Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mazda 3 Sedan, 2012


 Mazda 3 Sedan, 2012

The 2012 Mazda 3 made its U.S. debut at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. Face-lifted with an even more refined exterior and interior, the 2012 Mazda 3 also is the first application in North America of Mazda's innovative SKYACTIV fuel-saving and performance-oriented technologies, achieving 40 mpg on the highway. The Mazda 3 model is Mazda's best-selling vehicle worldwide and accounts for nearly half of all Mazda sales in the United States, making the vehicle a prime candidate for introducing SKYACTIV to consumers looking for dynamic performance coupled with high fuel efficiency.

The Distinctively Dynamic
The Mazda 3 has earned a solid reputation for its sporty and exciting handling that delivers an equally pleasurable driving feel which emphasizes consistency between the driver's expectations and the car's response. Inheriting this pedigree, the refreshed 2012 Mazda 3 not only improves upon this sense of oneness between driver and vehicle, but also offers a comfortable driving experience that all passengers can feel and enjoy in various driving scenarios.

Referred to as Toitsukan, this linear and consistent feel is more specifically about establishing smooth transitions between acceleration, lateral and deceleration G forces in response to the basic aspects of driving, turning and stopping. This idea is not simply about delivering sharp response to accelerator and steering operations for a sporty ride, but instead delivering a consistent linear feeling of the car's every response to control operations of the driver. Toitsukan extends to making driving pleasurable and instilling drivers with the sensation of excitement and control while at the same time offering passengers a comfortable ride created by smooth and stable car movement.

Concentrated efforts were made to ensure this Toitsukan is achieved throughout the car's features, which also resulted in a stronger body, include the adoption of the Electro-Hydraulic Power Assist Steering (EHPAS) system and optimized tuning of the front and rear dampers. Mazda's EHPAS system employs a new setting for pump flow characteristics that enables easier handling at slow speeds while also achieving more positive feedback and a better feeling for the road at mid-range through to high speeds. The overall result when compared to the current model is lighter, more nimble steering feel.

Put simply: turn the wheel a little, get a little change of direction; turn the wheel a lot, get a lot of change of direction. It seems so easy, but so few manufacturers seem to be able to achieve this level of intuition.

The body of the 2012 Mazda 3  has been further reinforced for greater rigidity, improving upon the current model's already stellar agility and handling stability. This was partly achieved by increasing the number of spot welds used to join the suspension cross members (to which the front and rear suspensions are mounted) to the reinforced body areas. Use of stronger materials for reinforcements made it possible to more effectively disperse input from the suspension cross member mounts to the body, thereby greatly improving overall body rigidity. In addition, the two reinforcement bars located under the center of the floor panel of the current Mazda 3 were replaced by a single new brace that is both stronger and more rigid. Employing this sheet of reinforcing material suppresses fore-aft body deformation. This update applies only to models equipped with the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter or MZR 2.5-liter engines.

Additionally, models powered by SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engines are equipped with a drive control system that controls torque generation to maintain a harmonious balance between engine output and the gears of the transmission. Programmed in such a way to determine how much acceleration is called for in relation to the amount of acceleration pedal action, the system ensures the right amount of torque generated matches the acceleration demands. The instills in the driver a sense of confidence that the vehicle will respond faithfully and predictably. A driver's desired speed can be reached without the need of a heavy foot on the accelerator, thus contributing to less waste of fuel.

The 2010 model year, the refreshed 2012 Mazda 3 is Mazda's first application of SKYACTIV technologies in North America, receiving an all-new SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine as well as the all-new SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission and all-new SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission. It also features improved sporty driving dynamics, responsive handling and a comfortable cabin space. The exterior design also has been refined to express a bolder stance, alongside new interior appointments creating additional functionality without sacrificing the touch-and-feel quality. Additional safety features complete the package.

Mazda 3, SKYACTIV Reach New Heights
In addition to the Mazda 3's current MZR 2.0-liter dual-overhead-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine is the all-new high-efficiency direct-injection SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine. Mated to a standard SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission or optional SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission, SKYACTIV will be available in either the sedan or hatchback models. The MZR 2.0-liter engine will continue to be available with the current five-speed manual as standard equipment. MZR 2.0-liter-equipped models also will be available with the current five-speed automatic as an option.

Approximately 4.4 pounds lighter than the current MZR 2.0-liter engine, the SKYACTIV 2.0-liter adopts multi-hole injectors to enhance fuel spray characteristics, along with specially developed piston cavity shapes that ensure a shorter combustion time and suppresses the impact on power and torque from engine knocking. Pumping loss is also decreased by employing dual sequential valve timing (S-VT).

The 2012 Mazda 3 achieves a high compression ratio of 12.0:1 and delivers 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm. (The PZEV version of this engine sold in California and other states produces 154 hp at 6,000 rpm and 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm).

Compared to the current Mazda 3 MZR 2.0-liter engine, the maximum power of the SKYACTIV-equipped 2012 Mazda 3 is increased by approximately five percent (from 148 horsepower at 6,500 rpm) and torque is increased by approximately 10 percent (from 135 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm). With improved torque, coupled with a drive control system that utilizes coordinated controls of the engine and transmission, Mazda 3s with SKYACTIV technology excel in dynamic response, further maintaining the Zoom-Zoom idea of oneness between the car and driver.

Fuel economy also gets a boost from the combination of a SKYACTIV engine and transmissions. When equipped with the SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine and optional SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission, the 2012 Mazda 3 sedan will achieve an EPA rating of 40 mpg on the highway, an approximately 21-percent improvement over the current MZR 2.0-liter engine equipped with the optional five-speed automatic transmission. With a fuel tank capacity of 14.5 gallons, the 2012 Mazda 3 sedan with SKYACTIV has the potential of a 540-mile range, with still a gallon of fuel remaining. City mpg for the sedan version also improves by 17 percent to 28 mpg. When equipped with the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission, the sedan is rated with an estimated fuel economy of 27 city/39 highway.

The Mazda 3 sedan with the MZR 2.0-liter has an EPA fuel economy rating of 25 city/33 highway with the standard five-speed manual transmission and 24 city/33 highway with the optional five-speed automatic transmission.

With the MZR 2.5-liter engine, the Mazda 3 five-door hatchback model  offered in the U.S. with the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine. This Mazda 3 hatchback is estimated to deliver 27 city/38 highway (SKYACTIV-MT) and 28 city/38 highway (SKYACTIV-Drive AT). The slightly lower highway estimates can be attributed to different aerodynamics and the higher weight ratio between the sedan and hatchback. However, the hatchback's driving range remains impressive with more than 500 miles of driving on the same sized tank as the sedan. The MZR 2.0-liter engine will not be available in the hatchback model.

The higher fuel economy of the 2012 Mazda 3 equipped with SKYACTIV is a direct result of combining all the best features of the technology in today's transmissions. For SKYACTIV-Drive, the key advantages of a conventional automatic transmission, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) were integrated. In addition, a torque converter with a lock-up clutch was developed to ensure minimal decrease in fuel economy and an increase in direct drive feel.

For SKYACTIV-MT, the goal was to achieve a shift feel that is sporty, brisk and responds to the driver. To accomplish this, not only was the shift-lever stroke shortened by about 10 percent compared to the current six-speed manual (available only in models equipped with the MZR 2.5-liter engine or MZR 2.3-liter Direct-Injection Spark Ignition turbo engine) but other technologies were applied as well: a down type system, lock ball type synchronizer, shift load canceller, slide ball bearing and locating 2nd and 3rd gears on a common shaft. By reconfiguring the current six-speed manual transmission, its weight was reduced by approximately 4.4 pounds due to the need for fewer components, while creating a quicker and crisper shift feel. Call it a little "MX-5 Miata-ness" in the Mazda 3.

Along side the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter, the MZR 2.5 is a technology powerhouse as well. It offers an aluminum block with cylinder-bore liners made of a steel-molybdenum alloy offering strength and stiffness generally not seen in large-displacement four-cylinder engines. A forged-steel crankshaft provides strength at high revs, but rigidity to ensure low NVH characteristics. Additionally, twin balance shafts located in the oil sump cancel second-order noise and vibration. The deep-skirt block is engineered for extra stiffness and main-bearing caps are integral with a ladder-type lower-block reinforcement. To minimize the noise and vibration typically found on larger displacement four-cylinder engines, the damper at the forward end of the crankshaft is equipped with two tuned masses. At the output end, a flexible flywheel also curbs NVH.

Fuel is delivered to the intake ports by an electronically controlled sequential injection system. Ignition coils are modular units positioned directly above the spark plugs. Shim-less bucket tappets require no maintenance. Lightweight pistons are coated with a special anti-friction compound and fitted with low-tension rings for improved gas mileage. Sintered powder-metal connecting rods and lighter full-floating wrist pins minimize the reciprocating weight.

Providing 167 hp at 6,000 rpm and 168 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, the MZR 2.5-liter engine is available with a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed electronically-controlled automatic with manual shift control. (The PZEV version of this engine sold in California and other states produces 165 hp at 6,000 rpm and 167 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm). The MZR 2.5-liter engine achieves EPA figures of 20 city and 28 highway with a manual transmission and 22 city and 29 highway with the automatic.

Engaging, Efficient Exterior

The mid-generation evolution of the Mazda 3 also extends to its exterior design. The current model's rich expression and bold stance has been updated to deliver a well-toned look that conveys even higher quality and curb appeal. Increased aerodynamics and stylized features give the 2012 Mazda 3 a more sophisticated look, blending seamlessly with functionality.

The 2012 Mazda 3's exterior appearance ultimately features a more taut impression with a new front fascia and updated five-point grille opening for both sedan and hatchback styles. New design characteristics include more delicately sculpted forms around the openings on the outside edge of the front bumper and a rounded fog lamp shape (changed from the horizontally-wide version of the current model).

Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback models equipped with SKYACTIV-G gasoline engines will be further distinguished with exclusive elements, such as an all-new engine cover featuring a deep blue metallic paint finish with black sections along either side; headlamp units outfitted with a transparent blue ring around the center lens to emphasize the vehicle's distinctive character; and a badge featuring a "SKYACTIV" logo against a clear-blue background.

Aerodynamics plays heavily to a vehicle's carbon footprint. Improved aerodynamic performance yields greater fuel economy and further reduces CO2 emissions while also contributing to handling stability. With this in mind, the front bumper design was optimized, as were underbody parts, to more effectively streamline the flow of air traveling beneath the floor. The shape of the lower sections of the front bumper's sides were redesigned to protrude forward and the fins beneath were made larger. This adjustment effectively distributes the flow of air hitting the engine compartment and the front tire deflector, suppressing turbulence in cooling the engine as well as along the sides of the body.

Other aerodynamic aids that further streamline airflow throughout and around the vehicle include enlarging and flattening the engine cover (on models equipped with the SKYACTIV-G engine); increasing the floor under-covers by approximately 10 percent and eliminating vertical grooves for a smoother design; increasing the rigidity of the front tire deflectors to prevent deformation and establish a good balance between brake cooling, aerodynamic performance and handling stability; and an added clamshell silencer shaped to sit on angle with the road surface.

The devil truly is in the details, and Mazda's engineers didn't miss a single one. The end result is a 0.27 Cd for the sedan (SKYACTIV-equipped model only), an approximately seven-percent improvement over the 0.29 Cd of current models. The hatchback version has a 0.29 Cd (SKYACTIV-equipped model only), also an approximately seven-percent increase over the 0.31 Cd of current models.

The refreshed exterior look is completed with all-new 16- and 17-inch aluminum wheel designs. The 16-inch wheel (on all SKYACTIV models) now features 10 twisted-surface spokes, increased from the current model's seven-spoke design, and the 17-inch wheel (on 2.5-liter s models) is characterized by enlarged openings between each spoke, creating a look that adds to a lighter yet more dynamic feel. Designs for the 16-inch steel wheels and 18-inch aluminum wheels remain unchanged.

High Quality, Intuitive Interior
The interior design was no less re-imagined than the vehicle's exterior, and was developed with the end goals of a more inviting cabin and higher quality feel. Beginning with the instrument panel - the largest landscape within the cabin - black is now used throughout the center stack and shift gate to provide an even bolder look. Also, silver-colored, satin-polished details were added to areas frequently operated by consumers, such as the outer rings of the three climate-control dial switches and the audio control panel, as well as the ventilation louvers on the center panel. In addition to creating a feeling of higher refinement, the silver-on-black color scheme further accentuates the location of these common controls and switches, which increases legibility and lessens the amount of time drivers take their eyes off the road, consequently reducing operating errors.

The Multi Information Display (MID) and liquid crystal display (LCD) also received color adjustments, changing from the red text and graphics of the current model to an easier-to-read white. On the 2012 MAZDASPEED3, the silver touches also replace the current red-accented graphics and the silver decoration atop the shift knob has been removed. The entire shift knob on the MAZDASPEED3 is now leather-wrapped. The parking brake knob also is wrapped in genuine leather, establishing a unified coordination that lends the cockpit an even sportier air and gives the MAZDASPEED3 interior additional sophistication.

The sporty twin-meter design of the instrument cluster itself remains unchanged but is highlighted with new, continuous-lit white graphic meters, which provide better readability, even in bright daylight hours. Backlight colors also differ depending on the model: dynamic gray for standard and high trim levels and a red gradation for the MAZDASPEED3. SKYACTIV-equipped vehicles will feature a blue gradation backlight as well as white-graphic meter panels. Also offered will be a stylish shift knob adorned by satin-polish plating on the lower section and a silver ring-surrounded SKYACTIV-logoed plate on the upper part.

Proving that even on a mid-cycle refresh, engineers truly sweat the details, the amount of the shift knob head's forward projection on SKYACTIV-Drive equipped models has been increased by nearly 0.16 inches over the current model, resulting in a better grip feel and smoother shifts in both front-aft and left-right directions.

Improved visual designs also have found their way into the comfortable, snug seats and create a stronger impression of dimensionality with new three-dimensional fabric patterns. On the black seats of non-leather models, gray cross-threads have been added to enhance contrast and create a feeling of casual comfort. Dune-colored seats receive both bright and dark-colored cross-threads to create a calm, mature interior atmosphere. Higher trim levels (Touring and Grand Touring) receive a different three-dimensional seat fabric pattern to create a richer expression of quality on the black fabric.

Additional Safety Features
All Mazda 3 and MAZDASPEED3 models will continue to be equipped with a high level of standard safety features. An optional feature available for 2012 models is a new Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system. The BSM system aids drivers in avoiding accidents that often occur in tight-spaced situations, such as brushing up against another vehicle during lane changes and traffic merges. 24GHz radar sensors located at the rear of the vehicle aim to detect approaching vehicles within a range of 13 feet to the left or right, and within 26 feet from the rear. When a vehicle is detected entering the blind spot area, indicator lamps housed within the door mirrors will light. If a turn signal is activated while the indicators are lit, they flash and a buzzer serves as an additional warning. Also available as an option is an Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling bi-xenon headlamps. AFS provides a wider range of vision during cornering, increasing the driver's gaze point and visible distance, by taking into account both steering angle and vehicle speed to orient the headlamps to an angle.

All Mazda 3s, regardless of trim level or engine choice, will continue to feature Mazda's own highly rigid safety body structure, which incorporates crushable outer zones that absorb impact energy, and Mazda's Triple H construction, which applies H-shaped reinforcements to the floor, side frames and roof to suppress cabin deformation and minimize the likelihood of bodily injury during an impact. For 2012 models, the B-pillar reinforcement has been extended by more than seven inches and more high tensile steel was added to further increase body rigidity.

Standard advanced safety features include six airbags (advanced dual front, front-seat mounted and full-length side curtain) with improved double chamber side airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) with Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with a Traction Control System (TCS), front and rear stabilizer bars, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), a "crushable" brake and accelerator pedal assembly and collapsible steering column, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters as well as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH). On Mazda 3, safety is simply not an option.
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Kia Rio, 2012

 Kia Rio, 2012

The fourth-generation Kia Rio, revealed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, boasts a bold and distinctive personality, bringing the latest model into line with the rest of Kia's striking design-led product range.

In addition to appealing to consumers' aesthetic tastes, the new Kia Rio spearhead the company's efforts to significantly grow its market share across the globe by offering potential owners industry-leading environmental credentials.

Kia Rio shows its connection with the Sportage, too, through its strong and stable rear, flowing C-pillar, dominant high shoulder and fast rear screen angle. The coupe-like roof-line contrasts dramatically with the strong and static rear bumper and gives a power and solidity to the rear view.

The bold but elegant appearance is strengthened by the distinctive feature line which adds tension to the flanks and accentuates the dynamic stance of the car. The careful balance of window graphic, wheelbase and overall proportion give Kia Rio a refinement and premium presence which is rare in the B-segment.

Target CO2 emissions for the model range start at just 85 g/km - representing a new industry-wide low. This impressive figure places the B-segment Kia Rio ahead of all other models in its class and even all vehicles currently on sale in the entire European market.

Tasked with the difficult job of improving upon the remarkable international sales success of the previous generation model, Kia's engineers and designers have created a new Rio which combines European finesse with Korean spice to create a form language that also communicates Latin flair, for a truly global appeal.

Since its launch in 2005, global sales of the third-generation Kia Rio have totalled more than 860,000 units. It was the company's third best-selling vehicle in overseas markets during 2010 with sales of more than 219,000 units.

The new Kia Rio model is longer (by 20 mm), wider (by 25 mm), and lower (by -15 mm) and features a wheelbase extended by 70 mm (to 2,570 mm) - greatly enhancing passenger space and cargo capacity. With an overall height of 1,455 mm, new Kia Rio is one of the lowest cars in Kia's European product range.

Manufactured for the first time with a choice of 5-door and 3-door bodystyles (in Europe), new Kia Rio is set to completely redefine its position as one of the most competitive vehicles in one of the most competitive sectors - the B-segment.

Kia's market research predicts that global demand for B-segment cars is going to grow significantly over the next two years.

With 2 body styles for sporty new Kia Rio - plus the already popular Soul and Venga models appealing to people who want to stand out from the crowd or need a spacious and versatile compact MPV - Kia is confident of capturing a larger share of this growing market segment.

In many countries, diesel power is the preferred option in this segment and Rio will be available with two versions of Kia's 'U2' power unit - both fitted with 16-valves and a WGT. The 1.4-litre generates 90 ps and 216 Nm of torque, while the 1.1-litre produces 70 ps and 162 Nm. Both engines deliver maximum torque from just 1,750 rpm.

To lower fuel consumption and help achieve Kia Rio's class-leading emissions, Kia engineers have carried out an extensive program to shed weight across a broad range of components. As a result, although new Kia Rio is a significantly larger car than the third-generation model with extra equipment, its weight-gain has been kept to a minimum.

The 5-door version of new Kia Rio will go on sale in Europe during the third quarter of 2011 with the all-new 3-door model joining Kia's B-segment line-up in the first quarter of 2012. Both versions will be manufactured exclusively at Kia's Sohari plant in Korea.

'Premium presence' for compact new car
With new Rio, Kia has created a car that answers consumer demand for more quality, more choice, and attractive, exciting design.

The new car is no evolution of its predecessor, it is a revolution. The bold and distinctive personality of the new Kia Rio represents a complete departure from its predecessor and fits perfectly into the revitalized new family of Kia products.

Viewed head on, new Kia Rio has its own unique interpretation of the Kia corporate grille which is integrated beautifully with the front lamps to create a new twist on the Kia family look. In this latest form, the Kia logo now sits above the grille. Below the grille, the treatment of front bumper and spoiler again shows signs of the Kia design DNA, with its distinctive on-road presence. In profile, the ratio of body to glass, combined with the car's strong wedge form, give Kia Rio a dynamic, sporty stance. So Rio has now been given a completely fresh personality which perfectly complements its siblings Picanto and Venga.

To maximise the impact of Kia Rio´s striking appearance is a fresh new palette of 10 body colours. Kia's colour and trim team have developed a spectrum of exclusive colours for Rio which underline its refined and stylish character. These include a Wendy Brown and a Graphite Grey, both colours with a classic premium flavour.

With the introduction of the new Rio, the Kia product portfolio has just taken the next important step towards becoming a family of vehicles which has an attractive and coherent brand style but still manages to retain individual product character.

Sophisticated and spacious interior
To complement the striking exterior, Kia Rio's interior design has also been transformed, with a clean sophisticated theme. The concept follows the corporate Kia interior philosophy with the characteristic horizontal instrument panel, accentuating the feeling of width and space. It is a theme which cleverly combines chic modernity with rationality and achieves a calm timeless quality.

The quality and refinement of interior materials and the attention to detail in fit and finish have been design priorities for new Kia Rio.

As in other recently-launched Kia models, the signature interior architecture - with its 'three cylinder' instrument cluster, precise instrument graphics and clear functionality - have been retained. New for Rio, however, are the centrally-located toggle switches, which are neatly integrated into the central heater unit, and control some of the secondary functions.

The sophistication interior concept is reflected in the breadth of trim options which give the car a genuine premium feel, with three trim concepts available. In Kia Rio customers can select from a choice of two-tone interiors, with Cognac Brown or Desert Grey combinations and high quality interior decor. The bespoke feel of the interior underlines the new focus for Kia Rio as a mature, refined, compact premium car.

The current trend towards downsizing of vehicles which is being seen across Europe means that cars in the B-segment are becoming more mature and refined as they are required to satisfy the premium aspirations of more sophisticated customer groups. More refinement, more features, higher quality but above all more choice and distinctive design is in demand.

The radically-new Rio is Kia´s answer to these new market conditions, and numerous 'big car' comfort and convenience features will be offered to consumers on a B-segment Kia for the first time when new Rio goes on sale in Europe.

Optional features on new Kia Rio cars for the European market will include smart-key entry system with engine start/stop button, RDS radio CD player with MP3 compatibility plus AUX, iPod and USB connections, Bluetooth handsfree (with voice recognition available from December 2011), cruise control, climate-control air-conditioning, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. In some markets, the dashboard will come pre-wired to accept the optional portable navigation system.

The new Rio's cabin is more spacious and also feels more spacious. The base of the windscreen is moved forwards by 156 mm and up by 18 mm, while the 70 mm longer wheelbase and 25 mm wider bodyshell bring space benefits for all occupants and cargo capacity. Front legroom is increased by 45 mm, front headroom by 8 mm.

The trunk space is 100 mm wider and the capacity is now 288 litres - a 7% improvement over the previous model. The backrest of the rear seat is split 60/40 for maximum versatility. Users can fold the backrest down, to create an almost flat-floored load area.

Cabin storage includes a larger, 15-litre glove box, a larger centre console with 3-litres of extra capacity and pockets to hold a 1.5-litre bottle in the front doors and a 0.5-litre bottle in the rear doors.

Four highly efficient engines with 70-to-109 ps output In Europe, the new Kia Rio will offer customers a choice of four highly efficient three- and four-cylinder engines - with a 70-to-109 ps power range - and an industry-leading CO2 base-line rating of just 85 g/km, plus fuel consumption as low as 3.2 litres per 100 km.

A well-proven power unit in the Kia line-up, the updated 'Gamma' has friction-reducing modifications and dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing), to achieve a responsive performance and competitively modest fuel consumption. With maximum output of 109 ps and peak torque of 136 Nm, this engine powers the fastest Rio - accelerating to 100 kph in 11.5 seconds and reaching a top speed of 181 kph (112 mph).

Kia's advanced 'Kappa' family of engines - also appearing in the New Picanto at the Geneva Show - features dual CVVT, a cast aluminium block, off-set crankshaft, maintenance-free timing chain and low-friction 'beehive' valve springs. These technologies significantly improve efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions. The 1.25-litre engine in Kia Rio delivers 85 ps and 117.8 Nm of torque, while achieving fuel economy of 4.8 l/100 km.

Regular Rio models will have a CO2 rating of 94-to-124 g/km. In Europe, these figures can be further reduced by specifying Kia's optional fuel-stretching ISG technologies (automatic stop-start, advanced alternator control, upgraded starter motor and low-rolling resistance tyres) - available on all models.

Equipped with ISG, Kia Rio's emissions will range from 85-to-114 g/km, so the two diesel models (under 100 g/km) qualify for local emissions-based tax savings, where available. For these models, fuel economy will range from 3.2 to 4.8 litres per 100 km, contributing to lower running costs.

Standard transmission for both diesels and the larger gasoline engine will be a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.25-litre 85 ps engine has a five-speed box. A four-speed automatic gearbox will be available as an option on the 1.4-litre 109 ps gasoline engine.

Improved stability, ride and refinement
Developed from the previous model, the new Kia Rio's suspension and running gear has been engineered to carry over that popular car's responsive handling while improving stability, ride quality and refinement - in line with heightened customer expectations.

The electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering now features a combined torque/angle sensor to protect against side wind gusts. It is geared to require 2.82 turns (lock-to-lock) and the steering wheel is adjustable for both height and reach.

Mounted on a sub-frame to isolate road shocks, the MacPherson strut front suspension is largely unchanged, with small alterations to accommodate the new model's longer wheelbase, wider track and different weight distribution.

The CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle) at the rear is stiffer (reducing under-steer) and the strength of the connection between the trailing-arms and the stub-axles is doubled, improving stability. Wheel travel is increased by 10 mm and the geometry is improved to reduce bump-steer and deliver a more compliant ride.

An all-disc braking system - with 256 / 262 mm (front / rear) diameter discs - is standard on all new Kia Rio models fitted with ESC (electronic stability control). Models not fitted with ESC feature 203 x 10 mm drum brakes at the rear. The performance of the braking system is supported by ABS anti-lock, electronic brake force distribution and emergency 'brake assist' systems.

Comprehensive 'active' and 'passive' safety
For new Kia Rio, an all-new bodyshell was created using a higher percentage of high-strength steel than the third-generation model, enhancing strength and rigidity. Special attention was given to strengthening the engine-bay longitudinal side members, floor panel side members, floor level cross-member between the B-pillars and the transverse dashboard bulkhead.

Kia's engineers are confident that new Rio will achieve a 5-Star safety rating in EuroNCAP crash tests, following the top ratings scored by cee'd, Venga, Soul, Sportage and Sorento.

In Europe, standard safety equipment will include up to six airbags, 'active' front seat head restraints (to protect against whiplash injury in a rear impact).
The optional safety equipment, like electronic stability control (standard in some markets), hill-start assist (to prevent roll-back when moving off on gradients), new front 'cornering' lamps, an adjustable speed-limiter, rear parking sensors, and tyre pressure monitoring system.

A new system called 'ESS' (Emergency Stop Signal) will be available for additional safety. To alert following drivers that the car is slowing rapidly, sensors detect when the driver is braking suddenly and hard, and then automatically flash the brake lights three times.

Night time driving is made safer by the availability of Xenon projection headlamps, new front 'cornering' lamps, and LED daytime running lights and LED lights rear lights.

Measures to minimise NVH include increasing the rigidity of the car's bodyshell structure with a stiffer steering column support bracket, reinforced panels within the C-pillar, strengthened rear fascia and increased stiffness for the inner and outer skins of the tailgate, plus larger hydraulic mountings for the engine and transmission to dampen vibrations. Overall, Kia is confident that new Rio will be a class-leader in the B-segment for refinement.
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Friday, June 8, 2012

Brabus Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, 2012


  • Brabus Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, 2012
The attached photos show the roadster equipped with Brabus Monoblock F wheels painted the new exclusive 'Liquid Titanium' color. They are mounted in size 8.5Jx20 in front and in size 9.5Jx20 on the rear axle. Brabus recommends high-performance tires from Continental, Pirelli or Yokohams in sizes 235/30 ZR 20 on the front axle and 275/25 ZR 20 in back.The Brabus side sill attachments emphasize the sporty lateral lines of the car and seem to make the rear fenders wider visually. 
The rear of the car receives some added sporty character with the Brabus diffuser and the Brabus rear spoiler on the trunk lid. The diffuser is integrated with utmost precision into the production bumper and features a centrally mounted rear reflector. These aerodynamic-enhancement components also serve more than just a visual function; they reduce lift in the rear as well.

The sporty-elegant Brabus aerodynamic-enhancement components give the roadster an even more thrilling appearance. The two Brabus front spoiler lips that attach on the left and right side of the production apron and the striking bezels for the daytime running lights lend the SLK a more striking nose. But that's not all: the spoilers also reduce lift on the front axle which particularly benefits directional stability at high speeds.

A major contribution to the sporty appearance of the new SLK from Bottrop likewise comes from the Brabus Monoblock wheels, which are available in various one-piece or multi-piece designs with diameters ranging from 17 to 20 inches.

Brabus sport springs were custom-developed to match the conversion to these king-sized tires. They are calibrated to work with the production shocks, and lower the ride height of the two-seater by some 30 millimeters (1.2 inches). Brabus also offers various versions of its high-performance brake systems for the new SLK.

These measures furthermore make the new SLK perfectly suited for some extra power. In a first step Brabus offers efficient and reasonably priced Brabus ECO PowerXtra CGI tuning for the four-cylinder direct-injection engines. The processor-controlled Brabus ECO PowerXtra CGI auxiliary control modules are custom-tailored to each respective engine variant and can be installed by any authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer in less than an hour thanks to their 'plug and play' design. All performance kits are backed by the one-of-a-kind Brabus Tuning Warranty® of three years, up to 100,000 kilometers / 62,000 miles (updated November 2006). Brabus recommends Aral high-performance lubricants.

To retain the engine's longevity and fatigue strength these kits are designed to only activate the performance-enhancing mapping when all parameters such as engine temperature etc. are in the green. This effectively prevents the performance increase from negatively affecting the service life of the engine.

After the installation of the Brabus ECO PowerXtra B20 CGI performance kit the four-cylinder direct-injection engine of the SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY produces an extra 26 hp (25 bhp) / 19 kW of power and an additional 30 Nm (22 lb-ft) of peak torque.

The new SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY can be upgraded at Brabus in two stages. The Brabus ECO PowerXtra B25 CGI module bumps power output of the four-cylinder direct-injection engine from standard 204 hp (201 bhp) / 150 kW to 230 hp (226 bhp) / 169 kW at just 5,500 rpm.

Other ten additional horsepower can be realized with the supplementary installation of a larger intercooler and an electronically controlled Brabus sport wastegate valve that are part of the Brabus ECO PowerXtra B25S CGI performance kit. 240 hp (236 bhp) / 176 kW of power and 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) of torque in overboost mode accelerate the two-seater in 6.2 seconds from rest to 100 km/h on the way to a top speed of 248 km/h (154 mph).

On the road all CGI engines performance-tuned by Brabus deliver not just excellent driving performance but also optimized pulling power from low engine speeds and favorable fuel economy. Just as important for the Brabus engine specialists were exemplary low emissions: like the corresponding non-tuned engines all engines with Brabus ECO PowerXtra CGI performance kit meet strict Euro V emission limits.

The installation of the Brabus stainless-steel sport exhaust system is advantageous not only for tuned engines. Its four tailpipes featuring the typical Brabus design not only give the roadster an even more exclusive appearance but also produce an even sportier exhaust note for all engine variants.

Other focus of the Brabus refinement of the new Mercedes SLK is the interior. Brabus offers an extensive program for the roadster: it includes attractive accessories such as high-gloss polished stainless-steel scuff plates with Brabus logo and sporty elements such as aluminum foot pedals and shifter.

Requests for even more individuality can be fulfilled by the Brabus upholstery shop in the form of exclusive interiors crafted from especially soft and breathable Brabus Mastik leather and Alcantara.
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Bentley Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee, 2012


Bentley Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee, 2012

Designed by the craftsmen and women of Bentley's Mulliner division, the creators of the State Limousine presented to Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, just 60 examples of the Bentley Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition have been created with each car representing a year of Her Majesty's reign.

Bentley Motors and its customers in Beijing celebrated HM The Queen's Birthday and her Diamond Jubilee year at the gala opening of one of the world's largest Bentley dealerships - a new landmark in the cosmopolitan Sanlitun district. To mark the occasion, Bentley unveiled the first example of its Bentley Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition.

These very special Bentleys are distinguished by a range of exquisite, handcrafted features paying tribute to the Jubilee. These include bespoke embroidery to all four headrests using gold stitching, veneered picnic tables in the rear cabin decorated with a gold overlay depicting a royal carriage used for great occasions of state as well as luxurious, hide cushions featuring the same motif.

2 beautiful, highly-polished stainless steel treadplate plaques featuring the famous 'Bentley Mulliner, England' script and 'Diamond Jubilee Edition' have also been commissioned for these Mulsanne models.

Mulliner came to prominence when the family was commissioned to build carriages for the Royal Mail in 1760. By the late 19th Century Mulliner was hand-crafting the coachwork for the new "horseless carriage" - the first cars.

Mulliner's association with Bentley harks back to the very beginning of the marque's story when W.O. Bentley commissioned Mulliner to build the bodywork for the famous EXP1. This partnership continued to flourish, producing the streamlined contours of the revolutionary 1952 R-Type Continental, among many other iconic Bentley designs. Now known as Bentley Mulliner and a wholly-owned division of Bentley Motors, the Mulliner team offers a specialist personal commissioning department for Bentley customers and limited edition cars.

True to the Mulliner tradition, the Diamond Jubilee Edition cars feature a spectrum of paint and hide colours that sets them apart from other Bentleys and which stylishly uses various combinations and shades of red, white and blue (the colours of the Union Flag) to underscore the British connection. Hand-applied Single Fine Lines - using these same three colours - provide an elegant finishing touch as do two distinctive Bentley 'B' badges positioned on each 'D' pillar.

China is now the largest market for Bentley Motors. In 2011 the iconic British manufacturer delivered 1,664 cars to Chinese customers and during the first quarter of 2012 sales in the region grew by 84.66 percent compared with the same period in 2011. Bentley's dealership presence is set to further expand in the next 12 months as the company introduces its latest high-performance coupe and convertible Continental models to Chinese customers in 2012.

The Bentley Mulsanne captures the essence of the Bentley marque. It is elegant yet distinctly sporting in character, delivering effortless performance, while within its sumptuous cabin, advanced technology sits discreetly with handcrafted luxury. Designed and engineered at Crewe from the ground-up, the Mulsanne has reaffirmed the marque's intent to create a luxury grand tourer with refined performance, unparalleled levels of interior luxury and coach building skills to the fore.
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty MW3, 2012

  •  Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty MW3, 2012

The Jeep brand and Activision Publishing, Inc. announced that Jeep has been named exclusive automotive partner of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the year's most anticipated entertainment launch, which will be released on November 8, 2011. The marks a second chapter in a joint promotion that Jeep and Activision began in 2010.

The presence of a Jeep Wrangler in the game is a natural fit, including an in-game integration into the epic single-player storyline of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," a Spec-Ops level and the title's much anticipated multiplayer experience.

As part of these efforts, Jeep also announced that  produce in 2012 Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty: MW3 Special Edition. Available in Jeep showrooms November 2011, the new limited-edition Jeep Wrangler  available in both two-door and four-door (Jeep Wrangler Unlimited) models.

The MW3 Special Edition

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited Call of Duty: MW3 Special Edition is based on the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon model and features Rubicon wheels finished in semi-gloss black. Available in Black or Bright Silver, the exterior features "Call of Duty: MW3 Special Edition" graphics on the front fenders and spare tire cover.

The vehicle also features a unique "power-dome" hood, along with such Mopar accessories as a winch-ready front bumper, rear bumper, rock rails, taillamp guards and a fuel-filler door. Inspired by the most recent version of Activision's popular "Call of Duty" games, the new limited-edition Wrangler delivers legendary Jeep capability, aggressive 32-inch off-road tires, live axles with locking differentials in the front and rear, and a two-speed transfer case.

The Interior appointments include model-specific black seats with accent stitching and Call of Duty logos, unique gauge cluster graphics, dashboard serialized plaque, dashboard grab handle with logo, accent stitching on arm rest, console lid, and steering wheel, Mopar Slush Mats with logo, and rear cargo mat with logo (Unlimited only).

The most capable and recognized vehicle in the world - becomes even more capable both on- and off-road for 2012, courtesy of an all-new, more fuel efficient and more powerful 3.6-liter V-6 engine, and a new five-speed automatic transmission - both of which it shares with the award-winning Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Chrysler Group's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine - winner of the prestigious Ward's 10 Best Engines award - delivers 285 horsepower (209 kW) and 260 (353 N•m) lb.-ft. of torque, while delivering up to 21 miles per gallon highway in the 2012 Jeep Wrangler. The improvement, when compared to the previous 3.8-liter V-6 engine, is 40 percent in horsepower and 10 percent in torque.

The Jeep Wrangler migrates from a four-speed to a new five-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler also features the company's first application of a manual transmission to the Pentastar V-6.

Jeep continues to refine the successful Wrangler formula by combining legendary, benchmark capability with an interior that delivers rich styling with significantly upgraded touch surfaces, occupant comfort and versatility, and a premium appearance courtesy of a body color hard top for the popular Sahara and Rubicon models.

The interior highlights a recently redesigned instrument panel and storage areas with improved ergonomics and upgraded materials. A lockable console and upgraded door armrest areas boast comfortable touch points, while a redesigned center stack is easier to reach and operate. Heated, power mirrors are available, and drivers and passengers enjoy enhanced visibility courtesy of large rear windows.
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