Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jaguar XJ Sport Pack, 2012

  •  Jaguar XJ Sport Pack, 2012

The award-winning Jaguar XJ flagship - which combines elegance, drama and sporting prowess - is now available with optional Sport and Speed Packs to further emphasise the performance aspect of its character.

With the XJ, Jaguar has created an entirely new template for the luxury performance saloon. The XJ seamlessly blends sporting potential, dynamic driving abilities and luxurious appointments; a class-leading combination that has gathered plaudits worldwide. The Sport and Speed packs further unlock the performance potential of the XJ both aesthetically and dynamically.

The Sport Pack - available throughout the XJ range - comprises a number of exterior and interior design options that clearly underline the assertive side of the car's personality. Externally the appearance of the XJ has been made even more dramatic with the addition of aerodynamically optimised changes to the bodywork and an alloy wheel design specific to the Sport Pack.

The functional aerodynamic changes of the Sport Pack allow supercharged XJ models to be additionally offered with the Speed Pack, which raises the limited top speed from 155mph (250km/h) to 174mph (280km/h).

The Design
The elegantly integrated design changes that comprise the Sport Pack are not simply cosmetic, they allow Jaguar to offer the Speed Pack option, transforming the supercharged XJ models into the fastest saloons the company has ever built.

The result of extensive research in the wind tunnel and on track, the front of the car gains an aerodynamic splitter beneath the bumper to direct air beneath the car to reduce lift, and at the rear the bootlid lip has been extended to ensure a clean separation of air from the trailing edge of the bodywork. While ensuring optimal stability at high-speed, the Sport Pack maintains the standard XJ's sleek 0.29Cd aerodynamic figure.

The changes have been reinforced with a number of cosmetic additions that clearly distinguish the Sport Pack-equipped cars from other models. The bold Jaguar radiator grille, a key feature in the XJ's assertive face with its strong 'rear view mirror recognition' factor gains a gloss black mesh finish with the same treatment applied to the lower air opening and side vents.

Red painted brake calipers emblazoned with the Jaguar name are mounted behind new 20-inch 'Venom' alloy wheels with a diamond-turned sparkle silver finish to their eye-catching five split-spoke design. Newly designed split twin tailpipes (not available from launch) will leave other drivers in no doubt as to what car has just passed them.

The Interior
Reflecting the exterior styling changes and befitting its performance oriented remit, the Jaguar XJ Sport Pack offers interior changes that give driver and passengers a heightened sense of occasion and an indication of the dynamic abilities available.

The front seats are Jaguar's Performance version, which offer superb support for spirited driving. Trimmed in softgrain leather these offer a huge range of adjustment - including the enlarged side bolsters - to create a perfectly tailored driving position. Active ventilation supplies heated or chilled air as required to each individual front seats. At the driver's feet sit purposeful machined stainless steel pedals engraved with the Jaguar name.

The rear seats have been trimmed to match the front pair and the Sport specification will be offered in two purposeful colourways of Jet over Jet or Jet over Ivory. The eye-catching Piano Black trim that highlights certain touch surfaces in the XJ is contrasted in the Sport specification by subtly applied carbon-fibre highlights.


The XJ benefits from superb aerodynamics and Jaguar's innovative lightweight aluminium architecture to offer weight savings of up to 150kg over its competitors. This offers tangible benefits in terms of economy, emissions, driving dynamics, agility and, of course, performance.

The Sport Pack is available on nearly all engine variants, including the muscular twin-turbo diesel, market-specific 3.0 V6 petrol and naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre AJ-V8 where it serves to emphasise the sporting character and driver involvement that are core strengths of every XJ model.

On supercharged AJ-V8 models, the Sport pack can be combined with the Speed Pack, which raises the electronically limited maximum speed from 155mph (250km/h) to 174mph (280km/h).

With such prodigious power already available from the supercharged petrol engines, no increase was necessary to achieve the higher top speed. The only changes necessary were a recalibrated engine management system, reworked software for the innovative virtual instrument display and adjustment to the tyre pressure monitoring system to take into account the heat generated by sustained high-speed motoring.
Read More

Morgan 3 Wheeler, 2012

  • Morgan 3 Wheeler, 2012
The Morgan 3 Wheeler is launched to bring the fun and passion back to personal transport. Lift the safety catch from the "bomb release" starter, hear the massive twin cylinders detonate and choose your favourite destination.

The iconic design of the Morgan Threewheeler has been updated with 21st Century technology. The powertrain is a V Twin fuel injected engine mated to a Mazda 5 speed (and reverse) gearbox. This provides smooth "get in and drive" convenience with the thrill of extreme performance. The car is a fusion of old and new.

Safety is paramount with a reinforced tubular chassis and twin rollbars for driver and passenger. A sturdy V belt provides traction to the reinforced rear tyre. Some things have not changed. The Morgan Threewheeler still holds long distance speed records for one litre cars set in the 1930's so why change the shape? The pronounced bullet shape and the exposed chassis and aluminium tub are accompanied by the aeroplane profile of the car's sides. 

The shape is of a gentle yet powerful missile at the front leading to a beetle back tail at the rear. From the design viewpoint, the focus was set on making the car as close to an aeroplane as possible, while retaining handy extra space for driver, passenger and a holdall in the rear. But above all the Morgan 3 Wheeler is designed for one purpose alone, to make driving fun. A leather padded cockpit complete with aircraft instrumentation adds to the sense of flying on the road. The car is easy to control with compact dimensions offering a perfect view ahead and to the rear. The car seems to respond as much to thought as physical input.

Dynamism is further enhanced by what the Morgan design team calls a sporty "race on Sunday" design philosophy. The car's lines do not end abruptly but instead flow organically and echo the smooth shapes of a racetrack. The smooth profile makes the car look sleeker and lower. The sculpted bonnet and boot enhance the aerodynamic feel and the short overhangs front and rear emphasize the sports car sense of purpose.

Morgan chassis experts have worked on the driving experience of the new Morgan 3 Wheeler with the same passion given to the development of any new Morgan. The result is a driver's car with properties that do the sporting appearance full justice. The weight of the engine is counterbalanced by the mass of the passengers and the car has a planted feel with a very low centre of gravity to ensure it remains glued to the road. During the development process, the chassis team worked on the new Morgan 3 Wheeler in parallel with the forthcoming Morgan EvaGT. The result is a solution that features changes and refinements to virtually every single detail that affects a car's cornering capabilities.

During its first year of production, the new Morgan 3 Wheeler will be available with a V twin from specialist engine builder S & S. The car is approved by US and European road transport authorities for safety and emissions. With an economical 115 horsepower the motor provides maximum power at minimum revs. Big torque spells effortless hillclimbing ability. The current focus of the Morgan Motor Company to cut CO2 emissions and low fuel consumption is very much part of the rationale behind the launch of this car. The time is right for Morgan to take a new look at the combination of acceleration, on road performance and economy. The time is right for Morgan to relaunch the 3 Wheeler.

Bespoke extras

Bespoke leather and paint are available at extra cost as on the classic Morgan. A Polished engine, stainless steel tailpipes, cowl, polished cowl,headlamps and roll hoops are also extra cost options for a more classic look.

Exciting graphic packs to compliment the Sport "race on Sunday" philosophy

High quality decals are available to give the owner the opportunity to boost the sporty attitude of the new Morgan 3 Wheeler. These include special designs including US military and British Air Force inspired logos, oval racing numbers and stripes, a fearsome shark nose, chequered winner's bonnet, official national flags and the Morgan wings.
Read More

Mitsubishi ASX, 2011

  •  Mitsubishi ASX, 2011

The Mitsubishi Motors extends the concept one notch below (C-segment) with the introduction of a smaller and sportier sibling: the all-new Mitsubishi ASX compact crossover. Another "global car for the regions" from Mitsubishi Motors and therefore named and specified accordingly, Mitsubishi ASX was first launched in Japan in February 2010 (as "RVR"). After its European premiere at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, it will be retailed in Europe end of spring 2010.

From Concept-cX to ASX reality
Sharing the same evocative "Kawasemi Blue" introduction color, the new Mitsubishi ASX represents a marketable interpretation of the Concept-cX show car, unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, whose success convinced MMC's management to turn it into a full-fledged production car.

Longer by nearly 20 cm (4.295 m vs the concept's 4.11 m), slightly higher (+ 6.5cm) and wider (+ 2cm), and featuring a more upright tailgate all for the sake of optimum packaging, Mitsubishi ASX shares nonetheless Concept-cX's basic design theme as well as its passenger car-like sure-footed stance.

Suggested by the gaping "Jet Fighter" grille - a nod to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.'s F-2 jet fighter and now a trademark feature for nearly all Mitsubishi Motors on-road vehicles in Europe (Colt, Lancer and Outlander) - this car-like "attitude" was a key direction for Mitsubishi designers: unencumbered by any marketing pressure to simulate an SUV look through heavy detailing (no need to with Pajero/Montero/Shogun and L200 already in the range...), they further developed Concept-cX's own vocabulary towards a less polarizing yet sharp, expressive and finely executed "sports hatch" with proper presence & substance.

Retaining Concept-cX's "compact wedge" design concept with its thrusting side character line, they optimized the overall shape, making the best use of a 14.5 cm longer wheelbase (2.67 m vs. 2.525 m) to create a lower and more balanced silhouette with a better integration of the bulging wheel arches. Accordingly, the roof line now flows down toward the rear of the car to enhance aerodynamic performance (Cd: 0.32) and to further highlight its dynamic profile.

At the front, the Jet Fighter grille appears identical to Lancer's or Outlander's. However, it is now framed within a more substantial looking clip, itself merging with a sculptured bonnet featuring a double bulge: this serves the dual purpose of contributing to better pedestrian safety, short overhang notwithstanding, and also to make the body more visible to the driver, improving maneuverability around town.

At the rear, the purpose was both to lower and widen the silhouette, whilst avoiding any sort of chunkiness resulting from the short overhang, hence the sharp aerodynamic lip at the bottom of the backlight, the slim slanted combination lamps as well as the wide trapezoidal license plate recess running in between.

The dynamic quality
Inside, the concept of sharp, sporty elegance continues with a clear emphasis on form, trim and material rather than the usual endless pursuit of fantasized SUV-ness.

Consistent with the exterior, Mitsubishi ASX's cabin reflects a clear sense of "dynamic quality" as expressed through the hooded meter cluster shared with Outlander, the soft padding around the center instrument panel itself extending to the door trim or the carefully applied silver accents either side of the audio system or along the door panels.

At the same time, items such as the chromed round module circling the shift lever, the motorbike inspiration for both the silver accents either side of the console and for the meters.

The texturing and materials were chosen to achieve the same right touch and appearance. Although the interior color scheme is based on a black monotone, contrasting use of textures and materials was made to generate dynamism.

Particular attention was paid to the soft trim for areas touched by the occupants. This led to the development of a new type of two-tone textured padding with contrastive undulations for a smart, sporty feel.

The same approach prevailed for the seat upholstery where Mitsubishi designers and their partners of the textile industry created a new embossed woven material to add to the overall sense of sporty dynamic quality, while adding visual 3D drama to the understated black interior.

The Lancer + Outlander
The latest vehicle developed from MMC's "Project Global" mid-size platform, Mitsubishi ASX aims at blending Lancer's passenger car on-road attitude with Outlander's commanding driving position and convenience of its clever AWC electronically-controlled 4-Wheel Drive system.

Sharing Outlander's long wheelbase of 2.67 m, the 34.5cm shorter Mitsubishi ASX essentially carries over most of Outlander's lower structure as well as the basic architecture of its chassis (MacPherson front suspension, multi-link rear suspension) suitably tuned for this smaller and lighter vehicle.

A notable improvement is the introduction of an electric power steering mechanism to further lower emissions, also fitted with both tilt and telescopic adjustments, the latter being a first for Mitsubishi Motors' current range of vehicles.

Courtesy of the all-inclusive electronic architecture of its "Project Global" platform, Mitsubishi ASX offers the full palette of active & passive safety devices, including (availability according to model and market):
  •  160° Super-HiD "Wide Vision" xenon headlamps
  •  Active Stability Control
  •  Traction Control
  •  Hill Start Assist system
  •  ABS
  •  Electronic Brake Distribution
  •  Brake Assist
  •  Emergency Stop signal System
  •  7 airbags (incl. driver knee airbag)
  •  Low impact MIVEC Diesel
The latest contributor to MMC's green tech strategy, Mitsubishi ASX will also inaugurate an all-new family of all-aluminum DOHC 16v 4-cylinder Common rail Direct injection "low impact" Euro 5 Diesel engines, jointly developed by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), the latter providing - amongst others - engineering expertise gained through experience in industrial and marine Diesel engines, as well as in gas turbine technologies.

Initially offered in 1.8 liter form - first with Mitsubishi ASX and later on during the second half of 2010 in the related Lancer family - this "4N13" set of powerplants is a derivative of MMC's recent petrol engine and features innovative technologies, including a new variable geometry turbocharger as well as high-efficiency combustion characteristics that stem from the application of MMC's and MHI's own analytic technology.

Highlight of this technological showcase is Mitsubishi's proprietary MIVEC variable valve timing system: a world first for passenger car Diesel engines.

Of strategic importance in Europe against high profile competitors in a very competitive segment, the very smooth running 1,798 cc "4N13" Mitsubishi low impact Diesel MIVEC engine will be further supported in its environmental mission by the adoption - standard on all versions - of a full ClearTec low CO2 package:
  •  "Automatic Stop & Go" system
  •  Closed-flow Diesel particulate filter
  •  Electric power steering
  •  Generation Control System
  •  LED rear lamps (for low consumption)
  •  Low resistance tires

The Mitsubishi ASX  proposed with a new 1.6 liter DOHC 16v MIVEC engine: another in-house development, this time of Mitsubishi's own 1.5 liter engine as fitted to Colt. In this Mitsubishi ASX application, it will also be made available with the full ClearTec package and be offered with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Lounge style
Stylishly restrained, Mitsubishi ASX's interior is also a very pleasant place to lounge in, whether in its layout, its functionality or its features.

Making the best usage of its long 2.67 m wheelbase, the 5-seater Mitsubishi ASX brings a comprehensive set of utility features well suited to both its compact size and the likely loading needs of its potential customers in its 416 L at rear seat back angle at 17 degrees (forward position) (393L at rear seat back angle at 23 degrees) trunk:
= Adjustable rear back rests
= Rear armrest with:
      o ski slot
      o cup-holders
= 60:40 split rear seat,
= Easy-fold rear bench,
= Under floor tray (approx. 30l),
= Convenience hooks + lighting

The lounge feeling is first felt thanks to Mitsubishi ASX's panoramic glass roof: a first for Mitsubishi Motors, this wide UV-proof glass panel is equally enjoyable during day time (as a sun roof) as night time (as a moon roof), courtesy of the ambient "Moonlight" LED lighting that frames it. This panoramic glass roof comes standard with a power sunshade.

Further up the line, automatic air conditioning, rain & dusk sensors, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, rear parking monitor, Bluetooth & USB connectivity, privacy glass, Super HiD "Wide Vision" xenon headlamps, keyless operation system, engine stop-start button, leather upholstery, Mitsubishi Multi-Communication System with HDD navigation system & music server, Rockford Fosgate Premium audio, etc are also available with Mitsubishi ASX.
Read More

Friday, May 4, 2012

Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel Concept, 2012

  • Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel Concept, 2012

6 months after the idea first surfaced, the Infiniti FX designed for reigning Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel is unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt International Motor Show. What began as a chat between the Red Bull Racing driver and Infiniti's Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura, at the 2011 Geneva Show in March is revealed, in concept form, as Infiniti's fastest car yet and, probably, the most exclusive crossover ever made.

The lightweight components and features such as Rear Active Steering for maximum agility, the V8 FX50S Premium - Infiniti's flagship as well as its best-selling model in some markets - provides the ideal starting point for the Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel version. Changes including increased power, lower weight, derestricted top speed, longer gearing, increased downforce and lowered and stiffer suspension turn what is already a sports car among crossovers into a crossover supercar - the 300km/h reality of the World Champion's vision.

Design and aerodynamics
As Sebastian says, the first priority for his ultimate FX was to give it more performance. However, whether on the racetrack or the road, speed is just one part of the mix that goes to make a world-beater. All the car's systems, and in particular the aerodynamics, must be up to the task. In the Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel version they are.

The car's revised aerodynamics profile is the result of changes made by Infiniti designers and engineers after meetings involving Sebastian and Red Bull Racing personnel. A Red Bull Racing RB7 was even shipped to Japan to provide real life inspiration for the team bringing the World Champion's road car dream to life.

Riding 20mm lower than standard and featuring a more aerodynamic, as well as more distinctive, Essence-inspired grille, the most obvious change is the addition of a carbon rear wing. Tests show that it delivers everything that its looks promise - and Sebastian sought - in terms of increased down force, and stability, at the 300km/h speeds of which the Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel version is capable.

As well as a 30 per cent improvement in the coefficient of lift (Cl), the special FX boasts a 5 per cent lower coefficient of drag (Cd). Boosting down force while simultaneously cutting drag is one of the concept's major claims to fame. Even the door mirror housings have been shaped to increase down force.

Carbon is used for the splitter, sills, front grille, mirror covers and rear diffuser, trimming the weight of what is already one of the lighter SUVs in its size class. Design of the splitter and diffuser is inspired by the F1 car, as is the central rear fog light - just like an F1 car's rain light.

The wheels are 21-inch black multi spoke alloys with silver rims, designed exclusively for this car; they don't just look the part but also save weight over the standard 21-inch FX50 wheel. At 2049kg, the Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel version weighs 46kg less than a standard FX50S Premium.

Lower and even more distinctive with new LED daytime running lights set just below the front bumper section, the concept FX exudes dynamic power. The new look enhances the sports car-like proportions and makes the flowing profile even more seductive. Dark smoke lights back and front complete the look - along with Vettel logos on both sides and at the rear.

Mechanical changes
With an already potent 5.0-litre V8 under the bonnet, relatively little needed to be done to enable the world's most special FX to hit Sebastian Vettel's maximum speed target of 300km/h.
The first job was to free the car of its speed limiter which electronically restricts all other FXs to 250km/h. Even in standard form, with the VVEL V8 producing 390PS at 6500rpm, the car has plenty of performance beyond its artificial top speed, but even so more power had to be found to deliver 300km/h.

No radical engine reworking was necessary to gain the extra 30PS that takes the FX Vettel concept's power output to 420PS. A new exhaust system liberates some of the extra horsepower while a reprogrammed engine ECU takes care of the rest, with no discernible difference to the V8's response or efficiency. And it sounds better than ever.

In addition to the extra power is a longer final drive ratio to deliver 300km/h Autobahn speed without any detrimental effects on refinement. The longer overall gearing means the car is not as quick off the line as it could be - but at 5.6 seconds for 0-100km/h, two tenths of a second ahead of the standard car, no one is complaining. Least of all Sebastian Vettel.

Stiffer springs and re-rated dampers take the FX50's already highly focused sports chassis into a new area of precision control for the smooth-surface, high-speed driving for which the car exists. Essentially, however, making an FX to the World Champion's specification required no major changes. Like any FX in sporting S guise, the concept features dual-flow path (DFP) dampers with continuous damping control (CDC); the same wishbone front/multilink rear suspension, much of it constructed out of aluminium; opposed 4-piston (front), 2-piston (rear) calipers for the 355/350mm brake discs; and vehicle-speed variable rack and pinion steering.

Rear Active Steering, an important ingredient in any FX S's blend of agility with stability, plays a key role in ensuring handling fulfils the World Champion's requirements for a road car.

The bespoke carbon fibre exterior detailing is echoed in the FX's cabin by tailored panels of black carbon - real, not appliqué - on the doors and centre console. Highlights that would normally be silver chrome are treated to a special black chrome finish, while in true F1 style, Alcantara is used on the steering wheel and gearshift paddles. Special seats, with extra support, are covered in black quilted suede cloth finished with purple stitching and special "SV" logos. The material also features on the pillars, roof lining and sun visors.

A metal plate on the centre console featuring the World Champion's signature provides the unique finishing touch.

The luxury fittings, comprehensive features including Connectiviti+, one of the car world's most complete and easily understood infotainment systems, and the FX's award-winning range of safety technologies are all included. As standard of course. Infiniti believes that no one should be forced to pay for expensive extras - not even World Champions.
Read More

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, 2012

  •  Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, 2012
The expressive Mercedes C-Class Coupé sees Mercedes-Benz, now in its 125th year of corporate history, entering a new market segment and for the first time offering a compact, classic coupé. This youthful, sporty two-door car was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

The new model deploys the progressive technology featured on the soon to be launched new generation of the C-Class to deliver an impressive coupé format that combines pure fun at the wheel with exemplary efficiency. In terms of attitude, this debuting model is tailored to a customer group aged 35 to 45 for whom professional success, love of life and a strong sense of responsibility are all important.

The design: dynamic with classic coupé proportions
From the side, the new coupé beguiles the onlooker with its compact proportions, low silhouette (41 mm flatter than the saloon) with powerful shoulders and a narrow C-pillar in a classic three-box design. Typical coupé features include the short front overhang, long bonnet, steeply raked windscreen and long, stretched out roof. The cabin extends far beyond the rear axle over the rear window in its flat position to a sportily short tail end.

While the wedge-shaped, sloping beltline demonstrates affinity with the C-Class, its strong upsweep into the C-pillar is an entirely distinctive element. The final part of the beltline trim moves sharply upwards to meet the roofline trim. This upsweep not only adds a sporty flourish to the way the side windows look; the shaping at the bottom of the C-pillar also enhances the powerful shoulders.

Front and rear: truly a coupé, truly C-Class
At the front, the new coupé shares the same styling as the latest C-Class and yet still has its own twist. The front view is dominated by the prominent radiator grille surround including the bumper. The centre air intake opens upwards, forming a visual base unit for the radiator grille which has the double-louvre style typical of a coupé. Two chrome louvres extend left and right either side of the central star, tapering off at the outer edges and creating a sporty, arrow-shaped horizontal sweep which gives the front end a pronounced V-shape.

The side sections which extend from beneath the headlamps and blend into the feature lines along the vehicle flanks, thereby linking the front end with the sides. The side air intakes in the bumper featuring integrated, horizontal daytime running lamps are positioned low down, giving the coupé a road-hugging appearance. The shape of the clear-lens headlamps creates a dynamic impression, and acts together with the bonnet, radiator grille and bumper trim to reinforce the pronounced front section.

From the rear, the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé looks sportily short. Because the roof flows beyond the rear axle with the steeply raked rear window and fluid C-pillars, the appearance of length is reduced. A wide chamfer at the top of the boot lid, which is based on the side panel, highlights the rear's compactness. Positioning the tail lights as far apart as possible emphasises width. The particular impression of depth is achieved by a centrally located LED indicator, which appears to float in front of the red upper and lower light bands with their more deeply set LEDs. Continuous, horizontal light-catching contours in the bumper further accentuate the broad, deep-set effect. The AMG rear skirt between the exhaust system's tailpipe trim makes the rear end look lighter and gives the vehicle a distinctively sporty and dynamic quality.

In the UK the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé feature the AMG Sports Package as standard which further enhances the look of the car with AMG bodystyling and 18" AMG alloys.

The interior: highest quality with exclusive colour accents
The dashboard instrument panel features a strong, sporty and high-quality design. Three tube rings with a galvanised finish demonstrate the car's sporty credentials to the driver. As standard, the coupé comes with the new generation of three-spoke steering wheel with its chromed central spoke that first appeared on the new CLS. The touch surfaces of the controls are finely detailed and galvanised. The stepped top of the instrument cluster also accommodates the central display and continues onto the front passenger side as a discreet light-catching contour. The central, trapezoidal air vents and the round vents on the outside are highlighted in detail by galvanised trim. The control panel of the new-generation communication and information unit has silver-coloured keys. The combination of matt keys, high-gloss areas and a new thumbwheel design underlines the high perceived value of the interior.

A large section of trim is a high-quality part of the dashboard instrument panel. This extends from the centre air vents across the front passenger side to the outer air vent, emphasising the interior's generous proportions.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is a fully fledged four-seater featuring four sporty, comfortable integral seats. If desired, the backrests in the rear can be folded down to make the boot larger.

The new telematics generation: enhanced ease of operation and attractive good looks
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé features a new telematics generation which received its global premiere on the saloon and estate models. Major new features include greater operating convenience, larger displays, phone book transfer, display of SMS messages, wireless music reproduction via Bluetooth and a USB interface now accommodated in the centre armrest.

The multimedia system COMAND Online now provides internet access for the first time. When the car is stationary, customers are able to browse freely or surf to a Mercedes-Benz Online service whose pages load particularly rapidly and are also easy to use while on the move. The integrated services include weather information and a special destination search via Google, as well as the option of downloading a route that has been previously configured on a PC using Google Maps and sent to the car. The navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. New features include a 3D display with plastic city views. Also new: routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be saved or imported via an SD card and four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation.

The Becker MAPPILOT makes a low-cost navigation function, the pre-wiring for which will be standard in the UK is for the entry-level Audio 20 CD radio. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls and the Audio 20 display, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.

The drive system: plenty of performance, low fuel consumption
There is a choice of three petrol engines and two diesel powerplants to power the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé. All are equipped with direct injection and the ECO start/stop function as standard. All the engine variants are classed as BlueEFFICIENCY units, showing that they are particularly efficient and environmentally friendly in their use of fuel. All automatic versions feature the further-enhanced 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission (standard with the C 250 and C 350 petrol engines). The C 220 CDI and C 250 CDI diesel variants and the basic C 180 petrol engine come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard.

The top engine variant is the V6 petrol engine in the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY featuring the efficient BlueDIRECT method of injection. It delivers 306 hp and 370 Nm. Average fuel consumption is 41.5 mpg. The four-cylinder petrol engines have direct injection and are turbocharged, offering high performance and exemplary economy.

The most economical coupé model is the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with manual six-speed transmission and the standard ECO start/stop function. It has an average diesel consumption of 64.2 mpg. This corresponds to 117 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY contents itself with a combined diesel consumption of just 57.6 mpg. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 128 grams per kilometre.

The Chassis: agile handling and a high level of comfort
The AGILITY CONTROL suspension, which is standard equipment, complements the dynamic engines to perfection. This is based on an amplitude-dependent damping system: when driving normally with low shock absorber impulses, the damping forces are automatically reduced for a noticeable improvement in road roar and tyre vibration characteristics - but without any compromise in handling safety. When shock absorber impulses are greater, for example when cornering at speed or performing evasive manoeuvres, the maximum damping forces are set and the car is effectively stabilised. The AGILITY CONTROL suspension is complemented by a rack-and-pinion steering system. Speed-sensitive steering with variable centring and a constant steering ratio is standard in the UK.

Precision suspension: three-link front axle, multi-link independent rear suspension
The front axle has a three-link construction with McPherson spring struts. The lower control arm consists of two separate elements which serve as torque and cross struts and are both made of aluminium. The third link in the front suspension is the tie rod which connects the transverse steering gear to the wheels. The reinforced anti-roll bar is connected to the spring strut which is likewise actively involved in directing the front wheels.

With multi-link independent rear suspension, the wheel is attached to five flexibly mounted, independently acting control arms which restrict five of the available spatial movements: owing to this intelligent control arm construction, each rear wheel basically retains freedom of movement in one plane only, namely during controlled compression and rebound.

As part of the AMG Sports Package which is standard in the UK the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé features sports suspension and speed-sensitive sports steeringas standard as well.

The driver assistance systems provide warnings and intervene
With seven airbags as standard, belt tensioners and belt-force limiters for all seats, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé has extensive safety features. The airbags, which can deploy in milliseconds in the event of an accident, include front airbags and sidebags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag on the driver's side, and headbags. The side protection system - comprising headbag and thoraxbag - optimises the level of protection afforded to individual parts of the body. To protect pedestrians, the coupé has an active bonnet made of aluminium.

With a number of driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control, the coupé provides a comprehensive level of driver support and protection. The assistance systems are based on the latest radar, camera and sensor technology, and cover frequent accident causes such as driving too closely, fatigue and darkness.
Read More

Thursday, May 3, 2012

MG Zero Concept, 2010

  • MG Zero Concept, 2010

The MG Zero Concept has been unveiled to the world's media as one of the stars of the 2010 Beijing Automotive Show, now one of the world's most important automotive events.

The MG Zero Concept car has been developed by MG Global Design team, led by British MG Design Director Anthony (Tony) Williams-Kenny, based in Birmingham.

At around 4m in length, the MG Zero concept previews the design direction of the brand and demonstrates how MG can expand into this high- volume sector of the market. MG Zero reflects the latest trends in the market for vehicle size, styling and technology and is designed to show how MG will offer products that will appeal to a wide audience across the global market.

The MG Zero Concept  demonstrates the design and engineering capabilities of SAIC by showcasing a number of innovative features. The bold interior has clean and simple lines with high contrast flashes of accent colour. It uses the latest technology touch screens to allow occupants to interact with the world around them and features a striking 'floating console' design around the driver.

The high-tech materials are draw inspiration from ultra high-performance sports equipment and there is highly innovative use of interior lighting features to create real emotion in the cabin. The bold red-coloured illumination adds a touch of drama.

Commenting on the exterior style, Design Director Tony Williams said " This concept shows a bold, individual soul. The bonnet is formed around the famous octagonal badge, the graphics flow into striking lamps and the large lower grille completes the confident, sporty character. The body-side has a strong shoulder, a dynamic scalloped feature in the doors and flared arches to give a wide stance and strong road presence. The feature lines have been designed to give a strong relationship to the wheel arch demonstrating the fun nature of the cars dynamics."

The MG Zero Concept  explores the integration of the latest communications technology in the vehicle and in addition to the interior systems, it features a fun communications system on the exterior of the rear!
Read More

Mini Baker Street, 2012

  •  Mini Baker Street, 2012
The new exterior and interior design details developed exclusively for the MINI Baker Street mark out this special-edition model. The Rooftop Grey metallic exterior paint shade combines with special bonnet stripes whose basic colour black is given extra character by a subtle V-shape design. 16-inch 6-Star twin-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black along with matching black exterior mirror caps present an attractive contrast to the bold, contemporary appearance of the new exterior paintwork.

The MINI Baker Street can also be ordered as an option in the body shades Pepper White and Midnight Black. In MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper D trim the roof is painted black, while "Baker Street" lettering on the side scuttles framing the side indicators points to the exclusive character of this special-edition model.

In the interior a fresh interpretation of the cloth/leather seats available for the standard MINI teams up with exclusive interior surfaces to create an unmistakable ambience. In traditional British style, the surfaces of the new seat variant in Cross Check Rooftop Grey light feature a diamond pattern. Cross Check Rooftop Grey light is also used for the surfaces of the cockpit and door trim and is combined with a Rooftop Grey light Colour Line. Light grey contrast stitching for the floor mats, gearshift/selector lever as well as the handbrake gaiters and seat tags which, like the door sills, bear "Baker Street" lettering, round off the array of bespoke interior features. The Chrome Line Interior package adds further lustre.

The equipment list for the MINI Baker Street also includes the Pepper Pack, which brings with it air conditioning, an on-board computer, a leather steering wheel, the Chrome Line Exterior package, front foglamps, a lighting package and height adjustment for the front passenger seat. The range of optional equipment, meanwhile, offers a host of other items with which customers can tailor their car to their personal requirements. The range of available engine variants for the MINI Baker Street spans the MINI One (72 kW/98 hp), MINI Cooper (90 kW/122 hp), MINI One D (66 kW/90 hp) and MINI Cooper D (82 kW/112 hp). All the engines channel their power through a six-speed manual gearbox as standard or an optional six-speed automatic.
Read More