a center-mounted tachometer with the "R/T" graphic and SRT-inspired brake and accelerator pedal pads. The steering wheel is wrapped in perforated leather with red accent stitching. A Boston Acoustic sound system compliments the standard 276-watt touchscreen entertainment center with a 30-gigabyte hard drive. The excellent sound system and remote start are some of the many standard features on the Dodge Avenger R/T model.

The Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan is a 2011 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick, and provides customers an abundance of standard safety and high-tech features designed to keep drivers connected with their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Standard safety features include advanced multi-stage front passenger air bags, front seat side air bags, electronic stability control with electronic traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, supplemental side curtain air bags and LATCH child seat anchor system.

The Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan is available in four different configurations, and features a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The Avenger Express, Avenger Mainstreet, Avenger Heat and Avenger Lux are available in Dodge dealerships now. The 2012 Dodge Avenger R/T model will start arriving in dealerships in the third quarter of 2011.
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Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, 2011


Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, 2011

The new Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 builds on its original mantra of a rear-wheel-drive coupe that promises a balanced approach between form and function, with impressive straight-line acceleration and world-class ride and handling to go along with high-performance braking and the latest technology that delivers improved fuel efficiency.
The result is the newest version of the quickest coupe in the Dodge lineup packed with modern amenities and features performance enthusiasts will love.

Pumping out 470 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, the newest HEMI engine in the SRT product lineup provides an additional 90 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,900 rpm versus the previous 6.1-liter V-8 engine. The added torque allows for inspired standing starts and improved straight-line performance while new, performance-tuned motor mounts improve idle stability and ride control at any speed. An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing provides maximum low-end torque while optimizing high-end power.

The 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 is available with either the standard five-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick or an available Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission that was first offered on the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10. An improved heavy-duty clutch provides easier shift engagement.
Like the original 392 HEMI, the performance on the street and at the track is sure to turn heads with numbers such as 0-60 mph in high 4-second range and quarter-mile elapsed time in the high 12s.

New for 2011 is the Fuel Saver technology in automatic transmission equipped models, which allows the engine to operate economically on four cylinders or use all eight cylinders when needed.
Under the hood, unique valve covers with painted silver ribs and the "392 HEMI" logo give the HEMI powerplant a clean, yet aggressive look.
A redesigned SRT-tuned exhaust system results in a deeper, throatier note that will surely create envious onlookers both during daily commutes and at the race track.

Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition Exclusivity
To kick off production of the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, 1,492 Inaugural Edition models (1,100 for the U.S. and 392 for Canada) will be produced featuring exclusive exterior and interior content.
On the exterior, two colors and new full-body stripe combinations are available on all Inaugural Edition models: Deep Water Blue with standard Stone White stripes or Bright White Clear Coat with standard Viper Blue stripes. For the first time, the front grille features a body-color grille surround.

Unique "392 HEMI" badges flank both fenders touting the historically significant V-8 engine that remains true to its high-performance roots and powers the highest rated Challenger in terms of horsepower and torque ratings. From the rear, the Mopar quad exhaust tips deliver the performance exhaust note while adding the styling cue of a serious muscle car.
The Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition rides on standard 20-inch SRT exclusive wheels that feature a polished face and satin black painted pockets.
The race-inspired interior of the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition begins with standard Smooth Pearl White leather-trimmed seats and dual blue stripes accented by unique blue stitching. Each of the front seats features an embroidered "392" just below the headrest.

The center instrument panel, center stack and console bezels feature a silver metal brush finish for a clean yet high-performance look and feel. The door trim panels also feature silver metal brush grab handles inside Pearl White door bolsters with unique blue accents.
An exclusive, serialized "Inaugural Edition 392 HEMI" dash plaque, showing the sequential build number from 1 to 1,492 rounds out the exclusive interior content.

Ultimate Modern American Muscle Coupe
The exterior styling of the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 remains unmistakably Dodge, with proportions that evoke a bold, instantly recognizable vehicle that has a wide, stable stance on the road.

A larger front splitter and integrated front fender spats improve overall high-speed aerodynamics and overall balance. Top speed has been increased to more than 180 mph with the manual transmission (173 mph in the automatic). A newly modified front fascia chin spoiler improves aerodynamics and is accent painted for a more aggressive look. The rear deck-lid spoiler also is completed in matching body color.

New Interior Styling Will Delight
The precise performance handling of the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 comes to life through a new, right-sized, three-spoke steering wheel that features a carbon fiber accented leather wrap and silver metallic painted spokes at the 3-, 6- and 9 o'clock positions.

The trapezoidal instrument panel features a four-bomb gauge cluster with chromed accent rings and unique, new for 2011 SRT graphics. Inside the cluster, the SRT-exclusive Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with performance pages provides the driver with trip information, multimedia information from the Media Center radio, along with instant feedback on 0-60 mph time, 60-0 mph braking, G-forces, one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times.

The power lumbar-equipped front seats are standard on all Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 models. It's also much easier to get in and out of the rear seat. The driver's seat now features seatback tilt with memory and an easy to reach release handle, while the front-passenger seat adds tilt and slide with memory, which makes it even easier to use.
Maximum Performance Handling For Road And Track

New, highly damped shocks offer a firm ride that maintains the feel for everyday commuting while being fully capable for the more challenging situations. SRT engineers recalibrated the suspension geometry to improve Challenger's balance, cornering ability and steering responsiveness. Quicker steering ratios and new negative camber settings all around dramatically improve Challenger's appetite for high-speed cornering.
The performance SRT-tuned, fully-hydraulic steering system also has been improved with a new, heavy-duty pump and revised gearing to give drivers more direct feel and on-center response.
The result: the 2011 Challenger SRT8 392 is capable of .93g on the skid pad - the most of any production Challenger and on par with some of the world's best-handling performance coupes.
The original 392 HEMI engine was introduced in the new 1957 model year Chrysler and Imperial products. It replaced the 354 cubic-inch version of the original HEMI launched in 1951.Compared with the 354 engine, the 392 was completely revised and improved, with larger valves and ports, a beefier block and crankshaft and improved bearings. In short, the 392 HEMI, often affectionately referred to simply as the "92," was perfect for drag racing.
More than a few racers at that time immediately enhanced the performance of the newest HEMI by bolting on six or eight carburetors, installing new camshafts, etc., and went racing.

Racing legend Don 'Big Daddy" Garlits ran a 392 in his infamous Swamp Rat I dragster at record speeds of faster than 180 mph on nitro with no supercharger. Garlits also used a 392 HEMI to officially break the 200-mph barrier when his Swamp Rat went 201.34 mph at Atco, N.J., in 1964.
However the 392's success went beyond the drag strip. It also set records at the Bonneville Salt Flats and in boat racing. Drag racing boats were no different than their land-based counterparts in the use of the 392. Famous HEMI engine builder Keith Black was better known on the water than on the land, until he teamed up with Tommy Greer and hired Don "The Snake" Prudhomme to dominate Top Fuel in California in the early 1960s using a 392 HEMI.

After 1958, the 392 HEMI was gone as a production engine, but it still remains a legend. Collectors are now preserving many historic 392-powered race cars and hot rods and proudly displaying them on show car circuits.
In 2007, Mopar - Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand - helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original 392 by launching a modern, crate engine version of the 392 HEMI.
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Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 Roadster, 2011

Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 Roadster, 2011

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 Roadster, a motorsport-inspired special edition, brings a new dimension of sporting prowess and dynamic ability to the V8 Vantage range.
Successor to the special edition V8 Vantage N400 of 2007, the Vantage N420 is based upon the standard 4.7-litre, 420bhp, 180mph V8 Vantage and is available as a Coupe or Roadster, and with a six-speed manual or optional Sportshift automated manual transmission.

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage draws inspiration from the company's experiences at the Nürburgring 24-hour race. In the 2006 running of the annual Nürburgring endurance classic amongst a field of mostly motorsport homologated cars, Aston Martin entered a near-standard, road-registered V8 Vantage. Driven by a team of employees, including Aston Martin's CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, the V8 Vantage - named 'Rose' by the team - finished 4th in class and 24th overall from a field of more than 200 specialised racing cars.

Since then Aston Martin has returned every year to compete in this gruelling endurance race, scoring a string of class victories and podiums with road-registered V8 and V12 Vantages and most recently the new four-door Rapide. Not only has this racing success spawned a burgeoning V8 Vantage GT4 customer programme run by Aston Martin Racing, but lessons learned in racing at the Nürburgring has led to aerodynamic and other performance developments being fed back into Aston Martin's road cars.

A generous standard specification and some unique options ensure the special edition Aston Martin V8 Vantage is both exclusive and distinctive, while also offering a 27kg weight saving - achieved through the application of carbon fibre - over the standard V8 Vantage.
On the outside, wider sills combine perfectly with a carbon fibre splitter, side strakes and diffuser, while bold 10-spoke diamond turned alloy wheels complete with gloss black finish, black mesh vents and 'Graphitic' tailpipe finishers complete the co-ordinated look.

the Aston Martin V8 Vantage offers an Iridium interior package, with graphite instruments, leather or Alcantara® steering wheel, special N420 sill plaques and lightweight carbon fibre seats, complete with 'Race Track' stitching as in the V12 Vantage. Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and Park Distance Control are also standard.

Cementing the Aston Martin V8 Vantage's credentials as a special edition V8 Vantage tailored for the most discerning and enthusiastic drivers, it is fitted with the normally optional Sports Pack. This package combines revised springs, dampers and anti-roll bars for even more responsive and dynamic handling, while retaining the V8 Vantage's renowned poise, balance and long distance ability. Finally, a new sports exhaust system delivers a suitably rousing soundtrack.

 Pairing bold body colours with contrasting hues for the cant rails and radiator grille surround, they celebrate the marque's racing heritage. All of the company's successful N24 Vantage racers are celebrated, with 'Rose' yellow, 'Kermit' green and 'Elwood' blue all featuring in the collection along with traditional Aston Martin Racing green. The white and black car shown in the accompanying images wears the equally striking 'Asia Cup' livery.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420 prices start from £96,995.
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